The Sustainable Development Goals and Student Entrepreneurship in the Arctic

Lau Øfjord Blaxekjær, Martin Mohr Olsen, Hanne Thomasen, Maria Tammelin Gleerup, Sune Nordentoft Lauritsen, Anne Lise Kappel, Kristoffer Buch, Pål Simon Fernvall, Jay Friedlander

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Abstract

This article answers the research question of how entrepreneurship projects in Higher Education (HE) in the Arctic can incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals. Students can play a significant role as driving force for sustainable development in the Arctic. Their unique combination of highly specialized skills, innovative thinking and strong entrepreneurial spirit can make a substantial contribution to the development of the Arctic region. Many students are intrinsically motivated towards engaging themselves in sustainable change. It is a well-documented attitude among the so-called “millennial generation” that they are looking beyond profit and strive to make a difference in their communities and to make an impact on pertinent social and environmental issues. The article analyses a project called “Promoting sustainable student entrepreneurship in the Arctic”, which seeks to support the entrepreneurial potential among students to the benefit of the sustainable development of Arctic societies. In terms of sustainability thinking, the project builds on two key frameworks: 1) The UN Sustainable Development Goals, and 2) The Abundance Cycle framework. By incorporating social, environmental as well as financial aspects, the internationally recognised Abundance Cycle framework provides an operational approach for working with sustainable entrepreneurship and a toolkit for incorporating sustainability thinking into teaching and entrepreneurial projects in Higher Education in the Arctic. The project highlighted that experiences and methods from outside the Arctic can be translated and implemented if adapted to specific Arctic needs and experiences, and furthermore that the partners from outside the Arctic context learn something new about innovation and entrepreneurship processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArctic Yearbook
Volume2018
Pages (from-to)180-197
ISSN2298-2418
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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