The Polar Regions play an integral role in the holistic workings of the Earth system. The Poles are not only affected by processes occurring in the rest of the globe, but are also important drivers of global processes including sea level rise, carbon uptake and release, and climate feedbacks. With growing concern around the issue of climate change and its implications for the Poles and the planet at large, the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 “From Knowledge to Action” Conference is occurring at a pivotal moment. The Conference will showcase the latest Arctic and Antarctic science from IPY 2007-2008. The Conference will demonstrate that what happens at the Poles will not only alter the Polar environments, but also change the course of human and economic development at the global level.