7th edition of the
Greening the Islands e_Convention
International Conference and Exhibition
24-27 November 2020
The GTI e_Convention has been a global event dedicated to the innovative solutions for the self-sufficiency and sustainability of islands and has included also the International Conference, now in its 7th edition, and the exhibition. The event, entirely digital, represented an opportunity for islands around the world to connect with governments, corporates and academia with the intent to share their common experiences through a digital platform and match island needs and innovative solutions.
The 7th edition of the International Conference and Exhibition went 100% digital for the first time and involved 90 international speakers and 700+ attendees in 15 technical workshops over 4 days.
Did you miss the live event? Don't worry!
Check the videos with the most interesting moments of the e_convention we have created for you!
Winner projects 2020
Meet the jury and all the speakers of the e_convention
Mr. Amjad Abdulla is the Head of Partnership at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Prior to his appointment at IRENA, he served as the Director General, Climate Change and multidisciplinary team leader at Ministry of Environment of the Maldives. He has also served in Climate, Renewable Energy and Environment portfolios at the Government of Maldives since1996 as well as other international organizations.
Mr. Abdulla has extensive experience in multilateral negotiations and has been the, Chief Negotiator for Small Islands (SIDS) from 2015-2018, Chair of Least Developed Countries(LDCs) from 2007-2008 and lead negotiator for the Maldives to the UNFCCC since 2001.
Mr. Abdulla has served at various Boards, Committees both locally and internationally, including: Bureau Member and Vice-Chair of Working Group III of IPCC AR6, Vice Chair WG II of IPCC for AR5, Member (Alt) of Green Climate Fund (GCF) board, , Member of Adaptation Committee), Member of CDM Executive Board, Member of the Adaptation Fund Board), Chair and Vice-Chair of SBSTA), a member of Enforcement Branch of Kyoto Compliance Committee under UNFCCC.
Mr. Abdulla is also the author and contributing author to several reports of high international and national significance including the reports of IPCC.
Dr. Amani Alfarra is a water officer at FAO in the Land and Water Division. Dr. Alfarra has more than 20 years of substantive expertise in natural resources management, focused on river basin/ Transboundary River and coastal zone management. My specialized fields include water-based strategies and actions for climate change adaptation, including applying Nature-Based Solutions. During COP24, her NBS publication “NBS for agricultural water management and food security” was successfully launched and recognized by UNDESA. The publication focuses on enhancing the availability and quality of water for productive purposes and human consumption using NBS, an integrated approach for sustainable natural resources management with a focus on investments. NBS has become the third pillar of adaptation to climate change.
Dr. Alfarra has extensive experience in working with managerial and policy issues in the field of natural resources management at the country, regional and global levels.
Project manager of transnational cooperation projects since 2014, working in the field of sustainable mobility initiatives, urban development, as well as nature conservation and cultural heritage preservation. Enthusiast of open-source GIS tools.
George Assonitis, Ph.D., is an advisor on European Union Affairs at the Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce and a Member of the Technical Committee of the Network of Insular Chambers of the EU. He represented the Ministry of Commerce as a counselor on Internal Market, Consumer, and Tourism Affairs at the Permanent Representation of Greece to the EU from 2001 to 2009, in Brussels. He was a lecturer for ten years at the Ionian University, the University of the Aegean and the University of Crete and the University of Peloponnese on International Law, European Institutions and International Organizations. He has a number of publications on the Law of the Sea, International Shipping Law, Conflict Resolution and Prevention, Foreign investments, and European Integration.
Professor of Sociology, Founding Editor, Island Studies Journal; President, International Small Islands Studies Association. Researcher and author/editor of many texts dealing with islands and archipelagos.
Ralph Birkhoff is a Principal and Director of Business and Project Development for Alquimi Renewables, LLC, a US/Caribbean based company implementing renewable energy utility scale projects throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, US, and Pacific markets. Alquimi specializes in utility grade and private sector project implementation across solar, geothermal, and WTE/WTP verticals. He brings exclusive partnerships with leading edge technology companies promoting the newest and most effective solutions for developing nations, including the Caribbean. He has worked in the Caribbean and Latam region exclusively for over 16 years, and has developed an extremely valuable network of high profile public and private sector stakeholders. Alquimi has recently developed a proprietary off grid, hurricane resistant food production technology model for small island developing states, which provides an immediate solution to drive national security in food and energy production.
Joseph Borg is the president of INSULEUR (the Insular Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the European Union). He was born on the 3rd December 1960. He studied philosophy and theology at the Sacred Heart Seminary, Victoria, Gozo, and obtained a Litentiate from the Lateran University in Rome in 1984. Throughout the years Mr Borg has held a number of executive positions, including director with Francis X Borg Co. Ltd., and managing director of the same firm, the family owned furniture manufacturing company.
Joseph also served as a director on the board of the Malta Development Corporation from 1989 to 1992. He was involved in the Gozo Committee of the Malta Federation of Industries, from 1988 to 1992 as its secretary, and then as its Chairman from 1992 to 1993. In this post he also served on the Council of the Malta Federation of Industries. Mr Borg was also a director of Bank of Valletta plc.
Joseph Borg was also chairman of Gozo Channel Co. Ltd. from July 2005 to July 2008, and is presently a board member on the newly set up Gozo Regional Development Authority. He has also been a member of the council and secretary of the Gozo Business Chamber from 1999 to 2005. He was again elected to the Council of the same Chamber in January 2010. Since January 2012 he has also held the post Vice-President of the same Chamber. From October 2018 be became President of the Gozo Business Chamber and also President of INSULEUR from December 2018. Mr Borg serves in a number of voluntary organisations in Gozo amongst others as director of the OASI Foundation (Foundation for Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation) since its inception. He is also a member of the Fondazione Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice since 2009.
Bruce is the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO of Soneva. Bruce is an experienced finance professional having spent nearly 30 years in the field, much of that time in the investment banking and fund management industries in the City of London. Bruce also has considerable experience investing in social and environmental fields and in particular, in the area of impact investing. Bruce is a British national who grew up in South Africa.
Growth and Innovation manager, able to drive transformation identifying new business opportunities and bring them to life.
Former experience in management consulting and for In-house Corporate strategy Teams of two leading Italian multinational companies.
Since 2019 in charge for addressing the new mobility challenge for Pirelli, designing and launching services and solutions in the dynamic Micromobility space.
Executive Director of UNWTO since June 2018. CEO of TURESPAÑA twice (2012-2013 and 2016-2018). President of the European Travel Commission (ETC) in 2013. PhD in Naval Engineering, Master’s degree in senior management (PADE) by IESE Business School and post-graduate degree in corporate finance (London Business School).
Experience in Western Europe, North and Latin America, working in management positions (public and private sectors). Tourism counsellor at Spanish embassies of the UK and Germany and Consulate in Miami, U.S.A.
Kate Brown is the Executive Director of the Global Island Partnership, a platform that enables island leaders and their supporters to take action to build resilient and sustainable island communities. Kate is a passionate advocate for islands. She is a valued and trusted international partnership and collaboration leader, with a unique ability to connect dots for issues and people. Kate has extensive experience in all island regions globally, and brings an extensive network of island leaders, blue sky thinkers and people dedicated to supporting islands.
Kate has experience working inside government, non-profits and intergovernmentally as well as a keen sense of the most important elements of the international policy setting space relevant to islands as well as what is needed for implementation to happen. A strategic thinker who is able to present clear ideas and set up the right conditions for collaboration to thrive. Kate is originally from New Zealand.
Cristina CASIAN is working for Ea éco-entreprises from 2015 as an european projects manager. She has relevant experience in the EU projects management and implementation as she coordinated several technical work packages in different EU projects (COSME, Interreg MED, Interreg Marittimo, FP7) based on: knowledge transfer and capacity building, regulatory analyses, competitiveness and sustainability of tourism SMEs analyses, internationalisation strategies and Joint Action Plan preparation. Cristina had a master degree en European Studies at Aix Marseille University and teaches periodically in the framework of the European Studies Master as a professional speaker.
Gianni Chianetta is Founder & Director at Greening the Islands, CEO at The Green Consulting Group, Chairman Global Solar Council, Vice President and Head of International Affairs of Italia Solare, member of the Strategy Committee of Solar Power Europe and of the Steering Committee at Irena Coalition for Action.
He has been working the area of energy since 2003. He has been, Head of Comms & External Affairs at BP Italy, Managing Director at BP Solar Italy, founder and chairman of the first Italian Solar PV Industry Association for three consecutive terms when he negotiated the five Photovoltaic Energy Incentive Decrees (feed in-tariff) with the Italian Government, that has brought the installed capacity from about 35 MWp to more than 20 GWp.
He took part in the EU PV Legal Project to identify the gaps of the legislation in the EU countries for the development of solar PV. He has also chaired the National Committee for Solar Energy of the Italian Ministry of the Environment and founded the Global Network of National PV Associations in 2007, which has been the basis for the Global Solar Council.
He has a degree in Mechanical & Management Engineering and masters/seminars at: Middlesex University (London); Kellogg School of Management (Chicago); SDA Bocconi Milano (Milan); Istituto de Empresa (Madrid).
Rémi Collombet worked at Energy Cities before joining Ocean Energy Europe as a policy officer in 2017. Focusing on energy and innovation policies, Rémi leads the association’s work on the offshore renewables strategy. He is also the lead author of the annual ocean energy statistics and trends publication.
He holds MAs in European Affairs from Sciences Po Lille and the College of Europe.
Carlos Cosin Fernandez
Carlos Cosín is the CEO of Almar Water Solutions and leads the strategic management and development to implement its vision and drive its success in the sector.
Through 20 years of experience in the industry, he has developed desalination, wastewater and reuse projects around the globe for both municipal and industrial sectors. During this time he has closed agreements under both EPC (Engineering-Procurement-Construction) and BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) models across five continents.
Some of his most significant achievements include the development of the first BOT model water project in West Africa and winning the Water Company of The Year award in 2015.
Born in Madrid, Spain, Carlos Cosín graduated in Agricultural Engineering from the Madrid Polytechnic University, and he is President of the International Desalination Association (IDA). He was previously a member of the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) Steering Group, between 2013 and 2016.
Josianne Cutajar is the youngest Member to ever represent the Maltese Islands in the European Parliament and the first ever to be elected from the island of Gozo. She is a full member of the ITRE Committee (Industry, Research and Energy) and a substitute in TRAN (Transport and Tourism) and in REGI (Regional Development) and a member of the Tourism Taskforce. She advocates for a strong involvement of islands in the European decision-making process and supports their key role in enabling the environmental and the digital transition to achieve the ambitious sustainable development goals Europe has set for the next decades. She is also a member of the SEARICA Intergroup and pushes forth the importance of island mainstreaming as well as the importance of assessing the different starting points of peripheral and island regions.
Christian Del Bono
Christian Del Bono graduated at North London University (BAHons International Hotel and Catering Management) and continued is studies at Surrey University (Msc Tourism Marketing). He has been engaged in tourism development for the past 25 years. President of the “Aeolian Islands Hotelier Association – Federalberghi” since 2008. President of Sicily Small Islands Tourist Association – Federalberghi from 2010. President of “Aeolian Islands DMC” and of “Islands of Sicily DMO”. Manager of a 90 rooms family hotel in the Aeolian Islands. On the board of: “GAL Tirreno Eolie” (mixed private/public agency for rural development), “GAC Isole di Sicilia” (mixed private/public agency for coastal development). He founded and is Vicepresident of “Biodistretto Eolie” and of “Nesos – nature culture tourism research”. Coordinator of “Distretto Isole ed Arcipelaghi di Sicilia” (a mixed private/public agency for toruism development, recognised by the Region Sicily). Engaged in EU tourism proects.
Edita Dranseikaite joined the European Commission in 2005 and is currently responsible for coordination of the Clean Energy for the EU Islands Initiative in the Directorate General for Energy. Before that, she worked as programme manager in the Directorate General for Regional Policy and Urban Development and a policy officer in the international team of Directorate General for Environment.
Before joining the Commission, Edita Dranseikaite worked as chief adviser in the Government Chancellery of Lithuania, and was a team member of the Chief Negotiator for Lithuania’s Accession to the EU. She also was teaching European integration and politics at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University. She holds a Master of European Studies degree from the Vilnius University, Lithuania.
Brittney Elzarei is Policy Manager at EASE, the European Association for Storage of Energy. Since joining EASE in 2016, she has led the association’s advocacy efforts and activities across a range of topics, including the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package, European Green Deal, investment/R&D, energy storage business cases, and monetisation of storage services. Prior to joining EASE, she worked in a Brussels-based public affairs consultancy on projects in the agri-food and pharmaceutical sectors. She obtained her degree in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin in 2012.
Emilio Gabbrielli has a degree in Chemical Engineering (1972) and a Post-Degree Certificate (1973) from the Bologna University, Italy.
He has 45 years’ experience in water at global level. His main areas of expertise are water desalination and reuse as well as water utilities.
Between 2003 and 2008 he was the CEO of the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the IGO which promotes sustainable management of water resources.
He has served the IDA as a director for several terms and as President for the 2015-2017 term. He is a member of the IDA Honorary Council and VP of the IDA Foundation. He is an Honorary Global Ambassador of the Australian Water Association (AWA).
Emilio is currently operating as an independent consultant and is also a partner of Greening the Islands
Francesco Gattiglio is Director EU Affairs & Policy at EUROBAT, the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers. He joined EUROBAT in 2014.
At EUROBAT, he follows the EU legislation on energy storage, hybridisation and electrification of transports, sustainability of batteries and the interactions between energy and transport sectors. He has a background in International Relations (University of Florence) and International Political Economy (University of Warwick).
As Director of the IRENA’s Country Engagement and Partnerships (CEP), Gurbuz Gonul oversees the Agency’s work on supporting member countries in the development and implementation of national and regional renewable energy strategies and programmes through IRENA’s regional initiatives, tailored country support as well as partnership initiatives.
Mr. Gonul joined IRENA in 2014 as Head of Regions Unit. Formerly, he worked as Senior Energy Economist of the Islamic Development Bank between 2010 and 2014, where he led the work for the development of an Energy Sector Policy for the Bank as well as the processing of complex loan and technical assistance projects in Africa and Asia.
Between 2004 and 2010, He served as Senior Expert at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels, where he spearheaded policy analysis, sectoral in-depth reviews, regional / country reviews concerning energy investments, trade and transportation. He holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Oil & Gas.
Anne Marit Hansen
I hold a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University in Norway and an Executive Master in Energy Management from the Oslo Business School and IFP School in Paris. I have more than 20 years experience from the energy industry in various roles. I joined Statoil in 2006 and have worked as a business developer on natural gas and hydrogen, HSE leader for the renewable department and since 2017, technical and business leader roles in projects. During my time as an HSE leader I build a broad network among peers as I was the first leader of the cross industry HSE group called Gplus. 2019 I joined the business development group on offshore floating wind and manage business and project development processes. I am a passionate sailor and enjoy the wind energy in my free time as well.
7 years in wave energy. Life-long career in development, managing projects and start-ups. M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration, Management of Technology.
Hathim Ibrahim has been serving as the president of Rinbudhoo Council for 3 consecutive terms.
He has management experience in guest house operations in local islands and is passionate about promoting and increasing local tourism in his island in a sustainable manner. He is also keen on finding new ways to reduce their carbon footprint and opt for greener solutions.
Hussain Rasheed Hassan
Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan was appointed as the Minister of Environment on the 17th of November 2018, following the inauguration of the new administration of President H.E. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The new Minister is responsible for the conservation of the natural environment, water resources and energy sources in the Maldives.
During the previous administration (November 2013 to November 2018), Dr. Hussain worked with the joint opposition coalition, in his capacity as a Deputy Leader of Republican (Jumhooree) Party of the Maldives, a post he has held since May 2012.
Dr. Hussain served as a Minister of State for Fisheries and Agriculture under President Mohamed Nasheed, as well as President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan (from November 2008 to November 2013), with the mandate of overseeing the management and development of the fisheries sector in the Maldives.
Hiroshi Kakazu, currently Professor Emeritus at the University of the Ryukyus, President Emeritus of the Japan Society of Island Studies and Chairperson of the Okinawa Remote Island Development Panel of Okinawa Prefecture, is one of the originators of nissology (remote island studies). He has written over ten single-authored books, including an international award-winning book on the Asia-Pacific. His books on Island Economies (Hirugisha, 1985 in Japanese), Sustainable Development of Small Island Economies (Boulder & Oxford: Westview Press, 1994), Island Sustainability (Canada: Trafford Publishing, 2012), Okinawa in the Asia Pacific (Okinawa Times, 2012), Okinawa: Japan’s Front-Runner in the Asia Pacific (Indianapolis: Dog Year Publishing, 2017), An Introduction to Nissology (Tokyo: Iwanami-shoten, 2017 in Japanese: 2017 Iha Fuyu Award) and Nissology (Tokyo: Kokon-shoin, 2019 in Japanese) are books to read on nissology. The last book was translated into Korean by Professor Sun-Kee Hong.
Georges Kremlis started his career in the European Commission on 1.1.1981, as a Member of the Legal Service.
He is currently Honorary Director and Active Senior in the Directorate-General for the Environment. He has joined DG ENV in 1995 and has served since then as the Head of the Legal, the Governance and the Cohesion Units.
Before joining the Commission, but also during parts of his career he has exercised several high-level functions in Greece.
He is visiting Professor in a number of European Universities and is the author of a very large number of various publications, in English, French and Greek, and in particular of a four volumes Commentary, Article by Article, of the EU and EC Treaties, under the Nice Treaty (in Greek)”.
EU Senior Policy Advisor with 9 years of experience in the energy field across a range of technologies and domains, including public policy, finance, research, and engineering. Track record providing technical and policy advisory to advance the energy, sustainability, and economic objectives of the public sector as well as of small and large-scale corporations. She leads work on finance and the digitalization of the solar sector.
Work to ensure a smart policy framework to leverage public and private finance for new clean energy projects, liaising with financial institutions, the private sector, and project developers. Provide advice on best-practices for risk-mitigation and financing strategies for solar projects.
Work to ensure that the solar sector in Europe takes the opportunities arising from the digitalization of the energy system. Provide advice on how to strengthen digitalization in corporate’s strategy through innovative business models and digital technologies.
Silvia Livoni Colombo is an expert in territorial marketing and public relations. She is also specialized in tailor made local marketing projects, tourism and lifestyle. In 2016 she’s created the first Bike Hub in Italy, precisely in Tuscany, nowdays recognized as a best practice and case history in its class. Terre di Casole Bike Hub is now replicated in other regions as a winning format to create cycling destinations. Highly focused on developing sustainable tourism destinations to reach social and economic growth, through the identification of integrated cycling itineraries, enhancing the cultural and natural heritage of the area. Her work includes formative workshops, where she brings her creative vein to communication and coordination and relationships with journalists and institutions. She is part of various permanent roundtables on tourism and organizes press tours for Italian Tourist Offices.She is also managing Luxury Bike Hotels in terms of strategy and marketing development.
Dr. Mausoom holds a Doctorate Degree on sustainable tourism development conferred by the School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, UK. His doctoral thesis was on the interdependency and the relationship between the government and the private sector in the development of micro island tourism in the Maldives. He did his MSc in Hotel Management at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He spent over 10 years abroad for higher education in England, Northern Ireland, Germany and Malaysia. Prior to being a Member of Parliament, he held cabinet portfolios as Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation; and Minister of Environment, Energy and Water. Dr. Mausoom Headed the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), and played a key role in the post-tsunami tourism recovery campaign of the Maldives. He served as a Member of Tourism Promotion Advisory Council; Board Director of State Trading Organization (STO); and a Board Member of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI).
Ms. McCarthy has over 20 years experience working internationally and specifically with the Middle East and North Africa region, more so in the GCC and specifically with Jordan, Israel and Palestinian Authority in the field of water sustainability, research and application of non-conventional water resource technologies. She has served the International Desalination Association in the role of First Vice President, Chair of the Foundation and Public Outreach Committee, member of the Operations Committee, member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee and champion for the development of the IDA Sustainable Water Resources Foundation establishment process.
Prior to IDA, Ms. McCarthy, served as a Partner of United4Water, a consulting firm operating in the water, food and energy sectors, providing strategic advice and assistance in business development, project planning and management, capacity building, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.
She was the Deputy Center Director of the Middle East Desalination Research Center, an international intergovernmental non-profit organization, born through the Water Working Group of the Middle East Peace Process and based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman with Diplomatic status. As part of the MEDRC start-up team, she participated to develop and implement cooperation programs in education, training and research for the Middle East and North Africa region, including the Core Parties of the Middle East Peace Process (Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority), focusing on desalination and water reuse technologies. She has a strong record of mobilizing resources and bringing together stakeholders from both government and the private sector to support education, scientific research, professional training programs, and specialized technology workshops and conferences related to advanced treatment technologies and water sustainability.
Ms. McCarthy completed an executive study program related to Public Policy and Management for Infrastructure Development at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and holds a BA degree in International Relations, specializing in US – Soviet relations, from San Francisco State University.
She has lived and worked abroad for the last twenty years, with special focus on water issues in the Middle East and North Africa region. She has been the Chair of several sessions addressing the Water, Energy and Food Nexus and Education and Capacity Building in non- conventional water supply technologies. She was the 2014 Co-Chair to the International Conference on HABS and Desalination held in Muscat, Oman under the patronage of the Oman Public Authority for Water and Electricity and co-developed MEDRC’s largest research award involving an international research consortium funded by USAID to address the critical issue of HAB’s and Desalination.
Mr. Shawn Meyer-Steele is founder and Managing Director of H2OPROFESSIONALS, a consulting group to equipment manufacturers, service providers, municipalities and end-users of water treatment equipment and services worldwide.
From Jan 2008 to June 2013 he was Sr. Vice President – Director of Business Development for Seven Seas Water Corporation, a leading service provider in the Americas of sustainable desalination and water reuse. From Jan 2003 through May 2007 he was Sr. Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Energy Recovery Inc., the world’s leading energy recovery device manufacturer.
Mr. Meyer-Steele enjoyed a 12 year career at Ionics Incorporated (now part of GE) from 1990 to 2002, From 1998 to 2002 he was General Sales Manager for the Southern US and the Caribbean and Manager of International Operations from 1994 to1998. From 1990 to 1994 he enjoyed positions as Product Manager, Process Design and Development Engineer and in R&D.
Shawn has served on the board of directors of the International Desalination Association since 2011 and the Caribbean Desalination Association since 2009. He has also held chairs, served on panels, as well as written and presented numerous papers in other industry conferences as well as published in leading industry publications. Shawn has literally worked throughout the world and is conversant in Spanish, speaks some German, Dutch, Papiamento and Portuguese.
Shawn has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston
Michela Miletto is the Deputy Coordinator of the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) since 2008. She acted as Coordinator/Director a.i. from 2013 to 2015, and in 2019-2020 (ongoing).
She leads the gender portfolio of UNESCO WWAP, supporting Member States to develop gender-responsive and evidence-based water policies, strategies and programs.
Michela has worked for thirty years in the assessment of water resources and ecosystems, and in the development of renewable resources. Prior to joining UNESCO, she extensively worked for several international organizations in Latin America, Eastern Africa, USA, and Europe.
Nikolas Miliarakis is the co-owner of Minos Cretan Wines (the oldest wine company in Crete) and a Member of the Board of Wines of Crete (from 2006 to 2018, he was the President of the network). He holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) in International Business from the University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne. Since 1998, he is active in the areas of Winemaking; Exports; and Wine Tourism. In the course of his career, he has been involved in the training of wine and food professionals. He speaks English and French.
Stefano Moncada holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Malta, where he lectures and conducts research in the areas of development economics, climate change, island studies, sustainable development, and impact evaluation techniques. Stefano’s recent research includes socio-economic and health assessments, in the face of climate-change, of communities in SIDS. Prior to join academia, Stefano worked in the Italian Parliament as a policy analyst. Stefano is the Director of the Islands and Small States Institute, lecturer with the Institute for European Studies, part of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Development and Training Institutes (EADI), of the Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change (MedECC), and acts as expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Mr Morsi holds a doctorate in natural sciences and has broad experience in research and technology, both in the public and private sectors, e.g. at Max-Planck-Institutes, JET Joint
Undertaking and DG-RTD.
Afterwards he was with the European Commission at Brussels headquarters in various administrative and management functions since Nov’1993, with dedicated involvement in the following EC funding programmes: Human Capital&Mobility, Training&Mobility of Researchers, Marie Curie, Thermonuclear Fusion, Marco Polo, TEN, TENtec and CEF.
Recently, since 2008 he was developing and implementing TEN-T / CEF “innovation and new technologies” priority as the legislative drafter & strategist, and has built up the EC’s
technical & financial expertise in this increasingly important area. In addition the valleyof-death problem was solved with the introduction of specialised real-life trials (studies
with integrated deployment) to bridge the gap between research/demos and market rollouts.
Financial blending was added to speed-up private investments in deployment of new technologies.
In parallel, from 2006 to 2014 he developed and supervised as IT & Business Manager the TENtec Information System to digitise all aspects of the TEN-T Programme, including the
legislative and technical development of TEN maps, TEN project selection and contract management. Other EC Programmes are joining as sub-systems of the TENtec platform.
From Oct’2006 to 2010 he created and then extended TENTEA (now INEA) and was its EC liaison officer. He drafted, managed and was the lead technical & financial expert of
the first CEF Synergy work programme and call in Sep’2016 combining transport and energy budget lines foe the first time.
In April 2015 he was appointed as Advisor to the Director of DG MOVE-B “Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport.
Mr Morsi is also strongly involved in preparing the EC’s new initiatives and programmes, e.g. CEF2, Blending Facility and Clean Islands, always with emphasis on innovation and
new technologies. He was always a close collaborator or right hand of the very top of the EC. Since May 2020 he is now retired from active EC service.
Mr. Navoti is the Chief, SIDS Unit, UNDESA. The Unit monitors and report on the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and the SDG in SIDS, facilitate and service inter-governmental negotiations. Sai served as Lead Negotiator for the G77 & China (2013) and Lead Climate Negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in 2012. He was also the Senior Legal Advisor with the International Seabed Authority. Sai served Fiji as a Military Officer, State Solicitor and a Diplomat; he held various international appointments including President of the Assembly (12th Session) of the ISA, Vice President (1st & 2nd) Review Conference of the UN Fish-stock Agreement and Rapporteur of the UNCITRAL’s Working Group on International Arbitration. Represented Fiji in international negotiations; drafted the national report and presented Fiji’s first UPR – Human Rights Council, 2010. Sai holds a BA(Politic), LLB and MSc degrees and 2 post graduate diplomas.
Eddy PARIS is the representative of the Government of Aruba, one of the 6 overseas countries and territories related to the Kingdom of the Netherlands (NL), and to the European Union.
The different Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) are united within their dedicated association: OCTA (Overseas Countries and Territories Association), of which Eddy PARIS is currently the President of the Executive Committee.
With multiple experiences in the hotel industry, Eddy PARIS masters budget forecasting, banking management, business coaching, sales and hotel management and has strong business development skills.
He graduated from the EU Business School, where he obtained a master’s degree in International Business and Finance.
Cassia Patel is the Program Director of Oceanic Global, a global NGO that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. Her work with Oceanic Global includes overseeing their grassroots initiatives, policy reform efforts, educational programming, and managing The Oceanic Standard (TOS), a free set of industry-specific resources for adopting sustainable practices that meet both business and environmental needs with a focus on eliminating single-use plastics and improving waste management. Cassia has formal training as an environmental engineer, underwater research biologist, and in sustainable design.
· Degree in Administration and Business Management – University of Granada.
· Master’s of Science in Business Research. specializing in Industrial Economy – Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham (UK).
Lines of Work
· Management and Technical Administration of R&D&i projects specializing in transport economy, environmental sustainability in ports and maritime transport, shipping (deep-sea shipping and short-sea shipping), estimating demand for transport, international trade and economic and financial analysis of infrastructure projects and transport services.
· Lecturer in postgraduate studies and specialist courses.
· Speaker at congresses and specialized forums
· Coordinator of Green C Ports
· LNGHIVE2 Green and Smart Vessels
· Strategic Plan Net-Zero Emissions in Valenciaport by 2030
Tonino Picula is a Croatian politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2013, twice with the highest number of the preferential votes. He had previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Member of Croatian parliament and as Mayor of Velika Gorica. In the current mandate he serves as the President of the European Parliament Intergroup SEARICA that gathers 103 Members from 23 Member states, after he has served as SEARICA vice-president in charge of islands in the previous legislative mandate. Mr Picula is European parliament standing rapporteur for relations with the United States, Montenegro, IPA III Pre-accession financial instrument and European parliament recommendation on enlargement. He is also rapporteur on Cohesion Policy and regional environment strategies in the fight against climate change report that will be presented in REGI committee in December.
Gonzalo Piernavieja Izquierdo
Director – Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC)
Iván Pineda is the Director of Public Affairs for Windeurope, the European trade association representing wind energy based in Brussels, Belgium. He has worked there for 9 years, holding positions of Head of Policy Analysis and policy officer on wind power integration into electricity grids and markets.
Before joining WindEurope he worked for 6 years as a technical project manager on large-scale mechanical and electrical installations across Europe for Procter & Gamble.
His professional experience includes working as freelance management consultant and as finance manager at French retailer Carrefour. He studied in Mexico and Canada where graduated as BSc. in Industrial Engineering, and in the UK where he obtained his MSc. in Sustainable Energy Technology at Imperial College London as a Chevening Scholar
Normunds Popens is currently Deputy Director General for Implementation in the Directorate General Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission 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 till 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.
Mr. Mohamed Raaidh is a highly motivated professional who believes in the power of leading by example. He is an adaptable and transformational leader, developing opportunities that further establish organizational goals.
Mr. Raaidh was appointed as the Managing Director of MITDC with the primary goal of bringing economic growth to the nation by expanding possible avenues of the tourism sector through the systematic and planned development of integrated tourism in this industry.
His result driven attitude, motivation and resourcefulness, strengthens the team of MITDC making the organization dynamic and progressive. He holds a Bachelor of Law from Malaysia, and a Diploma in Business Management and Administration. His excellent communication skills and the skill of establishing sustained profitable relationships with stakeholders has become a key component in taking the company forward.
Giovanni Ruggieri, graduated with honors in Economics from the University of Palermo he spent a semester of study at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. He achieved the title of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Tourism Sciences at the University of Palermo. Adjunct Professor in Applied economics he is adjunct professor of Tourism Economics and Tourism Systems and Hospitality Management. He is the author of several articles on tourism published in international scientific journals and concerning the economic impact issues, the birth and development of tourist destinations and the growth of tourism economies in the island territories. He is member of Unesco Management Plan working Group for Sicily Unesco Foundation. President of the Observatory on Tourism for Islands Economies and chairman of the Scientific Committee made up of professors and international experts. Research topics, with particular attention to island realities, concern: the tourism economy, innovation.
Manuel Sapiano is the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) within Malta’s Ministry for Energy and Water Management. In this role, he coordinates a team of experts with responsibilities for the formulation, evaluation, monitoring and implementation of national policies concerning the use of energy and water in a sustainable manner and the formulation of plans to meet National and EU energy and water resources management targets.
He also coordinates EWA’s identification of and participation in research and development initiatives in the energy and water sectors, mainly focusing on issues such as the water and energy demand management and use efficiency, renewable energies, groundwater resources management and policy assessment and formulation.
Senior marketing and advertising professional, with many years of experience in all areas of communications and with deep knowledge of FMCG, Telecommunications, Banking, Pharmaceutical (OTC), Cosmetics and Health Care industries in multinational agencies.
Highly trained in developing and implementing integrated marketing communication strategies, with consistent approaches to building strong brand equities and synergies across all aspects of Corporate and Brand Communication (AtL, BtL, PR and Digital).
She studied Political Sciences and has a Master’s degree in Marketing and Contemporary Banking.
Mr Giuseppe Sciacca has been working for the CPMR General Secretariat since 2006. He is an expert in EU policies (notably Energy Transition and climate Change, Transports, Cohesion Policy) and has excellent skills in team management and drafting political and technical reports. In July 2017, Giuseppe was appointed Executive Secretary of the CPMR Islands Geographical Commission.
In this role, he manages the daily activities of a network of 20 island regional governments (advocacy initiatives, communication campaigns, organisation of conferences, webinars, workshops). Giuseppe has a long experience and he is very well versed in designing and implementing EU projects/contracts. He is currently working as CPMR project manager of a H2020 Decarbonising Energy Systems of Geographic Islands project.
Catharina Sikow-Magny joined the European Commission in 1997 and is currently the Director responsible for Internal Energy Market and the Acting Head of Unit in charge of retail markets, consumers and local initiatives in the Directorate General for Energy. Before that, she was the Head of Unit in charge of networks and regional initiatives. She has as well worked on international transport, trans-European network policy and financing, internalisation of external costs, and strategic policy research.
Before joining the Commission, Catharina Sikow-Magny was a team leader and chief economist in the private sector in Finland. She has also worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She holds a Master of Economics degree from the Aalto University, Finland.
Willebrord A.M. SLUIJTERS completed studies in Economic History and Romance and General Linguistics at the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and various universities in Italy, with MA degrees in 1986 and 1987. From 1987 to 1991, he worked as research associate at the University of Nijmegen and as associate professor at the Free University of Amsterdam. Ηe obtained his a Ph.D. degree in 1992.
From 1991 onwards he has been working with the European Commission in various services, predominantly in the field of regional and cohesion policy in the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO). From 2000 to 2002 he was desk officer for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programs in Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. This was followed in 2003 by an assignment to the unit in charge of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund in Greece, from 2004 as Deputy Head of unit. From 2008 to 2011, he worked as advisor to the Deputy Director General of DG REGIO for the coordination of the country departments of the service. From July 2011 to January 2016, he was Head of unit for the ERDF and Cohesion Funds in Italy and Malta, a position to which he returned in June 2020, after having been in charge of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund in Greece and Cyprus in the meantime.
He is a member and regular contributor to various non-governmental organizations in the field of culture and the environment.
Darius Snieckus is Editor in Chief of Recharge, the global renewable energy news and intelligence website and magazine, launched in 2009. He also hosts the Recharge Thought Leaders, an assembly made up of many of the most influential executives in the wind, solar and wider Energy Transition industries that meet for regular roundtables and an annual Summit. Snieckus has written on energy for some 25 years, before Recharge serving on editorial staffs at leading oil and gas tiles including Offshore Engineer, the Oil & Gas Journal and the Petroleum Economist.
A prominent and highly respected business professional, Ms. Tanou has built and expanded a publicly listed international travel and tourism business Top Kinisis Travel Public Ltd over the past thirty years. Ms Tanou holds BA in Travel and Tourism Management and is an active proponent of private sector development in the Cyprus economy.
Ms. Tanou is the Vice President of the Nicosia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President of the Nicosia Tourism Board, Vice President of the Cyprus Integrity Forum.
She is on the Board of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) She is Vice President of the International Chambers of Commerce in Cyprus and is a highly respected activist on matters of commercial transparency and entrepreneurship.
Ms. Tanou is former President of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women, the Cyprus European Ambassador of Women Entrepreneurs and a recipient of the prestigious Madam Figaro Business Woman of the Year Award in 2012.
She serves on the Boar.
With background in Environmental Sciences and Strategic Management, Ms. Toli is a Senior Programme Officer in the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) Secretariat. Since 2009, she is leading since 2009 the Non Conventional Water Resources and Urban Water Management Agenda in the Mediterranean.
She has hands-on experience in more than 32 Mediterranean islands, where water scarcity, climate variability and energy challenges jeopardise their sustainable development. Given the current and future challenges due to migration, Konstantina is heavily involved in the development of a multifaced strategy, linking migration with water and employment.
Results-driven dynamic entrepreneur and passionate about sustainability, with experience in international environments and startup development.
As CEO of Genius Watter, he wants to bring clean water to people and businesses in need all over the World, with sustainable and long lasting solutions.
Lola Uña Cárdenas
A Spanish national, she is based in Brussels, where she has been working for the past 20 years as an advisor and lobbyist across all key European markets and globally through International consultancies. She has provided strategic advice to senior leaders of some of Europe’s and the world’s largest companies to help solve their most complex regulatory challenges and opportunities in the field of travel & tourism, transport and environment policies. She speaks 5 languages.
Ing. Norman Zammit has a first degree in electrical engineering (Honours) from the University of Malta (1992) and a Master of Science degree in Building Services Engineering from Brunel University and a Master in Business Administration from Chester University. Ing. Zammit has been involved in several prestigious projects both locally and overseas such as the Mater Dei Hospital, hotel developments in Sudan and Russia as well as Business development and Senior consulting Engineer for a Maltese company in Libya up till July 2011. Ing. Zammit was also engaged in the operations of a major facilities management company in Malta and at SmartCity Malta. He also held the post of Facilities Manager at THE CENTRE which is a state-of-the-art Business Centre at Tigne Point.
As from the 1st October 2018, Ing Zammit is employed as Divisional Manager Business Strategy and Commercial with Enemalta where he is responsible for the business strategy aspects of Enemalta and for the Commercial section.
Christopher G. Zamora
Mr. Christopher G. Zamora is currently working at the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) as the Senior Manager of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Department. His role is to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of the APAEC 2016-2025 in cooperation with the ASEAN Member States, ASEAN energy bodies, Dialogue Partners and International Organizations. Also in ACE, Mr. Zamora previously held the position of Manager for Administration and Finance from 2006 to 2014 and Manager for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and Conservation from 1999 to 2014. Before joining ACE in 1999, Mr. Zamora also worked as Coordinator for Information and Training Division from 1996-1998 at the ASEAN-EC Energy Management Training and Research Center (AEEMTRC), the predecessor of the ACE. He also worked for 13 years at the Philippines Department of Energy in the area of renewable energy. He graduated with a Degree on Science Education in 1985 and Master in Economics from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila in 1996.
As CEO, Paloma leads the organization’s global efforts to maximize tourism’s contribution to conservation and development in order to protect destinations, preserve natural environments, and improve community well-being. With over 15 years of experience in sustainable tourism and economic development, Paloma has designed and implemented impactful initiatives and projects in 25 nations across the globe. Her work has ranged from addressing the shortcomings of the current tourism supply to deriving sustainable development strategies and formulating policies. She is currently working on a first-of-its-kind project to make the Pacific Island nation of Palau the world’s first carbon neutral destination. Paloma holds a master’s in business administration and a postgraduate degree in tourism management from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. And a Bachelors in Industrial and Systems Engineering from University of Florida. She is a native speaker of Spanish and English.