Innovation Director, InnoEnergy
Elena Bou is the Innovation Director and member of the executive board of InnoEnergy. She has been involved in this company since 2007 being member of the founder team of EIT InnoEnergy.
Prior to that, she developed her professional career in the field of management consulting in both private and public companies, nationally and internationally, giving her the opportunity to manage and develop many European Multinational Projects involving a high degree of complexity and stakeholders and including the creation of two spin-offs.
Elena is also Associate Professor of ESADE Business School since 1998. Former Director of the Executive Master of Operations and Services and cofounder and former director of the GRACO Research Group (IIK) at ESADE. Consultant and researcher in the field of knowledge and Innovation Management and author of several publications.
Elena Bou holds a PhD in Management Sciences from ESADE-URL (Doctor Europeus) and has a degree in Business Administration and Management and an MBA from ESADE Business School. She also studied in Florida University and Copenhagen Business School.
Co-Founder & CEO - VERKOR
Benoit Lemaignan is the co-founder and CEO of Verkor, a new venture launched to accelerate the production capacity of low-carbon batteries in southern Europe, in collaboration with EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric and the Groupe IDEC. Prior to the launch, EIT InnoEnergy brought Benoit on board to build synergies with the European Battery Alliance.
An aerospace engineer by training, Benoit is a serial entrepreneur. He previously founded and financed Waga Energy in 2015 and Aniah in 2019. He was also Managing Director of OSER ENR from 2015 to 2019 – a public-private partnership supporting the development of renewable projects. Earlier in his career, Benoit was a strategic advisor at Carbone 4 where his passion for energy and climate-related initiatives took root. From his time at Airbus, Benoit retains a strong drive for innovation and team work.
Managing Partner - Better Future Capital
With over 25 years of experience in private equity/debt, investment banking and industry in Europe, Mr. Lahnstein has a deep understanding of the private equity, venture capital and corporate finance market.
Between 2015-2018, Mr. Lahnstein was Managing Director at Siguler Guff a $14bn alternative assets manager, responsible for developing the firm’s business activities in Continental Europe. He also advised CIC, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, on its Germany strategy.
Between 2009-2014, Mr. Lahnstein was the Founder of RiverRock LLP, an early leader in Private Debt for European SME’s. During his tenure, the firm raised more than EUR 600 million, invested in a total of 15 companies, principally in Germany and the rest of Europe. Early LP’s were the European Investment Fund and the German Government. A significant part of the transactions were in cleantech and renewable energy. Previously, Mr. Lahnstein was the Head of Bear Stearns’ European Investment Bank and Member of the Executive Committee at Bear Stearns International. From 2003-2007 he was the Head of Investment Banking at UBS Investment Bank in Frankfurt, advising on transactions worth more than Euro 40 billion, mostly for Private Equity firms, the German government and large German families. He successfully led the “Private Equity Deals of the Year” in both 2003 & 2004. Prior to this, Mr. Lahnstein was Head of German TMT at UBS and at Merrill Lynch International in London.
Mr. Lahnstein began his career at Bertelsmann AG, Europe’s largest privately held media company, where his last role was Executive Vice President of the New Media division (AOL Inc, AOL Europe, etc.) and in charge of several corporate venture capital transactions. He holds an MBA (Diplom-Kaufmann) from the University of Cologne, where he also teaches Corporate Finance as guest lecturer. Florian is married, father of five and avid guitar builder and collector.
Senior Director - Breakthrough Energy
Dr. Steven Chu
12th United States Secretary of Energy, Nobel Prize - 1997 Physics
Dr. Steven Chu is an American physicist and a former government official. He is known for his research at Bell Labs and Stanford University regarding the cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, along with his scientific colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips.
Dr. Chu served as the 12th United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013 in the administration of U.S President Barack Obama. As the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position and the longest serving Energy Secretary, he recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy. He began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs, and was personally tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.
Prior to his cabinet post, he was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he was active in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies, and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, where he helped launch Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary institute combining the physical and biological sciences with medicine and engineering. Previously he was head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
Dr. Chu is a vocal advocate for more research into renewable energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change. He has conceived of a global “glucose economy”, a form of a low-carbon economy, in which glucose from tropical plants is shipped around like oil is today. On 22 February, 2019, Dr. Chu began a one-year term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Former President of Ireland, UN Special Envoy on Climate Change
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson, is an Irish Independent politician who served as the seventh President of Ireland, becoming the first woman to hold this office. She also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and a Senator for the University of Dublin from 1969 to 1989. She first rose to prominence as an academic, barrister and campaigner. In the 1990 presidential election she became the first Independent candidate nominated by the Labor Party, the Workers’ Party and Independent Senators.
She is widely regarded as a transformative figure for Ireland, and for the Irish presidency, revitalizing and liberalizing a previously conservative, low-profile political office. She resigned the presidency two months ahead of the end of her term of office to take up her post in the United Nations. During her UN tenure she visited Tibet (1998), the first High Commissioner to do so; she criticised Ireland’s immigrant policy; and the use of capital punishment in the United States. She extended her intended single four-year term by a year to preside over the World Conference against Racism 2001 in Durban, South Africa; the conference proved controversial.
After leaving the UN in 2002, Robinson formed Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative, which came to a planned end at the end of 2010. Its core activities were 1) fostering equitable trade and decent work, 2) promoting the right to health and more humane migration policies, and 3) working to strengthen women’s leadership and encourage corporate social responsibility. The organisation also supported capacity building and good governance in developing countries. Mary Robinson returned to live in Ireland at the end of 2010, and has set up The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, which aims to be ‘a center for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for those many victims of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world.’
Mary Robinson is Chairman of the Institute for Human Rights and Business and Chancellor of the University of Dublin. Since 2004, she has also been Professor of Practice in International Affairs at Columbia University, where she teaches international human rights. Mary also visits other colleges and universities where she lectures on human rights. She also sits on the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organisation which supports good governance and great leadership in Africa and is a member of the Foundation’s Ibrahim Prize Committee. As well, she is an Extraordinary Professor in the Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender at the University of Pretoria. Since 2005 she is honorary president of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation EIUC. In addition, she is Chairman of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and a founding member and chairman of the Council of Women World Leaders.
In 2004, she received Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for her work in promoting human rights.
CEO and President of EDF
Jean-Bernard Lévy is Chairman and CEO of EDF Group since November 2014. From 2012 to 2014, he was Chairman & CEO of Thales Group, a group specialised in aerospace and defence industries. Prior to that, he was at Vivendi as COO from 2002 to 2005 and as CEO from 2005 to 2012. From 1998 to 2002, he was Managing Partner, Corporate Finance at Oddo & Cie. From 1995 to 1998, he was Chairman & CEO of Matra Communication. In 1993 and 1994, he served as Chief of Staff to Gérard Longuet, the French Minister for Industry, Postal Services & Telecommunications, and Foreign Trade. Earlier he held several positions at Matra Espace, Matra Marconi Space and France Telecom where he began his career in 1979 as an engineer in Angers. Jean-Bernard Lévy is a graduate of École Polytechnique (class of 1973) and Telecom Paris Tech.
CEO Schneider Electric France
Christel Heydemann has been Independent Director at Orange SA since 26 July, 2017. She has been Executive Vice President of France Operations at Schneider Electric S.E. since 3 August 2017. Ms. Heydemann is Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Electric France since April 2017. She served as Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances at Schneider Electric since joining in 2014, where she was tasked with accelerating the launch of IoT solutions by developing a partnership ecosystem. She served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Alliances & Development at Orange S.A. since 2016. She served as an Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Transformation at Alcatel-Lucent since 22 August, 2011 and served as its Strategic Alliance Vice President for HP since June 2009. She was responsible for leading, developing and enhancing Alcatel-Lucent’s strategic relationship with HP. She focused on the go-to-market activities, the development of end-to-end solutions combining Alcatel-Lucent and HP portfolios and the alignment of Alcatel-Lucent products and services with HP products and services. In 2004, she joined the sales division at Alcatel- Lucent where she was key account manager for SFR and Orange SA. She served as Sales Director France at Alcatel-Lucent France since 2008. She held various managerial positions such as Key Account Manager for SFR and Orange SA among others. Christel joined Alcatel-Lucent, in 1999, in the Project finance team of the Chief Financial Officer. She began her career as Analyst at the Boston Consulting Group since 1997. She is a Director of Association AX and France Industrie. She was a Director of Fondation des Ponts et Chaussées. Ms. Heydemann is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees.
General Director for Energy and Climate at the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
Mr Laurent Michel, is the General Director for Energy and Climate at the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. A graduate of the Polytechnique, Laurent Michel has held various positions at the Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and Environment (DRIRE) or at the School of Mines from 1991 to 2006. Director of the DRIRE Midi-Pyrénées from 2003 to 2006, he was then appointed Director of Pollution and Risk Prevention, delegate for major risks, within the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, before taking charge of the General Directorate for Risk Prevention (DGPR) when the Directorate was formed in 2008. Laurent Michel is the General Directorate for Energy and Climate (DGEC) at the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition since December 2012.
Board of Directors- Sierra Club Foundation, former Director of Sustainability- Facebook and Green Energy czar- Google
From 2012 to 2018, Bill Weihl was the Director of Sustainability at Facebook. He built a team that directs work on sustainability and energy efficiency across the company, driving projects to track and reduce the company’s environmental footprint in all aspects of its operations. Him and his team also drove cross-industry collaborations, including playing critical roles in RE100 and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.
Prior to Facebook, Bill was Green Energy Czar at Google, where his team pioneered Google’s work to buy clean energy for its data centers, and helped found the Climate Savers Computing Initiative with Intel and WWF. In 2009, he was honored by Time Magazine as one of their Heroes of the Environment in recognition of the work he and his colleagues did at Google, in 2016 he was honored with the Global Green Award for environmental leadership, and in 2018 he was honored by Greenbiz with the VERGE Vanguard Award.
Earlier in his career, Bill was a Professor of Computer Science at MIT, a researcher at Digital’s Systems Research Center, and CTO of Akamai Technologies. He holds an SB degree in Mathematics, as well as SB, SM, and PhD degrees in Computer Science, all from MIT.
Vice President of the European Investment Bank
Ambroise Fayolle has been Vice President of European Investment Bank since 24 February 2015. Before then he has had many roles: as Director General of Agency France Trésor, as the Head of the Multilateral Affairs and Development Department at the Treasury and Economic Policy Division, as Equity Analyst at Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division, as the Executive Director of International Bank For Reconstruction & Development. In addition, he was the Director of Caisse d’Amortissement De La Dette Sociale, he represented France on the boards of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, he served as Member of Supervisory Board of Agence Francaise de Development and he worked as a senior official for the G8 and co-chairman of the Paris Club.
Dr. Cyrus Wadia
Former Vice President- Sustainable Business & Innovation, NIKE, Inc.
Dr. Cyrus Wadia is the Former Vice President of Sustainable Business & Innovation at NIKE, Inc., where he is responsible for enabling the company’s sustainability strategy with the goal of driving change across Nike and the wider industry. The team he leads focuses on several areas including testing and prototyping of new business models, accelerating partnerships for scaling sustainable innovations, and supporting Nike’s broad innovation agenda through science and analytics.
Dr. Cyrus is also the former Assistant Director for Clean Energy and Materials R&D with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he advised the White House and Executive Branch leadership in the design of national policy in energy, climate, advanced materials, manufacturing, and critical minerals. In this role, which he held from 2010-2015, Dr. Cyrus was responsible for the creation and expansion of more than $1 billion (US dollars) in new budgetary initiatives, including the Materials Genome Initiative, and he led the development of the nation’s first policy framework and strategy on critical minerals.
Prior to joining the White House, Dr. Cyrus held a dual appointment with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Haas School of Business where he was the Co-Director of Cleantech to Market and a research scientist. He also spent more than seven years in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur, working with 15 start-ups in Silicon Valley. In 2009, Dr. Cyrus was named one of MIT Technology Review’s Top Innovators under 35. The Review cited his economic analysis of materials with good electrical properties that can effectively absorb sunlight, identifying two previously overlooked materials.
Since 2009, Dr. Cyrus has been a frequent speaker on sustainability, materials and innovation, with more than 65 keynote and invited speaking addresses. His work has been cited in more than 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles and he has patented methods for sustainable energy breakthroughs. US Patent 8425865 was granted for a method of synthesizing pyrite nanocrystals (also known as fool’s gold) as a non-toxic and naturally occurring candidate for photovoltaic material.
Dr. Cyrus earned his Ph.D in Energy & Resources from U.C. Berkeley, and holds both an M.S. and S.B. in Chemical Engineering from MIT.
Executive Director, MIT Energy Initiative
Martha Broad is Executive Director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), MIT’s hub addressing global energy challenges through member-sponsored research, education and outreach programs. As part of the MITEI leadership team, she works to link science, innovation and policy to transform the world’s energy systems.
She has a track record of successfully partnering with business, government and nonprofit stakeholders to support the clean energy transition. At MITEI, she works closely with member companies who collaborate with MIT researchers on a spectrum of topics including “Low-Carbon Energy Centers” focused on key topics, including electric power systems, energy storage and carbon capture utilisation and storage.
She also spearheads MITEI’s collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy on the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Women in Clean Energy Initiative and serves as a C3E Ambassador.
Previously, as part of the senior management team of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), she led programmes and studies that focused on the commercialisation of clean energy technologies. By collaborating with universities and public and private partners, she helped facilitate funding for cutting-edge research and the state’s successful installation of hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar projects.
Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks - International Energy Agency
Mechthild Wörsdörfer joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 1 October 2018 as Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks. Wörsdörfer plans and co-ordinates the IEA’s work on energy sustainability, encompassing energy technology policy and climate change policy. She oversees several of the IEA’s major analytical reports including long-term scenarios and technology roadmaps. Wörsdörfer has been an active participant in the Governing Board of the IEA representing the European Union, as well as the EU contact at the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation.
Over the years, she served as Director for renewables, research and innovation and energy efficiency, as well as Director of Energy Policy at the European Commission. Wörsdörfer headed the adoption of the Energy Roadmap 2050, the Energy and Climate Policy 2030 Framework and the Clean Energy Package. She has served in the cabinet of Commissioner Erkki Liikanen on competitiveness issues, digital economy and international relations.
Wörsdörfer, a German national, holds a Master’s degree in Economic Policy and Management from the Brussels University, a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics (Finance) from the University of Montpellier and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Economics, French and Spanish from the Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg.
Professor Dr. Jean Michel Glachant
Director of the Florence School of Regulation
Professor Dr. Jean-Michel Glachant is the Director of the Florence School of Regulation and the Holder of the Loyola de Palacio Chair, since 2008.
Dr. Glachant gained his Ph.D. in economics at La Sorbonne in France. He worked in the industry and private sector before becoming professor at La Sorbonne.
He has been advisor of DG TREN, DG COMP and DG RESEARCH at the European Commission and of the French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). He has been a coordinator and scientific advisor of several European research projects. He is a research partner in the CEEPR at MIT (USA), the EPRG at Cambridge University. Dr. Glachant has been the first editor-in-chief of EEEP: “Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy” (an IAEE journal) and is Vice-President of both the French and the International Association for Energy Economics.
His main research interests are the building of a common European energy policy (security of supply, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy technology policy, and climate change policy), the achievement of the European energy internal market (design, regulation and competition policy), the industrial organisation and market strategy of energy companies in a wave of innovation (decarbonisation, decentralisation, and digitalisation).