Keynote Speakers


Shuaib Lwasa is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography Geo-Informatics and Climatic Sciences at Makerere University, Uganda. He has degrees in Geography, Geographic Information Science and Land Use and Regional Planning. His running projects include building urban resilience, augmenting waste economies in urban areas, sustainable cities and climate risks responses. He chairs the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Reduction program by ICSU, ISSC and UNISDR. Professor Lwasa was also Lead Author of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is Coordinating Lead Author of AR6.


Diana Ürge-Vorsatz is a Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. She serves as Vice Chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was a Coordinating Lead Author in two Assessment Reports of the IPCC. Professor Ürge-Vorsatz served on the United Nation's Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change, and led the buildings-related work in the Global Energy Assessment. She is also associate editor of the journal “Energy Efficiency”, and a member of the Editorial Board of “Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources”. 


Elke U. Weber is the Andlinger Professor in Energy + Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She has co-chaired the Advisory Committee of the World Bank’s Green Growth Knowledge Platform and served on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board and as lead author on the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) WG III. She has been president of the Society for Neuroeconomics, the Judgment and Decision Making Society, and the Society for Mathematical Psychology and is an active member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 


Kevin Gurney is an Atmospheric Scientist, Ecologist and Policy expert currently working in carbon cycle science, climate science, and climate science policy at Arizona State University where he is a Full Professor in the School of Life Sciences. He has degrees from UC Berkeley, MIT, and Colorado State University. Gurney’s current research involves characterizing fossil fuel CO2 emissions at the global (“FFDAS”), national (“Vulcan”) and urban (“Hestia”) scales using techniques incorporation informatics, data mining, and remote sensing. Gurney is an IPCC author, an NSF CAREER award recipient, Sigma Xi Young Scientist recipient, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.


Kristina Orehounig is head of the Laboratory of Urban Energy Systems at Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and lecturer at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Her research interests include the development of sustainable concepts in building design and operation, the integration of renewable energy systems, and the modelling and optimization of building and urban energy systems. Besides being active, in a number of national and international research projects, Dr. Orehounig currently leads the work package on multi-energy systems of the Swiss Competence Center of Energy Research (SCCER) FEEB&D. She is also a member of the International building performance simulation association (IBPSA) and the Swiss society of engineers and architects (SIA).


Rachelle Alterman is emeritus professor of urban planning and law at Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Senior Research Fellow at the Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, and heads the Laboratory on Comparative Planning Law. She is the Founding President of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law and Property Rights and Honorary Member of the Association of European Schools of Planning (the only non-European). She was selected as among 16 global “leaders in planning thought” whose contributions are reported in “Encounters in Planning Thought” (Routledge 2017).  Her advice is sought by UN Habitat, the OECD, World Bank, Chinese government and many bodies in Israel. 


Arnulf Grubler (Grübler) is Acting Program Director of the Transitions to New Technologies Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria. From 2002 to 2017 he also served as Professor in the Field of Energy and Technology at the School of Management at Yale University, New Haven, USA. His teaching and research focuses on the long-term history and future of technology and the environment with emphasis on energy, transport, and communication systems. Prof. Grubler has been serving as Lead and Contributing Author and as Review Editor for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports of the IPCC.


Sebastian Bamberg is Professor of Social Psychology and Quantitative Research Methods at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, Germany. For several decades he tries to use psychological knowledge systematically for developing effective strategies for promoting sustainable behaviors and climate change adaptive behaviors.