Tilman Altenburg (Moderation)

Head of Department, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn

  • since 2006: German Development Institute, Head of Department „Sustainable Economic and Social Development”
  • 2000-2006: German Development Institute, Head of Department „Latin America”
  • 1995-2000: Researcher
  • 1994-1995: Scholarship of German Research Association: Research on "World market integration and industrial competi-tiveness exemplified by small Latin American countries"
  • 1992-1994: Research fellow of Philipps University Marburg, Research project "Trade liberalization and deregulation in small Third World countries"
  • 1989-1991: Scholarship of German Academic Exchange Service, Research on "Possibilities and limits of regional development in peripheral areas of Costa Rica"
  • 1986-1989: Research fellow of the Latin American Institute of the Free University Berlin, Research project "Agro-industrial development as key to overcome the crisis in Costa Rica?"
  • 1991: PhD in Economic Geography, Thesis on: “Regional Economic Development. Case Studies from Peripheral Regions in Costa Rica”

Obaid Amrane

Board Member, Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), Morocco

Mr Obaid Amrane is a Board Member of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN). Prior to joining MASEN, he was the Director General of GCE Morocco and worked for BPCE Group in Paris. Mr Amrane has held several executive positions in the Moroccan Ministry of Finance. He has a background in engineering and finance. He was certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute in 2005.

Yunus Arikan

Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Germany

Since 2013, Yunus Arikan has been Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, leading ICLEI´s work at the United Nations, with intergovernmental agencies and on multilateral environmental agreements. In 2009, he started his career at the World Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in Bonn, Germany. His work there focuses on climate change and has included coordinating the Low Carbon City Agenda, establishing the Bonn Center for Local Climate  Action and Reporting (carbonn), managing the secretariat of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and acting as the focal point for the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency to the UNFCCC. Between 2002 and 2008, he played an active role in promoting progressive climate change policies in Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe, specifically in Turkey´s involvement in the international climate process and its accession to the Kyoto Protocol in 2009.

Sven Becker

Managing Director (CEO), Trianel GmbH, Aachen

Sven Becker studied Economics in Kiel and Dublin and holds an MBA of Chicago University. He entered the Energy Industry in 1993 when joining Ruhrgas AG which seconded him to BP London for two years from 1995 to 1997. In 1998 he joined Enron, where he held various origination and trading responsibilities in London, Oslo, Portland/Oregon and Frankfurt. From 2002 to 2004 he worked for Statkraft Markets GmbH, before he joined Trianel as CEO in 2005.
Sven Becker holds various board positions in the Trianel group, as well as in energy associations. He also lectures on Energy Trading & Risk Management at Aachen University.

Lara Birkes

Director Global Policy & Strategic Partnership, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

John Elkington

Executive Chairman, Volans Ventures, London

John Elkington is a writer and thinker, a serial-entrepreneur and an ‘advisor from the future’. He is Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Volans, a consultancy and think-tank focussed on driving market-based solutions to the future’s greatest challenges. John Elkington is also Honorary Chairman of SustainAbility. As well as sitting on some 30 boards and advisory boards, he has just released his 19th book alongside Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of PUMA and now co-chair, with Sir Richard Branson, of The B Team. The book, titled "The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits with Tomorrow’s Bottom Line" comes full circle from John’s 1997 "Cannibals with Forks", where he first introduced the Triple Bottom Line concept.

Melinda Crane (Moderation)

Dr Melinda Crane regularly moderates events and discussions for international organisations and companies. An experienced TV anchor, she is chief political correspondent at Deutsche Welle TV and also hosts the DW talk show 'Quadriga' as well as the political magazine 'People and Politics'. Furthermore, she regularly analyses US policy for the news broadcaster n-tv.   

Dr Crane studied history and political science at Brown University in Providence, USA, and law at Harvard before going on to study economics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, USA, where she also completed her PhD.

For the German TV discussion show 'Sabine Christiansen', she conducted interviews with Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and George Bush. She writes for the New York Times
Magazine, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe and various German newspapers and journals. 

Jean-Marc Fournier

Economist, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris

Jean-Marc Fournier, a French national, has worked as an economist at the OECD Economics Department since 2010. Between 2012 and 2014, he was assigned to the EU, Euro Area and Luxembourg Desk but is currently employed in the Public Economics Division where he specialises in the effect of growth-enhancing policies on income distribution. A former employee in INSEE’s Forecasting Department, he is also Adjunct Professor at ENSAE and the author of a number of scientific publications on macroeconomics, the financial crisis, income inequality and econometrics. Jean-Marc Fournier is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, the ENSAE and the EHESS.

Ed Gillespie

Co-Founder, Futerra, London

Ed Gillespie is Co-Founder of Futerra, one of the world’s only communications consultancies to specialise solely in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. He has shaped and driven the creative direction of Futerra’s work since its foundation 13 years ago. Aside from writing regularly for the Guardian, Ed is a highly sought after public speaker and lecturer, renowned for his memorable and entertaining presentations laced with refreshing humour and wit. Ed is author of ‘Only Planet - a flight-free adventure around the world’, Chairman of European Rail Business Loco2, a London Sustainable Development Commissioner, and Director of Zero Carbon Food and carbon emissions campaigning organisation Sandbag. He’s also a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University and investor in FoodTrade.

Tanja Gönner

Chair of the Management Board, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn / Eschborn

Tanja Gönner became Chair of the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in 2012. Prior to that, she served as Minister for the Environment, Nature Protection and Transport as well as Minister for Social Affairs in the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. From 2002 to 2004 she was a member of the German Bundestag. She joined the CDU in 1987 and served on its federal executive board from 2000 to 2012. As part of her ministerial duties, she took part in the international Climate Change Conferences in Poznan in 2008 and Copenhagen in 2009. Tanja Gönner studied law in Tübingen and was articled to the Ravensburg district court. Following her admission to the German bar, she became a partner in a German law firm. Tanja Gönner is involved in a large number of honorary activities. 

Michael Karnitschnig

Head of Cabinet of EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Brussels

Michael Karnitschnig is Chief of Staff of the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn. He advises the Commissioner for EU policy on the Western Balkan countries and Turkey, the eastern partners extending from Ukraine to Aserbaidschan, and the southern European neighbours from Lebanon to Morocco.

Mr Karnitschnig has many years of experience in all areas of EU foreign policy: As advisor for foreign affairs, energy and climate policy (2011-2014), as foreign policy spokesman for Commission President José Manuel Barroso's (2010-2011), and as political advisor to EU External Relations Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner (2007-2010). He was seconded to the German Foreign Office from 2006 to 2007.

Mr Karnitschnig studied law and political science and worked in the Austrian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence before starting his career in the European Union.

Friedrich Kitschelt

State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Dr Friedrich Kitschelt was appointed State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in January 2014. From 2010 to 2013, he was head of the Directorate-General for Africa and Latin America; Global and Sectoral Affairs. He held various positions at the BMZ, including Director for Asia, Commissioner for Afghanistan and Commissioner for Europe. He also spent some time working at the Federal Chancellery, where he headed the division for North-South relations and human rights policy of the German government. Friedrich Kitschelt spent more than 12 years working abroad, in countries such as Jamaica, India, Kenya and Belgium. He trained as a journalist and read sociology, economics and law at the Albertus Magnus University of Cologne and the University of Bielefeld.

Miguel Lago

Founder & CEO, Meu Rio, Rio de Janeiro

Miguel Lago is the President Director and Co-founder of Nossas Cidades (Our Cities), an online platform that is developing tools for civic engagement and participation in Brazil. Our Cities was started by Meu Rio, which is a locally-focused platform and network for civic engagement and people-powered political action. Since October 2011, Meu Rio has worked to ensure that all citizens of Rio de Janeiro benefit from and participate in the decision- making processes that are changing the urban landscape. The organisation pools citizens’ ideas and resources to help improve and simplify city life and make the city’s institutions more inclusive, responsive and accountable. Meu Rio's methodology is based on a mix of online tools and offline community-management efforts. It ensures that members become more deeply involved on a regular basis. Our Cities' mission is to expand this model to other cities in Brazil and abroad.

Lago holds a degree in political science and a master degree in public affairs from Sciences-Po in Paris.

Xianzhang Lei

Director General of European Representative Office, State Grid Corporation of China

Dr Xianzhang Lei is the Director General for the European Representative Office of the State Grid Corporation of China. He received his PhD from the Technical University of Berlin in Germany and completed postdoctoral studies at Yale University in the USA. Subsequently he joined Siemens in Germany as a senior manager for power systems. Since 2010 he has been working for the State Grid Corporation of China in Beijing and in Frankfurt.

Peter Limbourg

Director General, Deutsche Welle, Bonn

Peter Limbourg studied law in Bonn, successfully completing his First State Examinations in 1987. He took over as head at the Bonn office of ProSieben’s commercial TV studio in 1996. Then, in 1999, he was appointed Co-Editor-in-Chief of the news channel N24 and Political Editor-in-Chief of ProSieben, a position he also went on to hold at SAT.1 as of 2001. In 2004/05 and 2008/09, Limbourg was CEO of Pool TV, a joint venture of private broadcasting stations in Berlin. Between 2008 and 2010, he was sole Editor-in-Chief of N24. The anchor of SAT.1 News as of 2008 and, as of 2010, Senior Vice President of ProSiebenSat.1 TV for Germany, Peter Limbourg was appointed Director-General of Deutsche Welle on 1 October 2013.

Christine Lins (Moderation)

Executive Secretary, REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, Paris

Christine Lins was appointed Executive Secretary of REN21 – the Renewable Energy Policy Network of the 21st Century – in July 2011. REN21 is a global public-private multi-stakeholder network on renewable energy headquarted at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Paris, France, that links up international organisations, governments, industry associations, research and academia as well as NGOs working in the field of renewable energy. Between 2001 and 2011, Ms. Lins served as Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council. Before that, she worked for an Austrian energy agency specialising in the regional promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Christine Lins holds a Master's degree in international economics and applied languages.

Alejandro Litovsky

Founder & Chief Executive, Earth Security Group

Alejandro Litovsky is a strategic advisor to companies, governments and global initiatives on emerging sustainability risks and strategies to manage stakeholder relationships in emerging markets. He is the recipient of the 2012 BMW Foundation Young Leader Award and the 2004 Hobhouse Memorial Prize by the London School of Economics, where he obtained his MSc in Political Sociology. He is Argentinean and has lived in London for 11 years where he has held senior positions with sustainability consultancies, advising and shaping the position of companies, investors and governments on their exposure to environmental, social & governance (ESG) risks in emerging economies.

Rodrigo Martínez

Social Affairs officer, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago de Chile

Rodrigo Martínez is the Social Affairs Officer of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and currently coordinating the social protection component of the ECLAC-BMZ/GIZ Cooperation Program on Structural change for sustainable and inclusive development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Chilean sociologist has twenty two years of international experience in the field of social policies. He coordinates studies and projects related to hunger and malnutrition, social costs and expenditure and management of social policies. His publications include "The economic impact of social policies", "Poverty and urban precariousness in Latin America and the Caribbean" and "Inclusive Social Protection in Latin America. A comprehensive, rights-based approach".

Dirk Messner

Director, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn

Dirk Messner has been the Director of the German Development Institute since 2003 and is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Previously he was the Academic Director at the Institute of Development and Peace at the University of Duisburg. He is the Co-Chair of the Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) to the German Federal Government and Member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

Mr Messner’s main areas of focus include globalisation and global governance, the impacts of climate change on international development, and low-carbon transformation paths.

Jürgen Nimptsch

Mayor of the City of Bonn

Jürgen Nimptsch (born in 1954) was elected Mayor of Bonn in August 2009. Within this capacity, he also acts as the Vice-Chair of World Mayors Council on Climate Change. As Mayor of the German United Nations City, Nimptsch intends to enhance Bonn’s profile as an international location and hub for sustainability. In keeping with the “Spirit of Bonn”, he fosters a culture of interaction and cooperation, of exchange and active participation. Mayor Nimptsch has always placed an emphasis on working with young people, on fostering the empowerment of women, on enhancing the social inclusion of all groups of society, and on advocating the role of cities and the contributions civil society can render, especially in the light of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As Mayor of Bonn, he has attracted and hosted a number of national and international conferences and events in related fields.

Tania Rödiger-Vorwerk

Deputy Director General for Sustainable Development, Natural Resources, Economic Policy and Infrastructure, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Berlin

Dr. Tania Rödiger-Vorwerk is the Deputy Director General at Directorate 31 “Sustainable Development, Natural Resources, Economic Policy and Infrastructure” in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Prior to her work at the BMZ, she was Deputy Head of the Department of International Affairs and Protocol of the City of Bonn as well as a senior consultant at the international management consultancy Kienbaum. She studied Law and Northern Languages at the University of Freiburg and Munich, going on to earn a degree in law from the University of Munich, and her PhD in European Environmental Law.

Claudia Roth

Vice president of the German Bundestag, Berlin

Claudia Roth was born in Ulm in 1955. After obtaining her Abitur (higher-education entrance qualification), she went on to study Theatre Studies at LMU Munich. After two semesters, she left the lecture halls for the theatre and worked as dramaturge at the Städtische Bühnen theatre in Dortmund and Hoffmans Comic Teater in Unna. From 1982 to 1985 she managed the rock band Ton Steine Scherben. She was press spokeswoman for the first parliamentary group of the Greens in the Bundestag. In 1989 she was elected to the European Parliament and remained a member until 1998. From 1994, she was chairwoman of The Greens in the European Parliament. She was elected to the German Bundestag in 1998 and from 1998 to March 2001 served as chairwoman of the newly formed Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. From March 2003 to October 2004 she was  Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. Roth was elected chairwoman of Alliance 90/The Greens for the first time in 2001, and was subsequently re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. She left this post in 2013 and was elected a Vice President of the German Bundestag on 22 October.

Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy

Founder, Barefoot College, India

Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy is the founder and director of Barefoot College - a non-governmental organization that provides basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into the delivery of Solar Electrification, Clean Water, Education, Livelihood Development, and Activism. 

Indian-born Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy was a well-educated Squash Champion and St Stephens College graduate when his “real education started: He moved to the poorest state of India, Bihar, and started digging wells for drinking water as an unskilled worker. There, he founded the first Barefoot College for the poor, which was also built and managed by the rural poor. It is the only College in India where traditional knowledge and practical skills of the poor are given more importance and priority than paper degrees or qualifications. 

In 2010, the Time Magazine identified Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. His 2011 TED talk on the Barefoot movement has been translated into 42 languages and has been viewed online 3.4 million times.

Jeffrey D. Sachs

Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals; Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, New York

Jeffrey D. Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Professor Sachs has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.”  Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty.

Angelica Schwall-Düren

Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media, State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf

Dr Angelica Schwall-Düren was appointed Minister of Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in 2010. She is also NRW's representative to the German federation. From 1994 to 2010 she was a member of the German Bundestag (parliament) – as of 1998 in the capacity of Parliamentary Secretary, and as of 2002 as Vice-Chairperson for Affairs of the European Union on behalf of the SPD parliamentary group. Prior to her election to the Bundestag, Dr Schwall-Düren taught at a grammar school in Ahaus and Gronau while also receiving training as a family therapist and supervisor. Dr Schwall-Düren studied history, political science and French in Montpellier, Münster and Freiburg, where she completed her PhD in economics and social history.

Vandana Shiva

Club of Rome and Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, New Delhi

Dr. Vandana Shiva trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

In 1982, she founded an independent institute – the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun – dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

In November 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe.

Su Kahumbu Stephanou

Creative Director, Green Dreams TECH Ltd., Nairobi

Su Kahumbu Stephanou is a Kenyan farmer and a pioneer of organic food in Africa. A social entrepreneur, she founded her own companies – Green Dreams Ltd und Green Dreams Tech Ltd. – which she continues to head to this day. Furthermore, she is a TED Global Fellow and constantly searching for creative solutions to sustainably improve the lives of smallholders in Africa. 

Su Kahumbu Stephanou first started cultivating organic vegetables in Kenya in 1997. Her business grew rapidly and for a short while she supplied mainstream supermarkets before starting her own organic shop in 2005. She built up a network that enables hundreds of Kenyan smallholders to learn from her experience with regard to the production, marketing, distribution, trading and sale of organic produce. In 2010, she developed the mobile learning platform iCow that has earned prizes around the globe. 

Daria Ukhova

Inequality Policy Advisor, Oxfam OK, Oxford

Daria Ukhova is a policy adviser within Oxfam´s new campaign against inequality. She previously worked as a regional research officer and later research and policy development coordinator on Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States for the MECIS region. 

Prior to joining Oxfam, she held a range of short-term research positions with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Transparency International, and the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization, focusing on gender and other social inequalities in access to social services in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Daniele Violetti

Chief of Staff, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Daniele Violetti is the Chief of Staff of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Prior to his current position he served as Coordinator for the United Nations Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) at United Nation Headquarters in New York. He has extensive experience working on issues related to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol. He served as Secretary to the CDM Executive Board (EB) and was a Manager in the CDM Process Management unit within the Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme at the UNFCCC secretariat.

Mr. Violetti holds a PhD in Environmental Protection from the Università degli Studi di Bologna.

Natasha Walker (Moderation)

Natasha Walker is a communications advisor specialising in moderation, participation and dialogue processes. She studied English literature and modern languages in Oxford and Göttingen and won a scholarship to the State University of New York. Begining in 1995, Ms Walker co-founded the consultancy company IFOK and was in charge of the Dialogue Processes and Moderation Section through to 2009. In early 2010, she started up her own company – NWA. She has made a name for herself in Germany and internationally as a moderator and process consultant. She works for companies, the EU Commission, the UN, for German federal ministries as well as for foundations and think-tanks. She moderates topics such as social entrepreneurship, gender, energy and climate change mitigation, sustainability and biodiversity.

* Speaker to be confirmed