13 October 2017 - 15 October 2017
Reykjavik, Iceland

AFI at the Fifth Arctic Circle Assembly

The IIASA-led Arctic Futures Initiative at the Arctic Circle Assembly, 13-15 October 2017 in Reykjavik, Iceland

© arcticcircle.org

© arcticcircle.org

The Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe.

It is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.

The IIASA-led Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) will present a plenary session at the assembly introducing the inclusive, integrated, and holistic approach of the AFI. This new initiative will bring a systems analysis perspective to the future of the Arctic, providing decision makers with options that balance environmental protection, economic prosperity, and societal wellbeing for the rapidly changing Arctic.

10:35-11:05 Saturday 14 October 2017


  • Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, director general and CEO of IIASA
  • Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, chair of the Arctic Circle and former president of Iceland

AFI will also offer three breakout sessions:  

The Arctic Futures Initiative: A systems analysis perspective on the plausible futures of the Arctic

11:20-12:20 Saturday 14 October 2017, in Skarðsheiði

This session will present the concept of the AFI’s systems perspective and approach. This will be illustrated through two science highlights and a presentation on stakeholder contributions. There will be an interactive discussion with participants of the Arctic Circle Assembly, representing diverse communities drawn from science, policy, business, and civil society.   


  • Lassi Heininen, University of Lapland and IIASA, “Stakeholders contributions for Arctic policy shaping and making”

Northern Sea Route and its impact on global trade

16:00-17:30 Saturday 14 October 2017, in Ríma A

About 80% of global trade relies on the maritime transport. Once the Northern Sea Route (NSR) becomes a viable transportation corridor to connect Europe and Asia, it may significantly re-shape the existing trade flows, which will also eventually have an impact on the political layout worldwide. To become operational on a large scale, the NSR requires massive investments, which may come from emerging Asian economies. This session will present and discusses a research project aimed at investigating the effects of an enhanced NSR onto the global trade under market, geo-political and climate uncertainty. The project intends to analyze plausible pathways, identify winners and losers, and suggest scenarios maximizing the benefits for as many interested parties as possible. 


  • Elena Rovenskaya, Advanced Systems Analysis Program, IIASA, “Northern Sea Route -  A Game Changer for Global Trade?”
  • Lawson W. Brigham, Distinguished Faculty, University of Alaska Fairbanks, “The NSR: Gateway to Global Markets”
  • Dmitry Yumashev, Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business of the Lancaster University, and Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, University of Cambridge, “Towards a Balanced View of Arctic Shipping: Estimating Economic Impacts of Emissions from Increased Traffic on the Northern Sea Route”
  • Natsuhiko Otsuka, Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University, “Possibility and issues of liner shipping via the Northern Sea Route”

Toward a holistic bio-socio-economic pan-Arctic fisheries assessment

17:30 -19:00 Saturday 14 October 2017, in Akrafjall

Many of the world’s largest fisheries border the Arctic Ocean in the Barents Sea, the Nordic Seas, and the Bering Sea. With the anticipated warming of the Arctic region, many commercially important fish and shellfish species are predicted to become established and global climate change will influence their productivity. Understanding and managing Arctic fisheries thus requires highly integrated approaches spanning across (A) multiple biological processes, (B) multiple societal objectives, (C) multiple stakeholder interests, and (D) multiple sectors and regions. This session will highlight how these challenges to contemporary fisheries science can be tackled. 


  • Mikko Heino, Professor, University of Bergen, “Ecology and evolution of sustainable exploitation of fish stocks”
  • Ulf Dieckmann, Evolution and Ecology Program, IIASA, “Reconciling societal objectives and stakeholder interests in integrated fisheries assessments” 
  • Rachel Tiller, Research Scientist, SINTEF, “Reducing uncertainty in climate-change scenario development through transdisciplinary integration of qualitative stakeholder data in decision-support systems” 
  • Petr Havlík, Ecosystem Services and Management Program, IIASA, “An integrated economic model of global fisheries, aquaculture, and agriculture” 

Photos from the Arctic Circle

17.10 IIASA at the Arctic Circle

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Last edited: 26 June 2019

Arctic Circle Assembly 2017

IIASA AFI Brochure

A systems perspective on plausible futures of 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