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.


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.



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.





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.


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.



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.


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