Four takeaways from Future Greenland | Polarjournal
The Future Greenland conference took place in Greenland’s capital Nuuk. Photo: Beàta Szablics

At the Future Greenland conference that took place last week in Nuuk, business stakeholders from 15 countries discussed the growth and development of Greenland. Here is Beàta Szablics’, Polar Jobs Business Development Manager, four most important takeaways.

When the Future Greenland 2024 took place last week from May 13th to 15th, a lot was at stake. It is safe to say that with the wealth and variety of important business stakeholders present, the future of Greenland was not just being predicted, it was being defined.

On the topic of foreign labor in Greenland, for instance, important talks took place.

“We need to define which jobs we think it is okay to import workers for and which jobs should be reserved for local workers. There are some global tendencies that make it difficult to fill some positions; not just here in Greenland, but everywhere,” Krissie Winberg, president of the board of Sulisitsisut, the Greenland Business Association, said during a debate with trade union representatives.

It was for the labor market, too, that Polar Jobs Business Development Manager Beàta Szablics was present. She was there to promote the new job platform Polar Jobs. Read below what her main takeaways from the conference were.

From the conference image board: The images were prepared during the conference, capturing the main highlights and takeaways. This image shows the approach the young takes: Leave no one behind. Photo: Beàta Szablics

1. Lack of foreign workers in some sectors

As Krisse Winberg remarks showed, a big topic was the labor market and a lack of workers in some sectors. Exactly which sectors need more workers and should be allowed to import them was addressed from many perspectives.
The dividing line in debates was often if foreign workers are needed to sustain growth or if they prevented local Greenlanders from being employed.

“Bringing people to the table to discuss workforce issues is crucial because it fosters collaboration and ensures that diverse perspectives are considered in addressing employment challenges. Ultimately, these discussions benefit communities by promoting economic growth and improving quality of life through better employment prospects,” Beàta Szablics said.

“The debate should be ongoing and I believe it can significantly enhance local and international efforts in workforce placement. I look forward to bringing Polar Jobs into the conversation and to offer our support for career opportunities, company introductions and for making job openings more accessible,” she said.

Panel discussion Future Greenland
Panel discussion on a sustainable labor market in Greenland. Photo: Beàta Szablics

2. The youth took the stage

On the first day of the conference, May 13th, the young people of Greenland took the stage. The entire day was dedicated to hearing what the young people of Greenland wanted most for their own future.
A strong message came out of the dialogue with youth: the younger generation feels a need to support each other, to lift each other up, and to stand strong together.

“It was heartening to see the effort to involve youth in shaping their own sustainable future, providing them with the space to express their opinions and questions, and to decide how and what they want to do. They are paramount present and future stakeholders, they are the future of the country, and thus, must be involved in the development of their own opportunities and unlock their potential,” Beàta Szablics said.

3. Need for constant dialogue between stakeholders

The dialogue that took place during Future Greenland was not enough. To reach the enormous business potential that still lies dormant in Greenland, constant dialogue is needed.

Currently, tourism and fisheries are the largest industries in the country, but that many unused business potentials have not yet been discovered was mentioned several times during the conference. To eventually take advantage of these, continuous dialogue between public and private stakeholders, and the government is needed.

“It was highly encouraging to see the invitation for ongoing dialogue at both national and international levels, providing an opportunity for everyone to come together and support the responsible growth of the country,” Beàta Szablics said.

“Shaping a new tomorrow” – A vision?

4. Great international interest

In total, 15 countries were represented at Future Greenland. This great interest showed that the future of Greenland does not only concern Greenland; that there is a great interest from Europe and elsewhere in helping shape that future.

“The extended international representation allowed excellent networking opportunities with international stakeholders which I find crucial because it broadens access to diverse perspectives, ideas, and best practices, enhancing innovation and problem-solving. Additionally, these connections can open new opportunities, fostering global collaborations that drive growth,” Beàta Szablics said.

She represented the only Swiss stakeholder present: Polar Journal AG.

Ole Ellkrog, Polar Journal AG

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