Day two of the SOI Alumni Delegation to Arctic Circle brought the team to the official first day of the Assembly. Jam packed with workshops, networking opportunities and receptions, this was a big day of learning, thinking critically, and engaging fully.
With over 2000 attendees, 700 speakers and 150 sessions to attend, these delegates’ heads and hearts will be filled with so much new knowledge as well as many new stories and perspectives by the end of the three days. Let’s dive in!
Day two kicked off bright and early with a Canadian Welcome Briefing hosted by Bob Paquin, Head of the Canadian International Arctic Centre at Global Affairs Canada, Senior Arctic Official Alison LeClaire, and Canadian Ambassador to Iceland Anne-Tamara Lorre. This presented delegates an opportunity to better understand Canada’s presence at this Assembly.
Following the Canadian gathering, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson Chair and Founder of the Arctic Circle – and longtime friend of SOI – started off the Opening Plenary Session with a warm welcome to all attendees. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland and Taro Kono, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan shared words about the importance of engaging in Arctic dialogues and the need for action today.
For the rest of the day the delegation split up to attend sessions and workshops of their own interest, setting daily learning goals and building their own learning journey along the way. Some highlights included Arctic Fisheries and the Circular Economy; Lighting Talks From the Winners of the Mon Project Nordique/My Northern Project Competition; and ‘Turning the Plastic Tide’ – Using Science and Innovation to Fight Marine Pollution.
Over lunch delegates met up with Ari Trausti, author, parliamentarian, geologist and SOI alum, who invited question after question from delegates about sustainable energy practices, government structures, and the relationship between carbon neutrality and tourism in Iceland.
The Delegation also gratefully joined in the opening of the Cerny Art Exhibit, which included a number of carvings from Inuit Nunangat.
After some afternoon and evening sessions, the delegation enjoyed a dinner with SOI Founder & President, Geoff Green, and other alumni who were attending the conference. To wrap up the day everyone headed to the final receptions of the Assembly day which included Celebrating Greenlandic Cultural Heritage and the Arctic Youth Network!
Thank you to Polar Knowledge Canada for the generous support of this delegation.