Circumpolar Innovation

Circumpolar Innovation: A Global Online Course

Course Description

Welcome to Circumpolar Innovation. Thirty years ago, it would have been hard to imagine offering a course on scientific and technological innovation in the Far North. Notions of climate change, Indigenous empowerment, regional autonomy, and rapid resource development were just emerging as prominent themes in the evolution of the Far North.

So much has changed.

MineUnderground2.JPG(Rabbit Lake Mine, Northern Saskatchewan)

The Arctic is now “hot” in geopolitical terms.  Indigenous peoples have asserted their right to help define their future. Northerners, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are determined to make the North a better place and to improve the quality of life.  With northerners more in charge of their destiny, it is hardly surprising that the focus of northern debates has expanded from sovereignty and resource development to incorporate socio-economic factors and the prospect of using technological innovation to improve living and working conditions in the North.

This course draws on the exciting global debates about the commercialization of Science and Technology, raises important questions about the consequences — positive, negative and transformation — that may come from rapid technological innovation, and focuses on how the region and the Circumpolar nations can best promote scientific and technological change that serves the best interests of the Far North, the nation-states, and the world as a whole.

St Paul Wind Turbines

Photo credit: Alaska Center for Energy and Power, 2007

In the spirit of Totally Open Online Courses, this course will remain a permanent work in progress.  We are on the lookout for input, for new examples, additional links, video and illustrative material, and helpful comments on how to improve the course.  The concept of a TOOC is that we learn together, that we share understandings and insights, and that we debate the most crucial issues of our time.  The TOOC model seems particularly relevant to the questions surrounding Circumpolar Innovation and will be greatly enriched by contributions from around and about the entire Circumpolar World.


About the Instructor

Dr. Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and Director of the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) at the University of Saskatchewan.


Course Modules

Module 1 – Innovation in the Circumpolar World

Module 2 – National Innovation Strategies

Module 3 – Innovation that Affects the Individual

Module 4 – Building an Innovation-Based Economy

Module 5 – Creating Innovation Eco-Systems

Module 6 – The Future of Work in the Arctic

Module 7 – Making S&T Innovation Work for the Circumpolar World

Module 8 – Anticipating Change: How Might S&T Innovation Alter Life in the Circumpolar North

Module 9 – Looking Forward: The Circumpolar World in 2050

Module 10 – Policy Options for Circumpolar Innovation


Creative Commons License
Circumpolar Innovation: A Global Online Course by Ken Coates is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.