Conference stage and audience in Korundi House of Culture in the previous conference.
Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference takes place every two years. Conference venues are Korundi House of Culture and Arktikum House. Photo: Marko Junttila.

Finland's main Arctic event coming to Rovaniemi

20.10.2023 10:24

The preparations for the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference are almost complete. In November, the event will make Rovaniemi the focal point for Arctic discussion in Finland. This year, the conference themes concentrate especially on Arctic security.

Finland's main Arctic event, the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference on 13-15 November is less than a month away. The main organisers of the biennial conference are the Arctic Center of the University of Lapland and the City of Rovaniemi.

– The interest of various partners has been exceptionally high this year. The partners include the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the European Commission Representation in Finland, several embassies, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats HybridCoE and many Arctic cooperation and research networks, says Markku Heikkilä, Head of Science Communications at the Arctic Centre, who is in charge of the preparations for the conference.

The opening speaker is the Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen, who will participate remotely due to scheduling reasons. The speakers in Rovaniemi include, among others, the EU Special Envoy for Arctic Matters Clara Ganslandt, Principal Director for Arctic and Global Resilience in the U.S. Department of Defense Greg Pollock, and Editor-in-Chief of the Barents Observer online magazine Thomas Nilsen.

At the beginning of the conference, we will hear an overview of what has happened during Finland's  chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council that will soon end. The pre-event on Monday 13 November is a matinee of Arctic documentaries and a discussion of Arctic narratives by representatives of the young generation.

 – As the conference itself opens with very intensive security debates, we wanted to bring out other Arctic perspectives at the pre-event. On the second day of the conference, the program will then have many parallel sessions on several topical Arctic themes, such as the Sámi climate panel, the green transition and land use, says Heikkilä.

The conference will be held in Korundi and Arktikum in Rovaniemi. You can find a more detailed program at About 200 participants are expected for the event. Registration is open until 25 October.

Additional information and details of the conference organising team at the Arctic Centre:

Head of Science Communications Markku Heikkilä,; +358 (0)40 484 4300

Conference Coordinator Helen Honkasaari,; +358 (0)40 513 7026

Communications Specialist Anne Raja-Hanhela,; +358 (0)400 391 337