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International Directors Forum - First speakers announced

Ecsite, ASPAC, ASTC, RedPOP, NAMES, SAASTEC and Heureka are pleased to announce the first line up of confirmed speakers for the International Directors Forum in Finland 14-16 November 2024, to see photos of the speakers click here.

Please note: The Forum starts for Ecsite members at lunchtime on 14 November with the member afternoon.

Brigitte Baptiste (COL)

Dr. Brigitte Baptiste is a biologist and expert ecologist on biodiversity and environmental issues in her native Colombia. She has pushed the boundaries of her field, influencing change and driving progress through her work. She is a member of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Science and Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and is currently the Chancellor of Universidad Ean in Bogota, Colombia.

Siim Kumpas (EST)

Siim Kumpas has played a central role in spreading awareness of foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) in both his current position as Policy Officer at the European External Action Service (EEAS) and his previous position as Strategic Communication Adviser at the Government Office of Estonia. Whether its politics or science engagement, the struggle against foreign information manipulation and interference is relevant for all fields.

Paula Kahumbu (KEN)

Dr. Paula Kahumbu is a wildlife conservationist and CEO of WildLifeDirect, a nonprofit organisation that has become the largest wildlife blogging site in Africa. Dr. Kahumbu is also known for campaigning for local wildlife with the Hands Off Our Elephants Campaign and since 2022 has been serving as the first National Geographical Explorer as a board of Trustees member at the National Geographic Society.

Petra Laiti (FIN)

Petra Laiti (Ásllat Mihku Ilmára Mika Petra) is a Sámi singer, songwriter and activist using her voice to promote Sámi culture and language. She has worked with the activist group Ellos Deatnu! which uses a feminist lens to look beyond the patriarchal conceptions of the nation-state as well as having worked at the presidium of the UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus.

Markku Wilenius (FIN)

Markku Wilenius is a professor of Future Studies at Turku University in Finland. With over 20 years experience of working in future studies, his interests include: understanding socio-economic long-term waves, the future of the financial industry and the future of the forest industry and non-hierarchical organisations.

Maria Mäkelä (FIN)

Dr. Maria Mäkelä is a professor of literature at Tampere University and whose expertise lies in storytelling and narrative. She has extensively studied the benefits, and dangers, of how narratives of experience can affect society and politics.

Risto Isomäki (FIN)

Risto Isomäki is an activist and a writer of 44 books that range from science fiction to non-fiction. His novels, such as the Sands of Sarasvati, centre around ecological disasters of apocalyptic proportions and have reached audiences worldwide having been translated into more than 20 languages. Aside from his writing, he has also worked in various NGOs across the world.

Orna Ben Lulu (FIN)

Orna Ben Lulu is the founder and editor-in-chief of RARE Media which offers diverse and more inclusive journalism aimed at young people. She is specialised in sustainable development as well as the consumption of media by the younger generation and the content of RARE Media combines these two topics as it is inspired by the goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Viktor Jaakkola (FIN)

Viktor Jaakkola is a climate activist who works within Operaatio Arctic - a project consisting of fourteen young people concerned about the disappearance of the Arctic summer sea ice and the dire consequences that will inevitably follow suit. In his work with Operaatio Arctic, Viktor aims to inspire others that Climate Repair, referring to techniques that can help stabilise the climate system, is possible.

Tellervo Kalleinen (FIN) and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen (GER)

Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen are interdisciplinary artists who combine film, performance, game design, experimental education, facilitation, social architecture and alternative economies in their work. Instead of documenting every day life, they present imagined solutions towards a better world through the medium of art.

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