Circular economy leaders at the Sustainable Innovation Forum discussed the opportunities and challenges of a circular economy, innovative ways to reduce waste and single use plastics, and what policy approaches are supporting the transition.
Europe Regional Network at World Green Building Council
Alicja Kuczera, CEO of Polish Green Building Council and Vice-chair of Europe Regional Network at World Green Building Council.
Graduate of International Relations faculty at Warsaw University and Executive MBA at Coventry University.
Previously responsible for high-value international projects, dealing with suppliers and customers from different continents, Alicja was working as a trade director in Fortress S.A. company and a project manager in Erican Group in Malaysia.
Sustainability was always in the field of her interest. She was a leader of a translation project of Jonathan T. Scott’s book The Sustainable Business.
As a CEO of Polish Green Building Council, Alicja promotes the business case of green building and is especially interested in two areas: circular buildings and how buildings influence health, wellbeing and productivity of their occupants.
Author of numerous reports and publications on green building and speaker at various conferences and events organized in Poland and abroad.
In private life a happy mum, keen on travelling (has visited 74 out of 196 yet-to see countries), adores a healthy and eco lifestyle.
Anders Jacobson is President and Chief Strategy Officer of Bluewater, a global leader in water purification technology and solutions. He is also co-founder and CEO of Blue, a Stockholm-based investment company that both invests in and operates Nordic and international companies such as Bluewater that applyies human ingenuity to deliver solutions benefiting planetary and human health. A 32-year old former investment banker with a lifelong passion for sport, Anders is passionate about the environment and sustainability. With a strong investment and management background, Anders describes his top qualities as enthusiastic leadership and commitment and translating them into opportunities based on a clear-cut vision and agenda.
Head of Steering Government, External Affairs and Sustainability Communications
Andreas Klugescheid is Head of Steering Government, External Affairs and Sustainability Communications at the Munich based Head Quarters of BMW Group. Till June 2015, he was responsible for communications of the global production network. Previously, he was heading the BMW Group Representative Office in Sacramento, California. In this function, he managed the companies’ activities in the fields of environmental, mobility and sustainability policies. The geographical areas of his responsibilities included the Western Region of the United States, Mexico and South America. He held numerous positions within BMW Group, including Spokesman for Governmental Affairs at the companies Munich based headquarters and Western Region Corporate Communications Manager for BMW of North America. He started his career with BMW Group as Head of Clean Energy Communication. Among other activities, he was responsible for BMW Group’s participation in UN conferences like the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development and the UN Climate Conferences COP 14 – 16.
Andreas holds a Master degree in History, International Law and German Literature from the Georg-August-University Goettingen, Germany.
Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer
The Great Bubble Barrier
Anne Marieke Eveleens is co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of The Great Bubble Barrier, a smart solution to plastic pollution. As sailing friends, the founders have a big passion for water, where they encounter plastic pollution of lakes and seas. The Great Bubble Barrier aims to reduce plastic pollution that harms our flora, fauna and human health. This is a bubble curtain that captures plastic on the full width and depth of a river, without blocking ship traffic or hindering fish migration, before this debris flows into the ocean. Anne Marieke holds a Master of Science in Neurobiology and has experience in consultancy and Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability in a global organisation. As she likes to combine science, sustainability and society, she focuses mostly on company strategy and fundamental/experimental research within The Great Bubble Barrier.
Barak Yekutiely is a serial entrepreneur and executive with over 25 years of diverse experience and knowledge in cleantech, finance, semiconductors, ICT, and robotics automation. Passionate about high impact technologies with sustainability and economic benefits, Barak co-founded REEP Technologies in 2014 with aim to transform workplace processes to become digitalized and circular in partnership with a growing ecosystem of world leading organizations and industries. Barak previously initiated and lead Aquate, a company that developed the world’s first bankable floating solar cover infrastructure as a practical means to address the water-energy-food nexus and initiated the ISO MRP standard for resource economics.
Barak holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and a dual Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from UC Berkeley, CA.
Senior Vice President – Governmental Affairs
TOMRA’s ambition is to be among the leaders of the resource revolution which aims to replace our present system based on consumption with one focussed on recovery of non-renewables. Providing smart solutions that optimise our available resources enables TOMRA to make a key contribution to shifting society’s default perspective on the concept of sustainable resources.
For 28 years, 18 of them with TOMRA, Chuck has worked in both the public and private sectors of the recycling industry. Through work as a senior leadership team member leading TOMRA’s governmental affairs strategy for the Americas, and volunteer director positions for ENGOs like GreenBlue, Chuck promotes innovative recycling practices and policies which strive to increase collection and quality.
Prior to TOMRA, Chuck started his career working for the City of Norwalk, Connecticut as its Recycling & Solid Waste director.
He earned his B.A. in History and Psychology from Vanderbilt University, and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Southern Connecticut State University and participated in the Prince of Wales’ Business & Environment Programme.
Chuck has dedicated time working with various non-profit, government and industry initiatives including: Greenwich Audubon Society, Greenwich Conservation Commission, Connecticut Recyclers Coalition and Albemarle County’s Recycling Advisory Committee.
Chuck lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his family.
David co founded Halo Coffee Ltd in 2016 and has been instrumental in developing the manufacturing and operational processes used by Halo to produce the worlds first home compostable capsules and packaging.
David has a background in luxury sales and hospitality and in a previous life was a professional musical theatre actor.
Head of Marketing
Winnow develops digital tools to help chefs run more profitable, sustainable kitchens by cutting food waste in half. Trusted by thousands of chefs in almost 40 countries, Winnow is helping businesses like IKEA, Compass Group and Hilton save 18m meals a year from the trash. David is a marketing professional of over 15 years working with brands like The Guardian, American Express and NGOs like Shelter and WaterAid.
Ministry of Environment, Finland
Hannele Pokka has had an extensive career in the Finnish government.
She started her career at the Ministry of Education and went on to work as a legal counsellor at the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK). She was a Member of the Parliament for many years and Minister of Justice for a few years. Hannele also held the position of Governor of the Country of Lapland for over a decade. She has held numerous political, academic and societal positions of trust, some also in the field of business in Finland and in international organisations.
Chief Executive Officer
In his role as Circle Economy’s CEO, Harald brings extensive international experience running both for-profit and non-profit businesses with a focus on scaling impact. Before joining Circle Economy in 2017, Harald spent 5 years in Myanmar, during which he co-founded Impact Hub Myanmar, headed the market development for the world market leader of electromechanical hydropower projects in the country and co-founded Myanmar’s first pre-incubation programme for social enterprises. Prior to moving to Myanmar, he lived in New York where he worked as the Head of Office for the Assistant Secretary General and acted as the spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister of Finance in Austria. He has also spent time as a journalist and TV presenter for economic focused news. Harald enjoys connecting with people who are striving to make the world a better place for future generations. In his spare time, he loves exploring the great outdoors with his wife and kids.
Minister, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources/Fisheries and Agriculture
Government Offices of Iceland
Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson took office as Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources on November 30 2017 for the Left-Green Party. Guðmundur Ingi was born on March 28 1977.
He holds a BSc degree in Biology from the University of Iceland and a masters degree in Environmental Management from Yale University.
He was the CEO at Landvernd – Icelandic Environment Association from 2011 – 2017. He also worked for the University of Iceland carrying out research in ecology and environmental sciences, and for the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland in the fields of global studies and research. Since 2006, Guðmundur Ingi has been a guest lecturer at the University of Iceland, the Agricultural University of Iceland and the University Centre of the Westfjords. He has also worked as a park ranger almost every summer for the last few years.
Guðmundur Ingi was one of the founders of the Icelandic Society for Environmental Scientists. He was the society´s first president, in 2007-2010. Currently, Guðmundur Ingi serves as the Chair of the Fulbright Alumni Association in Iceland.
CEO & President
IKEA Group, the largest IKEA franchisee
Jesper Brodin is the President and CEO of IKEA Group, is the world’s largest home furnishing retailer and owns and operates 367 IKEA stores in 30 markets (FY18) under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Jesper started his IKEA career in 1995 as the Purchase manager in Pakistan, IKEA Group. During the years he has held different roles such as assistant to Ingvar Kamprad and Anders Dahlvig, CEO at the time, Business area manager Kitchen and Dining as well as his recent role as Managing Director for Range & Supply, Inter IKEA Group. He has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Jesper is married to Lena and they have three kids. His passion is music and the sea.
Chairman and Executive Director
Joel Makower is chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, Inc., creator of GreenBiz.com along with research and events on sustainable business and clean technology. He hosts GreenBiz.com’s annual GreenBiz forums as well as the VERGE conferences produced around the world by his company, and is principal author of the annual “State of Green Business” report.
For more than 25 years, Joel has been a well-respected voice on business, sustainability and clean technology. As a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur on corporate sustainability practices, he has helped a wide range of companies align environmental goals with business strategy.
A former nationally syndicated columnist, Joel is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security and Sustainability in the 21st Century, (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), about a business plan for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative.
Previous books include Strategies for the Green Economy (2008), Beyond the Bottom Line (1994) and The E-Factor (1992), two of the earliest framing books on corporate environmental responsibility and corporate social responsibility, respectively.
The Associated Press has called Joel “The guru of green business practices.” In 2012, he was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” In 2014 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Institute of Sustainability Professionals.
Joel frequently keynotes corporate events, business associations, and regional business and economic development events, is a sought-after moderator and host of sustainability events, and is frequently quoted in major news media, including Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Time, and public radio’s “Marketplace.”
Joel advises several startups and sits on the board of the nonprofits Climate Counts and United Roots.
Global Circular Economy Director
Lorraine Francourt is a member of the Dow’s Global Corporate Sustainability Leadership team. She leads Dow’s corporate 2025 Sustainability Goal “Advancing a Circular Economy”. With a global strategic view of chemicals management policy and circular economy, Lorraine facilitates Dow’s business collaborations and partnerships that seek to optimize the use of resources, reduce waste and advance circular solutions. With more than 25 years of international experience in Sustainability, Supply Chain, Customer Service and Technical Service, Lorraine has held assignments in Germany, the USA and Saudi Arabia. She is a member of the European Chemical Industry Program Council on Product Stewardship (CEFIC). She is in on the Board of the European Center for Eco-toxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) and is Dow’s corporate liaison with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Lorraine has a Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management.
Climate Envoy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands
As Ambassador-at-large for Climate, Marcel Beukeboom is the dedicated representative of the Netherlands at international gatherings dealing with climate change. At home he is the figurehead of national climate policy. He connects the global to the local, policy to practice, problem to solution. In short: he connects the dots.
Marcel is an experienced, all-round diplomat. He has worked on a wide range of topics such as food security, finance, trade, multilateral affairs and development cooperation. He did so in many countries, and was posted in South Africa and the United States. Recurring themes in his work are sustainability, governance and multi-stakeholder partnerships, with a special emphasis on youth.
Marcel Beukeboom holds a Masters title in International Relations (University of Groningen). He followed the Practice of Trade Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and completed an intra-governmental leadership program at the Netherlands School for Public Policy.
Marcel is married with two children. He rides his bike wherever he can.
Head of Sustainability
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Michelle Lemaître is Head of Sustainability of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In this position Michelle has overseen the recent development of the IOC Sustainability Strategy and is responsible for its future implementation across the IOC administration, the Olympic Games, and the Olympic Movement.
Michelle has extensive expertise in event management and operations with more than 20 years of professional experience in the area. Her background combines recognised educational knowledge with a successful hands-on experience of implementing event management procedures across an extensive range of sporting and non-sporting events, both large and small.
Before joining the IOC, she worked as the International and Protocol Director for the Local Organising Committee of the Paris 2003 World Athletics Championships, and previously as Venue Operations Manager at the Organising Committee for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Michelle has given numerous public presentations, chaired several expert groups and mediated numerous workshops on topics ranging from sustainable infrastructure, natural sites, sourcing and resource management, mobility to workforce and climate.
Co-Founder and CEO
I’ve always been fascinated by natural ecosystems. From cause and effect to natural processes and living organisms, that’s where I’ve been finding inspiration & motivation.
With an academic background in Sustainable Development and International Communications and a dedication towards facilitating change and improving life quality, I am sure that action is louder than words.
As the co-founder and CEO of iNERGY AGTECH I am currently spearheading the development of an innovation based startup in a heritage and traditionalist domain: food and agriculture technology. As a sociology and technology scholar, passionate about ecology, sustainable development & heritage, I strive to create value for integrity, always focused on building long lasting bridges and pathways for innovation to create positive impact. That’s why my philosophy is based on open networks, transparency and responsible, value creating action across disciplines and stakeholder interests.
Chief Executive Officer
London Waste and Recycling Board (LWRB)
Wayne is the Chief Executive Officer of the London Waste and Recycling Board, where he oversees the day to day running of the organisation. He has been heavily involved in LWARB since its establishment and has substantial local government and waste industry experience. Prior to LWARB, Wayne worked as Head of Waste Policy at the Greater London Authority and has also held roles at the London Borough of Haringey and East Sussex County Council. Wayne has over 20 years’ experience in the waste industry.
Deputy Director of Policy, Global Climate Action Summit
An accomplished policy professional working for former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres on Mission 2020— a global campaign to bend the curve of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Currently based in San Francisco working directly with the Office of Governor Jerry Brown on the development and delivery of the Global Climate Action Summit. A proven ability to develop and deliver high-level international events, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and global advocacy campaigns.
Previously, served as the Director of the Climate Action 2016 Summit in Washington D.C., and prior to that as the youngest member of the climate team that advised United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and helped to deliver the historic Paris Agreement. Founded the Ansari Fellowship Program to empower young Iranian-Americans to pursue public service careers. Fluent in Farsi and advanced in Arabic.
At Stanford, served as the Vice Chair of the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue, interned for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and led an international campaign to educate college students about the global refugee crisis through Syria Deeply. At Cambridge, research focused on the nexus of climate change and international security.
Recipient of the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, Democratic National Committee Hope Institute Fellowship, U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, and the Fulbright Scholarship (declined), among others.