Notes from the Arctic Dialogue conference 2011, Bodo, Norway

If we think about the impacts of extractive industries in the Arctic, for us anthropologists this means first and foremost looking at what industry does on the ground with people for whom the places on top of the deposits are their homeland.
As anthropologists, we don’t need to be told that cultural, social effects and interpersonal relations are absolutely crucial to understand why people make certain decisions and not others. But I am impressed and positively surprised how much business and management studies also now emphasise cultural and social factors in Arctic resource development. Their argument is actually very anthropological when they say that management practices in Arctic Extractive Industries face increasingly challenges of intercultural communication, and we need sort of cultural brokers to make mediate between different understandings and end up harmonising activities from different sides, e.g. from Russia and Norway. They also agree that harmonising does not mean ironing out different traditions, but rather different actors can benefit from this interaction as a joint mutual enrichment process (Bourmistrov and Sorne 2007). Continue reading “Notes from the Arctic Dialogue conference 2011, Bodo, Norway”