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SPEAKERS

Bundesministerin
Leonore GEWESSLER
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Leonore Gewessler is Austria’s Minister for Climate Action. Along with other important issues like Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology her focus is to tackle the climate crisis and to achieve climate neutrality by 2040 in Austria. The fight against the climate crisis requires different measures in many areas. Hence, Gewessler recently took action and presented the KlimaTicket, a flate-rate ticket for all public transport systems in Austria, a deposit-return & refillable system and an eco-social tax reform.

Ambassador Dr.
Emil BRIX
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Dr. Emil Brix, Austrian diplomat and historian, is the Director of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies since 2017. After joining the Austrian diplomatic service in 1982, Mr Brix worked as political secretary for the parliamentary group of the Austrian People’s Party. In 1986, he was appointed Head of Cabinet at the Ministry of Science and Research. From 1990 until 1995, he served as Austrian Consul General in Cracow, Poland. Subsequently, he was Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in London, a position he held for four years. In 2002, Mr Brix was appointed Director-General of Foreign Cultural Policy at the Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria. After serving five years as the Austrian Ambassador to the UK from 2010-15, he became Austrian Ambassador to the Russian Federation in 2015. He is deputy chairman of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe and member of the governing board of the Austrian Research Association. He is an alumnus of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien and published numerous books and articles on Austrian and European history of the 19th and 20th century.

Julia PIECHOTTA
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Julia is Co-Founder of Spoontainable and head of Marketing and Finance. Together with her Co-Founder Amelie she developed the edible first edible ice cream spoon made of cocoa shells, which is a sustainable alternative for plastic. As regional spokesperson for the Federal Association of German Startups and as project manager at hei_innovation at the University of Heidelberg, she is committed to expanding the startup ecosystem in Baden-Württemberg.

Priv. Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.
Franz SINABELL
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Franz Sinabell is Senior Economist at WIFO and has been working in the Research Group "Environment, Agriculture and Energy" since 2002. He works in the fields of agricultural and food policy, environmental and resource economics and risk management. From 2008 to 2012 he was Deputy Director of WIFO. He lectures at the University of Vienna and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. He is an expert advising the Commission on the preparation of the annual report on the economic situation of agriculture and he is a board member of the Austrian Society of Agricultural Economics. In the course of his career he was involved in numerous national and international scientific projects. In many cases he was project coordinator. He has conducted studies on rural development issues for the OECD, the European Commission and national agencies. He was scientific coordinator of several studies on the impact of rural development programmes in Austria. Most recently, he coordinated projects on the economic significance of biomass use in agriculture in Austria and on the future of the forestry and timber industry in Austria.

MA
Theo KOCH
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Taking on positive political influence to help shape the future: As a Public Affairs Specialist at Too Good To Go, Theo Koch is committed to ensuring that the battle against food waste as the greatest leverage against the climate crisis gets the attention it deserves. He builds alliances with allies and shares international experiences from 16 countries with political decision-makers and works every day to ensure that food is not wasted.

Linda STAIB
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Linda Staib has been responsible for sustainability at the Austrian company ALPLA for almost 10 years. ALPLA is one of the world's leading companies in the field of plastic packaging solutions and recycling. Previously, Ms Staib worked for the Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and supported the Department for Sustainable Development in the CSR Action Plan. She studied environment and bio-resource management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. Creating a healthy and sustainable "tomorrow" is close to her heart. 

Prof.
Amy BENTLEY
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Amy Bentley is a professor of food studies at New York University. A historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, her work focuses on the cultural and political contexts of food in the twentieth century United States. Recent works include co-editor of Food for Thought: Nourishment, Culture, Meaning(Springer 2021) and the award-winning Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet (2014). She is co-editor of the Bloomsbury monograph series Food in Modern History: Traditions and Innovations.  

Manfred BORER
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Manfred Borer co-founded Koltiva in 2013 and led the company since 2017 to become the leading farmer first agritech firm utilizing proprietary technologies and services to enhance global supply chain traceability, inclusiveness, and sustainability. From Seed to Table. 

Koltiva is a global company with local operations. Headquartered in Switzerland but with its roots in emerging markets, now operating in 14 countries. Over the past three years, the company has grown to 510 employees, mainly in Indonesia.

Andrew CANNAVAN
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Andrew Cannavan joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2001. He works in the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, where he was head of the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory until 2021, and currently heads the Food Safety and Control Section. Andrew’s role focuses on applied R&D and capacity building in member nations of FAO and IAEA to improve their food safety and quality control systems, with the goals of consumer protection and meeting standards to enable trade in food commodities. His section’s work covers aspects such as the development of analytical methodology to help control residues, contaminants and adulterants in food, food authenticity, building resilience to crises and emergencies affecting the food supply, and sanitary and phytosanitary applications of food irradiation. 

Roberto BERUTTI 
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Roberto Berutti studied Agriculture and Business Economics in Italy. He worked many years for the Piedmont Region, was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Cassa di Risparmio Torino Foundation for 9 years and worked 6 years as regional expert at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU before joining the Cabinet of the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski early 2020. His main responsibilities there relate to Rural Development, Horizon Europe/research, Promotion of high quality food standards, relations with Relations with International Financial Institutions stakeholders, FAO and other International Organisations.

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The Customer Care & Service Director Marianne Neumüller-Klapper is responsible for sustainability and recycling at Nespresso Austria. Thus, the sustainability agendas are part of the highest management level of Nespresso. Marianne Neumüller-Klapper states that the goal is to strongly push the CO2 neutrality at Nespresso Austria and to focus on a circular economy. Nespresso Austria aims to sustainably increase the recycling rate as well as to achieve the company's sustainability goals.

Mag.
Philipp LOIDOLT-SHEN
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Philipp Loidolt-Shen is founder and CEO of Azolla Ecosystems. A startup chalanging the current foodsystem and consumptionbehaviour. By deploying small aquaponic units in restaurants and supermarkets, Philipp enables the "in-house" cultivation of high-quality fish and vegetables, right where they are needed.Moving away from mass production and huge supply chains, towards targeted, transparent and future-oriented farming methods, driven by the need to minimize the exploitation of water, soil and curb greenhouse gases. 

Bundesministerin
Elisabeth KÖSTINGER
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Elisabeth Köstinger is an Austrian politician and since January 2020 the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism. She is a member of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). Before assuming her current position, Elisabeth Köstinger served as Minister of Sustainability and Tourism from 2017 to 2019. She was also First President of the National Council and Secretary General of the ÖVP. Between 2009 and 2017 she represented Austria as a member of the European Parliament (MEP).

MEP
​Franc 
BOGOVIČ
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In 1984 Franc Bogovič MEP graduated from the Agronomy College and became an Agricultural Engineer. His professional career constitutes of several different positions, such as agricultural expert, agricultural trade entrepreneur, Mayor of Krško Municipality, member of Slovenian National Assembly and Minister of Agriculture and Environment in the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.

Bogovič is currently serving his second term as a Member of the European Parliament, where he is mostly engaged in topics related to agriculture, rural and regional development, cohesion policy, as well as energy. He is also a Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee and a Substitute-Member of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China. 

Bogovič is also leading the Smart Villages initiative in the European Parliament and in Slovenia. 

Prof. Dr.
Christian FIKAR
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Christian Fikar is Full Professor and Chair of Food Supply Chain Management at University of Bayreuth. His research fields include supply chain management and related model-driven decision support systems to investigate and optimize time-critical delivery processes, particularly for food logistics and humanitarian operations.

Polina TONKIKH
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Polina’s professional experience is related to international trade and the WTO. Before she was appointed as the Director-General of the WTO Expertise Center Polina worked for the Trade Negotiations Department of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, coordinating the work on several negotiating tracks. She participated in the preparation, drafting and adoption of various agreements and arrangements in the WTO, including those on export competition, trade facilitation, tariff-rate quotas and fisheries subsidies. Upon Russia’s accession to the WTO in 2012, for several years Ms. Tonkikh worked at the Russian Mission in Geneva covering a wide range of WTO issues, including regional trade agreements, export financing and multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture. Polina has a number of publications and teaches several courses on WTO-related issues at the Higher School of Economics.

Polina holds a Specialist degree (equivalent to MA) in World Economics and a MA degree in Law of International Trade, Finance and Economic Integration, both from the National Research University “Higher School of Economics”.

Mag.
Adelheid SAGMEISTER
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Adelheid Sagmeister works in the City of Vienna-Environmental Protection and was appointed Coordinator for Sustainable Food Management in the City of Vienna by decree of the Chief Executive Director.

Her main focus is to implement the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, an international city pact with numerous recommendations for the development of sustainable urban food systems. Currently, Adelheid Sagmeister is primarily involved in the development of a food strategy for Vienna together with civil society, represented in particular by the Vienna Food Council. She also heads the food working group of the sustainable procurement programme of the City of Vienna, ÖkoKauf Wien “EcoBuy Vienna”).

Tsuamba BOURGOU
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Tsuamba Bourgou is the Regional Coordinator for West Africa at Groundswell International. Tsuamba brings decades of experience supporting community-led development in his native Burkina Faso and across West Africa. Before joining Groundswell, Tsuamba served as the Executive Director of the NGO Association Nourrir Sans Détruire, where he played a critical role in the emergence of a dynamic agroecology and farmers movement in eastern Burkina. Tsuamba’s key areas of experience include adult education, action research, evaluation, impact assessment, strategic planning, program development, training and facilitation and strengthening local organizational capacities. He holds a Master’s in Linguistics from the University of Ouagadougou.

Maja BUČAR
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Maja Bučar is a professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana.

In her research work she focuses on research, development and innovation strategies and policies at the global, European and national level as key determinants of national socio-economic development. She has participated in numerous international, European, regional (Central and Eastern Europe, Western Balkan) and national research and consultancy projects in the area of science and technology policy, national and regional innovation system analyses as well as country assessment of implementation of development strategies. She is a co-convenor of Working Group on International Development Cooperation at European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI). At her University, she served as vice-dean for research and doctoral studies during 2011- 2014. Until recently, she was the head of the Centre of International Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Kirsten LUXBACHER
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Ms. Luxbacher is a Foreign Service Office with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. She currently serves as the Regional Agricultural Attaché for Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Prior to this assignment, she served as the Regional Agricultural Attaché for Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia from 2016-2020. Ms. Luxbacher has also held various positions at FAS Headquarters including as program manager for market development programs, capacity building programs, and as an analyst in its global agricultural policy analysis unit. She holds an MSc in Sustainable Development from Utrecht University and a BA in International Studies and Spanish Studies from American University.  

Theresa IMRE
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Theresa Imre is founder and CEO of markta.at – der digitale Bauernmarkt. markta.at is a digital marketing, distribution and logistics platform that brings sustainable products from family-owned & small businesses from the countryside to the cities via innovative ways. As the founder and managing director of markta.at, the online marketplace for regional food, she employs now 10 people - comes from Stainz in the sunny Schilcher region of Styria and grew up with direct contact with farming.

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Anja Appel is a political scientist and director of KOO since 2018. KOO is a department of the Bishops' Conference and at the same time coordinates the representation of interests of 35 Catholic institutions and organisations in Austria in development cooperation. 

KOO is also member in CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic relief organisations, based in Brussels.  

BA
Bettina ROSENBERGER
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Tina Rosenberger is the general manager of the NGO Network Social Responsibility (Netzwerk Soziale Verantwortung - NeSoVe) and coordinates the campaign "Human Rights Need Legislation". The campaign is backed by a broad civil society alliance and calls for a supply chain law in Austria and the EU and for support of the UN treaty on business and human rights.

Neha MEHTA
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Neha is featured in FinTech 50, 2019 and 2020, Asia's 50 Most Influential Women in Renewable Energy, 2020, and "Global Future Fintech Leader" Award at the Fintech Festival Abu Dhabi 2020. Neha is a legal and finance professional with 15 years of experience in Asia and Europe. She holds a double degree in Law and Commerce from the University of Delhi and attended King’s College, London on Chevening Fellowship.

 

A proud recipient of the British Chamber of Commerce 21st Annual Business Award for the UK Impact in Singapore 2020, FemTech Partners has been highly involved in bringing the UK and Singapore FinTech ecosystems together under the effective leadership of the founder Ms Neha Mehta.