Team IDEAS has been on a mission recently at the top of the world-literally. David Exline, Kelly Pounds and I were the advance team leading the discovery effort and StoryJam for an exciting new project helping to create concepts and a feasibility for Spaceport Sweden. The town of Kiruna is located almost 200 Km inside the arctic circle and already is a fascinating destination. It’s a paradise of clean, pristine wilderness with hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, dog sledding and pretty much anything else you can think of doing outdoors. It’s also the home of the LKAB Kiruna mine- the biggest underground (as opposed to a surface open-pit type mine) iron mine in the world and one of the most socially and environmentally conscious. Just down the road a bit is the incredible Icehotel (see picture to believe!) featuring art in the form of an actual hotel made of ice-bed and all. A little farther on is ESRANGE- Europe’s main polar space research and launch center.
In five days, we explored the entire region, thanks to our clients and hosts I(I even managed to sneak in a 5K run but that’s another story). Sweden is a nation of friendly, open and proud people. From the remote and beautiful Abisko National Park (where some of the most vivid northern lights can be seen) to Stockholm, the capital and one of the most pleasant and beautiful cities in the world (David and I ought to know, we put in about a 10 mile walk!), this is a jewel. More about Spaceport Sweden as it evolves for us over the next two months and, if you EVER get a chance to come up here and to see the Aurora, JUMP ON IT. You won’t be sorry.