16 October 2015 - 18 October 2015
Reykjavík, Iceland

The Arctic Circle Assembly

The Arctic Circle is an open assembly that takes place annually in mid-October in Reykjavík, Iceland, hosted by H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland. Director General and CEO of IIASA, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat gave an invited keynote presentation during the opening day on Friday 16 October. 

© Erectus | Dreamstime

© Erectus | Dreamstime

The Arctic Circle Assemblies gather more than 1500 participants from over 40 countries at the Harpa Conference Center and Conference Hall in Reykjavík. The Arctic Circle facilitates working meetings across issues and organizations and provides a forum for discussions hosted by nations and a variety of international and Arctic institutions. 

The meeting program is designed in collaboration with partnering organizations by an open call for sessions. Organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations around the world are invited to hold meetings within the Arctic Circle platform to advance their own missions and the broader goal of increasing collaborative decision-making without surrendering their institutional independence. 

Director General and CEO of IIASA, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat gave an invited keynote presentation during the opening day on Friday 16 October.

Screenshot: www.arcticcircle.org

The Opening Plenary included presentations by:

This was followed with country sessions by China and Germany. 

During opening day, IIASA’s Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) was holding a breakout session “Arctic Futures Initiative: A Holistic Approach to Arctic Development” moderated by Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat with invited speeches by:

Several other meetings were planned for the IIASA delegation, and Pavel Kabat was accompanied by Professor Dr. Chin-Min Lee, Special Advisor to the IIASA Director General and CEO, Ambassador Hannu Halinen, Special Advisor to the IIASA Director General and CEO on the Arctic, Co-Chair of AFI Advisory Board, and Dr. Anni Reissell, Guest Research Scholar. The aim of the participation was to enhance collaboration for a systems perspective in the planning phase of the new IIASA Futures Initiative, the Arctic Futures Initiative, AFI.

During the visit to Reykjavik, tentative meetings planned for the IIASA delegation:

  1. H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland;
  2. H.E. François Hollande, President of France;
  3. H.E. Wang Yui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China;
  4. H.E. Viktor Olersky, Deputy Minister for Transport; H.E. Anton V. Vasiliev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Iceland, H.E. Vladimir Barbin, Ambassador at Large, Senior Arctic Official of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; hosted by H.E. Valtteri Hirvonen, Ambassador of Finland to the Republic of Iceland at the Residence;
  5. Head of Chinese delegation to Arctic Circle Assembly, as mandated by H.E. Xi Jinping, President of China;
  6. Head of delegation to Arctic Circle Assembly, as mandated by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany;
  7. Ms. Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  8. Mr. Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund in the United States
  9. Hon. Fran Ulmer, Special Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State on Arctic Science and Policy, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission;
  10. Ms. Tara Sweeney, Executive Vice President of External Affairs for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation in Alaska, Chair of Arctic Economic Council;
  11. Mr. Tero Vauraste, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arctia Shipping; Co Vice-Chair of Arctic Economic Council, Finland
  12. Mr. Scott Minerd, Chairman of Investments and Global Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners, USA

About Arctic Cicle

The Arctic Circle is designed to increase participation in Arctic dialogue and strengthen the international focus on the future of the Arctic. Participating organizations will maintain their full institutional independence, identity and decision-making abilities. To this end, the Arctic Circle aims to create opportunities for everyone to attend different meetings, conduct their own networking and engage in one-on-one informal discussions. Organizations will be able to decide their own agendas and convene their own meetings.

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Last edited: 26 June 2019


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