(Photo by Jan Khur)  

Camilla Hagen Sørli and Silje Vallestad established ”FutureTalks”.

The idea was to collect “100 brilliant minds” leaders of the future, aboard a ship in the far north, and try to define the 10 most important questions of tomorrow.

As the Expedition leader for the ship “Nordstjernen”, I was lucky to join!  Highly educated young people, from all backgrounds and from all corners of the world.

It was a trip I will never forget.

The people, the experience of taking them aboard the old classic ship MS Nordstjernen, experiencing the raw and vulnerable nature here in the north and to see how they were affected.

Conversations, cohesion, desire to learn and share, desire to support and to contribute.

Very strong meetings.

(Photo by Pablo Salazar Rojo)

I, with my 23 years in the Arctic, but without any knowledge of the scientific part of climate change, was asked to share what I’ve experienced from changes over the years I’ve lived in Svalbard.

That was easy.

  • Glacier fronts that have retreated for many kilometers.
  • The temperatures have increased 92 months in succession, this also has a bearing on the glaciers. The ice that disappears and affects the wildlife.
  • The plastic that only increases in quantity and ends up on the beaches here in the north.
  • The grass was not seen elsewhere than behind the old barn and at the sewage leak between some of the houses, but now the whole settlement is green.
  • The species diversity that changes in the ocean with species we have never seen before.
  • Precipitation that was like in the desert of Sahara, but now comes in large quantities.
  • Thinning of the permafrost.
  • The avalanche that took 2 lives and 12 houses in 2015. They were our neighboring houses. It was an avalanche and rescue that my husband and I were very involved in.
  • I was close to the family who lost their 2 years old daughter. I was with them for three days during the dramatic period. Memories I will never forget.
  • The experiences, the story of the deaths and my tears became the realization of a true witness.

Not an expert but a witness.

To me, FutureTalks became a symbol of tomorrow’s needs.

And my vision of Bamsebu. The important questions, The attention.

The care for our world and our future.

Conversations, cohesion, desire to learn and share, desire to support and to contribute.

Share and involve others. People will understand why it’s so important to take care of our poles. For everything in between is the rest of the world!

We take care of what we love.

Each of us can do something.

Together we can do more!

Hilde FS, Svalbard, September 2018

(Photo By Pablo Salazar Rojo)