Esko Aho

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Esko Aho served as Prime Minister of Finland during 1991-1995, and as Member of the Parliament between 1983-2003. He is currently Executive Chairman of East Office of Finnish Industries representing the leading Finnish corporations in Russia, Chairman of the Board of the Skolkava Foundation in Moscow and Executive in Residence of Aalto University in Helsinki. He is also Senior Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he pursues research on the changing role of the state in maintaining welfare and global competitiveness.


Ibrahim Baylan

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Ibrahim Baylan is the Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, Sweden. He has been the Minister for Energy since October 2014. Previously he was deputy chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Education (2012-2014), and secretary-general of the Social Democratic Party (2009-2011). From 2008-2009 he was chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Communications, and from 2004-2006 he served as Minister for Schools.


Miapetra Kumpula-Natri

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Miapetra Kumpula-Natri has been a member of the European Parliament since summer 2014. She is a member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy as well as a substitute in the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs. She is the chair of the Bioeconomy Working Group, European Parliament Intergroup on "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development". Previously, Ms Kumpula-Natri was a member of parliament in Finland for 11 years, chairing the Committee of European Affairs as well as a long-term member of the Committee of Economy, which is responsible for industrial matters. By education, Ms Kumpula-Natri is an engineer.


Christine Lang

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Christine Lang is an entrepreneur in biotechnology; she acts as a consultant for the German government for bioeconomy topics and co-chairs the German Bioeconomy Council. She is an Associate Professor for Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Technical University Berlin. In 2001 Ms Lang founded the company Organobalance GmbH and established it as an R&D facility to develop novel microbial active ingredients and strains for food, feed, personal care and pharma applications. She is the company’s CEO. In 2010, Ms Lang founded Organobalance Medical AG where she serves as CSO, and which brings patented active substances for innovative products for cosmetics, food and health to the market.


Markku Ollikainen

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Markku Ollikainen
is Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at University of Helsinki. His research covers a wide range of issues in forest economics, including forest taxation, provision of public goods, market-based mechanisms for biodiversity conservation and water protection issues. His most recent work focuses on climate change mitigation and forest bioeconomy issues. He is the author of more than 210 research reports and 70 journal articles, and he is currently the Chair of the Finnish Scientific Climate Change Panel.


Marc Palahí

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Marc Palahí
is the Director of the European Forest Institute and responsible for leading the organisation towards an acknowledged pan-European science-policy platform. Previously he led EFI’s policy support activities and during this time was instrumental in launching ThinkForest, a European high-level science forum on the future of forests. He has also worked as Head of EFI’s Mediterranean Regional Office, EFIMED. He has a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.


Göran Persson

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Göran Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006 and was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1996 to 2007. Since leaving office, Mr. Persson has been a consultant for the Stockholm-based PR firm JKL. He is also a Member of the Board of the World Resources Institute, and the President of the European high-level forum on the future of forests, ThinkForest, facilitated by EFI.


Olli Rehn

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Minister of Economic Affairs, Olli Rehn is the head of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. After serving as an MP (1991-1995) and leading the Finnish delegation to the Council of Europe, he became one of Finland’s first MEPs. From 2004-2010 he was European Commissioner for EU enlargement. In the second Barroso Commission from 2010 to 2014, Mr Rehn served as Commission Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs. Mr Rehn was elected an MEP in the 2014 European election, and served as one of the parliament's 14 vice presidents. In 2015, he was elected to the Finnish parliament and appointed to Prime Minister Sipilä’s Cabinet.


Sofia Santos

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Sofia Santos is the General Secretary at the Portuguese Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD Portugal) since January 2016. She started her career in the research department of Merrill Lynch Bank in London, and worked at the Portuguese National Statistics Institute and at the Portuguese Pulp and Paper Industry Association. From 2004-2015 she was an entrepreneur on Sustainability and Green Economy issues, and from 2009-2014, a visiting assistant professor at the ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon. From 2013 to 2014 she was Executive Director of the Sustainability Knowledge Lab at INDEG–ISCTE, Lisbon. In 2016 she published her third book, “Introduction to the Green Economy”.


Photos: Simon Pugh (GP), Saku Ruusila (MP), Sakari Piippo (OR), Christian Kruppa (CL), Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden (IB), Finnish Climate Change Panel (MO), Bruno Barata (SS).