European Forum on Science & Education for Sustainability
6 October 2020, virtual event - live from Berlin

Conference Speakers

The list is not yet complete and is constantly updated

Anja Karliczek

German Federal Minister of Education and Research

Anja Karliczek has been Federal Minister of Education and Research since 2018. Prior to that, she was the Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. She has been a Member of the German Bundestag since 2013.

In her capacity as Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek is a member of the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK), a body which deals with all matters of research funding, science and research policy strategies and the science system that jointly affect Germany's Federal Government and its states. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the German Future Prize (Deutscher Zukunftspreis), and a member of the Senate of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.

(Photo Credit: BMBF)

Alexander Gerst

ESA Astronaut

Since 2009 Alexander Gerst is member of the European Astronaut corps. He completed Astronaut Basic Training in November 2010.

In September 2011, Alexander was assigned to fly to the International Space Station ISS on a six-month mission serving as a flight engineer. He launched in May 2014 and returned to Earth in November 2014. This mission was known as Blue Dot.

In May 2017 Alexander's second mission, Horizons, was announced. He launched to ISS on 6 June 2018 and returned to Earth on 20 December 2018. On 3 October, until the end of his mission, he was handed the command of ISS – a role that had only been held by one other European astronaut previously.

In parallel to his duties as active member of the European Astronaut corps, Alexander is currently assigned to ESA's technical centre ESTEC in the Netherlands. There he works with spacecraft engineers on the technical aspects of ESA's future human and robotic exploration missions, including the next steps towards the Moon, the Lunar Gateway Project, and the future of ESA's human presence in Low Earth Orbit.

(Photo credit: ESA)

Torsten Kanzow

Cruise Leader 3rd Leg MOSAiC-Expedition, AWI

Torsten Kanzow is a sea-going physical oceanographer by training (University of Kiel, PhD 2004). As a Postdoc at NOC (Southampton), he has been working on the large-scale meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic. As a junior professor for physical oceanography at GEOMAR (Kiel) he turned to the role meso-scale and small-scale exchange processes play in density currents. Since 2014, his research has been concerned with the way how the changing ocean circulation affects Greenland Glaciers and the Arctic Ocean. He has led five major expeditions to Northeast Greenland / Arctic Ocean in the past six years, including leg 3 of the MOSAIC expedition. Since 2014 he has served both as head of department of Physical Oceanography of Polar Seas at AWI (Bremerhaven) and tenured Professor (W3) for Physical Oceanography of Polar Seas, Bremen University. He is member of the IASC marine working group.

(Photo credit: AWI)

Saori Dubourg

Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE

Saori Dubourg is a Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. She is responsible for BASF's global businesses in Agricultural Solutions, Nutrition & Health, Care Chemicals, and Construction Chemicals. Furthermore, she oversees BASF's Bioscience Research unit, the startup trinamiX, the region Europe, and the BASF Corporate Sustainability Board.

Saori Dubourg contributes her business expertise in selected roles. Since 2018 she is a member of Heidelberg University's advisory board. In 2019 she contributed to a joint industry vision for Europe 2030 as part of an industrial policy group established by the EU Commission. Since January 2020 she is a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development.

Lastly, Saori leads the steering committee of the non-profit organization, Value-Balancing Alliance. In 2020 the alliance has been awarded to develop a new accounting standard, called E-GAAP, as part of the EU Green Deal towards a more sustainable financial and economic system.

Rasmus Errboe

Ørsted - Senior Vice President, Head of Region Continental Europe

Rasmus Errboe is a member of the Offshore Executive Committee in Ørsted and is overall responsible for Ørsted's Offshore business in Continental Europe as well as Ørsted Offshore's Partnerships and CPPAs globally. Rasmus Errboe joined Ørsted in 2012 and became member of the Offshore Executive Committee in 2017. Before joining Offshore he was Head of Ørsted's Group M&A department and overall responsible for the IPO of Ørsted in 2016 and the divestment of Ørsted's Oil & Gas business in 2017.

Rasmus Errboe holds a Master of Law from Copenhagen University and a MBA from University of San Diego, California

Connie Hedegaard

Chair of the European Climate Foundation

Connie Hedegaard has two decades of experience in international and domestic executive policy making. She currently holds several key positions in support of a low-carbon and green economy and is chairing several foundations and executive boards, including OECD's Round Table for Sustainability and the EU Commission's Mission Board on Adaptation to Climate Change including societal change.

Climate action has been at the centre of Ms Hedegaard's political efforts since she was appointed Minister of Environment to Denmark in 2004. She served as the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy from 2007-2009 and was the European Commissioner for Climate Action from 2010 to 2014. In this role, she led the negotiations towards the adoption of the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, was responsible for the 2050 Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy and represented the EU in the international climate negotiations.

Johan Rockström

Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor in Earth System Science at the University of Potsdam

Johan Rockström gained international recognition with the development of the Planetary Boundaries framework, which is now state of the art of sustainability science. His research, which has widely been used to guide policy, covers a range of topics related to the Earth System, global sustainability in the Anthropocene and sustainable transformations.

Rockström provides scientific guidance as a member of the European Commission's Expert Group "Mission Board for Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation" and the "Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences". He regularly acts as an advisor to high-level international meetings and organisations.

Before starting his current position, Rockström founded the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and was Executive Director at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He now holds two professorships and has more than 25 years experience in applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 150 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability.

Rockström is ranked as one of the most influential and most-cited scientists in the world by Clarivate Analytics. He received the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and has received several awards, including the Prince Albert II of Monaco Climate Change Award (2020).

(Photo credit: M. Axelsson/Azote)

Daniella Tilbury

Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Future Generations, HM Government of Gibraltar

Prof Tilbury is an educator, change-maker and academic leader in Sustainable Development credited with having developed the initial frameworks for this area of learning. She has acted as an advisor to governments in China, Latin America and Oceania as well as travelled extensively in Africa to evaluate the impact of sustainability programmes.

Daniella was a member of the Board of WWF Australia that created Earth Hour and is involved in international initiatives that inspire transitions towards sustainability. She is the UK's UNECE representative on matters relating to ESD.

Before becoming Commissioner, she was the inaugural President of the University of Gibraltar, an institution that embeds sustainability at its core. Previously, she held numerous research leadership positions and has been recognised with over 34 competitive grants and awards.

During 1995-2019 she Chaired several UN Committees and was commissioned to develop expert reviews, policy advice and sector evaluations. Daniella has been involved in international meetings on climate change informing texts and dialogues.

Last year, Daniella was recognised with an Hon. Fellowship by Cambridge University.

Leendert Verhoef

Program Lead Living Labs at AMS Institute

Leendert Verhoef works on finding metropolitan solutions on energy, mobility, food etc, by interdisciplinary co-creation processes with public & private partners and citizens. Leendert has a long-standing record of speeding up innovation and bridging gaps between science, industry and society.

He serves in several advisory boards, such as the German Network of Sustainable universities (HOCH-N) and is founder of the global Urban Living Lab Summit.

A current focus point is to (Europe-wide) formalize, validate and benchmark Living Lab process tools for helping solve complex metropolitan sustainability problems.

Sarah Wiener

Member of the European Parliament for Austria, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Sarah Wiener is an entrepreneur, TV chef and politician who has actively promoted healthy diets and sustainable agriculture for many years. She was elected to the European Parliament in 2019. As an MEP, she is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and an alternate member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Sarah Wiener set up the Sarah Wiener Foundation, a non-profit organization to promote healthy eating habits among children and teenagers, in 2007. Together with partners, she has been operating an organic farm in the Uckermark region since 2015. She is also a member of the advisory board of the NGO „Cradle to Cradle" and was also involved with the food quality group Foodwatch.

Helena Pereira

President of the Board of Directors, FCT Portugal

Professor at the Lisbon University, Helena Pereira is the President of the Foundation for Science and Technology. She was rector and vice-rector of the Technical University of Lisbon, pro-rector of the University of Algarve and held numerous high-level board positions in academic and research bodies. She presided AMONET, the Portuguese Association of Women Scientists.

Her area of research has been forestry and forest products, including bioenergy, bio-refineries, and green chemistry, from an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective. She is a chemical engineer (IST, Technical University of Lisbon), a PhD in Natural Sciences (Faculty of Biology, Hamburg University) and has an habilitation in forest sciences (ISA, Technical University of Lisbon).

She has extensive work in higher education, is author of numerous scientific publications and has received several scientific and academic awards.


Jean-Eric Paquet

Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission

Jean-Eric Paquet has been working as the Director-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) since April 2018. He started working with the European Commission in 1993. From 2002 until 2004, he was the Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin. Then he worked as a Head of Unit within the DG Mobility and Transport before becoming the Director. In 2013, he joined the DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. Before starting his current position, Mr Paquet served as Deputy Secretary General of the Juncker Commission.

Volker Rieke

Director-General "Provision for the Future - Research for Basic Principles and Sustainable Development" at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Volker Rieke has over 30 years of experience working at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Germany. He currently holds the positions of Head of Directorate-General "Provision for the Future - Research for Basic Principles and Sustainable Development" and BMBF Coordinator for Sustainable Development.

Mr Rieke has extensive experience in science and education diplomacy and in shaping international and European cooperation. From 2008-2018 he was Head of Division "European and International Cooperation in Education and Research" at the BMBF. Prior to that, he was Head of the BMBF Directorate "Life Sciences - Research for Health" (2007-2008) and Head of the Science, Research and Technology Section at the German Embassy in Washington DC, USA (Federal Foreign Office) in 2005-2007.