01 December 2015 - 03 December 2015
Schlossplatz 1,
2361 Laxenburg, Austria

Workshop on Developing the Arctic Futures Initiative

As part of AFI’s planning phase, IIASA is hosting the Workshop on Developing the Arctic Futures Initiative from December 1-3, 2015 in Laxenburg, Austria. The initial aim of the meeting is to bring together representatives from the research, policy, indigenous/local and business communities to provide input to, and help develop, the Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) at a strategic level. This strategic foundation will set the stage for advancing the co-design and co-development process for this new program during the second and third days of the meeting.

Courtesy of www.hoover.org

Courtesy of www.hoover.org

Participants will hear about cutting edge science from the research community and high priority information needs from the policy and business world. This information sharing mechanism will allow for open dialogue between all participants and stakeholders that can lead to a co-designed and decision-relevant research agenda for AFI.
The desired outcome of the meeting includes a finalized Arctic Futures Initiative Strategic Plan that will inform the development of the program and a draft set of initial AFI research questions that will begin to form the first AFI research agenda to be worked on during spring 2016 in collaboration with the meeting participants and representatives from the various stakeholder communities. The meeting will strengthen the process of co-design, co-production, networking and community building for a sustained holistic assessment on the Arctic.
The AFI Advisory Board will also hold a meeting in connection to the workshop. The Board, lead by three co-chairs, comprises in all eleven members representing a variety of stakeholders.


The complexity of the dynamic global system poses significant societal, research, policy and governance challenges for the Arctic. Global social, economical and technological changes all contribute to changes in the Arctic climate, environment and societies. Conversely, changes in the Arctic environment have an effect on the global climate system and thus, also affect other regions of the Earth.

The need for a holistic integrated assessment of plausible futures for the Arctic, cutting across different disciplines and individual countries’ strategic interests has been articulated in several national and international discussions and meetings with participants from research, policy and business communities. The Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) will work collaboratively with other Arctic institutions and organizations to bring together affiliated stakeholders to support an integrated, “end to end” science to decision-making framework and research program that builds upon IIASA’s expertise and its 23 National Member Organizations, including five Arctic nations and six observer nations of the Arctic Council. The mission of AFI is to: Create a collaborative science-based process by applying systems analysis to better understand plausible futures and inform decision making within and beyond a rapidly changing Arctic. AFI seeks to add unique value to current Arctic research efforts, by providing: i) a collaborative environment for developing decision relevant and co-designed research with Arctic stakeholder communities; ii) a transparent process for scenario and model development for plausible Arctic futures; iii) systems perspective, methods, and tools for analysis of multi-scalar, multi-dimensional, trans-disciplinary issues in the Arctic.

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Last edited: 26 June 2019


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