The local host of WCEH 2024 is the University of Oulu, located in Central Finland and eminently accessible by train or plane from the Finnish capital of Helsinki. The University is an international research and innovation institution, home to about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and is one of the largest and most multidisciplinary universities in the Arctic. Its setting at the gateway to the North gives the University of Oulu a particular responsibility for addressing pressing Arctic environmental and societal issues.
At Oulu, WCEH4 will be co-convened by the Faculty of Humanities, which has strengths in environmental history, anthropology, archaeology, and the environmental humanities, and by Biodiverse Anthropocenes, a six-year, EUR 8MM transdisciplinary research programme that funds high-caliber scientific collaboration and citizen science initiatives across fields to study biodiversity loss in the Arctic and beyond.
The University is set among the winsome forests and lakes of Oulu, a city founded in 1605 by King Charles XI of Sweden that is today home to 250,000 inhabitants (comprising 120 nationalities) and some 600km of cycling trails. This lends WCEH4 the greenest of environments and a wonderful cosmopolitan ethos, ensuring delegates will experience some real northern hospitality. Conference sessions and networking events will be held both at the University’s Linnanmaa campus and outside in a number of urban nature spaces, making this a memorable, world-class congress benefiting from a unique Arctic summertime atmosphere. Oulu offers plenty of summer-time attractions for delegates to unwind and enjoy the spirit of the North. Take your pick from berry picking, sauna-hopping (just before lake-jumping), midnight hikes during the white nights, or scampering about a tranquil forest on the hunt for early season mushrooms. City summers are filled with plenty of cultural goings-on. Oulu will host the European Capital of Culture in 2026, so we’re confident that delegates will find plenty to keep them entertained when not conferencing, networking or otherwise engaging in rigorous intellectual communing.