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
Speaking role TBC
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.