Model Arctic Council, University of Lapland (2018)

Rovaniemi, Finland 

October 29 - November 2, 2018

Theme of the MAC 2018:
"Offshore Oil & Gas Drilling on the Shelves of Arctic Waters"   

Participants will be simulating the work of three of the Arctic Council's working groups: CAFF, EPPR and SDWG, as well as that of the AC’s Senior Arctic Officials and Ministers. Participants will receive their assigned roles and readings in the coming weeks.


Time and place: The MAC 2018 will take place in October 29 – November 2, 2018, as the Sustainable
Development Working Group is meeting in October 29-30, 2018, and Senior Arctic Officials
(SAOs) and Working Groups’ representatives of the Arctic Council are meeting in October
31 – November 2, 2018, both in Rovaniemi, Finland. The program will end by 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2. Participants should book their flights from Rovaniemi for later that afternoon/evening.

The Model Arctic Council (MAC) is an experiential learning exercise, in which graduate and advanced
undergraduate students from different disciplines and universities all over the Arctic
region come together to simulate the work of the Arctic Council. The Council is the primary forum
for international cooperation and environmental protection in the Arctic; its working
groups contribute to knowledge creation on the Arctic and its fragile ecosystem.
The MAC will engage graduate and advanced undergraduate students from universities in the
Arctic states, and possibly from some Arctic Council observer countries, to simulate the work
and processes of the Arctic Council and its working groups. In the simulation each student will
represent her/his assigned Arctic Council role – representing either one of the Member States, or
Permanent Participants or Observer countries – together with 1-2 other students as a delegation.

Aim: The main objective is to simulate an international negotiation situation on fundamental
issues current and relevant for the Arctic region and its inhabitants, so students learn about
both the pressing issues the Arctic faces and about the Arctic Council itself. Secondly, participants
of the simulation will develop an understanding of the interplay between science, politics,
and economics by implementation and practice. Finally, they will be better prepared to assume
and adopt decision-making processes, and to exercise and undergo training in leadership and diplomacy
skills (for possible leadership roles in the Arctic). All this requires practice in active listening,
public speaking and training of oral skills.

Preparation: All students are expected to prepare in advance to fulfill their roles in the simulation.
Students will do so independently by examining the basic documents of the Arctic Council
and its working groups (e.g., Declarations of ministerial meetings; Vision for the Arctic 2013),
and through courses and extra-curricular programs at their universities. Applicants will be asked
to state their top three role preferences from among the member states, the permanent participants
and the observer countries of the Arctic Council. The final roles will be assigned, however,
by program organizers (in order to avoid double roles in the simulation). After receiving their
assignments for the MAC 2018, each participant must carefully examine the policies, strategies,
agendas and statements of her/his actor in the simulation.

Funding: All conference-related costs (while students are in Rovaniemi, Finland) will be covered
by the host institutions. This includes accommodation (based on double occupancy), local transportation,
daily lunches and coffee/tea. Students are responsible for obtaining funding to cover
the cost of their transportation to/from Rovaniemi. We encourage applicants to seek funding
for transportation by contacting their universities´ administrations or countries´ ministries of
foreign affairs, or organizations/institutions working on the Arctic/Arctic affairs.

Partners: The following academic institutions, all members of the University of the Arctic, aim/
plan, so far, to recruit students to participate in the October 2018 event in Finland: Laval University
and Trent University from Canada; University of Greenland; Universities of Helsinki and Lapland
from Finland; University of Akureyri from Iceland; UiT – The Arctic University of
Norway and Bodö University from Norway; Northern Arctic Federal University, North-Eastern
Federal University, Petrozavodsk State University and St. Petersburg State University from Russia;
Umeå University from Sweden; Dartmouth College, Boston University, United States Coast
Guard Academy, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Southern California, and University
of Washington from the USA.

Hosts: The Model Arctic Council 2018 will be hosted by the University of Lapland, and led by
Professor Lassi Heininen. It will be organized with the cooperation and financial
support of the Foreign Ministry of Finland, as one of the activities of the Finnish Chairmanship
of the Arctic Council 2017-2019. Moreover, the event will be a collaborative effort
with the Model Arctic Council Thematic Network, a continuing program organized of the University
of the Arctic and led by Professors Mary Ehrlander and Brandon Boylan at the University
of Alaska, Fairbanks.

More information: For more detailed information please contact Prof. Lassi Heininen
(, University of Lapland; or Prof. Mary Ehrlander ( 
or Assoc. Prof. Brandon Boylan (, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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