I will speaking in a Panel at the annual Arctic Circle Assembly this year. The panel is going to be moderated by Bill Patrowicz. The other participants in the panel are Patrick Arnold, CEO, New England Ocean Cluster: Cost-Based Geographies as Drivers of Arctic Economic Growth and Connectedness and Anu Fredrikson, Director, Arctic Economic Council: Growing Arctic Economies through Collaboration. Here is the brief description of the discussion:

The panelists will share their vision of Arctic economic development and its present opportunities and challenges. Their ideas are gained from developing and connecting successful Arctic ventures in both public and private settings. Their collective experiences span from the creation of Pan-Arctic cooperation in both policy and trade to the successful investment of capital and the development of businesses and infrastructure. Across the Arctic’s start-up and innovation communities there are important lessons to be learned and to be considered for future ventures.

Cluster organizations have produced many successful examples of raw material utilization in the “blue economy,” and they are yielding similar results in sustainable energy and in information technology. The panelists will share their thoughts for similar adoptions in other Arctic economies, sectors, and industries. The panelists will also provide unique insights on optimizing markets and reducing friction in Arctic economic development.

Bill leads Kaiser Global a public-private partnership working in collaboration with the US Department of Energy and US National Labs to develop energy-efficient scientific computing and artificial intelligence partnerships with the United States, its allies, academia, and industry in order to advance clean supercomputing and supercomputing-driven science. Bill is a business leader, elected leader, and former military officer with a 25+ year history of delivering important technologies for security and defense programs in ten nations. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I think Iceland is a perfect place to have super computing and super computing driven science. Bill and I have been speaking for a couple of years and he has participated in Startup Iceland. Building fantastic infrastructure that attracts break through initiatives and innovation to Iceland is one of the stated goals of the new innovation policy document shared by the Minister of Industry and Innovation. I believe super and quantum computing is much closer than we think. I am excited to see what we can do in Iceland with that knowledge. I am happy to see that people like Bill are looking at Iceland as a place to start these initiatives.

The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe. It is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.

The Arctic Circle organizes the Arctic Circle Assembly every year. I have watched it from afar and never participated in the event until this year. I think it is important for startup thinking to be embedded into the discussion around the Arctic issues. I have stated this before, and I will state it again, climate change is already here and I don’t believe we are going to change anything to reverse this trend. The best we can do is cope with the change. I think we need to invest in technologies that relies less on factor inputs that produce green house gases and the Arctic region is going to be in the forefront for many of these technologies as I believe due to the climate change countries north of the equator are going to have to think seriously about the challenges of the future especially resource dependent as is the case for Arctic countries. As I type this, it is 9°c in Reykjavik and I don’t remember October being this warm in my 13 years in Iceland.

I am looking forward to the discussion. You can be rest assured that I will be a contrarian in this discussion.