Bridging Arctic Islands

The Arctic is an island region, with examples being the Aleutians, Greenland, Ellesmere Island, Svalbard, and Zemlya Georga. Island cities include the capitals of territories and countries such as Nunavut and Iceland as well as settlements along Alaska’s and Norway’s shores such as Shishmaref and Tromsø. The Arctic Ocean is arguably a seasonally ever-shifting amalgamation of ice islands.

Within these island complexities, societies develop and thrive, with the rapidity of social and environmental changes leading to both islanding and de-islanding of the peoples and places–often by the same processes. The resurgence of Arctic identities and the forging of islander links around the region reinforces both Arcticness and islandness. Meanwhile, assumptions of improved regional access and the apparent desire from some to create a scramble for resources and opportunities connects with people outside the Arctic.

This panel explores these manifold bridges among and beyond Arctic islands, indicating understandings of directions sought and the realism of achieving the goals. Would increased Arctic transport connections improve options and/or exponentially increase disaster risk? Given the virtualness of this summit, how are virtual bridges built and wrecked? What politics and policies are needed to ensure that Arctic island bridges are created, maintained, and shut down through leadership of the peoples living in the locations?

Speakers

Dwayne Menezes

Founder and Managing Director of Polar Research and Policy Initiative

Dr Menezes has long pursued a career at the intersection of academia, policy, social entrepreneurship and the arts. In his academic career, he is a historian of the British Empire and the Commonwealth, with a focus on the role of indigenous actors in travel and exploration, imperial administration and Christian missions. He read History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Cambridge, graduating from the latter with a PhD in History. He also served as Research Associate at the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) at the University of Cambridge; Visiting Academic at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford; and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London. At present, he serves as Associate Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, and Honorary Fellow at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London.
Dwayne Menezes

Founder and Managing Director of Polar Research and Policy Initiative

James Stockan

Leader of Orkney Islands Council

James Stockan is the elected Leader of Orkney Islands Council. He is leader of the Independent group of Councillors at COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities). James was first elected to the Council in 2003 and has served various roles including Chair of Economic Development, Chair of the Development and Infrastructure Committee. He also served as Chair of HiTrans - Highlands and Islands Transport partnership. James has a background in family business and was Executive Director of Todds in Orkney. Born, bred and still living in Stromness, James strives to help deliver community benefit and excellent services for the people of Orkney
James Stockan

Leader of the Orkney Islands Council

Patrizia Isabelle Duda

PhD scholar at University College London (UCL)

Patrizia is PhD scholar at University College London (UCL) where she studies informal disaster networks in the Arctic and Caribbean. She is currently a visiting PhD scholar at Yale University’s School of Management and is also affiliated with the University of Adger, Norway, through her research on the collaborative NORRUSS project, focusing on Norway-Russia relations and disaster diplomacy on/for Svalbard.
Her additional affiliations include the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine (WADEM), UK Polar Network (UKPN), YANA (Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance), and she is the founder of ADECA (Arctic Disaster Early Career Association).
Before shifting to disaster governance, Patrizia spent over 15 years conducting academic research and working in the fields of business consulting and international security, notably with Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, the Israeli Ministry of Health, World Bank, and many start-ups, focusing on strategic consulting, business development and change management.
Patrizia Isabelle Duda

PhD scholar at University College London (UCL)

Alice Rogoff

Youth Activist & Social Entrepreneur, Comoros Islands

Tourki Mohamed Ali is a youth activist and social entrepreneur from the Comoros. He completed studies in public management at Howard University as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship and studied Business Development and Entrepreneurship at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Alice Rogoff

Youth Activist & Social Entrepreneur, Comoros Islands

Martin Mohr Olsen

University of the Faroe Islands

Firmly rooted in the north of Scotland Inga was brought up in Orkney with her family originating from Shetland. Growing up the sense of place and community was strong and Inga went on to study Environmental Biology & Environmental Management. Continuing down this route Inga has worked in the private, public and higher education sector where sustainable development has been a key focus. Her position as University Engagement Manager with Highlands and Islands Enterprise combines her passion for education with sustainable development within the context of strengthening communities and rural and remote areas.
Martin Mohr Olsen

University of the Faroe Islands

Inga Burton

University Engagement Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Inga Burton

University Engagement Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Partners

Polar Research and Policy Initiative

Polar Research and Policy Initiative (PRPI) is a London-based international, independent think-tank dedicated to Arctic, Nordic, North Atlantic, North Pacific and Antarctic affairs.

Headquartered in the UK and with a presence across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific, PRPI operates principally in the international arena and is committed to supporting sustainable regional development through multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral and multi-national dialogue and cooperation. Every year, PRPI convenes 50-60 high-level policy dialogues around the world that bring together policymakers, business executives, civil society heads and thought leaders to exchange ideas, make connections and identify avenues for collaboration on topics of shared concern or interest. In addition, it also advances greater understanding about its focus regions through analysis and commentary it publishes on its digital platform, The Polar Connection, and various national and international media outlets, as well as through policy reports, briefings, edited volumes and written/oral evidence to Parliamentary inquiries.

UCL IRDR

Natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, floods and storms destroy lives and damage economies across the globe; pandemics have the potential to bring death and suffering on an unprecedented scale; while climate change may increase the severity of both natural and health disasters.
How society sees risk, how to link understanding of the causative mechanics to statistical approaches, and how to increase resilience and reduce the risk of disasters are common themes cutting across research in natural, environmental, health and technological hazards. The IRDR, with its new academic staff, many jointly appointed with key UCL departments, its rapidly growing trans-disciplinary PhD research centre, integrative masters teaching, programme of public events and partnerships with humanitarian, financial, research and civil protection organisations, seeks to bring together this diverse expertise at UCL. We aim to maximise the impact and value of UCL activities and to increase and enhance cross-disciplinary collaboration and cooperation globally.