Tahnee Prior is a Ph.D. Candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, and a visiting researcher the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. She holds a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her doctoral work in global environmental governance examines the role of legal systems in maintaining or preventing our ability to adapt to rapidly changing and complex environments, like the Arctic. Tahnee has written on gender and the circumpolar North as a team member of a Finnish Academy project on “Human Security as a Promotional Tool for Societal Security in the Arctic” and as a contributing author to the 2016 Arctic Resilience Report. Previously, she was the lead author of a Finnish Foreign Ministry project at the intersection of gender, climate change, and human rights. She was humbled to land on Corporate Knight’s #30under30 list of Sustainability Leaders in Canada.
Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek is a researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, and the Finnish Environment Institute. She is also a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, and a fellow of the International Arctic Science Committee, where she co-chairs the action group on communicating Arctic science to policy-makers. Gosia’s doctoral research seeks to understand the nature and determinants of effectiveness of the Arctic Council, and how evolution of this institution matters for its future effectiveness in a rapidly changing, globally connected environment. Previously, Gosia contributed to projects including the EU-funded "Strategic Environmental Assessment of Development of the Arctic" (2013-2014), “Goals and instruments of Polish Arctic policy” for Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2014-2015), and “Finland’s Arctic Council chairmanship in the times of increasing uncertainty” for the Office of Finland’s Prime Minister (2016-2018).
Outi Snellman has worked on International Education and the development of cooperation in higher education in the Circumpolar Region for the past 30 years in her capacity as Educational Advisor in the Finnish Fulbright office (1987-1990), the Director of International Relations at the University of Lapland (1990- ) and Secretary General for the Circumpolar Universities Association (1992-1998) as well as Vice-President Organization of the University of the Arctic. Among many northern projects, Outi was the European leader of the first circumpolar student mobility program, the North Consortium, funded by EU, as early as 1994-1997. In recent years, she has been active in enhancing higher education collaboration between the circumpolar north and non-Arctic countries like China, Korea and Japan as well as different central European countries in the context of UArctic’s Thematic Networks. Ever since being an AFS exchange student in the US in late 70’s, her lifelong passion has been to work on international collaboration for peace, sustainable development and equal human rights.
Reetta Toivanen was recently nominated Professor of Sustainability Science (indigenous sustainabilities) at the University of Helsinki. She is the consortium leader of ALL-YOUTH research funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland and the vice-director of the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie). Reetta is a docent in social and cultural anthropology at the Universities of Helsinki and Eastern Finland and a non-resident research fellow at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI). She received her Ph.D. at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Outside academia, Reetta is the president of the Finnish Human Rights League and member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance in respect of Finland.