Speakers, 4.12.



Dirk Carrez

Dirk Carrez is the Managing Director of Clever Consult, and Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), the private partner in the €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership on Bio-based Industries (BBI JU) with the EU. Dirk is bioengineer and holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. He has worked at SOLVAY SA in the research department, at the Belgian Federation for the Life Sciences and Chemical Industry as Director Innovation & Product Policy and as Secretary-general of the Belgian Biotechnology Industry Association, and has been Director Industrial Biotechnology at EuropaBio. Dirk Carrez is also a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group for Biobased Products.

Lauri Hetemäki photo

Lauri Hetemäki  is the Assistant Director at the European Forest Institute (EFI), and is responsible for managing the institute’s science-policy work. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Helsinki. He is the author of 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. He is a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

Katharina Knapton-Vierlich

Katharina Knapton-Vierlich joined the Commission's public procurement policy directorate in 2010. She has been responsible for various aspects of policy and law. Currently she is in charge of "Public Procurement Strategy". The unit supports especially sustainable, green and socially responsible procurement. Katharina Knapton-Vierlich also heads the "ex ante mechanism for large infrastructure projects", which provides advice on the procurement aspects of such projects. Before joining the European Commission, she practiced law in Berlin after having worked in academia. She holds law degrees from the Free University of Berlin (Ph.D.) and the University of Cambridge (LL.M.).

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri

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 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 in the Committee of Economy, which is responsible for industrial matters. By education, Ms Kumpula-Natri is an engineer.

Elmar Kriegler

Elmar Kriegler is a senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and vice chair of Research Domain “Sustainable Solutions" at PIK. His research focuses on the integrated assessment of climate change and climate change scenario analysis. He has coordinated several international research projects on integrated assessment modeling and the analysis of climate change mitigation strategies, and was a core developer of the new generation of climate change scenarios based on the concept of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. Elmar Kriegler is the author of numerous scientific publications and has been a lead author of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (Chapter 6: Transformation Pathways of the Working Group III Report) and Special Report on 1.5 Degrees Warming (Chapter 2: Mitigation pathways compatible with 1.5°C in the context of sustainable development). He received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Potsdam.

Christine Lang
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.


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 Facility, EFIMED. He has a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.


Pekka Leskinen
Pekka Leskinen is the Head of Bioeconomy Programme at EFI. He holds a PhD in statistics (preference modelling with forestry applications). He has broad experience in the fields of sustainable use of natural resources, life cycle assessment and multi-criteria decision analysis. Previously he has worked as a Research Professor, Head of Group, Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production at the Finnish Environment Institute. He has also worked in the joint professor position of Finnish Environment Institute and University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, and has had various research positions at the Finnish Forest Research Institute. In addition, he is a Docent in Decision Analysis Methods in Forest Planning at University of Eastern Finland.


Göran Persson

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.            

Linda Rosén

Linda Rosén is the CEO of Lindbäcks Group. Lindbäcks uses industrialized processes to produce sustainable wood-frame housing and they operate from the north of Sweden. This fourth generation family-owned company has committed to the Swedish construction industry’s sustainability agenda aiming to contribute to fossile free construction. Lindbäcks has managed to gain pole position in the industrialisation of construction aiming to build a sustainable future. The company opened the most modern factory for multi-family buildings in Europe in late 2017. Rosén has a long-standing experience of continuous Improvement leadership, Lean manufacturing and operational development within manufacturing companies such as AstraZeneca and Volvo. She heads the strategy-deployment process at Lindbäcks.

Artur Runge-Metzger, Director, ‘Climate Strategy, governance and emissions from non-trading sectors’, DG Climate Action, European Commission, took up his current position on 1 January 2016. The current directorate covers international and EU climate strategy and economic assessment and evaluation, EU domestic legislative initiatives related to households, road transport, waste, agriculture and forestry, carbon capture, use and storage, various financing instruments for EU innovation, monitoring, reporting, and verification. Before, he led on climate strategy and international climate negotiations. He co-chaired of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) in 2013/14 preparing the Paris Agreement, and he served as Vice-President of the UNFCCC Bureau from 2010-2012. Before this, he has worked as Head of Operations in the EC Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 1997-2001 in DG Development and DG Environment in Brussels on a wide range of environmental issues. He joined the European Commission in 1993. He holds a doctoral degree in agricultural economics.

Daniel Zimmer

Daniel Zimmer is the Director of EIT Climate-KIC Sustainable Land Use theme. He joined EIT Climate-KIC in 2010 as Director for Innovation. He developed and supervised the implementation of the portfolio of innovation projects aiming to accelerate the transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy and society. He has a global experience on climate and water related issues spanning from engineering to geopolitics. He was for 8 years Executive Director of the World Water Council, an international umbrella organisation of the water sector.