#REMforum 2022 list of speakers.
James W. Davis
James W. Davis was appointed Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute of Political Science at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland in April 2005. Prof. Davis holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University and was a member of the political science faculty of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany prior to his appointment to St.Gallen. Professor Davis has published in leading journals on questions of international institutions, foreign policy, military strategy, arms control and bargaining. He is editor and contributing author of Psychology, Strategy and Conflict: Perceptions of Insecurity in International Relations published by Routledge in 2012. His first book, Threats and Promises: The Pursuit of International Influence,was published in 2000 by the Johns Hopkins University Press. In 2005, he published Terms of Inquiry: On the Theory and Practice of Political Science.
Charlie Donovan is Visiting Professor of Finance at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He was Founding Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College London and Academic Director of its MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance. He is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Finance. In his corporate career, he was Head of Structuring and Valuation for Alternative Energy at BP plc, where he managed a team responsible for investment analysis for large renewable energy projects in North America, Europe and Asia. He was part of the strategy team that launched the alternative energy division in 2005, with a commitment from BP to spend $8 billion over 10 years, and participated in a number of strategic acquisitions. Charlie began his career as an Energy Policy Analyst with the US Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration and subsequently worked in principal investments at the Enron Corporation. His experience also includes several years in strategy consulting.
Charlie holds a bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, graduated from the MBA program at Vanderbilt University, and completed a Doctorate in Management at IE Business School. He is the editor and co-author of Renewable Energy Finance: Powering the Future, now in its 2nd edition.
Dr. Frank Dumeier is Chairman of the Management Board and has been with W.E.B. Windenergie AG since 2010. He already acquired his sense for the practical feasibility during a toolmaker apprenticeship. He then gained a degree in mechanical engineering in Kassel, followed by a doctorate in Dresden. He earned his professional spurs in many years of management positions in an international group in Germany, the USA, Mexico, and Japan. His fields of activity were project management, production and sales. He was well prepared for his lateral entry at W.E.B through his operational management as co-owner of a wind power plant. He is responsible for operations management, purchasing & logistics, housekeeping, control center, project planning, portfolio & program management, and technology & service at W.E.B..
Prof Geraint Ellis is Chair of Environmental Planning in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University, Belfast, Co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning and an . independent member of Ireland’s National Economic and Social Council. His research interests are in planning and sustainability with a particular emphasis on renewable energy, planning governance and healthy urban planning. Recent research projects have focussed on the role of the built environment in healthy ageing in the UK and Brazil (HULAP), transition pathways in marine planning (IMMERSE, MOSES) and he is currently leading an EU Innovative Training Network on the social aspects of renewable energy (MISTRAL). You can follow him on Twitter @gellis23 and see his full profile here: http://bit.ly/ZYkPN
Dr. Daniele Farrace is Chief Innovation Officer of Azienda Elettrica di Massagno SA, one of the most advanced electricity suppliers in Switzerland and one of the first to implement and operate a true smart grid. As Head of the Innovation Business Unit, he supports the development of technologies and business models for innovative energy services, with a special focus on energy communities. In particular, he focuses on topics such as citizen engagement, demand-side management, e-mobility and vehicle-to-the-grid, vertical integration of flexibility, and storage solutions. He holds a PhD from the Institute of Energy and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich and is currently enrolled in the Renewable Energy Management (REM-HSG) program at the University of St. Gallen
Jeremy Firestone is a Professor at the University of Delaware, USA in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, and holds a secondary appointment in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, and previously served as Director of UD’s interdisciplinary Center for Research in Wind.
In research and writing, Professor Firestone focuses primarily on understanding public attitudes toward, reactions to and behaviors regarding renewable energy technology using survey research and semi-structured interviews. He teaches energy, climate, and ocean/coastal law and policy courses.
Professor Firestone previously served on the Delaware Governor’s Offshore Wind Power Working Group and as Chair of the City of Newark, Delaware’s Planning Commission. He presently is a member of the National Academies Committee on Environmental Science and Assessment for Ocean Energy Management. He holds a BS in Cell Biology and JD from University of Michigan and PhD in Public Policy Analysis from University of North Carolina.
Samuel Haines is the Product Specialist for Subscription at Otovo, a Norwegian residential solar and battery marketplace operating in seven European countries. In his role with Otovo, Sam is responsible for increasing the share of customers who rent their solar panels and batteries from Otovo. He previously founded a property technology start-up company based in Oslo, Norway and has extensive experience in the communications and start-up space. Sam holds a Master’s degree in Political Economy from King’s College London.
Ben Hoen is Research Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA, USA in the Electricity Markets and Policy Department where he leads the Community Impact and Public Acceptance research area.
Accordingly, his research has focused on better characterizing and understanding the real and perceived impacts of the renewable energy transition on individuals and communities. He led the National Survey of US Wind Project Neighbors, multiple investigations of property value effects of homes near large-scale renewable energy projects, analyses of the impacts of wind energy on local economic conditions, and investigations of sound and shadow flicker impacts of wind turbines on individuals. Ben developed and now leads the Berkeley Lab's role in the maintaining of the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, and is leading two efforts to envision how large-scale renewable projects can better align with community goals, values and opportunities.
Ben holds a master’s degree in environmental policy from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA and bachelor degrees in finance and business from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.
Arthur Honegger is known for hosting the daily news magazine "10vor10" on Swiss Public TV. Prior to this, Arthur served as a foreign affairs correspondent in New York and Washington DC as well as bureau chief for Swiss Public Broadcasting in the United States. Born in Davos, he has been a journalist for over 15 years and authored several books. Arthur held a variety of positions at SRF, as a domestic reporter, covering among other things the Swiss parliament. In 2017, he was host of SRF’s climate change special "+3grad ". He's a graduate of the renowned "Ringier School Of Journalism" and worked as a business reporter for several years, with an emphasis on globalization and international companies.
Sepp Knüsel is the founder of the family business Sepp Knüsel AG, a Swiss manufacturer of agricultural machinery and tractors. He spends his youth on his parents' farm. After successfully completing his apprenticeship as an agricultural machinery mechanic, Sepp founded his own agricultural machinery company in 1976 at the age of 20. In 1986 he launches a great success, the Knüsel front-mounted disc mower, which made him known beyond the national borders. In 2003, he then produced his own tractor, the Rigitrac. Quality and perfection are Sepp Knüsel's top priorities. The subsidiary Rigitrac Traktorenbau AG was then founded. Electrics inspired, the Küssnacht-based company tackles the great project and builds a fully electric Rigitrac in 2018. Today, in addition to Sepp and his wife Marlis, all four daughters work in the company. His daughter, Theres, has taken over the management and continues to run the company with the support of her parents and sisters.
Dr. Stephan Koch is a co-founder, CTO, and former CEO of Adaptricity AG. As a leader of the development department, he develops Software-as-a-Service products for the distribution grid industry using an agile development approach. He manages technology and feature roadmaps, conceptualizes new functionality, and coordinates the co-creation of new features together with customers and internal stakeholders. He holds a PhD from the Power Systems Laboratory at ETH Zurich and a Dipl.-Ing. from the University of Stuttgart.
Minna is a behavioural scientist at Smart Innovation Norway. She utilises her experience in community engagement and social change gained in international projects in developing effective customer and community engagement strategies. Background in social sciences combined with recent academic studies on sustainable business and sustainable energy technologies allows her to bring stakeholder views and consumer insight into the core of sustainable technology development. Minna has extensive experience in international project management, and she is currently involved with H2020 projects ACCEPT and E-LAND in which she is developing and implementing different stakeholder engagement models and tools. Minna holds a master’s degree in development studies from London School of Economics and Political Science and is about to graduate from Aalto University School of Business in Finland with a master’s degree in Creative Sustainability.
Deborah is Managing Director of Freesuns Solar Roofs, a Swiss clean-tech startup which develops stunning solar roofs for premium residential, commercial and heritage buildings. Deborah and her husband John Morello, founded Freesuns after developing a solar roof tile because they did not want to put solar panels on their beautiful mid-century modern architectural home. The result was so successful that the company, Freesuns, was born. Deborah previously spent 30 years working in the Building Industry in global roles at Honeywell Inc where she worked in product development, strategic marketing and software development.
Deborah holds Bachelors Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Masters in International Public Policy.
Hanne May has been Head of Communications at the German Energy Agency (dena) since February 2018. As a communication expert with experience in energy policy, she drives the strategic orientation of dena's communications and, with her broad-based team, develops target-group-specific measures for all aspects of the energy transition.
Prior to this, she was head of energy communication at the consulting agency Edelman. Hanne May worked as a full-time journalist and author for around 20 years, most recently as editor-in-chief of the trade magazines "neue energie" and "new energy". She studied German literature and journalism and began her career as an editor for an architecture magazine in Wiesbaden. She then worked for a business magazine of Handelsblatt group in Frankfurt/Main. Right from the start, her focus was on energy and climate protection topics.
Hanne May regularly hosts events, gives lectures and has been a member of various juries of journalist and start-up competitions in the energy transition sector.
Céline Pfister studies Management at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) majoring in the Master of International Affairs and Governance (MIA-HSG) as well as in the Master Certificate Managing Climate Solutions (MaCS-HSG). She also serves as Board Member for Klimaschutz Schweiz. Together with fellow students she works on implementing the first student driven community PV plant on a HSG building.
Vincent Rittener is Business Line Manager for the single-family home line at the Swiss utility Romande Energie. He is responsible for the development of innovative business models that contribute to enabling residential customers to transition towards low carbon housing. The scope of his activities includes household heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, electric vehicle charging stations and building refurbishment. Vincent is a trained economist (HEC Lausanne, School of Business), with a master in accounting and finance form the University of St.Gallen. He has more than 12 years of experience in business development, project management, and product development in the European energy sector.
David is responsible for Insolight’s business strategy (together with Laurent Coulot) and leads BusDev. and tech. transfer partnerships. Prior to joining Insolight, David was an associate at McKinsey & Co where he conducted many projects in strategy, operations and transformation management for a variety of organizations ranging from electrical power players to international public organizations. He has academic research experience focused on novel solar energy harvesting and has worked in diplomacy at the Swiss embassy in Venezuela. David holds a MSc. in Physics from EPFL & LBNL. He speaks fluent English, French, Spanish and German.
Natalie Sleeman started her duties as Counsellor and Head of the Trade and Economic Affairs Section of the European Union for Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein in August 2019. She looks back at a career of over 25 years in the EU institutions, first in the European Union, Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and since 2002 in the European Commission.
Most recently, Natalie Sleeman was a case handler at the Investigation and Disciplinary Office of the European Commission. Previously, she occupied positions in the Directorates-General for Justice and Consumers, Internal Market, Enterprise and Industry and Agriculture as well as Rural Development. There she focussed on international relations and negotiations in areas such as intellectual property, financial services, agricultural imports, technical barriers to trade and judicial reforms.
Natalie Sleeman is Austrian and French. She obtained a Master’s degree in economic and social administration at the University of Charles de Gaulle in Lille and a postgraduate diploma in international administration at the University of Panthéon-Assas in Paris.
Guro Solem is CEO at Winns, a Norwegian company that provides carbon neutral heating services to businesses (heat/cooling as a service). Winns install heat pumps that use natural refrigerants and sell heating and cooling services for apartment buildings, commercial buildings, hotels, shopping centres, sports arenas, etc. Guro holds a Bachelor in Anthropology and Sociology (Macquarie University Sydney) and Master of Management (Norwegian University of Science and Technology). She has more than 15 years of experience in positions within leadership, commercialization of new technology and business models, marketing, international sales and organizational development, predominantly within the energy sector. She is also an alumni of the Renewable Energy Management Executive Programme of the University of St.Gallen.
Gabriele Spilker is Professor of „International Politics – Global Inequality“ at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, part of the Excellence Cluster "The Politics of Inequality".
Her main research interests concern both the determinants and the consequences of inequality. In particular, she investigates the consequences of climate change for migration and conflict as well as inequalities in perceiving globalization processes. Gabriele Spilker completed her PhD at ETH Zurich in 2009. Before joining the University of Konstanz, she was a Thyssen Fellow at Harvard University (2011-2012), postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich (2012-2013) as well as Assistant/Associate Professor of International Politics (2014-2020) and Professor for Empirical Research Methods at the University of Salzburg (2020-2021). Her work has been published in the British Journal of Political Science, International Organization, Journal of Politics und Nature Climate Change. Gabriele Spilker is an active part of Scientists for Future (S4F).
Thomas Tribelhorn is Chief Executive Officer of ADEV Energiegenossenschaft – a pioneering cooperative in the field of renewable energies since 1985. The projects are financed mainly by citizen participation. He holds a Master in Business Studies in International Management from the University of St.Gallen and completed the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in Renewable Energy Management (REM-HSG) at the University of St.Gallen as well. He was founding member and board member of the Greenliberal Party Baselland in 2007 and is president of the Greenliberal Party Baselland since 2019. From 1996 until 2020 he held various board member positions in Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals (Product Management, Strategic Planning & Development, R & D). He built a plus energy house with heat pump (geothermal), photovoltaics, solar battery, e-car and rainwater tank and the chosen materials are based on building biology.
Marina Weisband, born in Ukraine, is a psychologist and expert in digital participation and education. From 2011 to 2012, she was political director of the Pirate Party Germany, where she was responsible for opinion-forming within the party and for external representation. Today, she is involved with the Green Party in the areas of digitization and education. In her book "Wir nennen es Politik" (We call it politics) (published by Tropen-Verlag in 2013), she describes the possibilities of new democratic forms through the use of the Internet for those new to politics. Since 2014, she has been leading the project aula at politik-digital e.V. - a concept for political education and liquid-democratic participation of young people in the rules and affairs of their schools and extracurricular organizations (www.aula.de). She also has a regular radio column at Deutschlandfunk and is co-chair of D64 e.V., the Center for Digital Progress.
Charlie Wilson is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, and Jackson Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford. He is also a visiting research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria.
Charlie's research interests lie at the intersection between innovation, people, and policy in the field of energy and climate change mitigation. He works both at a systems level on scenarios and modelling of net-zero transformations, and at a micro level on innovation processes, technology adoption, and pro-environmental behaviour. His research is supported by grants from the European Research Council (ERC), Horizon Europe, and the UK Research Councils.
Prior to joining ECI, Charlie spent 11 years with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UK). He has a PhD from the University of British Columbia (Canada) on the social and behavioural determinants of energy use. Prior to his PhD, he worked for a number of years in the private sector in both renewable energy and carbon finance, and climate change policy.
Florian Wissmann is a product manager at SUN@HOME by Repower. In this role, he is responsible for consultation, planning and realization of solar PV projects for Swiss homeowners. Previously, he worked in business development, sales, and product management at greenTEG AG and sia Abrasives. He studied Business Administration at the University of St.Gallen.
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.
Elizabeth Côté is doctoral candidate and research associate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment of the University of St.Gallen. As part of the EU-funded MISTRAL-ITN project, her work focuses on financial models and incentives for clean energy investments. In particular, she contributed to a research project investigating how to design and finance service-based business models to promote low-carbon heating solutions. Further, she conducted research on the preferences of professional investors for investments in grid-scale energy storage, green hydrogen, and wind energy assets. Ms. Côté holds a B.Eng. in Bioresource Engineering (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 Canadian energy sector.
Bea holds a PhD of the University of St.Gallen and is Postdoc at the Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ-HSG), as well as a research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (UK). In her dissertation she studied investment decisions in the residential solar energy, focusing on non-financial drivers, the role of perceived risk and their implications for policy. Prior to joining the Institute for Economy and the Environment, she worked for 5 years as energy consultant and editor, specializing in energy market regulation and in the design for the European Union single energy market. Beatrice holds a MSc in economics from the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy) and completed a one-year exchange at the University of Glasgow (UK). While at university, she collaborated on a research project in the field of experimental economics and information in social networks.
Stefan is a PhD candidate and research associate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St.Gallen. His research focuses on the emergence of new business models for the convergence of photovoltaics, battery storage, electric vehicles, and heat pumps, including Artificial Intelligence. Previously, he analyzed innovations for end-sector electrification (Power-to-Mobility, Power-to-Heat, Power-to-Hydrogen) at the International Renewable Energy Agency and gained work experience at innogy Consulting GmbH. He studied Electrical Power Engineering, Business Administration, Finance and Chinese Language at RWTH Aachen University, ETH Zürich and Tsinghua University. He holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Electrical Power Engineering and Business Administration from RWTH Aachen University. He has received scholarships by the German National Academic Foundation, Alfried Krupp Foundation and Chinese Scholarship Council.
Nina 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 MISTRAL project (https://mistral-itn.eu/) and the focus of her dissertation lies on the dynamics of community acceptance. She is interested in the different factors that influence community acceptance of wind energy projects and how the local responses change over time. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. After her Master she worked as a research assistant at the University of Applied Sciences in Vorarlberg (AT).
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).
Jakob Knauf Programme Manager
Jakob is a PhD candidate and research associate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St.Gallen. His research focuses on the acceptance of financial participation in wind energy projects. He holds a BSc in Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), DE, where he obtained the technological understanding of renewable energies. Afterwards he pursued his studies with focusing on how environmentally friendly technologies find their way into society. Therefore, he did a double degree MSc in Water and Coastal Management and Environmental and Infrastructure Planning from the University of Oldenburg (DE) and University of Groningen (NL). Following he worked as a researcher at Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, DE, and in the Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), AT, where he mainly used modeling to investigate socio-technological changes in urban energy networks.
Doris Hoevel Administration
Doris is responsible for the organization of #REMforum as well as other projects at the Institute. 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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