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Addressing new skills for sustainability transition challenges

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Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

45 A Avenida de Berna

1067-001 Lisboa

Portugal

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In the 21st century, sustainability, as a global endeavour, poses new challenges. The systemic nature and scale of our major environmental and social issues call for more substantive transitions, as envisaged in the new global Sustainable Development Goals. How can we embrace our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world in the crafting of adequate responses for change? What new thinking, skills and knowledge can enable us all to live well within the means of the planet?

In this context, the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and the Portuguese Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD Portugal) would like to invite you to explore the new skills needed to address our sustainability transition challenges.

The event has also been organised in partnership with the European Environment Agency, Forum for the Future, Studio Transitio and with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and SAGA agency.

Program:

15:15: The changing landscape for sustainability governance and environmental policies, by Nuno Lacasta, President of the Management Board of the Portuguese Environment Agency + Sustainable Development Goals and challenges for companies and society, by Sofia Santos, Secretary-General at BCSD Portugal

15:40: The science-policy interface context: Time to take time seriously in sustainability transitions, by Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency

16:15: The local community context: Skills for transitions – what can we learn from Nature?, by Leen Gorissen, Founder of Studio Transitio

16:50: Coffee break

17:05: The business / entrepreneurship context: Developing new capabilities for system change, by Laura Winn, Head of the School of System Change (Forum for the Future)

17:40: Panel debate moderated by Laura Burke, Chair of the European Environment Agency Management Board

18:10: Closing remarks by João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of the Environment of the Portuguese Government (to be confirmed)


SPEAKERS and MODERATOR:

Hans Bruyninckx: Hans is the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency since June 2013. He is a political scientist specialising in international relations, with a PhD degree on the topic of international environmental politics. Hans Bruyninckx was a lecturer at several universities in the United States and Europe. He was head of the HIVA Research Institute in Leuven, Belgium, a policy-oriented research institute associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he was also head of the Political Science department. Hans was also a senior member of the interdisciplinary Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and promoter-coordinator of the Flemish Policy Research Centre on Transitions for Sustainable Development. Hans Bruyninckx was a lecturer at several universities in the United States and Europe. He was head of the HIVA Research Institute in Leuven, Belgium, a policy-oriented research institute associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he was also head of the Political Science department. Hans was also a senior member of the interdisciplinary Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and promoter-coordinator of the Flemish Policy Research Centre on Transitions for Sustainable Development.


Leen Gorissen: With a PhD in Biology, vast experience in R&D and a specialisation in Transition Science, Biomimicry and Regenerative Design, Leen is the Founder of a new consultancy, Studio Transitio, which aims to spark creative, regenerative and responsible innovation inspired by nature. Studio Transition is part of an international network of talented transition, biomimicry and permaculture specialists, professionals, researchers and practitioners who collaborate in a mutualistic way to promote and scale positive systemic change. As a member of the Transition Research Coordination Team of VITO, where she developed and taught Transition Masterclasses to researchers, engineers and management staff, Leen was a transition region leader in the ARTS – accelerating and rescaling the transition to sustainability – project, funded by the European Commission.

Laura Winn: Laura heads the School of System Change, a new international learning experience and community of practice, catalysed by Forum for the Future. As the challenges we face on the road to a sustainable future are complex and interconnected, the School aims to navigate this complexity, significantly increasing the number of people able to implement systems-level change across the board, whether they be working in corporate, not-for-profit or public organisations.Laura comes from the social enterprise world, where governance and collaboration are at the heart of driving impact for positive change. As founding CEO of a resource centre for social enterprise and ethical business in the Paris region, she brought local authorities, professional bodies, advisory services, funding partners, and confirmed and budding social entrepreneurs together to design new ways of doing business.

Sofia Santos: Sofia Santos is the General Secretary at the Portuguese Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD Portugal) since January 2016. She started her career in 1997 at the research department of Merrill Lynch Bank in London, having latter worked at the Portuguese National Statistics Institute and at the Portuguese Pulp and Paper Industry Association. From 2004 to 2015 she was an entrepreneur on Sustainability and Green Economy issues having worked as a consultant for several companies in Portugal, Cabo Verde, Angola, Belgium and Ireland. From 2009 to 2014, she was visiting assistant professor at the ISCTE, lecturing Ethics and Sustainability for the MScBA and Energy MBA. From 2013 to 2014 she was Executive Director of the Sustainability Knowledge Lab at the INDEG –ISCTE, Lisbon. She has a first degree in Economics, a Master’s Degree in Economics from London University and a PhD from Middlesex University in the UK on how banks can promote sustainable development. She has published 3 books: “Banking in Portugal and the Green Economy”, “Do banks have a heart?” and “Introduction to the green economy”.

Nuno Lacasta: Nuno Lacasta has worked on environment and sustainable development for about 20 years in Europe and in the United States. He has been in public service since 2002, including as Executive Board President of the Portuguese Environment Agency since 2012. In this capacity Mr Lacasta has been serving as Management Board and Bureau member of the European Environment Agency, and as OECD Environmental Policy Committee’s Vice-Chair. Between 2006 and 2012 he was Portugal’s Climate policy Director and Portuguese Carbon Fund Coordinator. Between 2004 and 2007 Mr Lacasta was Director for International Affairs at the Portuguese Environment Ministry. Nuno has lectured widely in Europe and the US, namely as Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy and Law at the New University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Science and Technology (2004-12) and Visiting Lecturer of European and Environmental Law and European Climate Change Law at the American University’s Washington College of Law- WCL/AU (2007-11). He has also for several years provided consulting services to the UN, the OECD, the European Commission, NGOs, corporations and foundations. Nuno Lacasta is a graduate of Lisbon University’s Law Faculty and a post-graduate (LLM) from WCL/AU.

Laura Burke: Laura Burke is the Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ireland since 2011 and took over as European Environment Agency’s Management Board Chair in September 2017. Laura is a graduate chemical engineer of University College Dublin, and holds an MSc from Trinity College, Dublin. As Director General of the EPA, her role is to lead and strategically manage the organisation, which is widely regarded in Ireland as a highly effective and a highly trusted Agency. Laura has led considerable change in recent years, including the effective merger of another Agency, the Radiological Protection Institute, with the EPA. Laura has been a Director of the EPA since 2004, initially serving as the Agency’s Director of Communications and Corporate Services and then as Director of the Office of Climate, Licensing, Research and Resource Use. Prior to joining the EPA, she worked in the private sector.

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Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

45 A Avenida de Berna

1067-001 Lisboa

Portugal

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