GAMMA to sponsor the Arctic Circle for five years

24.10.2017 Philanthropy

The Arctic Circle is the world's largest conference on the
economic framework and the sustainable development of the Arctic.

GAMMA Capital Management will sponsor the Arctic Circle for the next five years. The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic, founded in Iceland in 2013 at the initiative of the then President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, now Chairman of the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is now an annual event.

In addition to participating in Arctic Circle assemblies and other meetings and conferences organized by the Arctic Circle, GAMMA will become a member of a special partnership within the Arctic Circle, known as Icelandic Strategic Partners.

Strong female leaders prominent during this years' assembly

Female leaders were prominent at the assembly this year, held in October. Among them were Lisa Murkowski, US Senator from Alaska and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, Ségolène Royal, former Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy in France and current Ambassador for the Arctic and Antarctic Poles, Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of the Emerson Collective and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Among other keynote speakers were Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Iceland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, who addressed business opportunities in the Northern region and Kai Mykkänen, Finland's Minister for Foreign Trade, who discussed Finland's role in the Northern challenges. In cooperation with the World Council of Churches and the National Church of Iceland, the Arctic Circle invited His All-Holiness Bartholomew I of Constantinople to this year's assembly. Bartholomew I is the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. For years Bartholomew I has advocated environmental issues, putting the support of the Patriarchate behind various international environmental causes. He has also been honoured with the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by the United States Congress. He, along with other church leaders, participated in the conference program this year and delivered a plenary keynote address titled Just Peace With Earth.

The Arctic Circle Assembly has grown steadily in recent years and attracted the attention of those who have interest in the affairs of the Arctic. Last year, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, was a special guest and a keynote speaker. In 2015, François Hollande, then President of France, was a special honorary guest discussing the importance of the Arctic as an arena for international climate action leading up to the COP21 Paris Climate Conference. In 2014, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC discussed the importance of the Arctic in international climate diplomacy.

The importance of infrastructure in relation to Arctic issues

Infrastructure investment is closely related to the affairs of the Arctic region. In the autumn of 2016, GAMMA issued a comprehensive report on infrastructure investment in Iceland. The report reviews the state of the economy, the main models of infrastructure investment and future projects aiming to strengthen infrastructure in Iceland. The report also addressed the need for investment, both the investment of large funds in infrastructure projects as well as funding through a partnership of the government and private investors.

Over two thousand people attended

The Arctic Circle assembly is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe. It is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization. The assembly was attended by more than 2,000 participants from 50 countries.

In addition to the annual assemblies in Iceland, the Arctic Circle organizes Forums on specific areas of Arctic cooperation. Forums held in Alaska and Singapore in 2015 were devoted to shipping and ports, Asian involvement in the Arctic and maritime issues. Forums held in 2016 in Nuuk, Greenland, and Québec City in Canada focused on economic development for the people of the Arctic and the sustainable development of northern regions. Earlier this year a forum was held in Washington, DC on the United States and Russia in the Arctic. Finally, a forum will be held in Edinburgh in Scotland in November this year.


Gísli Hauksson, group CEO of GAMMA and Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, chairman of Arctic Circle.

Arctic_hopmyndDagfinnur Sveinbjörnsson, CEO of Arctic Circle, Gísli Hauksson Group CEO of GAMMA, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, chairman of Arctic Circle, and Valdimar Ármann, CEO of GAMMA in Iceland.