Speakers and moderators

Oliver Woye

Oliver Woye

CEO/CCO, die wegmeister

Oliver is one of two founders of Germany-based creative agency die wegmeister. As CEO and Chief Creative Officer, he is responsible for both the agency’s strategic approach towards modern stakeholder communication and the development of state-of-the-art cross-media brand experiences.
die wegmeister is one of German’s leading communication agencies in the fields of energy and mobility, working for various TSOs, utilities and state ministries. The agency develops and implements holistic communication concepts and new approaches to stakeholder communication, including cross-media brand experience spaces. die wegmeister’s units include strategy, creative, design, digital services, video/film production as well as top-notch VR/AR.

Oliver studied marketing and design in Koblenz and London, is a passionate golfer and hillwalker and has a strong background in architecture and art.

Deryl Brown

Deryl Brown

fmr. CEO North American Power

Deryl Brown was most recently the Chief Executive Officer and minority owner of North American Power & Gas – a successful fast-growing energy provider for Residential and Commercial customers serving across 12 States and 62 utility service territories.  Mr Brown lead the company’s turnaround leading to a sale to Calpine which closed in January 2017.

Mr Brown is a proven energy business Chief Executive Officer with a track record of value creation in the competitive retail energy industry.  He has broad experience in retail energy including strategy development, Financing, Risk Management, Operations, Supply, Technology, Customer Service, Marketing, and Sales.  Mr Brown has received various industry awards and holds records for starting, building, growing, and selling retail businesses.

Prior to North American Power, Mr Brown was the CEO and minority owner of Hudson Energy Services a start-up and fast-growing retail energy provider to commercial and industrial customers in Texas, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.  Mr Brown led the effort to sell Hudson to Just Energy in 2010.  As part of the Just Energy / Hudson Energy transaction, Mr Brown stayed with the purchasing company for a 3-year period in various executive positions primarily starting and growing Hudson Europe in London.

Prior to Hudson, Mr Brown was the General Manager for Direct Energy Business Services, a leading retail energy provider in North America.  Prior to Direct Energy, Mr Brown had a long career at TXU/EFH/Vistra playing a leadership role in establishing their retail energy business serving as their COO.  Prior to building TXU’s retail energy division, he held a variety of senior positions in TXU’s regulated utility business, serving TXU (and predecessor companies) for some 28 years.

Mr Brown received his MBA from the University of North Texas and a BS with honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.  Mr Brown is on the Board at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and previously served on the Board of ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).

Paddy Young

Paddy Young

Director - European Utility Week

Paddy Young is the Group Director of the European Utility Week, the largest meeting place for the European Smart Energy Community.

European Utility Week is the platform for achieving a fully integrated and interconnected electricity system and market in Europe. Hosting the environment for all key players in the smart energy ecosystem to come together and discuss European strategy to achieve a smooth transition towards a low carbon energy supply.

The event is a business, innovation, networking and information platform and is seen by the industry as their terrain. They use the event as their annual meeting place to thrash out strategies and do business to help drive efficiencies in meeting their sustainable development goals.

Bruce Stewart

Chief Marketing Officer, Current by GE

Bruce Stewart is Chief Marketing Officer at Current, powered by GE. He elevates Current’s product portfolio, increases demand for their solutions and drive revenue growth.

Prior to joining Current, Bruce served in dual capacity as CMO and Senior Vice President of the Mass Markets business division at Constellation Energy. In his CMO role, he managed the company’s marketing and branding strategy, analytics and corporate sponsorship initiatives, as well as channel partnerships, digital marketing and web services. As the head of the Constellation Mass Market’s business division, he created a new business focused on delivering energy services to consumers that grew rapidly from a start-up to a multi-billion dollar business in five years serving over 2.5 million customers.

Bruce’s experience also includes 20 years of leadership, expertise and innovation with several leading brands and digital platforms. Prior to Constellation, he served as CEO of mobile and digital of KGB, the world’s largest independent provider of directory assistance and enhanced information services, where he had overall global business management, P&L and operations responsibility for KGB’s mobile and digital division. He was also vice president and general manager for Yahoo! Inc.’s Connected Life division, where he served on the executive leadership team providing oversight of Yahoo!’s broadband, mobile and wireless, digital home and PC desktop application businesses in the Americas.

Dr. Friðrik Larsen

CEO - LarsEn Energy Branding

A pioneer of energy branding. Fridrik was the first person in the world to present a PhD. dissertation with a focus on energy branding. Fridrik is the CEO of LarsEn Energy Branding, a consultancy working exclusively on branding for companies within the energy space (www.larsen.energy). He has become a leading authority on branding within the global energy sector. Fridrik is passionate about consumer-centric energy markets. He has served on the board of the New York Energy Week and is on the advisory committee for the European Utility Week where he has lead the track on connecting with customers.

Fridrik is a sought out speaker and a consultant on the matters of branding and marketing for the energy space. He works with traditional integrated utilities as well as retailers, DSOs, TSOs and generation companies. He is the founder and chairman of CHARGE.

With one foot grounded in the professional environment, Fridrik keeps his other foot in academia at the Business Department at the University of Iceland. He is the author of the first book on energy branding which was published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

Friðrik is not afraid to bring a new approach to the energy sector by introducing energy branding.

James Ellsmoor

Director and Co-Founder, Solar Head of State

James Ellsmoor is Director and Co-Founder of Solar Head of State (SHOS), a nonprofit working to promote renewable energy worldwide through iconic and high-profile rooftop solar installations and coordinated public education programs. SHOS currently has a focus on the Caribbean and Pacific island regions and will this year install solar on Jamaica House, the official residence of the Jamaican Prime Minister.

James is an entrepreneur passionate about renewable energy and sustainable development and his work aims to bring together private, nonprofit and government entities together to advance the role of renewable energy worldwide. His key area expertise is sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship in rural, remote and island regions. He has experience living, working and traveling in over 40 countries and has worked with government, private and nonprofit sectors. James has experience in international politics working with the Seychelles Delegation to the UNFCCC COP23 and as an observer to the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network. His academic research focuses on the role of SIDS renewable energy targets in international climate negotiations, involving extensive fieldwork in the Pacific and Caribbean regions. In 2017 he was recognized by Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Energy and by Richtopia as one of their top 20 young entrepreneurs.

Sushil Reddy

Sushil Reddy

Founder - The SunPedal Ride

Sushil is a Guinness World Record holder and Limca record holder for the longest journey on a solar powered electric bicycle. Sushil Reddy started a cause called – The SunPedal Ride – in 2016 to promote solar energy via public interactions, workshops and media outreach in villages and towns in India. With a background as an Energy Engineer, he rode a solar powered electric bicycle across three different countries and more than 11000 kilometres as a part of this cause to promote solar e-mobility. Currently, Sushil is doing Masters in Sustainability and Social innovation at HEC Paris.

The SunPedal Ride is a movement to create awareness about solar energy and clean transportation among the people. There is a need to empower people with solar energy and encourage them to use more of this abundant renewable energy resource. In the summer of 2016, Sushil Reddy undertook an initiative to talk to the people across India about solar energy by touring on a solar powered electric bicycle. With a team comprising of Krunal Tailor, Himanshu Singh and Rajendra Bhaskar, they went on a journey across north-west India passing through 9 states/union territories and 7500 kilometres while interacting with people in the cities, villages and towns on the route. In Sushil’s words – “We plan to take this movement to reach out to as many people as we can and educate people about solar energy and sustainability which is the need of the hour”
The SunPedal Ride – France edition was in June 2017 and USA West Coast edition in August 2017.






Henrik Øinæs Habberstad

Henrik Øinæs Habberstad

Global Creative Director - Equinor

Henrik is the global creative director at Equinor (formerly Statoil), responsible for creative strategy and creative excellence across all markets and channels. Henrik joined Statoil and the energy business in 2012 after a long life in the advertising industry in Norway working with brands like TINE, SAS and Norwegian defence. He also has experience from Telenor where he was the international brand manager for djuice and part of the team setting up and running the global Telenor Brand Academy. Henrik is a frequent speaker on branding, reputation and creativity in Norway. Besides work, he is passionate road cyclist and cross-country skier. Henrik has been to Iceland a couple of times and loved it.

Equinor is the leading operator on the Norwegian continental shelf and has substantial international activities. It is engaged in exploration, development and production of oil and gas, as well as wind and solar power. Equinor sells crude oil and is a major supplier of natural gas, with activities in processing, refining, and trading. Equinor activities are managed through eight business areas, staffs and support divisions, and it has operations in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, and Norway.

Mohsin Hassan

COO, Volterra Energy Holdings

Mohsin serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Volterra Energy Holdings, which is the parent company to three unique retail electricity brands in Texas: Discount Power, Power Express and Volterra Energy. He has been involved in the retail energy industry since the early days of deregulation in 1997. He has previously worked at Enron Energy Services, Tara Energy and Fulcrum Power Services. Prior to joining Volterra, he was responsible for launching a new retail energy brand in New York and Pennsylvania markets. His areas of expertise include retail and wholesale operations, risk management, business development, customer care and information technology. Mohsin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Missouri.

Koen Noyens

Director Communication & Corporate Affairs, EURELECTRIC

eurelectric is the largest association of energy companies in Europe, representing the European Electricity Industry. Koen leads the Corporate Affairs and Strategic Communication activities of the association. Previously, he was managing the European climate and energy unit at eurelectric covering various files, including climate, environmental and renewables policies, carbon markets and power sector innovation.

eurelectric’s mission is to further the development and competitiveness of the sector, providing representation for the energy sector in public affairs and to push the role of the low-carbon energy mix for the advancement of society. The main objectives of the association are to achieve a carbon-neutral electricity mix in the continent well before 2050, ensure an efficient and reliable supply of electricity through an integrated market and developing energy efficiency and electrification of the demand-side to mitigate climate change.

Prior to joining eurelectric, Koen worked as a Business Consultant for Accenture Belgium in Brussels. He holds a master’s degree in business engineering from the University of Leuven.

Mark Kenber

Mark Kenber

CEO - Mongoose Energy

People are at the heart of the Mongoose Energy which drives community energy projects around the UK, helping local communities to gain ownership and control over the energy they generate and use, and make sure they receive the financial, social and environmental benefits it creates.

Mark joined Mongoose Energy in July 2016 after twelve years at international NGO, The Climate Group, including five as CEO. Mongoose Energy is a company that manages and finances community energy generation. With a background in development and environmental economics, Mark has worked across various areas of environmental and climate policy, with a particular focus on the use of economic instruments in the pursuit of sustainable development. His career to date has included spells with Fundacion Natura in Quito, as climate change advisor to the Ecuadorian government, at WWF International’s climate change programme and as a lecturer at both the Catholic University in Quito and the Institute of Development Studies in the UK.

Highlights of his career include: founding the CDM Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard; overseeing the establishment of the RE100 and EP100 platforms; being a co-founder of the We Mean Business Coalition; creating the Ecuadorian National Climate Change Office, and designing Ecuador’s first economic instruments for industrial pollution control.

He lives in Brighton with Gioconda, Natasha (daughter) and Poppy (dog who believes she is also a daughter), is a season ticket holder at Brighton and Hove Albion, active in local politics and an avid walker and concert and theatergoer

Steinar Bysveen

EVP, Statkraft

The largest producer of renewable energy in Europe, Statkraft develops and generates power from hydro, wind and gas. Steinar Bysveen holds the position as Executive Vice President; Wind Power, District Heating, Project Delivery and Industrial Ownership in Statkraft. He has been part of the Corporate Management in Statkraft since 2010.

From 2003 to 2010 he was CEO of the industry organisation Energy Norway. His previous positions include managing director of Industrikraft Midt-Norge, as well as various positions in the oil company Saga Petroleum ASA.

Bysveen holds a master degree in civil engineering from NTNU and a degree in business administration from BI Norwegian School of Management.

Clay Koplin

Clay Koplin

CEO, Cordova Electric Cooperative / Mayor of Cordova

Clay Koplin is the Chief Executive Officer of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc.  Clay has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.  He served at Kodiak Electric Association as Staff Engineer and registered as a professional electrical engineer before moving to Cordova with his wife Lila in 1998 to work as Manager of Engineering and Operations.  In 2007, Clay became CEO for Cordova Electric Cooperative.  Clay is currently serving on the Northwest Public Power Association Board of Trustees, Alaska Center for Energy and Power Advisory Board, and is Mayor of Cordova.  His professional specialities include project management, underground electric and communication design and installation best practices, various aspects of static and dynamic hydroelectric and hydrokinetic disciplines, electric utility business management, and strategic planning and execution.  Infrastructure development included participation in the design and construction of three hydroelectric projects and an Organic Rankine Cycle heat recovery project. He has participated in recent US State Department Sponsored outreach to Greenland and Northern Canada around arctic, off-grid, renewable energy policies and practices.  Clay enjoys community service, writing, hunting, fishing, and gardening.

Ben Walker

Ben Walker

Creative Director - EDF Energy

Now Creative Director at EDF Energy Ben heads up teams of content producers, art directors and digital designers to deliver fully-integrated creative solutions across Brand, Digital and Marketing. Ben is a multi-award- winning creative thinker who has helped some of the UK’s best-known companies to communicate better. Before making the leap ‘client side’ he cut his teeth in London at various advertising agencies including Tribal and TMP Worldwide, working on brands such as Orange, Sainsbury’s and HSBC.

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

President of Iceland

Before taking office as president, Guðni was Professor of history at the University of Iceland. He has taught at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik University, Bifröst University and the University of London. For a few years, he also worked part-time for the Icelandic State Broadcasting Company as a reporter. Guðni has written numerous books on modern Icelandic history, including works about the Cod Wars, the Icelandic presidency, the late Prime Minister Gunnar Thoroddsen, a book about spying in Iceland, a book about former President Kristján Eldjárn, and a book about the 2008 banking collapse. He has also written dozens of scholarly articles and newspaper articles. He has received a variety of recognition for his works, and in 2017 he was awarded an honorary degree by Queen Mary University.

Guðni graduated from secondary school in 1987 in Reykjavík, then studied history and political science at Warwick University in England and finished his B.A. degree in 1991. He studied German at Bonn University in Germany in 1991-1992 and Russian at the University of Iceland in 1993-1994. Guðni graduated with a master’s degree in history from the University of Iceland in 1997. He studied at Oxford University in England and graduated with an M.St. degree in history in 1999. In 2003 he completed his Ph.D. in history from Queen Mary, University of London.

Guðni is married to Eliza Jean Reid, whom he met while they were both studying at Oxford University. Eliza is from Canada and studied modern history at Oxford University and international relations at Trinity College, University of Toronto. Guðni and Eliza have been living in Iceland since 2003. Their children are Duncan Tindur (b. 2007), Donald Gunnar (b. 2009), Sæþór Peter (b. 2011) and Edda Margrét (b. 2013). Rut (b. 1994) is Guðni’s eldest child, from his previous marriage to Elín Haraldsdóttir, business administrator and artist.


Jacob Benbunan

Jacob Benbunan

CEO, Saffron Brand Consultants

Jacob founded Saffron and was immediately joined by his mentor and friend Wally Olins –
the man who invented brand strategy.
He champions the global, multi-cultural and one-team approach that Saffron embraced
since day one. Previously, Jacob worked for 9 years at Wolff Olins and was part of the
team that created the iconic telecom brand Orange.
At Saffron, he’s led a number of high-profile engagements including the creation of
Vueling, Akzo Nobel, A1 Telekom Austria as well as the rebrand of Bankinter and Swiss
Re. He spearheaded the expansion of Saffron from two head offices (Madrid and London)
to the global presence it has today.
An engineer by training, Jacob speaks English, French and Spanish, and graduated with a
B.S. and M.S. from Boston University. When he is not keeping the lights on at Saffron, he
is a frequent media commentator on issues related to brand including sitting on the
Cannes Lions design jury. He never complains when he’s forced to travel in style but has
no hesitation jumping into a Mumbai taxi during a monsoon.

Rosemary Steen

Director - External Affairs, Eirgrid

Recognised for effective communication to stakeholders, Eirgrid manages and operates the transmission grid across Ireland. Rosemary was appointed Director of External Affairs in July 2015 having previously held the position of Director of Public Affairs since joining EirGrid in 2014. Rosemary also serves on the board of the AsIAm charity organisation. Rosemary has extensive Corporate Affairs, Government Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility experience from the Telecommunications, Utilities and Business Industry Body sectors. She has previously held senior positions in Vodafone, Shell and IBEC. Rosemary has a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin, an MBS in Logistics and Manufacturing from University College Dublin and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies from Dublin Institute of Technology.

Liene Donckers

Liene Donckers

Head of Marketing Communications - REstore

REstore specialises in Demand Side Management. The company offers Demand Response services to Industrial, Commercial and Residential consumers and offers cloud-based Demand Side Management solution platform FlexPond™  to Utilities. The company has been the leader in the fast-growing European Primary Reserve / Frequency Control markets and operates in all ancillary services and capacity markets in Europe. The company’s proprietary solution FlexPond™ is used by more than 150 of Europe’s largest industrial energy consumers, and a range of utility clients that include five of Europe’s top-50 utilities and grid operators.

As Head of Marketing Communications at REstore, one of Europe’s leading energy technology companies specialized in Demand Side Management, Liene leads the development and delivery of brand and communications strategy.

Liene is an established senior brand marketeer with a solid background of successfully driving the strategic direction of integrated activity that works seamlessly across all marketing channels. Working closely with a high-calibre team at REstore, she has enrolled an agile & hybrid marcomm approach. As you’d expect, Liene strongly believes that each brand should have charisma and personality: “Every stakeholder, prospect and customer should understand your company’s dream.” She has always been interested in working in disruptive companies and sectors with lots of interesting challenges.

At REstore Liene started establishing and implementing its brand awareness strategy since 2015.  Since November 2017 Centrica acquired REstore for €70 million (£62 million).  Today REstore is working with Centrica Business Solutions to further scale the go-to-market of REstore’s automated demand response solutions & services in the UK, North America and other international markets.

Paula Gold-Williams

Paula Gold-Williams

President and CEO - CPS Energy

As President & CEO, Paula leads its more than 3,000 team members with the vision she has coined, “People First”, whereby CPS Energy is evolving its efforts to create and deliver value to its customers, community, and employees into a new age of energy solutions.
Paula has more than 30 years of leadership experience in San Antonio, including being a Regional Controller for Time Warner’s cable and telephony regional office and the VP of Finance for Luby’s, Inc. before coming to CPS Energy in late 2004. Over her 13 years at CPS Energy, she has progressively served as Controller & Assistant Treasurer; VP & Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) – Organizational Excellence & Shared Services; EVP, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Treasurer; and EVP – Financial & Administrative Services, CFO & Treasurer.

In addition to her role at CPS Energy, Paula presently serves as a Board Member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – San Antonio Branch; Chair & Executive Board Member of San Antonio Public Television Station, KLRN; Chair on the Advisory Committee of Executives (ACE) for St. Mary’s University’s Greehey School of Business, her undergraduate alma mater; Co-Chair of the Dentons Smart Cities/Communities Think Tank; Co-Chair of the Keystone Policy Board; Board Member of The University of the Incarnate Word; Board Member and Executive Committee Member of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF); Board Member and Treasurer of EPIcenter; CEO Member of Mayor’s Business Leaders Committee and the Mayor’s Airport Evaluation Committee; Member of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC); Member of the Texas Public Power Association (TPPA); Member of the San Antonio Medical Foundation (SAMF); Advisory Committee Member of FM Global (an international mutual insurance company); Advisory Committee Member of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI); Advisory Committee Member of the University of Texas at San Antonio School of Engineering; and is the 2018 Chair-elect for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

In February 2018, Paula was selected as Zpryme’s “Energy Thought Summit (ETS) Thought Leader of the Year.” This award honors an individual among the ETS community of thought leaders with an inventive, brave vision to inspire the global energy ecosystem.
In 2017, Paula was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, was honored by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC) as Corporate Executive of the Year Award and was also named the Financial Executive of the Year by the Financial Executives International (FEI) association. She has also been honored with numerous awards, including the San Antonio Business Journal’s (SABJ) 2016 Elite Executive CEO Distinction, as part of their C-Suite Awards, and the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce (SAWCC) 2015 Constellation of Stars Award. She was appointed as Honorary Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Commander in 2014 and also received Best CFO and Finance awards from the SABJ and La Prensa, respectively. Additionally, Paula mentors numerous people inside and outside of CPS Energy, from college students to vice presidents.
Paula has an Associate Degree in Fine Arts from San Antonio College. She earned a BBA in Accounting from St. Mary’s University, located in San Antonio, Texas, as well as a Finance & Accounting MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

Paula is married and has two daughters.

Ingrid Warner

Ingrid Warner

Managing Director - Leidar Norway

Ingrid Helsingen Warner is Managing Director for Leidar in Norway and supports internationally-minded leaders and companies with their positioning and thought leadership activities. Working with the client, she develops their North Star, finds unique news and insight to reach the right influencers and stakeholders through traditional media, social media and conversations. She profiles clients across traditional media through interviews with mainstream, national and trade media, and at global forums such as the World Economic Forum and UN General Assembly. Before joining Leidar, Ingrid was an account manager at Weber Shandwick in Switzerland. She worked with global clients in the energy, technology and healthcare sectors. Seconded in-house to StatoilHydro she served as the company’s regional communications manager for Africa and Latin America.

Ingrid is committed to building the global village where voices are heard, people inspired, and the right people know each other to shape the world around them. She is passionate about why and how to have the conversations that matter and has established Minds of Oslo, Council and Circles. Ingrid holds a BA in Politics and International Studies from The University of Warwick, UK, is the alumni representative in Norway and is learning Arabic.

Leidar is an international advocacy, branding and communication consultancy that helps clients set their course, navigate and communicate effectively.

Rune Kirt

Rune Kirt


Rune has a background as an architect – graduating from Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, in 2008. The graduation project (created with the co-founder of Kirt x Thomsen) was a visionary airship concept for transportation of wind turbines which became the kickoff of his career. He has 10 years of experience in the green tech industry. His interest lies in the crossroad between design, business development and future technology.

Prior the co-founding of Kirt x Thomsen in 2011, he worked for Vestas with the KNARR airship project and new innovations in wind. He is also an advisory board member for the Design School Kolding, Denmark.

Rune Kirt is the CEO and partner of KIRT x THOMSEN – an R&D consultancy specializing in strategic visualization to support and accelerate the entire innovation process for their clients in the energy industry.

Kirt x Thomsen has a long portfolio working together with SME like EE Energy, Bladena and OceanSky Airships, as well as MNE like Ørsted, Vestas, GE Renewables and AREVA in the energy industry. They specialize in visualizing concept and processes of the R&D phases – transformation of knowledge and communication within the industry and companies. They take on the innovative challenge of explaining the complex, technological, and often long development process, for introducing new technology or new ways of doing things in the industry. They visualize the different parts of the processes, thereby making it possible for external as well as internal stakeholders in a company to understand the complex situation – thus making everyone on the same page, and thereby making the often expensive R&D process tangible and improving the time for a market for the client’s product.

Kirt x Thomsen is a company that has built a business by mixing the tools of a visual artist, the strategic approach of an innovation consultant and the technical mindset of an architect – thereby trying to change the mindset of the energy industry to help boost technology shifts. They are bridging the gap between technology and business, engineering and management, ideas and money.

Even though Kirt x Thomsen have embraced the cleantech industry broadly, airships maintain a core activity.

Robert Busch

Robert Busch

CEO, bne

Bundesverband Neue Energiewirtschaft e.V. (bne / Association of Energy Market Innovators) represents the interests of grid-independent energy suppliers and energy service companies in Germany. Unlike suppliers with a connected grid, the members are free of monopoly interests: They are committed to fair competition and a diverse energy market.

For turning the “Energy Transition” (Energiewende) into a success story, BNE needs good ideas. Their member companies have plenty of those! Whether producers, suppliers or energy service providers, they are developing and implementing plentiful new and successful solutions for all areas of the energy sector. bne member companies provide electricity, natural gas and energy services to more than 7 Mio customers in Germany today.

Robert Busch has been at the helm of bne since 2005. After graduating from law, he began his career as a legal advisor at ares Energie-direkt GmbH. He also worked for the “Grid Access Task Force” at the Federal Ministry of Economics and was CEO of statt-werk GmbH.

The mission of bne is Survival of the fairest

“The energy market is highly competitive with many different suppliers competing with their products to win the favour of customers. That’s good news. After all, fair competition is necessary if the best solutions are to prevail – assuming of course, that everyone plays fairly. Suppliers must all have the same opportunities. bne is championing an energy market design that allows just that – a market that is free of discrimination and that has clear rules which everyone can rely on.

Fairness is the key to a successful market economy. Basic principles are clear rules and equal opportunities for all. We are advocating for these principles of success and demand them to be embraced by all energy market participants. After all, current market structures are anything but fair: Over and over again, integrated grid operators keep important information to themselves. They prefer their affiliated supply companies – because they still benefit from old exception rules and regulations.”

Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson

Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson

News Editor - Montel

Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson is News Editor at Montel, responsible for the newswire’s coverage of European power, gas, coal and carbon markets. He leads a team of 25 energy and commodity journalists based in France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Spain and the UK. Snjólfur also regularly moderates Montel conferences, most recently in Düsseldorf and Paris. He’s been with Montel since 2003 and holds an MA in international relations.

Montel is a key information provider for the European energy markets, specialising in independent market-moving news, data and analysis, which is accurate, balanced and indispensable to professionals in the sector.
Backed by an extensive portfolio of real-time prices, fundamental data, technical analysis and weather forecasting services, a team of experienced reporters brings subscribers the latest developments affecting the European and global energy markets.
Kirk Coburn

Kirk Coburn

Shell Ventures

Kirk is a member of the team at Shell Ventures, Shell’s corporate Venture Capital fund. Shell Technology Ventures invests and partners with entrepreneurs to bring new technologies and business models to market in order to lower costs, make our existing operations more sustainable, and accelerate the energy transition. Shell Technology Ventures acts as a strategic partner and makes minority investments in select technology companies, including Shell technology spin-outs, and also acts as an LP in some externally managed venture capital funds.

Kirk has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and over 7 years as a venture capitalist and early-stage angel investor. Prior to Shell, Kirk was the founder and managing director of SURGE Ventures, a mentor-driven accelerator and seed stage venture fund. During this period, he led the investments into over 45 technology companies solving problems across the energy value chain including oil & gas, cleantech, power, energy efficiency, and horizontal applications that reach across. Under his leadership and direction, SURGE recruited more than 200 industry-leading scientists, investors, policymakers, customers, and entrepreneurs to serve as mentors. SURGE was repeatedly recognized globally as one of the top startup programs and early-stage investment funds.

Prior to leading SURGE, Coburn created and was CEO of Chief Outsiders (acq. 2010), a strategy and marketing consulting firm with offices across the United States. Chief Outsiders was named the #6 Fastest Growing Company in Houston, and was noted as one of Inc’s 5000 fastest growing companies in the US in 2014. Prior to Chief Outsiders, Coburn launched The PGA TOUR Network on Sirius XM (acq. by SIRI). He remained CEO for four years from launch to successful acquisition. Coburn additionally spent 8 years at Dell during the 1990s and early 2000s in myriad senior roles including new business development, strategy, procurement, marketing, and finance.

Kirk has an MBA and BBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Kirk serves as an ambassador to the Texas Children’s Hospital and is an active supporter of the Rice Alliance and Station Houston. Kirk is an avid lover of the outside world spending time ultra-endurance running (completed the Leadville Trail 100) and standup paddle surfing.

Ari Sargent

CEO, Flux Federation

Ari is founder and CEO of Flux Federation. He might dress like a washed-up DJ, but over the past decade, he has spearheaded the radical transformation in electricity retailing in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. An engineer with more than 25 years experience in the energy industry, Ari launched Powershop as a startup in 2009 after being frustrated with the industry’s legacy systems and outdated attitudes towards customers. A tech geek at heart, Ari saw a massive opportunity to use the flexibility, transparency, speed and lower cost structures offered by digital technologies to provide a fundamentally different (and better) experience for utility partners and their customers. Ari enjoys building power companies that customers love and with Flux Federation he is pursuing further partnerships to spread the love across international energy markets.

Jim Rogers

Ret. CEO - Duke Energy

The first CEO of a major utility to address environmental issues and once named by Newsweek as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in the World”, Jim Rogers is a journalist, lawyer, CEO, author and philanthropist. He currently is a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University. Jim is co-teaching a groundbreaking graduate seminar entitled: Renewables and the World’s Poor at Duke University.

He was most recently CEO at Duke Energy and served as CEO for almost 25 years in the electric utility industry. He did a series of mergers and acquisitions culminating in the creation of Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the US. He also owned and/or operated assets in 17 countries in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central and Latin America. He has served on the boards of eight Fortune 500 boards. He currently is on the boards of the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, The Nature Conservancy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, among others.

In 2015, he authored “Lighting The World: Transforming Our Energy Future by Bringing Electricity To Everyone” in which he advocates for bringing electricity to the 1.2 billion rural poor through off-grid primarily renewable solutions. He is a co-founder of the Global Brightlight Foundation, which delivers solar-powered lanterns capable of charging cell phones to rural communities around the world. In 2009, Newsweek named him one of “the 50 Most Powerful People in the World.”

Lorena Skiljan

Partner, The Blue Minds Company

Lorena has years of experience within the energy sector, focusing on Business Development, Business Strategy and Innovation. She achieved several go to market of different new Products in the sector and successfully expanded offerings of a conventional utility by telecommunication, Service by Design as well as hardware solutions. Lorena’s main effort is to reach highest customer satisfaction by developing new business models, products and establishing new markets. With regard to her international network, Lorena is connecting innovators and Start-Ups with the relevant industries and markets. Within the Blue Minds Company, Lorena is seeking to contribute the energy market transition from a very different perspective and in a highly dynamic environment. She is Brand Ambassador and Advisory Board Member of EUW and has been involved with CHARGE – Energy Branding Conference. Moreover, her efforts spread to different communities cultivating an international Environment of industry experts.

Sandra Trittin

Head of Business Development & Marketing, Swisscom Energy Solutions

Tiko is an energy solution developed by the Swiss Telecommunications company Swisscom. Sandra began her career at a management consultancy working in the areas of process optimization/ restructuring and supply chain management for different companies in the automotive, food processing and telecommunications industry. She joined Swisscom in 2002 reorganizing process and organizational structures to increase process efficiency for the service delivery and network construction. Afterwards, she was leading teams in software design/development for the construction of IP based communication services. She joined the strategy team of Swisscom and is now co-founder and Head of Business Dev.& Marketing of Swisscom Energy Solutions. Sandra has studied business administration and holds an MBA of the Business Schools of Mannheim, Copenhagen and Warwick.