19 May 2014 - 20 May 2014
Laxenburg, Austria

Scenarios Workshop

As part of IIASA's new Arctic Futures Initiative, researchers will gather at IIASA for a workshop on scenarios on the future of the Arctic - one of the regions on the planet most affected by environmental change.

Sea Ice in the Arctic. image courtesy NASA

Sea Ice in the Arctic. image courtesy NASA

A vast and rapid transformation of the Arctic and surrounding areas is taking place. Climate, environmental, and socio-economic drivers may interact and amplify, making decision making in a rapidly changing Arctic difficult and uncertain. Changes may increase existing pressures in the Arctic, while others may bring new opportunities.  

IIASA is organizing an Arctic Scenarios Workshop in collaboration with Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) of the Arctic Council.  The workshop takes place at IIASA 19-20 May 2014.  

The aim of this workshop is to develop and test a generalized scenario framework that can be customized and applied for pan-Arctic and regional Arctic scenarios. The workshop participants include scenario experts, Arctic experts, IIASA experts, and selected stakeholders.  

The outputs of the workshop will feed directly into the Arctic Council “Adaptation Actions in the Changing Arctic” (AACA) project and the new IIASA Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI). The workshop will build on synergies between AACA, AFP, and related Arctic projects, such as the Pan Eurasian Experiment (PEEX), the Alaskan North Slope Arctic Scenarios Project (NASP) and starting MISTRA project on Arctic Sustainable Development in the European Arctic.  

The objective of the AACA is to enable more informed, timely and responsive decision making in a rapidly changing Arctic. AACA will produce information to assist decision makers and stakeholders in three pilot regions in developing adaptation strategies to better deal with climate change and other pertinent stressors. The three pilot regions – Barents, Baffin Bay/Davis Strait, and the Bering/Beaufort/Chukchi – will be supplemented by a pan-Arctic study, leading to four reports to be delivered to the Arctic Council in 2016 and 2017.  

The event is organized by the newly launched IIASA Arctic Futures Initiative(AFI), which aims at a holistic assessment on the Arctic. The project will involve stakeholders, such as policy and businesses, in dialogue already from the planning stage, through implementation to final aims. IIASA is a neutral venue to researchers, policy makers, businesses, media for facilitating discussions, collaboration, new methods and approaches. IIASA programs are experts on complex systems analysis, scenarios, modeling, integrative techniques.  The project cuts across the expertise of several IIASA programs: ASA, ENE, ESM, MAG, and POP

Workshop Agenda (PDF)

Arctic Scenarios Workshop Presentations - 19 May

Arctic Scenarios Workshop Presentations - 20 May

Special Session, 21 May

An additional special session will take place on 21 May, in connection with the Arctic Scenarios Workshop.

This special session is organized to discuss the mid-term and long-term possibilities of the IIASA Arctic Futures Initiative, and also collaboration in relation to the Arctic Council. This session is a working group that will lay out the goals and agenda for IIASA's work and strategize on how to build connections with the Arctic Council and its agenda. This event also gets together the Finnish, USA, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian approaches to the holistic Arctic view.

An important conclusion from several successful recent events organized in Finland and the U.S.A. was the need for a holistic, integrative assessment of plausible futures of the Arctic, cutting across different disciplines and individual countries’ strategic interests. IIASA as an international, independent, non-governmental institute is in the process of initiating an Arctic Futures Project as a IIASA flagship initiative, integrating academia, policy, business and media for a holistic understanding of the Arctic. 

Special Session Agenda (PDF)

Additional Special Session Presentations - 21 May

Print this page

Last edited: 23 June 2014


A new IIASA flagship initiative will bring a holistic systems perspective to the Arctic.


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313