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Youth in the Arctic: A Discussion Connecting the Leaders of Tomorrow and Today

Youth in the Arctic: A Discussion Connecting the Leaders of Tomorrow and Today

31 October 2014
At the second annual Arctic Circle Assembly, youth and indigenous voices shared their concerns over and priorities for development, climate change, and social challenges in arctic regions.

The Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ACCEL), Barents Regional Youth Council, Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network (ELEEP), Reykjavik University, and Youth Arctic Coalition convened a workshop as well as a question and answer session with Admiral Robert J. Papp, U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic and the top U.S. Government Arctic official. The session took place at the 2014 Arctic Circle Assembly on 31 October 2014. A video of the event is available online.

As the leaders of tomorrow, today's Arctic youth will face the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly developing Arctic region, ranging from economic development, geopolitical pressure, and energy extraction to environmental protection, health, food security, education, and employment. The Youth in the Arctic breakout session created a space for young leaders to discuss these issues, determine priorities for their generation, and engage the leadership of today directly with their thoughts and questions.

The event featured a question and answer session with the recently nominated Admiral Robert J. Papp, as well as roundtable discussions emerging regional issues. The United States will take on a greater leadership role in the Arctic Council, as it steps into its 2015-2017 chairship of the intergovernmental forum on arctic topics that range from environmental protection to development.

The event was moderated by Dr. Edvard Glücksman, a member of the ELEEP Network and co-founder of the ACCEL Fellowship. The ACCEL Fellowship aims to train the next generation of Arctic ambassadors. Two co-organizers of the "Youth in the Arctic" event were the first class of ACCEL Fellows, Eleanora Milazzo and Dayanita Ramesh, who developed dynamic informational and outreach content on the arctic during their time in the ACCEL Fellowship, which was compiled into an "Arctic 101" series.

In addition to the Ecologic Institute and the Atlantic Council, the ACCEL Fellows and the ELEEP network partnered with young leaders from the Barents Regional Youth Council, Reykjavik University, and the Youth Arctic Coalition to host the session. These young leaders joined the ACCEL Fellows in leading roundtable discussions on the aforementioned emerging arctic issues.

ELEEP is a transatlantic joint venture between the Atlantic Council and the Ecologic Institute. Founded in 2011, ELEEP is funded by the European Union, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Allianz Foundation for North America.

Ecologic Institute US (EIUS), United States
Atlantic Council (ACUS), United States
Dr. Edvard Glücksman , Associate Research Fellow , Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
Admiral Robert J. Papp , U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic , United States Department of State
Dayanita Ramesh , ACCEL Fellow
Daniel Bennet , Atlantic Council of United States
31 October 2014
Reykjavik, Iceland
Number of Participants
Project ID
410, 2225
youth, oceans, resource extraction, conservation, development, climate change, discussion, chairing, arctic