Speakers - Energy Transition

What are the latest innovations driving a low carbon future? Speakers at the Sustainable Innovation Forum will discuss how energy transition can be accelerated as quickly as possible and how to integrate clean energy technology into existing energy systems.

Andreas Kuhlmann

Chief Executive Officer


Andreas Kuhlmann sees the energy transition as one of the most fascinating change processes of the present day, which, in addition to challenges, above all also brings with it opportunities.

Andreas Kuhlmann was appointed dena’s Chief Executive in July 2015. In this position he has increased dena’s profile as a driver and pioneer of the energy transition. Exemplary projects include the international innovation initiative “Start Up Energy Transition”, which now brings together around a thousand start-ups from all over the world, as well as the “Integrated Energy Transition” pilot study, whereby dena, together with more than 60 partners from business and science, is developing strategies for the future.

Andreas Kuhlmann sees the energy transition as one of the most fascinating change processes of the present day, which, in addition to challenges, above all also brings with it opportunities. In this sense, he injects his knowledge of the diverse national and international projects acquired at the interface of business and politics to the energy and climate policy debate. He also promotes more courage and determination in shaping the regulatory frameworks necessary for the success of the energy transition.

Andreas Kuhlmann (born in Recklinghausen in 1967, catholic, married, one daughter) majored in physics and minored in economics at the universities of Bonn, Heidelberg and Corvallis (USA). He started his career in 1995 at the Institute of Environmental Physics at Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, where he primarily focused on the carbon cycle. This was followed by various political posts, including at the European Parliament, with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), at the Bundestag, within the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and at the German Embassy in Stockholm.

In 2010, Andreas Kuhlmann joined the German Association of Energy and Water Industries(BDEW), where he managed the Politics and Economics departments as the Director of Strategy and Politics. In this position, he was responsible for the strategic and political development of the BDEW as well as its communications with politics, business and the public.

Andreas Kuhlmann is also:

Connie Hedegaard

Chair of the Board

KR Foundation

With two decades of experience in international and domestic executive policy making Connie Hedegaard is today assuming several key positions in support of a low-carbon and green economy. Ms. Hedegaard is the chair of the Board for the KR Foundation, a large Danish climate and sustainability foundation operating globally. She is also the current chair of OECD’s Round Table for Sustainable Development and chair of the Board for the green think tank, CONCITO. Ms. Hedegaard is furthermore chair of the Danish Government’s Committee on Public Service; chair of the Board of Aarhus University; member of the European Climate Foundation; member of the Nordex Supervisory Board; member of the Danfoss A/S Board; and member of the Sustainability Council of Volkswagen.

Ms. Hedegaard was the European Commissioner for Climate Action from 2010 to 2014, during which she led the negotiations towards the adoption of the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. As EU Commissioner, she was also responsible for the 2050 Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy and represented the EU
in the international climate negotiations.

Prior to the appointment as EU Commissioner, Ms. Hedegaard served as Minister for Climate and Energy in 2007-2009 and as Minister for Environment in 2004-2007. She was elected Member of the Danish Parliament from 1984 to 1990 and again in 2005-2009.

She is educated in literature and history and has a professional background as a journalist at the Danish National Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and at a number of Danish national newspapers. She has also authored and contributed to several publications and columns.

Cyrille Brisson

Vice President, Sales, Service & Marketing – Electrical Sector Europe, Middle East and Africa Region


Cyrille Brisson is Sales, Service and Marketing Vice President for the Electrical Sector in the EMEA region at Eaton Corporation. Beyond the traditional sales and marketing scope, this role includes responsibility for looking into the way market and customer requirements are changing as a result of digitization, the energy transition or societal pressures and the consequences of these changes both for Eaton’s business and for the way markets operate. This involves working closely with channel and integration partners on the evolution of the company’s offerings and working practices through this period of rapid change.

With a diverse experience in technology and economics, Cyrille invests time to look into how technical, process and business model innovation can be applied to improve people’s quality of life, access to clean energy, productivity or personal safety, while striving to anticipate and mitigate the impact that technology and market changes have on communities and partner networks.

Prior to his current position, Cyrille was VP, Marketing, and previously VP, Power Quality Division EMEA at Eaton Corporation. During that time, he organized research consortia looking into the future of power generation, energy storage, microgrids or the future of data centres and HPC, working with diverse research partners such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nissan or École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and began his career at Schneider Electric in 1995. Before joining Eaton in 2011, he had held several positions in Schneider Electric in headquarters and industrial and commercial subsidiaries in France, Japan, Singapore, Israel and Colombia.

He started his career in Finance, IT and Logistics before transitioning to general management roles. Cyrille graduated from HEC Paris, with a major in Tax and Law.

Dr. Dieter Vollkommer

Corporate Vice President Sustainability


Dr. Vollkommer is responsible for the Siemens “CO2 neutral operations” program and for Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio, which includes highly energy efficient products & solutions, renewable energies and environmental technologies. In fiscal 2017, the Environmental Portfolio accounted for €39bn in revenues and helped customers save about 570 Million metric tons of CO2. Dr. Vollkommer is also leading strategic developments and operationally supports sustainability-related business opportunities globally. With more than fifteen years in energy- and IT-industry, as well as in the public sector, Dr. Vollkommer has gained broad knowledge and experience in developing strategies and implementing complex projects.

Marzia Zafar

Director of Innovation and Issues Monitor

World Energy Council

Marzia Zafar is currently Director of Innovation and Issues Monitor for the World Energy Council.  Prior to joining the Council Marzia worked for over 20 years in the California energy sector, first, in the private sector with Sempra Energy and then was appointed by former California Governor Schwarzenegger as a chief energy policy advisor at the California Public Utilities Commission.  Some of her work in the energy space includes leading the regulatory reform efforts to create standards for smart grid technologies such as smart meters.  Most recently she co-chaired the California Customer Choice policy efforts before leaving for London to join the Council.  Marzia is also known in the transportation sector for creating the rules and regulations for Transportation Network Companies (e.g. Uber, Lyft, etc.).  Currently, she is leading the Council’s partnership with PwC to publish the Innovation Insights Brief on Blockchain – how and to what extend can blockchain optimize the existing electric grid and what are its realistic potential for transforming the grid in years to come.

Patrick Child

Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

European Commission

Paul Massara

Chief Executive Officer

Electron, UK

Paul Massara is the CEO of Electron and a member of the Committee on Fuel Poverty advising the Secretary of State for Energy on energy strategy.

Paul has over two decades experience in the energy sector. He started at Centrica plc, Direct Energy North America, in Toronto where he held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility culminating in his role as  President of Canadian Operations and serving as a Member of the North American Board and the North America Executive Committee. His leadership enhanced the Company’s growth from $700,000MM to $2.7Bn, and from 600 to 3,000 employees.

He was CEO of RWE npower EO of RWE npower and served on the Executive Committee of RWE AG as well as being  the Country Chair for RWE in the UK responsible for all Government and policy issues. As member of the RWE Retail Board, he was responsible for coordinating 23 million B2C customers and led the digitalization of RWE in the UK and Europe. He left RWE to head Northstar Solar, which was looking at the disruption off the energy market by battery storage , solar and demand side management.He is Chair of Medicinema, a charity focused on enhancing patient wellbeing by building cinemas in hospitals. He was voted Top 40 Under 40 in Canada in 2004 and was Chair of the Toronto Board of Trade.


Sir Philip Lowe

Executive Chair, World Energy Trilemma

World Energy Council

Philip Lowe was born in Leeds in 1947. He read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St John’s College, Oxford and has an M.Sc. from London Business School. Following a period in manufacturing industry, he joined the European Commission in 1973, and held a range of senior posts as Chef de Cabinet and Director in the fields of regional development, agriculture, transport and administration, before becoming Director-General of the Development DG in 1997. From September 2002 he was Director-General of the European Commission’ Competition DG until he became Director-General of the Energy DG in February 2010. He retired from the European Commission from 1st January 2014. From 2013 to 2016, he was a non-executive director of the UK Competition and Markets Authority and since 2016, Executive Chair of the World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Flagship Study Programme. From 2010, he has been Chair of the Florence University Institute Competition Law Workshop. Philip Lowe was knighted KCMG in 2014.

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Representing environment ministers, city leaders, UN agencies, private sector innovators and adopters


Discussing the circular economy, energy transition, sustainable mobility and climate finance


Attendees represent nations all across the globe with a big focus on Europe and north America
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