Tove Ahlström

Tove Ahlström is the CEO of the independent think tank Global Utmaning. She is educated by Al Gore on climate change and appointed Mentor and Climate Leader through the Climate Reality Project and ranked among the 5% most influential Climate Leaders in the world. She has more than 15 years of experience from working in the field of environment and climate change, both in small and large scale companies and in the public sector. During 2018 she was among the 101 most powerful sustainability professionals in Sweden and in 2017 the finalist in Sweden's best sustainability manager. She is a frequent speaker specializing on issues of climate change.




Anders Bergström

Since 2013, Policy Area Coordinator PA Education (PA EDU) and Horizontal Action Coordinator HA Capacity (HA CAP) within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). HA CAP develop and implement capacity building programmes for different groups of actors implementing the EUSBSR such as for example Policy Area Coordinators, Managing Authorities (ESIF) and members of steering groups. PA EDU include four policy areas, besides education they are employability, research and integration of refugees. Coordination of the Policy Area include for example to initiate and support joint macro-regional development processes so called flagships. Anders has been part of the EUSBSR from its beginning, holding different positions such as for example project manager and flagship leader. Since 1986 working at the Norden Association in Sweden. An NGO founded in 1919 with the aim to support the cooperation between the Nordic countries. Anders has been working with Baltic Sea cooperation from 1991.  


Adam Czerniak

Adam Czerniak is Chief Economist and Director for Research at Polityka Insight. Adam specializes in macroeconomic research at Polityka Inisight. PhD in Economic Sciences and researcher at the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH). Up till 2012, he was an economist at Kredyt Bank's Treasury Department. Before that, he worked with the World Bank, FOR Foundation and held a fellowship from the Ronald Coase Institute. He authored academic publications on functioning of the real estate market and institutional economics.


Carolina Garcia Gomez

Carolina Garcia Gomez, from October 1. 2018 Retail Country Manager at IKEA Retail Poland, joined IKEA in 2005 as Deputy Sales Manager in Barakaldo store in Spain. A year later she became Sales Manager in the same store. In 2009 Carolina moved to Sweden into IKEA Retail Services, and took the position of Global Responsible for Competence Development for Sales. During this time she was part of the Game Changer project (Cost Performance Program) and representative for Sales in different projects. In 2011 she came back to Spain, as Deputy Store Manager in the Malaga store, and was later appointed Store Manager there. She also set up and run new store in Valencia as Store Manager. In 2015 Carolina became Deputy Retail Manager for IKEA Czech, Hungary and Slovakia and in 2017 moved to Tokyo as Deputy Country Manager for IKEA in Japan.

Carolina is an industrial engineer and has MBA degree from the IESE Business School. She started her career in the engineering company in 2002 in the logistics and operations consultancy area. After completing her MBA she worked in a distribution company owned by the Communication Group in Spain.


Jean-Pierre Halkin

Head Of Unit - Comptence Centre Macro-regions and Territorial Co-operation, DG REGIO

Jean-Pierre Halkin joined the European Commission in 2006 as the Head of Unit - Natural Resources responsible for policy and methodological support for food security, nutrition, agriculture, climate change, environment, biodiversity. From 2011 till 2016 he was responsible for policy making, methodological support, management of thematic funding and relations with Rome based Agencies as the Head of Unit – Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Security. From January 2017 he is the Head of the Competence Center in charge of "Macro-regions and Territorial Co-operation - Transnational and Interregional Co-operation" at DG Regio.


Kari Herlevi

Kari Herlevi is a versatile multi-talent in the field of circular economy.

He is currently leading the circular economy area at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. Previously responsible for the Resource efficient economy area in Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, he managed the Green Growth – Towards a sustainable future -programme, which aimed to identify potential new growth areas for the sustainable economy business. Kari has also worked in the Tekes Silicon Valley office for a few years and his special interests are circular economy, fast growing cleantech firms and developing countries like BRIC.




Petr Hradil

Petr Hradil is Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Petr has PhD from Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic) and over 15 years of research experience in civil engineering, infrastructure, environmental and mechanical performance of building materials. He is managing and coordinating national and international research projects, participating in the development of Circular Economy strategies in the building sector and developing design recommendations for the sustainable built infrastructure. Petr is member of Technical Committee 14 (Sustainability) of the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork ECCS and International Association for Life-Cycle Civil Engineering IALCCE. His recent activities focused on recovery and reuse of building products and pre-demolition audits.



Conference moderator

Maciej Kautz is a journalist at Polskie Radio - Poland's public broadcaster. He originated "International Poznan" – a talk show in English that encourages foreigners to speak openly about their lives in Poland. Maciej also works as a TV producer and hosts morning shows. He is interested in the issues related to the circular economy in the closed circuit and activities in the Baltic Sea Region. 






Marju Lauristin

Marju Lauristin is a professor of social communication at the Institute of Social Studies in University of Tartu. She participated actively in Estonia's political breakthrough, being one of the leaders of Popular Front in 1988-1990 and Minister of Social Affairs in the first independent government of Estonia in 1992-1994. She had been member of Estonian parliament in 1994-95 and 1999-2003 and member of the Tartu City Council 2017-2019.  In 2014-2017 she was member of the European Parliament and vice-president of S&D group of EP. She was the first chairman of the Estonian Social Democratic Party in 1990-1995 and currently is a member of the board of this party.



Baiba Liepa

Baiba Liepa is currently working as a programme manager in Interact III Programme. Her scope of responsibility is to support exchanges across EU macro-regional strategies. It includes supporting exchanges across key implementing stakeholders of the Strategies; capacity building; cooperation across Interreg programmes on macro-regional issues; supporting the embedding of the Strategies in the ESIF and promoting macro-regional cooperation. In her view, only through coordinated effort, we can address shared challenges of our territories!

Before joining Interact, Baiba was working in the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Governments of Latvia, in the Managing Authorities of two Interreg cross-border cooperation programmes.

Social media: Twitter: @LiepaBaiba; LinkedIn:


Maira Mora

Ambassador Mora is a career diplomat, currently serving as Director General of the Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Prior to that she was Head of the EU Delegation in Belarus (2011-2015), as well as Latvian Ambassador to Belarus (2004-2010) and to Lithuania (2000-2004). She has also been posted to the OSCE in Vienna as the Deputy Head of the Latvian Delegation, and occupied various positions at the MFA of Latvia, Head of Policy Planning among them, as well as worked briefly at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence.





Ralfs Nemiro

Ralfs Nemiro is the Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia.

Prior to becoming the Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia he was a member of the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia as well as member of the Jelgava Municipality local government before that. Ralfs Nemiro completed a Master's Degree in Law in the University of Latvia. Through previous experience in leadership positions in NGOs and corporations, he has also developed excellent teambuilding and management skills. They include being a founder and lawyer of the Association "Sakop vidi!", lawyer and co-operation Partner of a law firm "Rebenoks & Vilders", as well as a member of the Board of the LLC "ECB" Assets.


Kjell Nilsson

Kjell Nilsson is specialised in urban and regional planning, sustainable urban development, interdisciplinary landscape research, evaluations, green growth and innovation.

Kjell is a member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and Affiliated Professor in Planning and Management of the Urban Green Infrastructure at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen.

Kjell is a member of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Spatial Development, European Structural and Investment Funds Journal, and Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.


Marcin Ociepa

On June 4, 2019, he was appointed Secretary of State in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, responsible for European affairs and innovativeness of the Polish economy.

From February 22, 2018 to June 3, 2019. Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology

Political scientist, specialty: European Studies. Academic teacher at the University of Opole. Previously associated with the Opole University of Technology.

Member of the Opolskie Regional Council. In 2014-2018 he the chairman of the Opole City Council. Between 2010 and 2014 he was the vice chairman of the City Council. In 2009-2010, coordinator of the project "Civil Development Strategy of the City of Opole - Opole 2050".

Member of the European Committee of the Regions. President of Collegium Nobilium Opoliense, director of the Institute of Foreign Affairs in Opole.

Participant of the US Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

In 2007-2009 he was the director of the European Office of the Member of the European Parliament, Konrad Szymański. Between 2007 and 2010 he was also the director of the Parliamentary Office of MP Lena Dąbkowska Cichocka.

Sub-Scoutmaster of the Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland (ZHR). Honored by the President of the Republic of Poland with the Silver Cross of Merit. Also awarded the Medal of the Opole University of Technology, the badge "For Merits for the Polish Society of War Veterans and Former Political Prisoners", a title of the Man of the Year 2016 of the Opolskie Voivodeship according to the readers of Nowa Trybuna Opolska.


Normunds Popens

Since 2011, Normunds Popens is the Deputy Director General for Implementation in the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission and in charge of overseeing the implementation of structural and cohesion fund programmes in EU member states and candidate countries. Before joining the European Commission in March 2011 he has occupied several posts in the Latvian diplomatic services. Notably from 2007 until 2011, he was a Permanent Representative of Latvia to the EU.

Before that he dealt with European affairs as Undersecretary of State of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been also responsible for the issues of foreign trade and transatlantic relations and has worked as an Ambassador in Norway, Iceland and in the USA as a diplomat.


Sari Rautio

Sari Rautio is Chairman of the board, City of Hämeenlinna, Vice chairman of the board, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Vice chairman of the board, Regional Council of Häme and Senior advisor, Impact investing, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.






Monika Romenska

Monika Romenska has held senior positions in public administration, Local authorities' and Industry organizations in Bulgaria. Since 2014, Ms Romenska is Regulatory & Public Affairs Manager at the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) based in Brussels, which acts as the authoritative voice and common policy platform representing the interests of all its 26 member packaging recovery and recycling organizations founded and run by or on behalf of obliged industry. She has extensive experience in local and regional self-government, sustainable development, incl. waste management (with a focus on packaging), regional development, communications and project management.



Martin Rümmelein

Martin Rümmelein, is youth representative in the board of the Baltic Sea State Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC). He was one of the organizers of the Baltic Sea youth Camp, the leading Author of the "One Youth Platform for the Baltic Sea Region" concept, one of the leads on the Baltic Sea Youth Declaration, took part in the Baltic Leadership Project on youth and Bio economy. He studies International economics and business relationships at the university of southern Denmark in Sonderborg and works at Danfoss Group IT. 

Social Media: Instagram/twitter: @mruemmelein Linkedin:



Gintaras Vilda

Gintaras Vilda is Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation responsible for innovation policy, industry and trade.

Prior to becoming Vice-Minister Gintaras Vilda was Director of the Lithuanian Engineering Industry Association (LINPRA) and Chairman of the Board of public body Intechcentras. Also, he acquired excellent strategic management and leadership skills of professional experience in a number of other leading positions, including Chief Production Officer at UAB Arginta Engineering, Business Development Director at UAB Elektromontuotojas and others.

Gintaras Vilda completed electrical engineering studies at Kaunas High Technical School and holds a MA degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas University of Technology. He is a coordination group member of the National Industry Competitiveness Commission ‘Industry 4.0', a member of the European Engineering Industries Association ORGALIME, the Council of European Employers of Engineering Industries CEEMET and the European Factories of the Future Research Association EFFRA.


Kamil Wyszkowski

Kamil Wyszkowski, a Representative and President of the Board of Global Compact Network Poland (GCNP). Since 2002 he has worked in United Nations System. Between 2002 and 2009, in United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was responsible for international and multilateral cooperation and for the development of programs in Europe and Asia. Under UNDP, he has worked in dozens of countries, implementing development programs based on transfer of knowledge from Poland. He has worked in UNDP headquarters in New York and Bratislava Regional Center (Service Center for the 24 Country Offices in (South-) Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union). Since 2009 to 2014 Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Office in Poland.

Since 2004, a Representative and General Director of Global Compact Network Poland (United Nations Global Compact coordinates the UN system's cooperation with the private sector within the UN Business Action Hub and through the Global Compact programs are created involving business, cities, universities, government, NGOs: more: Since 2011 Director of Know How Hub (established as part of UNDP Poland, currently managed by GCNP).

UN and EU policy expert, in particular in the field of business and administration cooperation as well as mobilization of the private sector to implement the UN development goals and standards. Specialist in development, multilateral and knowledge transfer, climate policy and anti-corruption activities.

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