Antti Asikainen is the executive vice president for research in Luke. He has been working as the professor in forest technology since 2001. His research areas are biomass availability and policy studies, wood harvesting technology and logistics. He has been the National team leader of several tasks of IEA Bioenergy looking at the use of forest biomass for energy production. Asikainen is the member of the Finnish Climate Change Panel (2016-2018) and he has contributed to several bioenergy related policy briefs to National and EU’s decision makers. Asikainen coordinated Boreal Green Bioeconomy programme in Luke in 2016-2019. Previously he has been coordinating large forest bioenergy programmes (Bioenergy from forests 2007-2011, ForestEnergy2020 joint research programme (2012-2015). He coordinated EU’s FP7 project on the use of residual forest biomass for energy (INFRES) in 2011-2015. He was nominated in the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry in 2013.

Sergei Bobylev is a Doctor of Economic Sciences, professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation and Head of the Center for Bioeconomy and Eco-Innovations at the Faculty of Economics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU. Dr. Bobylev is the winner of the competition for the award of the Moscow Government in the field of environmental protection (2013); editor in chief of the "Report on human development 2001. Russian Federation"(laureate of the international competition of the UN Development Program for the best national Report (2002)). He lead the expert group and participated in projects for the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Natural Resources, State Duma, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and for the international organizations: United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility. Visited as a lecturer leading universities of  USA, Université Paris-Dauphine (Paris) and the Vienna University of Economics (Vienna).

Alexander Buck is the Executive Director of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), a global network for science collaboration uniting over 15,000 scientists in more than 600 member organizations in 125 countries. He studied forestry and law and is an expert on international forest, environment and resource policy. Alexander has 20 years of experience in working in research management and at the science-policy interface. He is a member of the advisory boards of various forest-related international initiatives, including the Program of Forests (PROFOR) hosted by the World Bank and Yale University’s Governance, Environment and Markets (GEM) Initiative.

Photo of Xiaoqian Chen

Xiaoqian Chen is Senior Expert on China Europe Forest Bioeconomy in the Bioeconomy Programme at the European Forest Institute. Xiaoqian has over 15 years of experience in forestry economy and policy, especially on topics of forest governance, trade and investment. Before joining EFI, Xiaoqian was the Fulbright visiting scholar in Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to this, she was the FLEGT advisor in China for EFI, and also was Forestry advisor in China for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Xiaoqian hold PH.D degree on Forestry economy and has been an Associate Professor in Beijing Forestry University, and also the board member of RECOFTC.

Peter Csoka is a Team Leader and Secretary of the Committee on Forestry in FAO. A forester and system analyst by education, he has over 35 years of experience in forestry. Before joining FAO he worked at the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, the State Forest Service of Hungary including being its head, and was director general for natural resources at the Ministry of Agriculture in his home country. He has extensive expertise in forest inventory, monitoring, forest sector planning, national and international forest policy and rural development. He represented his country in various intergovernmental fora and served as chair of the FAO European Forestry Commission and vice-chair of UNFF. He is also the leader of FAO’s forestry journal, UNASYLVA.


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.

Teppo Hujala
Teppo Hujala is a professor of forest bioeconomy foresight at the University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu. His scientific expertise contains family forest owners, participatory planning and qualitative research. He is the chair of board of Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics and a deputy coordinator of IUFRO Unit 3.08.00 Small-scale Forestry. He has worked at the University of Helsinki, Finnish Forest Research Institute, and Natural Resources Institute Finland.
Jyrki Kangas is Professor of Forest Bioeconomy at UEF. He was the CEO and DG of Metsähallitus (2007-2014), a State forest enterprise governing the state-owned lands and waters in Finland. He has also worked for UPM-Kymmene Ltd as Director of Forestry and CEO of UPM’s real estates daughter company. Before that, Kangas was Professor of Forest Planning and Director of a Research Station at METLA.  His research interests include strategy processes, forest planning, sustainable development, and multicriteria decision aid. He has been awarded the Scientific Achievement Award by IUFRO. He has had plenty of national and international positions of trust; e.g., the Vice-President of EUSTAFOR, and the Chair of the Boards of Koli Forum and the Foundation for European Forest Research. Kangas currently belongs to the Board of Directors of three companies. He is a docent of Forest Planning at the University of Helsinki.
Elena Kulikova´s photo

Elena Kulikova is the Coordinator of the Young Leadership Programme, and Senior Expert in the Bioeconomy Programme at the European Forest Institute. Elena has over 20 years’ experience in sustainable forest management, forest governance and law enforcement as well as capacity building and training projects and programmes, including  those related to Russia and Eastern Partnership countries. Before her current position, Elena was a Head of Forest Programme at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Russia. Prior to this, she was a Head of Division in the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, and a Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation in the Federal Forestry Service of the Russian Federation. She has been also an Associate Professor in the Moscow State Forest University, Russia.

Pekka Leskinen

Pekka Leskinen is Head of Bioeconomy Programme at EFI. Among others, the Bioeconomy Programme will advance knowledge on sustainable bioeconomy and bioeconomy markets. Prof. Leskinen has more than 20-year research experience on sustainable use of natural resources and decision analysis. Currently his research interests include circular bioeconomy, multi-criteria analysis and life cycle assessment. Prof. Leskinen has extensive co-ordination experience of research teams and projects, and strong publication record including 89 peer-reviewed publications. He holds PhD degree in statistical modelling. Before EFI, he has worked as a Research Professor at the Finnish Environment Institute, and for joint professor position of Finnish Environment Institute and University of Eastern Finland.

Francisco Lozano is Innovation Manager at Arauco, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile. Arauco’s mission, over the past 40 years, is to be a world leader in sustainable development of forest products. During this time, Arauco has become one of the biggest forest companies globally, with a focus on innovation alongside environmental and social responsibility and clients in 75 countries worldwide.
Photo of N. Lukina

Natalia Lukina is the Director of Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity of the Russian Academy of Sciences (CEPF RAS). Scientific fields of  CEPF RAS are related to forest-based bioeconomy development.  Prof. Lukina has a broad research experience in assessment of forest ecosystem functions/services. She is member of RAS. Head of Scientific Council of RAS on Forests. Chief Editor of Russian Journal of Forest Science (Lesovedenie).

Xavier Marcet

Xavier Marcet is the President of Lead to Change a consultancy focused on strategic innovation for businesses, public administrations and universities based in Barcelona, Boston and Santiago de Chile. As a consultant he has worked on projects of strategy, innovation and corporate entrepreneurship in companies, universities and institutions around the world. His academic background has been developed in UAB, ESADE, IESE and HAAS Business School (UC Berkeley). Currently teaches as part-time professor in different universities and business schools in Barcelona. He gives an annual average of 30-35 lectures and presentations at international conferences, usually on innovation and entrepreneurship. He founded the Barcelona Drucker Society and is its current President. He is also author of several books. Follow him on Twitter @XavierMarcet  

Jukka Mönkkönen photo

Rector Jukka Mönkkönen received his Master's degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kuopio in 1986, and his doctoral degree in Pharmacy in 1991. He has held several research and teaching positions and, since 1998, he has been Professor of Biopharmacy. In addition to his remarkable career as a scientist and academic teacher, he also has recognised experience in the development higher education and science policy, both at national and international levels. He has served as Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Kuopio, as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland, as Academic Rector of the University of Eastern Finland and, since the beginning of 2015, as Rector of the University of Eastern Finland. The Rector directs the activities of the university and is responsible for their cost-effectiveness and profitability.

Marc Palahí's photo
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.
Photo of Paivi Pelli

Päivi Pelli is a PhD candidate at the University of Eastern Finland. Her foresight research examines services in the evolving forest-based bioeconomy. She has MSc in business administration, ten years of experience on regional development and the EU cross-border co-operation tasks, and in 2007-2013 she worked at EFI, for example, on forest sector foresight, EU Forest Action Plan evaluations and regions of knowledge collaboration. She has facilitated several R&D agenda development and futures workshops.


Irina Prokofieva heads the Forest Economics Department of Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) since 2007. Her research experience lies in the fields of environmental economics, institutional and policy analysis, as well as forest policy instrument design and assessment. She has conducted research on environmental regulation of externalities, assessment of sustainability impacts of forestry wood chains, design and implementation of payments for ecosystem services, as well as policies and regulations concerning non-wood forest products in European countries. Irina has a PhD in Economic Theory by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Anu Puusa works as a Professor in Management and the Deputy Head of Department at the Business School of the University of Eastern Finland at Joensuu campus. She is a Docent of Management and Co-operatives at LUT School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology. Her current research interest areas are work-community skills, organizational change, organizational identity and cooperatives. Puusa has published 4 textbooks and numerous journal articles and other publications. Her positions of trust and managerial positions include for example membership of the board at Pohjois-Karjalan Osuuskauppa, a regional consumer cooperative that is part of S-Group. She is also a Member of the Board at Pellervo Society and Cooperatives Europe.

Linyun Rong is the Interim Director of NGO Affairs Division in International Cooperation Center of National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China. Linyun has over 10 years of experience in the field of collaboration with International-NGOs and co-conducts a series of programmes on sustainable forest management with WWF and IUCN in China. Previously Linyun was the visiting scholar of North Carolina State University in 2014.


Dr. Lauri Sikanen, Principal Scientist at Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), has over 20 years of experience about CTL-harvesting development, bioenergy and biomass supply as well as about international technology and know-how transfer. He has been working at the Joensuu University, Finnish Forest Research Institute, at University of Eastern Finland, LUKE and recently 4 months as a Chair of Finnish Studies and Research Scholar in the Faculty of Natural Resources Management at the Lakehead University. Dr. Sikanen has been running and participating numerous international projects of wood supply and forest biomass for energy in Italy, Germany, UK, Ireland, Russia and Canada. His experience is not only from science but having also remarkable amount of implemented research and participating of R&D projects close to practice with companies. He has an excellent professional network and good abilities to share his knowledge by lecturing and team work.

Harri Snellman works for Stora Enso Biomaterials as a Development Manager for Enocell pulp mill. His expertise lies in developing the pulp mill processes, products and customer co-operation.  He joined Stora Enso in 2005, and has worked in various positions related to Production, Customer Service, Supply Chain and R&D at Enocell pulp mill.  Harri takes care of strategic development projects in Enocell and manages the process development teams. He  has Master of Science in Pulp and paper technology as well as a Master of Science in Forestry.

Timo Tahvanainen is a development manager at Business Joensuu in Eastern Finland. Business Joensuu is a non-profit regional development company helping companies to grow and succeed in international markets. It manages a business incubator, helps companies to develop new products and to adapt new technologies and fruits of science. Business Joensuu facilitates regional business ecosystems and links them to international clusters aiming to sustainable business and regional development.

Mikhail Tarasov is IKEA Global Forestry Manager. He is leading the forestry agenda inspired by IKEA “People and Planet Positive” sustainability strategy and ambition to become forest positive. He is working with over 30 wood supply and forestry specialists across the world to promote responsible forestry, increase the wood from More Sustainable Sources (FSC certified & recycled) and secure compliance with IKEA forestry requirements. He is managing IKEA global partnership with WWF and other partners. His team is also leading responsible land-use agenda to secure responsible sourcing of materials and stop forest degradation and deforestation. Before his current role Mikhail was leading IKEA forestry agenda in China and the Asia Pacific. Mikhail has over twenty years of experience in sustainable forestry and supply chain management across the world. He also holds a PhD in forest ecology.

Hans Verkerk is principal scientist in the Bioeconomy programme of the European Forest Institute (Finland) and he leads a team on smart forestry. He holds a MSc degree in Forest and Nature Management from Wageningen University and obtained his PhD degree with distinction from the University of Eastern Finland. He has been involved in studies on European forest resource assessments, woody biomass availability, forest ecosystem services and climate change impacts and mitigation.

Alexander Voropaev is a manager of Global Forest and Trade Network in Russia and coordinator of forest and trade projects in WWF-Russia. He has been working in WWF-Russia since 1998 in various tasks, such as promoting FSC forest certification in Russia, illegal logging issues, supply chain traceability, establishing cooperation with forest companies operating in Russia, Russian-Chinese trade of forest products, greening the Russian-Chinese wood supply chains and many other related issues. The latest project deals with the preparation and making the joint environment rating of Russian and Chinese pulp and paper companies in 2019. Alexander also works in the Russian Academy of Sciences where he deals with environmental issues of forest landscapes protection and sustainable forest management.

Bernhard Wolfslehner is Research Network Coordinator of EFI’s Forest Policy Research Network. Previously he has worked as a researcher at the Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. He was also an advisor for the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests (MCPFE), as well as the Austrian Forest Dialogue. His expertise includes sustainable forest management, criteria and indicators, non-timber forest products and services, biological diversity and multi-criteria decision support.



 Photocredits: SB- Ignat Solovey, TH - Varpu Heiskanen, UEF, MP - Johanna Kokkola, Salama Visuals, AV - Zolotarev Evgeny