We're excited to have speakers from across the globe sharing their views on how we can bring together the economy and the environment.


Esko Aho Esko Aho served as Prime Minister of Finland during 1991-1995, and as Member of the Parliament between 1983-2003. He is currently Executive Chairman of East Office of Finnish Industries representing the leading Finnish corporations in Russia, Chairman of the Board of the Skolkava Foundation in Moscow and Executive in Residence of Aalto University in Helsinki. He is also Senior Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he pursues research on the changing role of the state in maintaining welfare and global competitiveness.
Sasja Beslik Sasja Beslik is Head of Sustainable Finance and previously Head of Responsible Investments and CEO for Nordea Funds in Sweden. Sasja has over 15 years’ investment experience and has pioneered a number of global investment solutions for institutional, retail and private banking client segments. He is a Board Member in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), chair of UNEP Finance Initiative’s Water Work Group, and participates in the steering committee within Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) on shale gas and water issues. In 2011 he was elected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and in 2013 awarded the Serafimer-order-stripe medal by H.R.H King Carl Gustaf of Sweden for extraordinary efforts in the field of finance and sustainability.
Judith Bossé Judith Bossé is Director General of the CanmetENERGY research Center with interests in the advancement in bio innovation. She is the former Chief Scientist for Natural Resources Canada and Assistant Deputy Minister for Earth Sciences, overseeing the Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan for Canada. Previous, she served in multiple Assistant Deputy Minister positions within the federal government, focussed on translating science to policy. .
Robert Costanza Robert Costanza is a Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the National Council on Science and the Environment in the US, a Senior Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Center, an Affiliate Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, a deTao Master of Ecological Economics at the deTao Masters Academy, China, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK). Professor Costanza’s transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address research, policy and management issues at multiple time and space scales. He is the author or co-author of over 600 scientific papers and 27 books.
Frank Goebel Frank Goebel joined BRAIN in February 2015 as the managing director of B.R.A.I.N. Capital GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of BRAIN AG, helping to successfully IPO the company in February 2016. In November 2016, Frank joined the executive board of BRAIN AG to become the company’s CFO from mid-March 2017 onwards. Before joining BRAIN, Frank spent 15 years in banking in the Structured Finance area, working out of Frankfurt and London. In his last function at The Royal Bank of Scotland plc he acted as Investment Director focusing on financial restructuring transactions. In his early career, Frank worked as a controller in a German industrial company. Frank is a Diplom–Kaufmann and CFA charterholder.
Giulia Gregori Giulia Gregori works in Novamont as Director of Strategic Planning & Corporate Communication. Novamont is a global market leader in bioplastics and in the development of biochemical and it is currently involved in several projects which entails conversion of petrolchemical sites in biorefineries in Italy with the aim to restore growth through bioeconomy. Giulia Gregori entered in Novamont in September 2000, after graduating in Pure Chemistry with a specialization in Bioinorganic from the University of Milan, in collaboration with Leiden University. Within Novamont she is responsible for Strategic R&D and Researcher Training Projects and Corporate Communication, and undertaking also external relationships with Public and Private Funding Institutions. She has been a member of several Associations and she is member of Biobased Industries Board, as well as member of the board of Assobiotec, the Italian association of biotechnology and member of the board of directors of Enne3 – Incubatore di impresa Novara. She has been Secretary of the Italian Technology Cluster SPRING (Sustainable Processes and Resources for Innovation and National Growth) which involves over 100 companies, RTOs and 8 Italian regions, which aims to trigger further investments and create a common platform in the field of bioeconomy at Italian level.
Jennifer Holmgren Jennifer Holmgren is CEO of revolutionary carbon recycling company, LanzaTech. Prior to this, she was VP and General Manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. She was one of the key drivers of UOP’s leadership in aviation biofuels, and under her management, UOP technology became instrumental in producing nearly all of the initial fuels used by commercial airlines and the military for testing and certification of alternative aviation fuel. Under her guidance, LanzaTech is working towards developing a variety of platform chemicals and fuels, including the world’s first alternative jet fuel derived from industrial waste gases. In 2015 Dr Holmgren and her team were awarded the US Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Award.
Pentti Hyttinen Pentti Hyttinen is the Director General of Metsähallitus - the Finnish State Forest Enterprise. Formerly he worked as the Region Mayor in North Karelia, Finland. He has also worked for several years at the European Commission in Brussels as an Expert in Forest Sector. In the 1990s he served as the director of a regional Forestry Centre and held senior expert positions at the European Forest Institute and at the University of Joensuu, Finland. He serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Koli Forum Association. Pentti Hyttinen holds a PhD in forest management and economics from the University of Joensuu, Finland, and a Master’s degree in natural resources management from the Texas A&M University, USA.
Joanna Dupont-Inglis Joanna Dupont-Inglis first joined EuropaBio, the European Association of Bioindustries, in 2009 and in 2011 was appointed Director of Industrial Biotechnology. Her work involves developing a more supportive, predictable and coherent EU policy environment for the deployment of industrial biotech products and processes within the broader bioeconomy. EuropaBio seeks an innovation-driven EU research agenda for Biobased Industries, enabled by Industrial Biotechnology. Coalition building with other sectors of the circular bioeconomy has been a key area of activity, both in the development of the €3.7 billion Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and through the European Bioeconomy Alliance. In 2016 Joanna was appointed as chair of the EU Bioeconomy Panel.
Alok Jha is the science correspondent at ITN, working on news and current affairs for ITV. Before that, he was at the Guardian for more a decade, where he wrote news, features, comment and presented the award-winning Science Weekly podcast. He has also reported live from Antarctica and written and presented several TV and radio programmes for the BBC.
Kari Jordan Kari Jordan has been the President and CEO of Metsä Group since 2006. He is the Chairman of the Board of Metsä Board Corporation, Metsä Tissue Corporation and Metsä Fibre Oy, all parts of Metsä Group. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Finnish Forest Industries Federation and the Federation’s Working Group. He is also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company. He holds several positions of trust in foundations and non-profit associations. Prior to his career in forest industry, Kari Jordan has over 25 years’ experience in banking.
Kari Karjalainen Kari Karjalainen has been the Mayor of the City of Joensuu in Finland since 2010. His educational background is in engineering and he has a long track record in municipal administration, public-private partnerships and business development collaboration. Kari is on the board of Finnish City Development Foundation and Association of Mayors in Finland. The city of Joensuu has a population close to 80,000 and an annual turnover of around 700 million euros. It is a global knowledge centre of forest bioeconomics with 600 experts and 5,000 jobs related to the sector. The city is opening up into a bioeconomy innovation platform with wide partnerships, and holds the national leadership of forest bioeconomy development in the governmental urban growth programme 2016 – 2018.
Hannu Korhonen is the head of strategy and innovation in Stora Enso (Chief Strategy Officer). He has extensive experience in the forest industry. After receiving a Master of Sciences (engineering) degree from the Helsinki University of Technology in Pulp and Paper technology (currently Aalto), he has worked for 30 years in various managerial tasks in Stora Enso. The former tasks cover responsibilities in operations, projects, sales and various strategic tasks.
Mika Lintilä Mika Lintilä is the Minister of Economic Affairs since December 2016. Minister of Economic Affairs is responsible for the overall management of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. He deals with matters relating to the Enterprises and Regional Development Department, the Corporate Steering Unit and also the Enterprise and Innovation Department. Mika Lintilä represents the Centre Party and has been a member of Finnish Parliament since 1999. He is known especially for his knowledge of economic affairs, as his experience as a Member of Parliament includes membership of both the Finance Committee and the Commerce Committee.
Philippe Mengal is the Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) since 1st of October 2015. His mission is to further consolidate the role and responsibilities of the BBI JU, as the legal representative of the BBI JU. Mr. Mengal trained as an engineer in Chemistry and Bio-industry at the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech University and later on in Strategic Innovation Management at INSEAD - Fontainebleau in France. He started his career in 1990 in France as R&D engineer in the field of biomass fractionation and purification. He has published a number of scientific papers and awarded 5 patented license agreements. In his 25 years of professional experience before joining BBI JU, Mr. Mengal held strategic managerial positions in France and Belgium such as CEO of three companies, Global R&D Director of a multinational and Senior Consultant in food ingredient, engineering and life sciences industries
Rebecca Mikula-Wright; Rebecca Mikula-Wright has been working with the Investor Group on Climate Change since 2012 as Director. She has led various projects including the re-launch of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change in 2016, the IGCC 2015 Summit, Trustee Training on Climate Change, Low Carbon Investment Registry and sector reports on risks and opportunities of climate change. Rebecca was the General Manager of ASrIA (Asia SRI Assoc) after working at Nomura in Equity Research and BlackRock in Hong Kong. She was a senior credit analyst with Exxon Mobil in Prague and started her career in derivatives with JP Morgan. She has served several years on the voluntary board of The Orangutan Project, which works on direct orangutan and habitat conservation in Indonesia.
Marc Palahí Marc Palahí is the Director of the European Forest Institute and responsible for leading the organisation towards an acknowledged pan-European science-policy platform. Previously he led EFI’s policy support activities and during this time was instrumental in launching ThinkForest, a European high-level science forum on the future of forests. He has also worked as Head of EFI’s Mediterranean Regional Office, EFIMED. He has a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.
Christian Patermann Christian Patermann studied law and economics, and entered German public service in 1971, working as an official in the Ministry of Education and Science, Foreign Ministry, and Ministry of Science and Technology. In 1996 he become Programme Director for “Environment” Research at the EC’s Research Directorate-General, and later Programme Director for “Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food” Research. During these years he was responsible for the elaboration of the new concept of the Knowledge Based Bioeconomy (KBBE), which today is known as bio-based economy or more simply Bioeconomy in Europe. In 2007 Christian Patermann retired, and he now advises public and private institutions and companies. Since 2009 he has been appointed member of the first Research and Technology Council “BioEconomy” of the Federal German Government.
Göran Persson Göran Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006 and was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1996 to 2007. Since leaving office, Mr Persson has been a consultant for the Stockholm-based PR firm JKL. He is also a Member of the Board of the World Resources Institute, and the President of the European high-level forum on the future of forests, ThinkForest, facilitated by EFI.
Dirk Pilat Dirk Pilat is Deputy Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. He supports the Director of STI in overseeing OECD’s work on innovation, business and productivity dynamics, science and technology, digital economy policy, consumer policy as well as the statistical work associated with each of these areas. He has worked on many policy issues since joining the OECD, including innovation, the role of digital technologies for economic growth, climate change and environmental innovation, productivity and entrepreneurship. He is currently helping to coordinate the OECD's new Going Digital project, which aims to help policymakers better understand the digital transformation that is taking place and help develop pro-active policies to drive growth and societal well-being.
Janna Puumalainen Janna Puumalainen is Director of strategy at the City of Joensuu. She received her MSc degree in forest science from the University of Joensuu, Finland, and doctorate degree from the University of Göttingen, Germany. Since, she has worked for Stora Enso Ltd, Joint Research Center of the European Commission and during the past years in various posts at the city administration of Joensuu. She has work and study experience from Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and South-Africa. Currently Dr. Puumalainen is responsible for strategy and development projects of the city of Joensuu, university town and regional centre of North Karelia. She is also finalizing her eMBA-studies at the University of Eastern Finland.
Teresa Ribera Teresa Ribera is the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), an independent policy research institute which aims at fostering the transition to sustainable development and prosperity for all, especially through four key agendas: climate, biodiversity and ecosystems, ocean and governance of sustainable development. She chairs the Advisory Board of the Momentum for Change UNFCCC Initiative. In January 2017 she was appointed by the Swedish Government as a member of the Board of the Stockholm Environment Institute. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Climate, and of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Global Leadership Council.
Andrei Sharonov Andrei Sharonov is the President of SKOLKOVO Business School – the largest private Business School in Russia and the CIS. In 2013 he joined the SKOLKOVO team as the Dean after a successful career in the public sphere – for several years he served as Deputy Mayor in the Moscow Government for economic policy. In September 2016 he was elected President of the Business School. He graduated from Ufa State Aviation Technical University and the Russian Academy of Public Administration and holds a PhD in sociological science. Andrei Sharonov was awarded the Order of Honour and is an Honoured Economist of the Russian Federation.
Bernando Silva Bernando Silva was appointed as Executive President of the Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association (ABBI) in January 2015. Prior to joining ABBI, he worked at the World Economic Forum headquarters in Cologny, Switzerland, overseeing corporate and membership affairs in South America. He also served in a variety of government affairs and policy advocacy roles within the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), and with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Brasilia, Brazil. Bernardo Silva earned his MA degree from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a MBA from Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV), and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He was also the first Brazilian to ever be accepted as a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum.
Simão Soares Simão Soares is the CEO of SilicoLife, a company combining artificial intelligence and biological knowledge for the design of optimized microorganisms for the production of chemicals, food ingredients or biopolymers. He has graduated in bioinformatics from the University of Minho, has a postgraduate in management from NOVA School of Business and Economics and trained in Blue Ocean Strategy by INSEAD. Simão Soares was a visiting researcher at the Technical University of Denmark and has collaborated with the University of Minho in the fields of bioinformatics and systems biology. He is a consultant for international organizations in industrial biotechnology topics, and a board member of P-BIO, Portuguese Bioindustry Association, and a Global Shaper, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.
Alexander Stubb Alexander Stubb is Vice President of the European Investment Bank. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. His background is in academia and civil service, with a focus on EU affairs. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004-2008, a government minister from 2008-16, a member of parliament from 2011-2017 and Chairman of the National Coalition Party from 2014-16. As of November he will be Chairman of the board of the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, has published 18 books and is a self professed sportsfanatic.
Martin Stuchtey Martin R. Stuchtey is the founder and Managing Partner of SYSTEMIQ Ltd., a company that develops new markets and assets in the sustainability space. He has worked at McKinsey for 20 years, most recently as Director of the Center for Business and Environment. In 2006, Martin co-founded McKinsey’s Sustainability Practice, working with numerous corporate, government and social sector clients on the challenges of climate change, water scarcity, ocean degradation and resource depletion at large. He is an initiator of the 2030 Water Resources Group, a long-time strategic advisor to the World Economic Forum and the author of “A Good Disruption – Redefining Growth in the Twenty-first Century”. He is a professor for Resource Strategy and Management at Innsbruck University.
Birgitta Sundblad Birgitta Sundblad has been CEO of Innventia since 2011. Today she is Head of the Bioeconomy division within RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, following the merger of Innventia, SP and Swedish ICT. Throughout her career, Birgitta has worked with research and development, and has had several leading positions in the chemical and forest industries. For example, she was the Global Director of AFH (Away from Home) Tissue Product Development and Innovation at SCA. Birgitta was on the Board of EIRMA (European Industrial Research Management Association) from 2007-2010 and was the first woman to be a Vice Chairperson of the EIRMA Board. Birgitta is also a board member of several foundations and participates in public and industrial bioeconomy initiatives.
Eithne Treanor runs a specialist media and communications training consultancy based in Dubai. She is a former international TV journalist and a professional conference moderator and facilitator. She is also a certified “Success Principles” trainer, having worked personally with American leadership coach Jack Canfield. Eithne acts as OPEC’s official on-air conference and webcast moderator. She has worked around the world, chairing and moderating many global conferences including the SPE Annual Technical Conference, International Energy Forum, WFES, ADIPEC, World Energy Forum, the Africa Global Business Forum and many more. She is CNBC Arabia’s Special Consultant and she has also trained television journalists in the Middle East, South Africa, Pakistan and in Russia.
Marcus Wallenberg Marcus Wallenberg is since 2005 the Chairman of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), a North European financial group for 400,000 corporate customers, and 5 million private customers. SEB has local presence in the Nordic and Baltic countries and in Germany. Marcus Wallenberg is also the Chairman of Saab AB and FAM AB, and serves on the boards of Investor AB, AstraZeneca Plc, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and Temasek Holdings Ltd. He is the former Chairman of LKAB and Electrolux AB. Marcus Wallenberg was Chairman and Honorary Chairman of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) from 2006 to July 2010.
Mari Walls Mari Walls is President and CEO of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). Luke promotes sustainable use of renewable natural resources, development of competitive business activities in the field of bioeconomy, societal well-being, and the vitality of rural areas. Prior to her current position, Professor Walls worked as Director of the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE (2009-2014), Research Director and Programme Director of MTT Agrifood Research Finland (2006-2009), Professor in Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences at the University of Turku (2004−2005). In addition, Professor Walls is a Board member of the University of Oulu 2016-2019, member of the National Bioeconomy Panel 2016-2018 and has been a member of Finnish Academy Research Council for Biosciences and Environment 2010-2016.
Wang Yuhang Wang Yuhang is Vice-President of CAMCE (China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd). He is also in charge of the business of the Central Asia and Eastern Europe Division of CAMCE. He has dedicated himself to overseas engineering procurement construction (EPC) programs covering industry, agriculture, water engineering, electric power and communications, etc. as well as investment, and successfully organized and implemented multiple large EPC projects and portfolio across the world.

Photos: Simon Pugh Photography (GP); Visuaalinen viestintätoimisto Salama Oy (MP); Juha Rahkonen (KJ); Stanislav Timokhin (AS); Björn Tesch (BS); Christian Kruppa (CL); Veikko Somerpuro (MW); Laura Kotila (ML); Jarno Artika (KK); Fred Joe (RC): Pekka Mustonen (AS).