20-22 MARCH 2019 / Helsinki, Finland

How do we build young leaders to tackle
sustainability challenges entrepreneurially?


Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in
all aspects of society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in their
assessment last October 2018. Who else to make non-incremental changes than the open-minded,
technologically minded and digitally connected youngsters who care for their only planet?

This gathering of minds is for the participants to learn and share on the latest of sustainability trends, on the skills needed to lead ground-breaking sustainability projects, and to make new connections to collaborate with one another to start-up initiatives to impact local realities.

It is also about activating the often dormant leadership potential of talented young academics into utilizing their intellectual capabilities for positive impact in their immediate surroundings. It is about giving them tools for skills upgrading, technology, context and mindset to think entrepreneurially.


The programme is being designed in such a way that interactions will be key, beyond the
traditional standard template of sitting-and-listening to experts.


Understand the latest big picture trends & research on science & sustainability with the current backdrop of political and economic turmoils.


Bring your own ideas to the conversations and be inspired by others' stories on climate leadership.


Meet sustainability entrepreneurs thinking laterally on tackling sustainability challenges.


Connect to networks and diasporas to build an understanding on how to collaborate cross-culturally.


Get to ask for help in the marketplaces on how to make your existing projects more actionable and fundable.


Bertrand Piccard

Bertrand Piccard is the initiator and visionary behind Solar Impulse, the very first airplane capable of flying perpetually without fuel. It is in his DNA to go beyond the obvious and achieve the impossible as he did with his two round-the-world flights, recently in a solar-powered airplane, and before that non-stop in a balloon. Since he launched the first flight around the world in a solar airplane, his ambition has been to leverage a pioneering spirit for a useful contribution to the cause of renewable energies and clean technologies. With his dual identities as medical doctor and explorer, Bertrand has become a voice heard among the most distinguished institutions across the globe as a forward-thinking leader for progress and sustainability.

Peter Vesterbacka

Peter Vesterbacka is a founder of the startup event Slush. Formerly Peter was known as the Mighty Eagle of Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds. Peter also works as a Brand Breaker in Lightneer, a company making learning fun through fantastic games and other products. Time Magazine named Peter one of the 100 most influential people on the planet already in 2011.

Eeva Furman

Eeva Furman works at the Finnish environment institute SYKE as Director of the Environmental Policy Centre. Her expertise lies in the governance of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as with public participation in environmental issues. She has been developing a solution-based approach to enhancing sustainable development. Eeva is the Chair of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Development that Sitra facilitates. She is also a member of the working group drafting the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Report 2019. Eev

Peter David Pedersen

Peter David Pedersen is the Co-Founder of NELIS (Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability). He is the co-founder of E-Square Inc., one of Japan's leading sustainability think tanks and consultancies. He is the Executive Director, TACL, The Academy for Corporate Leadership. He works with some 100 Japan corporations annually on integrating sustainability into corporate strategy.

Oras Tynkkynen

Oras Tynkkynen helps Sitra to understand how Finland can transform into a carbon-neutral circular economy. He works particularly on climate solutions and policies to promote them. Oras has worked on climate and energy policy at the international, European, national and local level for about 20 years. Oras has previously worked as a Climate Policy Specialist in the Prime Minister’s Office, been a Member of Parliament, a journalist and consultant. He has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from Tampere University.

Aslak de Silva

Aslak de Silva is the CEO of the Nordic Business Forum. Aslak has worked for over 10 years in B2B sales and marketing in Finland and other Scandinavian countries with some business deals made in UK. He’s worked with over 3,000 customers from different industries, ranging from small local businesses to multinational corporations.

Atte Korhola

Atte Korhola is professor of environmental change and vice-dean of societal interactions at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki. He is expert in climate change, its impacts and solutions, including black carbon issues, climate feedbacks, carbon cycling, and long-term climate & ecosystem change. Atte is member of the Environment Panel of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), Fellow of the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA) and former Member of the Board of the Nordic Committee on Bioethics, NordForsk. He has acted as consultant and adviser for several companies/enterprises in climate matters. He has more than 100 media appearances during the recent years..

Jonna Kangasoja

Jonna Kangasoja is the Co-Founder and CEO of Akordi. Akordi is a Finnish social enterprise specialized in providing professional neutral services for environmental collaboration and conflict resolution in complex multi-stakeholder cases involving e.g. natural resources, energy and land-use. Jonna has a doctorate in land use-planning and urban studies and her dissertation research focused on the collaborative and negotiation skills and capabilities of planning professionals. Jonna has received her negotiation, conflict management and mediation training at Harvard Program on Negotiation and at MIT with Professor Lawrence Susskind. She is a member of the CBI Global Network of Experienced Public Policy Mediation Professionals. .

Linley Chiwona-Karltun

Linley Chiwona-Karltun is currently serving as Associate Professor and research fellow at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Her interests include mentoring and affirming young people and African professionals in the Diaspora to believe in their talents. Linley serves on the board of the African Nutrition Society (ANS), the International Potato Centre (CIP), Ambio A Journal of the Human Environment as well as the Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD). Together with Chrissie Katundu, Linley co-founded the Chinangwa ndi Mbatata Roots and Tuber Enterprise (CMRTE), a grassroot movement of women and men struggling to change their trajectory of poverty and entitlement to their organization CMRTE. She is the current president of the African Agricultural Professionals in Europe (AAPE).

Anne Badan

Anne is an entrepreneur, lecturer and founder of A2B Philanthropy Oy, The Startup Shortcut Oy. She has extensive experience in management, business development, marketing and strategic partnerships through her work with organisations such as the World Economic Forum, SGS-Société Générale de Surveillance, in Formula 1 at Allsport Management, The National Assembly of Republic of Korea, Aalto University, FinnChurch Aid, among many others. She has been involved in high impact ventures and has been actively participating in designing academic sustainability courses. Her impact startup has been nominated for the Nordic Startup Awards in the category 2017 Best Impact Startups and she won the Award "Ecosystem Hero of The Year 2018” presented by the Nordic Startup Awards.

Joaquin Boston

Joaquin Boston is a global citizen as he describes himself, Cum Laude researcher on Leadership, Competititveness and Success (Boston MA 2010/12). He represents causes and goals as Chairman of 5Gcitizens International Congress, President of Entreps (International Board of Business Owners & Entrepreneurs), and Vice-President of Young Entrepreneurs Europe. Entreps specialises in entrepreneurship and startups; 5Gcitizens gathers together the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Digitisation (the focus on AI) and Citizenship; JEUNE is an outstanding member of Entreps in Europe, representing the Young Entrepreneurs of the EU and neighbour countries. A motto: My wise grandma is Nature, my clever grandpa is Development; they love each other.

Satu Lähteenoja

Satu Lähteenoja works as a sustainability expert at the think tank Demos Helsinki. Demos Helsinki is an independent think tank working towards more democratic and sustainable societies. Satu has over 10 years of experience in facilitating sustainability transformations with companies, municipalities and ministries. Recently, she lead an evaluation work of the Finnish sustainable development policies, with the focus on SDG implementation and future recommendations.

Mikko Ampuja

Mikko is the founder and CEO of Vapaus, a Finnish impact start up building a carbon negative "urban rides as a service" business. Having worked in strategy, customer insight and service design for 10+ years, Mikko realised the huge opportunities in impact entrepreneurship and smart mobility. What could be a more exciting venture than to create profitable business and do my part in saving the world simultaneously? Mikko is also an active board member in three businesses as well as foresight advisor to the National Sports Council

Kingsley Ify

Kingsley is the co-founder and CEO of Springboard Afro-Nordic Business platform. He is passionate about promoting business bonds between the Nordics and Africa. His current role involves working with startups, institutional players and businesses - both private and public - to facilitate future Afro-Nordic business ventures. His entrepreneurial journey started when he spotted a trade deficit between the Nordics and Africa. He sees the importance of leveraging trade between the two regions as a way to add long-term value to business development in Africa.

Kristín Grímsdóttir

.Kristín Grímsdóttir has dedicated the past 10 years of her life to listen with presence and compassion to hundreds of people from all over the world. She is genuinely curious to better understand why people, and especially leaders, do what they do in order to impact the way we lead towards a more inclusive, thriving and sustainable world. Driven by the values of curiosity, courage and compassion she has embarked on a journey no-other like that has lead her to the findings that authenticity and presence are the key human ingredients to make a difference in this world.

Meelan Thondoo

Meelan Thondoo is the Founder & Director at Anthropulse Ltd. Currently doing a double PhD, her goal is to use evidence-based data to improve interventions from a grass-roots level. She uses both, field and analytical skills to collect, compare and disseminate human, socio-economic and cultural data. She believes that applying an anthropological toolkit is of high added-value in the field of development.

Samuli Taskila

Samuli Taskila is the Co-Founder and CEO of Entis, the leading insect food brand in the Nordics. With a background in law, Samuli and his team were able to affect the legislation in a way that Finland legalized insect food in September 2017. After that, a long journey has begun: how to make western consumers familiar and confident to eat crickets? And why should we eat them on the first place?

Franz Dhers

Frantz Dhers is the French CEO of Original’s, a consulting firm specialized in cultural sustainability issues that helps companies to respect and promote the local cultures under their influence through the concept of "Corporate Cultural Responsibility".

Lucas Sanchez Martinez

Lucas is a co-director at Hermanos Brothers - a creative bureau in Colombia using artistic expressions to facilitate innovation and learning. He is very interested in inspiring and triggering ethical reflections, and hopefully changes in other persons’ behaviour, through sensory, holistic, and arts-based communication experiences. He is happy to be able to do this through combining music making, social entrepreneurship, cultural conspiracy, and artistic projects management.

Wang Jing

Jing is a designer and entrepreneur at her brand Upcycle with Jing, which focuses on upcycling design, DIY trashion (trash + fashion), workshops and industrial consulting. By exploring different materials and techniques, she creates unique jewelry out of wasted, leftover and second-hand materials. She also works as a freelance graphic designer at Digital Agency Break, which helps companies and organizations promote their sustainable projects.

Karolina Mazetyte

Karolina Mazetyte is a Co-founder & CEO of International Youth to Youth Initiative, a social business, which empowers & inspires global youth community to become changemakers through holistic and accessible trainings, networking events and mentorship of youth-led projects. Karolina is a part of Ashoka Young Change Makers, Global Social Business, Asia-Europe Foundation, Swedish Institute, UN women networks. She is also a wellbeing & meditation trainer. Her personal aspiration is to bring empathy, mindfulness, personal & organisational purpose alignment to companies, organisations & communities worldwide.

Kirsi Kurki-Miettinen

Kirsi Kurki-Miettinen is a Helsinki-based communications and event production specialist with a soft spot for nature protection and sustainable living. She is driven to make the world a better place to live in with her communication and marketing expertise. Currently she is working as a communications officer at the John Nurminen Foundation, which aims to save the heritage of the Baltic Sea for future generations.

Naureen Nayyar

Olivier Bos is the Chief Inspiration Officer of Meshminds. He spearheads the brainstorming processes behind creative ideation and business strategy in MeshMinds. Olivier frequently squeezes his creative brain juice in realising visionary concepts into reality - physically and/or virtually. Olivier’s personal interests revolve around exploring the meaningful intersections between technology and art. His vast knowledge of tech trends is thus usefully aligned with his passion in utilising technology for good causes around the world. Often, Olivier can be seen focusing on projects revolving around Human-Centered Design or assisting in the conduct of immersive technology workshops.

Saffran Mihnar
(via conference call)

Saffran is an activist focused on communication, campaigning, and negotiations. His work empowers young people in the field of climate change and sustainable development. While having been engaged in the process for more than five years, Saffran has contributed to national and international youth platforms, e.g. the UNFCCC. Saffran has been a resource person and lead facilitator for several other international forums for thematic topics under the SDGs and Paris Agreement. These activities have followed from his recognition as the most outstanding global leader for the Global Youth Power Campaign launched by Restless Development, due to his outstanding contributions and teamwork.

Farid Singhr

Farid Singh is a customer centric intrapreneur, innovator, creative thinker and Digital Transformation product manager with more than 10 years of experience building solutions, centred round UX, technology, research and data insights. He is an advisor and Entrepreneur in Residence to startups in Europe, Baltics and Nordics. He has accelerated and mentored over 35 startups, and conducted technical due diligence on over 75 startups.


PRE-EVENT: Special Session

Thursday, 17 October 2019


The Shortcut,
Lapinlahdenkatu 16,

00180 Helsinki

(27 seats)

Proudly brought to you by NELIS Next Leaders’ University

The Next Leaders’ University (NLU) is an ambitious project which aims to train the next-generation leaders (under age 40) on sustainability and leadership challenges worldwide through strong values and an innovative vision. However, sustainability is for now still ruled by theoretical “experts” instead of concrete “doers”. NLU believes that this current approach is limiting the progress, innovation and acceptance of sustainability policies worldwide.

NLU links people locally on the ground and globally on the international platform, in order to promote the discussion between two kinds of people who rarely have the opportunity to meet. NLU is developing an innovative “global-local” methodology in which “on the field” expertise, experiences and network provide new inspirations, points of view and strategies for global challenges. NLU is the first ever “glocalized” training platform that wants to break the current rules


09.30 - 10.00: Registration

10.10:10.00 - 10.10: Welcome statements

Rahul Pardasani, Talent Programme Manager, The Shortcut

Jovin Hurry,,Chair of the Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019

10.10 - 12.10: "Cultural Sustainability" workshop By Frantz Dhers, Director of Original’s

This workshop challenges the sustainability microcosm. It informs participants about the inclusion of cultural considerations into environmental projects, which can maximize impact and reduce risks. This is possible when we are made aware of how others live, and through which values, in a given place, one can better adapt the environmental projects to current reality. The participants will take a step back on the current ideas and ideals of sustainability, to become responsible next-generation leaders, not ones who impose and spread their own values because they think that those are the best, but ones who understand and respect the values of others.

12.10 - 12.30: Networking

Day 1: Young Leaders Day: Inspire - Connect - Empower

Wednesday, 20 March 2019


Tiedekulma, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki (27 seats),

This day highlights the leadership stories of young leaders from different disciplines, domains and diasporas, what they’ve gone through at the personal and emotional level, to inspire the audience intellectually and emotionally. In lighting talks followed by a facilitated short discussion, the speakers connect to the crowd, so all can be eventually empowered to take a small next step to what they’d like to achieve as a leader in their own capacity. (Lunch is at one's own time and cost.)


09.30 - 10.00:Registration & Welcome

10.10:10.00 - 10.10: Welcome statements Jovin Hurry,Chair of the Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019

Opening remarks by Peter David Pedersen, , Co-Founder of NELIS (Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability)

Young Leaders talks

10.20 - 10.40: Talk on“What should we eat today? - Defining the menu of tomorrow” Samuli Taskila, CEO at Entise

10.40 - 11.00: Talk on “Leading a novel health and sustainability framework for policy building and action” by Meelan Thondoo, Founder & Director at Anthropulse Ltd

11.00 - 11.20: Networking Break

11.20 - 11.40: Talk on "The challenges ahead for next-generation leaders in Africa"by Kingsley Ify, Co-founder and CEO of Springboard Afro-Nordic Business platform

11.40 - 12.00: Talk on"Pearls are the world’s best friend - how your consciousness development contributes to a more sustainable world"by Kristín Grímsdóttir

12.00 - 12.20: Networking Break

12.20 - 12.40: Talk on “Be the change you want to see - taking action to save the Baltic Sea"by Kirsi Kurki-Miettinen, Communications Specialist at the John Nurminen Foundation

12.40 - 13.00: Talk on"Creating a sustainable self before leading others"by Naureen NayyarCo-Creator at Kaamos Accelerator

Special Sessions

Track I/II

12.00 - 12.20: Networking Break

13.20 - 15.40: Walkshop (Walking tour in Helsinki city centre), led by Frantz Dhers,Director of Original’s

This activity will be all about innovation: a theoretical innovation through the presentation of a new challenge of sustainability - “cultural sustainability”, and a practical innovation through a new way of facilitation - the “walkshop” - or the “workshop by walking around”. We believe that speaking about cultures and identities is much more relevant and concrete while we walk around people and neighborhoods..

This walkshop will spread awareness on why and how we have to engage for the sustainability of the different cultures at a global level by focusing on, and discussing about, the Finnish case at a local level. Throughout the walk, the audience will be invited to think and discuss about key themes of cultural sustainability like “cultures in a globalized world”, “the borders of tomorrow”, and “cultural mixing” .

Track II/II

13.20 - 13.40: Talk on"Negotiating the SDGs in the international arena: what young leaders can learn, and how they can do better!"by Saffran Mihnar,Director for Development and Communication at EarthLanka (via conference call)

This activity is all about making your own jewelry! Wang Jing is going to give a lecture about upcycling, a showcase of her work. Then she will demonstrate step-by-step processes of how to make plastic flower jewelry, techniques of cutting and trimming plastic bottles, how to use candle heat to curl up the cut pieces into organic shapes and assemble them together into jewelry (brooches, earrings and rings). After the demonstration, participants can make their own plastic bottle jewelry. .

Summary, Vote of thanks & Closing

16.00 - 16.30: Networking

16.30: End of Day 1 of Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019

Day 2: One Day in Harmony

Thursday, 21 March 2019


Lecture Theatre P1, ​Porthania, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki (77 seats

This day highlights keynotes from international experts on how they are leading the way in sustainability thinking and action, either individually or in teams. A number of initiatives and programmes will be launched, oriented towards building the leadership for the next generation. (Lunch is at one's own time and cost.)


09.30 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - 10.10: Welcome statements by the moderator

Jovin Hurry, Chair of the Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019, Talent Programme Manager, The Shortcut

Opening remarks by Peter David Pedersen, , Co-Founder of NELIS (Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability)

10.30 - 10.40: Keynote by Bertrand Piccard, , , Initiator and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation (via recorded message)

10.40 - 11.00: Networking Break

Special Keynotes

11.00 - 11.20: Keynote “What leadership in tomorrow’s sustainability?”by Eeva Furman,Director and Professor, Environmental Policy Centre, SYKEr

11.20 - 11.40: Keynote on “Climate leadership in the 21st century”by Oras Tynkkynen,Senior Advisor for Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy, SITRA

13.40 - 14.00: Networking Break

12.00 - 12.40: Launch of NELIS Initiatives: 1) 12.00 - 12.40: Launch of NELIS Initiatives: 1) “4 Revolutions Global Generation Challenge” and 2) "NELIS Next Leaders' University" by Peter David Pedersen,Co-Founder of NELIS (Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability); Puja Thiel,Molecular biologist; and Lucas Sanchez Martinez,Co-Director at Hermanos Brothers (via conference call)

12.40 - 13.00: Networking Break

13.00 - 13.20: Keynote on “From planetary boundaries to planetary opportunities: reorientation of our mindsets” by Atte Korhola,Professor in Environmental Change & Vice-Dean of Societal Interactions, University of Helsinki

13.20 - 13.40: Keynote on “Pan-European leadership for the next generation”by Joaquin Boston,President of Entreps (International Board of Business Owners & Entrepreneurs)

13.40 - 14.00: Networking Break

14.00 - 14.20: Keynote on “Young, Gifted and Talented: Is affirming the next generation of sustainability what it takes?”by Linley Chiwona-Karltun, Associate Professor, Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

14.20 - 14.40: Keynote on "Shooting for collective impact: True stories of next-generation leaders"by Anne Badan, Entrepreneur and Co-Founder & CEO, The Shortcut

14.40 - 15.00: Networking Break

15.00 - 15.20: Keynote on "Next-generation leadership: From being goal oriented to being purpose-led'by Karolina Mazetyte, Co-founder & CEO of International Youth to Youth Initiative

15.20 - 15.40: Keynote on "How can young leaders implement the 2030 Agenda at the national level? Results and recommendations for more impactful and coherent policies" by Satu Lähteenoja, , Senior Expert, Demos Helsinki

15.40 - 16.00: Networking Break

Special movie screening

16.00 - 16.50: NELIS documentary - "Next-generation leadership building around the world"


16.50 - 17.00: Summary, Vote of thanks & Closing by the moderator Jovin Hurry Chair of the Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019 ​

17.00: End of Day 2 of Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019

Day 3:Special Leadership Day (For next-generation leaders)

Friday, 22 March 2019 (Registration is closed for the Special Leadership Day)


Tiedekulma, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki (27 seats),

This special day is reserved for next-generation leaders keen to take actions in the future. It highlights short keynotes from leaders across the industry with plenty of interactions by an audience comprised of young professionals coming from different sectors, disciplines and thinking models. On top of meeting new minds, the participants will discuss the questions they need to ask around their own leadership in the future; the collaborations they ought to make to move the needle to the right; and what kind of help is available to get them started as a young leader for a sustainable world. (Lunch is at one's own cost.) ​

09.30 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - 10.20: Welcome statements & Mood setting by the moderator Jovin Hurry, Chair of the Next Leaders’ Summit Europe 2019

10.20 - 10.30: Opening remarks by Peter David Pedersen, Co-Founder of NELIS (Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability)

10.30 - 10.50: Keynote on “Leadership in the 21st century” by Peter Vesterbacka, Co-founder and Brand Breaker at FinEst Bay Area Development

10.50 - 11.10: Keynote on “Building leaders that change the world” by Aslak de Silva, CEO of the Nordic Business Forum

11.10 - 11.30: Break & Playtime

11.30 - 12.30: Keynote on "Building for purpose - Insights from entrepreneurs" by Farid Singh, Entrepreneur in Residence, Startup Wise Guys

12.30 - 14.00: Lunch & Playtime

Luncheon special:

Demo by Mikko Ampuja,CEO of Vapaus, a Finnish impact startup building a carbon negative "urban rides as a service" business. Participants will get to try some rides too!

14.00 - 14.30: Reflection time on “Collaborating towards One World in Harmony”

14.30 - 15.10: Keynote on ““Leading through conflicts” by Jonna Kangasoja, Co-Founder, CEO of Akordi

15.10 - 15.30: Networking break

15.30 - 16.30: Interactive Workshop on "Action steps for next-generation leaders”

16.30 - 17.00:

NELIS Leadership Prize 2019 (Europe) Chair

Intro to side event at the World Circular Economy Forum (Helsinki, June 3-5)

Summary of the day by moderator & Close of the Next Leaders’ Europe Summit 2019


Young professionals

keen to lead sustainability projects locally/

internationally in networked organisations.

Young academics, researchers, PhD students

wishing to take on leadership roles in their future career and/or to commercialise their research.

Decision-makers in public private institutions

eager to know how to collaborate with the upcoming tech-savvy generations and mobile diasporas.

Focus on the next-
generation leaders

Many young PhD holders struggle with what to do after their long years of studies. What are new options that are available for them? How to tread onto non-conventional paths? Being in the company of peers who have taken alternative paths may offer them options that they may not have thought of before.

Young leaders need to understand the dichotomy of:

  • them wanting to make things happen when older generations want to make everything the old way and promote that part of youth that obeys the old ways
  • them needing to consider how to appreciate those who are afraid of the future/change (old and young who think that way) and at the same time promote change firmly in order to tackle sustainability challenges.


17-19 October, 2019 / Singapore


an overview of major partners in Summit 2019


Jovin Hurry

Chair, Next Leaders' Europe Summit 2019

Core Team Member, NELIS (Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability)

Phone: +358 46 590 4944