2021 CONFERENCE

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THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ARCTIC: A REGION IN PERIL

February 20 – 21, 2021

The 2021 Camden Conference will explore the Arctic, one of the world’s least-known regions. The Arctic already is undergoing dramatic, irreversible changes traceable to global warming, and as these changes impact the pace of climate change, they forewarn of the challenges ahead for human, animal and plant habitats in this and other regions.

We will examine how this transformation of the Arctic is creating a new arena for global power and competition. With the retreating ice mass will come new opportunities to pursue exploration and extraction of vast resources. Will there be unregulated competition, or cooperation among governments and industries? What kinds of security challenges will come with ice-free borders? The territories of eight nations extend into the Arctic, but others —especially China— will assert rights of access and passage. Open waters will make shipping between Pacific and Atlantic ports much cheaper. What could all this mean for Maine with its accessible northern ports, maritime industry, and vulnerable location on a rising ocean?

Please plan to join us on this voyage into the future of global affairs in the Arctic and our planet.

2021 Conference Poster

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SPEAKERS

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson headshot (1)

Keynote Speaker

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson served as President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; he was elected five times in nationwide elections. Previously, he was Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland.

He now serves as Chairman of the Arctic Circle, which he founded in 2013 with various Arctic partners. The Arctic Circle Assembly held in Iceland every October has become the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 60 countries. The Arctic Circle also organizes specialized Forums in other countries; so far, in Asia, Europe, and North America.

For decades, President Grímsson has been an active participant in the global climate dialogue and during his Presidency and in recent years initiated and promoted clean energy projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States and the Americas, especially using Icelandic achievements and technologies as a model. Cooperation with Sinopec has led to the largest geothermal projects in the world, building clean energy urban heating systems in a multitude of Chinese cities. He was the Chairman of a commission established by IRENA on the new geopolitics emerging from global renewable energy transformation. President Grímsson served on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All, created by the United Nations and the World Bank.

In addition to devoting his postpresidential efforts to the three areas of climate, the Arctic and clean energy, President Grímsson is also involved in international cooperation on the oceans and the evolution of sustainable use of marine resources. He has received many international awards, including the Nehru Award for International Understanding, presented to him by the President of India.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson served as President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; he was elected five times in nationwide elections. Previously, he was Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland.

He now serves as Chairman of the Arctic Circle, which he founded in 2013 with various Arctic partners. The Arctic Circle Assembly held in Iceland every October has become the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 60 countries. The Arctic Circle also organizes specialized Forums in other countries; so far, in Asia, Europe, and North America.

For decades, President Grímsson has been an active participant in the global climate dialogue and during his Presidency and in recent years initiated and promoted clean energy projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States and the Americas, especially using Icelandic achievements and technologies as a model. Cooperation with Sinopec has led to the largest geothermal projects in the world, building clean energy urban heating systems in a multitude of Chinese cities. He was the Chairman of a commission established by IRENA on the new geopolitics emerging from global renewable energy transformation. President Grímsson served on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All, created by the United Nations and the World Bank.

In addition to devoting his postpresidential efforts to the three areas of climate, the Arctic and clean energy, President Grímsson is also involved in international cooperation on the oceans and the evolution of sustainable use of marine resources. He has received many international awards, including the Nehru Award for International Understanding, presented to him by the President of India.

Moderator

David Brancaccio

David Brancaccio is host and senior editor of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report. He anchored the award-winning public television news program NOW on PBS until 2010. His reporting has focused on the future of the economy, regulation of financial markets, the role of technology in labor markets, human rights, the environment, and social enterprises.

 

David’s work has earned some of the highest honors in broadcast journalism, including the Peabody, the Columbia-duPont, the Emmy, and the Walter Cronkite awards. His feature-length documentary film about economic alternatives entitled Fixing the Future was released in theaters nationwide in 2012 and is now available from Netflix, iTunes, and on-demand cable television.

 

He is author of a book about Americans applying their personal values to their money, entitled Squandering Aimlessly. David has a BA from Wesleyan
University and an MA in journalism from Stanford University. He is married to Mary Brancaccio, a poet and educator. He grew up in Waterville, Maine and also attended schools in Madagascar, Ghana, and Italy. His enjoys public speaking, moderating, bicycling and photography.

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AGENDA

THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Saturday February 20, 2021

Saturday Morning: 9:30AM – 12:15AM (EST)

  • Olafur Ragnar Grimsson
  • Paul Mayewski
  • Frances Ulmer
  • Vidar Helgesen
  • Gail Whiteman

Saturday Afternoon: 1:15PM – 2:30PM (EST)

  • Michael Bravo
  • Gunn-Britt Retter
  • Sara Olsvig

Sunday February 21, 2021

Sunday Morning: 9:30AM – 12PM (EST)

  • Thomas Nilsen
  • Sergei Medvedev
  • David Balton
  • Panel Discussion with all Speakers

UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

 

Jan 11

Belfast Senior College to offer course on our changing climate

January 11, 2021 @ 9:30 am11:00 am EST

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EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Camden Conference invites teachers and students to attend the 34th annual Camden Conference, THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE ARCTIC: A REGION IN PERIL, February 20 – 21, 2021 in Camden, Maine.

The 2021 Conference will be presented online. Please check back for information regarding student access to the Conference.

The Camden Conference is approved for 1.5 Continuing Education Units for teachers!

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2020 College/University Essay Contest winners HERE

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