Yannick Beaudoin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at GRID-Arendal, a United Nations/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborating center in Norway. As Chief Scientist, he is fundamentally involved with overseeing and developing GRID-Arendal’s organizational strategy and workplan which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway’s Overseas Development Assistance and the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway. GRID-Arendal’s areas of focus include: adaptation to uncertain climate futures in polar and mountain regions; embedding of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge in policy-, decision- and choice-making; enabling conversations and innovation for new development and economic paradigms; promoting a transition to a sustainable relationship between society and the ocean.
In addition to overseeing and facilitating the various efforts of the organization, Yannick works to apply new economic thinking, a science of change and participatory social ‘technologies’ to GRID-Arendal’s Green Economy and Green Economy in a Blue World activities that include working with countries, communities and industry to increase human well-being while preserving and enhancing ecological health and quality. He has also provided advisory services on green economy/blue economy to the East Asia Pacific group of the World Bank and to various UNEP Regional Seas Conventions. This experience has also been included in advisory support to EU ‘Blue Growth’ initiatives under Framework Programme 7 and more recently, to oversight and project design of two new EU Horizon 2020 projects focused on sustainable development.
His recent project activities include: co-design and co-facilitation with GIZ of a one year innovation lab on climate leadership in Central Asia, the development of a global UNEP TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for Oceans and Coasts Global Environmental Facility effort, the management of the UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates and co-coordination of the EU-funded SPC-SOPAC – UNEP Pacific Marine Minerals and Deep Sea Mining Assessment. He is also a geoscientist with the Continental Shelf Project which has been providing technical assistance to developing states working to delineate the outer limits of their continental shelf according to criteria outlined in Article 76 of UNCLOS.
From 2001 to 2006, Yannick was a project geologist with Falconbridge Ltd managing “green fields” nickel, copper and platinum group element exploration projects in Canada and Norway. He has also worked in geological exploration for Phelps Dodge of Canada Ltd. and in the high Arctic for the Geological Survey of Canada.
Yannick holds a doctorate (2006) and MSc (2001) in marine and economic geology from the University of Toronto with a research focus on deep ocean hydrothermal vent systems; he participated on 9 international marine research campaigns from Antarctica to the western Pacific.
Yannick also holds an MA in Economics for Transition (2014) from Schumacher College/University of Plymouth in the UK where his dissertation inquiry applied an action research approach to explore society’s ecological-economic divide.