Conferences and workshops

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


October 2016

Arctic Circle 2018

Dates: 18th - 21st October 2018
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Breakout Sessions

Research for societal benefit: Where polar research can make a difference

Where can future research contribute to economic, social and environmental benefits? Which polar issues are of high interest to the European society? What are possible approaches to address and prioritize pressing polar issues? EU-PolarNet brought together 50 internationally renowned polar experts, ranging from senior to early career researchers, from representatives from indigenous peoples to business representatives and policy makers for a five-day workshop in order to find some answers to these questions. Based on their area of expertise and their review of more than 500 replies to EU-PolarNet's public online survey, the group identified a handful of topics with the potential for impactful future research. The result is a set of five polar white papers, which mark an important milestone towards the integrated European Polar Research Programme, which EU-PolarNet will develop until 2020. This breakout session will give an overview of the five white papers, the suggested research areas and their potential for social, economic and environmental benefits. Furthermore, the session aims at fostering discussions on future priorities for European polar research and at showcasing how a transdisciplinary group of polar experts jointly identified polar topics of high societal relevance.


And action! Moving beyond benevolent rhetoric in stakeholder engagement

Session co-convened with Framsentret

Stakeholder engagement has become a buzzword and a necessity that polar research cannot elude any longer. Yet, despite best intentions, stakeholder engagement often proves to be (too) challenging - risking frustration and fatigue amongst all involved actors. This breakout session aims at bringing together Arctic actors - scientists, local and indigenous peoples, business representatives, policy makers, as well as representatives from nongovernmental organisations, international organisations and civil society - to move from best intentions to ways of cooperation that are beneficial to all people involved.

The floor will be given to five representatives from different stake- and rights holders, offering them the opportunity to share their ideas on meaningful engagement in Arctic projects. These insights will fuel the subsequent discussions, involving all session participants. In breakout groups led by the stakeholder representatives, participants will be challenged to think beyond familiar engagement patterns. The results of these discussions will then be reported back to the entire group, generating a pool of ideas for real action.