Anna Eliasson Schamis

Senior Advisor, Fundraising and Business Development

Anna Eliasson Schamis, a founding principal of ACET Group, LLC, is a senior fundraising and business development consultant.  She works with institutions ranging from non-profit start-ups to global companies.

Previously Anna served for more than five years as Vice President of Development and External Relations at the Atlantic Council, a leading think tank in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for the Council’s entire fundraising, thought leadership and event management operations. Anna helped quadruple the Council’s revenue and secure the participation of global leaders ranging from presidents and heads of state to global business leaders and celebrities.  Under her leadership, Anna created engagement platforms and programs for Fortune 500 companies and dramatically grew the quantity and quality of the Council’s corporate partnerships.  Anna also oversaw the $25 million fundraising campaign for the creation of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

Cecilia Hertz

CEO and Founder, Umbilical Design

Cecilia founded Umbilical Design in 2001 and has since then worked with space design in collaboration with NASA and the European Space Agency. During her years as design student she spent much of her training at NASA and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she took part of various projects. Down to Earth for Tourism is based on a methodology developed by Umbilical Design, where technology and knowledge transfer from space is used to create new innovations and products.

Cordula Wohlmuther

Project Coordinator ‘Tourism and Peace’

Cordula coordinates the project “Tourism and Peace”, an initiative by UNWTO together with the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, and its center for peace research and peace education. Tourism is a tool for creating economic growth, but according to Cordula it is even more important to look at how tourism can be used as a peace-building instrument, which she is working with in the project “Tourism and Peace.” Cordula was during the years 2000-2006 Deputy Regional Director for Europe of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Daria Akhutina

General Director, Association for cooperation with Nordic countries NORDEN

Daria Akhutina has since the foundation of the Association for cooperation with Nordic countries in 1996 been working as the director of the organization. The aim is to develop and support international co-operation in the Region of the Baltic Sea: between North-Western Russia, and the Nordic and Baltic countries in the field of culture, education, humanitarian and professional relationships. Daria has initiated a number of international projects in the field of education, cultural heritage and cultural tourism.

During the last year she has been involved in the process of the synchronization of the strategies: European Union Strategy for Baltic Sea region and Russia’s strategy for NW Russia -to identify joint priorities for EU-Russia regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

Dave Van Smeerdijk

Head of Marketing and Sales, Wilderness Safaries

Dave has a bachelor of economics and MBA and based in Cape Town.  He has worked in the travel industry for 25 years, specializing in operating and marketing eco-lodges and camps in East and Southern Africa as well as the Indian Ocean.

Faith Taylor

Innovation and Sustainability expert for Wyndham Worldwide

Faith Taylor currently oversees Wyndham’s worldwide sustainability program which includes over 50 brands, 28,000 employees and over 90,000 locations in 100 countries. She has overseen the development of the company’s corporate policy, strategies and key initiatives and Wyndham’s Green council since 2007. She also co-developed Clear Air by Pure, an allergy free program for Wyndham as well as one of the first to hotel market green uniform program with Cintas. She is Vice Chair of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Environmental and Engineering Committee in Washington D.C. and a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council and International Tourism Partnership organizations as well as on the board of directors for Sustainable Travel International.

Karin Nilsdotter

CEO, Spaceport Sweden

Karin is the CEO of Spaceport Sweden, which is a pioneering initiative to establish commercial human spaceflight in Kiruna and become Europe’s gateway to space. Spaceport Sweden was voted as the innovation of the year in Sweden 2012.

Dr. Michael Flynn

Scientist of the Bioenginering Branch at NASA

Dr. Flynn is the lead of Water Technology Development Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center. He has over 23 years experience in the development of advanced water recycling technologies for NASA. He has over ninety relevant peer reviewed publications in the field. He has received two R&D 100 Award, a Wright Brothers Medal, and an Arch T.Calwell Merit Award.

Michael Martelon

President and CEO, Telluride Tourism Board

As President and CEO of the Telluride Tourism Board, Michael Martelon leads the economic development of the destination’s travel and tourism efforts, including marketing, messaging, brand and packaging development, central reservations, group and conference sales. Also, even though Telluride has a unique environment and history, and was ranked as the Nr. 1 ski resort in 2012 and 2013 by the readers of Conde’ Nast Traveler; Telluride addresses the challenge of sustainable destination development and season variations, in terms of offering an attractive product both winter and summer.

Stefan Gustafsson

Vice President Strategic Security at SSC – Swedish Space Corporation

Stefan is a leader with experience from a number of Executive and Senior Management positions within the public and private sectors. Accustomed to drive for change and development, Stefan has a well developed ability to see and understand the overall strategic picture, to create clear visions and goals and to lead to achieve them, both from executive positions and from governance positions (Board of Director´s). He is as well used to report to political leadership. Following a career as a world class athlete, Stefan is a member of the board of both national and international sport federations.

Taleb Rifai

Secretary-General, UNWTO (United Nations world tourism organisation)

Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, is one of the first advisors in the Global Tourism Innovation Network.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

Teo Härén

Expert on Creativity,

Teo Härén is a leading creativity expert, author of several creativity books and president of Innovation and entrepreneurship are themes that Teo enjoys to lecture about, as well as what business owners can do to become more inspiring, passionate and creative. Teo was, together with his brother Frederick Härén, announced as the Speakers of the Year 2006 -2007 and was also nominated contractors in 2003 by the magazine Shortcut and Företagarna.

Tim Smit

Chief Executive and co-founder, Eden Project.

Tim Smit operates as Chief Executive and co-founder of the world famous and multi-award winning Eden Project. Tim is known as “The Richard Branson of Cornwall.” Eden Project is an ecological experience center with music, drama and culture, linked to climate research and global partnerships. Eden is the world’s fourth largest visitor attraction with over 8 million paying visitors.