Keynotes & relevant speakers

Josefina Enfedaque, European Commission, Belgium

Senior Policy Officer at the European Commission. At the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources unit in DG Research and Innovation, she contributes to roadmaps and policies related to biodiversity and ecosystems services research, oversee EU-funded projects and platforms, and develop outreach and public engagement strategies for Nature-Based Solutions.

Ariana Nastaseanu, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), Belgium

Project Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Skilled in International Project Management, Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, Analytical Skills and Government. Master’s degree focused in European politics and institutions from Academia de Studii Economice din București.

Giovanni Fini, Bologna City Council, Italy

Coordinator Environmental Quality Unit at the Bologna City Council, senior expert for energy conservation and urban sustainability policies. He is the coordinator of the project “Bologna Smart City”. Co-Chair of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Land-use and Nature-based solutions.

Adina Dumitru, University of A Coruña, Spain

Senior Researcher at the People Environment Research Group at the University of A Coruña and Director of its Sustainability Specialization Campus. Her research focuses on assessments of NBS interventions, the psychological dimensions of sustainable lifestyle change, the relationship between sustainable lifestyles and wellbeing, and the psychology of social innovation, empowerment and social cohesion. She is the country lead for H2020 large-scale projects Connecting Nature, Smartees and Transit, and the WP lead responsible for indicator development and evaluation in Connecting Nature. Previously, with Professor Ricardo García Mira, she worked as scientific coordinator of the Glamurs and Locaw european projects. She was a junior Fulbright Scholar and received her Master’s degree in Political Science (with a track in Political Psychology) from Washington State University (USA).

Ricardo García-Mira, University of A Coruña, Spain

Professor of Social and Environmental Psychology at the University of A Coruña, he is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Bath. He has been coordinating the FP7 GLAMURS project, the LOCAW project and a partner of the TRANSIT project and the H2020 Connecting Nature and Smartees. García Mira is the President of the International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS) and is the European Editor of the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research. He has been elected as a Member of the Parliament of Spain, where he is the Spokesperson for the Commission on the Study of Climate Change.

Nikolaos Nikolaidis, Technical University of Crete, Greece

Professor at the School of Environmental Engineering and has served as Deputy Rector for Financial Planning and Development of the Technical University of Crete from 2013-2017. Prior to joining TUC, he was a professor and director of the Environmental Engineering Program at the University of Connecticut, USA. Dr. Nikolaidis has participated in many European and Greek funded projects (eLTER, advance-eLTER, ThinkNature, SoilTrec, Charms, CONDENSE, EUROCAT, tempQsim, EnviFriendly, AquaTrain, MIRAGE, SoilCritZone, CyberMan). He is the Director of the Hydrogeochemical Engineering and Remediations of Soils Laboratory (HersLab) and manages the Koiliaris Critical Zone Observatory (

Denia Kolokotsa, Technical University of Crete, Greece

Assistant professor at the Technical University of Crete, School of Environmental Engineering. Her research interests include energy management and energy efficiency in the built and urban environment, neural networks and fuzzy logic technology, advanced optimization theory and applications, decision support systems in energy modeling and automation. She has participated in more than 25 EU and national projects and has coordinated various international and national projects. She is the co-founder and President of the European Cool Roofs Council.

Nick Pearce, University of Bath, UK

Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath. He was formerly director of the UK progressive think-tank, IPPR (2010-2015), and Head of the Nº10 Downing St. Policy Unit (2008 – 2010) with responsibility for the formulation of policy advice to the UK Prime Minister. He is currently leading research on comparative welfare state reform, British politics, and democratic theory and practice. His latest book is Shadows of Empire: the Anglosphere in British Politics.

Marcus Collier, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Leader of Connecting Nature, a €11.4m Horizon 2020 project which runs from 2017 to 2022, this project will develop innovations by scaling out nature-based solutions in 11 cities in Europe as well as cities in China, Brazil, Korea and the Caucasus. His main areas of expertise are in transdiciplinary research, social-ecological systems, landscape and restoration ecology, environmental policies and collaborative governance.

David Maddox, The Nature of Cities, USA

Founder & Executive Director, The Nature of Cities, David Maddox is committed to the health of the urban ecosystem—urban resilience, the application of ecosystem services for human welfare and livelihoods, and the effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation of these issues. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy, the Maryland State government, the City of New York, in non-profits, and as a consultant.

Gillian Dick, Glasgow City Council, UK

Gillian Dick is the responsible for the City of Glasgow Place Strategy and Environmental Infrastructure development and planning group. She has many years of experience working on open space planning and management in the areas of blue/green infrastructure, multifunctional spaces, the Antonine Wall World Heritage, the Sub-Urban (sub surface planning) project and the Green Network (GCVGN & CSGN).

Andreas Littkopf, Environmental Agency, Austria

Since 2007 he is leading a European Topic Centre for the European Environment Agency (EEA), doing integrated assessments and developing spatial reference data. He also collaborated in various EU research projects (FP6, FP7, H2020). Currently he coordinates the ETC/ULS, the European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil systems, which is supporting the EEA by developing various indicators and reports on European scale, based on satellite imagery and supports the land monitoring component of the Copernicus program.

Jennifer Senick, Rutgers Center for Green Building, USA

Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Urban Planning and Policy Development, Rutgers University, and an instructor in the department. An experienced urban planner, Dr. Senick’s areas of expertise include sustainable development, green building, and environmental behaviour, trends in technology adoption/use and multi-method approaches to field inquiry and building performance evaluation.

Kate Reilly, IUCN-International Union for Conservation of Nature, Belgium  

Kate is the EU Programme Officer for Nature-Based Solutions at the IUCN European Regional Office in Brussels. Kate supports IUCN’s work to promote nature-based solutions for global challenges, such as the impacts of climate change, through a range of projects on urban nature-based solutions for climate and water resilience, forest and aquatic ecosystem services, and ecosystem-based management. Prior to joining IUCN, Kate studied for her PhD on freshwater ecosystem services. She has an MSc in integrated water resource management and a BSc in ecological science.

Siobhan McQuaid, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Innovation specialist working with academic, industry and support bodies to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship across many sectors from the environment to ICT. Siobhan led on the preparation, negotiation and management of 30+ EU projects with responsibility for leading WPs on dissemination, exploitation and project management in the majority of projects

Jean-Marc Tacnet , IRSTEA, France 

Senior researcher at IRSTEA- National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture. His activities focus on integrated risk management and expert assessment processes applied to natural phenomena in mountains. He is involved in applied research dealing with decision support systems for hazard, risk assessment but also risk reduction measures effectiveness analysis in a context of imperfect information and uncertainty. His disciplinary fields concern multi-criteria decision-making, information fusion, artificial intelligence (fuzzy sets, possibility, belief function theories), uncertainty analysis, software engineering. In that context, he also manages a research team called DARE (Decision-Aid, Risk and Expertise- ADRET in French).

Niki Frantzeskaki, DRIFT-Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

Niki is coordinating research on environmental governance, and urban sustainability transitions at DRIFT since 2010 where she researches contemporary sustainability transitions and their governance across Europe, USA, Brazil and in developing countries like Vanuatu, and Ghana. She contributed as a lead expert in international dialogues and projects, being the lead expert in the European Union and Brazil platform of science exchange and co-production under the theme of innovating cities with nature-based solutions, with a good grasp on global environmental governance knowledge and processes in 2015-2016.

Alice Reil, ICLEI-Europe, Germany

M.Sc. Applied Geography and B.A. Cultural Geography and Area Studies, joined ICLEI Europe in June 2014 as an officer in the “Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience” team. She is involved in a project promoting urban green infrastructure for sustainable urban and supporting cities in putting nature-based solutions into practice (GREEN SURGE – FP7); assisting European cities in protecting their critical infrastructure and adapting to climate change impacts (RESIN – H2020).

Katrien van de Sijpe, Genk city council, Belgium

Head of the environmental department at the City of Genk. Educated as a biologist and environmental scientist, she is responsible for policy making on environment/nature, strategic green projects and for environmental/nature education and awareness-raising in Genk. More specifically she is also project leader of the project ‘valley of the Stiemerbeek’, the development of a blue/green urban park and through that project actively involved in the research programs Ecoplan and Green4Grey

Marino Cavallo, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Italy

Head of the Department Research, Innovation and Management of EU Projects in the Metropolitan City of Bologna (Italy). He has worked for over 20 years in Local and Territorial Authorities in Italy, being involved in a number of European Projects and Programmes of interregional cooperation between the different countries of EU. As an economist, he was an Adjunct professor in the University of Bologna (IT) and University of Ferrara. He delivered courses in Business administration, Economy, Sociology, Communication methodologies. He also collaborates with newspaper and academic and professional reviews and he has authored several books and articles on sustainability practices in the SMEs, among other topics. 

José Juan Díaz Trillo, Spanish Parliament, Spain

Current President of the Spanish Parliament Commission for Climate Change, Mr Díaz Trillo was the Head of the Environment Department at the Regional Government of Andalucía (2008-2014). He is also a well-known Spanish writer and poet.

Jose Manuel Silva Rodríguez, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spain

Jose Manuel Silva Rodrígues has led the Directorate General for Agriculture and rural development from the European Commission. At present, he is a senior consultant for the State Secretariat for Research, Development and Innovation, Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

María García Gómez, A Coruña City Council, Spain

Head of the environmental division at the Council of A Coruña. She has worked as an environmental educator in different programs in diverse countries. She has been Environmental Technician in the town of Carnota, where she managed the Prestige oil spread´s mitigation program. she developed European projects at the Cultural Centre UfaFabrik (Best- Practice, from the Habitat United Nations program), regarding knowledge transfer with schools from Galicia, Portugal, German, Denmark, France and Latvia. She participates in collectives of environmental defence and citizen activism.

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