Skip to content
Programme 15–16 April – Main event 15–16 April – Workshops 17 April – Belgian Accelerator Day 17–18 April – Accelerator sessions Side events Studios About the programme Speakers Expo Latest About WCEF – the story so far Partners Practical information Media

Speakers

Get to know our speakers!
P.S. Sitra will compensate the travel emissions of all our speakers.

Smail Alhilali

Smail Alhilali

Chief, Division of Circular Economy and Green Industry
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Smail Alhilali joined UNIDO in 2007, serving in different positions including chief of division for responsible materials and chemicals management (2020-2023), and chief of division for emerging compliance regimes (2018-2020). He was responsible for the implementation of the global resource efficiency and cleaner production programme and the technical lead of the global eco-industrial parks programme. Before joining UNIDO, Smail was the director of Morocco National Cleaner Production Centre (2003-2007) and served in different positions within the National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Sciences and Technology (CNESTEN) in Morocco (1994-2003). Smail holds a master’s on nuclear safety engineering (France, 1994) and a master’s on mechanical engineering (Morocco, 1993).

Read full bio

Daniel Martín-Montalvo Alvarez

Daniel Martín-Montalvo Alvarez

Head, Clean and Circular Economy
European Environment Agency (EEA)

Daniel has dedicated the last 20 years to environment and climate policy, mainly with a European Union focus. He began in environmental consultancy, followed by regulatory work in Spain's industrial sector. Later, he joined the European Commission, focusing on industrial policy within the Directorate General Environment. Currently, Daniel leads a team at the EEA, working on the transition to a circular economy and zero-pollution goals.

Read full bio

Peter Andrews

Peter Andrews

Director, Consumer Rights, Innovation and Impact
Consumers International

Peter works for the umbrella organisation for consumer groups around the world, building a safer, fairer and more sustainable marketplace for everyone. He is responsible for developing and delivering innovative and impactful programmes on issues facing consumers related to sustainable consumption, food, energy and product safety, as well as wider consumer insights. Prior to this he was head of sustainability policy at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and was responsible for the development and delivery of the industry's sustainable and ethical trade policies, including the climate action roadmap for the UK retail sector. He is a trustee of the charity Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) and was co-chair of the UK Home Office's group fighting modern slavery.

Read full bio

Hannah Ballard

Hannah Ballard

Director
Sustainable Change Studio

Hannah tells stories where communities meet technology and the climate crisis. She is founder and managing director at Sustainable Change Studio, a climate action consultancy. They use storytelling to empower and educate charities and startups to mobilise against the climate crisis. She holds a master’s in international development focusing on environment and climate change. When not working she likes to travel as much and as sustainably possible, normally with a book in hand.

Read full bio

Jellie Banga

Jellie Banga

Executive Board Member
Invest-NL

Jellie Banga works for the national promotional institute for the Netherlands. Currently managing an investment capital of approximately €2 billion, Invest-NL’s strategic goal is to speed up transitions in the field of the carbon neutral economy, bio-based and circular, deeptech (providing advanced technology solutions for deep societal challenges), agrifood and life sciences. This is done not only by directly investing in innovative companies but also via financial product development and market development. She has 20+ years’ experience in the financial sector and was CCO and COO at Triodos Bank, a European bank focused on sustainability and societal transition from 2012 to 2021.

Read full bio

Piotr Barczak

Piotr Barczak

Circular Economy Program Manager
ACEN Foundation

Piotr is a Belgian/Polish national with over 11 years’ experience in circular economy policy development. Currently he works for the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) Foundation and is a council member of the European Environmental Bureau.

Read full bio

Emily Barran

Emily Barran

Green Industrialisation Lead
Climate Action Platform Africa (CAP-A)

Emily leads the green industrialisation team at CAP-A. Her work focuses on creating an enabling environment for “climate competitiveness” in specific sectors across Africa. This means engaging with public and private sectors and investors to identify and unlock barriers of hard and soft infrastructure, both in specific countries and regionally. She is deeply engaged in industrial policy and strategies for several countries, including proactive and reactive approaches to evolving geopolitics of the energy transition. Emily holds a BA Hons from University of Leeds and an MBA from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Read full bio

Garam Bel

Garam Bel

Circular Economy Coordinator
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Garam Bel works for the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the ITU based in Geneva. He coordinates the electronic waste projects in BDT covering regulatory development and data collection. Prior to joining ITU, he worked for the Environment Management Group, which is a UN system-wide coordination body on environment and human settlements. In this position, he ran activities towards streamlining the various electronic waste-related initiatives of UN agencies and programmes. Before moving to Geneva, Garam worked for the local government in Scotland with municipal solid waste. He holds a master’s in standardization, social regulation and sustainable development from the University of Geneva.

Read full bio

Johan Berhin

Johan Berhin

Partner
Plockhugget AB

Johan Berhin is the founder and designer of the green furniture concept, known from railway stations and airports around the world, such as London King's Cross Station and Hong Kong Airport. He saw the need for more sustainable timber as a furniture producer and became amazed by the many benefits of forestry without clear-cutting, both from a sustainability and an economic viewpoint. He believes this probably has the largest climate potential of any action in Northern Europe.

Read full bio

Susanne van Berkum

Susanne van Berkum

Consultant
TNO

Susanne van Berkum’s background is in chemistry. She has experience in chemical recycling of PET as well as working for a producer responsibility organisation responsible for the recycling of end-of-life vehicles. Currently Susanne is working for TNO in the field of circular value chains for critical raw materials, using practical experience to bridge the gap between knowing where to find these materials and recovering them from different waste streams to get the most out of them.

Read full bio

Shalini Bhalla

Shalini Bhalla

Managing Director
International Council for Circular Economy

Shalini Goyal Bhalla is a leading expert in the field of circular economy and sustainability. She is the Founder and MD of International Council for Circular Economy (ICCE), a leading Indian think tank that promotes adoption of circular economy practices both nationally and globally. She is the editor of India’s first journal on the circular economy and wrote India’s first book on the topic. At WCEF, she leads the Global South and North collaboration discussions, representing a cooperation of eight countries.

Read full bio

Jocelyn Blériot

Jocelyn Blériot

Executive Lead, Policy and Institutions
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Jocelyn Blériot has been with the foundation since its creation in 2010, after 15 years spent in the media and publishing industry. He leads the organisation’s institutional engagement and the work with national governments across the foundation's offices in Europe, Latin America, China and North America. He manages the relationship with supra-national bodies such as the European Commission, United Nations, G7/20 Resource Alliance, OECD and the World Economic Forum. Jocelyn has been a member of the circular economy advisory board of the China Council for International Cooperation on Development (CCICED) and currently is a part of the international advisory network of the forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS).

Read full bio

Oliver Boachie

Oliver Boachie

Special Advisor to the Minister
Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation, Ghana

In his position, Oliver Boachie is coordinating Ghana’s transition to the circular economy and facilitating collaboration among stakeholders within government, academia and the private sector, to develop policies for sustainable management of the environment. He is Ghana’s National Focal Point for the Inter-governmental Negotiation Committee (INC) of the Global Treaty on Plastics Pollution, and he is co-author of the proposal for a Global Plastics Pollution Fee (GPPF) as a means of implementation provision in the current draft of the Global Plastics Treaty.

Read full bio

Ivonne Bojoh

Ivonne Bojoh

CEO
Circle Economy

After 25 years at start-ups and scale-ups in Europe and Southeast Asia, Ivonne chose to apply her knowledge and experience to resolving global environmental and societal issues. In 2020, she fell in love with the circular economy. She joined Circle Economy Foundation, where her team provides data-centred analyses, capacity development, and tools to the private and public sectors to enable the implementation of circular strategies, bringing theory into action. Ivonne envisions a future where companies thrive because they care for their environment, their people and their community. Her goal is to transform 10,000 companies, 1,000 cities and 100 nations. What is yours?

Read full bio

Françoise Bonnet

Françoise Bonnet

Secretary General
Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+)

Françoise Bonnet joined ACR+ in 2013. She holds a degree in law from Liège University, complemented by a diploma in European law from the College of Europe and in specialised studies in environmental law from Brussels University. She has more than 25 years’ experience in legislative issues and in material resource management and policy, regularly offering policy advice, technical assistance and capacity development. During her professional life, she has worked for public authorities such as Brussels Region Administration, the UN and the European Commission, as well as for private companies. Thanks to this, she is familiar with local administration systems and North-South cooperation with the countries in the Mediterranean region.

Read full bio

Rikarnto Bountis

Rikarnto Bountis

Senior Technical Advisor
European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC)

Rikarnto Bountis joined EuRIC in October 2020. He has a bachelor’s in environmental engineering from the Polytechnic University of Patra and a master’s in waste and resource management from the University of the West of Scotland. After completing his studies, Rikarnto worked in the energy sector for a British consultancy, and then joined amfori, the leading global business association for open and sustainable trade, as an environmental expert. At EuRIC, he is managing technical issues that emerge from the interface between waste, chemicals and product legislation as well as relevant reference documents. The legislative files followed by Rikarnto include the production, collection and end of life treatment of ferrous and non-ferrous metals as well as waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Read full bio

Pascal Bourguet

Pascal Bourguet

COO and Channel Chief, Lenovo International Market
Lenovo (Schweiz) GmbH

Pascal Bourguet works for an international go-to-market organisation that supports sales operations at Lenovo. The global channel organisation drives Lenovo’s channel-first strategy, leading the Lenovo 360 global channel framework across markets within North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. Launched in December 2021, the framework of people, programs and tools unleashes the full potential of products and services and solutions portfolio for channel partners around the world, enabling faster access and providing new partner benefits and incentives for cross-selling between device, infrastructure, and services and solutions, and Lenovo’s everything-as-a-service offering.

Read full bio

Esther Goodwin Brown

Esther Goodwin Brown

Lead of the Circular Jobs Initiative
Circle Economy

Esther Goodwin Brown’s work focuses on climate justice and how the circular economy can be a means for inclusive, sustainable development around the world. She leads a programme focused on creating the tools to ensure the circular economy is positive for work and workers. Her work aims to ensure steps taken by governments and other public agencies to tackle environmental issues are approached fairly and with people in mind. This involves collaborating across sectors and agendas, including the circular economy, climate, just transition, education and economic development.

Read full bio

Hans Bruyninckx

Hans Bruyninckx

Member
International Resource Panel (IRP)

Hans Bruyninckx is professor of environmental governance at the University of Antwerp and fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of the National University of Singapore. Between 2013 and 2023 he was the executive director of the European Environment Agency. Bruyninckx is an expert in European and international environmental policy, the effects of globalisation on the governance of environmental issues and sustainable development.

Read full bio

Anna Cameron

Anna Cameron

Head of Sector
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Anna Cameron's first career was as mayor of a historic town in the Eifel region of Germany. She joined the EESC in 2019, and is now leading their work on climate, sustainability and the circular economy. She co-ordinates the secretariat of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, managing the triangular relationship between the EESC, the European Commission and circular economy stakeholders on the ground to push for more circularity in the EU and beyond.

Read full bio

Daniel Cano

Daniel Cano

Project Leader
World Resources Institute (WRI)

Daniel is the coordinator of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities at WRI Colombia. In this role, he coordinates a broad set of initiatives to promote sustainable and enjoyable cities on subjects like descarbonisation of transport, active mobility, urban development, urban economics and air quality. Daniel is also part of the Living Lab, the nudge unit of WRI that tests and implements initiatives based on behavioural insights to foster WRI’s environmental agenda. As part of the Living Lab, he has participated in research projects on transport, energy and food. Currently he is supporting the water consumption program in Monterrey, Mexico. Daniel holds a master’s in urban development and is one of the alumni of WRI´s Behavioral Sciences Academy.

Read full bio

Loredana Capone

Loredana Capone

President
Regional Council of Puglia

Loredana Capone was born on 14 February 1964, in Lecce, where she still lives. She has a law degree and has worked in administrative law, education and regional government. In 2020, she was re-elected as regional councillor of Puglia, where she has led tourism, culture, energy, industry, innovation and material management endeavours. Previously she was on the management board of Nereus, the network of European regions that use space technologies. In the province of Lecce, Capone has been responsible for economic planning, technological innovation, institutional communication, general affairs, educational policies, social security and equal opportunities.

Read full bio

Juan Carlos Castro Vargas

Juan Carlos Castro Vargas

Minister of Environment
Ministry of Environment, Peru

Juan Carlos Castro Vargas was nominated to his current role in February 2023. He is a biologist graduated from the National University of Trujillo, with a master's in environmental management from the University Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo. With more than 20 years’ experience, he is the former chief of the National Water Authority (ANA) and held management positions in different institutions of the public sector in Peru, such as the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA); the Environmental Evaluation and Oversight Agency (OEFA); the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation (MVCS); and the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI). His experience covers water resources management, watersheds, environmental assessment and public management.

Read full bio

Xiaoting Chen

Xiaoting Chen

Programme Manager
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Xiaoting Chen brings a wealth of expertise to her role at the foundation’s Beijing office, where she leads their plastic initiative and the policy and climate workstream in China. With a PhD in sustainability economy from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chen possesses over 16 years’ invaluable experience in the field of sustainability. Prior to her current position, Chen served as the global coordinator for Greening the Belt and Road Initiative at WWF China, and senior manager of the strategic corridor programme at KPMG China’s Global China Practice, where she played a pivotal role in shaping environmental strategies on a global scale and demonstrating her proficiency in crafting sustainable business solutions.

Read full bio

Dochul Choi

Dochul Choi

Senior Vice President
Samsung Electronics

Dochul Choi is currently in charge of Samsung Electronics’ global business and technology strategy. He oversees the business opportunities and product development for main business segments such as air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, cooking ranges and vacuum cleaners. He also leads various exploration activities to achieve quantum business growth through innovations and new technologies. Dr Choi also oversees all foreign government affairs, global standardszation and regulatory activities, as well as trade association activities for the business division. On top of being part of the management board at APPLiA, the European home appliance trade association, he is also vice president of the corresponding US association, AHAM.

Read full bio

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea

Director for Circular Economy
European Commission

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea joined the Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment in 2014. Before his current role, he was director of enforcement, cohesion and the European Semester until April 2022. He joined the Commission in 2009 and served as director for equality and director for fundamental rights and EU citizenship. He holds an LLM from the University of Illinois, US, and a PhD from the University of Bucharest, Romania.

Read full bio

Cynthia Córdoba

Cynthia Córdoba

Coordinator of Environmental Economics
Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica

Cynthia Córdoba is an expert in environmental economics and the circular economy. She has led public sector work in Costa Rica as well as regionally in Latin America and the Caribbean. Córdoba has helped cross-sectoral cooperation in government and led the implementation of the OECD road map on circular economy recommendations. She holds a master’s in economic policy with a major in ecological economics and sustainable development from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.

Read full bio

Martin Crook

Martin Crook

Circular Design Lead – Foresight
Arup

Martin leads Arup’s foresight, strategy and innovation team based in Germany. He specialises in transitioning the built environment for a sustainable and decarbonised future. He has worked for over 12 years in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector, with a focus on making cities more innovative and liveable by advocating for evidence-based strategies to achieve a circular economy. As part of these objectives, Martin has developed Arup’s Circular Buildings Toolkit and other circular tools, indicators and methodologies to support innovation in the AEC sector.

Read full bio

Beatrice Cyiza

Beatrice Cyiza

Director General of Environment and Climate Change
Ministry of Environment, Rwanda

Beatrice Cyiza is a committed environmental expert with over 15 years’ experience in environment management. She coordinates the ministry’s policy development and stakeholder engagement and steers the development of strategies and plans while ensuring the mainstreaming and compliance with key policy actions. In her role, she promotes research and studies that are instrumental in advancing policy implementation and facilitating the sharing of best practices. As an administrative coordinator for academic affairs, extension and applied research at the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture from 2018 to 2021, she contributed to the development of institutional policies, action plans and faculty development strategies. As an environmental audit and monitoring officer and the Nagoya protocol focal point at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, she developed a number of audit check lists for key sectors and developed environmental audit reporting tools. Beatrice has dual master's degrees in biodiversity conservation and in disaster risk management and climate change governance.

Read full bio

Namita Datta

Namita Datta

Program Manager, Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE)
The World Bank Group

Namita Datta works for the bank’s multistakeholder global programme S4YE, forging partnerships with several leading private companies, foundations and Civil Society Organisations (NGOs). She has led several flagship publications on frontier topics including the role of digital technology, changing nature of work, gender and opportunities in the creative and circular economies. She led the recent global report “Working across Borders: The Promise and Peril of Online Gig Work”. Before joining the bank, Namita worked with the Government of India, heading a large complex municipal corporation responsible for delivering key urban services to the city of Delhi. She also worked as secretary (head) of the departments of urban development, power and environment in Goa, India. She holds a PhD from Cornell University, an MIA from Colombia University, New York, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Read full bio

Ying-Chih Deng-Sommer

Ying-Chih Deng-Sommer

Senior Officer
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability World Secretariat

Ying-Chih Deng-Sommer is a motivated sustainability professional driven to create meaningful change. He is dedicated to managing environmental impacts and leading initiatives that advocate circular development and transform business models.

Read full bio

Mellany Díaz

Mellany Díaz

Adviser to the ministerial office
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala

With her vast experience in environmental management, Mellany Díaz has led the strategic planning of environmental projects in the public and private sectors. In several positions, lately the executive director of the national sector of plastics, her work has focused on the implementation of environmental certifications that boost business competitiveness in the plastics industry in Guatemala. She has contributed significantly to promoting use of alternative raw materials, such as bioplastics, and developing comprehensive solid waste management plans at the business, municipal and community levels. Mellany holds a master's in sustainable development and a postgraduate degree in corporate social responsibility.

Read full bio

Slendy Diaz

Slendy Diaz

CEO
Activist

Slendy Diaz Mendez is a circular economy expert. She is a speaker and consultant, holding a background in civil engineering, with extensive experience in project management, the energy sector and circular business models in both the public and private sectors.

Read full bio

Sandra Dokic

Sandra Dokic

State Secretary
Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia

Sandra Dokic represents Serbia in many international environmental organisations and agreements. These include the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the global methane pledge, low emissions and climate-resilient economy in the Western Balkans and Türkiye, the EU’s 4GREEN project, the green agenda for the Western Balkans, and various United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entities. She is a lawyer holding a bachelor’s in law, master’s in economics and master’s in economic policy and development, all from the University of Belgrade.

Read full bio

Al-Hamndou Dorsouma

Al-Hamndou Dorsouma

Division Manager, Climate Change and Green Growth
The African Development Bank (AfDB)

Al-Hamndou Dorsouma leads AfDB’s efforts on climate change in Africa, including building climate resilience and low carbon opportunities into the bank’s investments, and supporting the bank’s engagement on the circular economy as a strategy for climate resilience and green growth. Dr Dorsouma’s academic background is in geography and environmental management. He also worked for other international organisations, namely the Observatory of Sahara and Sahel (OSS) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Read full bio

Anna Douglas

Anna Douglas

Senior Sustainability Advisor
SEB

Anna Douglas is a professional with extensive experience in sustainable business; climate and environment; human rights; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); energy; and the circular economy. Currently, she focuses on advising the bank and clients on sustainability, especially in the circular economy, climate and energy transition. Previously, Anna worked in zero-emissions transport, smart industry innovation for a Swedish region, sustainability in the steel industry, renewable energy development, and climate change consulting to the Scottish Government. Anna is passionate about how the circular economy can help us improve equity, justice, low carbon emissions and resource efficiency; as well as how finance can play a role in systems change towards a circular regenerative economy.

Read full bio

Claire Downey

Claire Downey

Director of Policy and Research
The Rediscovery Centre

Bringing over 20 years of industry and social enterprise experience, Claire Downey is responsible for leading the Rediscovery Centre’s research team in providing an evidence base for policy development and supporting circular living models. She has delivered multiple national and international projects including research related to circular metrics and targets, circular textiles, reuse quality marks, citizen and community engagement. Claire also leads the education team in delivering excellence in circular economy education and driving curriculum change. Claire is an active member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform’s leadership group on circular behaviour, the RREUSE network, the Irish National Waste Advisory Group, the Irish National Textiles Advisory Group, the Irish EPA’s National Reuse and Repair Network and is a fellow with the Chartered Institute of Waste Management. She is also a board member of Green Foundation Ireland.

Read full bio

Jonas Dreger

Jonas Dreger

Senior Manager, Environmental Initiatives, EMEIA
Apple

Jonas has been managing environmental regulatory compliance and sustainability programmes and facilitating stakeholder conversations across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa at Apple’s environmental initiatives team since 2014. He has a background in European environmental policy and a focus on the circular economy, having previously represented Siemens on these topics in Brussels. Jonas holds a PhD on European climate and energy policy.

Read full bio

Quentin Drewell

Quentin Drewell

Director
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Quentin is responsible for mobilising collective action with WBCSD members to drive circular economy impact at a global scale. Having joined in September 2023, he oversees projects within the Products and Materials pathway, and is partner representative to the Circular Electronics Partnership. Quentin has extensive experience in managing complex multi-stakeholder sustainability projects in an international context, having previously led Accenture’s circular economy work. He has also been project advisor to the World Economic Forum on the circular economy and sustainable production, having set up the annual circular economy awards programme, “The Circulars”, and worked on the development of the Platform to Accelerate the Circular Economy. Quentin holds an MA from the University of Cambridge, a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Portsmouth and an MBA from the University of Bradford. He is a full member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and is a Chartered Environmentalist. Quentin lives in Kent UK with his wife and two sons.

Read full bio

Mikko Dufva

Mikko Dufva

Foresight Lead
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

Mikko Dufva leads the foresight team at Sitra and is also a docent of futures studies at Aalto University. In his work he studies trends, weak signals, visions and assumptions about different potential futures. He seeks to make foresight and futures approachable and inspiring. Mikko has extensive experience in foresight and a doctorate in science (technology) on the creation of futures knowledge and systemic foresight.

Read full bio

Hilde van Duijn

Hilde van Duijn

Managing Director
Circle Economy

Hilde van Duijn believes that to drive the transition to a global circular economy at the speed and scale necessary, transnational cooperation and public-private partnerships across global value chains are essential. At Circle Economy, she leads the work throughout global value chains, with the aim of empowering manufacturers, buyers and end-of-use processors to adopt circular practices.

Read full bio

Casper Nicholas Edmonds

Casper Nicholas Edmonds

Head of Unit, Extractives, Energy & Manufacturing
International Labour Organization (ILO)

Casper N. Edmonds has for more than 24 years worked for the World Bank Group and the ILO. He is currently working in the ILO’s Sectoral Policies Department where he coordinates their support to governments, employers and workers in addressing labour challenges and opportunities in extractives, energy and manufacturing. He is also coordinating the department's work on a just and job-rich transition to the circular economy.

Read full bio

Freek van Eijk

Freek van Eijk

CEO
Holland Circular Hotspot

Freek van Eijk leads an independent platform that facilitates the transition to a circular economy at the international level by bringing together government authorities, knowledge institutes and businesses. He is co-chair of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP). Furthermore, he is an adjunct professor at the LUISS Business School. He is one of the more senior EU experts in waste management and the circular economy, and has been described as a “mover and a shaker”. Previously, he served for over a decade as director of strategy and public affairs at multinational SUEZ, as a board member at the Dutch Waste Management Association, and as a sherpa of the EU Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.

Read full bio

Paul Ekins

Paul Ekins

Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy
University College London (UCL)

Paul Ekins has a PhD in economics from the University of London and is professor at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. In 2011 he was appointed vice-chairman of the DG Environment Commissioner’s High-Level Economists Expert Group on Resource Efficiency, and in 2012 a member of the European Commission’s European Resource Efficiency Platform. In 2013 he was appointed to UNEP’s International Resource Panel (IRP), for whom he was lead author of a major report on resource efficiency at the request of the German Government at the G7 Summit in 2015. He is now lead coordinating author for a forthcoming IRP report on critical minerals. He was one of two co-chairs of UNEP’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6), published in March 2019. In 1994 Paul received UNEP’s Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievement and in 2015 an OBE for services to environmental policy.

Read full bio

Nora Eslander

Nora Eslander

Marketing Manager
Colorifix

Nora Eslander leads marketing at Colorifix, a company pioneering the world's first entirely biological solution for producing, fixing and depositing pigments onto textiles. Colorifix was recently named as a finalist for the Earthshot Prize 2023 in the category “Build a waste-free world”. Nora works with world-leading fashion brands to create a new narrative around dyeing textiles. She has a background in fashion innovation at textile recycling company Renewcell and holds a BSc in Economics from Copenhagen Business School.

Read full bio

Lieve van Espen

Lieve van Espen

Circular Economy Policy Advisor
City of Leuven

Lieve van Espen joined the city’s department of sustainability in 2020. In her current role, she develops and implements Leuven’s circular strategy with regard to maximal and high-quality reuse of residual flows (building materials, plastics, electro, textiles) on the road to climate neutrality. Her focus is on scaling up successful pilots in close collaboration with Leuven’s circular hub and the circular platform of quadruple helix stakeholders to fulfil the ambitions laid down in the Climate City Contract.

Read full bio

Ambroise Fayolle

Ambroise Fayolle

Vice-President
European Investment Bank (EIB)

Ambroise Fayolle was appointed to his current position in February 2015. He is responsible for climate action and environment, development policy and the European Guarantee Fund. He is also a board member of the European Investment Fund. He oversees EIB’s activities in France, Germany and many countries in Africa and the Pacific. A graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, he spent most of his career in various positions at the French Treasury Department and in the IMF and the World Bank, including as a board member of the two latter institutions for 8 years.

Read full bio

Jamie Ferguson

Jamie Ferguson

Global Director, Climate Business
International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Jamie is responsible for the corporation’s climate strategy and policies, and delivery on its ambitious targets to make all investments Paris-aligned and 40% of its investment climate-positive. Jamie joined IFC in 2005 and has led and contributed to a range of innovation and new business growth across IFCs investment, advisory and support operations. Prior roles include chief investment officer leading IFC’s global renewable energy investment practice, director of environmental and social risk and policy, and director of strategic business development. Jamie has a BA and an MA in zoology from Cambridge University, UK, and both a master’s in environmental economics and policy, and an MBA from Yale University, USA.

Read full bio

Florika Fink-Hooijer

Florika Fink-Hooijer

Director General, Environment Department (DG ENV)
European Commission

Having occupied various senior management positions in the European Commission, Florika Fink-Hooijer is recognised for her strong management and leadership skills and her in-depth experience in EU policy making and shaping. A lawyer by training, Florika brings a proven record of accomplishment in foreign and security policy as well as in humanitarian aid and disaster risk reduction. She has extensive experience in leading complex inter-institutional and intergovernmental negotiations. In her current role at the Commission's Directorate-General for Environment, she is responsible for implementing the European Green Deal objectives, in particular the areas of the circular economy, biodiversity and zero pollution.

Read full bio

Tim Forslund

Tim Forslund

Specialist
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

Tim works as a circular economy specialist at Sitra. His key topic of interest is how the circular economy can tackle biodiversity loss and how we could build a circular bioeconomy. Having studied environmental management and policy and languages in five different countries, Tim began exploring the circular economy framework towards the end of his studies in Lund. Upon graduating he started working in the UK for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, where he researched the landscape of the circular economy, in which Finland stood out as a clear frontrunner. The foundation’s China programme also took Tim back to Beijing, where he stayed to work on environmental affairs at the Embassy of Sweden.

Read full bio

Matthew Fraser

Matthew Fraser

Director
Circle Economy

Matthew has worked in the circular economy field for over 10 years, advising businesses, cities and national governments. He believes strongly that material management is the crucial topic of our time and works to bring indicators and insights to help decision makers steer toward a circular economy.

Read full bio

Freyr Friðfinnsson

Freyr Friðfinnsson

Project Manager
KLAK Icelandic Startups

Freyr has dedicated five years to working with KLAK, supporting over 80 startups annually through multiple business accelerators and workshops. Notably, one of their initiatives is Hringiða, a circular economy accelerator established in 2021 in collaboration with global partners such as IBMS and Inspiralia. Additionally, as partners in Venture Challenge, KLAK assists emerging fund managers with their challenges, driven by their passion for evolving the venture ecosystem in the Nordics. Freyr also serves on the board of Nordic Innovation, contributing to shaping the innovation landscape in the region. He has a bachelor's in software engineering from the University of Reykjavik and a master's in entrepreneurship and innovation management from KTH in Stockholm.

Read full bio

Joana Gonçalves

Joana Gonçalves

Researcher
VITO

Joana dos Santos Gonçalves is a researcher on circularity in the built environment at VITO in Belgium. She graduated as an architect from the School of Architecture of University of Minho, Portugal in 2014 and was awarded the Iberian Prize on Traditional Architecture Research in 2014 for her research. In 2016 Joana started her PhD on “Beyond good intentions: building passport for sustainable conservation”. Between 2019 and 2021 she was a guest PhD in the UNESCO chair on heritage and the reshaping of urban conservation for sustainability at TU Delft, the Netherlands. Between 2020 and 2022, she was a lecturer on heritage and sustainability at TU Delft, guiding master graduation projects on topics such as social engagement or zero waste approaches to heritage conservation.

Read full bio

Rick Goss

Rick Goss

Senior Advisor
SERI

Rick Goss brings over 25 years’ experience in public policy, strategy and advocacy to help clients achieve their sustainability, energy and environmental priorities. Rick is a recognised policy and technical expert and a seasoned global negotiator who has successfully delivered results in Washington, Brussels, Beijing and at the United Nations. Rick’s experience includes testifying before the US Congress on conflict minerals policy, electronics recycling and green procurement, and representing the information and communications technology (ICT) sector before US federal agencies. He has advised the European Commission and the OECD on supply chain priorities and has represented the sector before global governments on sustainability topics related to manufacturing processes and ICT products. Rick recently stepped down as chair of the board of Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI)and is now serving as their senior advisor.

Read full bio

Sharon Greene

Sharon Greene

Director
Alice Labs

Futurist and strategist Sharon leverages two decades of experience anticipating consumer behaviour shifts for global organisations. As a co-founder and director of the strategy consultancy Alice Labs, she merges her expertise with a passion for circularity, advocating for sustainable consumption. Her insights into evolving consumer motivations and behaviours enable Sharon to navigate complex dialogues on circular economies effectively.

Read full bio

Yisong Guan

Yisong Guan

Chief Representative of the Beijing Office
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Yisong Guan has rich experience in consulting governments and enterprises for the green transition. In his over ten years’ career on climate change, he founded Easy Carbon, a consultancy firm which supported its clients to develop low carbon transition strategies and achieve carbon financing under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of UNFCCC. The company secured over RMB5 billion carbon emission reduction financing for its clients through the international carbon market, and has successfully developed the largest number of CDM projects in China. He was the chief operations officer of the UNEP – International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), responsible for organisation management and project execution to protect biodiversity while promoting international cooperation on ecosystem management. Now, he is leading the foundation’s programme to accelerate the circular economy transition of China through high-level cooperation, industry transition dialogue and capacity building to unlock the country’s potentials and achieve the social and environmental benefits from the circular economy.

Read full bio

Omar Hameed

Omar Hameed

Economic Minister
Pakistan Embassy Brussels

Omar Hameed has worked for Pakistan’s Mission to the European Union since 2016. He joined the civil service of Pakistan in 1995 and has diverse experience within the public and development sectors. He has worked in the prime minister’s secretariat, ministries of commerce, foreign affairs and capital administration, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, UNDP, UNIDO and Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority. Hameed has completed multiple courses on international trade and is a certified master trainer in trade negotiations from the World Trade Institute at Berne. He holds a master’s in international economic law from Warwick University.

Read full bio

Vivianne Heijnen

Vivianne Heijnen

Minister for the Environment
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands

Vivianne Heijnen was appointed minister for the environment in January 2022. In 2018 she became a member of the Maastricht municipal executive with responsibility for the economy, housing, regional policy and social innovation. Between 2009 and 2018 she was head of the Maastricht University Campus in Brussels. When asked about what motivates her as a minister, her response is as follows: “I want the Netherlands to be a country that is liveable and accessible for everyone and where we reuse more. I’m committed to reducing travel time in a sustainable way, with a particular focus on border regions, cities and our neighbouring countries.” Heijnen was born on 8 October 1982 in Spaubeek.

Read full bio

Bryony Clear Hill

Bryony Clear Hill

Director, Innovation
International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)

Bryony joined ICMM in February 2021 and currently leads their work on the circular economy, climate change, health and safety, and tailings reduction. Before taking on her current role, she was project lead for standards and for the circular economy at ICMM. Prior to joining ICMM, she worked in business ethics, procurement and responsible sourcing at energy services company Centrica and at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She is a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. Bryony holds a BA in geography from the University of Oxford.

Read full bio

David Hirschler

David Hirschler

Chief Sustainability Officer
ERI

David Hirschler works at ERI, the largest IT Asset Disposition service provider and recycler of e-waste in the United States. He is responsible for ERI’s internal and external sustainability and circularity initiatives as well as legislative responsibilities covering the gamut of producer responsibility regulations through data protection regulations. In addition, David serves as president of the board of FABSCRAP, a nonprofit organisation focused on the recycling and reuse of commercial textile waste. He has worked in the recycling field for more than 20 years and holds a master’s in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University.

Read full bio

Xiaojun Huang

Xiaojun Huang

Senior Vice President and General Manager
Veolia China

Xiaojun Huang joined Veolia Water in 1999. In 2004, he began presiding over external relations as vice president of Veolia Water China, and in 2010 he became vice president of Veolia China. Previously he worked as a diplomat for over 10 years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Huang has leadership roles in many organisations, including executive president of China Environment Service Industry, vice president of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, vice president of China Association of Circular Economy and board member of China Business Council for Sustainable Development. Among other roles, he is an expert at Jilin Think Tanks and invited professor at the UN University for Peace. He graduated from the University of International Relations in 1986 and later had further studies at the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University. He holds an MBA from Peking University.

Read full bio

Wayne Hubbard

Wayne Hubbard

Chief Executive Officer
ReLondon

Wayne is responsible for helping London’s boroughs to reduce waste and increase recycling rates, and accelerating the development of a low carbon circular economy by supporting circular businesses. He has been working for ReLondon since 2008. Prior to this he was the head of waste policy at the Greater London Authority. Wayne is a trustee on the board of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and a trustee of the international development body, Waste Aid. He has over 25 years’ experience in the waste and resource management industry.

Read full bio

Uxue Itoiz

Uxue Itoiz

General Director
Government of Navarra

Born in Pamplona/Iruña in 1980, Uxue Itoiz has a degree in biology from the University of Navarre. She also has training in the use and management of geographic information systems, group facilitation and conflict resolution. From 2016 to 2021, she worked on the promotion of the Navarre agency for territory and sustainability, Lursarea. In this field, she managed projects to promote sustainable territorial development based on public-private partnerships. She has promoted cooperation between local, regional and European administrations and is an expert in sustainable mobility. Uxue has also participated in projects focusing on the use of biomass as an energy source and wood for high-rise construction. She has supported the local action groups of Navarre in projects that promote the circular economy and energy transition.

Read full bio

Nick Jeffries

Nick Jeffries

Senior Expert
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Nick is an environmental civil engineer by profession, currently working as a senior expert with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, where he spearheads the circular built environment topic.

Read full bio

Yinghua Jiang

Yinghua Jiang

Vice President of Government Affairs and External Relations
Veolia China

Yinghua Jiang has extensive experience in the environmental industry. She has been working for Veolia since 2004, and also holds the position of deputy secretary-general in various industrial associations and councils. Prior to this, she also served in Areva, a leading French nuclear industry company. Jiang graduated from the University of International Business and Economics and later obtained a master's in Franco-Chinese international business administration from the University of International Business and Economics, Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne Business School.

Read full bio

Peter Tom Jones

Peter Tom Jones

Director
KU Leuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals (SIM²)

Jones heads an interdisciplinary team of more than 250 researchers focusing on the exploration, extraction, processing, refining and recycling of the energy-transition metals that are essential for a sustainable society. He has been working in this field for over 20 years, since completing his PhD in metallurgy in 2001. Jones is also the co-founder of KU Leuven’s SOLVOMET Research & Innovation Centre, a platform that provides (circular) hydrometallurgy expertise to industrial partners. Jones has been a coordinator or partner in more than 30 EU-funded projects on sustainable metallurgy and critical raw materials. Additionally, he is the author of several books, including “Terra Incognita”, “Klimaatcrisis”, and “Terra Reversa”, as well as presenter of documentaries including “Responsible mining in Europe”, “Made in Europe: from mine to Electric Vehicle”, “The Sámi Perspective” and “Europe's Mining Renaissance”.

Read full bio

Dukwoo Jun

Dukwoo Jun

Circular Economy Community of Practice Lead
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Dukwoo Jun is a distinguished leader in green economic development, with a focus on circular economy initiatives. As the global lead at GGGI, he has spearheaded innovative circular economy investment solutions. Dukwoo’s work in public-private partnerships has launched transformative waste-to-value projects in developing countries, integrating cutting-edge practices such as EV battery recycling, biomass-based plastics, biochar and biohydrogen. Prior to his current tenure, he served at the National Institute of Green Technology of the Republic of Korea as a director and circular economy specialist. His work encompassed steering technical assistance for green R&D and fostering circular approaches, spawning impactful spin-off projects.

Read full bio

Atte Jääskeläinen

Atte Jääskeläinen

President
Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund

Atte has over 25 years’ experience of leading change and innovation in media, education and policy. Prior to Sitra, he was the director general of higher education and research policy at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland (2020-2023). Atte worked for 20 years as senior editor and CEO of three major Finnish news organisations. He initially completed a law degree at the University of Helsinki and trained on the bench. In 2023, he completed his dissertation and is now a Doctor of Science in economics and business administration.

Read full bio

Edna Kaptoyo

Edna Kaptoyo

Grantmaking and Partnerships Officer
Pawanka Fund

To support Pawanka Fund’s mission, Edna Kaptoyo applies over 15 years’ experience in non-profit organisations working in social development and Indigenous peoples rights practice and policy advocacy. She is experienced in local, regional and global external engagement in the development sector, with specific focus on climate change and environment programming and policy, Agenda 2030, Indigenous peoples’ rights, and project implementation. Edna currently serves as the global grant making and partnerships officer at Pawanka Fund, a global Indigenous led fund. She is also the main representative for Africa Indigenous peoples in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) facilitative working group, which is an inclusive space that brings together people and their knowledge systems to build a climate resilient world.

Read full bio

Zakia Khattabi

Zakia Khattabi

Minister of Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and Green Deal
Belgium

Zakia Khattabi became a politician in 2009. Her parliamentary work has mainly been devoted to the justice, home affairs and equal opportunities committees. In 2015, Khattabi was elected co-president of her party, a role she held for five years before being appointed to her current ministerial post in 2020. Khattabi believes that the triple crisis we are facing (climate, loss of biodiversity and pollution) is not just an environmental issue: it is the social issue of this century because it hits the most vulnerable amongst us hardest, even though they are the least responsible for this crisis. In her view, the transition is therefore an imperative of social justice. Moreover, it also constitutes an economic, financial and public safety issue. As Belgian federal minister, she regularly took on the role of EU negotiator on crucial issues at international conferences on climate and biodiversity.

Read full bio

Jack Kimani

Jack Kimani

CEO
Climate Action Platform – Africa (CAP-A)

Jack Kimani is the founder of CAP-A, a novel platform of initiatives focusing on climate action opportunities as drivers of economic growth in Africa. He has over 20 years’ corporate finance and development experience working across sub-Saharan Africa, North America and South-East Asia for major multinational organisations. While traveling regularly across the globe, Kimani has mainly been based in Malawi, Rwanda and Kenya for significant periods. He holds an economics degree and is an MBA graduate from the University of Wisconsin.

Read full bio

Eddy Kioni

Eddy Kioni

Chief Executive Officer
Buenassa

Eddy Kioni is the CEO of a newly established innovative integrated metals trading company in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), dedicated to enhancing the global supply chains of critical minerals through value-added services. At the forefront of Buenassa's ambitious endeavours is a pioneering project: the establishment of a climate-smart mining-oriented copper and cobalt refinery, aligning with the DRC's goals for mineral beneficiation and sustainable socio-economic development. His leadership is pivotal in driving Buenassa towards impactful contributions to the mineral sector. Eddy's extensive experience spans both the private and public sectors, as he has also held influential consultancy roles and management positions in government ministries and state-controlled companies.

Read full bio

Rie Vejs Kjeldgaard

Rie Vejs Kjeldgaard

Director of the Sustainable Enterprises, Productivity and Just Transition Department
International Labour Organization (ILO)

Rie Vejs Kjeldgaard has held diverse management positions for the ILO throughout Europe and Asia, including in New Delhi, Vietnam, Bangkok and Geneva. Some of her responsibilities have included partnerships and field support, country policy analysis, job quality in micro- and small businesses, and enterprise development. Prior to joining the ILO she worked as head of product and market development in the pharmaceutical industry. Rie is a Danish national with an education background in economics and business administration, with a specialisation in marketing and international business development.

Read full bio

Anthony Christian Spano Klein

Anthony Christian Spano Klein

Director, Circularity
Vale Base Metals

Christian drives sustainability and financial growth while fostering circular business models. He is responsible for developing and implementing Vale Base Metals’ circularity strategy, including setting policies, defining performance goals and integrating the strategy across the whole business. Chris has over 20 years’ experience and expertise, having started his career in Peru and Latin America in the forestry and energy sectors, before moving first into renewables and power and then to the mining and metals industry. Previously, he was director of innovation at the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), where he was responsible for all aspects related to the future of mining, including climate change, tailings innovation and the circular economy. Prior to joining the ICMM, Chris held sustainability and clean energy-related roles at organisations such as Systemiq, the World Economic Forum, Anglo American, KPMG, the United Nations, Globeleq, Bozovich Timber Group and Citibank.

Read full bio

Saskia Kliphuis

Saskia Kliphuis

Public Affairs Europe
Corbion

Saskia Kliphuis is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in regulatory affairs. With her extensive knowledge and expertise of the complex landscape of European policy and regulatory matters, she plays a vital role in strengthening stakeholder relationships to advance Corbion’s interest and contribute to the development of sustainable and impactful policies. Saskia’s dedication to fostering a positive regulatory environment aligns seamlessly with Corbion’s commitment to providing innovative solutions in biotechnology. With a blend of regulatory acumen and public affairs expertise, she has a passion for staying at the forefront of regulatory developments and leveraging her insight to position Corbion as a leader in biotechnology.

Read full bio

Ladeja Godina Kosir

Ladeja Godina Kosir

Founder and Director, Co-Chair of ECESP
Circular Change

As the co-chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) in Brussels, Ladeja is recognised globally as an authority on the circular economy. She is an inspiring speaker and lecturer, and a member of numerous international circular economy councils, expert groups and juries. Ladeja has co-authored the circular economy road maps for Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Chile. Collaborating with teams worldwide, from Nordic countries to Latin America, she is active in several think tanks, including Chatham House, and contributes to scientific publications. Ladeja's achievements include being a finalist for the Circular Leadership Award 2018 (Davos WEF) and being featured as #EUwomen4future by the EU Commission in 2020.

Read full bio

Bahar Koyuncu

Bahar Koyuncu

Senior Policy Officer
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Bahar Koyuncu leverages her 15 years’ experience in research and development, and sustainability policy to support the transition to a circular economy. She holds a double major in chemical engineering and chemistry and an MSc in sustainable development and management. She strongly believes in the role science and multistakeholder collaboration play to enable the transition to a circular economy.

Read full bio

Zsolt Kükedi

Zsolt Kükedi

Member
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Zsolt Kükedi is a Hungarian environmental expert in local economic development, community sustainability, resource management and environmental concerns. In 2009, he joined the Sustainable Development and Resources Research Group, disseminating findings on resource depletion. Establishing the “Canticle of the Sun” care for creation association in 2011, he bolstered local communities in Hungary in environmental stewardship. From 2012 to 2014, he contributed to Hungary's economic planning, devising development schemes for the seven-year EU term. His focus areas included economic growth, energy investments, innovation and regional development.

Read full bio

Olivia Lazard

Olivia Lazard

Fellow
Carnegie Europe

Olivia Lazard is a fellow at Carnegie Europe. Her research focuses on the geopolitics of climate, the transition ushered by climate change and the risks of conflict and fragility associated to climate change and environmental collapse.

Read full bio

Elsa Lefevre

Elsa Lefevre

Programme Manager, Cities Unit
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Elsa works to support sustainable urban development with practitioners and experts at the international, regional and local levels. She focuses on the development of UNEP’s work in integrated and sustainable neighbourhood design and coordinates the advocacy component of UrbanShift, aiming to promote the importance of cities in the achievement of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and to raise awareness of the programme at the global and regional level.

Read full bio

María Rincón Liévana

María Rincón Liévana

Team Leader, Circular Economy
European Commission

María has been working on circular economy policies for the past 6 years and currently leads the unit in charge of implementing Europe’s circular economy action plan. She also works on the circular economy of textiles. After finishing her master’s at the College of Europe in European political and administrative studies, Maria worked in the representation of Andalucía to the EU in Brussels, in charge of policy areas including digitalisation, the economy, finance and the circular economy. At the Directorate-General Environment in the European Commission, Maria has discovered best practices in sustainable consumption and production, disseminated among eco-innovative businesses and public authorities. She is keen on learning more about new business models in markets for secondary raw materials. Maria also holds a degree in law and a master’s in diplomacy and international relations.

Read full bio

Aik Hoe Lim

Aik Hoe Lim

Director, Trade and Environment Division
The World Trade Organization (WTO)

Aik Hoe Lim oversees the WTO’s work on trade and environment, as well as on the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. He joined the WTO in 1999 and served in the external relations division, the director-general's office and the trade in services division. He was previously counsellor to two WTO director-generals, adviser to the Director General’s Consultative Group, and secretary to WTO committees, working groups and negotiating bodies on services trade and domestic regulation. His principal areas of interest and expertise are on trade and sustainable development, climate change, technical barriers to trade, services trade policy, and trade and regulation.

Read full bio

Michaela Lindström

Michaela Lindström

Managing Director
Hailia Nordic Oy

Michaela Lindström is co-founder of Hailia, a company aimed at enhancing circularity within the fishing industry. When starting the enterprise, she leveraged her robust expertise and experience gained from marketing and project management. Michaela is driven by the opportunity to contribute to the shared mission of creating a future-proof food system: meeting nutritional demands within planetary boundaries. Fearless and infinitely curious, she says "Let's find out" when others say "impossible."

Read full bio

Andrea Liverani

Andrea Liverani

Lead Specialist
The World Bank

Andrea works for the environment, natural resources and blue economy global practice of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region. He is also the lead author of the bank's report “Squaring the Circle: Policies from Europe’s Circular Economy Transition”. Andrea has over 20 years’ development experience in research and policy assignments as well as financial and advisory support to governments, with a focus on sustainability and climate. Before joining the World Bank, he worked for the OECD, and previously held positions in government, academia and private consulting. Andrea holds a PhD and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

Read full bio

Daniel Lodetti

Daniel Lodetti

Deputy Head for Sustainable Development
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil

Daniel Lodetti is a diplomat and part of the team leading the G20 Initiative on the Bioeconomy (GIB), one of the innovations announced by the Brazilian Presidency for the G20 in 2024. Daniel was also the Brazilian negotiator for the circular economy at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in 2024 and board member of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP). He was part of the Brazilian delegations to many international fora, including the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the G20 Development Working Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Forum on Sustainable Development at ECLAC. He worked at the Brazilian Embassy in Bogotá Daniel graduated in economics from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC).

Read full bio

Cillian Lohan

Cillian Lohan

NAT Vice President
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Cillian Lohan has been an active member of the EESC since 2015 and was vice president for communications from October 2020 to 2023. He has worked extensively in the corporate and environmental sectors. He is a leader in the field of the circular economy and was the inaugural chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, which he helped to establish. Cillian Lohan is CEO of the Green Economy Foundation, formerly known as Irish Natural Forestry Foundation.

Read full bio

Thomas Maddox

Thomas Maddox

Director, Nature
CDP

Thomas has worked in the environment-business interface for over 20 years. He spent his early career in Indonesia working on tigers, palm oil and green economies for the Zoological Society of London and WWF before returning to the UK to focus on mining and forests with Flora & Fauna International. Thomas joined CDP, the global environmental disclosure platform, in 2021 and is now responsible for guiding the expansion of the platform to encompass all aspects of nature. He has a PhD in ecology and an MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Read full bio

Florian Marin

Florian Marin

Member
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Florian Marin is an economist specialising in local and rural development, sustainable development, circularity and managing European structural and investment funds. He is the former vice-president of the Romanian Economic and Social Council, an alternate member in the executive board of the National Trade Union Block confederation, president of the Federation of Free Trade Unions in Romania and member of the European Social Fund monitoring committee. Marin has a PhD and conducts postdoctoral research in economic sciences.

Read full bio

Paola Migliorini

Paola Migliorini

Deputy Head of Unit
European Commission

Paola Migliorini has been working on circular economy policies at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment since 2012. She has coordinated the policy development and the implementation of the two circular economy action plans adopted by the Commission in 2015 and 2020. Currently, she focuses on the circular economy for textiles and plastics and on the EU Ecolabel. Paola has great interest in best practices on sustainable consumption and production from innovative businesses and public authorities. She has experience in European institutions and the private sector. Her motto is "explain, listen and make it happen".

Read full bio

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller

CEO
The Rediscovery Centre

Sarah Miller is founder of Ireland's national centre for the circular economy. Based in Europe's first circular economy demonstration centre, the Rediscovery Centre acts as an innovation hub, delivering education, providing research and enabling policy and collaboration to support a just transition to the circular economy. Sarah has a PhD in environmental science, a master’s in business administration and an honours degree in biotechnology. With over 30 years’ professional experience in the UK, Ireland and Australia, she has worked primarily with commercial and social enterprise start-ups, ranging from large-scale mechanical and biological waste treatment plants to community development projects. Sarah is a member of the coordinating group for the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, where she also sits on the leadership group for citizen engagement and circular behaviour. She is active in several circular economy networks, technical committees and support initiatives.

Read full bio

Kgauta Mokoena

Kgauta Mokoena

Chief Director, Chemicals and Waste Policy, Specialist Monitoring Services
Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, South Africa

Kgauta Mokoena works at AfDB’s department of forestry, fisheries and the environment. Previously he worked as director of mine environmental research and sustainable development. He is a member of the Minerals and Petroleum Board and chair of the working group on built environment at the Africa Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA). Mokoena is a circular economy expert who participated in the circular economy mission in Europe led by the South African Presidency in 2019. He holds a BSc in environmental hydrology and soil science and a bachelor of laws (LLB) from the University of South Africa and a masters’ of social science in policy and development studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also represents South Africa as the co-chair of ACEA and is a member of PAGE and Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Economy (GACERE).

Read full bio

Carolina Montano Owen

Carolina Montano Owen

Circularity Accelerator Programme Coordinator
World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)

Carolina Montano Owen promotes strategies to accelerate the transition to a sustainable built environment, by leading initiatives such as the Circular Buildings Coalition and the WorldGBC global circularity accelerator programme. She has a background in civil engineering and a doctorate from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Carolina has supported the development of the technical screening criteria for the EU’s green taxonomy as a member of the WorldGBC team for the EU Platform on sustainable finance, as well as decarbonisation road maps as part of the #BuildingLife project.

Read full bio

Brigitte Mouligneau

Brigitte Mouligneau

Transition Manager
Vlaanderen Circulair, OVAM

Brigitte Mouligneau studied Law at KU Leuven in Belgium. After a first career of 16 years in European relations, she became head of the strategic policy unit of the Flemish Government. She specialises in long-term strategies and transition management. In 2016, Brigitte joined the Circular Flanders’ team at OVAM (the Public Waste Agency) and was appointed as their transition manager in 2018 by the ministers of environment and of economy and innovation. Circular Flanders is a public-private partnership working on the transition towards the circular economy in Flanders. In the Flemish climate action plan the goal is to reduce the material footprint 30 percent by 2030 by introducing the circular principles in our economy and in our society.

Read full bio

Nanno Mulder

Nanno Mulder

Chief, International Trade Unit
United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Nanno Mulder’s main areas of research are on the Latin America and the Caribbean region’s participation in global value chains in general and services in particular. This includes digital trade and ecommerce and sustainable trade, with a focus on the internationalisation of SMEs, gender equality and the circular economy. He has worked at the OECD and CEPII. He holds a master’s and a PhD from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Read full bio

Gianpiero Nacci

Gianpiero Nacci

Director of Climate Strategy and Delivery
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Gianpiero Nacci is responsible for business support and policy dialogue in the corporate sectors, as well as energy and infrastructure at the EBRD. He also leads their work on climate adaptation, resilience and nature finance. He has 25 years’ experience in climate finance, sustainable energy, climate corporate governance, sustainable business, a circular economy and climate resilience. Gianpiero joined the EBRD in 2003 and has led the development of clean manufacturing, sustainable energy and carbon emission reduction investments for corporate clients. He holds an MSc in mechanical engineering from the Politecnico di Torino and an MSc in renewable energy from the University of Oldenburg Germany.

Read full bio

Anis Nassar

Anis Nassar

Lead, Resource Circularity
World Economic Forum (WEF)

Anis Nassar is an economist who leads the circular economy agenda of the WEF. He represents the WEF with external organisations such as the Global Battery Alliance, the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) and the Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP).

Read full bio

Sarah Negro

Sarah Negro

Head of Public Affairs Production
H&M Group

In an almost two decade-long career, Sarah Negro worked across Europe and Asia as a diplomat. She has successfully developed public affairs strategies, advocated for legislation changes and engaged with both public and private actors. In 2018 Sarah moved back into the corporate world and joined H&M Group. In her current role, she leads public affairs teams in production countries by advocating for policy developments needed for the most impactful ecosystem and meaningful business growth.

Read full bio

Jussi Nevanlinna

Jussi Nevanlinna

Senior Advisor
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

Prior to joining Sitra, Jussi held senior marketing leadership roles at Nokia, Microsoft and Qualcomm. Currently he looks after Sitra's lifestyle test and its future evolution.

Read full bio

Aloysio Nunes

Aloysio Nunes

Head of Strategic Affairs – Europe
Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil)

Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho was born in São José do Rio Preto on 5 April 1945. He is a lawyer and was a prosecutor for the State of São Paulo. He has served several legislative terms at the state level and in the national congress. He was vice-governor of São Paulo, secretary of state of São Paulo and of the city hall of the capital. He was secretary general of the presidency of the republic, minister of justice and minister of foreign affairs. He currently heads the strategic affairs division of the office of ApexBrazil in Brussels, Belgium.

Read full bio

Marvin Nusseck

Marvin Nusseck

Senior Strategist
Circle Economy

Marvin works for the finance programme of Circle Economy Foundation and leads its strategic direction. Marvin initiated the company's "circularity exchange network" which supports major financial institutions in their circular transition. He also runs projects in the Dutch financial sector in the Kopgroep Circulair Financieren. His expertise lies in developing strategic solutions around financing challenges and measuring the circular economy. He has also led the R&D work on circular indicators and metrics as a secretariat member of the Circular Economy Indicator Coalition (CEIC). Previously, he worked in business consulting and development in the DACH area (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). As a freelancer he has years of experience in the electronic equipment (waste) sector. Marvin holds an MSc in political economy from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and a BSc in business economics.

Read full bio

Harsen Nyambe

Harsen Nyambe

Director for Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy
African Union Commission (AUC)

Prior to his current position, Harsen Nyambe served as head of division responsible for environment, climate change, water, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, forestry, land management, meteorology and wildlife. He has 25 years’ professional experience of which 18 years has been in international organisations. Before joining the AUC, he served the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a senior programme manager responsible for natural resources and the Commonwealth Secretariat as head of climate change. Nyambe has also worked for the government of the Republic of Namibia as a deputy director in the ministry of environment and tourism and in the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry. Furthermore, he was also head of the National Remote Sensing Centre of Namibia and prior to that a lecturer for environmental impact assessment and ecology at the University of Namibia. His passion lies in fostering sustainable natural resources management and building resilience to environmental shocks.

Read full bio

Julia Okatz

Julia Okatz

Director, Natural Resources
Systemiq

Julia is a director across Systemiq’s Natural Resources and Urban Practice. Her work focuses on the efficient and balanced space-use for resilient and vibrant neighbourhoods. This includes analytical studies, as well as implementation projects focused on AI-enabled planning and finance solutions. Julia also works as a special advisor to the International Resource Panel (IRP)’s Co-Chair Janez Potočnik and contributes to the advisory panel of the EU’s Circular Regions and Cities initiative. Before joining Systemiq, Julia worked at the Institute for Climate and Society in Rio de Janeiro. She holds an MSc in global politics from the London School of Economics and a post-graduate degree in interdisciplinary design for the built environment from the University of Cambridge.

Read full bio

Thomas van Oppens

Thomas van Oppens

Deputy Mayor
Leuven

Thomas Van Oppens is Leuven's deputy mayor for waste management or, as he prefers to call it, material management. Leuven is one of the 100 European cities on a mission to become climate neutral. But what about all the materials that are needed to accomplish that? And what about the materials that are already in the city? How can we connect the dots? Thomas takes you from the high-level plans and translates them into local policies and realisations.

Read full bio

Nani Pajunen

Nani Pajunen

Leading specialist
Turku University of Applied Sciences

Nani Pajunen is a sustainability and carbon neutral circular economy specialist with over 25 years’ experience in industry and research. She was one of the authors of the Finnish national circular economy road map in 2016. Nani works enthusiastically to make a systemic change from the linear economy towards a sustainable and fair global economy. She develops solutions for an economy based on the sustainable use of natural resources and carbon-neutral circular economy business. One of her primary goals is to help different sectors of society, public and private organisations to succeed in an uncertain market situation when the sustainability crisis and lack of energy and raw materials are reality. Nani’s specialty is to create the vision of a sustainable and fair future and build the path how to get there. She has a DSc (Tech) and has worked in industry, academy and as a management consultant.

Read full bio

Martin Pauli

Martin Pauli

Director, Global Circular Economy Leader
Arup

Martin Pauli works at Arup, an international consultancy and design firm, where he develops circular economy-based business and product strategies for leading companies in the construction industry in Europe and internationally.

Read full bio

Rolph Payet

Rolph Payet

Executive Secretary
Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Conventions, UNEP

Rolph Payet is an international policy expert, researcher and speaker on environment, climate and island issues, and was the first president and vice-chancellor of the University of Seychelles. He was minister of environment and energy in the cabinet of Seychelles from 2012 to 2014. Dr Payet has received numerous international awards and recognition for his work on islands, climate change, tertiary education and biodiversity. He is known for his ability to bring together the various disciplines – natural science, economics and business – to innovate solutions for environmental issues. His research in sustainable tourism and climate change continue to benefit numerous tourism developments in Seychelles and elsewhere.

Read full bio

Mattia Pellegrini

Mattia Pellegrini

Head of Unit, DG Environment
European Commission

Mattia Pellegrini is currently heading the waste-to-resources unit for the European Commission’s environment department. Previously he was head of unit for raw materials, metals, minerals and forest-based industries at the Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). He also previously worked as head of cabinet of commissioner Nelli Feroci and as a member of the cabinet of the vice president of the European Commission, in charge of enterprise and industry. Pellegrini has a master’s in European legal studies from the College of Europe, Bruges, and a postgraduate diploma in EC law obtained at L.U.I.S.S. “Guido Carli”, University of Rome.

Read full bio

Karen Pflug

Karen Pflug

Chief Sustainability Officer
IKEA Ingka Group

Karen Pflug joined Ingka Group in August 2021. In her role, she leads the sustainability centre of expertise which supports the company to deliver towards the ambitious commitments set out in the IKEA people and planet positive strategy. Throughout her career, Karen has led major business transformation and change initiatives, with a strong emphasis on innovation, sustainable design and retail. She has held a range of senior leadership roles at Ingka Group, Inter IKEA Group, Nike, Reebok, Triumph International and Australian sportswear brand Skins. Karen holds a BSc in Textile Design and Design Management from the University of Manchester. She is a keen sportswoman and lover of the outdoors, with passions for cycling and kayaking. She lives in the Netherlands with her husband, daughter and son.

Read full bio

Nicola Pochettino

Nicola Pochettino

Director of Environment and Natural Resources Department
European Investment Bank (EIB)

Nicola Pochettino’s work at EIB in Luxembourg covers water, the bioeconomy and the circular economy. Prior to joining EIB, he worked at the International Energy Agency in Paris and in various positions in the financial sector and the energy industry, both in Italy and the UK. Nicola is a CFA charterholder; he holds a master of science in nuclear engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin and a master's in economics and management of energy and the environment.

Read full bio

Francesca Poggiali

Francesca Poggiali

Chief Public Policy Officer Europe
GS1

Francesca is a public policy professional with 25 years’ experience in building partnerships between the public and private sectors. Prior to joining GS1, she worked at the European Commission and European Parliament, as well as for Ferrero as advocacy and sustainability lead. Among her biggest achievements are: the corporate social responsibility programme launched and developed to the highest public recognition for Ferrero, the convergence of environmental protection and chemical impacts in the framework of the EU chemical reform, and the fight against illicit trade through open non-proprietary standards for GS1. Francesca studied corporate social responsibility at the Harvard Business School and she holds a master’s in European law.

Read full bio

Janez Potočnik

Janez Potočnik

Co-chair
International Resource Panel (IRP)

Janez Potočnik (1958) is an economist graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He served as director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in Ljubljana. He was appointed head of the negotiating team for the accession of Slovenia to the EU and served as minister responsible for European Affairs. In 2004 he joined the European Commission as Commissioner responsible for science and research. In 2010 he became Commissioner for environment. After the mandate he was appointed as a co-chair of UNEP IRP. Dr Potočnik is also partner at SYSTEMIQ.

Read full bio

Vidyadhar Rane

Vidyadhar Rane

General Secretary
Alang Sosiya Ship Recycling & General Workers’ Association

Vidyadhar V. Rane is a staunch believer in a free, independent and democratic trade union movement. He is the founder of the pioneering union of shipbreaking workers in India. He has been working in the organised sector as well as in the unorganised sector since 1989. He is a member of the Bipartite Wage Negotiation Committee constituted by the ministry of shipping of India to revise the wages and service conditions of port and dock workers of major ports. Rane has been instrumental in organising shipbreaking workers in India. The union of shipbreaking workers at Alang, in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat has under his leadership done excellent work for the welfare of the members and their families. Since 2023, Rane has been instrumental in establishing his union as a partner with the ILO in a project called “Promoting OSH in Alang ship recycling and downstream industry”. He is also vice chair of IndustriALL’s shipbuilding and shipbreaking sector.

Read full bio

Nelson Pereira dos Reis

Nelson Pereira dos Reis

Vice President
Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP)

Nelson Pereira dos Reis leads the sustainable development department of FIESP and the Center of Industries of the State of São Paulo (CIESP). He is also the president of the Union of Chemical Products for Industrial Purposes and Petrochemicals of the State of São Paulo. In his journey as an executive working to conciliate the competitiveness of the industry with the improvement of environmental quality and social well-being, he presided over Copebrás and Anglo American's operations in Brazil and was executive president of the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association.

Read full bio

Janja Ribič

Janja Ribič

Under-secretary
Slovenian Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy

We already know everything; we just need to go back. In the last 8 years Janja Ribič has worked on various environmental topics, in particular the circular economy, green public procurement and the integration of EU project activities into the regular content of the ministry and national policies. She is passionate about organising sustainable events, implementing lectures on environmental issues, preparing green public procurement, transferring good circular practices, and implementing projects that promote the circular economy in relation to climate policies. She is convinced that the content of the circular economy is intertwined with all policies and requires a different approach than what Slovenia is used to. She therefore strongly advocates intensive inter-ministerial integration involving business and other stakeholders. Nature is its inspiration and greatest ally.

Read full bio

Guido Rink

Guido Rink

Vice Mayor
Municipality of Emmen

Guido Rink has been vice mayor of the city of Emmen since 2018. He is responsible for economic development and sustainability, mobility, international affairs, cooperation in the Northern Netherlands, events and hospitality, social support and inclusion. He is also a member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) at the EU and is a rapporteur and spokesman of Regulation on Artificial Intelligence for the CoR. Rink is political chair of the small and medium sized cities platform in the POLIS network. One of Rink’s priorities is the transition to a fully circular economy. He sees the urgency of this transition and clearly understands that this transition requires intensive cooperation with various stakeholders, public and private. He also strongly believes in collaboration between circular cities and regions across Europe.

Read full bio

Michiel Ritzen

Michiel Ritzen

Research Leader Circularity in the Built Environment
VITO

Michiel Ritzen received his master’s in architecture, specialising in technology in sustainable design, from Delft University of Technology in 2004. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree on the environmental impact assessment of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) from Eindhoven University of Technology in 2017. Michiel is research activity leader and senior expert for circularity in the built environment in the unit Water and Energy Transition at the Flemish research organisation VITO. He is coordinator and expert in national and international research projects in energy and circularity transitions in the built environment.

Read full bio

Davina Rooney

Davina Rooney

Chief Executive Officer
Green Building Council Australia (GBCA)

Davina has led GBCA since June 2019. The GBCA’s role is to lead the sustainable transformation of the built environment and has achieved over 4,500 certifications with the rating tool Green Star. Davina is a property professional with a broad range of sustainability experience, from environmental projects, not-for profit boards and overseas community development work, spending 8 months working in the Indian Himalayas on the construction of a school which won multiple international awards. She is on Evolve Housing’s board and the World Green Building Council.

Read full bio

Pep Rosenfeld

Pep Rosenfeld

Founder, Event Host and Comedian
Boom Chicago for Business

Pep is a high-level event host, keynote speaker, communication trainer, stand-up comedian and collaborative partner. Pep hosts high-profile events like The Nordic Business Forum where he made Barack Obama laugh and receives higher audience ratings than most speakers. His interviews with thought leaders like Simon Sinek, Brené Brown and Malcolm Gladwell get rave reviews. As co-founder and director of content for Boom Chicago for Business, Pep puts Boom's philosophy, “Humor Makes Business Better,” into effect hosting business events, where he uses comedy to make hard-to-communicate messages land and stick. His interactive keynotes, including, “Up Your Leadership Game with Humor” is in high demand. Pep was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on America’s long-running television show, Saturday Night Live.

Read full bio

Solange Rouschop

Solange Rouschop

Chief Sustainability Officer
ABN AMRO

Solange was appointed as CSO for ABN AMRO Bank in January 2023. In this role she is responsible for driving their sustainability transition. During her 25-year career she has held diverse positions within the ABN AMRO Group, including multiple supervisory positions, and has lived and worked in six different countries. In her last position she was the bank’s country executive in Belgium and has held responsibility for sustainability in previous positions as well. She holds a master’s in business economics and is a Certified European Financial Analyst.

Read full bio

Michael Di Russo

Michael Di Russo

Head of Property
Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Michael Di Russo leads the Clean Energy Finance Corporation's debt and equity investments that accelerate Australia’s transition to lower emissions within the built environment. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the property sector across a range of roles covering town planning, acquisitions, funds management and corporate finance. Michael has previously held roles with CBA, Westpac Group, Ashe Morgan and Spectrum Property Partners.

Read full bio

Emma Sairanen

Emma Sairanen

Project Coordinator
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

Emma is a chemical engineer, working for the global collaboration team at Sitra. Her work focuses on advancing a global transition to a circular economy through the World Circular Economy Forum and finding circular solutions that simultaneously tackle biodiversity loss and climate change. For Emma, thriving nature is the basis for all well-being and the circular economy is a means to transition towards a society in which nature is not depleted but has space to thrive.

Read full bio

Milagros Rivas Saiz

Milagros Rivas Saiz

Managing Director, Advisory Services
IDB Invest

Milagros Rivas Saiz joined IDB Invest in 2021, where she is responsible for leading the climate change, gender and inclusion, SME development, digitalisation and public-private partnerships areas. Before joining the IDB Group, Milagros worked for the International Finance Corporation as global head of strategy director and global head of advisory services, a position in which she helped develop highly sustainable projects and open markets to private investment. Previously, she was an Executive Committee member of Acciona Energía and a consultant with McKinsey & Co. She earned a master’s in civil engineering from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s network of experts on climate and energy transition.

Read full bio

Pau Sanchis

Pau Sanchis

EU Affairs Director
CATL

Pau is an accomplished professional with a master's from the College of Europe. With over four years of dedicated service at the European association for industrial battery companies EUROBAT, he led significant policy initiatives related to the batteries regulation. Recently, Pau has embarked on a new chapter in his career as the policy director at the energy technology company CATL, where he continues to leverage his expertise in shaping the future of energy policies.

Read full bio

Daniela Sani

Daniela Sani

PhD
ART-ER

Daniela Sani is on the staff of the sustainability area manager for sustainable innovation at ART-ER, where she represents the group in many organisations and projects. She is responsible for KIC EIT Raw Materials, EIT Manufacturing, EIT Health, EIT Climate and EIT Culture & Creativity. She works as an expert evaluator for the European Commission and other European partnerships and institutions. Daniela is a certified mediator for civil and commercial disputes accredited to the Anacona Chaber of Commerce. She has a PhD in geotechnical engineering and an MBA in civil engineering. She has 10 years’ research history in topics related to the environment and materials and has contributed to over 80 publications.

Read full bio

Luisa Santiago

Luisa Santiago

Latin America Lead
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Luisa Santiago has been leading the foundation's work in Latin America since the establishment of its regional office in 2015. She is recognised as one of the main leaders in the circular economy on the continent and has a key role in its uptake by governments and businesses. She sits in the steering board of the Latin American and Caribbean Circular Economy Coalition, and is a board member of some NGOs and cities. Prior to joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation she spent nearly 10 years in strategy and sustainability consultancy with large corporations and governments. She holds a master’s in sustainable development practices, a degree in environmental management, and a bachelor's in social communication.

Read full bio

Alessia Santoro

Alessia Santoro

Senior Associate, Built Environment
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Alessia has an Italian bachelor's degree in construction engineering and a master's in "cities and sustainability" from Aalborg University in Denmark. She has completed her curriculum internship at ICLEI in Mexico City and further started working for WBCSD in the Built Environment Pathway. Her specialty is studying how to apply the circular economy model in the built environment system. At the moment, she is co-leading the development of a framework to measure the circularity of buildings while collaborating with Global ABC, UNEP and the Circular Buildings Coalition.

Read full bio

Peter Schmidt

Peter Schmidt

NAT Section President
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Born in 1962, Peter Schmidt's first occupation was cheesemaker. Later, he was a regional officer of the NGG food and catering trade union for 27 years, in charge of dairy industries and bakeries. Since 2014 he has been a member of the EESC's Group II (workers). From 2015 to 2018, he was the president of the EESC's permanent study group on sustainable food systems. From 2018 to 2020, he was the president of the EESC's sustainable development observatory. He is one of the founding members of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and continues to support the platform in his current capacity at the EESC, responsible for agriculture, rural development and environment.

Read full bio

Astrid Schomaker

Astrid Schomaker

Director, DG Environment
European Commission

A lawyer by training, Astrid Schomaker is director for green diplomacy and multilateralism in the European Commission's Directorate General for Environment. Since joining the Commission in 1992, she has held a variety of posts in the areas of international relations and environment policy, amongst them leading the work on chemical policy, marine issues and the EU's environment policy strategy to 2030.

Read full bio

Patrick Schröder

Patrick Schröder

Senior Research Fellow
Chatham House

Patrick Schröder specialises in research on the global transition to an inclusive circular economy with a focus on international policy coordination, closing the investment gap, the role of global trade and the contribution of the circular economy to the Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to joining Chatham House, he was Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. From 2008–15 he was based in Beijing where he worked extensively in development cooperation programmes of the European Union and climate change programmes with GIZ. He is currently coordinating lead author for UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook 7. Patrick holds a BA in Chinese from the University of Westminster and received his MA in international relations and PhD in environmental studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Read full bio

Alice Senga

Alice Senga

Administrator, ECESP Secretariat
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Seasoned communications expert Alice holds a master's in digital communication, which she complemented by EU environmental policies and law studies. She has worked in the social economy field for four years and is now part of the team managing the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform’s (ECESP) secretariat at the EESC. Over the years, she worked and facilitated policymakers and stakeholders in various configurations, including high-level events such as the platform's annual conference and the #EUCircularTalks concept.

Read full bio

Daniele Serra

Daniele Serra

Associate Expert
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Daniele has worked at UNIDO as a project manager in the circular economy and resource efficiency unit since 2021. He is the focal point of the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) and leads a project on the uptake of eco-design practices in China. A passionate advocate of the ecological transition, he worked for the energy utility Enel before joining UNIDO (2017-2021). His background is in sustainable energy systems and he holds an MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, the Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy, and the UPC BarcelonaTech in Spain.

Read full bio

Martin Seychell

Martin Seychell

Deputy Director-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA)
European Commission

Martin Seychell is a graduate in chemistry and pharmaceutical technology. He occupied the post of head of directorate for foodstuffs and chemicals at the Malta Standards Authority between 2001 and 2006, and that of director of environment protection at the Malta Environment and Planning Authority between 2006 and 2011. He was appointed deputy director general for health and consumers at the European Commission in March 2011. Between 2014 and 2020 he was deputy director-general for health in the Health and Food Safety Directorate-General (SANTE), responsible for directorates dealing with public health and health systems and products. These covered a number of policy areas including health security, health systems, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, tobacco control and digital health. He also represented the Commission on the management board of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) between 2011 and 2020. He was appointed deputy director general responsible for human development, migration, governance and peace, and resources in DG INTPA in June 2020.

Read full bio

Riku Sinervo

Riku Sinervo

Senior Lead
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

Riku is a dedicated circular economist with a passion for developing business models which are more circular. Throughout his career, Riku has worked with numerous circular economy initiatives, such as circular economy road maps and industry-specific playbooks. Riku's expertise lies in developing circular solutions that drive innovation and growth and at the same time reduce the need for resources. He is especially interested in the nexus between the circular economy and nature. Nature and biodiversity are featuring more and more in the business agendas, and the circular economy is a key delivery mechanism in halting and reversing biodiversity loss.

Read full bio

Virginijus Sinkevičius

Virginijus Sinkevičius

EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
European Commission

Prior to joining the European Commission, Virginijus Sinkevičius was the minister of economy of Lithuania from 2017 to 2019. He led the committee of economy at the parliament of Lithuania, to which he was elected in October 2016. Sinkevičius holds a bachelor’s in international relations and affairs from Aberystwyth University and a master’s in European international affairs from Maastricht University.

Read full bio

Paul Skehan

Paul Skehan

Vice President, Public Policy, Government Affairs and Communications
PepsiCo

Paul joined PepsiCo in September 2017. Previously he acted as director general of spiritsEUROPE for 5 years, director of the European Retail Round Table (ERRT) for 4 years and as deputy secretary general of EUROCHAMBRES for 10 years. Before joining EUROCHAMBRES, Paul worked as CEO of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland, having spent several years before that in the Irish Industrial Development Authority, responsible for attracting and developing industry in Ireland. He has a bachelor of commerce degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from UBI/Mercer University. As a student, he also worked as a chimney sweep, proof-reader, house painter, grape picker, seller of “In Dublin” magazine and merchandiser.

Read full bio

Veerle Slenders

Veerle Slenders

Executive Vice-President Recycling
Umicore

Veerle Slenders was appointed to her current position in June 2023. She brings over 30 years’ international experience in various operating and commercial roles and spent 28 years at Praxair/Linde, a leading global industrial gases and engineering company. She served as their president of the west European region, led the global advanced materials technologies business, and led the global safety, health, environment and quality function. Veerle’s career includes periods working and living in the US, Germany, France and Belgium. She holds a master's in chemical engineering from the University of Hasselt, Belgium, as well as a postgraduate in business administration from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Read full bio

Achim Steiner

Achim Steiner

Administrator
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator in June 2017 and has been reappointed by the United Nations General Assembly to a second four-year term beginning in June 2021. He is also the vice-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system. He has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to UNDP he was the director of the Oxford Martin School and previously led the UN Environment Programme. He was also director general of International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the secretary general of the World Commission on Dams.

Read full bio

Kristin Strandberg

Kristin Strandberg

Cities Strategist
Circle Economy

Kristin has extensive experience and a multidisciplinary knowledge base in urban development. She previously worked in the public sector in Sweden as an environmental urban planner, guiding city development sustainably for people, planet and the environment. At Circle Economy, she is responsible for research and analysis behind circular city support, including creating strategies, road maps and guidance documents. Additionally, Kristin facilitates workshops, providing expertise and insights to promote sustainable urban planning practices, emphasising ecological and societal well-being. Her work focuses on innovative circular solutions for urban challenges, fostering environmentally friendly and socially inclusive urban spaces.

Read full bio

Jerome Stucki

Jerome Stucki

Chief
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Jerome leads the circular economy and resource efficiency unit at UNIDO. The unit supports industries, and in particular SMEs, in member states in just transitions towards more resource-efficient and circular business models and practices. Working for UNIDO since 2010, Jerome designed and managed environmental interventions ranging from eco-industrial parks and large industrial mercury emitters to artisanal gold mining. Prior to joining UNIDO, he worked for an environmental consultancy in Switzerland providing expertise to industries facing environmental legacies. Jerome holds an MSc in earth sciences from the University of Lausanne and an MAS in hydrogeology from the University of Neuchatel, both in Switzerland.

Read full bio

Nadine Stöcker

Nadine Stöcker

Technical Advisor
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Nadine Stöcker has been working for GIZ since 2017 and is currently advisor in the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3). During the past four years, Nadine coordinated a company-wide working group on sustainable industrial areas, fostering knowledge management and networking between member projects in close exchange with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Bank Group. She holds a bachelor’s in retail management and a post graduate double degree in natural resources management and development. Nadine gained six years of regional experience in Latin America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico), working for the sustainable management of natural resources.

Read full bio

Djaheezah Subratty

Djaheezah Subratty

Head of Consumption and Production Unit
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Djaheezah Subratty has 30 years’ experience in the private sector, national government and the UN system in mainstreaming sustainability into sector policies and strategies, public sector investment programmes and regional or international policy agendas. She works for the industry and economy division at UNEP. Since joining UNEP in 2010, Djaheezah has held several positions, including in energy and climate policy, UNEP corporate programme performance monitoring and reporting, and global subprogramme coordinator for resource efficiency, finance and economic transformations. Prior to joining UNEP, she worked for three years in environmental consulting in the private sector and for fifteen years in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Mauritius. Djaheezah has a multidisciplinary background, with degrees in chemistry and environmental studies, in international trade and economic diplomacy and post-graduate diplomas in environmental technology and in environmental management, specialising in solid waste management.

Read full bio

Katja Suhr

Katja Suhr

Head of Circular Economy Team
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Katja Suhr leads the circular economy programme at GIZ. With a background in international business administration, she has over 20 years’ experience in international cooperation with a focus on business development and sustainable management.

Read full bio

Christian Susan

Christian Susan

Industrial Development Office
UNIDO TCS/CCM/CER

Christian Susan is an Austrian national. He holds an MSC in integrated water resource management and an MSC in environmental economics. He joined UNIDO in 2008 and has since worked as project manager on a wide array of environmental projects in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin and Central America. The main objectives of the projects include promoting public-private-partnerships for water stewardship, circular and sustainable industrial approaches, facilitating resource efficient and cleaner production, the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and supporting the transition towards eco-industry. In 2018, he assumed management responsibility for the Swiss-funded Global Eco-Industrial Park Program (GEIPP) as well as for the GEIPP country-level interventions in Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam. The GEIPP is one of UNIDO’s flagship projects promoting the adoption of circular economy approaches in industries.

Read full bio

Helene Sørensen

Helene Sørensen

Circular Economy Analyst
Arup

Helene works for Arup’s foresight, strategy and insights team in Berlin. She is a structural engineer and sustainability manager by training. She uses her knowledge on structural engineering and corporate sustainability management to guide clients through sustainability challenges in the built environment. Prior to joining Arup, her work centered around systems thinking and material flow mapping. She is particularly knowledgeable in the circular economy, regenerative design and Arup’s Circular Buildings Toolkit. Previously she has worked on developing circular assessment frameworks for corporations.

Read full bio

Anjali Taneja

Anjali Taneja

Senior Policy Specialist & Group Head (Sustainability)
Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP)

Anjali Taneja is an economist and a seasoned sustainability expert. Over the last 15+ years she has spearheaded several sustainability initiatives involving evidence-based research, thought-leadership and policy enrichment with the Government of India (GoI), UNDP, Ashoka University, FICCI and CII. At CSTEP, she leads the Sustainability Vertical, focusing on the circular economy spanning energy, telecom, e-waste, the bioeconomy and lithium-ion batteries, among others. As a principal investigator, Dr Taneja has designed a PAN-India framework for solar photovoltaic waste recycling. She is also serving as a member of the GoI’s Apex Committee on circular economy in telecom and on ICCE’s board as an honorary advisor. Her research has been published widely in India and overseas.

Read full bio

Markus Terho

Markus Terho

Director
Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund

In his current position at Sitra, Markus leads the Nature and daily life project, which promotes change towards a more sustainable life in two ways: by inspiring people to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives and by making these changes visible at a societal level for decision makers. Before joining Sitra, Markus worked for 20 years in industry in various notable corporate responsibility positions; among them he has served as the global sustainability chief of Nokia.

Read full bio

Mayri Tiido

Mayri Tiido

CEO
Materjalivoog

Mayri Tiido is an adult educator with 10+ years’ experience and a circular economy entrepreneur. She's one of the co-founders of Materjalivoog, a marketplace in Estonia for industrial leftovers. In addition, she has researched what competencies young people need to become future leaders in a circular world and is a guest lecturer in different universities in Estonia on sustainability and circular economy topics.

Read full bio

Elisa Tonda

Elisa Tonda

Chief, Resources and Markets Branch
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Elisa Tonda works for the industry and economy division of UNEP. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of environmental management, business sustainability, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, the circular economy and sustainable development. She began her career in the private sector as an environmental expert and then held several positions in UN organisations.

Read full bio

Jordi Pascual Torner

Jordi Pascual Torner

Cities Programme Manager
Circle Economy

Jordi is driven by systemic transformation and the creation of a new economic model that delivers prosperity for people, society and the planet. He is convinced cities are the sweet spot to catalyse this transformation. He works with cities worldwide to help them understand the potential of the circular economy and integrate it into their ways of working and urban intervention plans.

Read full bio

Luis Armando Treviño

Luis Armando Treviño

Strategic Management Coordinator
Monterrey Water and Drainage Services

Luis Armando has a master's in organisational psychology from the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, Mexico, with extensive experience in water sustainability, group process management and human behaviour. He was technical secretary of the Río Bravo Basin Council, accredited as facilitator of the UNESCO / WET / CONAGUA water and education programme; and was member of the board of directors of the Network of Basin Organizations of North America and the Caribbean (ROCAN) among others. He is an honorary member of the board of directors of the Mexican Hydraulic Association, Nuevo León section. He worked for more than 13 years in the Río Bravo Basin Organization as regional coordinator of emergency assistance, basin councils and water culture.

Read full bio

Tseng Tse-Fong

Tseng Tse-Fong

Professor, Dr.-Ing.
Feng-Chia University

Tseng Tse-Fong has held numerous roles in academia and city governance. His significant role as the CEO of the "IBA Kaohsiung 2030" Preparatory Team is central to transforming Kaohsiung from a traditional industrial city into a NetZero, circular and smart city by 2050. His leadership emphasises citizen co-innovation and experimentation, positioning the community at the heart of sustainable urban development. By fostering a participatory approach, Tseng is not just driving environmental sustainability but also ensuring social justice and community ownership in the transformation process. His work in Kaohsiung showcases a forward-thinking model for urban development that balances technological advancements with citizen engagement, offering a replicable blueprint for other cities aiming for a sustainable future.

Read full bio

Burcu Tuncer

Burcu Tuncer

Circular Economy Program Manager
HP

Burcu has over 20 years’ experience working with the private, public and non-governmental sectors on transitions to sustainable consumption and production patterns. She currently leads the circular economy programme in the global sustainability compliance team at HP. Her previous work includes research on sustainable products at the Wuppertal Institute, senior expert support for the SWITCH-Asia network facility hosted by CSCP, management of the SwitchMed network in the MENA region, circular economy network lead for local governments at ICLEI, and co-lead for circular economy at adelphi. She is an environmental engineer and holds an MBA and an MSc in environmental management and policy. She is also an implementing partner of CTI.

Read full bio

Naresh Tyagi

Naresh Tyagi

Chief Sustainability Officer
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail

Naresh Tyagi is a seasoned and dynamic leader with rich experience ranging from apparel, textile and retail industries. With his expertise in heading business units, he boosts teams to develop innovative and strategic initiatives across functions. Through his deep interest in promoting environmental and social causes, he has carved a niche in diverse fields such as sustainability, safety and corporate social responsibility. Tyagi is an active member, co-chair and chair on various prominent global and national industry platforms, including the Cotton 2040, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Science Base Target initiative (SBTi), and is part of the steering committees at GIZ, ICCE, CAIF and CII.

Read full bio

Klaus Tyrkkö

Klaus Tyrkkö

Chief Technical Adviser
UNIDO

Klaus Tyrkkö has worked for the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme (GEIPP) implemented by UNIDO since 2020. GEIPP is a 7-country programme advancing the uptake of eco-industrial parks (EIP) practices and creating an EIP-conducive policy environment. Klaus served previously as division chief at UNIDO and has held a policy advisory role at UNDP and the European Commission. Klaus started his career in the manufacturing industry and has also served as a consultant in more than 20 countries.

Read full bio

Jutta Urpilainen

Jutta Urpilainen

European Commissioner for International Partnerships (DG INTPA)
European Commission

Jutta Urpilainen oversees the European Commission’s work on international cooperation and sustainable development. Before joining the Commission, she served as a member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2019. In 2008, she became the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. From 2011 to 2014, she served as Finland’s deputy prime minister and finance minister. During that time, she became closely involved in development issues, joining the Development Committee of the World Bank Group and IMF and chairing the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. She served as the foreign minister’s special representative on mediation (2017-2019) and chaired the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO (2015-2018). Urpilainen was born in 1975. She is married and has two children.

Read full bio

Davinah Milenge Uwella

Davinah Milenge Uwella

Principal Programme Coordinator
African Development Bank (AfDB)

Davinah coordinates several initiatives on climate change within the Climate Change and Green Growth Department of the bank, including the secretariat for the Africa Circular Economy Facility (ACEF). Other initiatives include: the Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Hub, a platform hosted at AfDB to support African countries implement their Paris Agreement climate commitments; and the secretariat of the African Financial Alliance on Climate Change (AFAC), an initiative launched by AfDB to mobilise, catalyse and leverage domestic climate finance. Davinah also manages portfolio due diligence for the bank’s green bonds programme. She holds an MA in economics from University of Manchester, UK.

Read full bio

Larissa van der Feen

Larissa van der Feen

Associate, Circular Economy
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Larissa is a passionate sustainability professional. She works at WBCSD on developing the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI). She has experience with various circularity and sustainability assessments (CTI, LCA, full costs assessments) and is publishing research on the transformative potential of such methodologies together with Utrecht University. Larissa loves to dive into the complexities of developing credible sustainability assessments that bring clarity and purpose.

Read full bio

Colette van der Ven

Colette van der Ven

Founding Director
TULIP Consulting

Colette van der Ven is an international lawyer with expertise in trade and sustainable development. She is a member of the New York bar. Colette advises public sector stakeholders on how to leverage regulatory frameworks and trade agreements to promote inclusive and sustainable development. Advancing a circular economy transition is a key focus of her work. She is also a lecturer in international economic law at the Graduate Institute. Colette holds a Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Read full bio

Virginia Vegas

Virginia Vegas

Managing Director
Venture Challenge

Virginia is a dedicated finance professional with a passion for fostering sustainable investment practices in the Nordics. Her expertise has supported the growth of over 100 emerging fund managers in the region and she has played a key role in guiding dozens of emerging funds towards environmentally conscious strategies.

Read full bio

Josefien van de Ven

Josefien van de Ven

Director of International Affairs
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, The Netherlands

Josefien van de Ven is an environmental scientist at heart. Moving through different roles and organisations, varying from government positions to management consultancy and finance, she has always been focused on adding more sustainability to our way of life. Circularity is a key factor in achieving this. In her newest position her focus is on helping to create a common story on the circular economy and adding sustainability that will resonate both internationally and nationally in the changing world we find ourselves in.

Read full bio

Christoffer Vestli

Christoffer Vestli

International Relations Officer
European Commission

Since 2020, Christoffer Vestli has been part of the multilateral team of the Directorate-General Environment of the European Commission, overseeing plastics negotiations and part of the circular economy action plan. He has worked with GACERE, the OnePlanet Network and other international projects related to sustainable consumption and production. He has experience in international relations and Norwegian legislation on the circular economy and waste management.

Read full bio

Tomi Vittaniemi

Tomi Vittaniemi

Director, Business Development
Parmaco

Tomi Vittaniemi is responsible for business development at Parmaco, a leading provider of dynamic rental spaces in the Nordic region. Parmaco champions circularity in the building sector, placing modularity and reusability at the heart of all its operations.

Read full bio

Karl Vrancken

Karl Vrancken

Chief Sustainability Officer
Indaver

Karl Vrancken is responsible for development and implementation of Indaver’s sustainability strategy. He has over 25 years’ experience as an expert in the science-policy interface, working with VITO on waste management, best available techniques and the circular economy. He was the PFAS Commissioner for the Flemish Government, bringing coordination and communication in the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) crisis in 2021-2022. He has a part-time assignment as associate professor at the bioengineering department at the University of Antwerp, where he teaches sustainable resources management. Karl is member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency and the International Advisory Board of the Wuppertal Institute for Energy and Environment. Throughout his career he has been building connections between policy, industry and research in the field of sustainable consumption and production.

Read full bio

John Wante

John Wante

Advisor Environment Policy
Cabinet of the Belgian federal minister of environment

John Wante is advisor on environment policy for the Belgian federal minister of Environment, Climate, Sustainable Development and Green Deal. He works on product policy, the circular economy and critical raw materials. Before that he worked as policy officer with OVAM, the Flemish Public Waste Agency, on waste and materials policy, on the regional, federal, European and international level. His educational background is chemical engineering.

Read full bio

Hua Wen

Hua Wen

Program Director, Energy Transition Project
Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) China

Hua Wen collaborates with Chinese partners to design and implement research and outreach projects to accelerate just and inclusive energy transitions in China's top coal-consuming provinces and cities. Prior to joining NRDC, he worked with the World Resources Institute for nine years, focusing on project management and cross-cutting research on the water-energy nexus, climate preparedness and market-based mechanisms. Before that, Hua worked as a programme officer at the Chongqing Environmental Protection Bureau in southwest China. He holds a master's in environmental engineering from Southwest China University and an MPA from the University of Maryland.

Read full bio

Jo Williams

Jo Williams

Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of the Circular Cities Hub
University College London

Jo Williams is an academic, author, designer and founder of the Circular Cities Hub. She is an expert in regenerative, low carbon, resource looping, adaptive urban systems. She fuses systems-based and design approaches to generate implementable solutions. She has developed a circular development concept and has researched the territorialisation of circular systems. She has acted in an advisory capacity for international organisations (e.g. UN Habitat, UNEP, European Environment Agency, EIB and OECD), countries, consultants and cities. She is the author of over 100 publications, including “Circular Cities: a revolution in urban sustainability”.

Read full bio

Marc de Wit

Marc de Wit

Managing Director
Circle Economy Consulting

Marc leads the Amsterdam-based impact consulting firm Circle Economy Consulting. He is a seasoned consultant with more than 15 years’ experience helping clients implement circular solutions. Marc is a recognised thought-leader on the circular economy. He is regularly invited to speak at global fora and is featured in media. He holds several external advisory roles including at WEF and the UN. He initiated the Circularity Gap Report, a global scorecard for circularity launched yearly at Davos. Marc holds a PhD in sustainable resource use.

Read full bio

Sara Yrjönmäki

Sara Yrjönmäki

Finnish Youth Nature Delegate
Allianssi

As a youth nature delegate for Finland, Sara makes sure Finnish youth perspectives are heard at international arenas and negotiations. With a background in international sustainability and development topics, she aims to highlight global solidarity and justice as a basis for inspiring and ambitious action for nature.

Read full bio

Xiaobo Zhang

Xiaobo Zhang

Director of Corporate Affairs and Strategy
Veolia China

After graduation, Xiaobo Zhang started his career in 2010 at Beijing Construction Engineering Group in charge of public relations. In early 2013, he became a reporter, and then editor at Global Times, a flagship English newspaper under the People’s Daily. Zhang joined Veolia China in the end of 2013 in charge of public relations. He has managed corporate and external affairs since 2015 and took his present position in 2021.

Read full bio

Chenxin Zhao

Chenxin Zhao

Vice Chairman
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), People’s Republic of China

Chenxin Zhao oversees the NDRC’s work on the circular economy, energy conservation and carbon reduction, environmental protection, strategic planning, private economy and rural economy. He has been working as the director general of the Bureau of Economic Operations Adjustment and Secretary General of NDRC. He graduated from Peking University and holds a PhD in law.

Read full bio

Kai Zhao

Kai Zhao

Executive Vice President
China Association of Circular Economy (CACE)

Kai Zhao holds an MBA from Guanghua School of Management, Peking University. He is an expert member of the National Green Development Fund Expert Advisory Committee, the National Technical Committee on Environmental Protection (SAC/TC275), the National Technical Committee on the Basis and Management of Product Recycling and Utilization (SAC/TC415), and the National Technical Committee on Energy Systems (SAC/TC459), among others. Zhao has successively won the second and the third prize of the China Standard Innovation Contribution Award. He has been engaging in the promotion of energy conservation and the circular economy over twenty years and has extensive experience in international cooperation.

Read full bio

Liyang Zhu

Liyang Zhu

President
China Association of Circular Economy (CACE)

Liyang Zhu is a professor-level senior economist andmember of the Fourth China National Expert Committee on Climate Change. He has a long-term participation in policy research, major plannings formulation, relevant regulations drafting and revision, and review and evaluation of important demonstration projects in the fields of the circular economy, energy conservation and emission reduction, climate change and environmental protection, in support of NDRC and other relevant government departments. Before working in CACE, he was the director of the resource and environment industry department of China International Engineering Consulting Corporation (CIECC). Zhu was also the member of the general Group of China National Medium- and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology on Water Pollution Control and Treatment, as well as been awarded with the State Council Special Government Allowance for experts.

Read full bio