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Arctic Frontiers side event - Post-petroleum futures: Knowledges, narratives and policies

News   •   Dec 23, 2015 11:36 CET


1200-1400 Arctic narratives and policies (session one)

Opening keynote: Arctic Security and Renewal in a Post-petroleum World Michael Bravo, professor at Scott Polar Institute, Cambridge.

Arctic oil and gas: Imaginaries of the future energy mix Oluf Langhelle, professor at University of Stavanger

Defining the nature of nature in an Anthropocene Arctic Phil Steinberg, professor at Durham University.

What is a post-petroleum perspective? Local and global lessons and perspectives Brigt Dale, senior researcher at Northern Research Institute Berit Kristoffersen, post-doctoral researcher at UiT

Discussion, 30 min

1430-1445 Break

1445-1615 Arctic ways of knowing (session two)

Northern livelihoods post petroleum: Lessons from Arctic domestication practices Marianne Lien, professor at University of Oslo

Ways of knowing land and forgotten stones: Lessons from indigenous practices Britt Kramvig, profssor at UiT

Travelling post-petroleum: Lessons from responsible tourism Anniken Førde associate professor at UiT

The “green shift”: Are we actually talking about adapting to mitigation? Grete Hovelsrud, professor at University of Nordland

1615-1700 Panel discussion


The shift to a post-oil economy is sometimes described as a “scaling back”, “transition”, or “adjustment” for a country or region. Indeed, for oil-dependent Norway the move can be interpreted as a risky manoeuvre in terms of future economic security, but – with the potential advent of a greener economy post-Paris – the risk might be higher if expanding and investing in a full scale petroleum future in Northern Norway. Even though petroleum production will continue on the Norwegian shelf for decades, discussing what can or will happen the day the petroleum era comes to an end is important we believe, as considerations, perceptions and expectations around the choices made today depend on future imaginaries. In other words: acknowledging that ‘the end of oil’ is inevitable is already influencing the way we do politics today. This acknowledgement, which is influenced by bottom-up analysis of petroleum politics in Norway (and Northern Norway in particular), is what has been the basis for the analytical Post-Petroleum perspective. In this session we therefore revisit how different knowledges, values and ontologies in society enables us to explore both hegemonic and non-hegemonic ideas about different futures.

The differing valences of the term post-petroleum then remind us that the future just over the horizon could take different forms; the structural transformations are neither set in stone nor are the path of economic and social renewal predetermined. This invites us to consider more carefully how future relationships between knowledges, practices and policies both nationally and locally may be very different than those to which we have grown accustomed. Northern Norway, in contrast to its southern counterpart is in a unique position in this transition, as few oil and gas fields have been developed in the region; indeed, its economy is booming thanks to high industrial competitiveness and a devalued Norwegian currency. In this window of opportunity, how can Northern Norway lead the way for thinking of other paths to economic, societal and political transformation to secure future sustainable developments and adaptable communities? What impact would this shift have on the production and circulation of knowledge, values and authority? And how may the the resilience required to bridge this transformation come from unexpected sources operating across different scales?

Main organisors and contacts: Berit Kristoffersen ( and Brigt Dale (

This side event on Post-petroleum futures is organized by the research project ARCTICCHALLENGE at the Environment and Society Research group, Nordland Research Institute and the research groups Place, power and mobility and Narrating the postcolonial north at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway and and Arctic Domestication in the Era of the Anthropocene at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Oslo. The venue is Auditorium UB at UiT and the time is Wednesday January 27, 12.00-17.00. The event is free for all conference delegates but you must register for this side-event in the Arctic Frontiers registration system. Non-delegates should select 'non-delegates' participant type in the registration system.

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