Call for Session Proposals

The Arctic Circle Secretariat is now accepting proposals for Sessions at the 2020 Arctic Circle Assembly to be held October 8-11, 2020, in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Submissions will be accepted until May 1, 2020.

All Sessions run for 60 minutes and are held in auditoriums, lecture halls, board rooms, and open spaces throughout Harpa and nearby venues.

Types of Sessions at the 2020 Arctic Circle Assembly:

  1. Morning Sessions I are held in the early morning on Friday and Saturday. Perfect for breakfast discussions and shorter presentations. Light catering can be provided by Harpa Conference Center at the expense of the organizers.
  2. Morning Sessions II are held throughout the morning on Thursday and just before lunch on Friday and Saturday, following morning Plenary Sessions. This slot is well suited for shorter presentations, project overviews and sessions with up to four speakers.
  3. Afternoon Sessions are well suited for in-depth presentations, discussions, roundtables and workshops.
  4. Evening Sessions have more flexibility in duration, intended for gatherings with a more relaxed atmosphere, such as networking sessions, small receptions, game nights or film screenings. Please note that drinks and light refreshments can be provided by Harpa Conference Center at the expense of the organizers.

How to submitt a proposal:

Proposals may ONLY be submitted via our online submission form (click). Please note that you will have to register as a user in the Oxford Abstracts system in order to submit Session proposals. You will be able to edit your proposal at any time until the deadline on May 1st.

Proposals must include the following:

  • The Session's proposed name (86 characters maximum)
  • Organizing body/bodies
  • Contact person
  • Room setup (auditorium seating / round tables)
  • Preferred time of day (preferrences are not guaranteed)
  • Promotional description of the Session
  • Description of the Session for the review process
  • List of speakers and speaker topics
  • Any special requirements
  • Affiliated websites

At least half of proposed speakers must be confirmed as willing and able to speak at the Assembly by the time of submission.

Organizers are asked to indicate if they are interested in having their Sessions recorded (audio/video) for a reasonable price.

Organizers of accepted Sessions will be asked to have all their speakers fill out an online speaker information sheet. The speaker information sheet inlcudes providing a short bio (max 200 words) and a headshot in black and white (240x240 px). Speaker information sheets must be completed before August 1st.

Any questions may be directed to


Governments, institutions, organizations, universities, think tanks, companies and other such bodies are eligible to submit proposals. Individuals may not submit proposals without institutional affiliation / support.

Proposals must describe the Session's relevance to the Arctic, including its contribution to increased knowledge or awareness of Arctic issues.

Diversity among speaker backgrounds, affiliations and nationality is encouraged.

What topics should the sessions cover?

Proposed sessions can cover any topics related to the Arctic, such as the following:

  • Climate change
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Environment and ecosystems
  • Fisheries
  • Glaciology and geology
  • Health and well-being
  • Indigenous rights
  • Infrastructure and development
  • Investment and finance
  • Music and art
  • Ocean science and research
  • Polar law
  • Security and geopolitics
  • Shipping and transport
  • Tourism

Programs from past Assemblies and Forums include all sessions that have been accepted in the past and can be viewed on our website.

What if another organization is presenting on a similar topic?

We will make every effort to make sure that presentations on similar topics will not be scheduled at the same time to encourage participation in both sessions. When appropriate, we also encourage organizations to collaboratively organize sessions together.

When will I know if my session has been accepted?

The first round of accepted Sessions will be notified within 6 weeks of the proposal submission deadline. A small minority of Sessions will be accepted later, subject to space availability.

What formats can the sessions take?

Sessions can take various forms, such as:

  • Announcements and presentations
  • Press conferences
  • Open or moderated dialogues
  • Forum debates
  • Workshops and interactive sessions
  • Town hall meetings
  • Panel discussions
  • Small group forums

All Sessions run for 60 minutes and are held in auditoriums, lecture halls, board rooms, and open spaces throughout Harpa and nearby venues.

As an open, demographic forum, the Arctic Circle requires sessions to include time for Q&A or other forms of audience involvement.

How can I promote my session?

Sessions submitted by the deadline will be promoted on our website, on social media in the months leading up to the Assembly. During the Assembly, Sessions will be promoted in the Assembly printed program and in the Arctic Circle App.

Is there a fee for organizing a Session at the Arctic Circle?

There is no fee for organizing Sessions at Arctic Circle Assemblies and Forums, but organizers and speakers are responsible for their own travel and accommodations, as well as the applicable registration fee for participation

Organizers interested in recording video and audio of their sessions, having their sessions catered or have special requests above what is provided by the Arctic Circle are responsible for all associated costs.

Can my session be scheduled for a specific day?

Due to the complexity of scheduling several dozen sessions and the number of scheduling requests received, Session speakers should prepare to attend all days of Assemblies and Forums. The Secretariat takes all requests into account but cannot guarantee that they will be met -- speakers and whole sessions have been dropped in the past because they were unable to attend during the allotted time slot.