Dr. Alex Bielak is an internationally-recognised pioneer in Science Communication, and Knowledge Translation and Brokering related to the natural resources and water sectors. In the course of a distinguished and varied career he has led a variety of award-winning initiatives and successful communications campaigns linking science with environmental policy development. Before heading his own consultancy, Dr. Bielak held senior positions in the U.N., Government Departments, & NGOs. At Environment Canada, he was A/Director General in a new Science & Technology Branch where his group pioneered award-winning science-policy linking KT & KB tools and approaches adopted across Canadian federal government departments. At the United Nations University, as Senior Research Fellow and Knowledge Broker with the Institute for Water, Environment and Health, he led the global K* initiative & served as Senior Advisor to UN-Water’s Chair. Alex’s current appointments include serving as a member of the Management Board of the Canadian Rivers Institute, and appointments as Guest Scholar at the University of the Highlands & Islands in Scotland, and with UNU-INWEH as Associated Fellow. As an External Expert Member of the Advisory Board for the EU’s multi-partner MARINA project, Alex chaired the Board’s first meeting in Rome in 2016.
Among many awards Alex was recognised by the University of Waterloo, with the Alumni of Honour Award, and he and his team received Environment Canada’s “2013 Citation of Excellence” for “outstanding innovation demonstrated in connecting people to science.”
Adrian Slob is working as senior scientist at TNO’s Strategy and Policy department. His work focuses on governance processes to reach sustainability. He looks at these processes from a system perspective, as current policies are too fragmented to deal adequately with the many challenges from an integrated social, economic and ecologic perspective.
His studies concern the role of knowledge and learning in policy processes (science-policy interface), interdisciplinary processes, knowledge co-creation with stakeholders and the design of participative process in relation to smart cities, the energy transition and in the past in relation to river basin (system) and coastal zone management. He is skilled in consensus building processes, is well educated as a facilitator and acts as moderator of sessions and conferences. He has published many publications, is a regular speaker at conferences and is experienced as a project manager of big projects (> 1 mln Euro).
Ana Simões is full professor of history of science at the University of Lisbon, co-coordinator of the Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT), pro-rector of the University of Lisbon and President Elect of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS). Her research interests include the history of quantum chemistry, and history of science in the European Periphery, with emphasis on science in Portugal, 18th to 20th centuries. Founding member of the international group Science and Technology in the European Periphery (STEP), she is presently working on urban history of science, enriched by the perspective of Lisbon.
Dr Nina J Zugic is internationally recognised educationalist, specialised in developing multidisciplinary project, project proposals’ assessment and evaluation, and findings related to the integration of learning, education, industry and applied sciences and arts. Whilst working for The Institute of Education, University of London, Nina pioneered Personalised Learning, which offers the right skills at the right time within a Higher Education setting, research and/or work environment, as well as within the context of the Future Cities. Currently, Nina works as a Project Development Consultant, European Commission Evaluation, Assessment and Ethics Expert, is involved in the PROCSEE Project as an International Expert, and is on the Ethics Advisory Board of the HORIZON 2020 funded MARINA Project. Prior to becoming the consultant, Nina worked as a Learning Development Adviser and Research Manager for a number of UK and international universities and institutions, and that way, gained extensive experience in the integration of academic and industry activities. Nina was also Learning and Skills Network (LSN Learning) Associate, and was heavily involved in designing, developing and evaluating the UK Government funded programmes, including Functional Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, and Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Nina’s academic credits include an MA in Education and a PhD in Professional Development and Technology-Enhanced Learning from the University of London.