Meet the speakers
Stay tuned to this website and our social media feeds for updates on speakers set to share their insights in Mannheim.
Bernice Notenboom is a polar explorer, climate journalist and filmmaker.
She goes on extreme expeditions that give a face to the changing climate. These have included expeditions to the North and South Poles, Greenland ice sheet, Everest, in Siberia and throughout Africa.
She aims to show what the consequences of climate change will be for humans, animals and the planet, through her expeditions, journalism, videos, and lectures for companies, at congresses, in museums, and at schools.
Notenboom writes books, articles in newspapers and magazines, and makes television series and documentary films. Her latest film "Sea Blind – The Price of Shipping our Stuff" is about shipping emissions and what awaits us with opening new shipping routes in the Arctic. In 2017/2018, she organised three expeditions to Spitsbergen with leaders in industry, real estate, project development, and the financial world. The Spitsbergen ambition was developed there, a manifesto to measure banks, insurers and investors on their carbon footprint.
Dr. Peter Kurz
Prof. Tim Jackson
Tim Jackson is Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey in the UK. CUSP builds on Tim’s vision over three decades to explore the moral, economic and social dimensions of prosperity on a finite planet. He’s served as an advisor on sustainability to numerous commercial, government and intergovernmental organisations. During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management—a core principle of the circular economy framework—outlined in his 1996 book Material Concerns: Pollution Profit and Quality of life. Between 2004 and 2011, Tim was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission, where his work culminated in the publication of his controversial book Prosperity without Growth (Routledge 2009/2017). In 2016, he was awarded the Hillary Laureate for exceptional international leadership. In addition to his academic work, Tim is an award-winning dramatist with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.
Speaking role TBC
Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner
Cheryl Jones Fur
Cheryl Jones Fur has been the Deputy Lord Mayor of the Municipal Council, as well as Deputy Chairperson of Växjö’s Technical Services Board, since 2018. She is on the board of directors of the municipality-owned energy company, Växjö Energi. From 2016-2018, Cheryl Jones Fur was Chairperson for Växjö’s Strategic Committee on Environment and Sustainability. Prior to this, she was Spokesperson for the Green Party in Kronoberg County and Chairperson for the Green Party in Växjö. Cheryl Jones Fur holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Uppsala (Sweden).
Thomas Kastrup-Larsen has been a member of Aalborg City Council since 1998. From 2007-2013, he was Mayor of the Department of Health and Sustainability, and since 2014 he has been the Lord Mayor of Aalborg Municipality, the third largest municipality in Denmark.
Thomas Kastrup-Larsen is on the Transformative Action Award Jury.
Franz Untersteller MdL
Franz Untersteller, Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector, was born on 4 April 1957 in Saarland. After graduating from the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science with a degree in Landscape Planning in 1982 he initially worked for the Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology). From 1983 he was parliamentary advisor to the Green Parliamentary Group in the Baden-Württemberg State Parliament before being elected to the Parliament himself in 2006. From 2006 to 2011 he also acted as deputy chairman of the Green Parliamentary Group. Franz Untersteller has been Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector in Baden-Württemberg since 2011.
Martin Horn holds a Bachelor's degree in International social work from The Ludwigsburg Protestant University of Applied Science (Evangelischen Hochschule Ludwigsburg) and a Masters degree in European and World Politics from the University of Bremen. Before being elected Lord Mayor of Freiburg in 2018, Horn worked as European and Development Coordinator for the City of Sindelfingen (Germany) and as a freelance lecturer at the Ludwigsburg Protestant University of Applied Science.
Dario Nardella holds a law degree and a Ph.D in Public Law, Construction and Environmental Law from the University of Florence. His political career began in 2004 as Councillor for the City of Florence (Democratic Party). He has since held a number of positions politically, including legal advisor to the Minister of Institutional Reforms, Deputy Mayor, and from 2014 Mayor of Florence and elected ANCI coordinator for the metropolitan cities (national municipal association).
Dr. Luise Noring
Dr. Luise Noring's applied research and scholarship focus on urban governance and finance, which target cities and city stakeholders to spur inclusive economic growth through urban redevelopment, infrastructure investments, affordable and social housing, and devolved political and fiscal powers. Noring is Assistant Professor and Research Director of the City Solutions Team at Copenhagen Business School (2016-present) and Visiting Researcher at HafenCity University Hamburg (2018-present). She was a Research Fellow at The Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program (2016-2018) and has served as an EU-commissioned policy expert advising on sustainable urbanisation and nature-based solutions (2014-2015). Noring has sat on numerous advisory boards related to sustainable urbanisation and business development, and she is a recognised leader in driving processes of urban change.
Erion Veliaj was re-elected as Mayor of Tirana in June 2019, after being first elected in June 2015. His first term in office was marked by an urban transformation of the city, oriented towards the implementation of child-friendly policies as part of his vision of giving the city back to the citizens. Prior to his tenure, Veliaj served as a Member of Parliament of Albania and Minister of Social Welfare and Youth from 2013 through 2015.
Before joining the ranks of the Socialist Party of Albania in 2011, Veliaj had a long experience as the leader and founder of the youth movement “MJAFT”, a civic organization which gained huge popularity for inspiring peaceful protest since its creation in 2003.Veliaj has also worked with several international humanitarian organisations in the Americas, Eastern Africa and Kosovo.
Gorka Urtaran has been Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz since 2015. The city played an important role in the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, which took place in 2016 and was hosted by the Basque Country. Mayor Utaran also brings unique knowledge on sustainable cities, as Vitoria-Gasteiz was the European Green Capital in 2012.
Minna Arve has served as the Mayor of Turku since 2017. Turku-born Arve is a Master of Economics and a nurse. During her career Arve has worked as the Managing Director of Turku Chamber of Commerce, Party Secretary of the Finnish National Coalition Party, full-time Chairperson of the City Board in Turku, and Marketing Manager of HyTest Oy. She has also led a long career in municipal politics. As the Mayor of Turku, Arve has highlighted major issues such as sustainable growth, urban inclusion, the prevention of social exclusion, and new means of industrial and business policies.
Ms. Tine Heyse has been the Deputy Mayor of the City of Ghent since January 2013. She currently holds an executive portfolio combining energy, climate, international solidarity and environmental policies. She is also co-president of Climate Alliance. Combining an effective local climate policy with social justice is one her main areas of focus right now.
Climate and energy have been common themes throughout her career, having worked as a campaigner for Greenpeace for 10 years and at the climate change unit of the Belgian Federal Ministry of Environment. Before taking office as Deputy Mayor of Ghent, she was the climate and energy expert for the Green Party in the Belgian federal parliament.
Wolfgang Teubner is the ICLEI regional director for Europe and the managing director of the ICLEI European Secretariat. With more than 25 years of professional experience, Wolfgang has been working with local governments on sustainable urban development, climate adaptation and mitigation, waste management, and sustainable urban transport policies. Since 1994, he has been involved in the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Platform, during which he participated in the drafting of the Aalborg Charter and the 2016 Basque Declaration. He has been involved in more than 150 European and international projects, including several research activities.