Sharing Circle



Sharing Circle for Early Career Professionals and Arctic Youth

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the Arctic PASSION project organized an APECS & Arctic PASSION Sharing Circle for early career professionals and Arctic youth!

The Sharing Circle took place in Sevettijärvi and Inari, Northern Finland, from October 2-6, 2023Read here a participant report about the Sharing Circle week! 

Having grown up in a world of global challenges, Arctic youth and early career professionals have agency in creating positive change for the future. The Arctic will benefit from a close dialogue between Arctic youth and young professionals working in the Arctic arena. The APECS & Arctic PASSION Sharing Circle fostered this dialogue through a week-long program in Northern Finland. 

At a glance

Dates: 2-6 October 2023. The program started Monday morning, 2 October 2023, and ended Friday, 6 October 2023. 

Start: Sevettijärvi, Northern Finland

End: Inari, Northern Finland

Language: English

Program: Program was filled with group discussions, presentations, outdoor activities and excursions and accompanied by an online event.

Goal: Participants gained a better understanding of the Arctic and its people, the intercultural and transdisciplinary complexity of the Arctic, and the value of sharing experiences and knowledge in collaborations. Learnings and experiences from the Sharing Circle helped participants to build a frame for working towards equitable and genuine collaborations and a sustainable Arctic future.

    Participants of the Sharing Circle gained valuable insights into different cultures and the heritage of the Arctic. They discussed how intercultural and transdisciplinary cooperation can function better, and how the Arctic environment and societies are intertwined. They had the opportunity to present challenges of their own local Arctic communities. With the Sharing Circle we provided a platform for exchange between Indigenous and local rights holders, Arctic youth, Arctic research experts and early career professionals working with Arctic topics, leading to a better understanding across the region. The connections that were made among participants, who have diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, will form the basis for equitable and genuine collaborations in the future. Highlights were field visits to Indigenous-led ecological restoration sites, such as rivers and lake restoration.

    After the Sharing Circle, participants are now serving as Arctic PASSION Ambassadors for one year and will develop ideas for their own outreach project during the workshop to pass on their learnings to their communities, institutes or other chosen audiences. 

        By attending the Sharing Circle, participants:

        - gained new perspectives on Arctic issues and Arctic collaborations.

        - were empowered to establish meaningful collaborations across sectors and cultures.

        - got a better understanding about life in the Arctic and the intercultural and transdisciplinary complexity of the Arctic.

        - learned about the approach of “capacity sharing” and its valuable contribution to research processes as well as best practices in engaging with Arctic rights holders and stakeholders. 

        - learned how to create safe spaces for collaboration and exchange, leading to more equitable research outcomes and better science. This two-way, multi-directional exchange is developed on the basis of reciprocity, communication and collaboration. 

        - gained a new network.

        - have developed their future paths by incorporating their learnings and experiences. 

        Arctic youth and early career professionals between the age of 20-35 were participating in the Sharing Circle. Participants were:

        Youth from and living in the Arctic (Indigenous and non-Indigenous)

        ​​Bachelor and Master students working with Arctic topics

        PhD candidates and Postdocs working with Arctic topics 

        Early career professionals working with Arctic topics in the public or private sector

        Lecture Plan

        Sharing Circle Participants       

        From 89 applicants, a rigorous review process involving 31 reviewers from various Arctic-foused EU projects have selected 18 Arctic youth and early career professionals.     

        Find out more about who the Arctic PASSION Sharing Circle participants are: 

          1. Elise Brown-Dussault - Whitehorse, Yukon Territories (Canada)
          2. Emma J. Bullock - Woods Hole, Massachusetts (USA)
          3. Peyton Cavnar -  Burlington, Vermont (USA)
          4. Lauren Clavelle - Calgary, Alberta (Canada)
          5. Ilaria Crotti - Ispra, Italy
          6. Alizée Le Moigne - Zurich, Switzerland
          7. Jessica Louise Hall - Oslo, Norway
          8. Caitlyn Lyons - Waterloo, Ontario (Canada)
          9. Louise Mercer - Newcastle, UK
          10. Elizabeth Moeser - Seward, Alaska (USA)
          11. Rashmi Ramesh - Bengaluru, India
          12. Conor Savage - Edinburgh, UK
          13. Fabian Seemann - Potsdam, Germany
          14. Karina Sheifer  - Hanover, New Hampshire (USA)
          15. Pavel Tkach - Rovaniemi, Finland
          16. Minetta Westerlund  - Tromsø, Norway
          17. Jaakko Juvonen - Helsinki, Finland
          18. Kaisa Juhanko - Helsinki, Finland

          Sharing Circle speakers

          • Pauliina Feodoroff is a Skolt Sámi leader, playwright, film maker and an artist. She worked as the President of the Sámi Council 2007-2009 and is currently the Coordinator for Eastern Sámi territories of Snowchange work. She leads the Näätämö catchment area co-management work.
          • Tero Mustonen is the President of Snowchange at the moment. He is a winter seiner and adjunct professor (Human Geography). He has been working in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Sámi territories as well as Russian North since 1999. He served recently as a Lead Author for the AR6 of the IPCC. With the Snowchange Cooperative, he is part of the Arctic PASSION EU project and builds the bridge between the project and the Indigenous partner communities collaborating with the project.
          • Olivia Rempel is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia journalist working at GRID-Arendal, where she does everything from producing, shooting and editing documentaries, to guest teaching science communication courses. She holds a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, with prior undergraduate work in environmental studies. Olivia has had a variety of media jobs, from logistics and communication work at Students on Ice, an educational polar expedition organization, to leading open-source investigations that combat disinformation at the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and working on documentaries that have screened at film festivals around the world.
          • Miina Sanila is the daughter of Toini Sanila who build our accomodation house by herself taking care of her three childs (Sanila's Reindeer Farm). The Sanila family hosted our group for a week and shared stories and laughter with us.
          • Sarah Strand is the Executive Director of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and finalizes her PhD on the topic of permafrost thermal dynamics at The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the University of Oslo.
          • Michael Karcher is a physical oceanographer and the scientific coordinator of the EU project Arctic PASSION.
          • Hanna-Maaria Kiprianoff is a Skolt Sámi singer and told about the traditional singing of Leu'dd and dances.
          • Harmony Wayner is a tribal member of Naknek Native Village, a commercial fisher in the Bristol Bay salmon fleet, and a marine scientist focused on social-ecological systems to promote Indigenous values and well-being in fisheries. She is an Arctic Frontiers Emerging Leader and Alaska Sea Grant Fellow. Harmony has a Master of Resource Management from the University Centre of the Westfjords in Iceland and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Alaska Southeast. She is most passionate about elevating the voices of Indigenous communities by integrating Western science and Indigenous knowledge in resource management. Currently, she is working as an Indigenous Liaison at the International Arctic Research Center.
          • Tahnee Prior is the co-founder Women of the Arctic, a Finland-based non-profit association whose mission it is to raise awareness for, support of, and maintain a focus on women’s and gender-related issues in the Arctic. Together with her colleague, Gosia Smieszek, Tahnee co-leads WoA's research on the gender-dimension of Arctic observing systems in Arctic PASSION. Tahnee recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University and holds a Ph.D. in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo.
          • Kaisu Mustonen is the Head of the Biodiversity work under Snowchange. She is a human geographer who has been working in Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Sámi territories as well as Russian North since 2000. She specializes in gendered biodiversity knowledge. Currently she is working on the Living Maps of the Skolt Sámi people and the Landscape Rewilding Programme.
          • Sharing Circle participants: Èlise Brown-Dussault, Pavel Tkach, Louise Mercer, Lauren Clavelle, Emma Bullock, Minetta Westerlund, Fabian Seemann

          Sharing Circle organizers     

          • Lisa Grosfeld (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Alfred Wegener Institute)
          • Nadine Hillenbrand (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Alfred Wegener Institute)
          • Sarah Strand (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, UiT The Arctic University of Norway)

          Why Northern Finland?

          In the Arctic PASSION project we are honored to work with 6 Arctic communities. One of them, the community of Sevettijärvi, is located in Northern Finland. We are happy for this unique opportunity that we were able to stay with the Skolt Sámi community and to host the event there. This location on the home lands of this community allowed the participants to listen and to have meaningful conversations with members of the Arctic Indigenous community. Learning about Sámi livelihoods and culture enabled participants to understand conservation and restoration efforts of unique ecological habitats. The culturally important location introduced participants to different ecosystems and cultural heritage in an Arctic environment.

          What does the program look like?

          The program was filled with group discussions, presentations, outdoor activities and excursions. Presentations were given by community members, experts and participants. Participants gained a better understanding about Arctic life and about the intercultural and transdisciplinary complexity of the Arctic. The Sharing Circle enhanced the exchange of young people from Arctic and non-Arctic regions, promoting better collaboration with and among Arctic communities. The program contents were co-developed by the Sevettijärvi community, early career professionals, Arctic youth and Arctic PASSION partners like the Snowchange Cooperative. Participation in the Sharing Circle included one mandatory online event prior to the in-person meeting. 

          What is the ambassador project about?

          After the Sharing Circle, participants have stayed connected with the Arctic PASSION project as Arctic PASSION Ambassadors for one year (until September 2024). They will share their newly gained knowledge and lessons learned with a wider audience of their choice through outreach products or projects. The project will be chosen and developed by each participant. Arctic PASSION Ambassadors act as multipliers and increase the reach of the Sharing Circle. The ambassador projects can have a variety of formats, such as a blog, a presentation, activities with schools, engagements with other early career scientists. A similar ambassador project scheme was included in the MOSAiC School in 2019, see example projects here

          If you have any questions, please contact us via:

          This event has received funding from the Arctic PASSION project, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101003472, from the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and from the Norwegian Research Council.