Luc Gnacadja is an architect, a passionate advocate of ecological landscape restoration, and the founder of GPS-Dev: a “think tank for doers” that promotes the translation of good practices and impactful innovations for food security and poverty eradication into policies and governance for sustainable development.
He previously served as UN assistant secretary-general and executive secretary of the UNCCD (2007 to 2013) and minister of Environment, Housing, Urban and Regional Development of Benin (1999 to 2005).
He was a guiding voice for sustainable land development in the negotiations leading up to Rio+20, the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. His personal effort to promote the adoption of an international commitment to a “land-degradation neutral world” was deemed a critical step forward.
He is a recipient of the World Bank’s Green Award (2002) for promoting environment-friendly public expenditure reform in Benin, and in November 2014, received the Jeffrey Cook Prize for Desert Architecture in acknowledgement of his lifetime contribution to a sustainable built environment.
Adam Koniuszewski, CA/CPA, CFA.
Adam is an expert on global sustainability challenges and their business and financial aspects. He is also an award-winning Canadian chartered professional accountant, chartered financial analyst and commerce graduate from Concordia University in Montreal. Earlier in his international business career (North America, Europe, North Africa) he gained a great deal of experience in strategy and business development, planning and risk management, corporate and government affairs.
He is also an international speaker on the business and financial angles of global sustainability challenges and is involved with several social and charitable programmes.
He is the chief operating officer of Green Cross International: the global environmental nonprofit founded by Mikhail Gorbachev to address the challenges of security, poverty and the environment, and the project leader of the Gorbachev Climate Change Task Force.
WAFA is honoured to have Adam on the selection committee for several years.
Mr. Ashok Swain attained his PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been a professor of the Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden, since 2005 . He also serves as the director of the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, Sweden.
Dr. Swain has been a MacArthur Fellow at the University of Chicago, and visiting fellow at the following: the UN Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva; Witwatersrand University, South Africa; University of Science, Malaysia; University of British Columbia; University of Maryland, US; Stanford University, US; McGill University, Quebec, and Tufts University, US.
He has also worked as a consultant with OSCE, NATO, EU, IISS, the government of Singapore, the government of Sweden, and various UN agencies. He writes extensively on environmental security and international water-sharing issues.
“I am happy and honoured to be part of this noble and important effort”. Ashok Swain
Margareta Barchan specializes in helping organisations create and implement strategies that support a sustainable future – by striking a balance between social, environmental and financial responsibility. She is an entrepreneur who has started several successful companies and foundations, always with a focus on the human side of change. She earned the “Business Woman of the Year” award in Sweden,1997.
Now she is driving the research “Brave Leaders Project”, an initiative undertaken with support from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Why are some leaders more prepared to stand up for their values and beliefs than others? This is one question she asks managers and leaders whose vision goes beyond short-term gains and shareholder value.
She is an affiliate professor in sustainability at Lorange Institute for Business Zurich and in leadership & management at Business School Lausanne. She serves as a director on several corporate boards and earned her MSc from HEC Paris in collaboration with Oxford University. She is a graduate of advanced studies in corporate social responsibility from the University of Geneva and is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Patrick Worms is currently the vice-president of Agenda, LLC, and the senior science policy advisor at World Agroforestry Centre, in Brussels and Nairobi, one of the world’s 15 WB-financed agro-research centres, and principal of Ecosolutions: a project management services company.
His work at the World Agroforestry Centre is pivotal in tackling not only serious issues in climate change, but also environmental, economic, and social problems. The Centre’s vision “is a rural transformation throughout the tropics as smallholder households increase their use of trees in agricultural landscapes to improve their food security, nutrition security, income, health, shelter, social cohesion, energy resources and environmental sustainability”.
Patrick has an extensive background in communications, international relations, branding, issues management, marketing, EU policy process, and teaching. For many years, he has worked globally to raise environmental awareness.