2017 Breakout Sessions

Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00

Breakout Sessions are organized by the respective partners of the Arctic Circle, organizations, institutions, companies, think tanks, universities, or other bodies.

Maine Business and The Arctic - Building Relationships

Organized by the Maine Department of Transportation (8. October 2017)

Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00 
Location: Björtuloft, Fifth Level


  • David Bernhardt, Commissioner, Maine Department of Transportation: Building Relationships in the Transportation Sector: Building Relationships in the Transportation Sector
  • Larus Isfeld, Managing Director & Executive Vice President, Eimskip USA: Building Relationships: Eimskip and Maine
  • Peter Handy, President & CEO, Bristol Seafood: Building Relationships in the Fisheries Sector
  • Mark Hopkins, Business Development, Hancock Lumber: Maine Building Materials in The Arctic Patrick Arnold, Co-Founder & CEO, New England Ocean Cluster: Building Relationships: Iceland and Maine


Dana Eidsness, Director, Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO), Maine International Trade Center: Developing Trade Relationships in the North Atlantic

Adapting power production to a changing climate

Organized by Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland (29. September 2017)

Iceland produces electricity exclusively from renewable resources, with no connection to other systems. Over 70% of Icelandic power is produced from hydro resources and climate change is already affecting utilization rates. 


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Silfurberg, Second Level

For the past 30 years, Landsvirkjun and the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences have researched Iceland’s glaciers in order to assess and understand how they change with altering weather conditions. How prepared are we to adapt to changing conditions? Does climate change threaten the resilience and reliability of Iceland’s hydropower system or are there potential opportunities for increased energy production?  Are there lessons to be learned by other subarctic communities with isolated, heavily renewable power systems?


  • Marco Braun, Ouranos- Responding to the Inevitable: Building Climate Resilience into the Energy Sector
  • Úlfar Linnet: How Climate Affects Renewable Energy Production in Iceland
  • Ragna Árnadóttir: Decision Making in an Uncertain Future: Climate Change and its Effect on System Planning


North in Focus: Youth Voices of Integrative Mental Health and Suicide Awareness

Organized by North in Focus Mental Health Organization (13. September 2017)

Youth Voices of Integrative Mental Health and Suicide Awareness introduces the current efforts made by youth on the topic of mental health and suicide, focusing on the work of North in Focus as a non-profit organization while integrating the perspectives of other youth councils and initiatives. 


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Norðurljós, Second Level


Being youth led and youth focused, NIF aims to contribute to mental health resource accessibility in Canada’s North through developing avenues of self-expression. The implementation of these unique techniques for youth empowerment has merited the onset of experiential education potential in healthcare. The breakout discussion strives to define both the importance and potential procedures of integrating youth perspectives in mental health policy reforms and implementation, especially for programs and initiatives that directly affect the noted demographic.


  • Eva Wu - Co-Founder, Finance and Media Coordinator of North in Focus; Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Youth Ambassador for Parks Canada: The History of North in Focus and the Power of Communication through Photography.
  • Ashley Cummings - Northern Consultant, Alumni and Ambassador Coordinator of North in Focus: Personal Experience of Mental Health in the North and the Wellness Attached to Culture and Intergenerational Healing.

Policy networks and Arctic governance: Science and Business in Arctic Governance

Organized by: the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) (11. September 2017)

Outcomes of international cooperation are often seen as the result of relations between states. However, Arctic international environmental governance, like global governance elsewhere, is driven forward by policy networks that involve a much larger net of important players.


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00

Location: Háaloft, Eighth Level

Many popular and academic accounts of Arctic governance acknowledge the important place of non-state actors in identifying Arctic environmental challenges and in negotiating possible regulatory responses at the international level. Yet little rigorous, empirical research has been done on how and when this influence over agenda-setting and decision-making/decision-makers serves to shape regulatory mechanisms. This panel seeks to explore these questions in relation to experts and business actors in a few cases of Arctic governance issues.

The session presents short research previews from the POLGOV project, including a sneak preview of the project’s effort to engage in experimental governance with the ‘Arctic Corporate Responsibility Index’ (ACRI). The ACRI will rank Arctic extractive businesses on various environmental and social indicators, with the hope that reputational gains and visibility can help fill regulatory and enforcement gaps. The brief research previews are followed by a panel discussion. Key themes for panel discussion will be: the role of science and expertise in an age of misinformation? What are the roles played by business and eNGOs in informing or shaping Arctic governance? How democratic are policy networks – and should they be more so?


  • Svein Rottem, FNI: Policy networks and oil spill prevention
  • Christian Prip, FNI: Policy networks and Arctic biodiversity
  • Leif Jensen, FNI: Policy networks – comparison to Antarctica
  • Indra Overland, NUPI: Arctic Corporate Responsibility Index


  • Martin Sommerkorn, Head of Conservation, WWF Arctic Programme
  • Emma Wilson, Scott Polar Research Institute/ECW Consulting
  • Anatoli Bourmistov, High North Centre for Business, Nord University
  • Michael Denison, Group Political Advisor, BP


Elana Wilson Rowe (NUPI)

In the Centre of Greenland Climate Research

Organized by the Greenland Climate Research Centre at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. (11. September 2017)

The Greenland Climate Research Centre (GCRC) is an interdisciplinary research group combining climate research in social and natural sciences. Placed in Greenland and part of the Greenlandic society, GCRC has unique knowledge about Greenlandic marine ecosystem, the dynamics created by the melt from the icecap and the effects on the Greenlandic society.


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Akrafjall, Fourth Level

Besides GCRC is a strong partner in the development of the new educational initiatives in natural and health sciences at Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland). In the first presentation the newly announced strategy for GCRC will be presented together with an overview of the new educational activities in Greenland. In the three following presentations speakers will present new results, activities, future plans and importance and value to the society within three key research areas of GCRC. The presentations will be followed by discussions and questions.


  • Malene Simon, Head of the Greenland Climate Research Centre: New strategy for the Greenland Climate Research Centre.
  • Lorenz Meire, PostDoc, Greenland Climate Research Centre: Effects of glacial melt on marine ecosystems.
  • Diana Krawczyk, Scientist, Greenland Climate Research Centre: Benthic Mapping in the Arctic.
  • Caroline Bouchard, Scientist at the Greenland Climate Research Centre: Pelagic Ecosystem Monitoring.

A new ocean on top of the world - challenges and opportunities for its protection and governance

Organized by Greenpeace Nordic (7. September 2017)

The Arctic is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average and consequently is experiencing severe climate impacts – including the alarmingly rapid disappearance of sea ice, revealing a ‘new ocean’ at the top of the world. The Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) hosts a unique, outstanding and sensitive marine environment, and yet it remains one of the least protected marine environments globally.


Friday, October 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Ríma B, Ground Level

During recent years the Arctic Coastal States have invited international fishing nations for discussions on precautionary measures, as the area will become accessible to fisheries in the future. At the global level, the United Nations are currently developing an implementing agreement under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention on the conservation and sustainable use of marine Biological diversity of areas
Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). This new instrument provides with an unmatched opportunity to protect global oceans, the CAO included.

During this session we will discuss the need to protect the CAO, and what governance initiatives like th BBNJ mean for the area. A new ocean on top of the world - challenges and opportunities for its protection and governance


  • Magnus Eckeskog, Greenpeace Nordic: Introduction
  • Timo Koivurova, Research Professor University of Lapland: Governance of the Arctic marine environment - opportunities and challenges
  • Kristina Gjerde, High Seas Policy Advisor IUCN: A UN treaty to protect biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction
  • Veronica Frank, Political Advisor, Greenpeace International: Greenpeace´s vision for ocean governance


Magnus Eckeskog, Greenpeace Nordic

United Kingdom: science, innovation and international cooperation in Arctic research

Organized by The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Arctic Office, United Kingdom. In association with the British Antarctic Survey & Scottish Association for Marine Science (7. September 2017)

To have a fully effective international and coordinated approach to Arctic research, a country needs to have: capable assets; dedicated funding; strong connections; and successful communication and outreach programmes


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Esja, Fifth Level

This breakout session gives participants the opportunity to hear the latest news on how the United Kingdom is further sharpening its Arctic research capabilities to help improve our collective understanding of this rapidly changing region. These developments include: a new multi-million research programme targeted on the changing Arctic Ocean and its ecosystem; a new world-class polar research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough; an Arctic Office focused on supporting national and international collaboration; and examples of cutting-edge ways to communicate Arctic change and the role they play in influencing both decision-makers, including the public.


  • Mark Brandon, Reader in Polar Oceanography, The Open University: Cutting-edge ways to communicate Arctic change
  • Kirsty Crocket, Science Coordinator, NERC Changing Arctic Ocean Programme, Scottish Association for Marine Science: The Changing Arctic Ocean: An overview of the programme’s aims and the projects involved
  • Tim Stockings, Operations Director, British Antarctic Survey: A new polar research ship for the United Kingdom: RRS Sir David Attenborough
  • Henry Burgess, Head, NERC Arctic Office: Building national and international connections: the role of the NERC Arctic Office


Dame Jane Francis, Director, British Antarctic Survey

Security and Insecurity in the Arctic and High North: Current Trends and Future Issues.

Organized by the University of York and the Hull Marine and Maritime Institute (University of Hull, UK) (7. September 2017)

It is perceptions of security and insecurity (broadly conceived) that will be discussed within this session. Building upon last year’s ‘Whose Arctic Security?’, and the 2015 session ‘Security Concerns in the Arctic’, the focus this year will be on emerging security trends.


The aim is to make the most of the new ’60 minute’ discussion format by engaging with all delegates in attendance. Two short working papers will be presented, the room will then open out for discussion and debate about what should be considered as an emerging security or insecurity issue in the Arctic and High North context. This workshop discussion will feed into the ongoing ‘Broadening the Security Agenda in the Arctic’ project run by the University of York and the University of Hull.


  • Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, University of Hull: Whose Security? The Arctic, its People and its Resources
  • James I. Rogers, University of York: Arctic Drones and Emerging Technologies


James I. Rogers, University of York

Hydrocarbon Regulatory/Operational Safety Regimes in High-Stakes Arctic Environments

Organized by: SE2T International, Ltd., USA (7. September 2017)

Oil and gas exploration and production in the Arctic is a high-stakes proposition, given the fragile Arctic environment and the fast pace of change in the area due to the impacts of climate change. There is value to compare the causes and consequences of oil spills in the Arctic, and elsewhere. 


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Flói, Ground Level

Regarding hydrocarbons exploration and production, there are benefits in developing a uniform environmental safety approach in the Arctic, based on best practices. Comparative regulatory regimes and empirical data might yield a conversion to common regulations for the region. One possibility, inter alia, is the utilization of the Polar Code to improve oil safety in the Arctic. Application of risk management is a must to prevent and limit the impact of oil spills and its consequences, including marine life impacts.


  • June Borge Doornich, Associate Professor in Strategy and Control, Business School, Nord University: Regulative regimes for oil spill preparedness and response in the Barents Sea: A High Stake environment in the Arctic
  • “Brazil as an Example for Oil Spill Prevention Regulations in High-stakes Environments”
    • Celma Regina Hellebust, Lawyer, member of the Brazilian and Norwegian Bar Associations. Business consultant on Brazilian and Norwegian Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) regulations for the petroleum industry
    • Raphael Moura, PhD Student, Institute for Risk and Uncertainty University of Liverpool’s; Safety, Risk and Uncertainty Specialist on leave from the Brazilian oil and gas industry regulator (ANP)
  • Alexander Shestakov, Director, WWF Arctic Programme: Oil & Gas liability and stranded assets in the Arctic, visions and recommendations of the WWF Global Arctic Programme
  • Ekaterina Sokolova, Head of East Arctic Research Center; Researcher, Center for maritime international studies, Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University: Modern Arctic vessels of the Russian merchant marine fleet and ecological safety
  • Yuriy Zhuravel, Vice-rector, International Relations, Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University: Forces and means of search and rescue service of marine activities in the Arctic


Sergio C. Trindade. President, SE2T International, Ltd. sustainable business consultants

Responsible Tourism in the Arctic

Organized by: Festa - Icelandic Center for CSR and the Iceland Tourism Cluster (5. September 2017)

In January 2017 Festa - Icelandic Center for Corporate Social Responsibility and the Iceland Tourism Cluster, in cooperation with the tourism industry in Iceland, launched an initiative to encourage responsible operational practices in tourism. 


Friday, October 13, 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Viðey, Second Level

More than 300 tourism companies signed a pledge for responsible tourism. The vision of the project is for Iceland to be a leading nation for sustainable and responsible tourism. The initiative involves a dialogue among stakeholders, training sessions as well as development of know-how and best practices for tourism in the northern regions such as Iceland.
In this breakout session we want to explore possibilities of cooperation between the countries in the arctic on common set of principles for corporate social responsibility and sustainability.


  • Ketill Berg Magnússon, Managing Director of Festa – Icelandic Center for CSR: What can we learn from the Icelandic Responsible Tourism initiative?
  • Sigurður Jónsson, owner Aurora-Arktika expedition sailboats – Ísafjörður, Iceland: Touching the untouched with respect
  • Kelly S. Bricker, Vice-Chair of GSTC and Associate Professor at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism: Global standards for Sustainable Tourism
  • Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir, CEO of Iceland Tourism Cluster: The Value of Sustainable Tourism in the Arctic