Sitting on gold and Perspectives on skills
A systematic and holistic approach might the key to a sustainable development in Greenland when it comes to human resources. A new anthology called 'Perspectives on skills' and the report 'Sitting on gold' explores new ways to recognise and use informally acquired skills in Greenland.
Greenland might be sitting on an under-explored reserve of gold. Not the reserve in the ground, but the warm gold in the shape of human resources.
Anthology and a report on informally acquired skills in Greenland
The report Sitting on gold investigates how informally acquired skills could be activated towards development of the Greenlandic society.
The report suggests to look closer into 8 focus areas for a fuller use of the potentials of people without a formal education.
Perspectives on skills
The report is largely based on a new anthology named Perspectives on skills containing a large variety of insights on informally acquired skills in Greenland as well as in an international context. The report is also based on a former publication called Everybody on board as well as a range of meetings with relevant stakeholders in and outside Greenland.
The 15 chapters of the anthology points to the many different aspects of dealing with informally acquired skills - from the many local examples such as widespread CSR-efforts, new ways of activating human resources through events such as the Arctic Winter Games, innovation in settlements and educational programmes dealing with personal issues such as NUIKI - to international experiences with recognition of skills and volunteer-spirit.
Sitting on Gold concludes that there is a great need for - but also a great potential in - a systematic focus on how to include people with no formal education in society by activating their "invisible" skills. The gains for both the individual and for society could be massive.
The report includes a range of examples of how informally acquired skills are already put to use in todays Greenlandic society and how a systematization of the efforts could form a new model for sustainable development. It points to the potential in setting up a system for recognition of both traditional and modern informally acquired skills. These skills could be assets in a future Greenlandic job market with new types of emerging industries - and they could benefit the individuals in Greenland who are having difficulties entering a formal job market.
People are left outside
The background for the optimistic conclusion of the report is severe and calls for urgent action. A rather large group of people - and among them a large number of young people - are in danger of marginalization because they have no formal education. This reduces their chances of employment and in general they have fewer options in life compared to their better-educated peers.
Many initatives have already been taken but there seem to be room for supplementary approaches.
Solutions could be found within Greenland
The report has shown that there is a potential in finding answers within the Greenlandic context by looking at human resources of the country in a holistic and systematic way. Taking a point of departure in the country’s own resources and specific culture and conditions might be the road to a more sustainable development. There is a potential in activating human resources in connection to events in a very broad sense as a catalyst for activating skills. Sportsevents, festivals, researchers’ fieldwork, summercamps, cultural events, annual environmental clean-ups, just to mention a few opportunities, which could be seen as occasions suitable for activating human resources. There is also a potential in a more flexible approach to competence portfolios, especially in remote areas, where local and traditional knowledge might be used more systematically in a collaboration across sectors. Finally there seems to be a potential in activating volunteer resources as part of a constant up-skilling process as well as a way to support sectors in need of hands.
Kuupik Vandersee Kleist
Phone: +299 547858
Professor, Greenland Perspective
Natural History Museum
University of Copenhagen
Phone: + 45 51 50 60 68
Project Manager, Greenland Perspective
Natural History Museum
University of Copenhagen
Phone: + 45 35 32 27 11
About the project
How can young Greenlanders’ informally acquired skills be activated and acknowledged better than they are today? This urgent question is at the center of this project on human capacity building in the Arctic funded by the Dr Frederik Paulsen Foundation. The project was started at a session at the Arctic Circle Assembly i Reykjavik 16-18 October 2015.
Each chapter of the anthology has been through a peer review by one or more of the other authors' of the anthology.
Chapters and authors
The report could not have been written without the contributions of a large range of stakeholders and contributors. A special thanks goes to the authors of the anthology Perspectives on skills - check out their profiles here:
Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen. Professor of Northern Studies and Barents Chair in Politics at the University of Tromsø-The Arctic University of Norway
Coco Smits. Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV and Wageningen University
Jens Justinussen. Ass. Professor in Social Sciences, University of the Faroese Islands
Merete Watt Boolsen, Ass. professor at Dep. of Political Science, Uni. of Copenhagen and Ilisimatusarfik, University of Greenland
Torben M. Andersen. Professor of Economics at Aarhus University, Denmark and a Fellow of CESifo, Centre for Economic Policy Research and IZA
- Read his chapter on the financial perspectives
Patrick Werquin. PhD in Economics and Professor at CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers)
Frank Sejersen. Ass. Professor at Dep. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
- Read his chapter on social innovation in Greenland
Kuupik Vandersee Kleist. Social worker, University of Roskilde. Consultant for Tanbreez and Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC.)
Ilja Leo Lang. Office Manager with the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO)
Nikoline Ziemer. Development Manager, Royal Greenland
- Read their chapter on sectors with potential
Anne-Mette Christiansen. Consultant at CSR Greenland
- Read her chapter on CSR and interviews with 12 companies
- Read their chapter on the power of knowledge
Kåre Hendriksen. Ass. Professor at Dep. of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
- Read his & Birgitte Hoffmann's chapter on sectorization
Anne Merrild Hansen. Professor at Ilisimatusarfik, head of Arctic Oil and Gas research center and Aalborg University
Pelle Tejsner. Ass. Professor at Dep. of Anthropology and Arctic Research Center, Uni. of Aarhus.
Parnuna Egede, Advisor on Environmental Issues at Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)
- Read their chapter on traditional knowledge and industry
- Read their chapter on Arctic Winter Games as a new way of building capacities
Anders Øgaard. Ph.D, Ilisimatusarfik, University of Greenland
- Read his chapter on digital opportunities
Informally Aquired Skills
The project focuses on informally acquired skills in Greenland. What kind of informally acquired skills does the Greenlandic population possess? How can these informally acquired skills be recognized and how can this recognition make way for broadening the palette of opportunities for especially young people living in the Arctic?