PlantAhead: The Speakers

    We proudly present on stage the following inspiring and visionary speakers. And many more!

    At the age of 9, Felix Finkbeiner, inspired by the story of Wangari Maathai, developed the idea that children could promote climate justice by planting a million trees in every country. With the support of children from over a hundred countries, Felix launched the children and youth initiative Plant-for-the-Planet in 2007. So far, more than 67,000 children and youth in 66 have been trained in Plant-for-the-Planet Academies. As Climate Justice Ambassadors, these children and youth give speeches to adults, make them act and fight for their future. Felix today is 20 years old and studies International Relations at the SOAS in London.

    The Gyalwang Drukpa is the head of the Drukpa lineage, one of the most influential schools of Buddhism in the Himalayas and is regarded as one of the most important teachers of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. He is a environmental activist, a champion of peace and a strong advocate of gender equality. The Gyalwang Drukpa is the founder of the secular humanitarian organization Live To Love, whose fundamental philosophy is active action for the benefit of people, animals and the environment.

    "Nature has always been very kind to us. We live on nature, or rather - we are nature. Giving back to nature is something that has always been the most important of all my priorities. My way of giving back to nature is to plant trees."  - The Gyalwang Drukpa

    HSH Prince Albert II was born on 14 March 1958.
    On 12 July 2005, he acceded to the throne.
    In June 2006, the Sovereign Prince established the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation dedicated to the preservation of the environment.
    He undertook three main scientific journeys: in Arctic in 2005 and 2006, when he reached the North Pole, and in the Antarctic in 2009. HSH has travelled all over the world and was received by the principal Heads of State and political leaders.
    He is committed to carrying out an exemplary policy in Monaco in terms of environmental protection and is concerned with the Principality’s economic development and social welfare.

    Patricia Espinosa is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Ambassador of Mexico to Germany since 2012 and from 2001 to 2002, Ms. Espinosa was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, bringing more than 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations, specialized in climate change, global governance, sustainable development, gender equality and protection of human rights.  Elected Chair of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (1996) she played a key role in the process leading to the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action at the 4th World Conference on Women. Previous Ambassador of Mexico to Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and UN Organisations in Vienna (2002-2006), she was Chief of Staff to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991) and responsible for economic issues at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN in Geneva (1982-1988).

    She has postgraduate studies in International Law from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and is holder of a Degree in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico.

    Patricia Zurita is the Chief Executive Officer of BirdLife International.

    Previously Patricia was the Executive Director of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) a global multi-donor fund enabling civil society to participate in and benefit from conserving some of the world’s most critical ecosystems.

    Prior to leading CEPF, Patricia managed the Conservation Stewards Program in CI, which is dedicated to the provision of incentives to local and indigenous communities in tropical countries in exchange for their commitment to protect biodiversity. An Ecuadorian national, Patricia holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management and Natural Resource Economics. 

    Prof. Tom Crowther is the head of the Global Ecosystem Ecology lab at ETH Zürich. He studied ecosystem ecology at Yale University and Cardiff University, before moving to Zurich at the end of 2017. His research aims to generate an understanding of the ecological processes that drive the carbon cycle and climate system at a global scale. Such an ecologically-informed understanding of Earth system dynamics is necessary to understand and address global climate change. He also developed the first global map of forest trees, revealing that there are over 3 trillion trees on Earth. This first model is now revealing how many trees could be restored around the world, and how much carbon those trees could potentially capture.

    Dr. Anabel Ternès is an entrepreneur with a focus on health and sustainable lifestyle, a digitalization expert and author.
    She is managing partner of CoCarrier GmbH and HealthMedo GmbH. As Managing Director and professor she heads the Institute for Sustainable Management (IISM). She is, among other social engagements, CEO of Get Your Wings, board member of NFTE Germany and mentor at StartupTEENS.
    Anabel has many years of leadership experience in the business development of international companies.

    Alfred T. Ritter was born in 1953 and is Owner & Chairman of the Advisory Board of Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG (CEO 2005-2014). The company, founded by his grandparents in 1912, manufactures the well-known Ritter Sport chocolate, which is exported from its headquarters in the Swabian town of Waldenbuch to more than 100 countries. Since chocolate is a natural product, for Alfred T. Ritter it is a logical consequence to take care of natural resources and to fight against the climate change actively.

    Christian Kroll is the founder of – the search engine that plants trees. So far Ecosia has already planted millions of trees from the money generated through clicks on advertisements. Ecosia is based in Berlin but the team is planting trees all over the world. It's Christians goal to plant 1 billion trees within the next few years.

    A Poetic Peace Treeaty

    Dear global citizens, caring children,
    World politicians and planet ambassadors.
    The world is a roadmap and the Earth is a life
    With love in a postcard in the birth of a heart.

    Poetree of life, poetree of life, poetree of life,
    Can you feel the “global warming” of the hearts
    When the nature comes alive?

    If poverty is the root of all evil,
    Poetree is the root of all people.
    Treat a tree like you would treat your own pupil.
    Cherish it as a miracle, plants are vital for our survival.

    So imagine… a poetic Peace Treety with every living species
    Living in harmony with nature as one family in our human destiny.
    All the seven billion human beings still believing in our common dreams,
    Listen to the kids, Plant A Trillion Trees, what a brilliant song to sing.

    We all have a voice and we all have a choice,
    We can be part of the pollution or part of the solution.
    For the sake of future generations, we ARE the revolution
    To change the world for good and not for goods into the woods.

    Plant a seed of love in the soil to heal the world
    And hope to see the day the universe
    Stands in a single unique verse!

    “Run Forest Run, Run Forest Run,
    Spread your leaves under the sun”

    Vincent Avanzi
    Chief Poetic Officer – The Ink Of The Future


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