Conferences and workshops

June 2018

Polar 2018

Date: 15th - 26th June 2018
Location:  Davos, Switzerland

Side Event: EU-PolarNet - European Key Research Priorities for Both Poles

Date: 19th June 2018, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Location: Room Sanada II, Davos, Switzerland

EU-PolarNet, a Horizon2020 funded Coordination and Support Action, is tasked with the objective to – for the first time ever – develop an Integrated European Polar Research Programme that is co-designed with relevant polar stakeholders and international partners. This session will present one important step towards this overall project goal: A set of polar white papers, which are the result of a five-day EU-PolarNet workshop that took place end of September 2017. The workshop brought together 50 internationally renowned polar experts, ranging from senior and early career researchers, representatives from indigenous peoples, industry, policy and NGOs. Jointly this transdisciplinary group identified areas of high societal relevance, where future research can contribute to economic, social and environmental benefits for a wide range of stakeholders. The output is a set of white papers, which are providing a state of the art for a range of polar issues, prioritize specific challenges and outline possible approaches in addressing these. Policy makers and funding agencies, including the European Commission, belong to the main receivers of these white papers.

For more information about the conference visit the Polar2018 website.

Presentation: Co-designing a European Research Programme and the lessons learned along the way

Session: SH-6b Connecting Polar Research Across Boundaries
: 21st June 2018, 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Location: Room A Sertig, Davos, Switzerland

The EU-PolarNet consortium has been tasked by the European Commission to develop an integrated European polar research programme, which is co-designed with the European science community, international partners and relevant polar stakeholders. Well into its fourth year and with one and a half years left to deliver the programme, the consortium can look back on many boundaries it has bridged - to various level of success. This presentation aims at illustrating how the members of EU-PolarNet have navigated the challenges of "transdisciplinarily" identifying polar issues that are of high interest to the European society, and where the outcomes of future research could have social, economic and environmental benefits. It will give insight to how the consortium has successfully managed to get social and natural scientists to cooperate; to its efforts of meaningfully involve stakeholders from indigenous communities, industry and national administrations; and to its objective to provide European policy makers with relevant information on the changes affecting both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Within this framework, different engagement strategies will be presented, which have led to a steep learning curve within the project and which provide valuable lessons learned for researchers seeking to connect polar research across boundaries, including online consultations, European policy briefings and a transdisciplinary polar white paper workshop.

September 2018

UArctic Congress 2018

Date: 3rd - 7th September 2018
Location: Oulu and Helsinki, Finland

Held in Finland, the UArctic Congress 2018 will bring together key UArctic meetings and a science conference into one single gathering, including business meetings of the Council of UArctic, Rectors’ Forum, Student Forum, and Thematic Networks & UArctic Institutes Leadership Team.

The Congress is an integral part of the Finland’s Arctic Council chairmanship program, and open to the public. The event will highlight the themes and priorities of the Finnish chairmanship, including the goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

To find out more have a look at the UArctic Congress 2018 save the date flyer.


Session: The UN Sustainable Development Goals: A signpost for societal relevant polar research?

Date and Time: 5 September 2018, 10:30-12:00
Location: University of Oulu

In its integrated European Union policy for the Arctic the European Commission and the High Representative emphasized that the EU's actions in the Arctic should contribute to implementing the Agenda 2030 and be in line with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs should thus be regarded as one important aspect guiding future polar research projects. This session will demonstrate how the SDGs became an integral part of five transdisciplinary polar white papers. During an international workshop, organised by the Horizon2020 funded Coordination and Support Action EU-PolarNet, the SDGs emerged as one signpost for identifying key areas for future societal relevant polar research. The workshop brought together 50 renowned polar experts, ranging from senior and early career researchers, representatives from indigenous peoples, industry, policy and NGOs. Jointly they identified areas of high societal relevance, where future research can contribute to economic, social and environmental benefits for a wide range of stakeholders. Within these priority areas, the SDGs appeared as a reoccurring element transcending the resulting five white papers. However, it also became apparent that the SDGs are not well adapted for the Polar Regions and there is an urgent need to develop a suite of polar indicators. Besides displaying how future transdisciplinary polar research projects can address the SDGs, this session therefore also aims at fostering an active discussion on how the goals can be adjusted for a polar context.


  • Peter Sköld, Professor at Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University (Chair)
  • Eeva Furman, Director of the Environment Policy Centre, Finnish Environment Institute and Chair of Finland's Sustainable Development Expert Panel (tbc)
  • Gunn-Britt Retter, Head of the Arctic and Environment Unit, Saami Council
  • Malgorzata Smieszek, PhD candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland Fellow, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)
  • Philippus Wester, Regional Programme Manager Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN), Coordinator Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP), ICIMOD


Session: Connecting polar research, policy and stakeholders across scales - examples from Europe and beyond

Date and Time: 6 September 2018, 10:00-11:30
Location: University of Oulu

This session aims to discuss different regional and international initiatives to improve connections and understanding between Arctic researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders. In doing so, we will promote collaborative opportunities in global polar networks for all stakeholders.

While orientated on European organizations and projects, presentations highlighting successes and lessons learnt from other regions, and national-level bi- and multilateral agreements, are welcome.

To bring a perspective from the southern pole, examples of Antarctic mechanisms for connecting research and policy-making will be highlighted.

EU-PolarNet Second Policy Briefing

Date and time: 26th September 2018, 15:00-17:30
Location:  European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium