Camden Conference > 2021 Conference Speakers

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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.

JOIN US FOR THE 34TH ANNUAL CAMDEN CONFERENCE

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