High North Hero 2024: Searching For A High North Hero

Diane Hirshberg og Anu Fredrikson.

High North Hero 2023 Diane Hirshberg and jury leader Anu Fredrikson. Hirshberg was awarded the prize during the High North Dialogue conference in Bodø in 2023. (Photo: Trine Jonassen)

Every year, the High North Center for Business and Governance presents the High North Award to honor someone who leaves a positive mark on the North. "The award has helped increase attention to the High North," says Executive Director of Arctic Frontiers and jury leader Anu Fredrikson.

Les på norsk

The High North Center for Business and Governance at Nord University Business School is now accepting nominations for the international High North Hero Award. The jury hopes for many nominations from around the world.

This will be the seventh time the award has been presented. The jury leader, Arctic Frontier Executive Director Anu Fredrikson, says the established award has helped increase attention around the High North.

"It is a politically significant area, an attractive area for sustainable development, and home to four million people," says Fredrikson in an email to High North News.

She says the previous winners represent the range of Arctic communities. All sectors represented are important links in developing attractive and viable Arctic communities based on knowledge and sustainable development.

Positive effect

What do you look for in this year's High North Hero?

"We are looking for people and organizations who have had a positive effect in the Arctic, either by business or societal development, new knowledge about the High North, or by contributing to increased diversity and equality," says Fredrikson.

A good candidate could be someone who has furthered cooperation in the High North, has an impact locally, nationally, or internationally, or helps strengthen collaboration internationally.


What topics influence the nominations this year?

"The committee is making an overall assessment based on the criteria. Previous winners have represented a range of Arctic communities, from politicians to indigenous leaders, researchers, business leaders, and investors, and this reflects the diversity necessary to create an attractive region to live in," says the jury leader.

Previous winners represent the range of Arctic communities.

Anu Fredrikson, High North Hero jury leader

The committee hopes for many nominations so that finding this year's hero will be as challenging as possible.


The award was established in 2016 as an annual recognition of a person, business, or organization that has positively influenced business and economic development in the High North.

Previous winners include Prof. Diane Hirshberg at the University of Alaska, the Norwegian shipowner Felix Tschudi, US Climate Researcher Robert Corell, the Canadian indigenous rights activist Mary Simon, now deceased investor Scott Minerd from the US, and Paavo Lipponen, former prime minister of Finland.

Nominees are not required to be from or reside in the Arctic. The award highlights the efforts of a person or organization whose work has positively influenced the circumpolar North. Self-nominations are also accepted. 

NOK 50,000

The High North Hero Award is awarded annually during the Arctic Congress in Bodø in May. In addition to honor and glory, the winner is awarded NOK 50,000.

To qualify for a nomination, the following criteria apply: 

  • Significant contribution to the High North's business development, social development, growth, or employment.
  • Significant contribution to new knowledge about the High North.
  • Innovation and the use of innovative methods to create multilateral cooperation in the High North.
  • The nominee's contribution is internationally oriented while also having significant local influence.
  • A significant contribution to the promotion of the High North, both nationally and internationally.

The deadline for nominating a candidate is April 20th. Read more here.

Also read