2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council, a momentous occasion that provides an opportunity for reflection but also planning for future success. AFS 2016 will highlight the achievements of the Arctic Council in its 20-year history, and encourage constructive conversations about the work still to be done to advance environmental protection and sustainable development.

AFS 2016 also recognizes that the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council will be coming to a close, and that Finland will move into this role in May 2017. Thus, this year’s forum will advance sustainable development topics that have been cultivated by the U.S. and will be further advanced by Finland. To this end, sessions will focus on:

  • Arctic Innovation & Sustainability – Leveraging Success and Best Practices
  • Supporting Sustainable Development in Remote Communities
  • Local Government Capacity and Resiliency
  • Reconciling Tradition, Culture and Modernity
  • Regional Economic Development Initiatives

The theme of “Sustainable Communities” emphasizes a long-term goal that Arctic states and the international community have to work toward. The AFS 2016 will articulate a framework for approaching this that can build off best practices, innovative solutions, the application of emerging technologies and capacity building efforts within local organizations, governments and processes. Speakers and attendees will contribute to this vision and the practical application of tried, true and new ideas.

Expressions of interest to sponsor, speak at or attend the 2016 Arctic Futures Symposium should be directed to Nils Andreassen at nandreassen@institutenorth.org.

More information and resources from past Symposia can be found at www.arcticfutures.org, where logistics and programme details will also be located.

The Arctic Futures Symposium is organised annually by the International Polar Foundation to raise public awareness of important developments in the Arctic region. 2016 features collaboration with the Institute of the North in the development of the programme, speaker selection and partner support.​