Keynote 1: Implementing Sustainable Innovation through Digitalization

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner – President of the German Environment Agency (UBA)

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner is President of the German Environment Agency since 2020. He previously served as Director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security of United Nations University (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany, and Vice Rector of the United Nations University (UNU). Prior to becoming Director of UNU-EHS in October 2018, Prof. Messner had been Director of the German Development Institute from 2003-2018. Prof. Messner is an internationally recognised expert on globalisation / global governance, transformation pathways to sustainability, decarbonization of the global economy, sustainability and digital change, and international cooperation and societal change. Prof. Messner has also been a member of a number of high-ranking policy advisory councils, including co-chairing the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany and is member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).

Keynote 2: Applying Systems Thinking to guide the transition towards a regenerative Circular Economy

Dr. Janez Potočnik – Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel

Dr. Janez Potočnik (1958) graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993). He started as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research (1989) and was nominated for a Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in 1994. He was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as ‘shadow’ Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 he became Commissioner for Environment. After the end of his mandate in November 2014, he was appointed as a Co-Chair of UN Environment International Resource Panel. Since April 2016 he is also Partner in SYSTEMIQ.

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