Save the date!
9-10 November 2023
The Societal Security workshop at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, organized by the Risk, Crisis and Societal Security Research Group has become an annual tradition, and this year it will address the topic of resilience.
The 6th Societal Security workshop is scheduled from 9-10 November 2023 in Tromsø, Norway. Here, the leading scholars in the field, external project partners and participants, staff members and students come together in order to promote and benefit from knowledge sharing and cooperation.
Registration is open! You can register your attendance here.
09th November: Panel sessions – Tabletten (The Pharmacy building F1.101)
8:30 – 9:00 Meet and greet.
9:00 – 9:15: Welcome and presentation of UiT/ITS
9:15 – 10:15: “From security to resilience – a paradigm shift?”
Panel discussion & a Q&A session.
Panel intro: Societal security is a concept that focuses on the protection and preservation of a society’s values, institutions, and ways of life. Unlike traditional security, which often focuses on military and state-centric threats, societal security is concerned with non-military threats and challenges that can undermine the cohesion and stability of a society. In an ever-changing world where uncertainty and complexity abound, traditional notions of security are evolving. This is perhaps best visible in the emergence of resilience as a buzzword. A simple search for the occurrence of ‘resilience’ in the titles of academic publications from 1900 to 2022 in the scientific article database Web of Science shows the concept’s exponential popularity rising from around 600 in the year 2000 to over 16000 at present. Societal resilience refers to the ability of a society or community to withstand, adapt to, and recover from various shocks, stresses, or disturbances while maintaining its essential functions, structures, and identity. It involves the capacity to absorb and bounce back from adversity. In this panel, we’ll navigate the changing landscape of threats, from climate crises to pandemics, and assess whether our ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity has become our new security blanket. Thus, our starting question to open up the workshop: Are we less secure but more resilient?
Moderator: Monika Gabriela Bartoszewicz
Reidar Staupe is an associate professor in societal security at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and at the University of Stavanger in Norway. His work centers on understanding disaster temporalities through studying slowly unfolding disasters such as antimicrobial resistance, environmental issues and creeping geological hazards.
Babalwa Mtshawu has over 10 years of lecturing experience from the Faculty of Military Science, at Stellenbosch University (RSA). Babalwa chairs the Diversity, Inclusion, and Transformation committee, she also serves as a reviewer for Ethical Clearance application at the Faculty of Military Science. Babalwa is currently working on a Military Geography Special Issue project as a guest editor for Scientia Militaria.
Philipp Cunliffe is an associate professor in international relations, University College London at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. He is a (co-)author and (co-)editor of 10 books in total, including most recently Taking Control: Sovereignty and Democracy After Brexit (2023). He is widely quoted in the British press and co-hosts the podcast @bungacast.
10:15 – 10:45: Coffee break with light refreshments
10:45 – 11:45: “Global approaches to resilience: Northern and Southern perspectives.”
Panel discussion & a Q&A session.
Panel intro: We continue our workshop with an exploration of resilience on a global scale. This panel brings together experts from the Northern and Southern hemispheres to delve into the nuanced perspectives on resilience that emerge from diverse geographic, cultural, and socio-economic contexts.
Are our understandings of resilience fundamentally different when viewed through Northern and Southern lenses? How can these divergent viewpoints enrich our collective understanding of what it means to be resilient in an interconnected world?
Our speakers will navigate the complexities of resilience, drawing from their experiences in both hemispheres. Together, we’ll dissect the cultural, environmental, and geopolitical factors that shape resilience strategies in the North and South. From climate adaptation to community-driven initiatives, we’ll uncover the unique approaches that each region brings to the table.
This panel offers a rare opportunity to bridge the gap between perspectives, fostering a global dialogue on resilience that transcends borders.
Moderator: Chinwe Philomina Oramah
Dr Bjarte Rød is a post-doctoral researcher in the Fake News project at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. His research interests evolve around resilience in vital societal functions and critical infrastructure and societal resilience to disinformation. Bjarte also combines research with practice as he also has a part-time position at the County Governor in Møre and Romsdal.
Lt Col (Dr) Susan Henrico is a researcher for the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership (SIGLA) at the Department of Strategic Studies, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University (RSA). Her academic interests include Intelligence and more specifically Intelligence Collection and she also has a keen interest in cyber security. She is also the co-chair of the UN Open GIS (Capacity building) workgroup.
Dr Ivonne Herrera is a senior researcher at Studio Apertura and global ambassador at the Resilience Engineering Association. In recent years, she worked as a senior adviser at the Research Council of Norway and had an advisory function towards the government and Norwegian actors in European research and innovation related to societal security and digitalisation. Since 2004, she has also worked as an expert for the European Commission. A common feature of all Ivonne’s work has been a holistic perspective that covers technological, organizational and societal aspects with the aim of creating a safer society by strengthening resilience.
11:45 – 12:15: Coffee break with light refreshments
12:15 – 13:45: “Multidimensional resilience: cross-sectoral responses and practices.”
Round Table discussion with a Q&A session.
Round table intro: This round table finalizes our workshop. Here we will explorethe multifaceted dimensions of resilience. In the complex tapestry of our modern world, resilience isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. From adaptability to community cohesion, from response to cyber threats to combatting pollution, from resourcefulness to effective governance, we will investigate the building blocks of resilient societies. Our speakers, all of whom combine academic knowledge with hands on experience will debate how diverse systems, informed communities, and forward-thinking governance are reshaping the way we approach societal security challenges. Academics and practitioners from diverse sectors will unravel the layers of resilience in real-life contexts. On the basis of diverse case studies, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of what resilience truly means in practice and leave with a broader perspective on how it shapes our future. Is resilience something we do or only something we talk about?
Moderator: Ingeborg Skjelmo
Leikny Bakke Lie holds a Master’s degree in Societal Safety and Risk Management from the University of Stavanger and have extensive experience working with risk and crisis management from both private and public sector. She is currently researching climate change adaptation as a PhD fellow with UiT – the Arctic University of Norway.
Laurien de Korte has a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Management and a Master in Climate Change Management, currently working as a university lecturer at the Technology and Safety department at UiT. Her research interest are in climate change adaptation and its links with sustainability science and citizen engagement.
Karina Mesarosova is an Associate Professor at the UiT where she is also the program manager for the Master in Aviation. Previously, Karina worked for Qatar Aeronautical Academy. She has also conducted research in the Middle East and in Levant countries as well as in Europe.
Marianne Lindroth is the Project leader in the Cyber Citizen Initiative and her previous experience includes cybersecurity consulting, cybersecurity education research, project management, EU projects, teaching and training, organisational security and data protection.
Elisa Norvanto is a career diplomat from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland. Previously, Elisa was a member of the diplomatic mission in the Embassy of Finland in Moscow. She also had various advisory and researcher roles within Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Defence Forces and Civilian Crisis Management centre.
Helle Hamnevoll is a senior advisor within preparedness and societal safety and security at the county Governor of Troms and Finnmark. In recent years, she has worked as an advisor for the Governor of Svalbard and the county Governor of Nordland. She works with preparedness and societal safety and security on a regional level, and works closely with municipalities within the region of Troms and Finnmark. Her focus areas at the Governor’s office are exercise planning and civil-military cooperation.
13:45 – 14:00: Summary and closure
On November 10, 2023, a smaller, closed seminar will take place for invited guests in association with the GLOBSEC Project: Global Security – North-South Partnership.
Previous Societal Security Workshops
The UiT Societal Security workshops started in 2016. Aiming to promote knowledge sharing as well as to promote and strengthen national and international cooperation, the workshops have since then engaged academics, practitioners and students in the field of societal security and safety.
For an overview of past workshop programs and themes, click here: