05 October 2020
On Wednesday, 7 October 2020, the second Arctic Resilience Forum kicks off in its new virtual format. Originally planned as an onsite event on Iceland’s East coast, the forum has been redesigned to a webinar series that will put resilience on a weekly agenda until mid-December.

“The past few months have tested and tried our personal resilience as we all had to adapt quickly to a radical worldwide change. This impressive webinar series of ten sessions clearly demonstrates human adaptability,” says Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson, Chair of the Senior Arctic Official in his opening statement for the forum.

The pandemic serves, Ambassador Gunnarsson continues, to emphasize the unique strengths of Arctic communities – but it also sheds a light on existing vulnerabilities. The current health crisis, he underlines, therefore can be seen as an opportunity to continue and enhance efforts to improve resilience in the high North and beyond.

The Arctic Resilience Forum 2020 aims at leveraging the inclusive nature of virtual meetings and seeks to engage a broad audience in conversations about how to build the resilience of Arctic communities and ecosystems. It will set a focus on a variety of key topics, such as youth leadership, food security, renewable energy and gender.

“We recognize that none of these topics stand alone. Therefore, each session will also discuss interconnections between the different topics and emphasize the need to advance work in multiple areas at once in a coordinated manner in order to enhance the resilience of the circumpolar Arctic region”, states Stefán Skjaldarson, Chair of the Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group.

Watch Ambassador Gunnarsson's and Ambassador Skjaldarson's full addresses below.

An overview: The Arctic Resilience Forum 2020

The Arctic Resilience Forum 2020 is hosted by the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and co-organized by the Council’sSustainable Development Working Group and the Arctic Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The online series will be convened every Wednesday from 11:30am – 1:00pm (EST) beginning October 7, 2020. Each session will touch upon a unique aspect of resilience:

  • October 7: Indigenous Youth Leadership
  • October 14: Food Security
  • October 21: Renewable Energy
  • October 28: Human Health and Pandemics
  • November 11: Broadband Connectivity
  • November 18: Gender
  • November 25: Socio-Ecological Resilience
  • December 9: Infrastructure
  • December 16: Respecting Traditional Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Register here to get updates for the whole Arctic Resilience Forum series. Individual session pages will open up with registration for specific events approximately one week in advance. Russian language translation will be available for all session.