Former President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, will be the 2021 Camden Conference keynote speaker.

The speakers for the 2021 Conference, The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril, will examine how this transformation of the Arctic is creating a new arena for global power competition. With the retreating ice mass will come new opportunities to pursue exploration and extraction of vast resources. Will there be unregulated competition, or cooperation, among governments and industries? What kinds of security challenges will come with ice-free borders? The territories of eight nations extend into the Arctic, but others —especially China— will assert rights of access and passage. Open waters will make shipping between Pacific,  Atlantic, and European ports much less expensive, shortening some sea routes by thousands of miles. What could all this mean for Maine with its accessible northern ports, maritime industry, and vulnerable location on a rising ocean?

Grímsson has been outspoken on the issues of renewable energy and global climate change. He initiated a Global Roundtable on Climate Change with the participation of a large group of companies and individual opinion leaders. He strongly advocates the use of geothermal energy, which is renewable, economically viable and reliable resource, as proven convincingly by the case of Iceland.

Grímsson currently serves as the Chairman of the Arctic Circle, an organization to facilitate dialogue among political and business leaders, environmental experts, scientists, indigenous representatives, and other international stakeholders to address issues facing the Arctic as a result of climate change and melting sea ice.

The 2021 Conference producer is Jim Ruddy. The event, and the moderator, will be based at the Camden Opera House. The speakers will appear via video from their offices or other sites around the world. The tech crew in Camden will integrate the video and audio from the various locations into the live feed from Camden, resulting in a viewing experience similar to watching the Livestream at one of the satellite venues. As always, the audience will be able to ask questions of the speakers, this year through email.  Technical assistance to access the event will also be available throughout the event.

For more information, please visit www.camdenconference.org or call 207-236-1034.