The largest international gathering on the Arctic

The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe. It is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.


The annual Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 60 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland. It is attended by heads of states and governments, ministers, members of parliaments, officials, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, indigenous representatives, environmentalists, students, activists and others from the growing international community of partners and participants interested in the future of the Arctic. 


In addition to the annual Assemblies, the Arctic Circle organizes Forums on specific areas of Arctic cooperation. Forums held in Alaska and Singapore in 2015 were devoted to shipping and ports, Asian involvement in the Arctic and maritime issues. Forums held in 2016 in Nuuk, Greenland and Québec City focused on economic development for the people of the Arctic and the sustainable development of northern regions, respectively. In 2017, Forums were held in Washington, DC on the United States and Russia in the Arctic, and in Edinburgh on Scotland's relationship with the New North. in 2018, the Arctic Circle held a Forum in the Faroe Islands on Arctic Hubs: Building dynamic economies and sustainable communities in the North and in Korea on Asian Involvement in the Arctic. Last year, the Arctic Circle held a Forum in China under the title "China and the Arctic". Organizing partners for Forums include national and regional governments, research institutions, and public organizations. Click here for information on upcoming Forums


Organizations, forums, think tanks, universities, corporations, research institutions, governmental bodies and public associations around the world are invited to hold meetings within the Arctic Circle platform to extend the reach of their efforts. The partners decide themselves the agenda of such sessions as well as the speakers. The Arctic Circle thus provides a platform for them to host or participate in various meetings and sessions, announce news of their activities and achievements, network, and showcase their important work. 


The Assembly program is designed in collaboration with partner organizations. 

Topics have included the following, among others:

  • Sea ice melt and extreme weather
  • The role and rights of indigenous peoples
  • Security in the Arctic
  • Investment structures in the Arctic
  • Regional development
  • Shipping and transportation infrastructure
  • Arctic energy
  • The role of European and Asian states in the Arctic
  • Asia and the Northern Sea Route
  • Circumpolar Health and Well Being
  • Science and traditional knowledge
  • Arctic tourism and aviation
  • Arctic ecosystems and marine science
  • Sustainable development
  • Small-scale renewable energy for remote communities
  • The prospects and risks of oil and gas drilling
  • Mineral resources
  • Business cooperation in the Arctic
  • The High Seas of the Arctic Ocean
  • Fisheries and living resources
  • Geology and glaciology
  • Polar law: treaties and agreements
  • The Arctic and the Himalayan Third Pole

A variety of performances, exhibitions and programs present the unique arts and cultural attributes of the Arctic at the annual Assembly each October.