Executive Director, Leading Change Canada
Biboye (Bo) Aganaba is the Executive Director of Leading Change where he is responsible for the operations, programs, fundraising, and strategic plan of the organization. His involvement with Leading Change began as the Digital Network Coordinator, where he was responsible for running the Leadership Coffee Chats, and Leading Change Hubs – two key virtual programs introduced as in light of the impacts of COVID-19. As the son of Nigerian immigrants and also having lived in multiple countries, Biboye is a self-described global citizen. He is passionate about the relationships between urbanism, ecology, social justice, and how we can embrace the natural world within the places that we live. Biboye has a degree in Biology from Thompson Rivers University where he was a Sustainability Ambassador, advocating for more sustainable practices and behaviours on campus. He has recently completed an MSc in Engineering studying Sustainable Cities through Aalborg University in Denmark. Through his time at Aalborg University, Biboye had the opportunity to engage with local and national stakeholders in various projects and policy proposals – learning more about what sustainability looks like on the Danish national stage and in Europe.
CEO and Co-founder, Infinited Fiber Company
CEO and co-founder, Infinited Fiber Company Petri Alava is a passionate business developer and strategist with more than 15 years of CEO experience in both the B2B and B2C environments. He has held board positions in several companies from well-established corporations to innovative startups. Petri is an expert in waste management who was pioneering circular initiatives before the concept was widely understood. He founded Infinited Fiber Company together with research professor Ali Harlin in 2016 to commercialize a breakthrough technology that enables cellulose-rich waste streams – including discarded textiles, used cardboard, and even wheat and rice straw – to be regenerated into premium-quality textile fibers with the natural look and feel of cotton. Prior to this, Petri was the CEO of the leading European horticulture group Kekkilä. Learn more about Infinited Fiber Company and its Infinna™ fiber at https://infinitedfiber.com/
Executive director, United Nations Environment Programme
Inger Andersen is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Between 2015 and 2019, Ms. Andersen was the Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ms. Andersen has more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability, strategy and operations. She has led work on a range of issues including agriculture, environmental management, biodiversity conservation, climate change, infrastructure, energy, transport, and water resources management and hydro-diplomacy. Between 1999 and 2014, Ms. Andersen held several leadership positions at the World Bank including Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa; Vice President for Sustainable Development and Head of the CGIAR Fund Council. Prior to her 15 years at the World Bank, Ms. Andersen worked 12 years at the United Nations, first on drought and desertification, beginning with the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office. In 1992, she was appointed UNDP’s Water and Environment Coordinator for the Arab Region. Ms. Andersen holds a Bachelors from the London Metropolitan University North and a Masters in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Executive Director, Impact Zero Corp.
Erin envisions a world that values sustainability, humanity and holistic thinking. She believes that future generations deserve a chance to live a fair, happy and full life and that we have a duty to give them a planet and social structure that values community over individual profit and short-term personal gain. Her contribution to this vision is by founding Impact Zero, a nonprofit organization working to build Toronto’s circular economy alongside entrepreneurs and conscious consumers. She’s a connector who has a natural ability to inspire people, build communities, and mobilize individuals to make change greater than themselves. Together they’re learning, incubating circular ideas, and testing out circular infrastructure in real life. This empowers everyone to participate in building sustainable and just systems of the future.
Renew Retail Leader, Eileen Fisher, INC
The Eileen Fisher brand is recognized as a leading agent of change in the fashion industry. Their Horizon 2030 statement is a commitment to hold circularity at the center of their business practices. Megan Arnaud is a founding leader of the Eileen Fisher Renew resale program since 2013. Based in Seattle, she has worked to develop the brand’s garment take-back and resale program. Megan strives to connect community and clothing with purpose to extend the useful life of every garment. Working with a collaborative team, Megan has overseen a multitude of projects across commercial, non-profit, and artisan groups to turn waste-cycle garments into new resources for resale products to share with consumers. Eileen Fisher Renew is currently expanding their market visibility with an eye toward creating a circular production and purchase cycle to impact fundamental change in the way the fashion industry does business.
Director, Reloop Americas
As Director of Reloop Americas, an NGO focused on advancing circular packaging, Elizabeth Balkan brings over a decade of strategy and public policy experience. She has worked directly with municipalities to implement complex operational programs seeking to align environmental and economic priorities. While working in New York City government, both at the Department of Sanitation and the Mayor’s Office, Balkan successfully orchestrated legislative initiatives at the city and state level. Before that, Balkan had a private consultancy, working with international NGOs and the private sector; and spent almost a decade living and working in China. Balkan has been named a “40 Under 40” food policy leader in New York and is an adjunct in the Food and Nutrition Studies Graduate Program at NYU. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
Prof. Tima Bansal
Professor, Western University
Pratima (Tima) Bansal is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability at the Ivey Business School at Western University (Ontario). Dr. Bansal has published over 50 peer-reviewed academic journal articles and 2 books on Business and the Natural Environment. She founded and continues to direct the Network for Business Sustainability (nbs.net) and Ivey’s Innovation Learning Lab. These efforts aim to strengthen research and its ties with practice. Tima Chairs the Council of Canadian Academies on the Circular Economy and Vice Chairs the Board of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Education. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Academy of Management, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Hamburg. She has been researching business sustainability since graduating from the University of Oxford in 1996.
Deita Sylvie Yameogo Bassono
Program Officer, National Biodigester Program of Burkina Faso
Deita Sylvie Bassono/Yameogo is a sociologist. She has over 20 years of professional experience in development program management and communications. Since 2011, she has been involved in the field of renewable energy by promoting biodigester technology through a market approach. She is a Program Officer for the Programme National de Biodigesteurs du Burkina Faso (PNB-BF). She is also involved in promoting biodigesters in West Africa through her contributions to the work of the Alliance pour le Biodigesteur en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre (AB/AOC) [Alliance for Biodigesters in West and Central Africa] and through sharing experiences in countries in the sub-region.
General Manager, Bosk Bioproducts
Laurence Boudreault has more than 10 years of experience in commercialization of products and services, in multiple markets. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in management accounting and marketing from Université Laval. She also holds a graduate degree in Marketing Communication from HEC and has won several academic performance scholarships. Laurence joined BOSK in 2017 to develop and implement the strategy that will allow BOSK to introduce its innovation to the market. Among other things, she led the activities that enabled BOSK to move from a technology to a product sold on the market.
Strategist and Founder, Circular Citizen Consulting and Senior Associate, OneEarth
Lindsey is passionate about business that supports people’s well being and regenerates nature. Working at the intersection of the climate emergency and the circular economy, Lindsey is a strategist who creates insight into target audience’s needs and motivations and illuminates barriers to circular choices. Lindsey’s biggest strength is making these opportunities for circular innovation accessible and actionable today. Previously, Lindsey was Vice President of Consumer Insights, leading teams to deliver insight to guide global tech innovation. Lindsey leans into her strengths to be circular at home and as a parent. Choosing ‘bike first’, plant based meals, buying from farmers that grow regeneratively, avoiding buying new by borrowing or buying second-hand first are all things she is good at. She’s terrible at repair and is grateful for how good her husband is at fixing and teaching their sons the skills they need to extend the life of household goods.
Special Advisor, Circular Economy System Transitions Canada Plastics Pact & The Natural Step
Sarah Brooks is a Sustainability Change Consultant with over 20 years’ experience facilitating multi-stakeholder groups to co-create and implement processes to address complex sustainability issues. For the past 14 years, she has been a member of the international NGO The Natural Step (TNS). Sarah currently holds the position of Special Advisor, Circular Economy Systems Transition for the Canada Plastics Pact, a TNS-led national multi-stakeholder, industry-led, cross-value chain collaboration platform which aims to tackle plastic packaging waste and pollution by bringing together businesses, government, non-governmental organizations and other key actors in the local plastics value chain to achieve a circular plastics packaging economy for Canada.
Vice President of Environmental Responsibility and the Sustainable Materials Center, LEGO Group
Tim Brooks is Vice President of Environmental Responsibility and the Sustainable Materials Center at the LEGO Group. Based in Billund, Denmark, he heads a global team responsible for the company’s global environmental responsibility strategy, performance and impact of the LEGO Group’s products. Prior to joining the LEGO Group, Tim worked for Tesco developing new environmental technologies and processes. He has more than 20 years of experience in sustainability with a focus on corporate sustainability strategy with particular knowledge of renewable energy technologies, sustainable buildings and product manufacturing. Tim started his career in sustainable mechanical & electrical engineering with the Building Research Establishment and has worked for engineering consultancies, FTSE 100 companies, the Carbon Trust, and as an environmental policy advisor to the Mayor of London. He is a trustee of a number of environmental charities and was voted by Fast Company as 15th in the 100 most creative people of 2019.
Director General, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Government of Canada
Michelle Brownlee is Director General of Clean Technology and Clean Growth at Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Previously, she worked in strategic policy at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Michelle was also Director of Policy at Smart Prosperity Institute, taught Economics at Mount Royal University, and worked in various Government of Canada departments and agencies advising on energy, cleantech, natural resource and climate policy. She holds degrees from Mount Allison University and Queen’s University in Economics.
General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
Sharan Burrow is the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), representing 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates. The ITUC’s primary mission is the promotion and defense of workers’ rights and interests, through international cooperation between trade unions, global campaigning and advocacy within the major global institutions.
Previously President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 – 2010, Sharan is a passionate advocate and campaigner for social justice, women’s rights, the environment, and labour law reforms, and has led union negotiations on major economic reforms and labour rights campaigns in her home country of Australia and globally. She has also served as a member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation and is represented on a number of international commissions concerning climate action, industrial transition, and economic reform.
Rolando Castro Córdoba
Vice Minister of Energy Ministry of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica
Vice Minister of Energy, Ministry of Environment and Energy since July 2018, Rolando Castro Córdoba was previously Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations in New York from 2015-2018. Prior to that, he was Executive Director at the Center for Environmental Law and Natural Resources (CEDARENA), a local NGO. He has over 20 years of experience as an International Consultant on Environmental Law and Policy for international organizations such as UNDP, UNIDO, GEF, PAHO, GIZ, USAID, IDB, EPA and TNC.
Principal Consultant, EnVertis
Virginie Chambost is Co-Founder and Principal Consultant at EnVertis Inc, a consulting services company dedicated to assisting the forest, agriculture and allied sectors in identifying successful strategies for improving and/or transforming business models. Virginie obtained her MBA in innovative project management at the University of Lyon in France. She worked at New Zealand’s forest research center, SCION, and then was project director for biorefinery projects in the Chemical Engineering Department at École Polytechnique of the University of Montréal. To date, Virginie has assisted several forest product companies in identifying promising business models, and successfully bringing transformational biorefinery projects to fruition. Her major contributions are related to the development of market and risk-based methodologies supporting the identification of promising product portfolio. She is leading strategic partnership discussions between key biorefinery value chain players in order to identify winning business models based on the definition of competitive product portfolio value proposal.
Co-Founder & CEO, OLIO
Tessa is Co-Founder & CEO of OLIO, a free app tackling the problem of food waste by connecting neighbours with each other, and volunteers with local businesses, so that surplus food can be given away, not thrown away. OLIO has grown to over 5 million users in 5 years, and its impact has been widely recognised, most notably by the United Nations who highlighted OLIO as a “beacon” for the world, and by Vivatech who awarded OLIO “Next European Unicorn”. Tessa started her career as a strategy consultant at Boston Consulting Group and then spent 10 years as a digital Managing Director in the media, retail and financial services sectors. She met her co-founder Saasha Celestial-One whilst they were studying for their MBAs at Stanford. Tessa is passionate about the sharing economy as a solution for a sustainable world, and about ‘profit with purpose’ as the next business paradigm.
Permanent Observer/Ambassador to the United Nations, Geneva, International Chamber of Commerce
Crispin Conroy is the ICC Representative Director, Geneva, and also the ICC Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva. Prior to his appointment with ICC, Mr. Conroy worked with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and had a number of diplomatic postings, including Ambassador to Chile, concurrently accredited to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; Deputy High Commissioner, Australian High Commission, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Nepal. Mr. Conroy has also worked with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), as Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Italy, based in Milan, and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Latin America, based in Chile. Mr. Conroy has a Masters in International Law from the Australian National University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Law (Hons), also from the Australian National University.
Project Director, Share Reuse Repair Initiative
Rosemary pivoted her sustainability career in 2013 to focus on catalyzing the transition to a circular economy, emphasizing upstream innovations that design out waste and foster lasting prosperity. She is the Project Director of the Share Reuse Repair Initiative (SRRI), a project of MakeWay (www.sharereuserepair.org), whose mission is to foster a vibrant sharing, reuse and repair sector as a meaningful waste and climate solution that supports circular living and positive business innovation. As part of Sitra’s SHIFT 1.5 community, SRRI developed the SHIFTing Consumer Behaviour Program and co-presented the Lighter Living Motivations with partner One Earth to support the mainstreaming of circular behaviours. SRRI’s Just Circular Transition Program’s aims to enhance the inclusivity of the circular economy. Rosemary has taught the Circular Economy at BCIT’s School of Business since 2014, is a Senior Associate with One Earth and provides consulting services on circular innovation, demand and communications.
H.E. Carlos Eduardo Correa Escaf
Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia
His Excellency Carlos Eduardo Correa Escaf has served as the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development for Colombia since October 2020, prior to which he served briefly as Deputy Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and as Senior Presidential Advisor for the regions after that.
Previously, as Mayor of his hometown, Montería, he ranked the capital of Córdoba as a sustainable city, pushed forward solar energy projects, and advanced sustainable culture. He has been a special presidential consultant for the country’s regions, as well as a consultant on territorial development at many different colleges. For his sustainability work, he was nominated Best Mayor of the Country during the 2012-2015 term, and the Mayors’ Fund for London acknowledged him as one of The Top 10 Mayors of the World. He holds a Business degree from the EAFIT University in Medellín.
Vice President, External Affairs, Circulate Capital
As a globally recognized Sustainability leader, April has more than two decades of experience working throughout the value chain in a diverse set of roles in Sustainability, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs and Quality. She helped launch Circulate Capital in 2018 and leads Investor Relations and External Affairs. Previously, she worked as Senior Director, Environment & Sustainability for The Coca-Cola Company providing leadership for the company’s environmental platform.April has been one of the leading industry voices — pushing forward research, coalitions and programs to help understand and tackle the marine debris issue and advancing the Circular Economy. She has developed and managed programs and collaborative efforts in partnership with government, industry and non-government organizations. She was instrumental in the founding of the Trash Free Seas Alliance and was a founding member American Institute for Packaging and the Environment. She served on the Executive Committee for the Michigan State University Center for Packaging Innovation, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the Ocean Exchange and currently serves on NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Business Advisory Council and as an advisor for the New Materials Institute.
Chief Executive, Anglo American plc
Mark Cutifani, FREng CEng FIMMM FAusIMM DBA (Hon) DoL (Hon) BE (Mining–Hons), was appointed Chief Executive of Anglo American Plc on 3 April 2013. He is a qualified mining engineer with more than 45 years of broad experience of projects, operations, marketing, business development and finance. Mark is also the Chairman of De Beers Group of Companies, a non-executive director of Total SA, and a non-Executive Director of Anglo American Platinum Limited.
Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners
Kate Daly is Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, a New York City-based impact investment firm focused on the circular economy. The Center is a hub for business acceleration, investment, and research in packaging, food, the built environment, electronics and apparel & textiles. Kate previously served as Senior Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she oversaw industry-facing initiatives in sectors including advanced manufacturing, smart cities, cleantech, fashion, tech, and media. Prior to NYCEDC Kate served as the Executive Director of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Kate holds a BA from Cornell University and an MS from the University of Pennsylvania.
Prof. Partha Dasgupta
Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge
Professor Dasgupta has been a Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge since 1985, serving as Chairman of the Faculty of Economics from 1997 to 2001. He has won numerous awards and in 2002, he was named Knight Bachelor by the Queen for services to economics. His research interests have covered welfare and development economics, the economics of technological change, population, environmental and resource economics, the theory of games, the economics of undernutrition, and the economics of social capital.
Dr. Ndidi Nnoli Edozien
Chair, Circular Economy Innovation Partnership, Africa
Dr. Ndidi Nnoli Edozien chairs Circular Economy Innovation Partnership (CEIP) Africa, Growing Businesses Foundation and Afrikairos GmbH. She is ACCA Africa Advocacy Program’s Governance & Sustainability Committee Chair, member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Stakeholder Council, Nigeria Integrated Reporting Committee, and co-chairs the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on SDGs. She was pioneer Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance Officer, Dangote, Africa’s largest conglomerate Dangote. She operationalized sustainability using her SevenPillars Sustainability Methodology and was awarded 2020 Sustainability Executive of the Year by Cemex Africa. She is an ExCo Member, Club of Rome and has served as faculty for Lagos Business School, Darmstadt University, China European International Business School and University of Edinburgh. She co-founded Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services, Boost, Rising Tide Africa and Vroom Africa – all supporting Start-Ups to become Scale-Ups. She is alumnus of London School of Economics (LSE), Wharton Business School and Johann Wolfgang Goethe University.
Director, Laboratório Regional de Engenharia Civil dos Açores
Engineer and senior manager, with over 24 years of experience in practice and research in Civil Engineer complemented with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management, high leadership skills, project management and strategic planning. As president of the organizing committee, was responsible for several scientific events, namely the 10th National Congress of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, the 16th National Geotechnical Congress, the 6th Portuguese-Spanish Geotechnical Conference and the International Workshop on Natural Hazards. Board member of the Portuguese Seismic Engineer Society, the Portuguese Geotechnical Society and of the Fund for the Development of Construction Sciences. He has been a driver of circularity in the construction sector, through the Rebuild17, LREC + Sustainable and Use&Abuse projects, the Endogenous Materials Catalogue and the “How to Build an Island” exhibit. Professional experience in the private sector in all areas of civil engineering from design, planning, budgeting and construction management, combined with experience in the public sector as director of the Regional Laboratory of Civil Engineering in Azores, since 2021, allowing him to consolidate a comprehensive, resilient and sustainable vision for current challenges and futures.
Media and Messaging Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
A journalist for more than 17 years and now responsible for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s media and messaging team.
President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region
Mark Fisher became the President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) in 2014. Prior to joining CGLR, he served as a foreign policy advisor in the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister of Canada and the federal Cabinet, where he focused on advancing Canada’s interests in North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Mark has extensive experience advising senior decision-makers on a range of socioeconomic and environmental issues facing government, business, and the non-profit sector. In addition to CGLR, he is an elected school board trustee with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, is a member of the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board, and is a director on the board of Easter Seals Ontario. Mark is also a recipient of the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence.
Circular Economy Specialist, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Supporting the global transition to a circular economy, by finding, developing and spreading the best circular solutions from Finland and the world, especially through digitalisation, trade and Sitra’s World Circular Economy Forum, with an emphasis on solutions that help tackle biodiversity loss.
Executive Director, Free Geek Toronto
Ryan Fukunaga is the Executive Director of Free Geek Toronto, a non-profit organization that uses unwanted electronics/computers to increase access to technology, offer employment and training opportunities, and reduce the environmental impact of technology. With over a decade of experience working in the non-profit sector, working at Free Geek Toronto allows Ryan to focus on his interests in capacity building, environmental stewardship, and building technological resiliency for equity-seeking communities. Ryan earned his Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor.
Vice Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia
The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith
Minister for the Pacific and the Environment
The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith of Richmond Park is the Minister for Pacific and the Environment at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He is the Minister leading the UK’s COP26 nature campaign, and international nature strategy, and is a keen advocate for environmental issues and sustainability around the world. Before becoming involved in politics Zac directed and edited the Ecologist Magazine for a decade, and received Mikhail Gorbachev’s Global Green Award for ‘International Environmental Leadership’.
Environmental Unit Coordination, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, URUGUAY
María José González was raised in Uruguay where she attended college at University of the Republic and obtained her degree in Environmental Engineering. She specialized in Cleaner Production at Center of Cleaner Production, Universidad de Montevideo and is finishing her masters degree in Environmental Engineering. She has more than 18 years of experience in the environmental and waste area, working on consulting for public, private and international organizations. She was National Executive Director of a corporate organization with focus on Integral Waste Management and Recycling (CEMPRE). She worked as a United Nations consultant for the Uruguayan Government as National Project Coordinator for a project with a focus on waste valorization technologies for agro-industrial sectors, energy and circular economy (Biovalor – www.biovalor.gub.uy). Today she is working as a technical advisor of the Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, coordinating the Environmental Unit and leading the Uruguayan Hydrogen Strategy.
Esther Goodwin Brown
Lead of the Circular Jobs Initiative, Circle Economy
Circle Economy is an impact organisation that connects and empowers a global community to create the conditions for transformation towards the circular economy. They do this by developing practical and scalable insights and solutions for cities, nations and businesses. The Circular Jobs Initiative is a knowledge centre within Circle Economy that aims to ensure the transition to the circular economy is positive for work and workers. With skills as one of its key focus areas, the Circular Jobs Initiative develops knowledge on the skills needed in the circular economy and how education and training pathways can both adapt to changes and be drivers of sustainable development. Esther leads the growth and strategic direction of the Circular Jobs Initiative. Her work focuses on bringing labour market issues central to agenda setting around circular economy and green policies, and that the circular economy is understood by educators and decision-makers more widely.
Sustainability Director, CMPC
Nicolás Gordon holds a Civil Engineering degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University in New York City. Mr. Gordon began his career in the areas of green building, energy and sustainability in the hospitality industry. In 2014, he became the Manager of the Office of Sustainability at New York University (NYU), where he led sustainability initiatives in NYU’s operations and directed the Green Grants program, which provides funding for projects and research that drive sustainability. Since 2018, he serves as Director of Corporate Sustainability at CMPC where he leads the design and implementation of the ESG strategy for the company.
Behaviour Change Manager, WRAP
As the Behaviour Change Manager at WRAP my focus is the design, delivery and evaluation of citizen behaviour change strategies, delivering interventions and campaigns directly to citizens and through supporting partners. I lead on citizen engagement for The UK Plastics Pact , I am the Chair for the reuse and refill working group and led the Team to set up the Clear on Plastics campaign clearonplastics.com/. My role at WRAP has also included providing behaviour change expertise and support to partners delivering re-use in general (for clothing, furniture and electricals). I have over 20 years’ experience in developing and delivering programmes in the sustainable resources sector this has included managing, for a number of years, the UK’s national recycling campaign Recycle Now. www.recyclenow.com/
Journalist & Associate Professor, UBC School of Journalism, Writing & Media
Kathryn is an associate professor of teaching at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism, Writing, and Media. She is a long-time public broadcaster at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with a record of creating award-winning work at the local and national level. Through her journalism and teaching, Kathryn is committed to fostering dialogue about social justice, environment, climate and sustainability, Indigenous issues and mental health and wellness. As an expert shaper of conversations, Kathryn will bring valuable perspectives to WCEF2021 as we explore how to communicate circularity to a global audience.
Associate Deputy Minister, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Paul Halucha was appointed Associate Deputy Minister at Environment and Climate Change Canada in August 2021. He previously served as Assistant Secretary to Cabinet for Economic and Regional Development Policy at the Privy Council Office, Assistant Deputy Minister of Industry at Innovation, Science and Economic Development. At Industry Canada he served as the Departmental Advisor in the Minister of Industry’s office for the terms of three Ministers and was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister.
Director, Cleantech Ecosystem, MaRS Discovery District
Tyler Hamilton is Director of Cleantech Ecosystem at MaRS Discovery District, responsible for building a network of investors, innovation organizations and government agencies that can help Canadian cleantech ventures raise capital and scale globally. He leads the newly launched Mission from MaRS: Climate Impact Challenge program and co-founded the RBC Women In Cleantech Accelerator program, powered by MaRS. Previously, Tyler spent two decades as a business and technology journalist (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, MIT Technology Review) and wrote extensively about Canada’s clean technology sector and global climate tech trends. He was also Editor-In-Chief of business and sustainability magazine Corporate Knights. In 2011, Tyler authored Mad Like Tesla, a book that examined the various barriers to clean energy innovation and surveyed the landscape of some potentially world-changing clean technologies.
Senior Project Coordinator, Share Reuse Repair Initiative
Alice Henry is a researcher, facilitator, and program coordinator with expertise in zero waste and the circular economy, as well as collaborative decision-making. She brings experience in the repair economy, working on textile waste social innovation, investigating the secondhand economy and lighter living landscape, and working as part of a tech startup in the sharing economy to her current work as the Senior Project Coordinator of the Share Reuse Repair Initiative’s Just Circular Recovery and Transition program, and as an Associate with OneEarth. Henry is excited to support innovators, public institutions, and our communities as we rethink how our systems can work and how our economies can better support all peoples and our planet.
Hon. George Heyman
Minister, Environment and Climate Change Strategy, British Columbia
George Heyman was first elected as the MLA for Vancouver-Fairview in 2013. Since 2017, George has served as Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and in 2020 also became the Minister responsible for TransLink. Since his appointment as Minister, George has been dedicated to advocating for the people and addressing climate change. He took on a major role in creating the CleanBC plan aimed at the reduction of air pollution while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities in the renewable energy sector.
Prior to his election as MLA, George was Executive Director of Sierra Club BC, served three terms as president of the BC Government and Services Employees’ Union (BCGEU), has been a faculty member of Simon Fraser University’s Dialogue and Negotiation program, and has been a board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC, Columbia Institute, and Workers’ Compensation Board.
Carol Anne Hilton
CEO and Founder, The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics
Carol Anne Hilton is a dynamic national business leader with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. She is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island. Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called #indigenomics, a movement which focuses on the re-building and strengthening of Indigenous economies. She is the author of ‘Indigenomics- Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’ and an adjunct professor at Royal Roads University School of Business. Carol Anne serves as a director on the BC Digital Supercluster, the McGill University Institute for the Study of Canada, the Canadian Economic Growth Council, and the BC Emerging Economy Taskforce. With an extensive career in business, Carol Anne’s contributions to value creation in Indigenous economies has been recognized with a national Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Dr. Arab Hoballah
Executive Director, SEED, Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development
Arab Hoballah is currently the Executive Director of SEED, a global partnership for action on sustainable development and green economy, founded in 2002 by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN, managed by adelphi. SEED aims at promoting Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development, focusing on providing adequate support to small and growing eco-inclusive enterprises. Arab has recently completed his responsibility as Team Leader of EU-SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility, 2017-2021, with the aim to induce and enable stakeholders in Asian Countries in developing and delivering policies and actions in support to transformative change for sustainable consumption and production/SCP. Previously, Arab served as UNEP Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production and in senior positions for more than 30 years in support to sustainable development. World Citizen, Arab is specialized in systemic and prospective analysis. He holds a PhD in economic development and a Master in international relations.
Deputy Minister, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Christine Hogan is the Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Ms. Hogan previously served as Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, at the World Bank Group, from 2016 to 2019, prior to which she was Deputy Minister of International Trade. Between 2010 and 2015, Ms. Hogan served in the Privy Council Office, first as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, then as Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. Throughout her career of more than 30 years, Ms. Hogan has contributed to a diverse set of public-policy issues ranging from international relations and development to trade policy, science and technology, and environment and energy. Ms. Hogan has also been a visiting executive with Encana and an Advisor to the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. She holds a Bachelor of Public Administration (Honours) from Carleton University and is a Yale University World Fellow.
Prof. Naoko Ishii
Executive Vice President and Director, The University of Tokyo, Center for Global Commons
Dr. Naoko Ishii is a professor and executive vice president at the University of Tokyo, where she is also the inaugural director for the Center for Global Commons, whose mission is to catalyze systems change so that humans can achieve sustainable development within planetary boundaries. She believes academia can and should play an active role in mobilizing movements towards shared goals of nurturing stewardship of the global commons. Before joining the university, Dr. Ishii was CEO and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) from 2012-2020. She formed GEF’s first mid-term strategy, GEF 2020, focusing on the transformation of key economic systems. Dr. Ishii entered Japan’s Ministry of Finance in 1981 and served as Deputy Vice Minister of Finance from 2010-2012. She holds a B.A. in economics and a Ph.D. in international development, both from the University of Tokyo.
Global ambassador, Youth4nature
Leonard Iyamuremye from Youth4Nature. Leonard is an environmental and climate change activist born and raised in Rwanda (country of thousands hills). He was raised loving nature and exploring its beauty. He studied wildlife conservation at Rwanda Polytechnic: IPRC Kitabi, and has received substantial additional training on nature protection, which allowed him to achieve his goal of becoming a wildlife defender. He loves volunteering and advocating for nature, and as a result he serves as a Youth4Nature Global Ambassador, Regional coordinator for East Africa at COY16, Rwanda Country Representative for the African Youth Development Commission, and Ambassador of IUCN-PAPACO. Leonard works as a site manager for the first and foremost reforestation initiative in Rwanda which serves more than 15 million agroforestry trees yearly to Rwandan farmers prepared by One Acre Fund. He also led the biggest campaign in his country on recycling for well-being called “It’s not a trash but a raw material”.
Band Councillor, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Band Councillor Cathie Jamieson, Pillar 3 Lead: Environment and Sustainability. Jamieson is Mkwa dodem/ Bear Clan, from the Mississauga Misinige ishkoniganing/ Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. An elected band Councillor serving in her 3rd term of office; previous portfolio of Education, Social Services and Health, to presently portfolio of Environment Sustainability and Governance. As a member of the First Nation leadership, Councillor Jamieson works to advance the Inherent Rights, Treaty Rights and Territorial Rights and Recognition of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Committees & Appointments: Chair of Land, Water and Sustainable Prosperity Council, Member of Land Claims Team, Emergency Control Group, Pillar 7 Governance Committee, Vice Chair of the Aboriginal Labour Force Development Circle Employment and Training Board, Chair of the MCFN Employment and Training Board, Member of Artifacts Working Group, Member of Culture & Design Working Group.
CEO, Laudes Foundation
As its first CEO, Leslie Johnston leads the development and execution of Laudes Foundation’s strategy and operating model to deliver on its vision in which global markets value all people and respect nature.
Leslie currently serves on the boards of the European Venture Philanthropy Association, Fashion for Good BV and Stichting, GoodWeave International, the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), and the Philanthropy Coalition for Climate.
Leslie has over 20 years of management experience across business, entrepreneurship, development and philanthropy. Previously, she headed C&A Foundation as its first Executive Director, repositioning it as a global catalyst to make fashion a force for good. She also served as Executive Director of the Argidius Foundation, Deputy Director for TechnoServe in Africa and a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
President, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Jyrki Katainen, President (MSc in Political Sciences) Jyrki Katainen is the President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. Jyrki Katainen’s career has focused on analysing societal change, finding solutions and decision-making. Before his appointment as the President of Sitra, Katainen was the European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. Prior to the Commission, he held the positions of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. During his 15 years as a Member of the Finnish Parliament he chaired the Committee for the Future among other appointments.
Giima/Chief Stacey Laforme
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
R. Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Chief Laforme has served his community for over twenty years being first elected to council in 1999. Chief Laforme is committed to increasing involvement and communication between Elected Council and both on and off-reserve membership. He is very active throughout MCFN’s Treaty Lands and Territory, which encompasses 3.9 million acres of Southern Ontario, not only as a Chief, but as a notable storyteller, poet and published author. Chief Laforme has recently been appointed as honorary senior fellow for Massey College, joining the Duke of Edinburg and the Chancellor of Oxford as only the third person awarded the highest honor the college can bestow. In 2018, De dwa da dehs nye (Aboriginal Health Centre) awarded Chief R. Stacey Laforme the Walter Cooke Wisdom Keeper Award in recognition of one’s capacity to exemplify significant and continuous service to our community by demonstrating integrity, generosity of spirit, humility, courage, collaboration, “The Good Mind”, and traditional ways of knowing and being.
Managing Director, BlackRock
Olivia Markham, CFA, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, is a member of the Thematics and Sectors team within BlackRock’s Fundamental Equity division. Ms. Markham is a named co-manager of the team’s mining portfolios (such as BGF World Mining and the BlackRock World Mining Trust) and circular economy portfolios (BGF Circular Economy). Ms. Markham joined BlackRock in 2011. Previously, she was head of the European Mining team at UBS with lead coverage of the UK diversified miners. Before moving to London in 2009, Ms. Markham worked for Merrill Lynch in Sydney covering the Australian miners. She also spent four years working within the Mergers and Acquisition team at BHP Billiton. Ms. Markham earned a BComm degree, with honours, in finance, from the University of Western Australia in 2003.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema is the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. She has worked with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) for over two decades and was the Director of the Law Division at UNEP which is also responsible for international environmental governance as well as multilateral environmental agreements. Prior to joining the Law Division in June 2014, Ms. Mrema was Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division, in charge of coordination, operations and programme delivery from 2012 and also served as Acting Director to the same Division. In 2018, she was the Acting Director of the Corporate Services Division. Prior to these duties, she also served as Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals from 2009-2012. Before joining UNEP, Ms. Mrema worked with Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and left as a Counsellor/Senior Legal Counsel.
Senior Director (Research), Smart Prosperity Institute
Geoff McCarney is a Professor of Environment and Development in the School of International Development and Global Studies, Associate Director (Research) for the Institute of the Environment, and Senior Director (Research) for the Smart Prosperity Institute, at the University of Ottawa. Geoff’s research expertise includes areas of environmental, natural resource and development economics, with specific focus on a range of issues at the interface climate change, the circular economy and natural resource development. He also has extensive experience working with academics, funders and partner agencies across Canada and internationally, to both develop and communicate policy-oriented research on the environment and economy, as well as advise and implement climate risk management projects for at risk populations. Geoff holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development (with a focus on economics and climate science) from Columbia University.
CEO, Fielding Environmental
Fielding Environmental is an award winning clean-tech company specializing in chemical and refrigerant recovery to produce high quality recycled chemicals. Committed to serving the peak of the waste management hierarchy, Ellen trade marked the phrase Cradle to Cradle® long before the words had market meaning. She is a champion for innovation believing that Canada can and should be the world’s leader in resource recovery. Ellen is a vocal advocate for changes in legislation that will enable the growth of the Canadian cleantech industry. Recognized for her accomplishments in business and for business, Ellen was named Business Person of the Year by the Mississauga Board of Trade and by Heritage Mississauga. She is profiled in the book “Extraordinary Lives: Inspiring Women of Peel” written to pay tribute to women who have made outstanding community contributions over the past 200 years. She is also a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and has won several awards for leadership in environmental excellence including the Clean16 Award, an award bestowed on people who have made significant contributions to sustainability in Canada.
City Councillor, Scarborough-Rouge Park, City of Toronto
Jennifer McKelvie is the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 25, Scarborough Rouge-Park, representing over 100,000 constituents in the City’s most eastern riding. In her role as Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, she is taking an active role in the City of Toronto’s climate change, resilience and ravine strategies. Before being elected in 2018, Jennifer worked as a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) and managed research partnerships at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Her graduate (Ph.D. Geology 2006) and postgraduate research was supported by numerous provincial, national and international awards, including the NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship and L’Oréal/UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship.
Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart Inc and President of the Walmart Foundation.
Kathleen is responsible for programs that help Walmart create economic opportunity through jobs and sourcing; enhance the sustainability of food, apparel and general merchandise supply chains; and strengthen the resilience of local communities. Through business initiatives and philanthropy, her teams work with Walmart associates, suppliers, nonprofit organizations and others to drive significant and lasting improvements to economic, social and environmental systems. Last year, the company awarded more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind donations.
Before joining Walmart in 2013, she spent more than 20 years with McKinsey & Company.
Kathleen earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Boston University, as well as a master of arts in politics, philosophy and economics from Balliol College at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She also has a diploma in theology from Oxford. She is married with three children and divides her time between Bentonville, Arkansas, and Toronto, Ontario.
Minister of the Environment, Finland
Krista Mikkonen was born in the town of Hamina in south-eastern Finland. She is married to Ville Vuorio and they have three sons. Mikkonen joined the Green League during her university studies. The first time she was elected to the Joensuu City Council was in 1996, and she has served as a Council Member since 2005. She was the Deputy Party Leader of the Green League in 2011–2015 and, before that, she served in different bodies of the party. In the parliamentary elections of spring 2015, Mikkonen was elected to Parliament, where she was the first MP representing the Greens from the Savo-Karelia electoral district. In 2016–2019 she chaired the Green Parliamentary Group. Mikkonen was again elected to Parliament in spring 2019. In politics her particular focus has been on the environment, biodiversity, education and equality, and on combatting poverty.
Chief Executive Officer, Coreo
Associate Professor Ashleigh Morris Chief Executive Officer – Coreo Ashleigh is bold in her pursuit of systemic change. Acknowledged as a future leader, Ashleigh was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Young Business Person of the Year Award and a global Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influential Leader for 2020, is a Prime Ministers Scholar, an Australian ASEAN Emerging Leader and an invitee to the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. With recognition of her strategic foresight and experience in the private and public sectors, Ashleigh has presented to two Australian Prime Ministers, travelled with the Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment to Japan on a Future Leaders, Future Cities Business Mission and represented Australia as a panellist and speaker at the 2019 World Circular Economy Forum alongside the former European Commissioner for the Environment. Ashleigh holds a Bachelor of Environmental Health Science with Faculty Commendation for academic excellence, 1stClass Honours in Environmental Management, and the highest honour, the University Medal.
Global Director, Center for Sustainable Business World Resources Institute
Kevin Moss is the Global Director of the Center for Sustainable Business, World Resources Institute’s (WRI) program that helps the private sector develop strategies that support sustainable strategies and drive growth. He supports WRI’s Signature Initiatives in developing impactful strategies that leverage the private sector, provides thought leadership in the field of corporate sustainability and supports the integration of private sector perspectives and impact across the full range of WRI programs. This includes WRI’s Corporate Consultative Group (CCG) which facilitates impactful engagement across a broad spectrum of leading corporate partners.
Dr. Jeanne D’Arc Mujawamariya
Minister of Environment, REPUBLIC OF RWANDA
Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya is the Minister of Environment, of the Republic of Rwanda. Prior to her appointment in November 2019, she served as Ambassador of Rwanda in Russia from 2013 and Rector of Kigali Institute of Science and Technology- KIST from (2011-2013). Dr Mujawamariya Jeanne d’Arc served also as Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion (2008-2011); Minister of Education (2006-2008); Minister of State in Charge of Higher Education (2005-2006) and Minister of State in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Scientific Research (2003-2005). Minister Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya a PHD holder in Physical-Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology-IIT Roorkee, India. She is passionate about environment conservation and efficient natural resources development to achieve sustainable development and green growth for Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation.
Vice President, Development Alternatives
Zeenat Niazi has over 30 years’ experience in the social and environment development sector, focusing on the design and strategic action for sustainable human settlements. She is an architect and a planner by training with key interests in the area of resource efficient and people-nature centric development policy and practice. Her current work addresses resilience building in human settlements through Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) strategies, especially green and inclusive circular economy models.
Indigenous Peoples Representative, Sustainable Development Advisory Council
Dakota is an experienced researcher and manager in the fields of Indigenous development and climate change, and a Gwich’in First Nation youth who sits on Canada’s Sustainable Development Advisory Council. He will begin a new role coordinating northern and Indigenous sustainable energy initiatives with the University of Saskatchewan this September.
President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Natan Obed is the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national organization representing Inuit in Canada. Originally from Nain, Nunatsiavut, he has devoted his career to protecting Inuit rights, culture, knowledge, language, and environment. He continues to advocate for Inuit self-determination in climate policy within Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland comprised of the land claims regions of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. In 2019, under Mr. Obed’s presidency, ITK launched an Inuit-led response to climate change, the National Inuit Climate Change Strategy. It was accompanied by a $1 million implementation budget from the Government of Canada. The strategy outlines priority areas for Inuit, and calls for coordinated climate policy and decision making that improves Inuit quality of life.
Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services
Franco-Albertain from Calgary, Chúk is incredibly passionate about the interactions between culture, health and the environment. This passion manifests itself in his three primary roles as (1) Founding Director and Director of Ancestral Services for Future Ancestors Services Inc., an Indigenous and Black-owned, youth-led professional services social enterprise and startup that advances climate justice and equity with a lens of anti-racism and ancestral accountability; (2) Co-founder of The Poison and The Apple, a Albertan born bilingual non-profit organisation that seeks to change the way in which Canadians interact with nature at a sociocultural level in order to diversify outdoor spaces and make nature truly for all; (3) and, PhD Candidate in Medical Geography where his research looks at the relationships between human health, the environment, geographic factors, society, and healthcare to shed light on public health policies and strategies.
Director, Sustainability solutions, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Mari Pantsar leads the Sustainability solutions theme at Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. She steers the strategy of the theme and ensures that all activities related to it direct Finland towards a more ecologically sustainable and competitive society. Mari has about 20 years’ experience of managerial tasks in the development of cleantech and circular economy business in the private and public sector and on several companies’ boards. She has a doctorate in philosophy and holds the title of docent at the University of Helsinki and at Lappeenranta University of Technology. Among others, she is a board member of International Institute for sustainable Development.
Angela Paolini Ellard
Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization
Angela Paolini Ellard was appointed WTO Deputy Director-General, June 2021. Prior to this, Ms Ellard served at the US Congress as Majority and Minority Chief Trade Counsel for 26+ years. An internationally recognized expert on trade and international economic policy, resolving trade and investment barriers, negotiating trade agreements, and supporting multilateral solutions as part of an effective trade and development policy. She has negotiated significant bipartisan trade policy outcomes and legislation with Members of US Congress and senior Presidential Administration officials. Ms Ellard was a lawyer in the private sector, specializing in trade litigation and strategy, trade policy, and legislative issues. Ms Ellard obtained her Juris Doctor, cum laude, and her Master of Arts in Public Policy from Tulane University School of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Newcomb College of Tulane University, summa cum laude. Ms Ellard is a frequent lecturer.
Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, Finland
Leena-Kaisa Piekkari has over ten years of experience from the environmental sector working with various topics and projects as a consultant and in the public sector in close cooperation with several industries. She has a Master of Business Administration in International Business. During 2018-2019 she was part of Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra’s Circular Economy Team and has worked in Finland’s Ministry of the Environment since 2018. Leena-Kaisa leads the developing and implementation of the Finnish voluntary agreement (green deals) mechanism in the Ministry. She has developed the process and criteria for Finland’s ambitious national deals finding solutions for climate change and enhancing the circular economy in Finland. She has so far been negotiating successfully seven green deals with the targets to among others cut the emissions of Finnish automotive sector, enhance the recycling of plastics at construction sites and decrease chemicals in Finnish kindergarten environment.
Dr. Maija Pohjakallio
VP, Climate and Circular Economy, Metsä Group
Maija Pohjakallio works as VP, Climate and Circular Economy at Metsä Group whose parent company Metsäliitto Cooperative is owned by appr. 100,000 Finnish forest owners. She is excited about promoting wellbeing of people and planet by combining science and business with sustainable development and circular economy. Prior to Metsä Group Maija has worked in the field of circular economy at Sulapac Ltd., VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland and Chemical Industry Federation of Finland. She holds a doctoral degree in physical chemistry and electrochemistry from Helsinki University of Technology (currently Aalto-university).
Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk
Vice-President, Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada)
Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk was born in Puvirnituq in Northern Quebec (Nunavik). She holds a BA in Political Science from Concordia University and an MA in Anthropology from Laval University. Lisa was elected as Vice-President of Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada) in 2018. She previously represented Makivvik Corporation in several regional, national and international fora, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Her experience at the Federation of the Cooperatives of Northern Quebec (FCNQ) for three years also brought a keen awareness of the importance of greater economic and political autonomy in Inuit Nunangat.
Lisa is the co-founder and former president of Saturviit Inuit Women’s Association of Nunavik and a member of the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission (KEQC), as well as part of the Research Team of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. As an anthropologist and writer, she has published several papers and made presentations on housing needs, education and employment, violence and abuse and the justice system in Nunavik. Her fluency in Inuktitut, English and French allows her to communicate easily between different cultures, bringing the Inuit voice to the fore.
Global Sustainability Advisor, Corporate Strategy & Sustainability, ABN AMRO Bank
Jan Raes works as Global Sustainability Advisor for ABN AMRO Bank’s Corporate Strategy & Sustainability department. Jan is an expert in the integration of social, environmental and economic aspects in banking. He is actively contributing to the development of methods for the financial sector to tackle climate, biodiversity and circular economy challenges. For Chatham House, he is a member of the advisory board of the Circular Economy Programme.
Director of Communications and Public Affairs, THE FINNISH INNOVATION FUND SITRA
Elina Ravantti is Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. She is in charge of Sitra’s internal and external communications, Sitra’s brand and its relationships with key stakeholders. Elina has three decades of experience in communications, media and stakeholder relations. She has spent much of her career at the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, where her positions included member of the Board of Directors of Yle News and Current Affairs, Head of World News, Bureau Chief in Berlin and Brussels, and Head of Public Affairs. Prior to joining Sitra, she worked at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as Director General of Communications and was responsible for the strategic development of communications. Elina is a developer and leader with a wealth of experience in change management in challenging conditions. She has also held international positions, as a member of the EBU News Committee, for example.
Michael S. Regan
Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Michael S. Regan was sworn in as the 16th Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency on March 11, 2021, becoming the first Black man and second person of color to lead the U.S. EPA.
Prior to his nomination as EPA Administrator, Michael Regan served as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. As Secretary, he established North Carolina’s first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory board to better align social inequities, environmental protection, and community empowerment. Previously, Administrator Regan served as Associate Vice President of U.S. Climate and Energy, and as Southeast Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Administrator Regan is a graduate of the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, making him the first EPA Administrator to have graduated from a Historically Black College and University. He earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University.
Social Entrepreneur, SukkhaCitta
Denica Riadini-Flesch is the founder of SukkhaCitta, an awards-winning social enterprise that is changing lives in rural Indonesia. They exist to empower women in the global fashion industry by connecting the most marginalized artisans with access to education and living wages. Through #MadeRight, they are building one of the world’s first farm-to-closet supply chain: Regenerating the Planet by changing how clothes are grown, made, and worn. Her work has been recognized by the SEED Low Carbon Award, Forbes Asia 30 Under 30, Tatler’s GenT, Fast Company World Changing Idea, DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant, as well as Herworld Women of the Year.
Head of Unit, OECD
Oriana Romano is the Head of Unit, Water Governance and Circular Economy, Urban Policies, and Sustainable Development Division of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. In 2018, she initiated a Programme on the Circular Economy in Cities, which supports cities and regions in developing and implementing circular economy strategies.
Director-General, International Labour Organization
Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization was first elected in 2012 and started a second term of office in 2017. His vision is for an ILO that anticipates and responds effectively to 21st century realities, reaching the most vulnerable and remaining true to its social justice mandate. At the present time, his priority is achieving a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. Mr Ryder had previously served the ILO in various capacities including as Executive Director for international labour standards and fundamental principles and rights at work. From 2006-10 he was General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), having led the unification of the democratic international trade union movement. He is a graduate of Cambridge University.
Youth Delegate for Climate and Biodiversity, Finnish Youth Council, Allianssi
Emma Sairanen is a young professional and an environmental activist, representing Finnish youth as Youth Delegate for Climate and Biodiversity. Currently, she is participating in the UN biodiversity negotiations as a member of the Finnish delegation and working at Sitra on Circular Economy for Biodiversity. While aiming to drive systemic change in the society, Emma is also an advocate of everyday actions as drivers of transformative change. Emma has among other things organized a vegan January month for friends, explored zero waste lifestyles, fallen in love with community gardening, learned to compost in an apartment building and more. In her work and activism Emma strives towards stubborn optimism.
Minister of Environment, CHILE & PRESIDENT, COP25 UNFCCC
Carolina Schmidt is Minister of the Environment of Chile and President of COP25 UNFCCC. In addition to a distinguished business career as CEO of several companies, she was former Minister of Women and Gender Issues and Minister of Education.
Managing Director, Directorate of Environment and Energy, UNIDO
Since June 2020, Stephan Sicars has been Managing Director of the Directorate of Environment and Energy in UNIDO. In 2004, he started working in the United Nations as Senior Programme Officer with the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. He joined UNIDO in 2014, and became Director of the Department of Environment in 2015. In that role, he focused the department on reduction of emissions of Greenhouse Gases, industrial pollution, and on circular economy. He was recognized for his contribution, as coordinating lead author for IPCC, to the Nobel Peace Prize 2007, and has received an US-EPA Ozone Award. Mr. Sicars holds the equivalent of a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hanover, Germany.
Manager, City of Toronto
Michael Skaljin is the Manager of Policy & Planning with the City’s Solid Waste Management Services Division. Michael has been working with the City of Toronto for fifteen years in areas related to promote city-building within a climate change context including building greener, stronger neighbourhoods and communities. Michael’s current role focuses on leading the planning and implementation of the City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy aimed at helping the City to achieve its goals for further waste reduction and moving towards a zero waste future.
Jo-Anne St. Godard
Executive Director, Circular Innovation Council
Jo-Anne St. Godard has served as Executive Director of Circular Innovation Council (formerly Recycling Council of Ontario) since 2001. Her expertise focuses on the development of policies, programs, and practices that advance the circular economy, and drive positive environmental, economic, and social outcomes with market-based instruments. In doing so, Ms. St. Godard harnesses unique opportunities to facilitate relationships throughout supply and value chains that transition environmental obligations and interests into opportunities.
Executive Director, City of Guelph
Barbara Swartzentruber is currently the Executive Director of the Smart Cities Office at the City of Guelph. As winners’ of Canada’s Smart City Challenge, the City and County of Wellington, are collaborating with public and private sector partners to create a Circular Food Economy. Building on the principles of a circular economy and leveraging the power of data and technology, they are re-imagining a sustainable regional food system that increases access to healthy nutritious food for all, prevents food loss and waste and creates circular businesses for a regenerative economy. Barbara is a public sector innovator with work at the local, provincial and national levels in the areas of public policy, smart cities, citizen engagement, digital economy, rural broadband, open government, data and technology. She has taught public policy, community development and advocacy at several Canadian universities. She was appointed to the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada.
Founder and CEO, TerraCycle
Tom Szaky is founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams. TerraCycle operates in 20 countries, working with some of the world’s largest brands, retailers and manufacturers to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that otherwise go to landfill or incineration. It also created a new circular reuse platform called Loop that enables consumers to purchase products in reusable packaging. Tom and TerraCycle have received hundreds of awards and recognition from organizations including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Fortune Magazine and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Tom is the author of four books, Revolution in a Bottle, Outsmart Waste, Make Garbage Great and The Future of Packaging.
Co-Chair, International Resource Panel – IRP/UNEP
Biologist, PhD Environmental Planning, Former Minister of the Environment in Brazil (2010-2016), Champions of the Earth award for policy leadership (UNEP,2013)
Director, Global Head Circular Economy Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center
With more than 18 years of banking activity, Massimiano Tellini has been involved in different fields spanning from credit analysis to trade finance in the UK, from project finance to innovation in Asia Pacific. He currently reports to the GM of the Innovation Center of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, the company devoted to the promotion of innovation and the creation of the Italian innovative ecosystem. He leads the strategic initiative on Circular Economy designed to support the distinctive positioning and ad hoc business activity of one of the most relevant European Financial Institutions in its capacity as Financial Services Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. He is part of the Circular Economy Financing Expert Group created by the European Commission and author of ‘Re-think’ (2013) – a documentary about the need to reframe present global business models & the discourse about Climate Change. He holds an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and a post MBA Master in Advanced Management from Yale University.
Founder and Creative Director, Point Off View Inc.
Marina Testino specializes in digital communications and brand consultation providing expertise in marketing strategy for creatives, organizations and businesses alike. By identifying the goals of her partners and needs of their audiences, she personally, or under her label Point Off View, develops brand awareness and conversion through social media campaigns and impact partnerships. In parallel, and as an intrinsic part of her work, Testino also develops Artivism campaigns blending sustainability, creativity and innovation to instigate value-based change for businesses, people and the planet.
Head, Consumption and Production Unit, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Elisa Tonda is the Head of the Consumption and Production Unit in the UNEP Economy Division, whose main goal is the promotion of sustainable production and consumption policies, practices and initiatives through the engagement of governments, the business community, civil society organizations and other actors across sectoral value chains. The Unit is the organizational focal point for circular economy initiatives and projects. As well, the Unit is supporting the development of UNEP’s work on mineral resource governance, extractive value chains, and mine tailings. Prior to that, Elisa worked in UNEP Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and in the UN Industrial Development Organization. Before joining the UN, she worked in the private sector in the promotion of environmental solutions. Elisa has a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, and in Sustainable Development from the University of London, UK.
Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada
Jean-François Tremblay joined NRCan as Deputy Minister in September 2020. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Tremblay served as the Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services from 2017 to 2020, the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Communities from 2016 to 2017 and the Deputy Minister of Transport,Infrastructure and Communities (TIC) from 2015 to 2016. Before joining the TIC portfolio, he was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Operations, Privy Council Office, since April 2013. Mr. Tremblay spent time at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, where he held the positions of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government (2012 to 2013) and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Strategic Direction (2010 to 2012). He also worked with the Privy Council Office, serving as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Priorities and Planning (2007 to 2010) and Assistant Deputy Minister in Intergovernmental Operations (2006 and 2007). Mr. Tremblay joined the federal public service in 2000 as a policy analyst with the Privy Council Office. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Université Laval.
Jocelyne Landry Tsonang
Circular Economy Analyst, African Circular Economy Network Foundation
I am Jocelyne Landry Tsonang from Cameroon. A Circular Economy analyst, natural resource and environmental management expert with over 7 years of experience. I am an executive team member of the African Circular Economy Network and serving as an Associate consultant with the African Circular Economy Network Foundation. I am passionate about reducing the carbon footprint of the Built Environment and bridging the access to decent housing in Africa through D&D Smart Construction, an eco-friendly housing company I founded. I am driven by the global ambition to promote a just and inclusive circular economy transition in Africa.
Dr. Vanessa Ushie
Division Manager – Policy Analysis, African Natural Resources, Centre African Development Bank Group
Dr. Vanessa Ushie is Manager of the Policy Analysis Division in the African Natural Resources Centre of the AfDB, where she leads the policy and economic analysis on natural resource management. She has worked for over 20 years on natural resources policy and sustainable development. Vanessa was previously an Advisor on Mineral Sector Governance at the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and also led Oxfam’s Pan-Africa extractive industries programme. Before that, she was a Helleiner Fellow at the North-South Institute in Ottawa, Canada. She also served as Director of Institutional Advancement and Head of the Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Thematic Area, and Director of Research, at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) Abuja, Nigeria. Vanessa holds a PhD in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Technical Advisor, Canada Plastics Pact
Usman is a senior policy analyst and commercial strategist with 27 years of experience in the fields of environmental science and economics, corporate and commercial strategy, public policy development, regulatory and institutional design, and consultation and communications. Usman is a Fellow of the Smart Prosperity Institute, a technical advisor to the Canada Plastics Pact and was a convener of Ontario’s Circular Economy Innovation Lab (CEIL).
Jacomien van Tonder
Director, Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation – Metal Tech Alley
Jacomien van Tonder is the Director for Metal Tech Alley, a successful regional marketing strategy from the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC) based in Trail BC. After 4 years running the Metal Tech Alley program, the LCIC is considered a leader in economic development best practices through creating a circular economy hub in small rural area. The considerable success of Metal Tech Alley rests on embracing industry of all sectors and supporting innovation for companies that are engaging with circular practices and doughnut economics.
Jacomien was born in South Africa and emigrated to Canada 13 years ago. She got a Baccalaureus Procurationis degree and practiced as a lawyer and CEO of a Top 500 South African Company. Since moving to Canada, she has branched out to take her career in new direction to include Economic Development and Project Management.
Stientje van Veldhoven
Vice President and Regional Director for Europe World Resources Institute
Stientje Van Veldhoven recently joined the World Resources Institute (WRI) as Vice President and Regional Director for Europe. Previously, she has been a prominent politician in the Netherlands, most recently serving as a Member of Cabinet responsible for Public Transport and Environment and as Minister for the Environment and Housing. She has also been a Member of Parliament and an international diplomat, representing the Dutch government in the European Union in Brussels. Van Veldhoven has had longstanding involvement in environmental issues, especially related to climate change, energy and the circular economy. Her work in government included acting as a Board Member for the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), which is hosted by WRI.
Steven van Weyenberg
Minister for the Environment, the Netherlands
Mr. Steven van Weyenberg is Minister for the Environment in the Netherlands. His responsibilities include (inter)national circular economy, smart and sustainable mobility and other environmental issues within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Until recently (August 2021), Steven van Weyenberg was a member of the House of Representatives for the liberal democratic party D66 (2012-2021). He was the party’s spokesperson on issues including pensions, labour market, incapacity to work, self-employed persons without employees, and tax. Before that, he held several high-ranking positions within the Ministries of Economic and Social Affairs. Mr. Van Weyenberg has a Master’s degree in Economics and in International Relations.
International Chief Advisor, China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development
Scott Vaughan is currently the International Chief Advisor to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) and an IISD Senior Fellow. Until early 2019, he was president and CEO of IISD and chair of the IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) board. Before his work at IISD, Scott served as Canada’s federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development; director of the Department of Sustainable Development, Organization of American States (OAS); Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; head of Economics and Trade, NAFTA Environment Commission; and counsellor, World Trade Organization (WTO).
Alice Irene Whittaker
Writer and Environmental Communications Leader, Smart Prosperity Institute and The Natural Step Canada
Alice Irene Whittaker is a writer and environmental communications leader. She has been published in national and international publications and shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. In 2021, she received a literary grant from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec for a creative nonfiction book she is currently writing. She researches and writes frequently about circular living – the human experience of the circular economy – and on this topic she is frequently an interviewee for top-tier media, and speaks for local and national audiences. Alice Irene is the Director of Communications for Smart Prosperity Institute, as well as the Director of Marketing and Communications for The Natural Step Canada, where she leads communications for Circular Economy Leadership Canada. Previously, Alice Irene founded and was Executive Director of Mother Nature Partnership, a charity working at the intersection of gender equity and environmentalism. In recognition of this work, she received a Bill and Melinda Gates Innovation Award. She is a member of Women for Nature, a group of women of influence driving change for nature. Alice Irene is the mother of three young children, and she lives in a cabin in the woods in Québec.
Founder & Executive Director, Threading Change Foundation
Sophia is the Founder & Executive Director of Threading Change, a youth-led ethical fashion organization working at the intersections of climate, gender, and racial justice in alignment with the necessary transition to a circular economy. Originally born in China but raised in Calgary, Alberta, Sophia draws on her multitude of diverse work and volunteer experiences as the drivers for her holistic approach and perspective on the protection of our environment. As a dedicated climate justice change maker, Sophia has worked for over a dozen environmental organizations ranging from federal government agencies (Parks Canada, Natural Resources Canada), NGOs (Nature Conservancy of Canada, SPEC, Parkbus, CityHive), industry (CNRL), and academia (UBC, SFU). Sophia is the recipient of the Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalists award in 2017 and 2018, and has attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 24 & 25) twice as a British Columbian Youth Delegate. Threading Change was born because Sophia wanted to help raise young people’s voice in one of our world’s most polluting industries—the fashion industry. Doing so for our planet, and people.
CEO, Genecis Bioindustries Inc.
Luna completed her Bachelors & Masters of Science from the University of Toronto within 4 years. She has also co-founded 2 profitable software startups, both of which still operating today.
WCEF2021 will bring together global leaders to drive ambitious action to accelerate the circular transition.