The Arctic is a unique region with many faces: It is a livelihood, a home for both human beings and animals, a versatile cultural community, and a fragile natural environment. It is also fertile ground for new business opportunities.

In honor of the UArctic Congress 2018 in Finland, we at University of Helsinki and Helsinki Think Company gathered together students interested in the Arctic to plan and carry out a meaningful event, campaign or a project that will communicate Arctic opportunities and challenges. Seven teams with participants from eight different nationalities took part in the Arctic Expedition.


The teams were taken on an expedition across the beautiful Nuuksio National Park for a memorable three-day Bootcamp. Using co-creation tools, we trained and empowered the teams to plan an Arctic initiative, which they will then put into practice on Arctic Day 2018 in October. Amongst the intensive work, participants got to enjoy nature activities such as nature trekking. The best concepts were pitched in a spectacular final at the University of Helsinki Great Hall on Friday 7th of September where President Tarja Halonen announced the winning team.

Scroll down for the full program outline to see what happened.



Create an Arctic project and carry it out in your local community on Arctic Day 31 October 2018

The ideas  in the challenge varied from very preliminary blueprints to more polished plans. The criteria for the concepts were:

  1. Raise awareness of the Arctic life in your local surroundings. Will your idea communicate opportunities, facts or responsibility on the sustainable Arctic business, political or environmental areas?
  2. Bring your idea to life on the Arctic Day. Is your idea feasible, also financially?
  3. Is it ethically sound and does it create positive change?


During the challenge the teams got to be part of a meaningful project, learn new concept design and pitching skills, and network with top players and experts in the Arctic field – all wrapped in an unforgettable nature adventure full of activities. All participants received a certificate of participation.

The members of the winning team – The Arctic Who – were be awarded free participation to Helsinki Summer School  in 2019 (worth 990 EUR per person).


We were impressed and inspired by the solutions Arctic Expedition teams produced during our bootcamp. Solutions ranged from promoting recycling and local produce by making greenhouses from old window panels to gathering digital exhibition database of people’s memories and experiences of the Arctic. Three teams were chosen to present their concepts in the UArctic Congress 2018 Closing Panel:

Team Silent Hike aims to increase people’s wellbeing through silent guided nature treks simultaneously conveying information about the arctic issues to the participants.

Team Arctic Who In their campaign the team uses videos and social media content to convey the everyday life of an arctic region teenager to school students all around the world.

Team Northern Souls starts a year of Arctic in their home university – Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod – where they hold smaller campaigns from vegetarian weeks to round-table conversation with university professors and students about the arctic themes.

WED 5/9, Hotel Nuuksio
Arrival, Prepping , Ideation & Mentoring sessions
THUR 6/9, Nuuksio
Artic Day plans ready & nature activities. Presentation prepping back in Helsinki
FRI 7/9, Helsinki
Pitch Training
FRI 7/9, Helsinki
Semifinal in Tiedekulma
FRI 7/9, Great Hall, Helsinki
Presenting top 3 concepts at the Grande Finale
FRI 7/9, Tiedekulma
Post-Finale Mingle and Champagne
September 2018
Remote coaching session before the Arctic Day
The ARTIC DAY 2018
Initiative taken into action at your local community
11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council, Rovaniemi 6-7.5.2019.
The best concept is showcased to the delegates and media present at the Arctic Council Ministerial in Rovaniemi.