Trade Gaming for the 21st Century



Join as NATO decision-makers in a high-stakes game of geopolitical strategy.

Your mission: balance power dynamics and mitigate risks to maintain NATO’s global leadership.

Utilise a range of interactive tools, including a dynamic Primacy Screen and real-time voting, to navigate pressing scenarios. Collaborate at your table to exercise defence and security, diplomatic, or economic levers and vote on pivotal decisions.

Aim to prevent conflict and environmental crises in a tight 60-minute window.

Success is measured by strategic choices steering us away from global threats.



Briefing: An urgent NATO summit focuses on Arctic defence strategy amidst geopolitical shifts. As new NATO members join, consensus is key.

Your Role: Act as a NATO ally. Collaborate at your table to form unified decisions on strategic moves.

Consensus Voting: Debate with tablemates and aim for majority agreement on each issue. If deadlocked, submit a “no consensus” vote.

Objective: Unite on strategies to address evolving global threats. Consider immediate and long-term impacts across economic, defence, and diplomatic realms.



Analyse SitReps and newsflashes.

Discuss prompted questions, aided by screen displays and QR-linked resources.

Deliberate for 12 minutes per scenario.

Vote on three strategic responses per scenario.

Outcome: Strategies are evaluated after 60 minutes for their effectiveness in consensus-building and threat management.

Access detailed and privileged information by using your device to scan your QR code.

Vote on each economic lever using your voting slips which will be collected at the end of the round.


Background reading briefing notes



Russia’s ambition to capitalise on its Arctic territories has led to the development of nuclear icebreakers designed to enhance maritime transportation and enable resource exploration in the region.



Russia achieves a ‘Big Victory’ over the US and its allies in the Arctic; the United States commits to stand “toe to toe, ship to ship” with Moscow, reflecting heightened geopolitical tensions in the region.



Russian Research Vessel Intercepts U.S. Icebreaker in the Arctic, highlighting tensions and the strategic importance of the region.


In the context of a divided Arctic, Russia, feeling isolated by other Arctic states due to geopolitical conflicts, has turned to China for partnership.


The use of icebreakers in the Arctic, while facilitating trade and military interests among nations, exacerbates global warming and environmental concerns.




Evaluating the integration of the Northern Sea Route into the Belt and Road Initiative, this study assesses the route’s feasibility given the diminishing Arctic sea ice.


Russia aims to boost traffic along the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic, a shorter trade route between Asia and Europe, with the potential to reshape global supply chains.



Finnish industries urge the government to consider alternative trade routes to the Baltic Sea, suggesting investment in northern rail and road routes due to potential disruptions from security issues.



NATO has intensified efforts in environmental security in response to climate change, focusing on disaster relief, energy security, and military energy efficiency.



The CLCS endorsed most of Russia’s Arctic shelf claim, including recognizing the Lomonosov and Alpha-Mendeleev Ridges as natural extensions, but withheld approval for the Gakkel Ridge due to lack of data. These decisions significantly affect international maritime boundaries.



With revitalised bases and advanced missiles, NATO recognizes Russia’s growing military dominance in the Arctic. Recent undersea cable incidents and increased military activities highlight escalating tensions. NATO responds with more investment in Arctic defence and surveillance, yet trails Russia’s capabilities. The region’s strategic value is rising with new sea routes and resources.




At the Vilnius meeting, NATO focused on reinforcing Arctic defence, particularly against Russia and China. Finland’s NATO membership enhances regional capabilities. The meeting highlighted the need for updated strategies and stronger presence, considering Russian tactics in Ukraine and increasing Sino-Russian Arctic cooperation.


Russia’s Arctic dominance and NATO’s response intensify amid Ukraine’s crisis. NATO must navigate the Arctic’s strategic military and energy significance, balancing sanctions with Europe’s reliance on Russian resources. The crisis threatens Arctic cooperation and governance, while Russia-China ties potentially expand China’s Arctic influence, heightening geopolitical tensions.



Lee Mottola argues for a NATO Arctic Command (ARCCOM) to address security shifts due to the melting Arctic. This command would counter challenges from Russia and China and centralize NATO’s strategy and operations in the region, enhancing its presence and capability in the High North.



A study predicts the Arctic could be ice-free by the 2030s, a decade earlier than expected, due to human-caused pollution. This rapid warming may lead to significant global climate and sea route changes.,before%20the%202080s%2C%20Min%20said.


Russia’s unique nuclear icebreakers are key to its Arctic development, opening new shipping routes and facilitating resource exploitation, with notable environmental and geopolitical impacts.


Amidst a divided Arctic, Russia, isolated by other Arctic states, partners with China for Arctic development. This cooperation offers opportunities but risks China’s relations with other Arctic nations.


Finland’s new government is urged to develop alternate trade routes beyond the Baltic Sea, focusing on northern rail and road routes with Sweden and Norway, due to security concerns and potential disruptions in the Baltic region.


Russia’s plan to expand the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route could significantly affect global supply chains, despite challenges like harsh weather, environmental concerns, and high operational costs.