«North-Centre»: first results

1 june 2010
Non-profit partnership «Centre for problems of the North, Arctic and cross-border cooperation» («North-Centre») was established in May 2009 in Petrozavodsk.
The «North-Centre» is a new networking mechanism designed to unite the efforts of science, youth associations, non-profit organizations, business and authorities for the benefit of development of northern regions.
The overall objective of the «North-Centre» is support, coordination and promotion of the efficiency of scientific, educational, non-governmental, youth, political and commercial organizations and bodies in their activities dealing with topical problems of the North, the Arctic and border regions.
During the first year of its activities the «North-Centre» has established the basis for its partnership network which includes such foreign and international organizations as the University of Lapland; the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland; Tule Institute of the University of Oulu; Finnish Institute of International Relations; Karelian Institute if the University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu, Finland); Barents Institute; Environmental Centre Svanhovd (Norway); Renewable Energy School (Iceland); «Canada - Karelia» Society; the Northern Research Forum and several other partners.
In November 2009, the «North-Center» in cooperation with the «Association AWARD», Karelian Regional Social Charity Foundation «The Centre of Youth and Social Initiatives’ Development», the Council of young scientists and specialists of the Republic of Karelia, State Institution of the Republic of Karelia «Karelian Regional Youth Centre» with the support of a range of Russian and foreign partner-organizations organized the International Scientific and Practical Conference «Choice of the future: joint responsibility of adolescents and adults». This conference with more than 150 specialists working in the sphere of youth affairs, teachers, psychologists and students from Karelia, 9 regions of Russia and foreign countries presents the first experience of cooperation between scientific-research organizations, social sector and youth community intended to reveal solutions in the sphere of development of individuals’ creative potential, partnership in the state youth affairs, establishment and development of scientific personnel potential in the Republic of Karelia and other North-West regions of Russia.
In accordance with the plan, adopted by the Council, the «North-Centre» is working on the elaboration of the umbrella program «Harmony of the North». This idea implies the development of the common concept of research conduct, projects realization and events organization dealing with the topics of comfortable life and activity in the North. The program is planned to be divided into several constituting parts (separate projects, conferences, seminars, programs), some of which are already being implemented.
The project «Trust to the World» is being realized in cooperation with the «Association AWARD». The project is aimed at encouraging and assisting youth and its mentors to build harmonious relations among themselves, with each other and with youth representatives from the Russian Federation and other foreign countries. Another goal of the project is the development of inter-cultural dialogue for strengthening social, cultural and spiritual potential of Russia in the world community. Joint Russian-Finnish sociological research «Use of creative potential of the youth in socio-economic development of Northern territories» is currently being conducted within the framework of the project. Educational forums «Development of creative potential of youth of the North» will be held in the municipalities of Karelia; the III International Scientific and Practical conference «Choice of the future: joint responsibility of adolescents and adults» will take place in 2010. Partners of the «North-Centre» will take part in organization and realization of the International Youth Educational forum «Hyperborea: Trust to the World».
The realization of the «Harmony of the North» program also provides for the organization and conduct of the International Scientific and Practical conference «Harmony of the North: man and nature. Youth look», that is planned to be held in November of 2010. Conference regulations have already been worked out; the composition of the founders, partners and the Organizing Committee of the conference is currently being elaborated. Grants and financial applications for the conference are also getting under way.
The Public Strategy «Development of creative potential of youth in Karelia» is being developed together with the Council of young scientists and specialists of the Republic of Karelia alongside the preparation for the conference.
Within the framework of promoting the development of scientific-research component of the inter-sectoral cooperation the «North-Centre» in association with the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Science is getting involved in the work of the Arctic University and scientific-research network «Northern Research and Innovation Platform» (coordination – University of Oulu). The «North-Centre» is planned to be involved in international scientific-research projects of the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Science, particularly «Development of the Green Belt of Fenno-Scandia».
The «North-Centre» is currently working on a range of project applications, including those within the scope of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument program of cross-border cooperation.
In April of 2010 the representatives of the «North-Centre» and the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Science participated in the annual International Symposium «Calotte Academy» (a series of international scientific seminars of the North researchers) and in the V International Scientific and Practical Conference «The North and the Arctic in the new paradigm of world development. Luzin readings - 2010». Work in the «Calotte Academy» will allow the «North-Centre» to develop its partnership network and furthermore join the work of such organizations and structures as the Institute of the Northern Dimension, the Northern Research Forum and the International Research Association.
The Round Table «Northern Competencies: Can the North compete with the South?» was organized by the «North-Centre» in cooperation with the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences within the framework of the Eighth Annual International Summer School in Karelia (ISSK) and took place on the 14th of May 2010. Petrozavodsk State University and four Finnish Universities (Universities of Lapland, Helsinki, Eastern Finland and Tampere) were the organizers of the ISSK. The program of the Round Table included the scientific presentations by young scientists and the discussions of the topics, connected with the peculiarities of economic development and competitiveness of Northern regions, opportunities for improving the standard and attractiveness of life in the North. Over 50 students and scientists from Russia, Finland, Norway, Iceland, the USA and Italy actively participated in the round table discussions.
The «North-Centre» has its own web-site, which is intended to further being developed into the ground for virtual communication on the issues of the development of northern territories and people inhabiting them. The work of independent information service is also to be organized.