The Arctic is changing rapidly, and has become a focal point in geopolitics. Sweden, one of eight Arctic states, needs to increase its knowledge base to support political decision-making that acknowledges political, strategic and environmental issues. From a global perspective, we must work towards Arctic change that is politically, economically, socially, and environmentally viable. Today, we face major environmental challenges that cannot alone be solved by existing science, policy and economic approaches.
The need to invest in social sciences in the Arctic was becoming evident in the 2000s, and in 2011, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) made a three-year investment of 38 million Swedish crowns in the programme “Mistra Arctic Futures in a Global Context.” The programme consisted of five distinct projects, each with its own internal project management, involving researchers based at universities, independent research institutes (non-governmental organization ‘think-tanks’) and consultancies, and rooted in the social sciences and the humanities. From 2011 to 2013, 61 researchers based in 10 countries – including 7 Arctic nations– participated in the Mistra programme. Participants included 35 women and 29 men, with an equal gender distribution in leadership positions.
The Mistra Arctic Futures final report is now available for download. It contains overviews of the projects, examples of the research output and a detailed inventory of the publications and other knowledge products resulting from the programme.