The program is designed to help students take a leadership role in supporting northern and indigenous communities through the topics of governance and economic development.
“I think the most valuable aspect of GENI is the possibility to compare relationships between different regions of the Arctic and link this to problems and theories of social science,” Juuso says. “The program has provided me with a comprehensive picture of governance issues in remote Arctic areas. It has especially broadened my understanding from a comparative perspective between indigenous peoples and local communities, and not only from a social scientific but also from a legal perspective.”
Fredrik Juuso has a background in Business Administration from Mid-Sweden University, and he is currently in the third year of the GENI program, based at the UiT campus in Norway. In addition to how it suited his past studies, Juuso says that the field school aspect of the program was something that really stood out when he was considering postgraduate options.
“I’ve now been to field schools in Saskatchewan and Northern Norway. These field schools have contributed to a good connection between the participants in the program, and I think the discussions in the courses are another benefit of the field school experience.”
Juuso says that the field schools have given him a better perspective of the scope of the Arctic and outlined the importance of visiting the place that you are learning about to better understand it.
“No matter what you study in the social sciences, it is important to visit the reality when you seek knowledge. It is only at on-site visits that a fairly complete picture emerges, which often turns to be more complex than suggested by the literature.”
Interview by Jennelle Doyle, former intern at UArctic International Secretariat.
Originally published in the UArctic Shared Voices Magazine 2018.