Speakers

speakers
Adel El Gammal

Secretary-General

European Energy Research Alliance (EERA)

Adel El Gammal is the Secretary-General of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). EERA is the strategic pillar of the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan and coordinates research activities between 250 research organisations and universities across 30 countries in Europe. Its mission is to catalyze European energy research for a climate neutral society by 2050.

Adel El Gammal is a recognized expert and a senior EU Affairs professional in the fields of low carbon technologies, clean energy transition, and climate change.

Before joining EERA, Adel was active for 11 years in the EU climate energy debate, notably as Director of the Becquerel Institute, an advanced consultancy on the role of PV in the energy transition, Executive Director of LowCarbonFacts (an ECF funded programme) and Secretary General of the EU Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA, now SolarPower Europe).

Before focusing his activities on renewable energy and the energy transition, Adel held various international executive positions in blue chip companies active in the field of IT and management consulting.

Adel is civil engineer from Ecole Polytechnique of Brussels, holds degrees in Business Administration from Solvay Business School (Belgium) and Insead (France) and later specialized in Environment Management (IGEAT, Belgium).

speakers
Andreas Carlsson

Sustainability Manager

IKEA Industry

Andreas is the Sustainability Manager at IKEA Industry, a member of the Inter IKEA Sustainability Management Group and steering group member of the IKEA Climate Positive Initiative.

IKEA Industry, part of the Inter IKEA Group, is the world’s largest producer of wooden furniture. IKEA Industry has 41 production units, across 23 sites in eight countries, with about 18,500 co-workers. Operations include forestry, sawmills, boards and furniture production.

At IKEA Industry Andreas is responsible for leading an ambitious agenda on health & safety, forestry, environment and supplier code of conduct, with a specific engagement and focus on energy and climate transformation.

IKEA Industry strives towards 100% renewable energy use in 2025 and a constant reduction of energy use.

Andreas has a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and has been employed at IKEA Industry for over ten years in roles as Energy Process Leader, Engineering Manager and three years in the current position.

speakers
Andreas Kuhlmann

Chief Executive

German Energy Agency

Andreas Kuhlmann was appointed Chief Executive of the German Energy Agency 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”, 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.

speakers
Cristina Gamboa

Chief Executive Officer

World Green Building Council

Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council is a passionate advocate for green buildings and cities as one of the most effective solutions to climate change and as a means to deliver on social justice and other environmental goals, such as stopping biodiversity loss.

Prior to joining WorldGBC, she was CEO of Colombia Green Building Council and also has expertise in the fields of economic research, journalism and international affairs. Thanks to her active, committed and participatory leadership, and thorough knowledge of sustainable development, the Colombia GBC met significant milestones that enabled sustainability in construction to become mainstream in her home country.

Her degrees include a BA in Economics from University of Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and a MA in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS, Washington DC, U.S.A.).

speakers
Dagur B. Eggertsson

Mayor

City of Reykjavik

Dagur B. Eggertsson (born 19 June 1972) M.D. is the Mayor of Reykjavík City, serving from 16 June 2014. Dagur studied, trained and worked as a physician and holds a master’s degree in Human Rights and International Law from the University of Lund in Sweden.

Dagur was first elected to the Reykjavík City Council in 2002, chairing the city’s Planning Committee from 2004 to 2006. He served as mayor from 2007 to 2008 and chaired the Executive Committee from 2010 to 2014. In his capacity as a leader for Reykjavík City Dagur has been a keynote speaker at various international conferences and forums.

Dagur lead the Social Democratic Alliance in the Reykjavík municipal elections of spring 2014, winning the single largest number of votes for the city council. He subsequently became the Mayor of Reykjavík, serving a four-year term. He was re-elected in 2018.

Dagur grew up in Reykjavík and is married to Arna Dögg Einarsdóttir, a medical doctor at Landspitalinn – The National University Hospital of Iceland. They have four children.

speakers
David Joffe

Head of Carbon Budgets

Committee on Climate Change

David is the Head of Carbon Budgets at the Committee on Climate Change, where he’s worked since 2007. He oversees the process for setting the carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act, with the next to be recommended in September 2020. Previously David led the process to develop the decarbonisation pathways for achieving a net-zero emissions target to underpin the Committee’s recent advice on Net Zero. He also led the Committee’s recent Hydrogen Review and has a PhD on hydrogen infrastructure from Imperial College London.

speakers
Dries Acke

Director

European Climate Foundation

Dries is the Director for the Energy Systems initiative at the European Climate Foundation. Dries carried forward the ECF’s flagship Roadmap 2050 project and now heads ECF’s activities on EU energy policy and the Energy Union. Previously, Dries worked at Apple, Inc. where he worked for five years in the EMEA Public Affairs department. He holds an M.A. in Contemporary History from the Catholic University of Brussels and Leuven, Belgium, and was awarded a post-graduate degree in International Relations from the Karl-Rüprecht University in Heidelberg, Germany. As a Belgian and native Dutch speaker, Dries also masters English and French and has a good level of German and Italian.

speakers
Felicia Jackson

Chief Executive

SUFINDA C.I.C.

Felicia Jackson is an entrepreneur, consultant and writer focused on the global transition to a low carbon sustainable future. With a core focus on the transformation of the global financial system, she works broadly on sustainable industry, energy transition and the role of innovation in market transformation. Member of the UNEP Expert Group for SDG 17.7.1, she teaches postgraduates in Finance, Sustainability and Climate Change and Global Energy and Climate Policy at the University of London, and chairs a children’s charity devoted to the introduction of critical thinking into childhood education.

speakers
Fintan Slye

Director of the System Operator

National Grid ESO

Fintan Slye is Director of the System Operator at National Grid ESO. Prior to joining National Grid ESO, he was CEO of the EirGrid Group, the electricity transmission system operator and market operator in Ireland and Northern Ireland. He led a process of significant change within the company which included a programme on integrating renewables onto the Irish electricity grid and a new approach to public consultation and engagement. He has served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Entso-e (the European organisation for Transmission System Operators) and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Ireland.

speakers
Greg Archer

UK Director

Transport and Environment

Greg is the UK Director of Transport and Environment (T&E) Europe’s foremost think tank and campaigners developing solutions to transports’ key environmental challenges. Greg formally led T&E’s work on vehicles leading campaigns to expose and tackle Dieselgate and establish effective CO2 limits for cars and vans. Now back in the UK his work focuses on measures to accelerate a fast transition to electromobility including: battery electric cars, vans and trucks; electrofuels for aviation; and hydrogen in long haul trucking and shipping. Formally Managing Director of the LowCVP Greg and has worked in positions influencing environmental policies in business, Government and academia throughout his career. He describes himself as a “pragmatic environmentalist”.

speakers
Henning Häder

Head of Energy Policy, Climate & Sustainability

Eurelectric

Henning Häder is currently head of Energy Policy, Climate & Sustainability at Eurelectric, the sector association representing the European electricity industry. He’s been active on energy in Brussels since 2011, working on decarbonisation, electrification & energy efficiency. he holds degrees in European Studies and International Security.

speakers
James Richardson

Chief Economist

National Infrastructure Commission

James Richardson has been Chief Economist at the National Infrastructure Commission since April 2016. The NIC is an independent body, providing expert advice to the Government on pressing infrastructure issues. James heads the NIC secretariat’s economics team and leads on production of the UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment, an in-depth assessment of the UK’s major infrastructure needs on a 30-year time horizon.

Prior to this, James was Director, Fiscal and Deputy Chief Economic Adviser at HM Treasury. He was responsible for advising on the fiscal stance, fiscal risks and the fiscal framework. James was Director, Public Spending and Chief Microeconomist at HM Treasury from September 2008 to July 2012. He ran Spending Review 2010 and led on reforms to public service pensions, following Lord Hutton’s independent report.

James has a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics (LSE).

speakers
Mechthild Wörsdörfer

Director, Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks

International Energy Agency

Ms Mechthild Wörsdörfer is the Director of the International Energy Agency’s Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks Directorate (STO). As Director of STO, Ms Wörsdörfer plans and co-ordinates the IEA’s work on energy sustainability, encompassing energy technology policy and energy-related climate change policy, including carbon capture, utilisation and storage. She oversees several major analytical reports including long-term scenarios and technology roadmaps. Prior to joining the IEA, Ms Wörsdörfer served as a Director in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy, in charge of renewables, research and innovation, and energy efficiency. Previously, Ms Wörsdörfer was the Director for Energy Policy of DG Energy in the EC, where she headed the adoption of the energy and climate policy 2030 framework, as agreed by EU Heads of States and Governments in 2014. Before this she was Head of Unit in DG Energy working with Energy Policy and Monitoring of Electricity, Gas, Coal and Oil Markets.

speakers
Michał Kurtyka

Secretary of State

Ministry of Climate, Poland

Graduated from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and received a scholarship in quantum optics from the National Institute of Standards and Technologies in Washington (DC), where he worked under the lead of William D. Phillips, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics. During his studies, he also specialised in economics, with particular emphasis on market organisation under the lead of Professor Jean Tirole, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics in 2014. He also studied international economics at the University of Louvain La Neuve and was awarded a Master’s degree at the Warsaw School of Economics. He defended his PhD dissertation at the University of Warsaw. In the past, he worked as a professor, teaching change management, economics, market organisation and industrial strategy at the University of Warsaw, Collegium Civitas, Oxford Programme on Modern Poland. He co-authored the concept of effective change management in an enterprise, described in the book Zarządzanie zmianą. Od strategii do działania, he also wrote Od restrukturyzacji do modernizacji. Opóźniona transformacja polskiego sektora elektroenergetycznego w latach 1990-2009.

He began his professional career in the Office of the Committee of European Integration, in the team of Minister Jan Kułakowski, responsible for conducting accession negotiations with the European Union, where he led an analytical team and was directly responsible for the area of energy and transport. Later on, he carried out the modernisation processes in numerous Polish companies, where he supported adaptation to the challenges of the European and global market. He promoted European cooperation in the field of industrial changes and adaptation of European industry to the challenges of globalisation within the framework of the European University of Labour and the Dublin Foundation.

He created the governmental programme for the development of electro-mobility in Poland,

described for the first time as a concept in New Electricity and New Cars, a book written in

2013-2015, together with Prof. Leszek Jesień. He also serves as Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Electro-mobility Programme.

Since 1 January 2016, he has been working as the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Energy, where he has been directly responsible for technological development and innovation in the energy sector, implementation of climate and energy policy in the fuel and gas sector, international relations with countries and international organisations. His duties also included supervising the participation of the state in the largest Polish energy companies in the oil and gas sector, such as Orlen, Lotos and PGNiG. He was the initiator of the “Electro-mobility Development Plan” and then piloted the creation of a law on electro-mobility and alternative fuels, thanks to which these forms of transport will be able to develop dynamically.

On the 27th of April 2018, he was appointed as the Plenipotentiary for the Presidency of the COP 24 Summit.

speakers
Oleksandra Gumeniuk

Director

European-Ukrainian Energy Agency

Dr. Oleksandra Gumeniuk has more than 10 years of professional experience in jurisprudence and circular, environment friendly economy area with innovative approach and clean energy solutions. Last few years Dr. Gumeniuk devoted her career to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ukraine at the position of Director of European-Ukrainian Energy Agency (EUEA). Currently EUEA takes the leading position in the renewable energy market which promotes fair and sustainable business practice, raising of public awareness of energy issues, and by influencing government energy policy.

speakers
Olivier Feix

Head of Environmental Policy and Permitting

50Hertz

Olivier Feix grew up in France and Austria and studied Mechatronics, Business Administration as well as Economics at the Universities of Linz (Austria) and Hagen (Germany).

His career is quite internationally oriented. After working three years for the Vienna City Hall as a journalist for European media analysis, Olivier started 1996 in the electricity business as International Analyst for market, country assessments for the major Austrian electricity utility “Verbund”. He moved to Heidelberg in 1999, then to Berlin and Brussels as Deputy Secretary General of the European Grid Association UCTE. In the following years, he worked as Head of Strategic Marketing and Senior Management Consultant with various companies of the Vattenfall Group. From 2007 until 2015, Olivier Feix has been Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at 50Hertz and became also Head of Communications of the Elia Group in 2014. Since 2015 Olivier Feix is head of environmental policy and permitting at 50Hertz. He is also Chairman of the Board of the “Renewables Grid Initiative”, of the “DialogGesellschaft” and the Chairman of the Presidential Committee of the “World Energy Council Germany

speakers
Patrick Child

Deputy Director General in DG Research and Innovation

European Commission

Patrick CHILD is Deputy Director General in DG  Research and Innovation at the European Commission. He leads the policy for implementation, impact & sustainable investment strategies. As a member of the Board of DG Research and Innovation, he follows in particular 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) and in the International Group of Earth Observations (GEO).

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.

speakers
Penelope Guarnay

Carbon Programme Manager

BT

Penelope joined BT to lead their Net Zero Carbon ambitions in January this year, working across BT with colleagues to decarbonise the BT estate and Openreach’s fleet. Prior to joining BT, Penelope’s career in Sustainability kick started in 2005 and has seen her work on leading environmental and energy strategies across the Property, Construction, Retail and Telecom’s industries.

speakers
Poppy Kalesi

Director, Global Energy

Environmental Defense Fund

Areas of expertise: EU energy policy; European gas markets; oil and gas industry innovation Poppy leads EDF’s Energy program in Europe with a focus on delivering ambitious EU policies that will contribute to deep reductions in global oil and gas methane emissions by 2025. She is based in Stavanger, Norway.

Poppy’s experience includes energy and climate policy, business strategy and technology innovation from roles previously held with the European Commission, the European Parliament, Eurelectric, Statoil and the Norwegian Ocean Industry Clusters. Based in Norway, Poppy has also served on the Boards of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform and the Norwegian Institute for International Networks.

speakers
Rachel Solomon Williams

Head of Low Carbon Fuels

UK Department for Transport

Rachel Solomon Williams is Head of Low Carbon Fuels at the UK Department for Transport, a role she has held since the beginning of 2018. Rachel’s career to date has focussed on energy and environment policy development. Most of her work has been within the UK civil service, but it has also included a posting in the corporate affairs team at Tesco and a year as interim Managing Director at Sandbag, a UK climate thinktank. Highlights of Rachel’s career have included piloting the UK Climate Change Bill (now Act) through Parliament and overseeing a major review of the Feed-in Tariffs Scheme.

speakers
Taavi Veskimägi

Chairman

Elering AS

Taavi Veskimägi is the Chairman of the Board of the Estonian electricity and gas transmission system operator Elering AS since the company’s set-up as an independent TSO in 2009.

Taavi is the founder and the Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Defence Industry Association and the member of the board of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation.

He has been a member of the Estonian parliament for two consecutive terms. During 2003-2005 he was the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Estonia. He held the position of Vice President of the Parliament from 2005 to 2006 and until 2007 he was the co-chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, the main centre-right political party in Estonia.

His professional civil servant career started in 1996 at the Ministry of Finance where he worked for 5 years as a head of the Public Administration Department and non-political advisor to the Ministry.

In 2017-2019 and 2011-2013 Taavi was a member of the board of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). He has been Supervisory Board member many state owned companies (Estonian Post Ltd., Port of Tallinn etc) and private owned companies (Olympic Entertainment Group AS, Milrem AS etc).

In 2017 Taavi was bestowed with the Estonian state decoration the Order of the White Star as a developer of the energy sector.

speakers
Therese Hindman Persson

Chief Economist and Head of Chief Economist Function

The Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate

Therese Hindman Persson is Chief Economist at the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate and has many years of experience from infrastructure and utility assignments in different parts of the world. Therese has worked both in the line organisation of one of the world’s largest energy management corporations, as a managing director for a consulting firm and also in the public sector. Therese has a deep knowledge of and experience from various markets and she has the ability to combine extensive methodological knowledge with on-the ground experience for expert advice on critically important topics. Presently she is involved in projects covering electricity market design, demand side flexibility, issues related to network capacity contraints, network tariffs and smart infrastructure. During 2019 she was also an expert to the Biogas Market Inquiry. Between 2012 and 2015 she held a position as one of three, globally selected, advisors in the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). Therese holds a PhD in Economics and has country experience from different parts of the world (Europe, Africa and Asia).

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