Keynote: Dr. Jessica Yinka Thomas, Director, Business Sustainability Collaborative & Lecturer at Poole College of Management, NC State University

Jessica Thomas is Director of the Business Sustainability Collaborative at Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University, where she also lectures. She leads the B Corp Clinic for students to work with social and environmental-certified for-profit ‘B Corporations’, and helped found the Global B Corp Academic Community. She was recognised for her leadership in the B Corp movement with the Bill Clark Award in 2016. She was managing director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of North Carolina, and programme director of its Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship. She has held leadership roles at Duke University’s Competition for Underserved and Resource-poor Economies (CURE); CFED, an economic development corporation in Durham, North Carolina; and new product development roles in educational toy and communications industries. She has written white papers, case studies, research reports, and a novel, How Not to Save the World.

Keynote: Gianni Lorenzato, Senior Financial Advisor at the World Bank Group

Gianni Lorenzato is a senior consultant to the World Bank Group, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and also to the international organisation for sustainable development and education GIZ . He focuses on policies and financial tools to stimulate commercial capital involvement in sustainable and development projects, as well as the design of facilities that blend commercial and concessional functions. Gianni was a hedge fund manager and an investment banker, and spent two years in Silicon Valley developing a finance technology start-up. He holds a master degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor of arts in Economics from Bocconi University. He is Italian and lives in New York.

KPMG-RSM Sustainability Thesis Award Presentor: Jerwin Tholen, KPMG

Director at KPMG Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Jerwin Tholen has over 17 years of sustainability consulting experience. Currently focused on cost benefit analyses, CSR strategy, sustainable soft commodities and supply chain management, he has been part of KPMG since 2002, and became Associate Director of KPMG Sustainability in 2007. Mr. Tholen became the Director of KPMG Climate Change and Sustainability Services in October 2015. He holds a drs. in Policy, Management, the Environment and Spatial Planning from Radboud University.

Opening: Professor Steef van de Velde, Dean Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Steef van de Velde is a Professor of Operations Management and Technology and Dean of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). His research interests lie in the areas of operations excellence, service operations, and (behavioural) supply chain management. He has published in the leading academic journals including, among others, Management ScienceCalifornia Management Review, Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, INFORMS Journal on Computing, IIE Transactions, and Journal of Scheduling. Professor van de Velde holds an MSc in Econometrics from the Erasmus School of Economics and a PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has served as Dean for RSM since September 2011.

Moderator: Dorothy Grandia, Assistant Director RSM Career Development Centre

Dorothy Grandia is Assistant Director of the Career Development Centre at RSM; and Faculty member of the Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations, where she concentrates on the development and delivery of leadership communication programmes for open Executive Education as well as in-house initiatives at such organisations as the European Central Bank and ING. In 2015 Dorothy delivered a TedX talk on leadership and confidence, ‘Authenticity is a Dangerous Word’. Using her experience in the political arena, on the operatic stage, and in executive programmes she helps people develop their communication range and increase their influence. Her education includes Asian Studies and Development Economics at University of Texas at Austin.