Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

Global Leader, Climate & Energy, WWF-International

7 years after the Paris Agreement: where are we and what’s the way forward with climate action

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal is the global leader of Climate & Energy at WWF. He has 35 years of experience in environmental law and policy and served as Minister of the Environment of Peru (2011 to 2016) and President of the Twentieth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP20 in 2014. Pulgar-Vidal was the Executive Director of the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, an influential institution in Latin America. He has a law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where he is a professor, and has completed studies for a master’s degree in Business Law at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. He is a board member of Forest Trends, Amazon Conservation Association and Peruvian Society of Environmental Law and a member of the Assembly of the World Wide Fund for Nature – Colombia. He is part of the Aspen Institute Management and Leadership Advisory Group, chairman of the evaluation council of the French sovereign Green Bonds, a Global Ambassador for the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience initiatives and a member of the IUCN Global Standard Steering Committee. He is an active member of different groups aiming to get strong outcomes as a part of the formal climate talks and the non-party stakeholders’ agenda. He has been recognized by the governments of France, Germany and Spain and by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his contribution to the Paris Agreement.

Sarah Roberts

CEO of Practical Action NGO | www.practicalaction.org

Practical action's mission is to help people find solutions to some of the world's toughest problems. Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality.

Sarah’s role is to help Practical Action have the maximum impact possible in terms of progress towards a world that works better for everyone. She leads an expert team that ensures that changes that enable people to lift themselves out of poverty are embedded into local, national, and international policies and change processes. Prior to joining Practical Action in 2020, Sarah spent 12 years as Executive Director of the Ethical Tea Partnership. She has additional experience leading sustainability consulting assignments for large companies and not-for-profit organizations and has worked extensively across Africa and Asia. Much of Sarah’s work has focused on agricultural value chains and driving change at a sector and systems level. She holds an MBA and an MSc in Environmental Technology.

Sennait Ghebreab

Programme Leader BA Business PGCE, SFHEA Sustainability Business Mentor | www.istitutomarangoni.com

Talents shine no matter what gender, colour or background. A voice for equal opportunity, diversity, hope, immigration, integration and female resilience.

Sennait started her career in London in the fashion industry with Burberry, Matthew Williamson, Pringle and Joseph. In 2015 she became the Academic Course Leader of the BA Business, BA Buying and BA Communication courses at Istituto Marangoni London. She constantly challenges the fashion industry’s perception among her students, sharing a vision of innovation, digital acceleration, blockchain, sustainability, and circular economy.  In 2020, she contributed to developing a Higher Education framework to help programs foster a sustainability mindset around the 17 SDGs. She is working closely with CFS, where she has been a guest speaker at their first CFS Circular Fashion Summit in 2019. As an Eritrean Italian educator living in London, In June 2021, Sennait received the award of the Talented Italians under 40 from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UK and the Italian Embassy in the UK.

Alisa Cohn

Author, From Start-up to Grown-up and Executive Coach

Solving all the world's toughest problems requires a new kind of global collaboration, a new way of thinking for all of us. We need to learn to deal with our differences to be able to find common ground.

We can’t talk about solving any of the world’s challenges – including climate – if we can’t talk to each other. As an executive coach and the author of From Start-up to Grown-up, Alisa Cohn has devoted her entire life to helping people reach their full potential by coaching them to build their interpersonal toolbox to enable constructive conversations. Alisa’s talk will inspire and empower you to think differently about differences and to learn how to explore others’ ideas to come together for solutions.

Andrea Johnson

Executive Director and Green Empowerment | www.greenempowerment.org

We need to shift the power paradigms in order to build a more equitable world where all people can thrive

As Executive Director of Green Empowerment, Andrea combines her unique background and skillset to passionately advance their work, bringing renewable energy and clean water to rural communities globally.

After completing climate research during her undergraduate studies at Duke University and as a research fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Andrea got her start in international work in Ecuador, where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer and trainer. She then worked with the Ceiba Foundation, Conservation International and the Ministry of Environment to implement SocioBosque – a REDD+ program that offers payments to landowners to guarantee its conservation over 20 years. After three years living in a bamboo hut in coastal Ecuador, Andrea landed in Portland, OR where she worked for the clean energy industry before joining Green Empowerment in 2016.

Andrea is a founding member of the Power Partnership, an initiative helping governments, NGOs, and faith-based organizations scale deployment of clean energy across their facilities in emerging markets. Andrea is a founding member of GlobalPDX and hosts the GlobalPDX Speaking Change podcast – sharing the voices of Oregon’s global changemakers. As a fierce proponent of community centered development, Andrea has demonstrated that Green Empowerment’s operating model of working with local partners is resilient and effective to the challenges of our times.

Ralph Chami

Assistant Director, IMF. Financial Economist, Co-Founder, Blue Green Future & Rebalance Earth.

A sustainable future needs a new nature-positive economic paradigm: If we stand up for nature, nature will continue to stand up for us.

Dr Ralph Chami is an Assistant Director at the IMF. He is currently on sabbatical from the IMF working on tackling the two risks to humanity – climate change and biodiversity loss. He has developed a model for valuing natural capital, including blue and green nature, flora and fauna, and a framework for developing the natural capital markets for ecosystem services.

Expert on fragile and low and middle-income states he is co-founder of Blue Green Future and Rebalance Earth and on the Advisory Boards of the Geneva MacroLabs, Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and the EU-Mediterranean and African Network for Economic Studies (EMANES, formerly EMNES), as well as Senior Finance Advisor at Finance for Biodiversity Initiative, F4B.

Juan Chang

Head of Technical Operations Permian Global

Protect and restore our world's forests, and biodiversity is our best chance to address climate change

One of the most prominent experts on Climate Change and Forestry worldwide. Starting as a young park ranger deep in the Peruvian Amazon,  he later held various senior management roles in the largest climate fund in the world such as the GCF (Green Climate Fund) where he promoted a portfolio of forestry projects for more than 1.3 B$ in more than 30 countries and multilateral institutions such as the IDB (Interamerican Development Bank) leading the forestry and climate change agenda for entire Latin America. He was among the first forestry auditors assessing forestry and climate change projects worldwide. Currently serves as Global Head of Technical Operations at Permian Global, a private company devoted to forest protection and restoration worldwide.

Ryan Phillips-Page

Founder & CEO of Operation Water, and Co-founder & Executive Director of Terra Firma

Sometimes, it is precisely the things we take for granted that create the most significant inequalities in people’s lives on this planet

Ryan Phillips-Page is Founder and CEO of Operation Water, and Co-Founder, Board Member, & Executive Director of Terra Firma, a registered Canadian charity which has partnered with Operation Water to develop water infrastructure projects in developing countries. He is also a Board Member of Even Ground, a non-profit that funds community-based programs serving disadvantaged youth in South Africa, and an Advisor to Latin American Leadership Academy, which promotes sustainable economic development and strengthens democratic governance in Latin America by developing and connecting a new generation of principled and socially innovative leaders.

Rebecca Bregant

Co-founder and CMO of PineBerry

If you do what you love, you won’t work a single day in life.

Nearly 1 billion people in the world have no access to electricity. Rebecca’s mission is to end energy poverty and improve lives in emerging markets by unlocking the potential of clean energy and digitalization while contributing to 14 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

She is co-founder and CMO of PineBerry, a German-Kenyan social business providing an “Everything-as-a-Service” platform for scaling energy access in emerging markets. Rebecca is also President and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors at the Alliance for Rural Electrification in Belgium, promoting a sustainable decentralised renewable energy industry for the 21st century.

With her background in Strategic Marketing, Corporate Communications and IT Management, Rebecca entered the rural electrification space back in 2016. In the past years, she deepened her digitalization and off-grid expertise mostly from an entrepreneurial point of view, but also on an institutional level as researcher at the University of Neu-Ulm in Germany.

Franco Traverso

Chairman, CTO & co-founder of Genius Watter, Chairman & co-founder of Silfab Group

Unlike the '80s, everybody can do solar nowadays. However, the technology itself is not enough to meet needs without a truly inclusive approach and renewed cooperation based on a deep understanding of the other's value and dignity.

A pioneer in the solar energy sector, with 40-year experience in European, African, American and Asian markets. Awarded in 2018 for outstanding leadership on environmental issues and in 2021 for his 40-year career in the African solar sector, Franco Traverso is an innovative entrepreneur and strategic thinker driven by a passion for engineering applied to green energy systems and for socially sustainable innovations in energy, water and refrigeration systems powered by renewable energy.

During his entrepreneurial story, which started in 1981 when he accepted the challenge of producing PV cells and panels, Franco Traverso founded 7 joint ventures with local partners to produce cells, modules and systems on 4 continents. He has transferred know-how to PV manufacturing plants in India, Sweden, South Africa, China, India, Croatia and Canada and learned the importance of engaging the local community receiving the plant by providing them with technical training and creating sustainable jobs. Particularly in Africa, he supported the use of solar energy with the realization of PV turnkey plants and solar and hybrid water pumping installations in the 1980s.

Major shareholder and co-founder of Silfab Group, one of the main solar module manufacturers in Canada and the US, Franco Traverso shares his expertise in the entire photovoltaic Value Chain and the knowledge of emerging countries’ markets – especially Africa – with Genius Watter, a young company founded by him and his son Dario, the CEO, providing access to clean and affordable water through a patented solar-powered desalination technology in remote and arid locations of the world.

Dr. Renee St Jacques

Licensed Psychologist and Certified Exec Coach

Radical ownership, an exploration of self-awareness and personal accountability, is essential to sustainability, equity, and harmony

Dr Renee St Jacques brings a unique blend of human behaviour expertise as a licensed psychologist and researcher, as well as real-world business experience as a former Microsoft product manager and certified executive coach with two decades of experience in business, marketing, consulting, and coaching in Corporate America. Dr St Jacques’ career has been uniquely focused on studying the inner workings of human relationships, elevating cultures of trust, and teaching emotional intelligence skills to leaders in major corporations. Dr St Jacques contributes her expertise in Emotional Intelligence and her philosophy of Radical Ownership to our discussion with a powerful exploration of self-awareness, personal, and interpersonal accountability to create an era of Renewed Humanism.

Marco Gervasi

Renewable Energy Expert

There will be no ecological transition without a proper education system on green skills. Access to Energy, water and education is the first step stone for proper sustainable development."

Marco Gervasi holds an MSc in Resource Economics and sustainable development coupled with solid experience in the Energy field.

He started his career in London, working for granting energy access in Rural Villages in Sub-Saharian Africa; according to him, this was his life-changing experience. Now he is working in the Green hydrogen field as a way to decarbonize the so-called hard-to-abate sectors. Moreover, he firmly believes that access to education and, more specifically, “green skills” is crucial to be ready for the Ecological twist that the world is experiencing. 

Pr. David Nelson Gimbel

Dr. David Nelson Gimbel is Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Village Corps Ghana and a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an authority on energy, natural resources, cities, and sustainability. Gimbel is also an expert on tangible and intangible cultural heritage, the evolution of human cognition and visual communication, and scientific humanism.

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