In a mountain in the Norwegian island group of Svalbard is a vault, which contains thousands of seeds from all over the world. Some people refer to it as the doomsday vault because it is intended as a backup in case of a catastrophe,that devastates the world’s food crops. Right now, it is preserving the food diversity of Syria for future generations in spite of the ongoing civil war. This is one way, in which the Nordics play an active role in the world.
In a new place branding strategy, The Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to turn traditional place branding upside down by not showcasing the beautiful Norwegian fjords, the breathtaking lakes of Finland or the unique design products of Denmark. Instead, the project sets out to highlight the fact, that there are traces of North all over the world. Like the zipper, the seat belt and the inflatable bike helmet.
"People might not realise it, but Nordic ideas and inventions are present wherever you look.”The branding of the Nordics does not have to start in the Nordic countries. By showing traces of North all over the world, we hope to present the Nordic countries in a new way and to share our ideas with the rest of the world," says Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs and acting President of The Nordic Council of Ministers
The Nordics are defined as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. However, the Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to redefine and expand this definition by presenting the region as a whole, since the outside world generally does not distinguish between the Nordic countries. And because of the fact that The Nordics often function as one, since the region practices the oldest regional political collaboration in the world. This has to do with citizens of the Nordics sharing both history, culture, languages and not least a set of mutual ideas and values.
The conceptual idea Trace of North has been put together by Danish communication agency Mensch together with architect Bjarke Ingels, designer Ole Lund and tech company Area9. Together they came up with the idea of showing the Nordics in the world rather than showing the Nordics to the world.
Besides from increasing the awareness of the Nordic countries, the purpose of the project is to share traces of North and ideally to expand the already existing database of interesting Nordic impacts on the world. This will happen through the website and on twitter. Furthermore, The Nordic Council of Ministers is offering all cases, photos, films and learnings from the project to anyone with a desire to promote Nordic interests anywhere in the world.