SocietalConf2018 1The fifteenth annual Societal Safety and Protection Conference, Samfunnssikkerhetskonferansen 2018, was held at the premises of the University of Stavanger (UiS) on Thursday, 4 January 2018.



Jointly organized by the County Governor of Rogaland, the University of Stavanger, Stavanger University Hospital, the Rogaland Police District and the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), this year’s conference focused on the new and emerging threats for the European security, while debating how "new" they are.

Associate Professor Sissel Haugdal Jore from the University of Stavanger said the event provided the annual meeting venue in Stavanger for societal safety and security experts.

“The aim of this conference is to highlight some of the hot topics in the media today and to stimulate discussion whether the new security challenges are, in fact, not-so-new; that we have known them for many decades already as if they are the old security challenges in new wrapping,” Jore said.SocietalConf2018 6

The conference provided an opportunity for more than 300 participants, including academicians, representatives of the private and public sector and the military to engage and network over many topics on the various issues affecting defence and security in the 21st century.

The keynote speakers included Hans-Wilhelm Steinfeld (author and former correspondent for NRK in Moscow), Lieutenant Colonel Geir Hågen Karlsen (Director of Strategic Communications and Psychological Operations, Norwegian Defence Command and Staff College), Professor Cristina Archetti (University of Oslo, Political Communication and Journalism Department of Media and Communication), Surgeon Rear Admiral Jan Sommerfelt-Pettersen, Professor Ove Njå and Professor Odd Einer Olsen (University of Stavanger, representing SEROS), Associate Professor Stian Antonsen (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management), and many more. 

Hybrid warfare, safety management and strategies for effective security, the present status of Norway's risk governance strategy following the 2011 Oslo terror attacks, trust and threat perception, strategic communications and the impact of social media were among the topics discussed at the conference.

In the afternoon, the JWC hosted a lecture on the subject of “Russian Deterrence, Influence Activities and Hybrid War” by Lieutenant Colonel Geir Hågen Karlsen, who was one of the aforementioned keynote speakers at the conference.

“Russia is conducting large-scale and intense influence activities towards Europe in general with the main aim to reduce coherence and cooperation within the EU and NATO. This makes sense from Russia’s viewpoint because it is easier for Russia to deal with individual countries than strong Alliances,” Karlsen said, adding: “Another focus of Russia is to get the sanctions that were imposed in 2014, after the invasion of Ukraine, removed. It hurts them economically, and it also hurts the Russian leadership. Additionally, there are also particular issues aimed at countries like Sweden and Finland, who are not NATO members, so Russia has been trying to influence any cooperation between NATO and those countries.”

To learn more about the conference (in Norwegian) please visit the link below:


Photos from the conference and the lecture at JWC

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