World Café - Participating Experts

Entrepreneurship, own company

  • Andreas Gschöpf, Start-up Consultant, INiTS UNiversitäres Gründerservice GmbH
    Andreas Gschöpf is working as Start-up Consultant at INiTS UNiversitäres Gründerservice GmbH. After his education in technical engineering, he graduated in Industrial Engineering- Machinery, CMC. He has work experience in construction pulp and paper industry, systems for automatisation, Know-How and Technology Transfer between organisations within Europe and Regional Sustainable development in alpine regions. He was participating in growing up the INITS incubator and giving advice on Start-ups more or less since the INITS establishment in 2003, concentrating (among others) on  Sustainability Innovation.
  • Gerald Spreitzhofer, Founder MeTGIS ProfessionalWeatherService
    Gerald Spreitzhofer completed his diploma studies in meteorology and geophysics at the University of Vienna. He did his doctoral studies in Colorado, USA. After several years of work for the American WELS Research Corporation, Spreitzhofer supported international research institutes and weather services as a consultant and visiting scientist in Switzerland, Japan, Peru, Chile and Argentina. After further years of research at the University of Vienna, he founded MetGIS GmbH in 2013 together with a colleague and since this time has been managing director of this internationally active company.

Industry, private sector

  • Oliver Dworak, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich
    Oliver Dworak is Senior Advisor on Energy and Environment Policies at the Austrian Economic Chamber, Industry Division. He has more than twenty years of experience in public and governmental affairs, serving for the Austrian industry. From 2006 to 2014, he was Director General of Austropapier, the Association of the Austrian Pulp and Paper Industry, and held positions on national level (Print Power, Forst Holz Papier), European level (CEPI) and global level (FAO). From 2008 to 2015, he acted as President of the Austrian Institute for Industrial Ecology in St. Pölten.

  • Daniela Ostheim, Quality Manager Drehm Pharma GmbH
    Daniela Ostheim is working as Quality Manager at Drehm Pharma GmbH. She completed her studies in ecology with a focus on environmental economics at the University of Vienna and then moved on to environmental management, safety management and finally quality management. After several years with a non-profit company and quality management at universities, she moved to the food and beverage industry and in May 2018 to the pharma industry.

NGOs, Education, Media, Alternative Careers

  • Peter Iwaniewicz, Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT)
    Peter Iwaniewicz is working in the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, Department for Sustainable Development and Natural Resources, where he is head of unit for “Education for Sustainable Development” and collaborates with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to work on environmental projects. As biologist and communication expert, Peter Iwaniewicz is also a book author (presentation of his new book on 14 Nov 2018) and regular columnist for the weekly newspaper “Falter”. He is a lecturer in science communication at the University of Vienna and has a teaching assignment at the University College for Agrarian and Environmental Pedagogy.
  • Fred Luks, Head of Competence Center for Sustainability, Vienna University of Economics and Business, author and blogger
    Fred Luks is the Head of the Competence Center for Sustainability at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). He has been involved in sustainability-related research, teaching and management for many years, for example as the Chair of the Vereinigung für Ökologische Ökonomie, an association of researchers active in ecological economics. Previously, he has been Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary research project, a guest professor at the University of Hamburg, and Sustainability Manager of a large corporation. He is the author of numerous publications on sustainability-related topics, including eight books.

Public administration

  • Maximilian Biwald, Project Coordinator, Magistratsdirektion Wien
    Maximilian Biwald is Project Coordinator within the Municipal Directorate of the City of Vienna, Divison Human Resources and Auditing. In addition, he is a lecturer for process and quality management at the Wien Akademie of the City of Vienna. Maximilian Biwald was the project manager of the knowledge management strategy project "wien mags wissen" in the municipal administration and is currently coordinating a New Work initiative. He comes from a public management and media sciences background as well as from process and quality management.
  • Ingwald Gschwandtl, Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism
    Ingwald GSCHWANDTL is Head of Forest Policy, Forest Economics and Forest Information in the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria. He holds a University degree in Forestry from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna. He is University Lecturer for forest policy and sustainable development matters at several international Universities and Faculties. Before joining the Ministry he has worked in different positions in the forestry sector in Austria. Ingwald Gschwandtl has been envoy of the Government of Austria to various international forest and environment related treaties and processes. At present he chairs the Council Working Party on Forestry of the European Union.

University / Science

  • Gerhard Herndl, ESRN, Vice Dean Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna
    Gerhard Herndl is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Head of the Division Bio-Oceanography at the Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography for Sea Research at the University of Vienna. In addition since 2009 he also is Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Royal Netherlands Institute, Netherlands. The professor for Microbial Oceanography / Aquatic Biology, who is Wittgenstein Prize winner of the year 2011, is also head of the newly established research platform PLENTY at the University of Vienna, which investigates the global plastic pollution by assessing the environmental impact of plastics and the societal perception of plastics in daily life.
  • Thilo Hofmann, Head of ESRN, Vice Dean Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy, University of Vienna
    Thilo Hofmann is professor for Environmental Geosciences at the University of Vienna and Vice Dean at the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy. He teaches and conducts research in the fields of hydrogeology, pollutant behaviour, biochar, environmental behaviour of natural and technical nanoparticles and microplastics. From 2012 to 2016 he was Dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy at the University of Vienna and since 2015 he has been Head of the Environmental Research Network at the University of Vienna. Since January 2017 Thilo Hofmann has also been Adjunct Professor at Duke University (USA).
  • Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, ESRN and former Vice Rector, University of Vienna
    Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik is professor of Sinology at the Department for East Asian Studies of the University of Vienna and member of the ESRN-Steering Committee. From 2011 to 2015 she served as the Vice-Rector for Research and Career Development at the University of Vienna. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik’s main research areas involve history, (environmental) politics and culture, including history of China and East Asia in the 20th century,  politics  and  economy  in  China  after  the  Reform  and  Opening-up,  and contemporary  Chinese  discourse  on  memory  of  the  Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution.
  • Bernadett Weinzierl, ESRN and Professor Aerosol and Cluster Physics, University of Vienna
    Bernadett Weinzierl is member of the ESRN and Professor for Aerosol- and Cluster Physics and Head of the Aerosol Physics and Environmental Physics Group, Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna. In July 2018 she was elected to the Presidium of the Young Academy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She studied and worked at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IPA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität (LMU), Munich and the US-National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration - Droplet Measurement Technologies and CIRES in  Boulder, Colorado.