Speakers - Energy Transition

Speakers at the Sustainable Innovation Forum discussed how energy transition can be accelerated as quickly as possible and how to integrate clean energy technology into existing energy systems.

Ahmad Mohseni

Program Manager

Samad Power

Ahmad worked with Samad Power since inception in 2010. Turbo Green Boiler (smallest mCHP system in the world) was developed under his program management. His main area of expertise is to articulates the business strategic goal and align the projects’ activities to achieve the business targets in the most efficient and effective manner, shortening ROI and allowing business growth. Ahmad is currently managing the development of zero emission micro gas turbine by incorporating solar power and hydrogen as the primary source of energy.

Andreas Kuhlmann

Chief Executive Officer


Andreas Kuhlmann sees the energy transition as one of the most fascinating change processes of the present day, which, in addition to challenges, above all also brings with it opportunities.

Andreas Kuhlmann was appointed dena’s Chief Executive in July 2015. In this position he has increased dena’s profile as a driver and pioneer of the energy transition. Exemplary projects include the international innovation initiative “Start Up Energy Transition”, which now brings together around a thousand start-ups from all over the world, as well as the “Integrated Energy Transition” pilot study, whereby dena, together with more than 60 partners from business and science, is developing strategies for the future.

Andreas Kuhlmann sees the energy transition as one of the most fascinating change processes of the present day, which, in addition to challenges, above all also brings with it opportunities. In this sense, he injects his knowledge of the diverse national and international projects acquired at the interface of business and politics to the energy and climate policy debate. He also promotes more courage and determination in shaping the regulatory frameworks necessary for the success of the energy transition.

Andreas Kuhlmann (born in Recklinghausen in 1967, catholic, married, one daughter) majored in physics and minored in economics at the universities of Bonn, Heidelberg and Corvallis (USA). He started his career in 1995 at the Institute of Environmental Physics at Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, where he primarily focused on the carbon cycle. This was followed by various political posts, including at the European Parliament, with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), at the Bundestag, within the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and at the German Embassy in Stockholm.

In 2010, Andreas Kuhlmann joined the German Association of Energy and Water Industries(BDEW), where he managed the Politics and Economics departments as the Director of Strategy and Politics. In this position, he was responsible for the strategic and political development of the BDEW as well as its communications with politics, business and the public.

Andreas Kuhlmann is also:

Charlotta Holmquist



Charlotta is a seasoned tech entrepreneur who built several companies within energy, mobility and IoT. In her current role as Chairman and Co-Founder of Blixt she is responsible for business development, strategic partnerships and funding. With a MBA from Stockholm School of Economics Charlotta started her career as Chief Analyst at Salomon Smith Barney and was later recruited to IBM before started her 20 year long entrepreneurial career.

Connie Hedegaard

Chair of the Board

KR Foundation

With two decades of experience in international and domestic executive policy making Connie Hedegaard is today assuming several key positions in support of a low-carbon and green economy. Ms. Hedegaard is the chair of the Board for the KR Foundation, a large Danish climate and sustainability foundation operating globally. She is also the current chair of OECD’s Round Table for Sustainable Development and chair of the Board for the green think tank, CONCITO. Ms. Hedegaard is furthermore chair of the Danish Government’s Committee on Public Service; chair of the Board of Aarhus University; member of the European Climate Foundation; member of the Nordex Supervisory Board; member of the Danfoss A/S Board; and member of the Sustainability Council of Volkswagen.

Ms. Hedegaard was the European Commissioner for Climate Action from 2010 to 2014, during which she led the negotiations towards the adoption of the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. As EU Commissioner, she was also responsible for the 2050 Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy and represented the EU
in the international climate negotiations.

Prior to the appointment as EU Commissioner, Ms. Hedegaard served as Minister for Climate and Energy in 2007-2009 and as Minister for Environment in 2004-2007. She was elected Member of the Danish Parliament from 1984 to 1990 and again in 2005-2009.

She is educated in literature and history and has a professional background as a journalist at the Danish National Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and at a number of Danish national newspapers. She has also authored and contributed to several publications and columns.

Cyrille Brisson

Vice President, Sales, Service & Marketing – Electrical Sector Europe, Middle East and Africa Region


Cyrille Brisson is Sales, Service and Marketing Vice President for the Electrical Sector in the EMEA region at Eaton Corporation. Beyond the traditional sales and marketing scope, this role includes responsibility for looking into the way market and customer requirements are changing as a result of digitization, the energy transition or societal pressures and the consequences of these changes both for Eaton’s business and for the way markets operate. This involves working closely with channel and integration partners on the evolution of the company’s offerings and working practices through this period of rapid change.

With a diverse experience in technology and economics, Cyrille invests time to look into how technical, process and business model innovation can be applied to improve people’s quality of life, access to clean energy, productivity or personal safety, while striving to anticipate and mitigate the impact that technology and market changes have on communities and partner networks.

Prior to his current position, Cyrille was VP, Marketing, and previously VP, Power Quality Division EMEA at Eaton Corporation. During that time, he organized research consortia looking into the future of power generation, energy storage, microgrids or the future of data centres and HPC, working with diverse research partners such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nissan or École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and began his career at Schneider Electric in 1995. Before joining Eaton in 2011, he had held several positions in Schneider Electric in headquarters and industrial and commercial subsidiaries in France, Japan, Singapore, Israel and Colombia.

He started his career in Finance, IT and Logistics before transitioning to general management roles. Cyrille graduated from HEC Paris, with a major in Tax and Law.

Dr. Dieter Vollkommer

Corporate Vice President Sustainability


Dr. Vollkommer is responsible for the Siemens “CO2 neutral operations” program and for Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio, which includes highly energy efficient products & solutions, renewable energies and environmental technologies. In fiscal 2017, the Environmental Portfolio accounted for €39bn in revenues and helped customers save about 570 Million metric tons of CO2. Dr. Vollkommer is also leading strategic developments and operationally supports sustainability-related business opportunities globally. With more than fifteen years in energy- and IT-industry, as well as in the public sector, Dr. Vollkommer has gained broad knowledge and experience in developing strategies and implementing complex projects.

H.E. Eng. Fatima Alfoora Al Shamsi

Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity and Future Energy

Ministry of Energy, UAE

H.E. Eng. Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi is the Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity in the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy with a rich background ranging from electrical engineering, renewables, Business Development and project management to different Managerial roles. Eng. Fatima worked as the Vice President of the Privatization and Business Development in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and as an Executive Director for Electricity in the Federal Electricity & Water Authority (FEWA). Her climb to the corporate leadership position was a result of her high work ethics.

Before joining the Ministry She was leading the Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park Project, IP(W)P program in Dubai, DEWA private investment portfolio development, DEWA corporate strategy team and R&Ds related to the Business development of DEWA. She is now leading the Electricity, clean energy, Climate change and Water desalination related activities in the Ministry of Energy. She graduated from the United Arab Emirates University with an honors degree of BS in electronics engineering. Add to that she holds an MBA in Financial Management.

Henk van Raan

Chief Innovation Officer

Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Henk is Board Member of the Johan Cruijff ArenA and specializes in facility and project management. In his position he is responsible for a variety of aspects such as real estate development, grass management, the Amsterdam Innovation Arena and sustainability.

Before joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA in 1996, Henk was Facility Manager at the ‘Stopera’, City Hall and Opera House in the City of Amsterdam. Henk received his degree in Business Science Electrical Engineering in 1981.

On behalf of the Johan Cruijff ArenA, Henk has been responsible to define the ambition for the Johan Cruijff ArenA to become climate neutral by the year 2015. A goal we’ve accomplished and has been warmly embraced by the City of Amsterdam, who have assigned the Johan Cruijff ArenA as a sustainability icon for the city.

As an executive consultant on facilities, innovation and infrastructure for Johan Cruijff ArenA International, Henk is involved in various international consultancy assignments, such as: FIFA World Cup stadiums 2014 in Brazil, Qatar, FIFA World Cup 2022, Stadium FC Shaktar, Donetsk in Ukraine, Stadium Spartak Moscow, Moscow in Russia, Olympic Stadium, Berlin in Germany and multi-purpose Hall and Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The Amsterdam Innovation Arena is our most recent and very successful new development. Together with our strategic partners the City of Amsterdam, Microsoft, Huawei, Philips Lighting, KPMG, KPN, TNO, BAM, Honeywell, Nissan, Eaton and Heineken, we develop and implement new innovations for our stadium and its area. The upcoming 2020 European Championship, for which we will be one of the hosting stadiums, is a unique platform to showcase all these innovations. This tournament also made Johan Cruijff ArenA decide to make several revolutionary stadium adjustments and renovations towards 2020.

Martin Hiller

Director General

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP)

Martin Hiller, Director General of REEEP, has over 30 years of experience working in sustainability issues, climate change and clean energy policy, and environmental campaigns and communications.

Prior to joining REEEP, Martin had a distinguished career with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF): from 2002 to 2011, he led campaigns and communications in WWF´s global climate and energy programme, culminating in the WWF campaign for COP15 in Copenhagen, which mobilised 6.5 million sign-ups, the highest number of any NGO. From 1994, he pioneered the first European Union focused campaign operation for any environmental NGO in Brussels. He developed WWF’s Europe-wide communications operations, creating the organisation´s first EU-specific policy campaigns on regional development funds, forest management, and fisheries. Before 1994, Martin lectured in campaigning and communications in cooperation with the University of Klagenfurt in Austria, and with WWF drove Austria’s first nature conservation strategy. From 2005 to 2014, Martin was founding President of the Board of the Gold Standard Foundation, the world’s prime quality carbon offset provider.

Marzia Zafar

Director of Innovation and Issues Monitor

World Energy Council

Marzia Zafar is currently Director of Innovation and Issues Monitor for the World Energy Council.  Prior to joining the Council Marzia worked for over 20 years in the California energy sector, first, in the private sector with Sempra Energy and then was appointed by former California Governor Schwarzenegger as a chief energy policy advisor at the California Public Utilities Commission.  Some of her work in the energy space includes leading the regulatory reform efforts to create standards for smart grid technologies such as smart meters.  Most recently she co-chaired the California Customer Choice policy efforts before leaving for London to join the Council.  Marzia is also known in the transportation sector for creating the rules and regulations for Transportation Network Companies (e.g. Uber, Lyft, etc.).  Currently, she is leading the Council’s partnership with PwC to publish the Innovation Insights Brief on Blockchain – how and to what extend can blockchain optimize the existing electric grid and what are its realistic potential for transforming the grid in years to come.

Nick Beglinger



Nick Beglinger is a Swiss economist (LSE). In 2008 he co-founded and currently runs the Cleantech21 foundation (C21). His focus area is sustainable development at the crossroads of finance, innovation, and regulation. From 2009 to 2016, Nick acted as president of Switzerland’s first green business association, swisscleantech, and thereby shaped the country’s climate, energy, and mobility policy. Following COP22 in Marrakesh (2016), Nick co-founded the government-financed Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI), bringing distributed ledger technologies (DLT, ‘blockchain’) to UNFCCC. In 2017, Nick initiated the first DLT/energy lighthouse project by the Swiss Ministry of Energy, and the first five DLT/climate use cases financed by the EU’s Climate-KIC. At COP23, C21 organised #Hack4Climate, the first hackathon linked to a climate conference (5 days, 100 developers from 33 countries, 40 experts). Based on #Hack4Climate’s success, and its growing community of IoT, DLT and AI developers, C21 started the Hack4Climate innovation program in 2018.

Nick is a board member of the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation, and member of WWF’s Leaders for Nature. He started his career with McKinsey in Hamburg, and then founded and run the first software JV in Saigon/Vietnam. He worked in China, Korea, Singapore, Iran, Iraq, and United Arab Emirates for Maxmakers – where he headed a 3-year engagement with the Government of Abu Dhabi in the first development period of the Masdar Project, before returning to Zurich to set up C21.

Nick bikes and urban-farms, plays the piano and soccer with friends, jogs, swims, and occasionally gets to kitesurf.

Patrick Child

Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

European Commission

Patrick CHILD is Deputy Director General in DG RTD Research and Innovation at the European Commission. He leads the policy for management and the implementation of the EU’s €77bn research and innovation programme by the Commission services, executive agencies and other implementing bodies including legal aspects, IT systems, audit and business processes. He has specific responsibility for research and innovation into climate action and clean energy technologies, and is the Commission representative of Mission Innovation (a coalition of 23 countries and the European Union, committed to doubling research in clean energy by 2020).

Until April 2016, Patrick Child was Managing Director of the European External Service with responsibility for administration and finance, covering human resources policy, security and the budget.  Before he took up this post in 2011, he was director in the External Relations Directorate General in the European Commission responsible for the management of the network of Commission delegations.  He has previously served as head of cabinet for External Relations Commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner and before that Chris Patten from 1999-2004.

With a background in the UK Finance Ministry, he joined the European Commission in 1994, where he started in the Economic and Monetary affairs Directorate General before becoming Commission press spokesman for economic and monetary union from 1995-2004.  Mr Child studied mathematics at Cambridge University.  He is married with two children.

Piotr Gajek

Senior Director of Global Development


Piotr studied earth sciences and biology. He graduated from the University of Warsaw and soon joined projects in the field of environmental protection in Poland and France. In his pursuit of knowledge, he reached the Sorbonne in Paris, Columbia University NY, Mohammed V University in Rabat and the University of Lisbon.

He created promotional projects based on non-invasive, low-emission tourism. Coordinated research and popularisation of knowledge in terms of environmental safety of karst areas, with particular emphasis on the protection of groundwater.

For a decade, he has been a participant in pioneer research in the non-incineration processes of thermal treatment of waste disposal, using innovative advanced technology with the simultaneous possibility of obtaining thermal and electric energy.

Rik Stamhuis

Co-Founder and Managing Director


Rik Stamhuis is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Jiro-Ve.
Jiro-Ve is a social enterprise that, through a network of franchisees, rents out rechargeable solar lights to the people in Madagascar, with the aim of eradicating expensive and dangerous candles and kerosene lights. To date over 50.000 people have benefitted from this service and more than 100 new jobs were created covering 5 different areas in Madagascar.

It was after having worked in East-Africa for two years that Rik realized that despite the fact that a lot of great solar products had been developed for the BOP, many remained inaccessible to this group due to; limited purchasing power, insufficient training or products not being available at the right time. It was for this reason that Rik co-founded Jiro-Ve with an inclusive franchise business model aiming to eliminate all those barriers.

The efforts of Jiro-Ve have been internationally recognized by Bid network, EY, SOCAP, GSBI and more recently Jiro-Ve became part of the Start-up Energy Transition top 100.
Most importantly though Jiro-Ve has created a positive impact on some of the financially least fortunate providing evidence of what can be achieved but also serving as a humble reminder of what is yet to be done.

Roseanna Cunningham

Minister of Climate Change


Since 2009, Roseanna has been a Minister in the Scottish Government, covering four varied and interesting portfolios. In 2009 she was appointed Minister for the Environment. This role took her on many fascinating visits throughout Scotland and she was able to become involved in many environmental projects that are close to her heart. In 2010, Climate Change was added to her portfolio. As Minister, Roseanna led the Crofting Bill and the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill through Parliament.

In 2011, Roseanna took on a new role in the Scottish Government as Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs. This is a role which she equally enjoyed, given her legal background and commitment to social justice. Her remit covered sectarianism, fire service reform and community integration.

Following Nicola Sturgeon’s appointment as First Minister in November 2014, Ms Sturgeon promoted Roseanna to the new post of Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training. This exciting portfolio promoted the Living Wage and tackled the obstacles that can often prevent women from playing their full part in the world of work. It was a key role in driving forward the Scottish Government’s policies of fair work, equal pay and gender balance.

After the Parliamentary elections of May 2016, Roseanna was appointed Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. In this role she introduced the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan. Her remit includes taking forward further land reform and reforming wild fisheries.

Sir Philip Lowe

Executive Chair, World Energy Trilemma

World Energy Council

Philip Lowe was born in Leeds in 1947. He read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St John’s College, Oxford and has an M.Sc. from London Business School. Following a period in manufacturing industry, he joined the European Commission in 1973, and held a range of senior posts as Chef de Cabinet and Director in the fields of regional development, agriculture, transport and administration, before becoming Director-General of the Development DG in 1997. From September 2002 he was Director-General of the European Commission’ Competition DG until he became Director-General of the Energy DG in February 2010. He retired from the European Commission from 1st January 2014. From 2013 to 2016, he was a non-executive director of the UK Competition and Markets Authority and since 2016, Executive Chair of the World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Flagship Study Programme. From 2010, he has been Chair of the Florence University Institute Competition Law Workshop. Philip Lowe was knighted KCMG in 2014.

Ted Ridgway Watt

CEO and Co-founder

Teraloop Oy

Ted is the CEO and co-founder of Teraloop. He has twenty years’ experience of connecting innovation with business in the public and private sectors, operating in the fields of ICT, materials and environmental technologies. Previous appointments include: CEO of Digital Jersey, principal consultant with PA Consulting and Pera International, facilitating public-private R&D investments and start-ups and European account manager for QinetiQ. Prior to these, he held academic and industrial research positions investigating computational methods for BAE Systems and Bristol University.



Representing environment ministers, city leaders, UN agencies, private sector innovators and adopters


Discussing the circular economy, energy transition, sustainable mobility and climate finance


Attendees represent nations all across the globe with a big focus on Europe and north America
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