Paavo Lipponen, former Prime Minister of Finland, received the first International High North Hero award during the High North Dialogue Conference in Bodø at the end of May.
Lipponen was selected as the winner for his tireless activities in promoting the importance and economic opportunities in the Arctic. He also played a prominent role in the establishment of the Northern Dimension Cooperation between the EU, Iceland, Norway and Russian Federation. Officially retired, Lipponen is still highly active as a promotor of the Northern Dimension and Arctic opportunities. Over the last years, he has published several reports concerning business development, cooperation, and politics in the High North/Arctic, and also contributed to the development of the EU’s Arctic Policy.
“Receiving the first High North Prize is one of the highest moments in my life. This recognition of my work is specially appreciated, coming from Norway, the country with the most active, advanced and balanced Arctic policy”, Lipponen states.
Director of the High North Center for Business and Governance, Frode Mellemvik, is glad the winner of the first High North Hero price is a high profile statesman, who is actively working for value creation in the Arctic. “Lipponen is an excellent example of what we can achieve if you have the passion”, says Mellemvik.
The award – comprising of a diploma and a prize of 50 000 NOK – was developed by the High North Center of Business and Governance at Nord University, in order to honour a person, organization or company which has contributed to increased awareness concerning Arctic development. The selection was made by an international jury of Arctic experts who evaluated all 37 nominee proposals received throughout the Arctic region.