There is a growing interest in collaborative and co-created approaches to Arctic research. This has been accompanied by debates regarding the need to decolonize methods, research attitudes, and institutions. Increasingly, funders request that Arctic research projects include collaboration with communities. Yet, non-Indigenous researchers often do not know how to engage in a co-productive way and Indigenous knowledge continues to be misunderstood and misrepresented in research. Indigenous communities and organizations are frequently overburdened by requests to collaborate – which often come after fundamental decisions on research projects have already been made. Indigenous-led and collaborative research are also hindered by academic structures and funding processes.

The Week of Exchange encourages multi-sensory practices of learning, sharing, (re-)connecting, and communicating with humans and other-than-humans. This may be approached through handicraft, artistic performances, storytelling, movement, and silence. Participants are invited to ‘bring all their senses’ to a ‘room of exchange’ that will be open throughout the week to engage and communicate in various ways. This may include images, photos, drawings, texts / music and sounds (live, flash drives, online) / dance and movement / objects to smell, taste, feel, look at / projects-in-progress or new handicraft projects (e.g. sewing, knitting, writing, painting, etc.) to work on and share during and in-between sessions or in the room of exchange.

This week brings together two events:
October 3: The third Workshop on Ethics and Methods in Arctic Transformative Research (WEMA III). WEMA III is jointly hosted and co-funded by the Biodiverse Anthropocenes Programme (ANTS) at the University of Oulu and the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam (RIFS). The overarching theme of this year’s WEMA workshop will be: The role of communication in transformative Arctic research – Respecting diverse ways of communicating in the context of the UN decade on Indigenous languages.
October 4-5: The final gathering for DÁVGI: Co-Creation for Biocultural Diversity in the Arctic, a project led by the Saami Council, RIFS, and Ecologic Institute, which focuses on applying co-creative methods and reflects on the nature of co-creative partnerships in Arctic research.

To enable broad and inclusive accessibility, parts of the Week of Exchange will be held in hybrid format (more information on this will be added to the programme in the coming weeks). Limited funds are available to support travel, accommodation, visa expenses, or high costs of internet access for participants who do not have access to other funds. If you require financial support, please contact the organizers.

Registration is open until August 7, 2023. Learn more and sign up here. If you would like to get involved before October, please contact Olga Lukyanova via