Model Arctic Council for sustainable development

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I argue that Model Arctic Council (MAC) has a role to play in Arctic sustainable development. Like the better-known Model United Nations (MUN), MAC is a form of simulation pedagogy, an experiential learning process in which secondary-school pupils or university students comprehend the nature and importance of complex issues such as sustainable development by imagining themselves as diplomats trying to negotiate a common approach to them. After demonstrating the educational value of diplomatic simulations in general, I introduce MUN as its most popular form, and I assess a case-study of a global MUN program designed to advance knowledge and action among youth in respect of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This case-study, taken together with the structure, subject-matter and educational value of MAC itself, strongly suggests that MAC can be used to advance knowledge and action among both Arctic and non-Arctic youth in respect of Arctic sustainable development, including understanding how the notion of sustainable development is both contested in general and contextualized in the Arctic. Combining this analysis with professional experience, I offer practical recommendations to educators about the effective design and use of MAC and other simulation pedagogies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-61
Number of pages21
JournalPolar Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2023


  • Arctic Council
  • experiential learning
  • Model Arctic Council
  • Model United Nations
  • simulation pedagogy
  • sustainable development

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