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Arctic Innovation Lab
12 Bright Ideas for a Sustainable, Secure Arctic
The ongoing rapid changes in the Arctic pose significant dangers to its natural and manmade environments, and to the people who live there. To address these daunting challenges, a dozen graduate students from universities in the United States, Iceland, and Greenland launched the Arctic Innovation Lab to identify possible solutions that could establish a sustainable and secure Arctic.
They pitched their ideas – from clean energy technology to science diplomacy—to a standing-room-only crowd at the recent 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Dialogue about the Arctic often gets stuck discussing the dramatic challenges we face, with too little time spent on developing possible solutions. The goal of the Arctic Innovation Lab is to create a platform where students and young professionals can pitch and develop ideas and work with experienced practitioners. The Arctic Innovation Lab aims to facilitate an ongoing dialogue between generations to speed up knowledge transition and build capacity for the future of the Arctic.
In Reykjavík, the lab kicked off with a friendly competition. Students delivered 2 1/2-minute presentations to an audience that later voted on their favorite innovation. The student presenters then engaged in a dozen lively roundtable discussions with close to 200 participants about how best to move each innovation idea forward.
The Arctic Innovation Lab was the third annual event that the Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) at HKS’ Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has helped organize to provide an opportunity for students to participate in the annual Arctic Circle Assembly conference. The HKS Center for Public Leadership’s Bacon Environmental Fellowship Program co-sponsored this year’s 25-member HKS delegation. In addition to HKS, the Iceland School of Energy at Reykjavík University, the University of Iceland, the University of Greenland, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University participated in the event.