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.


Leire Barañano

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Leire Barañano is currently the Managing Director of NEIKER-Tecnalia, a technological centre offering the agrifood and forestry sectors innovative solutions, where her main duty is to continue working on converting scientific knowledge into value contributions for companies in these sectors. Her main aim at NEIKER is the creation and materialisation of a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the forestry sector of wood. Her previous experience with companies related to food distribution and food and marine research have given her a full picture of the value chain.


John Bell

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John Bell is Director for the Bioeconomy in DG Research & Innovation. He is responsible for leading the definition, implementation and investment of EU Research & Innovation policy and programming across the Bioeconomy; from agriculture and food systems, oceans, marine and maritime issues to investment in new sustainable bio-based industries. This includes Horizon 2020, 3.8 billion Societal Challenge 2, the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the 3.7 billion euro Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking and Food and Nutrition Security FOOD2030. He leads Oceans R&I strategies including the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the Bonus programme (Baltic Sea) and the BlueMed Initiative (Mediterranean)..


Joanna Dupont-Inglis

Joanna Dupont-Inglis

Joanna Dupont-Inglis first joined EuropaBio, the European Association of Bioindustries, in 2009 and in 2011 was appointed Director of Industrial Biotechnology. Her work within EuropaBio involves developing a more supportive, predictable and coherent EU policy environment for the deployment of industrial biotech products and processes within the broader bioeconomy. EuropaBio seeks an Innovation-driven EU research agenda for Biobased Industries, enabled by Industrial Biotechnology. Coalition building with other sectors of the circular bioeconomy has been a key area of activity, both in the development of the €3.7 billion Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and through the European Bioeconomy Alliance. In 2016 Joanna was appointed as chair of the EU Bioeconomy Panel.


Lauri Hetemäki

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Lauri Hetemäki is the Assistant Director at the European Forest Institute (EFI). He is also Adjunct Professor in Forest Economics and Marketing, University of Helsinki. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Helsinki. Hetemäki is responsible for managing EFI’s science-policy work. He has extensive experience in science-policy support work, e.g. in European Parliament, European Commission and national Governments and Parliaments, as well as coordinating large scale forest sector outlook studies. He is the author of close to 200 scientific and popular publications. Previously Hetemäki worked as a part-time Professor in Forest Sector Foresight at the University of Eastern Finland; Head of Programme at EFI, and as a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Forest Research Institute.


Daniela Kleinschmit

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Daniela Kleinschmit is Professor on Forest and Environmental Policy at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at Freiburg University, Germany since 2014. Before she has worked as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at SLU in Sweden. Her research interest comprises natural resource policies, in particular forest, agricultural and bioeconomy policies with focus on multi-level governance, policy integration and discourses. Daniela has published numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, edited volumes and acted as guest editor for a number of special issues. Daniela is engaged in science-policy interaction, e.g. as scientific chair of the Global Forest Expert Panel on Illegal Timber Trade on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forest (CEPF). She is Coordinator of the IUFRO Division 9 on Forest Policy and Economics.


Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch

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Cecil Konijnendijk is professor of urban forestry at the University of British Columbia. He also is Director of the university’s Bachelor of Urban Forestry. For over two decades Cecil has studied and taught on the role of trees and green space in cities and towns, based on his passion for maintaining our contact with nature in an increasingly urban world. He has led large international research and development projects, such as the recent EU-funded GREEN SURGE project on green infrastructure planning. His past affiliations include, among other, the European Forest Institute, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Hong Kong. Cecil (co-)authored several widely-read books about urban forestry and is editor-in-chief of the journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Aboriculture.


Hanna Kosonen

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Hanna Kosonen is Member of the Finnish Parliament from the voting district South-Eastern Finland. In the parliament, she is member in the Environment Committee as well as the Education and Culture Committee. Representing the Centre Party, she serves as Chair of the City Board in Savonlinna. Moreover, Kosonen is member of the board of the European Forest Institute. Interested in policies related to climate, renewable energy, and circular economy, she serves as Vice Chair of the parliamentary Energy Renovation Group.


Joachim Kreysa

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Dr. Kreysa joined the EC in 1985, to run a study on the future of forestry & forest industries in Europe. From 1989 he set-up and worked in ÉCLAIR and AIR, the first Agro-Industrial Research Programmes, including inter alia projects on biorefineries. Since then he worked in different functions and a range of topics, including development cooperation, BSE, recruitment, REACH/ECHA, alternative testing methods, and GMO-detection. Today he is back to his roots as the BioEconomy Advisor to the JRC's Director for strategy and work programme coordination.


Knut Øistad

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Knut Øistad is a forester – graduated from University of Life Sciences, Norway. He has experience from private sector, research, as Counsellor for Agriculture and Forestry in Brussels and several years as Deputy Director General in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Øistad is currently Head of Department of Economics and Society in the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). Øistad is Chairman of the Board of European Forest Institute.


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.


Christian Patermann

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Christian Patermann studied law and economics, and entered German public service in 1971, working as an official in the Ministry of Education and Science, Foreign Ministry, and Ministry of Science and Technology. In 1996 he become Programme Director for “Environment” Research at the EC’s Research Directorate-General, and later Programme Director for “Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food” Research. During these years he was responsible for the elaboration of the new concept of the Knowledge Based Bioeconomy (KBBE), which today is known as bio-based economy or more simply Bioeconomy in Europe. In 2007 Christian Patermann retired, and he now advises public and private institutions and companies. Since 2009 he has been appointed member of the first Research and Technology Council “BioEconomy” of the Federal German Government.


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.


Marijana Petir

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Marijana Petir has graduated in Biology and Ecology at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Sciences, and Theology at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Catholic Theological Studies, where she also finished Master's degree in Management of Non Profitable Organizations and Social Advocacy.  She has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014. She is a member of Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) among other duties.



Janez Potočnik

Janez Potocnik

Janez Potočnik is Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel hosted by UNEP, Chairman of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council. After a successful career in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, he was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as shadow Commissioner for Enlargement, then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research, and from 2010-2014 as Commissioner for Environment. 



Georg Winkel

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Georg Winkel is head of EFI’s Resilience Programme, and Head of Mission for EFI’s Bonn Office. Previously, he was head of EFI’s Forests for Society research programme, and before that worked as a Senior Researcher in the Forest and Environmental Policy Group at the University of Freiburg. Georg holds an MSc degree in Forest Science and PhD and Habilitation in Forest and Environmental Policy. He has extensive background in analysing forest policy in different regions of the world, and large-scale international research experience with a focus on the interrelation of forest and environmental policy.