Speakers at Arctic Basecamp at Davos 2019


Gail Whiteman created the Arctic Basecamp at Davos concept as a vehicle to bring to global leaders the message that the Arctic is the canary in the coalmine for the health of the global environment, and a complex region that is experiencing unprecedented change. She is Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business. Her research utilises organisation theory on knowledge to analyse how a range of actors (companies, civil society, and local communities) make sense of ecological change, and how these actors transform and build resilience across scales given environmental pressures and social inequities. She is also the Professor-in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and was actively involved in building science-based targets including those for a future low-carbon economy. She is a Research Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), a Steering Committee member of the Future Earth Forum, and is an Executive Board member of the Resilience Alliance, an international research organisation of scientists and practitioners who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems.


Jeremy Wilkinson is engaged in leading-edge polar research programs spanning both poles. He is employed by the British Antarctic Survey, represents the UK on the International Arctic Science Committee’s Marine Science Working Group, and sits on the Scientific Steering Group of Antarctic Sea-Ice processes and Climate. He is a recognised authority on sea ice and upper-ocean physics and has organised and participated more than 20 polar field campaigns. Jeremy was the coordinator the €12 million EU funded ICE-ARC programme, sits on the Steering Committee of the US Stratified Ocean Dynamics in the Arctic (SODA) programme, as well as holding an Advisory Board position for the Japanese Arctic research project, Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS). Jeremy has substantial experience in broad-reaching multidisciplinary programs, and has organised or co-organised events at leading Arctic and policy-based conferences. He enjoys an excellent working relationship with the international scientific community and other stakeholders in the Polar regions.


Jan-Gunnar Winther is the Director of the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic, Nofima & Specialist Director, Norwegian Polar Institute. He is an experienced polar researcher and expedition leader, and serves on a large number of national and international committees. He has extensive experience in cold-regions field research through leading and participating in a number of research expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic. Winther led the Norwegian-USA scientific traverse into a largely unexplored region of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the International Polar Year in 2007-2009. This expedition is the largest and most complex scientific expedition for Norway in Antarctica in modern times. In 2011, he retraced Roald Amundsen’s route to the South Pole in 1911 as part of the national celebration of the Nansen-Amundsen Year 2011.


Julienne C. Stroeve has been a research scientist at the University of Colorado, at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and is now a Professor at University College London. Her Arctic research interests are wide-ranging, and include atmosphere-sea ice interactions, synoptic climatology, sea ice predictability, climate change and impacts on native communities.


Konrad Steffen is Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. He researches processes related to climate, cryospheric interaction, and sea level rise in Polar Regions based on in-situ and satellite observations.


Lovro Valcic is the founder and CEO of Bruncin Ltd, an agile and dynamic company with an outstanding team of R&D experts, working closely with scientists to develop custom solutions, systems, and sensors to facilitate fieldwork and research in the Polar regions. Bruncin Ltd participates as a partner in various EU and USA funded research projects and field campaigns, providing a wide variety of solutions and support in hardware, communications and software. Lovro has previously worked as Senior Developer at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK and as the head of ICT for the Alaska Volcano Observatory Remote Sensing team at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.



Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016. Assuming responsibility for the international climate change negotiations after the failed Copenhagen conference of 2009, she was determined to lead the process to a universally agreed regulatory framework. Building toward that goal, she directed the successful Conferences of the Parties in Cancun 2010, Durban 2011, Doha 2012, Warsaw 2013, and Lima 2014, and culminated her efforts in the historical Paris Agreement of 2015. Throughout her tenure Ms. Figueres brought together national and sub national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and communities of faith, think tanks and technology providers, NGOs and parliamentarians, to jointly deliver the unprecedented climate change agreement. For this achievement, Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy. She is currently the Founding Partner of Global Optimism and the convener of Mission 2020, a global initiative that seeks to ensure the world bends the curve on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in order to protect the most vulnerable from the worst impacts of climate change and usher in an era of stability and prosperity. Her responsibilities include Vice Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors, Climate Leader for the World Bank, Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International, Board member of Climate Works and the World Resources Institute, member of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health, and member of the Leadership Council of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.


Ellie Goulding: Double Brit-winner and two-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Ellie Goulding was born in Hereford, England, where she developed a deep affinity for the natural world. Her incredible career to date has seen sales over 15 million albums, over 105 million singles, and 13 billion streams worldwide. Her new eagerly awaited album will be released in 2019. An accomplished classical musician, she is simultaneously working on a classical project. Ellie also uses her voice and reach to represent environmental and social justice issues. In November 2017 Ellie was awarded the United Nation’s New Voices Award by the UN Foundation in recognition of her activism and became a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Environment. She has made it her mission to witness the frontline of climate change and the plastic pandemic, joining expeditions to Greenland and East Africa. By bearing witness, she is able to speak frankly and directly to her fans on the global issues that matter and will shape their future. During 2018 Ellie addressed 85 heads of state in London at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, spoke to the fashion industry on the necessity of climate goals at the UN’s Fashion for Development showcase and delivered a speech at the UK’s home of science, The Royal Institution in the final round of Talanoa talks, on the eve of COP24. At this critical time, Ellie continues to campaign at the highest level, amplifying the voices of young people in particular. She is passionate that political discussions on climate must match the ambitions of young people across the world. Along with new music, during 2019 Ellie will continue to ramp up her environmental work, continuing to visit the world’s leading scientific projects and to help lend her voice to communicating evidence to the widest possible audience.


Amy Luers is an Executive Director of Future Earth and has previously been Director of Climate at the Skoll Global Threats Fund (SGTF) and Assistant Director for Climate Resilience and Information at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Luers started her career in Latin America as co-founder and the first executive director of Agua Para La Vida (Water for Life), working with rural communities to enhance access to potable water. She has published in both academic and the popular media on issues related to vulnerability to global environmental change, data, sustainability, climate policy, and science communication. A respected scientist and data innovator, Luers has been recognised as a PopTech fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, Heinz Environmental Scholar, and has advised the California state government, the White House, and the United Nations. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on committees of the National Academies of Sciences.


Craig Leesonis an award-winning filmmaker, television presenter, news correspondent and entrepreneur. He is the global evangelist for the Plastic Oceans Foundation, a charity dedicated to ending humanity’s single-use plastic addiction within a generation. Craig’s debut cinematic feature film, “A Plastic Ocean”, which he wrote, directed and executive produced, was ranked the number one documentary on iTunes in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada and is also available globally on Amazon, and Netflix with the backing of Leonardo DiCaprio. “A Plastic Ocean” has won more than 15 film festival awards and has been screened in over 70 countries on 6 continents. There have been over 1,200 screenings globally hosted by government agencies, non-profits, schools, universities, individuals, multilateral institutions, corporations, aquariums and others, including the Smithsonian Institute and the Australian and UK Parliaments. The film has been subtitled into 15 languages. A shorter 22-minute version of the film was premiered at the UN General Assembly, in conjunction with the Permanent Mission of Colombia, on June 6 in New York City, to more than 500 people. The film counts among its patrons UNESCO.


Douglas McCauley is a professor of Marine Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). His research focuses on understanding how the oceans are changing and how this affects humanity. He is also the Director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative at UCSB, where he finds innovative ways to incorporate new technology into ocean research. He earned a PhD at Stanford University, where he studied the ecology of sharks and coral reefs. His research has been published in research journals, including Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, and he has been featured in outlets such as the New York Times, BBC, Time, and US National Public Radio.


Gloria Fluxà Thienemann is Vice-Chairman & Chief Sustainability Officer of Iberostar Group. She is advancing the company's approach to responsible tourism through the movement Wave of Change. The Iberostar Group is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company based in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). It has been operating in the tourist sector since 1956. With a sales network covering 35 countries and a staff of more than 28,000 employees, the Group handles 8 million customers a year. Hotels form the company’s core business, with a portfolio of more than 120 four and five star hotels located in 18 countries on three continents. The Iberostar Group is owned by the Fluxà family and chaired by Miguel Fluxà Rosselló, founder of the Group’s current hotel unit and the Iberostar Hotels & Resorts brand.


Greta Thunberg is a 16 year old climate activist with Aspergers's. In August 2018 she became a prominent figure in a student strike outside the Swedish parliament building, raising awareness of global warming. In November 2018 she spoke at TEDxStockholm, and in December 2018 she addressed the COP24 UN climate conference.


Halla Tómasdóttir is the CEO of The B Team. Halla started her leadership career in corporate America working for Mars and Pepsi Cola. She was on the founding team of Reykjavík University where she established the Executive Education Department, founded and led a successful women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment initiative and was an assistant professor at the Business School. She was the first female CEO of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce and later went on to co-found an investment firm with the vision to incorporate feminine values into finance. The company successfully survived the infamous economic meltdown in Iceland. Halla has served on for-profit and non-profit boards in education, healthcare, finance and consumer products. An active change catalyst, Halla was a founding member of the National Assembly held in Iceland in the wake of its financial collapse, where a random sample of the Icelandic nation discussed its values and vision for the future.


Johan Rockström is Co-Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He is an internationally recognised scientist for his work on global sustainability issues. He helped lead the internationally renowned team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries frameworkas fundamental in maintaining a “safe operating space for humanity.” This framework has been embraced as an approach to sustainable development, and has been used to help guide governments, international organizations, NGOs, and companies considering sustainable development.


María Mendiluce is Managing Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development & Alliance to End Plastic Waste has over 20 years’ experience in the energy and climate area. Since 2008, María has led the implementation of WBCSD’s Climate and Energy strategy, guiding the work of over 200 member companies to influence the global climate landscape. María managed the development of the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative, one of the flagship projects leading up to the success of COP21. She created WBCSD’s new program on circular economy, and is now developing the new strategy for transport and cities. Prior to joining WBCSD, Maria held different roles at the International Energy Agency (Paris), Iberdrola and the Economic Bureau of the Spanish Prime Minister (Spain). María teaches at the University of Geneva, coaches students and is recognized for her contributions to scientific journals and international conferences.


Nigel Topping is the CEO of the We Mean Business, a coalition of organisations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses to accelerate solutions to climate change. We Mean Business brought the voice of progressive businesses to the heart of the COP21 process to great effect. Nigel is an industrialist by background, with broad experience in the manufacturing sector, most recently as part of the MBO team from TMD Friction, which he helped build into the number one producer of brake pads globally. He is passionate about the role of business in solving our most complex problems, and a big believer in the power of exponential technological change combined with passion and purpose to create the thriving economy of the future.


Suzanne DiBianca is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and Chief Philanthropy Officer of Salesforce. In this role, Suzanne leads Salesforce’s stakeholder strategy—including corporate giving, community relations, sustainability efforts and workforce development which includes veterans, neurodiverse and non-traditional employment candidates, all with a focus on re-skilling for jobs of the future. Suzanne was previously co-founder and president of the Salesforce Foundation and Salesforce.org.


William Pfeiffer is Executive Chairman & Co- Founder of Globalgate Entertainment, a partnership with Lionsgate and 11 other top film companies with whom Globalgate produces and finances local-language films in key countries around the world. He is also a US Director of Plastic Oceans, a non-profit organization seeking to end plastic pollution.


Eugene Campbell has over thirty years of experience of news and documentary camera work, including work in both the Arctic and the Antarctic and many of the spaces in between. He has an MBE for services to broadcasting, has been BAFTA nominated, and twice been awarded the Royal Television Society's cameraman of the year.

Director of Photography Justin Hanrahan ACS (Australian Cinematographer Society), is an award winning cinematographer who has been in the TV / Film industry since 1994 operating and working as a Director of Photography all over the world.

Tian Macleod Ji is a filmmaker, cameraman and editor originally from the UK, who works at Leeson Media in Hong Kong. He first came to Asia in 2014 as a recipient of the first BAFTA Yip Foundation scholarship for postgraduate study. He worked under the mentorship of Craig Leeson, as production assistant on various projects, such as the feature documentary A Plastic Ocean, commercial shoots and network news segments.


Helen Merrills has managed PR and Media for Arctic Basecamp since 2017 when it first came to Davos. She has secured coverage for Arctic Basecamp across international media and works closely with partners and speakers to raise the profile of the need for urgent action on Arctic Change.


Angela Towers is the team Marketing, Communications and Design Assistant and created our evocative logo, our marketing materials and the images that we use on social media.


Desna Mackenzie is the Centre Co-ordinator for the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, and works with Gail Whiteman to organise the logistics for the Arctic Basecamp at Davos.


Indea Rogers is from Colorado and has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a Minor in Political Science. She plans on pursuing a masters degree in public health and become an active member in the international community.