The North Atlantic Forum activities aim to support the sharing of information across its membership. The NAF Network connects its members to facilitate the exchange of solutions, best practises and other relevant information to help build strong, sustainable Northern and coastal communities.
The North Atlantic Forum Conference
The NAF biennial conference provides the main networking event and focal point of communication for NAF network. The conference has been hosted in various North Atlantic regions and is usually held early to mid Fall. The event features a combination of presentations on new and on-going research as well as regional development practices and is filled with discussion by academics, practitioners and policy makers. In addition, the conference program, developed by a local planning committee includes a number of community tours. These tours provide an opportunity to explore how communities and regions advance solutions to address local issues.
The Network held its inaugural conference in 1998 and continues to hold events within the North Atlantic region. Below is a historical listing of previous NAF conferences:
2024 – Connemara, Ireland – Sustainable Livelihoods: Regenerating Integrated Development through Innovative Communities. Held in partnership with Connemara West, Teagacs, and the Atlantic Technological University.
2019 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada – Sustainable Communities. Held in partnership with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and Memorial University. Details from the 2019 conference can be found at https://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/crrf/index.
2017 – Bø, Norway
2015 – Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada – Building Resilient Communities: Innovation, Culture and Governance in Place – Held in partnership with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and the Institute of Island Studies, University of PEI
2013 – Hólar, Iceland – Rural Tourism: Challenges in Changing Times – Held in partnership with Rural Tourism Department of Holar University College
2011 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada – Culture, Place and Identity at the Heart of Regional Development – Held in partnership with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, the Small Islands Cultural Research Initiative and Memorial University
2009 – Bornholm, Denmark. Bridging Regional Divides: New Forms of Rural and Urban Interaction in the North – Held in partnership with the Centre for Regional and Tourism Research, Bornholm
2007 – Shetland Islands – Energy from the Edge: Opportunities for Cooperation Around the North Atlantic Rim – Held in partnership with the Shetland Islands Council, North Atlantic Cooperation, and the International Society for the Study of Marginal Regions
2006, Lanse au Clair, Labrador, Canada – Creative Solutions for Coastal Communities – Held in partnership with North Atlantic Cooperation, Harris Centre, Memorial University and SmartLabrador Inc.
2004, Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada – Big Lessons from Small Places: Governance in Rural North America and the North Atlantic Rim – Held in partnership with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, the Island Studies Program, the Twillingate-New World Island Development Association and the Twillingate Island Tourism Association
2002 – Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada – The Warp, the Woof and the Fabric: Interweaving Culture, Politics and Economy in Small Islands – Held in partnership with Community Economic Development Institute, University College of Cape Breton, and artsCape Breton
2000 – Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada – Opportunity and Action in a Knowledge-Driven Economy: New Lessons from the Edge – Held in partnership with Memorial University of Newfoundland and the College of the North Atlantic
1998 – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada – inaugural North Atlantic Forum, celebrating the end of the first phase of the North Atlantic Islands Programme. Hosted by the Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island
The first phase of the North Atlantic Island Programme came to an end with the inaugural North Atlantic Forum, held in Charlottetown from September 17-19, 1998. The conference focus was on North Atlantic Islands with sessions on “The Power of Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction as a Resource in North Atlantic Islands,” “Present Prospects, Strategic Options for North Atlantic Islands,” Report on Public Engagement Programme, and “The Way Ahead”, with a decision to hold a North Atlantic Forum on a regular basis