Many speakers focused the need for more labor force in the northern regions. And way of getting it was heavily debated. Ane Storvestre Bjørkum from the Barentsecretariat presented recent research which showed that young people are wishing to move away from the north In Finland and Sweden around 80 percent, in Norway and Russia around 67 percent. She also presented the project Young entrepreneurs and how this project has stimulated new businesses and also changed mental maps among participating youths to become more positive about Barents and also managed to put people into contact with each other across borders.

Director of the Barents Secretariat Mr. Rune Rafaelsen pointed out the heavy investments expected to come within the field of energy production and mining. The chief editor of the Tromsø based newspaper Nordlys(Northern light) gave a very enthusiastic speech were he focused at all the possibilities in the north. He was also rather critical to some sides of the national and regional politics. Among many other speakers he was very disappointed about the draft for national transport plan.

Some called the plan a catastrophy for the northern regions because of its poor focus on the northern challenges. The Innovation Circle manager Alf S. Johansen said that the plan is not contributing significantly to the development of a good communication between the cities of the north , neither domestic in Norway nor across borders and it is not supporting the travel industry and the many emerging new services. He also pointed out the need of creating attractive jobs for youths in general and young women in particular.

State secretary in Norwegian foreign mInistry Ms. Elisabeth Walaas, promised to bring the opinions and ideas back to Oslo even if her department had to face less critical remarks than some other departments. On the contrary, she was receiving a lot of recognition for the visionary strategy for the north which came along with the new government and new foreign minister Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre in particular.

Director of KS Europe Ms. Aina Simonsen pointed out many possibilities for Norwegian municipalities and regions by using European and Norwegian programs and funds. Building partnerships with other regions and places can also give access to competent labor needed within both private and public sector in Norway.

All in all the conference managed to highlight some of the great possibilities in the north and some key challenges. The county mayor in Finnmark Mr. Runar Sjåstad concluded that there should be decided some target goals for population which could indicate if the policy for the northern areas is a success or not.