ARCTA – Building a Design-and-Art-Driven Accelerator for Sustainable and Meaningful Business in the North

Samuel Ahola, Jari Rinne, Melanie Sarantou, Satu Miettinen

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Coping strategies have become increasingly important for businesses, especially those operating in geographical peripheries. This paper explores ways of creating more meaningful, sustainable, responsible, long term and, thus, successful business. It draws on design and art-driven, and lean start-up approaches, and combines adaptation, tolerance and resilience with a set of indicators within an Arctic context. The research is based on well-documented case studies in Finnish Lapland and is conducted under the auspices of a centre of excellence and a smart specialisation cluster for Arctic art and design. Case studies and continuing development studies were conducted through ARCTA, Arctic Art and Design Laboratories, as part of the Arctic Design Cluster during the years 2017–2020. The research includes reflective practice and analysis of the different development phases for this Arctic innovation ecosystem. The resulting vision is used to introduce a framework of an alternative accelerator model for businesses aimed at economic, ethical and environmental sustainability. The purpose of the paper is to establish why the developed framework can be applied and upscaled in the Arctic region and broadened to promote meaningful business development elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Journal Proceedings of the ... DMI: Academic Design Management Conference
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventThe 22nd Academic Design Management Conference - Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 3 Aug 20207 Aug 2020
Conference number: 22


  • Design-driven approach
  • art-driven approach
  • lean startup
  • traditional knowledge
  • sustainable business
  • meaningful business

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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