Workshop program

The 4th Societal Security workshop is connected to the Internationalization Project of the International Preparedness Bachelor’s Programme in Harstad, funded by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first day of the workshop will consist of three very interesting keynote lectures. The workshop participants will be a mix of students, academicians, experts in the field and local authorities.  There will as well be a number of invited international guests.


5 November:

Keynote lectures – The main auditorium

13:00 – 13:15:  Welcome and presentation of UiT/ITS Harstad & Tromsø

13:15 – 14:00:  “Disaster diplomacy in the Arctic and the High North: Reflections from Svalbard”
Professor Christian WEBERSIK, University of Adger, Center for Integrated Emergency Management

14:00 – 14:15:  Discussions

14:15 – 14:30:  Coffee

14:30 – 15:15:  “Cooperation in emergency management at the local and regional level”
Dr. Kerstin Eriksson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

15:15 – 15:30:  Discussions

15:30 – 15:45:  Coffee

15:45 – 16:30:  “A European safety net – Norway, crisis management and the cooperation with NATO and the EU”
Ørjan Karlsson, Specialist Director, The Norwegian Directorate of Civil Protection

16:30 – 16:45:  Discussions

16:45 – 17:00:  Summary and closure


6 November: A smaller seminar will be organised for invited guests, in association with the UARTIC project “Societal Security collaboration in research and education”.

Visiting Harstad and Tromsø

For those attending the 4th UiT  Societal Security workshop and staying a few extra days before or after, spending some time at the cities of Harstad and Tromsø can be a wonderful opportunity to experience two unique northern Norway cities.

From experiencing the majestic northern lights or aurora borealis, the stunning Arctic nature and wildlife or a wide variety of attractions and winter activities in both cities, your trip can be an unforgettable experience.

For more information about the cities of Harstad and Norway and what to do and see, please click:


Registration to the 4th Societal Security workshop can be done by clicking on the following link (Once there, click the green button/”Meld meg på” button) :

For any other questions connected to the workshop, please send an  e-mail to May Jørgensen Hass:  or Masoud Naseri:

Upon registration, you will receive an e-mail confirming that you are welcome to attend. Seats are limited, so early registration is highly encouraged!


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:

Speakers at the IV Societal Security workshop

As previous years, this year’s workshop will feature scholars and experts in the field of Societal Security and Safety. We are honoured to share that this year, the following three speakers will be holding seminars during the first day of the workshop:

Prof. Dr. Christian Webersik

Christian Webersik is a professor of Development Studies at the Department of Global Development and Planning at the University of Agder (UiA), Norway. Currently, Webersik is a research scientist at the Disaster Research Unit at the Freie University, Berlin. Webersik is also deputy director of the Centre for Integrated Emergency Management (CIEM), University of Agder (UiA). Before joining UiA, he was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science – United Nations University (JSPS-UNU) Postdoctoral Fellow at United Nations University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). Before that, he was a Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University hosted by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). He holds a D.Phil. in politics and international relations from Oxford University.

Dr. Kerstin Eriksson

Kerstin Eriksson is a researcher at RISE, Sweden. Her work is in the areas of crisis and disaster management and focuses on aspects such as learning, resilience, preparedness and organisation. Kerstin’ work is interdisciplinary  and currently she conducts research within three different but closely connected areas: (1) Crisis preparedness and resilience, (2) Organization of volunteers during crisis, particularly focusing on the forest fire in Västmanland, Sweden in 2014 and the multiple forest fires in Sweden during the summer of 2018 (3) Climate adaptation, focusing on sustainable distribution of responsibility for climate change adaptation, with flooding as the main case.

Specialist Director Ørjan Karlsson  

Ørjan Karlsson works as a specialist director at the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection. He has extensive experience on international crisis management and preparedness through the UN, NATO and EU. Karlsson also has 7 years of military experience, including experience in international operations. He holds a master’s degree in sociology and is a member of the Crisis Response Journals advisory board.

Welcome to the IV Societal Security workshop!

The Societal Security workshop at UiT The Arctic University of Norway has become an annual tradition and this year it will address the topic of International and cross-border cooperation in emergency management.

The 4th Societal Security workshop is scheduled from 5 – 6 November 2019 in Harstad, Norway. It is organized by the Societal Security, Safety, Engineering, Environment and Emergency preparedness Research Group (RG) that is under the Department of Technology and Safety at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.

Since 2016, the RG organizes an international Societal Security workshop once a year. Here, 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.