Hilde Fålun Strøm
2023

Hilde Fålun Strøm

Arctic Advocate

hearts in the ice

meet hilde

Hilde Fålun Strøm is an Arctic advocate, explorer, TED speaker, author, and citizen scientist who made history in 2020 as the first of two women to overwinter solo in the Norwegian Arctic. She has had close to 400 polar bear encounters and is an eyewitness to climate change in the Arctic. With three decades of experience exploring the Arctic, she has a unique competence and a deep urge to protect the polar regions and the sea ice. Strøm, an authorized Svalbard guide and sea captain, cofounded Hearts in the Ice in 2018, focusing on education, citizen science, and social engagement around the issues of climate change.

 

hearts in the ice
Nominated by: Synnøve Marie Kvam Strømsag MI'02 Milbry Polk MED'95
Class of 2023 Location Norway

I am the founder of Polheim (Norwegian for “Polar Home”), an impact hub and neutral gathering place in Longyearbyen that brings together community members, scientists, business people, artists, and changemakers for meetings, seminars, and workshops around climate change and other critical topics in the Arctic. The vision for Polheim is to create a place where bridges can be built between diverse groups of decision-makers—a home for sharing ideas, building trust, and developing community-grounded best practices for future solutions in the Arctic. Collaboration is the way forward. I hope that by engaging people—both at Polheim and as guests on ships and expeditions throughout the region—and sharing my deep enthusiasm and desire to protect these places, that I can help others recognize how we can all be part of the solution and take action. In collaboration with other nonprofit partners, I’ve created a digital portal for Polheim where individuals can share their experiences and the projects they have initiated.

“I hope that by engaging people—both at Polheim and as guests on ships and expeditions throughout the region—and sharing my deep enthusiasm and desire to protect these places, that I can help others recognize how we can all be part of the solution and take action.”

- Hilde Fålun Strøm

My deep love for this region and my home contributes to an incredible sense of responsibility and urgency to protect it. Together with my collaborator Sunniva Sorby, I formed Hearts in the Ice, an organization born out of the experiences we had as the first women to overwinter in the extreme High Arctic. In our 19 months living with no running water or electricity in a remote trappers’ cabin called “Bamsebu,” we were among the few who could continue to gather in-field data for ongoing science during the COVID pandemic. We were also able to share our experiences via satellite connection with more than 100,000 school children around the world, together with invited experts on climate-related themes, as well as communicate the pressing need we all have to join together and change the trajectory of our impact on the sea ice and on Arctic ecosystems.

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