The purpose of MatchPoints 2015

The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for policy-makers and academics to deliberate on how the security, resilience and sustainability of the globalized Arctic region and its peoples may be enhanced, and what instruments of governance may most suitably contribute. The conference will spell out (1) how the different relevant dimensions of security (military, economic, environmental, energy and human security) manifest themselves in the governing / governance arrangements in the Arctic; (2) how the challenges associated with each manifest themselves, individually and together; and  (3) what forms of governing arrangements can best help to address the challenges. The conference will also focus on (4) how the Nordic countries and nations, including Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Aaland Islands, may contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Arctic region through collaborative efforts based on their shared social, human, environmental and democratic values. 


A selection of speakers and panel debaters: Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Jensen, Danish Minister of Education and Science Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Arctic Ambassador Erik Vilstrup Lorentzen, Russian Arctic Ambassador Vladimir Barbin (to be confirmed), Prof. Michael Byers (University of British Columbia), Prof. John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago), Prof. Rob Huebert (University of Calgary), Prof. Alexander Sergunin (University of St. Petersburg), Prof. Lassi Heininen (University of Lapland), Research Coordinator Kristine Offerdal (Norwegian College of Defence Studies), Prof. Minik Rosing (University of Copenhagen), Prof. Stephane Roussel (École nationale d’administration publique, Montreal), Prof. Steven Miller (Harvard University), Senior Researcher Anders Mosbech (Aarhus University), Prof. Ellen Margrethe Basse, Prof. Søren Rysgaard (Aarhus University/Manitoba), Professor Øistein Noreng (BI Norwegian Business School), Assistant Prof. Cécile Pelaudeix (Aarhus University), Prof. Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen (University of Tromsø), Prof. Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (University of Tromsø), former foreign minister Uffe-Ellemann-Jensen, former foreign minister Holger K. Nielsen, former foreign minister Per Stig Møller, Rear Admiral and Commandant Nils Wang (Royal Danish Defence College), Senior Researcher Hans Mouritzen (DIIS), Journalist and Security Politics employee at DR Tage Baumann (DR), Foreign Editor Anna Libak (Berlinske Tidende), member of the Greenland Parliament (IA) Sara Olsvig, Assistant Prof. Jon Rahbek Clemmensen (University of Southern Denmark), Member of the Danish Parliament Rasmus Jarlov, John Erik Fossum (University of Oslo), Member of the Danish Parliament Sjurdur Skaale, Assistant Professor and Member of the Danish Parliament Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Professor Emer. Thorkild Kjærgaard (Greeland University), Junior Researcher Mikkel Runge Olsen (Danish Institute for International Studies).

A number of other distinguished speakers have been invited to contribute to the panels and workshops.

Prof. Michael Byers
Prof. John Mearsheimer
Prof. Robert Huebert
Photo: Peter Bondo, Arctic Research Centre


The Arctic region has risen on the global agenda during the last two decades. As the ice is thinning and shrinking, it is opening the Arctic for more activity – including the extraction of oil and gas, sea transportation, fishing, mining and energy intensive industries – but also challenging the military, environmental, social and human security of the Arctic region and its peoples.

Therefore it is important to examine the background and conditions for Arctic cooperation on matters of security and governance, including issues of sovereignty, self-determination and social, economic and environmental sustainability, and human security.   

The Nordic dimension

The conference will, among other things, focus on how the Nordic countries, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands, may contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Arctic region through collaborative efforts on issues of military, environmental and human security based on their shared social, human and democratic values.  

What motivates this agenda is the conviction that, by virtue of their legacy of environmental, social welfare and human rights policies and their geographical position, the Nordic countries and peoples have a unique potential to play a proactive role in the Arctic and the North Atlantic which will benefit the global community, the Arctic peoples and their own interests. Due to increased tensions and contradictions in international politics there is growing concern that the high stability of the Arctic region, which has greatly benefited the region, its states and its peoples, deteriorate.

Organizers and institutional partners 

The conference is organized by a number of Nordic universities and academic research academies. It is connected with the GlobalArctic project initiated by the Northern Research Forum devoted implementing an interplay between science and politics.  Among its institutional partners are also the Danish ministries of foreign affairs, defence and research, the Folketing and the Nordic Ministerial Council.  

What is MatchPoints Seminar?

The MatchPoints Seminar is an annual, international and interdisciplinary conference presenting high profile speakers and addressing subjects relevant to contemporary public debates.
Read more about the MatchPoints Seminar



Photo: Lars Holst Hansen/Aarhus University