MUN Impact is an exciting young organisation dedicated to using Model United Nations simulations to inspire secondary-school pupils to learn about sustainable development, and to take real action to promote it within their own communities and countries. My own Model Arctic Council (MAC) programmes, such as NORMAC, always deal very deeply with questions of sustainable development, and it was a wonderful opportunity to introduce them to pupils from around the world who take such questions seriously.
Apart from introducing my MAC programmes, the main thrust of my presentation followed the form of a couple of lectures I’ve given recently on the ‘moral geography of the Arctic’, with some tweaks for pupils interested in sustainable development issues. I argue that we must think of the Arctic first and foremost as a homeland for the people who live there, lest we make poor decisions about it based on our own ideas of an empty wilderness or a global resource frontier.
MUN Impact’s Global Summit was originally meant to be held in Bilbao, Spain, where I have the privilege of running one of my secondary-school MAC programmes, MAC Bilbao. However, it was shifted online due to Covid-19. It was sad not to be able to travel back to Bilbao, but I’m grateful to Nicola Dignum and Lisa Martin from MUN Impact for the invitation to speak, and for their efforts to move the summit online.