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Speaker Profiles

Plenary Panel I-Rethinking the path towards sustainable development, with finance and clean technology

Pilita Clark Environment Correspondent,  Financial Times

Pilita Clark is the environment correspondent at the Financial Times.  She covers a broad range of issues, including renewable energy, climate change and carbon markets.  She has been with the FT for nine years and was previously the newspaper’s aerospace correspondent, deputy news editor and deputy editor of the weekend FT magazine.  She has been a political correspondent in Washington DC and Canberra for the Sydney Morning Herald, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Dr. Mike Biddle  President and Founder, MBA Polymers, Inc. 

Dr. Biddle started MBA over 19 years ago – literally from his garage. He has since grown his company to what is now the world’s leading multi-national company recovering plastics from end-of-life durable goods, such as computers, electronics, business equipment, appliances and automobiles. MBA is headquartered in Richmond, California and has over 300 million pounds per year of processing capacity in the US, Europe and China to turn waste into plastics for use right back into the same types of products from which they came. Some of the largest manufacturers in the world use MBA’s plastics to replace virgin plastics in their new products.

Mike worked for several large companies, namely General Electric, Cummins Engine Company and Dow Chemical, before striking out on his own in 1993. Mike received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, both with high honors. He was also a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, graduating with an MS in Management Science.


Stephan Ouaknine  Chairman & CEO; Managing Partner, Inerjys Ventures

Stephan is Founder and Managing Partner of Inerjys Ventures. He is responsible for fund raising, sourcing and managing  technology investments and Inerjys infrastructure projects globally. Stephan comes from the telecom sector, where over a 15-year career spanning three high-tech ventures, he has delivered over $1 billion in total shareholder value with three successful exits.

Stephan’s success stories include Blueslice Networks, a leading provider of evolved Subscriber Data Management (eSDM) solutions for telecom carriers. Stephan led Blueslice from its foundation in 2001 until its acquisition in 2010 by Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC). At the time of its acquisition, Blueslice was the global leader in cross-platform SDM solutions deployed in tier 1 accounts in over 25 countries. Stephan’s other successes include Emblaze (LSE: BLZ), a next-generation mobile multimedia company which reached a $6 billion valuation during his tenure, and Airslide Systems, a leader in next generation signalling which merged with Cantata Technology and was acquired by Dialogic (NASDAQ: DLGC).

Stephan is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and the TED community.

Robert ter Kuile  Senior Director of Environmental  Sustainability GPP, PepsiCo

Robert ter Kuile is the Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability in the Global Public Policy group for PepsiCo where he actively develops, implements and operationalizes the global public policy on environmental sustainability initiatives and is responsible for developing, maintaining, and partnering with global stakeholders, shareholders and policy makers.

Prior to joining the Public Policy and Government Affairs team, Robert served as the Director of Energy and Climate Change for three years in PepsiCo’s Global Operations developing and implementing energy and carbon reduction strategies.  Robert also served as a Corporate Environmental Manager at Frito-Lay North America (a Division of PepsiCo) for six years.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Robert served in various governmental roles for what is now the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, and has held several environmental and sustainability consulting roles.

He lives in Farmers Branch, Texas with his wife and two daughters.

Dr. Steven Waygood  Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors

Steve Waygood is responsible for Aviva Investors’ analysis, engagement and voting on environmental social and governance (ESG) issues across the £260bn of assets under management. He founded the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative as well as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition, which is aiming to catalyse a UN Convention in this area.

He was on the board of the UK Sustainable Investment & Finance association (UKSIF) from 2003 to 2010, serving as its Chairman from 2006. In 2004 and 2005, he was part of the expert group that wrote the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. In 2009 he appeared in the Financial News Top 100 Rising Stars. In 2011 he received the Yale Rising Star in Corporate Governance Award, and in 2012 his work became a case study in the Harvard Business School MBA and executive education courses on “Innovating for Sustainability.”

Steve is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst institute, has a degree in Economics and a PhD in sustainable finance, and lectures at Cambridge University’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

Paul Simpson  CEO, Carbon Disclosure Project

Paul Simpson is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent non-profit organization providing primary corporate climate change information. Established in 2000, CDP serves as a global system through which organizations and businesses disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies. CDP subsequently uses this data in order to help shape financial and policy decisions with the goal of motivating investors, corporations, and governments to prevent dangerous climate change. This mission is accelerated by CDP`s initiatives to unify corporate CEO`s, investors, and political leaders to take action against climate change. As the only global climate change reporting system, CDP is an essential resource in making effective policy decisions. CDP was awarded first prize in the 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize.
Paul sits on the board of EIRIS, the advisory panel of Guardian Sustainable Business, on the steering committee of Forest Footprint Disclosure and on the UNFCCC High Level CDM Panel. Paul has previously worked with Chesham Amalgamations & Investments Ltd and the International Society for Ecology & Culture and is the former Director of the Social Venture Network. He has a BSc in Business and Finance from City University, London and an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice at the University of Bath (with distinction).
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Plenary Panel II-Sustainable Cities

Joel Makower Chairman & Executive Director,  GreenBiz Group

Joel Makower, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, is a leading author and voice on the greening of mainstream business.  He is founder of and hosts its annual GreenBiz Forums as well as the VERGE conferences produced around the world by his company.  Joel is author of more than a dozen books, including his latest, Strategies for the Green Economy (2008), along with GreenBiz’s annual “State of Green Business” report.  The Associated Press has called him ‘The guru of green business practices.’


Harry Hendriks  Global Head of Public and Government Affairs

Harry Hendriks was born on August 3, 1950 in Cuijk en Sint Agatha (NL) and joined Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands in 1976.

Harry Hendriks has spent 12 years abroad with Philips in Belgium, Brazil and Austria.

After these roles, he returned to the Netherlands in 1995 where he became European Marketing Director in the Consumer Electronics division. In June 2002 he became CEO of Philips Electronics in the Netherlands and subsequently he became CEO of Philips Benelux.  Harry Hendriks is also a member of the Executive Committee of the VNO/NCW and FME-CWM employers’ organizations and Vice Chairman of the Brainport Foundation.

As of the 1st of May 2012, Harry Hendriks has been appointed as Global Head of Public and Government Affairs.

Tânia Cosentino  President, Schneider Electric Brasil

Tania Cosentino joined Schneider Electric in 2000 as the National Sales Manager for Projects and Services. Three years later, she was appointed commercial director of the company. In 2009, she was the first Brazilian and the first woman to be president of Schneider Electric Brazil.

She has a degree in Electrical Engineering from São Paulo Engineering University.

One of her main tasks as President is to ensure the company’s position as a specialist in energy management and provider of innovative solutions for its target markets. In addition she encourages the development of sustainable solutions that deliver added value to Schneider Electric customers.

Glenn Schmidt  Head of Steering Governmental Affairs, BMW Group

Glenn Schmidt is responsible for steering government affairs for the BMW Group and is based in Munich, Germany. Prior to this role, he was responsible for coordinating BMW’s e-mobility field trial activities world-wide. These trials have played a pivotal role in moving the BMW Group’s sustainable mobility strategy forward. Schmidt was previously a project manager specialized in the automotive industry with Horváth and Partners Management Consultants. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Krannert School of Management, Purdue University in West Lafayette, USA. Schmidt is originally from Vancouver, Canada, where he completed his undergraduate studies.

Martha Delgado VP, ICLEI (Mexico City representative)

Martha Delgado is a leading figure in the environmental movement involved in political society in Mexico. Her leadership results from over twenty years of experience in various civil society organizations dedicated to sustainable development and the strengthening of citizenship, and fifteen years of experience in public administration at the federal and local levels.

During five years she led one of the most important environmental civil society networks, the “Unión de Grupos Ambientalistas” (i.e. the Union of Environmental Groups), composed of a hundred of Mexican ecologist groups. From 1998 to 2003 she was President of the “Presencia Ciudadana Mexicana, A.C.” (Mexican Citizens Presence A.C.); and she also founded in 2006 the “Alianza Mexicana por una Nueva Cultura del Agua” (i.e. the Mexican Alliance for a New Culture of Water).

At the international sphere she is the Vice-President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, an international organization that regroups over a thousand five hundreds cities from all over the world, she is part of the Global Committee Advisor of the Earth Day Network, and is Alternate Governor of the World Water Council.

Mayor Park Wan-Su Changwon, Korea

In 1979, mayor Park passed the most difficult of all the civil service examinations in Korea, which is administered to select grade five civil servants, and started serving in Gyeongnam Province. Later, in his thirties and forties, he became the magistrate of Hapcheon County and then a deputy mayor of Gimhae City. Mayor Park earned his doctor’s degree in public administration at the Kyungnam University Graduate School of Public Administration in 2001 when he was in his late forties and became the dean of the Kaya University Graduate School of Public Administration in 2003. In 2004, he was inaugurated as the mayor of Changwon. He presented a new vision for Changwon by declaring the city as the environmental capital of the Republic of Korea in 2006 with a goal of sustainable urban growth. Mayor Park has since 2008 served as a member of the UCLG World Council. His name appeared on the 50 finalists of 2008 for the World Mayor.

Dr Dieter Salomon Mayor of Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Dieter Salomon was elected the first Green Party mayor of a German city in 2002 and took office on July 1st, 2002.  On April 25th, 2010 he was re-elected for a second eight-year term.  He is a member of the Steering Committee of the German Association of Towns and Cities, Vice Chairman of the Baden-Württemberg Council of Cities, Chair of the Employers’ Association of Baden-Württemberg (KAV), and member of the World Executive Committee, ICLEI (International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives).

Plenary Panel III-Sustainable Energy for All

Dr. Nelson Sam Managing Director, Global Advisory Services, Thomson Reuters

Nelson Sam is the Global Managing Director Advisory Services, Commodities and Energy, Thomson Reuters.  His global experience include successful tenures at McKinsey & Company, Ernst and Young and IRD in India.  Nelson Sam has over a devades’ experience in corporate development, business consulting, transaction advisory (project financing and M&A), stakeholder management (government and private sector), investment strategy and business analysis providing advisory service covering energy and environment infrastructure including renewable energy and cleantech.  He has also advised clients both governments and private sector in the development of a low carbon strategy and in structuring of carbon finance/funds, low carbon portfolio investments.  His clients include large corporations (high energy generating, energy using companies), regional and national governments, banks, private equities & financial institution groups.  He has a doctorate degree specialising in numerical modelling weather and climate and is a life member of the Indian Meteorological Society.


Giuseppe Recchi  Chairman, Eni SpA

Mr. Recchi was born in 1964 and he has been the Chairman of the Board of Eni since May 2011. He is also Vice Chairman of GE Capital SpA; member of the board of directors, the compensation and audit committees of Exor Spa (listed at Milan Stock Exchange); member of the European Advisory Board of Blackstone and member of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology E.I. External Advisory Board.  He graduated in Engineering at Polytechnic of Turin. In 1989 started his career as entrepreneur at Recchi SpA, a general contractor active in 25 countries in the construction of high-tech public infrastructures. Since 1994 he served as Executive Chairman of Recchi America Inc., the U.S. branch of the Group and as Managing Director for the overseas activities of Ferrocemento-Recchi Group (now Condotte SpA). Giuseppe Recchi was visiting professor in Structured Finance at Turin University and is an occasional editorial commentator for financial papers, national dailies and the Harvard Business Review.

Jean-Marc Ollagnier  Group Chief Executive, Accenture

Jean-Marc Ollagnier is Group Chief Executive of Accenture’s Resources operating group, which serves the energy, utilities, chemicals, forestry products, metals and mining industries. He assumed his role in March 1st 2011, when he also joined Accenture’s Executive Leadership Team.
Between 2006 and 2011, Jean-Marc served as Managing Director for the Resources operating group in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Prior to this role he was country Managing Director of Accenture in France and the Benelux countries.
In his career at Accenture, he has led strategic projects, large-scale transformation and IT projects, primarily with clients in the utilities and financial services industries. In his current role, he co-chairs the Global Energy Board with Lord Browne, which brings together leaders of the world’s energy industry. Jean-Marc frequently contributes to publications on subjects related to energy, market deregulation and climate change.
Located in Paris, France, Jean-Marc joined Accenture in 1986 and became a partner in 1997. He graduated in 1985 from the L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris.

He holds a B.S. in economics from Dean College and an M.B.A. from Babson College, as well as an honorary doctor of laws.

Rachel Kyte  Vice President, Sustainable Development, The World Bank

Rachel Kyte is Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank.  As such, she has overall responsibilities for the organization’s global work in agriculture, the environment, infrastructure, urban development, and social development. She has held the position since September, 2011.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Kyte had been Vice President for Business Advisory Services at the International Finance Corporation since 2008. Working with private sector clients, IFC Advisory Services increase access to finance, improve standards, and transform markets with more sustainable business practices. Working with governments, they help improve the investment climate, especially for small and medium enterprises, and facilitate partnerships with the private sector to provide essential services such as infrastructure.

From 2004, Ms. Kyte served as IFC’s Director for Environmental and Social Development, where she led efforts to develop new sustainability performance standards. Through the Equator Principles, these standards are now a global benchmark, demonstrating IFC’s leadership in sustainable business and illustrating that improved environment and social standards can raise financial performance in emerging markets.

Ms Kyte joined IFC in 2000 in the office of IFC’s Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman. Prior to joining IFC, she was a member of the management team of the World Conservation Union—IUCN. She has held elected positions in Europe, and founded and led non-government organizations focusing on women, the environment, health, and rights.

Ms. Kyte holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Bachelor of Arts in politics and history from the University of London.

Cícero Jayme Bley Júnior  Renewable Energy Advisor, ITAIPU Binacional

Mr. Bley graduated with an Agricultural Engineering degree from the Federal University of Paraná (1971); specialising in Soil Science from the Federal University of Paraná (1984); and Master in Civil Engineering (technical multipurpose cadastre and land management) from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (2006).

Currently, Mr. Bley is an advisor on Renewable Energy at ITAIPU Binacional. He is also the Coordinator of the International Center on Hydroinformatics, of the Observatory for Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, of the Biogas Laboratory, and of the Biogas Study Center, in partnership with UNIDO, ITAIPU Binacional and ELETROBRAS.

Green Icons-Building a Sustainable Future

Sally Ranney President, eraGlobal Alliance

Sally Ranney has thirty year’s experience in the public and private sector in land, water and energy policy; sustainability, biodiversity and natural resource management.  Ranney is President, eraGlobal Alliance; Co-Director, International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative (IWECI); President, American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI); and CEO, Stillwater Preservation, LLC, a wetlands banking company and President of Rising Wolf International, a specialized consulting group. Ranney is an IUCN “Patron of Nature”; on the Advisory Boards of the Sonoran Sierra Madres Jaguar Project (Mexico); Women and the Green Economy (WAGE); Gallman Africa Conservancy; iMatter Campaign for Kids vs. Global Warming; Round Rock Partners, LLC; and Anchor of A Matter of Degree.


Sir Richard Branson  Founder, Virgin Group and Virgin Unite


Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 companies. He is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and the Honorary Board of the Drug Policy Alliance. Branson is one of the most eloquent and appealing petitioners for the decriminalisation of cannabis.  

 Branson’s corporate career began when he founded the magazine Student at 16. Later he would go on to establish a record label and music stores and then start companies in aviation, rail, financial services, media, and even the world’s first commercial spaceline. Regarding his entrepreneurial practices, Branson once said: “For me business is not about wearing suits, or keeping stockholders pleased. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.”

 In the early 2000s, Branson, his charity arm Virgin Unite, Peter Gabriel and Nelson Mandela, began The Elders initiative, an independent group of former statesmen who work together for peace and human rights, which Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu also took part. Branson and Virgin Unite also lent his support to charities ranging from environmental and species conservation to the elimination of atomic weapons. In 2007, Time Magazine included Branson in its list of the world’s 100 most influential people. That same year, he stated in an interview with GQ Magazine that during a holiday he smoked cannabis with his son: “I don’t think smoking the occasional spliff is all that wrong. I’d rather my son did it in front of me than behind closed doors.”

 In 2011, Branson became a member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy, together with six ex-presidents, Nobel prizewinners, and entrepreneurs from fourteen countries (the Netherlands was not represented). On 2 June 2011 in New York, the commission presented its report on international drugs policies. At the event, Branson stated that the war on drugs has failed to limit drug use, but instead has filled prisons, cost millions of tax dollars, stimulated organised crime and caused thousands of deaths. He went on to say that the good news is that new methods aimed at regulation and decriminalisation have shown to be effective and that our leaders, including businesses, should be looking for alternative methods based on the facts.

 This year, Branson joined the advisory board for the Drug Policy Alliance, an American NGO that is fighting for the reform of drug policies. On 24 January, he testified before the British House of Commons on behalf of the parliamentary research committee for drug policies. A day earlier, his unambiguous column on the subject was published in the Daily Telegraph. “For all the successes I’ve had in business, I’ve also learnt to accept when things go wrong, work out why, and try to find a better way. The war on drugs is a failed enterprise. We need to have the courage to learn the lessons and move on.”

Ted Turner  Chairman, United Nations Foundation

Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy.

Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy, Turner’s vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice.

Turner is chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect the earth’s climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates; and co-founder of Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain, which operates 44 locations nationwide.

Turner also serves as chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc., which manages his business interests, land holdings, and investments. Turner is the second largest individual landholder in North America, with 2 million acres in 12 states and Argentina. His ranches are home to more than 55,000 bison and host a variety of environmental projects, including reforestation, renewable energy, water resource management, and reintroduction of native species. Out of concern for the health of his land and its species, Turner established the Turner Endangered Species Fund in 1997 to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on Turner ranches and in partnership with state and federal natural resources agencies.

Helle Thorning – Schmidt  Prime Minister of Denmark

Helle  Thorning-Schmidt is Prime Minister of Denmark. Since 2005 Ms
Thorning-Schmidt has been the leader of the Social Democratic Party and in
October 2011 she took over as Prime Minister. Denmark holds the Presidency
of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2012.


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