Svalbard Social Science Initiative - Report from Side-meeting and Workshop November, 2019

Svalbard Social Science Initiative (SSSI) was launched in 2019 for social science research in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Several researchers studying the human dimensions of the dynamic changes currently underway in Svalbard decided to create SSSI. Lisbeth Iversen from NERSC and the INTAROS project took part in this initiative. 


The aim of the network is to create linkages among social scientists working with issues related to Svalbard, establish a platform for coordinating research activities and to facilitate the communication with local communities and other scientists.

The SSSI was granted funding from Svalbard Science Forum (SSF) to host a side-meeting and workshop to the Svalbard Science Conference, on November 4 2019. This initiative could stimulate increased scientific cooperation and coordination within Svalbard research, and support SSF priorities, improve international cooperation and increas coordination of activities and logistics. The SSSI workshop was also supported by Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC). The side- meeting was lead by Lisbeth Iversen, NERSC, and each workshop session was lead by different members of the SSSI.

Improvement of international cooperation:
In this side-meeting to the SCC and SSSI brought together people from the local communities in Svalbard with social science and humanities researchers focused on Svalbard, so that together they could look at the past, present and future of living on Svalbard and present current research projects that focus on the human dimensions of the dynamic changes underway there. Members of SSSI, and invited speakers, represented different scientific disciplines of relevance to Svalbard science and the strategic objectives of SSF.



Members of the SSSI come from multiple institutions in Norway and Europe, and more than two thirds represent early career scientists. This improves the international collaboration for research and important outcomes for the local community at Svalbard, and for SCF. Several of the members of the SSSI have been invited to take part in, and co-host, workshops held by INTAROS. Possibilities for further collaboration across institutions and projects will be addressed in the SSSI December workshop in Longyearbyen 2020. Funding for this upcoming workshop is granted by Svalbard Strategic Grant, SSG, with 250.000 NOK. The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) has among other actors agreed to collaborate and take part in this workshop and future work, together with all the local actors and researchers.

Read the report here...


17 April 2020