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Before Harald left on his trek last week, he asked me to update his blog with two important items of information.

First, Harald is making a daily audio journal, which will be featured on this blog. Each night, he is calling from his satellite phone a service – blogtalkradio.com – that records his message and turns it into an audio file. I’ll feature that podcast here daily, along with a map so everyone can listen and see where he is during his trek.

Second, before he left, Harald also asked a few colleagues in business and research to submit their own essays and thoughts on the connection between business, climate and polar research. I’ll be periodically featuring some of the thoughts from those individuals here until Harald returns, in early May.

I hope people will check in to listen to his daily audio journal. And if you are interested, leave a comment with a question for Harald. I can send him an SMS text message each day and he’ll answer your questions in the following day’s audio journal.

And, true to Harald’s mission here, I hope it will raise awareness of polar research and create connections between research and business.

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Based on the Climate Change Report 2007 published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) it is now worldwide accepted, that “climate change is a serious threat to development everywhere”. Especially the Arctic Region is one of the very last white spots on earth and has special significance for the global climate. Therefore this needs a very balanced view on both economics and ecologist aspects, as a treaty system like the Antarctic Treaty System does not exist for the Northern Polar Region.

My intention with this blog is to build a bridge and stimulate a more direct communication between the Polar Research and the Business World for an ongoing process of more precise forecasts of the climate change and to support the adjustment of business strategies of companies considering the climate change.

As McKinsey published in December 2007, “fully 60 percent of the global executives surveyed regard climate change as strategically important. Fewer companies, however, act on these opinions”. A much stronger understanding and link of this two world Polar Research and Business may could help to improve this situation. The Business World can only understand and leverage the results from Research, if there is a certain level of understanding of the complexity und interpretability without a “political” layer in between.

To support this initiative I will aim, as the expedition leader, together with my partner, Andre Felbrich, to cross the Greenland Ice Sheet from East to West. The expedition will be executed “by fair means”, i.e. without any logistical support from the outside using ski, pulkas (men hauled sleds) and snow-kites. The Route will start on April 17, 2008 in Isortoq, East Greenland (N65°32′ W38°59′) via Tasiilaq (Ammassalik). The arrival will be in Kangerlussuaq via the Point 660 (N67°09′ W50°03′). The distance to cover will be approximately 600 km.

During the icecap crossing we will collect data and send regular podcast to this blog so others can follow along. In parallel, I have asked some of my colleagues from IBM and scientists in Polar Research to contribute some of their thinking to this dialog.

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