President Olafur Ragnar Grimmson attends a side-event (Photo: Scarpa Federica) President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, has welcomed today more than 1900 attendees from about 50 different nationalities to the third edition of the "Arctic Circle", the annual Arctic-event held in October at the Harpa Conference Center and Conference Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland. 

The President described the Arctic Circle Assembly as "the largest annual international gathering on matters regarding the Arctic"; a place for an open and democratic dialogue among and for political leaders, experts, representatives of states, of the business sector, politicians, activists, indigenous peoples, scientists, academics and students, and many others. Indeed, during the past 2 years the Arctic Circle succeded in giving the world a unique platform to exchange ideas and vision regarding the Northernmost area of the Planet, the Arctic.  

According to many of the attendees interviewed, one of the key for this huge success—which has lasted for three years now and keeps on growing—is to be found in the good balance created among politics, science and possibilities of professional "networking". Indeed, the Arctic Circle assembly, as in the previous editions, acknowledges the key importance for the present and future of the Arctic that the attendees are given the possibility to increase and consolidate their professional networks. The program, which combines plenary and break-out sessions, also includes many "networking events": coffe breaks, dinners and shows. 

One of the more evident novelties of this year's edition is the establishment of parallel Arctic Circle Forum: the first was held in Alaska on August 23-25, 2015, the second to be held in Singapore on November 12th, and the third to be held in Nuuk next May 2016.

The program today includes country sessions from China, Germany, Greenland and Japan, while president François Hollande will give a key-note speech tonight at 18:15. 

Read the President' speech here.