Last weekend saw the return of the Norwich Model Arctic Council (NORMAC) to Norwich School. NORMAC is organised by Polar Aspect, an Arctic consultancy founded by Dr Anthony Speca, who teaches Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the school.
NORMAC is the only stand-alone secondary school Model Arctic Council in the world today, and it is now in its fourth year. Delegates were drawn from both local and international schools, with representatives attending from CATS College Canterbury, Langley School, Norwich High School for Girls, Gresham’s School and Colegio Ayalde, a secondary school from Bilbao, Spain. Pupils from each school play the role of delegates from one of the eight Arctic States or six Arctic indigenous peoples’ organisations.
Each delegation was tasked with considering a range of issues, including meteorological cooperation in the Arctic, whaling in Arctic waters and growth of Arctic shipping. During the three-day event, delegates simulated a full cycle of Arctic Council meetings, including Working roups, Senior Arctic Officials’ meetings, and Ministerial meetings. NORMAC also showcased the city of Norwich, with an Opening Ceremony at The Great Hospital, a day of diplomatic meetings at Anteros Arts Foundation, and a formal dinner at the Assembly House.
NORMAC’s purpose is to raise awareness and understanding of the Arctic and its peoples, and to help pupils develop valuable interpersonal skills such as public speaking, persuasion, negotiation and consensus building. Mimicking the real Arctic Council, delegates to NORMAC must make all decisions unanimously, finding the bridging solutions that bring Arctic states and peoples together.
Before joining Norwich School, Dr Speca was a senior policy official with the Government of Nunavut, Canada’s Arctic territory. He has recently been made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for his Arctic-related professional and educational work.
Dates for NORMAC 2020 will be released in the coming months. More information about NORMAC, including a video, can be found at http://www.normac.org/