Program Kirkeneskonferansen 21. – 22. February 2024

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Venue: Thon Hotel Kirkenes

The Conference will be translated Norwegian/English

Conference Moderators: Siri Lill Mannes & Amund Trellevik


Wednesday February 21st

11:00 - Registration

12:00 - Lunch

13:00 - Opening by artist Ingvild Austgulen

13:05 - Opening speach Magnus Mæland • Mayor Sør-Varanger

13:15 - Opening session – The New North

Jonas Gahr Støre • Prime Minister of Norway

Tobias Billström • Minster Foreign Affairs, Sweden (Video presentation)

Elina Valtonen  • Minster Foreign Affairs, Finland (Video presentation)

Hans-Jacob Bønå •  County Mayor, Finnmark

Christina Henriksen • Saami Council

13:55 - Northern perspectives 

Jonas Gahr Støre • Prime Minister of Norway

in dialog with moderator Siri LiIl Mannes

14:15 - Theme 1: New cross border relations

From soft security to high tension

Nancy Porsanger Anti •  State Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

Hans-Jacob Bønå •  County Mayor, Finnmark

Kristina Torbergsen •  County Mayor, Troms

Marja Joenusva • Barents Ambassador Finland

14.45 - Break

15.15 - New relations in the Arctic

Jamal Al-Mussawi, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy to Norway

Dr. Detlef Wächter •  German Ambassador to Norway

Jan Thompson CMG OBE • British Ambassador to Norway

Nicolas de La Grandville •   EU Ambassador to Norway

Eivind Vad Petersson • State Secretary • MFA, Norway

15:50 - Re-visiting and re-understanding the euro-russian border

Eivind Vad Petersson • State Secretary • MFA, Norway

Ilkka Liikanen • Research Director, Karelian Institute

Andreas Østhagen •  Senior Researcher, Fridtjof Nansens Institutt

16:20 - New neighbouring relations

Satu Sikanen • Regional Mayor of South Karelia

Matias Hilden  • Mayor Imatra Finland

Magnus Mæland •  Mayor Sør-Varanger Municipality

16.40 - Break

17:00 - Theme 2 - New demands for the environment

Jan Gunnar Winther •  Pro-rector - research and development, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Marianne Sivertsen Næss • Member of Parliament, Norway


Elise Åsnes • Leader Spire

Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen • Saami artist and activist

Sebastian Bringsvær • Aker Offshore Wind

18.00 - End of first day

19:00 - Social gathering, Thon Hotel Kirkenes

20:00 - Conference dinner

Music by Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen

Thursday February 22nd

09:00 - Theme 3 - New Attractive Communities

Cecilie Myrseth •  Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy

Erna Solberg •  Head of Conservative party, Norway

Marie Sneve Martinussen  • Head of Red party

Kirsti Bergstø •  Head of Socialist Left Party

Terje Hansen • First deputy leader, Finnmark Progress party (FRP)

Bård Gamnes • Managing director Barel Electronics

Nina Greiner Iversen • Project manager Sør-Varanger Utvikling

10.15 Break

10.45 New business challenges

Erlend Bullvåg  • CEO, Kunnskapsparken Bodø

Svein Eggesvik •  County Mayor, Nordland

Øyvind Haga • Head, Innovation Norway Arctic

Ole Øvretveit  • Head, Norwegian coast development centre

11.15 University cooperation in the north

Dag Rune Olsen •  Rector, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Liv Inger Somby •  Rector, Sámi University of Applied Sciences

Hanne Elenora Solheim Hansen • Rector, Nord University

12:00 Lunch

Theme 4: New Energy Demands

13.00 The green shift – Are we ready?

Jens Berge  • CEO Norwegian Hydrogen

Christer Lindqvist • CEO Grangex (Owner Sydvaranger Mine)

Sæbjørn Tanghus Dale •  Financial manager, Sør-Varanger Municipality

13.30 The green shift – Have we found the right pace?

Rune Storvold  • Research director, NORCE

Maret Laila Anti • Leader Lágesduottar Reindeer Herders District.

Jens Betsi •  Head of Barents Nett AS

13:50 Absent Media on northern issues

Helge Nitteberg  • Editor in chief Nordlys

Kjetil Wiedswang • Commentator Dagens Næringsliv

Niels Røine •  Head of Kirkenes Næringsforening

Anki Gerhardsen •  Editor Lytring and commentator Aftenposten

14:20 Closing remarks

Einar  Sneve Martinussen  • Associate Prof., Oslo School of Archits. and Design

14.30 End of conference

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