Four parallel workshops will be held on both days of the conference, after the keynote presentations in the morning, in the Hans Lynge Hall at Katuaq. Here there will be good time for in-depth discussion of the theme that has your main interest. In order to facilitate the allocation of workshop premises, you will later be asked to indicate which workshop you are planning to attend.

For printable workshop program click here. 


DAY 1, 6 May 2015:

WORKSHOP 1: “Greenlandic minerals in an international perspective”, organised by GEUS

Introduced and moderated by: Flemming G. Christiansen, vice-director, GEUS

Speakers: State geologist Karen Hanghøj, GEUS, chief advisor Kisser Thorsøe, GEUS, acting permanent under-secretary Jørgen Hammeken-Holm, Ministry of Mineral Resources

International trends in economic growth, the development of international mineral projects, the prices of various materials, and, not least, expectations towards the future, are crucial in relation to the possibility of attracting investments in the mining industry in Greenland.

With the establishment of MiMa (Knowledge Centre for Mineral Resources and Materials) [see: http://mima.geus.dk/], GEUS has created a framework for assessing the entire value chain of mineral resources, from mineral exploration to the production of raw materials and the manufacture of secondary products, consumption and recycling.

Initially, the work will focus on a comprehensive analysis of the raw material needs of Danish society, including security of supply, possible scarcity and vulnerability. At the same time, MiMa will implement analyses of selected raw materials and compile major reports and fact sheets, and will take part in international projects and provide advice to the public and private sectors. In connection with its analyses and cooperation with international partners at GEUS’ sister organisations, MiMa is well placed to contribute to the assessment of international developments in relation to trends, demand and pricing.

At the workshop, presentations will made on completed, ongoing and future analyses, with special emphasis on dialogue with the participants concerning the issues and future needs for analyses. Particularly relevant are the current mineral projects in Greenland, in relation to their dependence on new trends in the industry and in connection with defining where special opportunities and investment needs may be expected to arise within a few years.


WORKSHOP 2: Capacity building in the engineering sciences in Greenland: Lisbeth Ottesen, vice-director, ARTEK

 This workshop will focus on capacity building in the engineering sciences in Greenland. Following vice-rector Henrik Wegener’s plenary presentation on “Education as a driver of growth”, we will invite discussion on the common vision of the government of Greenland and the Technical University of Denmark to increase the intake and educational possibilities for engineers in Greenland – Vision 125. The clear ambition is to develop a leading international university centre for Arctic technology in Greenland. This could open the door for Greenland to become a knowledge centre for engineering solutions and initiatives in the Arctic, and provide a new source of income in the form of knowledge exports. We wish to discuss how capacity expansion can boost and shape growth in Greenland, and we would also like to see a discussion of how we, as a university unit, can remain close to practice while taking a leading position internationally.


WORKSHOP 3: Foreign direct investments in Greenland, Christian Jervelund, Copenhagen Economics and Robert Sheldon, Director, Venture North



Foreign investment can generate a significant increase in a country’s income through, inter alia, more capital-intensive production and ideas for smarter ways to do things. Countries generally make a great deal of effort to attract foreign investment – but not Greenland. Here, the desire for foreign investment has been more limited – probably out of a fear of losing control of the country’s resources and central infrastructure. This is to some extent understandable given the small size of the economy, which means that foreign capital can quickly come to occupy much of the picture. But the low level of foreign investment also hampers growth potential, so it is high time to reassess whether the country, through good regulatory models and PPP contracts, can reap the benefits without also experiencing the drawbacks. By opening up to foreign investment, Greenland could secure important long-term investment in, amongst other things, infrastructure and the most important industries, including fishing, which in turn could give the structural GDP a considerable boost.

At the workshop, Christian Jervelund, a partner in Copenhagen Economics, and Robert Sheldon will facilitate a discussion on the potential and possibilities involved in attracting foreign companies and foreign investment to Greenland. The aim is to present some concrete proposals in plenary session after the workshop. The workshop will attempt to answer the following questions:

·                               What existing examples do we have of foreign investment in Greenland, and what have been the consequences?

·                               Which sectors and projects are particularly suitable for foreign investment, and what would the consequences be of getting them?

·                               What are the major existing barriers to foreign investment in these sectors and projects?

·                               What solutions and recommendations can we give to the business community and politicians in their continuing efforts to attract

                                foreign investment?



WORKSHOP 4:From minus to plus – Can Greenland’s barriers be turned into commercial competitive advantages?”

Professor Minik Rosing, University of Copenhagen, and Tine Pars, rector, University of Greenland.

Most people agree that Greenland needs more broadly-based industrial development. But what can this development build upon in concrete terms? Where do Greenland’s competitive advantages lie in comparison with other countries – and is it possible to create economic growth in Greenland that is sustainable in terms of both the natural environment and human resources?

Greenland Perspective, a new collaboration between the University of Greenland and the University of Copenhagen, is seeking to answer these questions by building on research from a range of disciplines and research institutions, both internationally and within the Danish commonwealth, and by involving the business community, authorities and civil society.

The workshop will open with an inspirational presentation by the leader of the initiative, Professor Minik Rosing, who will talk about some concrete ideas for research-based industrial development in Greenland: Where are the competitive advantages, how can we make use of them, and how can we optimise the interaction between researchers and companies? The workshop will also include brief presentations from researchers and businesspeople, who will provide concrete examples of how the special aspects of Greenland are, or could become, competitive advantages.

In the second part of the workshop, participants will be invited to take part in a panel discussion between relevant stakeholders from the research and business communities on how to create commercial success through cooperation between research and industry. The panel members will discuss with the other participants at the workshop and provide suggestions on how to find Greenland’s competitive advantages, and about what specifically will be required if cooperation between research and business is to bring about economic growth and greater employment in Greenland.

The moderator will be Tine Pars, rector of the University of Greenland.


Day 2, 7 May 2015:


WORKSHOP 1: Promotion of commercial business collaboration between Greenland and Denmark

Jes Brogaard Nielsen, head of department, Ministry of Business and Growth and Jørn Skov Nielsen, deputy minister, Ministry of Industry, Labour and Trade


The joint report by the Ministry of Industry, Labour and Trade and the Ministry of Business and Growth has created a strong foundation for future cooperation between the authorities of Denmark and Greenland. The workshop will focus on how we can ensure that investors can gain access to new borrowing opportunities, via, for example, the European Investment Bank.


WORKSHOP 2: While we wait for the investments, director Anders Stenbakken, Visit Greenland, director Anette Lings, Hotel Sisimiut, director Ulla Lynge, Sermersooq Business Council

One challenge that is often discussed in public debates is Greenland’s limited accessibility, in terms of airports, aircraft capacity, taxation levels and ticket prices. It is obvious that these factors comprise barriers to the development of tourism in the country, and that solutions must be found in comprehensive infrastructural investments.

However, this workshop is not about future investments, but about what can be done here and now to improve the framework conditions for the industry and promote its growth – and thereby make a positive contribution to stimulating interest in major infrastructural investments.

What is happening in the tourism market within and outside Greenland, and what initiatives should consequently be prioritised?

How can we optimise the use of public regional and national resources in the work of supporting and developing the tourist industry in Greenland?

How can branding create value across the boundaries of business sectors?

On the basis of two projects with very different destinations, Destination Arctic Circle and Colourful Nuuk, Visit Greenland will provide concrete suggestions for answers to the above questions.

Destination Arctic Circle – Accessibility:

In terms of the experience economy, DAC (Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut) is a very varied destination with strong tour operators. Nonetheless, tourism is overwhelmingly centred on Kangerlussuaq.

This case study describes how coordinated work has been done to develop the region as a total destination.

Colourful Nuuk – Branding

Greenland is one of the few countries in the world where the capital is the least known destination. Historically, there are a number of logical explanations for this, but of course this does not have to continue to be the case.

The case study describes the work of building a city brand, and the first follow-up projects.



Entrepreneurship: trends, working methods and innovation, Bo Blaabjerg, chief of
development, Kaospilot, Arne Villumsen, professor emeritus and Inaluk Brandt, manager foCus and co-creator of YES Greenland


How can we strengthen entrepreneurship and innovative power in Greenland? Both as individuals, as companies, and as a society? What barriers exist, and what needs to be overcome? What successes can we learn from? Where can we find inspiration to do things differently?

These are some of the things the workshop will focus on.

The three presenters will provide their own perspectives on the issues, and the participants will then have an opportunity to draw up advice and recommendations on how Greenland can become more innovative and strengthen its entrepreneur milieu.

The starting-point for a healthy business is a good idea, a market, and not least, personal drive and the wish to make a difference.

Bo Blaabjerg of KaosPilots will provide a few tips on trends and tendencies in entrepreneurship and innovation, and will in this context talk about the importance of thinking internationally right from the start.



WORKSHOP 4: The Arctic Winter Games 2016 – Greenland’s biggest event. Experience that will benefit future commercial projects

Maliina Abelsen, director, Arctic Winter Games 2016.

In less than a year’s time, in March 2016, Nuuk will welcome around 2,200 visitors at once. This is the equivalent of central Copenhagen being visited by 74,500 people. It is the first time Nuuk has ever welcomed so many people at one time.

AWG 2016 represents a unique opportunity to gain vital experience in logistics planning and collaboration between the business community, the public authorities and civil society, and provides a very special chance to brand Greenland in a new way: as a country that can deliver when it comes to providing meals, accommodation and communication facilities for more than 2,000 people.

It is essential that we gain experience in this area, especially if Greenland is to be ready to accommodate large commercial projects. As a society we must be well prepared, and not just begin to get ready when the projects are already well underway. We must be ready to seize the opportunities and shape the projects with solid experience behind us. We can gain that experience through AWG 2016.

We will kick off the workshop with a short presentation of about 15 minutes, in which we will review the planning process as of March 2015. AWG 2016 will briefly summarise the experience already gained, and highlight the challenges ahead.

The workshop participants will then be divided into about five groups to consider the following four questions:

  • How can AWG 2016 be utilised as a foundation for building up skills in society?
  • How can AWG 2016 be used to brand Greenlandic companies?
  • How can AWG 2016 be used as a platform to test co-operation and planning skills between the business community, public authorities and civil society?
  • What experience have we already gained about major events that AWG 2016 can draw on?

The workshop will round off with a summary of the questions and conclusions, presented in plenary.