This course will take its point of departure in the particular challenges that Greenland encounters with regard to establishing and running infrastructure in a harsh Arctic climate with small island-type settlements and resulting societal impacts. It will draw on this topic as a foundation for theoretical discussions of sustainable resource exploration and use (including non-usage) in a broad Arctic sense, its potential beneficial or harmful impacts on society with a particular focus on local communities and the surrounding environment, and how private and public organizations and communities can interact to maximize benefits and reduce harmful impacts around the needs and perceptions of local communities. For this purpose we apply the concept of Social Responsibility (SR), which differs from the contested concept of Corporate Social Responsibility by addressing public as well as private for-profit and non-profit organizations in contributing to societal (including environmental) sustainability. To understand the normative sources of SR for organizations to go beyond the minimum level of requirements and contribute to the realization of social expectations we will consider binding legal frameworks and soft guidance instruments that apply to the Greenlandic and general High North context. We will study the concept of the Social License to Operate, which connects to organizational legitimacy, and discuss what business models can contribute to sustainability in the Arctic extractives context.

The course will be held in Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut (5,500 inhabitants). Sisimiut’s local industry, businesses and infrastructure will serve as exemplary cases, accompanied by presentations by the local municipality administration and local business enterprises. Accommodation in Sisimiut will be in local dormitories (two student sharing one room).

The course is taught by an interdisciplinary group of faculty from a range of universities that are members of UArctic. It is organized by DTU Artek in collaboration with Copenhagen Business School (CBS) - the Doctoral School of Organisational and Management Studies (OMS). All faculty are members of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Sustainable Resources and Social Responsibility. The course is partly funded by UArctic and the Danish Government through a grant to the Thematic Network.

The course is complementary to the PhD course offered by the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Extractive Industries in Nuuk (around 18 October until 22 October) on Arctic Extractives. There is no requirement to attend both courses, but students who attend both courses will acquire highly comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding Arctic extractives from the angles offered.

Read the full course description, prerequisites, application instructions and other important details from the course information leaflet.



It is a prerequisite that students have an interest in the issue of sustainability and its implications for natural resource extraction including the extractives industries, communities, the environment, and/or business models. 


DKK 2500. The fee goes towards field trip, coffee/tea, and meals covered by the programme.

Some travel support is available. Read the full eligibility criteria, and apply for travel support by 15 August 2017.


DTU Artek at Sisimiut, Greenland with field work in the area

Contact information

Practicalities: Lene Deleuran Fajstrup,

Course contents: Kåre Hendriksen,; Karin Buhmann,

Registration and registration deadline

Please register by e-mail to Lene Deleuran Fajstrup

Deadline: 1 September 2017