Northern Dimension Institute

Welcome to the Northern Dimension. The Northern Dimension (ND) is a joint policy between the European Union, Russian Federation, Norway and Iceland.
  1. This Policy Brief gives recommendations for the development of cultural products and creative entrepreneurship in the Russian North through the conceptual lenses of symbolic resources and the experience economy. The global experience economy has changed the value chain logic of the cultural market from the traditional production and consumption of creative products and services into co-creation of cultural experiences. This co-creation implies that symbolic resources, such as the cultural heritage, are interpreted in a novel way that transforms them into experiences connected to time and place. Cultural projects, which started in the Russian North-West in late 1990s and follow the logic of the experience economy, have proved their sustainability on the regional and global cultural scenes. Their success is explained by common features of the artistic content and organizational models. These features include the artistic interpretation of Northern cultural symbols and the formation of comfortable spaces for creative interaction of actors with different backgrounds.

    Opening of the artistic residence "Maryin Dom" in Shakola village, photo by Irina Efimova

    The Policy Brief gives the following recommendations:

    Recommendation 1. New visions of the Northern Russian heritage as the valuable resource for cultural innovation should be promoted and supported in the spheres of service design, creative tourism and event management.

    Recommendation 2. Creative places of the Russian North hosting experimental art activities, as well as traditional cultural and commercial events need to be promoted as powerful territorial brands.

    Recommendation 3. Applied research on management and organizational issues of the “unorthodox” cultural products development and on the implementation of hybrid symbolic meanings to the traditional landscapes will help to share the best practices of cultural entrepreneurship.


    The Policy Brief can be downloaded here.

    For more information, please contact the author:

    Anna Soloveva, professor at the World History Department, Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk, Russia, a.soloveva[at]narfu.ru


  2. This policy brief reports key findings of a study carried ot by the NDPHS Expert Group for Non-communicable diseases. The study analyzed official mortality data on premature deaths under 70 years of age in eight countries in the Northern Dimension area (Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden) and found that the PYLL rate (“Potential Years of Life Lost”) differs considerably among ND area countries. A striking feature is its gender difference, being on average 2.5 times higher for men than for women. Most of this difference is due to external causes of death such as suicides and traffic accidents. Alcohol-related causes also have a heavy male over-representation. The general development in public health outcome was however good in 2003-2013, resulting in average 26% PYLL reduction. Encouraging trends include decrease in losses caused by vascular (heart) diseases, cancer and external causes, such as suicides and alcohol related causes, in all ND countries that participated in the study.

    The results of the study led to the following recommendations:

    • Recommendation 1. Premature mortality can be prevented effectively by designing and implementing health and economic policies on health promotion and disease prevention. Evidence based treatment of diseases also makes a difference, but is less effective than prevention of diseases and accidents.
    • Recommendation 2. Positive changes in male health behavior has an immediate decreasing effect on overall premature mortality. Policies should be targeted towards improving traffic and occupational safety, and decreasing harmful use of alcohol.
    • Recommendation 3. Public health strategies should be intersectoral and involve all stakeholders. Practicing Health in All Policies (HiAP), promoting healthy lifestyles and holistic healthcare are crucial for preventing and avoiding many of premature deaths.
    • Recommendation 4. PYLL rate was selected in 2015 as the indicator to measure the progress of the current 2016-2020 Strategy of the NDPHS. Continuing this practice in the renewed strategy beyond 2020 is highly recommended. The ongoing ND PYLL-2 study should also pre-assess the 2020 COVID-19 caused years of life lost in order to evaluate its burden on the public health of populations.
    • Recommendation 5.Health policy makers are invited to discuss the results of the PYLL-2 study, launched by the NDPHS NCD Expert Group in 2020, in workshops that will be organized in 2021 in selected NDPHS countries.

    The Policy Brief can be downloaded here

    For more information contact the author Mikko Vienonen, NDPHS/NCD Expert Group, vienonen.m.[at]gmail.com

  3. Northern Dimension Newsflash 1/2020 has been published

    In this Newsflash we inform you about our plans for 2020, and announce the publication of the latest NDI Policy Brief.

    You can download the ND Newsflash here: Northern Dimension Newsflash 1/2020.

    Enjoy the reading!

  4. Northern Dimension Newsflash 4/2019 has been published

    In this Newsflash we bring you greetings from the ND Future Forum 2019 and other events, as well as announce the new logo for Northern Dimension and the publication of the latest NDI Policy Brief.

    You can download the ND Newsflash here: Northern Dimension Newsflash 4/2019.

    Enjoy the reading!

  5. High-level discussion seminar in Autumn 2020

    The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has commissioned the Northern Dimension Institute to co-organize  an information and discussion event in Brussels to promote the role and importance of the Northern Dimension for European wellbeing and prosperity. The high-level event is targeted to the decision-makers in the EU and its member states, as well as in the other ND partner countries.

    The event will highlight the relevancy of the Northern Dimension policy and its instruments for regional and cross-border cooperation that aims at finding solutions to common challenges. The event will demonstrate several success stories of the ND policy, such as joint environmental projects on waste-water treatment and energy efficiency, and cross-border exchange of information and best practices on healthcare and disease prevention.

    The event is foreseen to take place in Brussels in autumn 2020. Would this not be feasible, the event will be organized as a web seminar.

  6. The NDI is contributing to better knowledge-based decision making culture in the Northern Dimension area. In the era of economic, environmental and health related uncertainties it is increasingly important to bring the best relevant research-based knowledge into use of policy makers.

    The NDI is actively serving the information needs of ND Partnerships in Environment, Transport and Logistics, Culture, and Health and Social Wellbeing. To facilitate this, the NDI is training the ND academic community in science communication skills.

    In 2019, the NDI organized a science communication training that helped researchers and experts to identify key decision makers and to translate research results into policy-relevant language. This year the science communication training will focus on how to elaborate research results and expert knowledge into insightful policy briefs. The training will be offered to the ND Think Tank Action partners, wider academic community, and experts representing the ND Partnerships.

    The training will result in the publication of several policy briefs for the use of ND Partnerships.

    The training will take place in Aalto University in autumn 2020, or it will be organized as a web-based course.

  7. The NDI Think Tank Action conducts research on thematic areas jointly agreed with the ND partnerships. The themes for the first year of the Action include climate change impact in the Arctic, emerging transport and logistics routes between Europe and Asia, healthy aging and creative industries' contribution to societal challenges in the ND area. The intellectual outputs of this research includes policy briefs, academic articles and other scientific publications. The following publications were prepared during the first year (2019) of the Action.

    NDI Policy Briefs

    Troche, G. (2019) Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail.NDI Policy Brief 5/June 2019.http://www.northerndimension.info/news/news/853-northern-dimension-institute-policy-brief-5-euro-asian-land-transport-links-opportunities-for-rail

    Golubeva, E. and Emelyanova, A. (2019)Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas. NDI Policy Brief 6/September 2019.http://www.northerndimension.info/news/news/871-northern-dimension-institute-policy-brief-6-healthy-ageing-innovations-in-care-for-older-residents-of-remote-northern-areas

    Sorokina, T., Trofimova, A. and Varakina, J. (2019) Systemic biomonitoring needed to mitigate Arctic health risks. NDIPolicy Brief 7/December 2019,http://www.northerndimension.info/news/news/879-ndi-policy-brief-7-systemic-biomonitoring-needed-to-mitigate-arctic-health-risks

    Siluanova, L., Kuznecova, S., Yakhyaev, D., Grigorishchin, A., Hairova, T. and Zadorin, M. (2020) Ensuring safety of navigation and reducing transportation costs in the Arctic with digital technologies. NDI Policy Brief 8/January 2020.http://www.northerndimension.info/images/Policybriefs/NARFU-digital-transport-final.pdf

    Soloviova, A. (forthcoming)Symbolic resources of the Russian North in the global experience economy.Forthcoming as NDIPolicy Brief x/2020.

    Academic articles and other scientific publications

    Thematic Area Transport and Logistics

    Rekord, S. (2019) Economy of the future the view of the new generation of investors (in Russian). Izvestia Sank-Peterburgskogo Ekonomicheskogo Universiteta(Известия Санкт-Петербургского государственного экономического университета). – Special issue to SPIEF 2019. № 4 Pp. 62–65.https://unecon.ru/sites/default/files/izvestiya_no_4-2019.pdf

    Mishalchenko, Yu.V. and Piskun, L.P (2019)International economic and legal aspects of Northern Sea Route use (in Russian). Sovremennye problemy menedgmenta (Современныепроблемыменеджмента).СПб.:ООО «Скифия-принт».

    Babich, S., Yakovleva, A. and Yulin, A. (2019)Transport and Logistics Potential of the Northern Sea Route in the Eurasian Economic Space (in Russian). Rossiyskaya Arktika, 4:5–14.https://russian-arctic.info/info/articles/ekonomika/transportno-logisticheskiy-potentsial-severnogo-morskogo-puti-v-evroaziatskom-ekonomicheskom-prostra/

    Stepanova, V.V., Ukhanova, A.V., Laverov, N., Grigorishchin, A.V. and Yakhyaev, D.B. (2019) Evaluating digital ecosystems in Russia’s regions (in Russian). Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 12(2): 73–90.http://esc.vscc.ac.ru/article/28138/full?_lang=ru

    Panin, V. (2019) Transport connection Arctic, Far East, Siberia, Urals (in Russian). Expert conclusion published within International Arctic Forum 2019.https://roscongress.org/sessions/iaf-2019-transportnaya-vzaimosvyaz-arktika-dalniy-vostok-sibir-ural/expert/

    Thematic Area Climate Change

    Rekord, S. and Kulikov, D. (2019) International aspects of formation of technical and economic model of decarbonization of natural gas (in Russian). Problemy Sovremennoy Ekonomiki (Проблемысовременнойэкономики). 3 (71): 176 – 180.http://www.m-economy.ru/articles_pdf/71/PSE_71_p176_180.pdf

    Kostin, K.B., Boldyrev, Y., Chernogorskiy, S., Shvetsov, K. and Zherelo, A. (2019) Mathematical model of regional socio-economic development of the Russian arctic zone resources. MDPI. Special Issue "Management of Comprehensive Development of the Arctic Territory". 8(1):45.https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9276/8/1/45

    Rekord, S. (2019)Arctic as arena for cooperation or confrontation? Expert conclusions published within International Arctic Forum 2019 (in Russian).https://roscongress.org/sessions/iaf-2019-arktika-arena-protivostoyaniya-ili-sotrudnichestva/expert/

    Voronin, M. (2019) Production and use of the LNG in Arctic. Expert conclusions published within International Arctic Forum 2019 (in Russian).https://roscongress.org/sessions/iaf-2019-proizvodstvo-i-ispolzovanie-spg-v-arktike/expert/

    Maryandyshev, P. and Kangash, A. (forthcoming)Curbing black carbon emissions in the Arctic.To be published in 2020 as NDI Background Paper.

    Thematic AreaHealthy Ageing

    Golubeva, E. and Emelyanova, A. (2019) The Foster Family as a means of promoting social inclusion of older people in the Russian North. In: Naskali P., Harbison J., Begum S. (Eds.) New Challenges to Ageing in the Rural North. International Perspectives on Aging, 22. Springer, Cham.https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-20603-1_6

    Thematic Area Culture

    Soloviova, A. (forthcoming) Symbolic capital of the Russian North in the experience economy context. (manuscript prepared in 2019; to be published in 2020).

  8. Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 8

    This Policy Brief elaborates recommendations for developing digital technologies that improve the safety of navigation and reduce shipping costs in the Arctic. This issue is of utmost importance for Russia and European countries, since the growing freight traffic requires prompt and secure provision of modern and innovative logistics solutions. The Northern Dimension Partnership for Transportation and Logistics provides a platform for cooperation in this area.

    The following actions are suggested:

    • Organization of a joint digital technology forum for all states interested in the development of the Arctic transport highway to present new solutions that would ensure efficient logistic management of the Arctic seas.
    • Establishment of a joint scientific and educational consortium for active collaboration of information technology companies and scientists in the Northern Dimension area. The consortium could form common proposals in the field of safety and rescue at sea for relevant national ministries and international institutions such as the Arctic Council.
    • Foundation of a unified “road map” for all emergency services (primarily EMERCOM) explaining the legal and managerial nuances of interaction and response in the event of an emergency.
    • Formation of a list of topical issues from suppliers planning or already engaged in the transportation of goods through the Arctic sea, their wishes and suggestions.

    The Policy Brief can be downloaded here

    For more information, please contact the team of authors at Higher School of Economics, Management and Law of Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk, Russia.

    Corresponding author Prof. Maksim Zadorin m.zadorin[at]narfu.ru.

  9. Within the field of awareness raising, visual images play an increasingly important role. It had become clear that the Northern Dimension needed a logo to improve visibility and to underline Northern Dimension as a joint Northern agenda in Europe. Therefore, in its Reykjavik meeting in June 2019, the Northern Dimension Steering Group commissioned the NDI to produce a logo competition. The NDI produced the competition in cooperation with the Aalto University Visual Communication Department.

    The competition call was launched in summer, with 2000 eur prizefor the winner. The competition was targeted to selected universities in the Northern Dimension area with visual communication study programs. The students were asked to design a long lasting logo that should give the Northern Dimension policy a clear identity in communication and in related media publications. The logo should also signify Northern Dimension’s four thematic areas and symbolize equal collaboration.

    The competition was a great success with 43 suggestions, from which design experts pre-selected 14 finalists for the jury to decide the winner.

    The jury consisted of design expertsand official representatives of the EU (Audrone Perkauskiene/EEAS), Russia (Igor Kapyrin/Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Iceland (Emil Breki Hreggvidsson (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Göril Johanssen/Ministry for Foreign Affairs ).

    The decision of the jury was clear: the winner is Mr Jacob Stewart from the Aalto University.

    Jury Comment:

    A jury made up of international representatives of Northern Dimension and design experts from Aalto University’s Department of Media, consider that the winning entry of the competition cleverly combines Nordic aesthetics, the notion of an equal collaboration, and an original, perceptive idea. The logo offers possibilities for variations and is well suited for animation. Based on the logo and its design language, it is possible to create icons, which represent the organisation’s constituent areas of operation. The styling of the logo is fresh, modern, and suitably simple, and gives good potential for the realization of an interesting, working visual identity for the Northern Dimension.

    The new logo, Jacob Stewart, the "founding father" of ND Paavo Lipponen and Riitta Kosonen from NDI

  10. The EU co-funded project NDI Think Tank Action held its first Steering Group (ASG) meeting on 27 November 2019 at Aalto University, Espoo. The meeting was hosted by the Lead Partner of the Action, Aalto University.

    The ASG consists of project partners’ representatives and leaders of the four ND partnerships. The project was represented by Professor Riitta Kosonen, Director, CEMAT, Aalto University (Chair), Dr Marina Kalinina, Rector’s Advisor on International Cooperation, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), Professor Arja Rautio, University of Oulu, Dr Elena Rovenskaya, Acting Deputy Director General, Program Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Dr Dmitry Vasilenko, Vice-rector for International Relations, St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON). The ND partnerships were represented by Mr Oddgeir Danielsen, Director of NDP Transport and Logistics and Ms Dace Resele, Head of the NDP Culture Secretariat. In addition, the meeting was attended by Dr Päivi Karhunen, Research Expert, NDI, Aalto University, Ms Anneli Vartio, Project Coordinator, NDI, Aalto University and Ms Johanna Vakkuri, Controller, Aalto University.

    In the meeting the first year’s activities of the Think Tank Action project was reviewed and future plans outlined. The ASG acknowledged the implementation of the following activities of the Think Tank Action project:

    • Creating a pool of expertise and conducting targeted research in the following four thematic areas: combatting climate change and curbing black carbon emissions, creative industries in solving societal challenges, healthy ageing, and emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia
    • Serving the information needs of the ND partnerships and other stakeholders, co-creation with the partnerships and awareness raising
    • Building capacities of the partner organizations by organizing the first communication training for partners in June 2019
    • A ND logo design competition launched in summer 2019 on the request of the European Commission and the ND Steering Group to increase the awareness and visibility of the Northern Dimension
    • The main event of the year, the Future Forum organized on 28 November 2019 in Espoo, Finland
    • Preparing policy briefs, research-based summaries targeted especially for decision-makers. The policy briefs are published on the NDI website and distributed widely. Several policy briefs are currently in progress.
    • Producing several articles and publications in the four thematic areas
    • Active networking and presentation of the project and its outcomes in various ND meetings, seminars and conferences

    The representatives of the partnerships brought up topical and prioritized issues of their activities. In transport and logistics, new emerging trade routes, decarbonization of transport and alternative fuels, digitalization, robotization and automation, artificial intelligence, data management and best practices in transport education were mentioned. In the field of culture, cross-cutting topics and cross-sectoral collaboration, promoting research in cultural industries, sustainability of cultural and environmental artistic practices, urban planning and cultural heritage were brought up.

    The ASG stressed the need to popularize science in order to fill the gaps in decision-makers’ knowledge. Policy brief was considered to form a good channel to distribute information in an easy way to policy- and decision-makers.

    The next ASG meeting is planned to be held in Brussels in connection with the Future Forum 2020.