Helmy Abouleish, born on 28 July in Graz, studied business administration and marketing in Cairo. As the son of SEKEM founder Ibrahim Abouleish, he is deeply involved in SEKEM's development. SEKEM has been promoting sustainable development in the fields of ecology, economy, society and culture since 1977. SEKEM Holding produces, processes and markets biodynamic food, textiles and medicines in Egypt and international markets, and operates various educational institutions. In addition to his work as CEO of SEKEM Holding, Helmy Abouleish is involved in national and international politics for responsible competitiveness, social entrepreneurship or combating the major problems of the 21st century, such as climate change and food security.
Under his leadership, the SEKEM Initiative was awarded, among others, the "Right Livelihood Award 2003", also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize".
Currently, Helmy Abouleish is Chairman of the Board of SEKEM Holding and SEKEM Initiative and Chairman of the Board of Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. He is also a member of various international organisations and boards, such as Fair Trade USA. In 2017, he became a council member of the World Future Council and NAP champion for climate change adaptation. Since June 2018, Helmy Abouleish has been President of Demeter International.
Prof. Dr. Antonio Andrioli
Antonio Inácio Andrioli is a philosopher with a multidisciplinary background in various fields of science. As an expert in cooperativism with a Master's degree in Education and a PhD in Economics and Social Sciences, he is outstanding in the exploration of transgenic soybeans and their social and environmental impact on Brazilian farmers. At the end of January, he received the Nature Conservation Prize 2020 from the Bund Naturschutz in Bayern for his long-standing commitment to GMO-free agriculture and the protection of small farmers and indigenous peoples. In Brazil, he is professor for the Master's degree in agroecology and sustainable rural development at the Federal University Fronteira Sul, a university he has helped to establish since its foundation in 2009. He was a member of the National Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) from 2011 to 2017 as a specialist for family farms and participated for many years in the Agrobiodiversity Study Group (GEA) of the Federal Ministry of Agricultural Development, coordinated by the Centre for Agricultural Studies and Rural Development. His book "Agro-Gentechnik: Die Saat des Bösen. Die schleichende Vergiftung von Böden und Nahrung", originally published in Germany, has made him internationally known for his research in the field of transgenes and pesticides.
After her "weltwärts" voluntary service in Peru in the field of environmental education, ecological agriculture and reforestation, Sophia Bachmann began her studies in social sciences and economics in Erfurt. Here she focused on international politics, empirical social research and sustainability. Outside of university, she was involved in the German Scout Association of Saint George for a long time. For several years now, she has been active as a volunteer with the Naturefriends Youth. Here she was able to complete training as a teamer in the subject area of "right-wing extremism in nature conservation", which links two areas in which she is very interested. Since 12/2019 she is the official UN Youth Delegate for Sustainable Development. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, she accompanies the German government delegation to the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF). Through her office as youth delegate, Ms Bachmann gives young people from Germany a voice and represents their interests and wishes in international UN negotiations. She is currently working as a student assistant at the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research (IASS) in a research project on the social dimension of the energy transition.
Rudolf Bühler was born in 1952 at Sonnenhof in Wolpertshausen/Hohenlohe. After graduating as an agricultural engineer and studying tropical agriculture and agricultural sociology, he spent six years working in development projects in Africa, Arabia, and Asia. After returning to Sonnenhof in 1984, he began to apply his experience to rural development in his home region of Hohenlohe. His first project was the rescue and revitalisation of the autochthonous landrace Schwäbisch-Hällisches Landschwein. In 1988, he founded the Schwäbisch Hall Rural Producers' Association with 8 farmers as the responsible body for rural regional development in Hohenlohe. Today 1450 farms from the Hohenlohe region belong to this rural producer association, 480 of them are certified organic farms. Among the projects of the producer association are the producer slaughterhouse Schwäbisch Hall, the cheese dairy Geifertshofen, the regional market Hohenlohe, and others. This was followed in 2012 by the establishment of the foundation Haus der Bauern, which is running the Academy for Ecological Agriculture and Food Economy at Kirchberg Castle since 2016 with a local and international focus. Together with the Ecoland growers' association and Ecoland Herbs & Spices, Rudolf Bühler has founded ecological partnership projects with small farmers in India, Africa, and Eastern Europe under the SEEDS OF HOPE model since 2001. Rudolf Bühler has been working for the rights of small farmers since 2009 and was appointed by the United Nations in 2017 to the Human Rights Council and the UN Economic and Social Committee in New York as an advisory member. With his participation, especially in the context of the worldwide congress "Global Peasants Rights" in Schwäbisch Hall in March 2017, the "Declaration of Global Peasants Rights and People Working in Rural Areas" was developed together with international organizations such as La Via Campesino, CETIM, FIAN and other NGOs and adopted by the UN General Assembly in New York on December 17, 2018.
After 15 years of theatre and education work in different countries (most recently in Mali, West Africa), Gundula Büker has been working full-time in the field of Global Learning and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Germany since 2010. She is currently a One World Expert Promoter for Global Learning (counselling and qualification) for Baden-Württemberg. The focus of her work is on the training and further education of school and out-of-school multipliers, advising institutions and supporting projects, as well as networking and lobbying for transformative educational concepts such as global learning and education for sustainable development (ESD). Since 2018, Gundula Büker has been part of the executive board team of the Entwicklungspädagogisches Informationszentrum (EPiZ) Reutlingen, a state and national institution for global learning.
Gabriele Bystricky was born in 1958 and lives in Langenburg-Bächlingen, Hohenlohe. She has been running a Fairtrade shop in a rural setting for 6 years. Before that, she helped to set up a world shop in a small town nearby and worked there for 20 years. She is a steering group member and contact person for the Fair City of Langenburg and the cooperation with parishes and schools. She is also responsible for the planning and implementation of Fair Trade activities in Langenburg.
Prof. Dr. José Graziano da Silva
José Graziano da Silva holds a degree in Agronomy and a Master’s degree in Economics and Rural Sociology, both degrees from the University of São Paulo (USP). He has a PhD in Economics from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and post-doctoral degrees at the University of London and in Latin American Studies and Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. José Graziano da Silva has contributed more than 30 years of academic, professional, and political knowledge on issues related to security, food, and rural development. In particular, as the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from 2012-2019, he implemented the experience garnered with the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) program in Brazil, which he conceived and later led while serving as Extraordinary Minister of Food Security and Fight against Hunger during the first government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Since 2020, he has been the director of the Zero Hunger Institute.
Dr. Ingolf Dietrich
Dr. Dietrich is BMZ Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and leads BMZ Directorate with programmatic focus on the 2030 Agenda, poverty, inequality, democracy, rule of law, governance, human rights, gender equality and education. Before this role, he was responsible for energy, biodiversity, water, urban development and mobility, and headed the Divisions of "Southern Africa" and "Policy issues of bilateral development cooperation". Dr. Dietrich studied agricultural science at Munich and Berlin Technical University. He holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from Munich Technical University.
Dr. Martin Frick
Martin Frick is the Deputy of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Food System Summit 2021. He served before as the Senior Director of UN Climate Change where he was overseeing the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the secretariat's Climate Action work. As programme director for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Foundation, he developed the founding narrative of climate justice. He previously served as Director for Climate Change at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He was the German representative for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the UN General Assembly and served as the European Union’s lead negotiator in the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council. As Ambassador to the international organizations based in Germany, he helped building up the UN’s sustainability hub in Bonn. He holds a PhD in Law from Regensburg University and was a guest lecturer at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald
Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald studied theology, philosophy, and social sciences. After numerous research stays abroad and working on urgent questions in agricultural and environmental ethics, he worked in a consultancy in the field of environmental management. In 1988 he became chairman of the Schweisfurth Foundation for Sustainable Agricultural and Food Sciences in Munich. He researches and teaches as honorary professor for agricultural, nutritional, and environmental ethics at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Franz-Theo Gottwald is a member of numerous organisations in the fields of business, science, and business ethics. He is the author of specialist literature on sustainable development, SDGs, and corporate responsibility. He has authored books such as "Esst anders!: Vom Ende der Skandale", a book about inspired farmers, innovative craftsman, and informed gourmets and contributed to the title "Food Ethics". For his special services in environmental and consumer protection he was awarded the Bavarian State Medal in 2018.
Prof. Dr. Hans R. Herren
After his studies at the ETH-Z and a PostDoc at the Californian Berkeley University, Hans Rudolf Herren started his work in Africa in 1979 at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria. Until 1994 he was Director at the IITA and set up one of the largest biological pest control programs ever implemented with groundbreaking success, which later led to the World Food Prize and Kilby Award (1995). In 1998 he founded the Biovision Foundation. He received the Brandenberger Prize for his efforts to improve nutritional status and livelihoods, and the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2017. Since 2005 he is President of the Millennium Institute (MI) in Washington (USA) and supports governments in planning a change of course in their agricultural and development policies with system models developed by the MI. In addition to his participation in various international committees for the promotion of ecological and sustainable development, Dr. Herren, together with Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Kenya, headed the worldwide survey on the sustainability of agriculture IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology). He is also a member of the IPES Food Expert Panel and the Club of Rome. In 2017 Herren was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).
Maria Heubuch is a certified master of rural housekeeping and has been running a dairy farm with her family near Leutkirch in Allgäu since 1980. Shortly after she joined the farm, the milk quota was introduced in Germany and Europe and had a direct impact on her daily working life. Therefore, Mrs. Heubuch started to volunteer in agricultural policy. She founded the Association of Small and Medium-sized Family Farms and is one of the founding members of the Agricultural Alliance, the European Milk Producers' Association (EMB) and the regional GMO-free farming region. Until 2014 she was the national chairperson of the AG bäuerliche Landwirtschaft e. V. (AbL). She is also involved in the Leutkirch Citizens' Forum and the German Dairy Farmers' Association. (BDM). She has been a member of the Green Party since 2011 and was a member of the EU Parliament from 2014 to 2019, where she was primarily involved in development and agricultural policy. She still considers it a privilege to have her farm as a fundament next to her political career. She is currently a candidate for the German parliament for " Bündnis 90/Die Grünen " in the Lake Constance district.
Prof. Dr. Daniela Ludin
Since 2015, Prof. Dr. Daniela Ludin has held the professorship of General Business Administration at Heilbronn University in the Faculty of Management and Sales at the Schwäbisch Hall campus. For her, it is part of her identity to anchor the principle of sustainability as a central moment in her courses. Since 2017, Prof. Dr Daniela Ludin has been head of the B. A. Management & Procurement (MBW); in 2019, she became head of the B. A. Sustainable Procurement (NBW) programme. Since 2015, Prof. Dr. Daniela Ludin has also been a member of the Council for Sustainable Development at Heilbronn University, which she has chaired as Sustainability Officer since 2019. Prior to her time at Heilbronn University, Prof. Dr Daniela Ludin held a professorship for law, environmental and forest policy at Rottenburg University from 2009 to 2015. Prof. Dr Daniela Ludin's research focuses on sustainable procurement management, sustainable consumption and sustainable data management."
Louise Luttikholt was born in the Netherlands and grew up on a small family farm. She studied biology and philosophy at the University of Utrecht. After her studies, she represented the interests of organic farming to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and the Directorate General Agri in Brussels. She continued her career at Fair Trade International and at the Swiss development organisation Helvetas. She is the Executive Director of IFOAM – Organics International since 2018. She has extensive experience in organic agriculture, fair trade, and development cooperation at a strategic, management, and regulatory level. She is grounded in the Principles of Organic Agriculture and was the driving force behind the articulation process of them. Louise wants to build the resilience of the organic sector, and see it reach out from a strong foundation to show wider audiences and stakeholders that organic agriculture is a means to help heal the world.
Heide Öchslen, graduate sociologist and One World Regional Promoter for the Schwäbisch Hall - Hohenlohe region since 2013. Her work focuses on networking, advising and qualifying development policy groups and actors in the region, as well as coordinating and implementing development policy events.
Brazilian Agroecologist, Agronomist by training, Master in Sociology and Agricultural Economics, and PhD in Sustainable Development from the University of Brasilia (Brazil). Since 2013 she is Agricultural Officer at FAO, firstly in Latin America and the Caribbean, where she coordinated numerous projects focused on food security and family farming policies; and, after that, at FAO headquarters in Rome, where she is in charge of the secretariat of the Scaling up Agroecology Initiative, launched by FAO and other UN organizations in 2018. She is also a visiting professor of Master and Doctorate courses in different Universities in Europe and Latin America. Author of many publications (articles and books), among which the books Gender, Agroecology and Food Sovereignty (with Gloria Zuluaga, 2014); Mulheres e agroecologia, transformando o campo, as florestas e as pessoas (2015) and Agroecología en Femenino (with Gloria Zuluaga and Georgina Catacora-Vargas, 2018).
Reverend Father Bijo Thomas
Bijo Thomas is a catholic priest under the Diocese of Mananthavady, India. He has studied philosophy, politics, psychology and psychatric social work. He has over 20 years of practical experience in development cooperation. He is Director General of the Wayanad Social Service Society (WSSS). The WSSS is particularly committed to the socio-economic strengthening of tribal people, women, youth, children, and smallholders. The information technology platform of this organization is the community radio Mattoli under the direction of Rev. Fr. Bijo Thomas. Here he was able to optimally combine his expertise in the field of media with that of social work and transform the station into one of the most important community radio in the Kerala region. The radio has the prime objective of becoming a credible source of information that has direct and immediate relevance to the community living within its transmission zone. It provides marginal groups an opportunity to speak out, and be heard. Radio Mattoli is awarded in sustainability category as the best community radio station by the ministry of information & broadcasting. The agricultural and tribal based radio programme is awarded recently as the best radio programme by the agricultural department and tribal department of Kerala state.
Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
After completing his doctorate in the Department of Biology, the physicist Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker followed the call of the University of Essen, where he worked as a professor of biology for several years before he was subsequently appointed President of the University of Kassel from 1975-80. In 1981 he then moved to the UN Centre for Science and Technology in New York. He returned to Bonn in 1984 as Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy. In 1991 he was appointed President of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy. From 1998 to 2005 he was a member of the German Bundestag (SPD) and from 2002 chairman of the Environment Committee. Following his political career, he directed the Californian Environmental University from 2006-2008 and has been a freelancer since 2011. Of his considerable part-time commitment, his work as Co-President of the Club of Rome deserves special mention. Prof. Dr. von Weizsäcker has received many awards, such as the German Environmental Award and the German Federal Cross of Honor. In addition to numerous books, the german title "Wir sind dran. Was wir ändern müssen, wenn wir bleiben wollen" was recently published.
Christel Weller-Molongua has been leading the Rural Development and Agriculture Division at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Bonn since 2013. After studying geography with a focus on agricultural geography at the University of Trier she completed her post-graduate studies at the Center of International Rural Development of the Humboldt University in Berlin. She started her career with GIZ in Niger in 1989. This was followed by 14 years of project management and implementation in various African countries, including Benin and Mali. During this time her work covered multiple dimensions of rural development such as land use planning, sustainable resource management, nutrition security and participatory development. Gender and the role of women in rural development have been at the core of her work ever since. In addition to her working experience in Africa she was the Country Director of GIZ in Honduras while at the same time leading a project on biodiversity, sustainable forest and land use management for five years.
Currently she is responsible at GIZ for the Special Initiative “ONE World No Hunger” of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Under the umbrella of the Special Initiative, GIZ is implementing 16 global programmes in over 30 countries across Africa and Asia. The German Government's high financial commitment to this special initiative has made it possible to implement a broad and multisectoral approach to sustainable rural development. The programmes work on topics such as agricultural value chains and innovation, nutrition, soil protection and rehabilitation, agro-ecological measures, land management, fishery, access to finance in rural areas and jobs (especially for rural youth). Important cross-cutting features of all programmes are capacity development, gender sensitive approaches and impact monitoring to support context specific learning for sustainable development
Gian Wieck uses systems thinking and systems modelling to support stakeholders in their understanding of complex problems and the design of systemic transformation. His work focuses on participatory modelling for integrated urban management, the analysis of socio-ecological impacts of public policies and the promotion of innovative solutions through systemic design. Prior to joining the Millennium Institute, he worked for several years as an organisational consultant focusing on process management and data analysis, helping international organisations understand their data and structure information.
Markus Wolter studied geography, agricultural soil science and agricultural economics at the University of Göttingen. Following his studies, he worked for two years as a farmer on a Bioland finishing farm with pig farming and arable farming. He then worked for several years as an agricultural advisor for horticulture and laying hens for the German Development Service (DED) in Botswana and for Bioland North Rhine-Westphalia. From 2006 to 2012 he worked for "artebio", an agency for organic products, in purchasing and special consultancy for organic oilseeds, feed and food grains. Mr Wolter then took on project management at WWF Germany in cooperation with EDEKA on the sustainable feeding of farm animals and the project "Agriculture for Biodiversity". Since 2018, he has now been a consultant for agriculture and nutrition in the Department of Politics and Global Future Issues at the aid organisation MISEREOR in Aachen.
Prof. Zhou Zejiang
Prof. Zhou Zejiang studied Geography at Nanjing University, China. After his studies he was working in a geological prospecting team in rural areas of China as a driller for 5 years - so called re-education during the “Culture Revolution” - and then as a technical staff for 7 years. From 1980 to 2006 he continued his scientific career and finally worked as professor at the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. During this period he was involved in researches and promotion of rural environmental protection, nature conservation, organic agriculture, and organic food. As one of the pioneers of Chinese organic movement, he initiated the organic sector of China. In the year 1995 he became the first organic inspector of China and worked from 2001 to 2006 as Chief Scientist of Organic Food Development Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, where he was responsible for drafting the first China national organic standard and organic certification management rules. In the year 2005 he became Member of the Development Committee of IFOAM and continued to work for this organisation until today. Since 2015 he is the President of IFOAM Asia.