This week the 3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit (TOW Summit) will take place in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, in collaboration with the Hokkaido Government, Hokkaido University and Hokkaido Committee for Economic Development.

Read the program here: TOW2018 agenda.

The TOW Summit convenes representatives of business, technology, science and decision-makers to discuss the role of connectivity in the development of the Arctic and the region’s business opportunities. It follows the success of the inaugural Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit in Barrow (Ukpeagvik), Alaska in 2016 and the 2017 Summit in Oulu, Finland.

The two-day Summit will include panel sessions and discussions with experts from across the globe, networking opportunities and site visits to exciting Hokkaido-based companies working in the field of connectivity solutions and IT.

The relatively recent developments in the Arctic region have put Hokkaido, often considered as a peripheral region in the wider Japanese or East Asian context, into a new position. Hokkaido possesses a geographical advantage vis-à-vis the Arctic due to its location between the Bering Strait and the rest of the East Asia. Therefore, both private and public actors in Hokkaido have showed great interest e.g. in the commercial shipping activities through the Northern Sea Route and the plans to connect East Asia and Europe with submarine data cables going through the Arctic waters. The recent investments in Arctic Research in Hokkaido University have further strengthened the image of Hokkaido. Being Japan’s gate to the Arctic, Hokkaido has been an initiator and active participant in multilateral cooperation between northern regions already for decades.

The focus areas for this years TOW Summit are: Subsea data cables, New Opportunities, Navigation and Connectivity at Arctic Seas.

For more information, please see “Upcoming Events”

The Sustainability is Cool in Arctic Tourism

After the end of the AEC’s TOW Summit on June 28, a seminar about Arctic Tourism will be held at the Hokkaido University. This seminar is organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland in cooperation with Hokkaido University, Hokkaido Government, Hokkaido Committee for Economic Development, Team Finland, Business Finland, Visit Finland and Embassy of Finland in Tokyo.

Key issues that will be examined include:

  • How do arctic fragile environment, indigenous cultures, changing seasons and sparsely located population affect in tourism companies both in Japan and in Finland?
  • What kind of solutions and problems companies have had in combining profitable business and sustainability in the arctic region?
  • How to best combine indigenous cultures and tourism?
  • Opening arctic tourism markets from Japanese perspectives: possibilities and challenges.

The event is open for all. More information can be found here.