Taking advantage of an already strong participation of ArcticHubs researchers at Arctic Frontiers 2024, we doubled up to use the visit to additionally stage an interactive workshop to refine developments around two of our collaborative research tools – namely QMethod, and Social Licence to Operate (SLO) beyond the mining sector.

In addition to Arctic Frontiers, the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsø also hosts three of our consortium organisations (NORCE, NOFIMA, NINA). Therefore, straight after the conference we converged on the centrally located offices of NOFIMA to reflect upon the progress already made when using QMethod and SLO.

Steered by QMethod coordinator and early career BOKU researcher, Jerbelle Elomina, the initial exercise was to collect feedback from ArcticHubs project partners on the Qstudy results. The gathering and sharing of feedback is an important step in validating our Qstudy results.

I think we were able to have more context at the hub level e.g. Kittila and Westfjords, and have some suggestions on naming the perspectives, says Jonathan Karkut

As a second objective for the workshop, Roy Robertsen from our partner and host at NOFIMA, guided colleagues around discussions addressing the SLO research tool, and its use around various Arctic hubs.

The local application of SLO was opened out, as we examined how SLO was presented in different hubs. We also reflected on progress with the synthesis report regarding the existing application of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities within the sectors active in selected hubs. This provided an understanding as to how SLO might subsequently gain traction as a further step to bring the perspectives of different stakeholder groups closer together. The draft version of the SLO report was evaluated and discussed across the day, and we all concluded how the process has really been another expression of co-creative activity with meetings every 14 days for the last 6 months – with inputs shuttling between the research teams and local stakeholders.