Research Projects

Assessing Intermediary Expertise in Cross-Border Arctic Energy Development

The project will undertake research assessing the role of intermediaries (consultants) in creating Arctic energy futures and utilize multidisciplinary knowledge transfers in order to transition into globally recognized leaders of Cultures of Expertise frameworks for scholars involved in the geographies of finance, futurity and expertise, linked to anthropology and Science and Technology Studies related genealogies.

We want to improve the state of theory and knowledge in relation to how intermediaries engage in valuation practices that drive the location and content of pivotal conversations on Arctic oil and gas extraction. Two patterns of development will be addressed: the increasing visibility of Arctic energy futures as detailed expectations that represent strategic resources for attracting attention from (financial) sponsors to stimulate agenda-setting processes; and, the rise of intermediaries suggesting a trend towards greater control over access and production of Arctic knowledge that is privatized via commodification.

Research objectives include building a conceptual terminology and typology of the kinds of assessments that consultants produce, further developing alignments at the intersection of proprietary practice and multidisciplinary analysis. We will combine data collection at two consulting firms and at key networking events with a training secondments at Rice University and Regional Council of Lapland in order to pilot industry and policy relevance. Utilizing the results of US National Science Foundation research we will create EU knowledge transfers for the systematized study of intermediary experts and Arctic energy futures through graduate supervision and symposiums leading to twelve peer-reviewed articles, a co-edited volume, and a monograph.

Supervised training on science management, raising the profile of
research team members through high h-index journal publications and advisory responsibilities will increase prospects among team participants for securing tenured professorships while establishing the PI as an international science research leader.

Project leader: Prof. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen

Researchers: Dr. Arthur Mason, Dr. Daria Gritsenko, MA Hilma Salonen

Duration: 1/2015-12/2018

Funding: Academy of Finland (www.aka.fi/arktiko)