#REMforum 2023 -
Take a glimpse at some of the speakers and come back for continuous updates.
Anna is a climate and energy policy professional, a founding member of Centre for Environmental Initiatives “Ecoaction” and a policy analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development working on a green reconstruction of Ukraine. She has 10 years of experience in analytical research and advocacy. Between 2016 and 2018, Anna managed an expert energy policy group of Ukraine’s largest civil society platform Reanimation Package of Reforms. Before joining the NGO sector, Anna worked on international energy and energy efficiency projects.
As a teacher and school psychologist, Angelika Bachmann first taught for several years at state elementary and middle schools. At the Ecological Education Center in Munich she discovered her passion for ecology and sustainability in education. For 9 years she built up and managed the school association of the Emile Montessori School in Neubiberg near Munich as a "green school campus". Since fall 2018, Angelika has been an employed consultant for climate protection and climate education at the Energy Agency Ebersberg/County of Munich. There she designs modules and events for the ecological and sustainable development of schools in the form of workshops or projects. Furthermore, in 2018, she founded bachmann-education. Based on openness, empathy and appreciation for other perspectives, Angelika develops innovative solutions, initiates change and accompanies transformation processes in education.
Simon Berthoud is a Campaign Coordinator for AG!SSONS (let's act). Our mission is to shake up democracy in Switzerland by empowering citizens to launch dozens of initiatives on ecological and social issues. Simon is a former management consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). After 3 years in consulting, he resigned citing the impossibility of achieving the necessary systemic changes by operating within a capitalist system. He regularly gives talks on climate change, biodiversity collapse, degrowth, and participatory democracy. He holds a Master of Science in Management from London Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen.
Kai is an energy market and renewable energy veteran. Over the past 22 years, he shaped sector transitions, product innovations and organisational growth across five continents for listed companies, development banks and owners or private equity operated businesses. He has done so as asset and investment manager, CFO and CEO. Structuring complex buy and sell-side M&A, equity and senior debt transactions, providing regulatory advice for political decision makers, and leading corporate change and growth as well as product innovation initiatives define him as a professional. Kai has shared his insights and experience with numerous international audiences and is an outspoken advocate for impact investing as a key to a long-term equilibrium between people, planet, and profits. Being a proud father of three this fuels his passion and dedication.
Dr. Ute Collier is Deputy Director of the Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre at the International Renewable Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. She is responsible for IRENA’s work on policy, markets and finance for the energy transition. This covers policies and finance for scaling up end-use decarbonisation, green hydrogen, sustainable bioenergy, renewables in the power sector, as well as energy access. She also co-leads IRENA’s annual flagship publication, the World Energy Transitions Outlook. Prior to joining IRENA in May 2021, she was Head of Energy at Practical Action, leading the development organisation’s work on renewable energy solutions in energy access settings. Previously, she worked at the International Energy Agency and the UK’s Climate Change Committee, as well as a number of public sector and non-governmental organisations earlier in her career.
Dr. Melinda Crane has moderated events and discussions for a wide range of international organizations. She is a frequent guest and commentator on German television and radio and regularly analyses US policy for the news broadcaster n-tv. An experienced TV anchor, she is senior political analyst at DW TV and hosts the DW talk show “To the Point.” In 2014, she was awarded the Steuben-Schurz Media Award for her service to transatlantic understanding. Dr. Crane studied history and political science at Brown University and law at Harvard. She wrote her dissertation on the political economy of development at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. As International Affairs Consultant to the discussion show “Sabine Christiansen” she produced interviews with Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and George Bush, among others. Her journalistic experience includes work for the “New York Times Magazine,” “The Boston Globe,” and German newspapers and magazines.
Gabriella De Maio
Professor of Energy Law at the University Federico II and Coordinator of Italian Forum of Energy Communities (IFEC). She has participated to the National Program of Remarkable Research (PRIN2008) “The juridical regime of the energy ”. She has carried out scientific missions in Finland, Germany, and Spain on the issues of nuclear energy and European policies on renewable energy. Author of numerous scientific publications including 3 monographs, 1 curatorship, 15 chapters in volume and 11
scientific articles also in international journals, mainly on the themes of federalism, digitalization, energy transition, energy communities and climate change.
Deputy Minister Yaroslav Demchenkov has over twenty years of experience in the development, implementation and management of international projects in the energy, green economy, infrastructure and other sectors. He has worked as a project coordinator for UNDP, UNOPS, the World Bank, USAID and SlovakAid. His expertise includes project management, government and international relations, and policy-making. Currently, Deputy Minister Demchenkov covers several areas including European integration, international affairs, Green Deal implementation, energy transition and energy resilience and recovery. He has also been involved in the development of coal sector transformation and other sectoral reforms.
Monika De Volder
Monika De Volder is Policy Officer in the Unit for Consumers, Local Initiatives, Just Transition in DG ENERGY, European Commission. Prior to joining the European Commission, Monika worked at the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) for more than a decade. She was leading the Energy Team, focusing mainly on consumer rights in electricity and gas markets, energy efficiency and new technologies. Monika holds a M.Sc. degree in Economics and Business Administration.
Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger is Professor of Public Policy and Comparative Political Economy at the School of Economics and Political Science of the University of St.Gallen (HSG). His research is highly interdisciplinary and focuses on comparative political economy, democratization, and social science methodology. After completing his doctoral studies at the University of Berne in 2008, Patrick worked as Assistant Professor at the Centre for Welfare State Research and the Department of Political Science and Public Management of the University of Southern Denmark. In 2010, he was honoured as a young elite researcher by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation and appointed as Associate Professor of Comparative Political Science. Since 2012, Patrick is a Full Professor at HSG. Beside his extensive teaching experience, he has an outstanding publication record in various leading journals, comprising both quantitative and qualitative work.
Claudio has been committed to sustainability in tourism for many years. His education as a tourism expert developed his understanding of the ecological, social and economic aspects of tourism. In his former role as project leader at the Swiss Parks Network, he contributed to the sustainable development of tourism in the Swiss parks at national level. Today he leads the Sustainability and Guest Services Department at Arosa Tourism, where he develops and coordinates projects internally and externally. With the implementation of the sustainability strategy Arosa 2030, the destination is preparing for present and future challenges.
Sophie Fürst is the CEO of the Swiss Association of Climate Protection (Verein Klimaschutz Schweiz) and was Co-Campaign Manager of the Climate Protection Law Campaign and the Glacier Initiative. Previously, she worked in NGOs as a communications expert and as a personal assistant to National Councillor Balthasar Glättli. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Direct Democracy.
Katja Graf is a senior scientific officer at the office for nature and the environment of the Canton Grisons. She is the deputy overall project manager of the "Aktionsplan Green Deal für Graubünden", an action plan that aims for net zero emissions in the Grisons by 2050. In this function, she helps to draft the cantonal legislation and funding instruments that are necessary to reach this goal. Furthermore, she oversees and supports projects, gives speeches and interacts with key players in this context.
Prior to her current position, she worked at the climate policy section of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and gained experience as project coordinator of an innovation project funded by Climate KIC, the European Union’s knowledge and innovation community, among others. She holds a master’s degree in Management, Technology, and Economics from ETH Zurich and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Cologne.
Marcel Hänggi is historian by training and was an environmental journalist and book author before he initiated the Glacier Initiative. As a research employee for the Swiss Climate Protection Association, he provided the scientific basis for the campaigns. He was also significantly involved in drafting the content of the Climate Protection Law, the counterproposal to the Glacier Initiative.
Simon Heller is the Director of Sustainability Services in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory practice based in Zurich. He has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry with 17 years focusing on corporate sustainability strategy, including the implementation of environmental management across global operations and supply chain and advising senior management on sustainability topics. He supports clients in the areas of sustainability, climate strategy and disclosure, decarbonisation and net zero emissions, sustainable finance and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings.
Walburga is the CEO of SolarPower Europe since 2019. She has over 20 years of professional experience in Brussels, working for a utility, trade association, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. Walburga spent most of her career in the energy sector, covering in particular renewable energies and hydrogen.
Alessandra Hool is the CEO of ESM Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting responsible and sustainable sourcing of minerals. In her role, she is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to improve the responsible mining practices of critical raw materials and building partnerships with stakeholders to support the ESM Foundation's mission. After her initial studies in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Bern, Alessa Hool has been working as a project manager for various multi-partner projects, most of them in research and development in the materials field on a European level. Alessa is, amongst others, Coordinator of the EU-funded project “International Round Table on Materials Criticality”, an international expert network on critical raw materials.
Christoph is a trained electrician and practice-oriented business economist. As Managing Director of Energietal Toggenburg, he plays a key role in coordinating activities between society, business, and politics (i.e., at communal, cantonal, and federal level). Prior to his role at Energietal Toggenburg, Christoph was Managing Director of the Gantrisch Nature Park. His experience in the field of live communication and the foundation of a public limited company also taught him to be a persevering, resilient and solution-oriented manager.
Julia Le Maitre
Julia le Maitre is researcher at the Environmental Research Institute of the Cork University Business School. Her research focuses on the governance and implementation of citizen-centred aspects of the energy transition, innovative financing mechanisms and policies for the promotion of low-carbon energy in Europe. Her doctoral research interests have contributed to various interdisciplinary projects supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and Irish Research Council, Government of Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland, and the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions network. She has professional experience in sustainable international business development and is interested in the pivotal role of innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises in the transition to a net zero economy. She brings this to her current role in the SEAI Offshore Renewables research and technology team.
Prof. Dr. Michael Lehning is professor of environmental engineering at EPFL and co-director of the UNIL-EPFL center for climate action CLIMACT. He is also head of EPFL's Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences and head of the group Snow Processes of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL). His research focuses on snow processes and snow-atmosphere interactions. He has also been investigating how renewable energy installations in the Alpine region could contribute to achieving the Swiss energy transition. Michael holds a Diploma in geo-ecology from the University of Bayreuth, a master’s degree in atmospheric sciences from the University of California, and a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics from ETH Zurich. He has over 140 highly cited peer-reviewed publications, lead several large projects, and obtained over 7 million euros from competitive third-party funding sources.
Jodok Reinhardt founded LIBREC three years ago. LIBREC stands for closed-loop recycling of Lithium-ion batteries from e-mobility on an industrial scale of several 10’000 tons per year. Jodok holds a Master's Degree of ETH in Environmental Sciences and an MBA from IMD. In his career he gained rich experience in manufacturing, supply chain and as a CEO of large organizations. With the set-up of LIBREC Jodok focuses on his core motivation to support decarbonization of the economy.
Dr. Frank Rutschmann has headed the Renewable Energies Section at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) since 2011. At the SFOE, his team promotes renewable energies in Switzerland: hydropower, photovoltaics, wind, biomass and geothermal energy, but also thermal grids and heat pumps. As part of the Energy Strategy 2050, Frank Rutschmann is playing a key role in drafting the new Swiss energy legislation. The Renewable Energies Section is also responsible for the design of funding instruments and oversees numerous projects within the framework of the "EnergieSchweiz" program.
After his biology studies at ETH Zurich and his PhD in evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich, Frank Rutschmann completed a one-year fellowship in science policy at the Swiss Parliament in Bern. He then worked as Secretary General of the Swiss electricity market regulator ElCom.
Franziska Ryser is a Swiss politician. She is part of the vice-presidium of the Green Party of Switzerland and represents the canton of St. Gallen in the national council since 2019. Apart from politics, she is chairman of the board of directors in her family’s business Ryser Optik AG. Ms. Ryser has a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the Rehabilitation Engineering Lab at the ETH Zurich. Her dissertation focused on a motion-based sensor system for quantitative and qualitative measurement of sleep. Her societal engagements range from being the president of AIDA, a school for women speaking foreign languages, to the board of the left thinktank DENKNETZ as well as being the co-president of umverkehR, an association for sustainable mobility.
Elisa Sadakhom is a Sustainability Consultant at Zurich Insurance Company (Zurich). Zurich is accelerating actions and aims to achieve net-zero in our operations by 2030. Elisa is part of the Operational Sustainability team, which is responsible for integrating sustainability considerations into the operational business processes, and one of her focuses is to support local stakeholders to source renewable electricity around the globe.
She is also leading the climate justice work for Amnesty International, as a volunteer within the Amnesty Zurich English group. Elisa holds a master’s degree in Business Law from the Paris Nanterre University and a DAS in Management, Sustainability & Renewable Energy Management from the executive school of HSG.
Aurel is CEO at Solarify GmbH. After completing his master studies in Political Science at the University of Bern, he initially pursued a career in international cooperation, working both for the London-based Environmental Investment Organisation and for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. However, Aurel felt the increasing need to engage more concretely in climate change mitigation and contribute to the energy transition. He started a second master’s program in Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University. In his thesis, he developed the cornerstones of a business model that allows individuals to participate in solar power plants installed on rented roofs by buying individual solar panels and receiving regular payments from the electricity revenues. In 2016, he put theory into practice and founded Solarify GmbH. Ever since, over a thousand individuals have been able to actively contribute to and profit from the energy transition in Switzerland with their own Solarify solar panels.
Martin Schweighofer is working in the field of Social Innovation at the Energy Institute Vorarlberg. An emphasis of his work is on novel and practice-oriented approaches that go beyond purely technical solutions and consider the broader contexts and multiple dimensions of transformation processes. Prior to this position, he was a member of the EnergyCultures research group at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, which explored energy transitions from a social science perspective. Martin Schweighofer holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Vienna and has worked as a sustainability researcher and project manager in various positions. In his research, he has also focused on aspects of cultural change towards sustainability, including the role of tacit knowledge, emotions, and feelings.
Xavier is Head new Renewable Energy Sources Switzerland at Alpiq, managing assets and development project in wind, small hydro, and photovoltaics. He has over 16 years of experience in managing business units in the energy sector in various senior positions, both in Switzerland and in France. Prior to his work at Alpiq, Xavier was Head of Totalgaz Switzerland at TotalEnergies. He holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering technology from the UniLaSalle Rennes Engineering school
Roland heads the Energy Procurement department at the Federation of Migros Cooperatives. He advises Migros Group companies on energy procurement and is responsible for the procurement and supply of 1 TWh of electricity for the Migros Group. He has 15 years of experience in energy procurement, holds a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and an Executive Master of Business Administration.
Prof. Dr. Rolf Wüstenhagen is director of the Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ-HSG) and holds the Chair for Management of Renewable Energies at the University of St.Gallen. He graduated in Management Science and Engineering (TU Berlin) and holds a PhD in Business. His thesis was on “Venturing for Sustainable Energy”. In 2005, 2008 and 2011, respectively, he held visiting faculty positions at University of British Columbia (Vancouver), Copenhagen Business School, and National University Singapore. He embarked on an academic career after retiring from one of the leading European energy venture capital funds. From 2004-2010 he was member of the Federal Energy Research Commission (CORE). 2011-2015, he was member of the advisory board for the Swiss government’s energy strategy 2050. Professor Wüstenhagen is the academic director of St. Gallen University’s executive education programme in Renewable Energy Management.
Alexandru Zavate is an MBA candidate at the University of St. Gallen, and he is working with Lucas Zeugin on the same research project on business models in the circular economy of Li-ion batteries for EVs. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania, and he is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the USA.
His professional background is in corporate finance, auditing, and corporate strategy. Before moving to Switzerland in 2017, Alexandru lived and worked in Romania and the USA while working as an audit consultant for Ernst & Young. His professional experience also includes working as a Group Internal Audit Manager for Hilti AG Liechtenstein, and he is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Mondaine Watch Group in Switzerland.
Alex is passionate about the automotive industry, specifically cars and motorcycles, and their future impact on the environment.
Lucas Zeugin is an MBA candidate at the University of St. Gallen. His research, in collaboration with Alexandru Zavate, focuses on emerging business models in the circular economy of Li-ion batteries for EVs. Lucas Zeugin is passionate about the Automotive industry and making it more sustainable. In his current position, he is a strategic project manager at the MedTech company Biotronik AG. He also worked as an operations and supply chain management consultant, specialized in the Automotive and MedTech industries. Prior to those positions, he worked for the EU Horizon 2020 program as part of the ETH Zurich and coordinated the R&D project focusing on numerical simulations of flows in IC-engines. Lucas Zeugin holds an M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on energy, flows, and processes from ETH Zurich. During his studies, he could benefit from an exchange semester at the Technical University of Denmark.
Nadiya joined the Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ-HSG) as a postdoctoral researcher, working mainly on a project investigating the social acceptance of a Green Deal for Ukraine and Switzerland. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Economics and has nearly 15 years of teaching experience in the field of sustainable development economics. Apart from that, she was acting as a Head of the Department for Internationalization of Educational Process at the Sumy State University in Ukraine and as a Head for Teachers’ Training. Nadiya is a board member of the Ukrainian NGO “Lifelong Learning Centre”. Her research interests include climate change, green deals, renewable energy, sustainable development goals, and education for sustainable development.
Sabrina Mili is a PhD candidate and research associate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St.Gallen. She is part of the SWEET EDGE project (https://www.sweet-edge.ch) and her research focuses on financial models for renewable energy investments and the deployment of electric transport in the agricultural sector. She is particularly interested in the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to finance renewable energy projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration as well as a Master of Arts degree in Banking and Finance from the University of St. Gallen. During her studies she completed internships in Management Consulting in Zurich as well as in Product Management in Kuweit. Currently, she works also as a Program Manager for the Executive Education Programme in Management of Renewable Energy at the Institute for Economy and the Environment (www.rem-unisg.ch).
Juliane is a PhD candidate and research associate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St-Gallen. Her research is part of the CircuBAT project (https://circubat.ch/), focusing on a circular business model for lithium-ion batteries in Switzerland. She is particularly interested in repurposing and recycling pathways for EV batteries and aims to simulate future scenarios within a System Dynamics Model. Juliane holds a B.A. in Business Administration and an M.A. in Marketing Management with an additional Master’s certificate in Managing Climate Solutions (MaCS-HSG) from the University of St.Gallen. During her studies, she completed several internships from the consulting and industry sector and benefited from an exchange semester at Tsinghua University (China).
Merla Kubli is Assistant Professor for Managing Climate Solutions at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Her research at the Institute for Economy and the Environment focusses on the business dynamics of low-carbon innovations such as renewable energies, decentralized flexibility and circular economy solutions for electric vehicle batteries. Merla Kubli is passionate about research that combines rigor and relevance, and to contribute to spreading climate solutions. In her research she applies System Dynamics simulation and choice experiments to investigate the consumer-provider interactions for emerging business models. In collaborations with the energy industry, she supported various companies during the past years in their strategy and business development to capture the opportunities of the energy transition. Merla Kubli is also the program manager of the master certificate Managing Climate Solutions (MaCS-HSG), where she teaches the students in developing entrepreneurial solutions to climate change.
Cristian Pons-Seres de Brauwer
Cristian is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Economy and the Environment of the University of St.Gallen (IWÖ-HSG). His research focuses on the role of innovative business models for the grid integration of renewable energies and electric vehicles, along with their adoption potential from corporate actors. Prior to this, Cristian completed his Ph.D. at the Technical University of Denmark. During this time, he examined the potential of citizen-financed community renewable energy for accelerating the energy transition, and the role of auctions in facilitating/hindering citizen financial participation. Cristian’ areas of expertise include policy support for renewables, social acceptance of renewable energy innovations, sustainability transitions, community renewable energy, and consumer preferences for renewable energy technology adoption/investments.
Julia is Ph.D. candidate and research associate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment of the University of St.Gallen. Her research focuses on overcoming fossil fuel dependence in a carbon-constrained world. She investigates this on the individual and corporate levels, with a focus on affective and cognitive factors. Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a Master of Arts in International Affairs and Governance from the University of St.Gallen. In addition, she holds a Master of Arts in International Public Management from SciencesPo, Paris. She complemented her studies with internships in different sectors. During her master studies, she received a scholarship from Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (sdw). Currently, her PhD is financially supported by Stiftung Nagelschneider.
Katharina Reidl is a doctoral candidate at the institute for economy and the environment. Her research focuses on empowering citizens to partake in the energy transition. Her dissertation’s topic “Power to the people: Mobilizing citizen co-investment in the Green Deal” examines how households of all income levels can be actively involved in policy making and green deal project implementation to foster an inclusive transition.
Ms. Reidl holds a B.A. in translation (University of Vienna) and a B.Sc. in International Business (Vienna University of Economics and Business). She recently obtained her M.A. in Business Management and a Master’s certificate in Managing Climate Solutions (MaCS-HSG) from the University of St. Gallen.
Elizabeth Côté - Programme Manager
Elizabeth is postdoctoral researcher and #REMforum programme manager at the Institute for Economy and the Environment of the University of St.Gallen. Her research focuses on financial models and incentives for clean energy investment. Elizabeth completed her doctoral studies at the University of St.Gallen. During this time, she conducted research on the preferences of investors for grid-scale energy storage, green hydrogen, and wind energy investment. Elizabeth holds a B.Eng. in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University, and a M.Sc. in integrated Natural Resource Management from Humboldt University of Berlin. Her academic experience is also complemented by valuable experience in consultancy and site management in the energy sector.
Doris Hoevel Administration
Doris is the head of administration at IWÖ-HSG and among other projects, responsible for the organization of #REMforum. For ten years she managed the administration of a startup in Germany and Switzerland followed by ten years of experience in the organization of national and international medical congresses. After serving six years as chief medical secretary in a cantonal hospital, she joined the team of the Institute for Economy & the Environment (IWÖ-HSG). She holds a diploma in german studies, geography, and economic geography from RWTH Aachen university.
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