Ahmed Aboutaleb (born 1961 in Beni Sidel, Morocco) has been mayor of Rotterdam since 2009. Previously, he represented the PvdA (Labor Party) as State Secretary for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the fourth Balkenende cabinet (2007-2008) and as an alderman in Amsterdam (2004-2007).
Mayor Aboutaleb (ISWA main speaker in 2015) strongly advocates the values enshrined in the Dutch Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the principle of non-discrimination. In his view, obtaining Dutch citizenship entails a responsibility to respect and uphold those values and to take part in building the We Society.
Allard Castelein (Rotterdam, 1958) is CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority since 2014. Allard graduated in medicine at Erasmus University. He started working with Shell in The Netherlands in 1987.
From 1992 he lived and worked in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom in various positions in Marketing, Strategy, Business Development and General Management. In 2003 he became Commercial Manager for Shell’s European Upstream business. In this capacity he led a major re-organisation and change management programme. In 2009 Allard was appointed Vice President Environment for Shell. He led the global Environment cluster and was accountable for strategy, standards, controls and strategic partnerships worldwide.
Bernard Wientjes (Amsterdam, 1943) took over the family business, Ucosan, in 1969, after the premature death of his father. The company grew to be one of the leading European producers of plastic bathtubs, shower trays and whirlpools. In 1999, he sold it to the German conglomerate Villeroy & Boch.
From 2005 to 2014 he chaired enterprise organisation VNO-NCW and became vicechair of the Social and Economic Council.
From 2014 to 2017, Wientjes lectured at Utrecht University, where he held the chair for “Entrepreneurship and Leadership” within the university’s School of Economics (USE).
Current chairships include KPMG’s supervisory board, the SvB’s advisory board and The Royal Association of the Dutch Chemical Industry (VNCI).
David Katz has been named one of the world’s most compassionate entrepreneurs by Salt magazine. He is the recipient of the UN Lighthouse award for Planetary Health, recipient of the Paris Climate Conference Sustainia community award, and is the past President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).
David is the founder and CEO of The Plastic Bank, a global network of micro recycling markets that empower the poor to transcend poverty by cleaning the environment. The Plastic Bank is an eco-system that provides an opportunity for the world to collect and trade plastic waste as a currency.
Philip Heylen is the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ISVAG intermunicipal waste management organization in Antwerp (Belgium). He is ISWA’s ambassador for Mayors and Municipalities and member of the advisory group of the UN Habitat Waste Wise Cities campaign. Philip is currently business development manager at Ackermans & van Haaren, a diversified group active in 4 core segments: Marine Engineering & Contracting, Private Banking, Real Estate & Senior Care and Energy & Resources. He is also Honorary Vice-mayor of the city of Antwerp. He graduated in law from the University of Antwerp.
Sabine Biesheuvel (1983), who holds a master’s degree in cultural anthropology, is co-founder and managing director of BlueCity, an innovation hub that serves as a breeding ground for over 30 circular companies.
Located in former subtropical waterpark Tropicana in Rotterdam, BlueCity aims to accelerate the circular economy in the region through entrepreneurship and innovation. Its core focus is designing, setting up and enhancing new businesses that radically redefine how we (re)use our planet’s resources.
Yves Luca has been CEO of waste management company AVR since 2013. Under his wing, AVR has set a standard for the energy-from-waste, co-siting and circular economy in Europe. Luca has 20 years of experience in the waste management industry, where he held several regional and national executive positions, as well as directorships in both Managing Board and Group Board in Europe’s leading waste service, raw materials group Renewi Plc.
Over the years, he has been responsible for waste collection operations, recycling activities and energy-from-waste activities in Belgium and Eastern Europe. Yves Luca holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economic Science.