Ada Osakwe

Founder and Chief Executive
Agrolay Ventures

Ada Osakwe is the Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, an investment firm dedicated to growing the agricultural and food sector in Africa.

Osakwe has served as the Senior Investment Adviser to Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, advising the minister on all agriculture investment-related activities involving private sector investors, and led investment policy and financing initiatives, such as the “Government-enabled, private sector-driven” Agricultural Transformation Agenda.

Osakwe also led the development and launch of the US $100 million Fund for Agricultural Financing in Nigeria (FAFIN), an innovative private equity fund dedicated to investing in small and medium agribusiness companies in Nigeria.

Prior to that, Osakwe was a vice-president at Kuramo Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm that manages the US $110 million Kuramo Africa Opportunity Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Osakwe was also a senior investment officer at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in Tunisia, where she led multi-disciplinary teams through the evaluation of debt financing and equity investments worth over US $1 billion across the energy and transport sectors in Africa.


Carla Madueño Florian

IFSA youth delegate

Hola! My name is Carla Madueño Florian , Peruvian biologist graduated at the University of Munich and currently pursuing a M.Sc degree in Global Change Ecology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. For the last 6 years I have studied between Europe and America following my passion for ecology, biodiversity conservation and climate action.

My latest project is my M.Sc Thesis on the “Social valuation of ecosystem services provided by the Mariño watershed in Apurimac, Peru”. My thesis explores the concept of the “social value” of nature’s banefits to people, so that we can better understand perceptions, attitudes and conflict of interests around the commons. Mariño faces big challenges such as overgrazing, slash-and-burn agriculture, depletion of glaciar water reserves and deforestation. However, momentum is also big among rural villagers or so called ‘guardians of the watershed’ – very aware of the future generations. I will keep you updated here on the outcomes of this project which counts on the institutional support by the Andean Forest Program and the HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.

I describe myself as a curious and creative person, and deeply passionate in regards to the role of youth at the science and policy interface, given recent participation as an IFSA youth delegate at high level conferences at FAO Rome.

My message: “Youth is the key ally in any decision we take to protect the Earth”. I am deeply grateful for GLF providing me the tools, skills and the ideal network to meet young people alike, aiming to create seascapes and landscapes of sustainability now!

Learn more about me here:

And check my blog entries here:

Very recommended: IFSA’s online series on Halting Deforestation and the 24th FAO Committee on Forestry.


Dr. Hans Friederich

Director General

Dr. Friederich, a Dutch-born geographer, has been leading INBAR since 2014. Previous to this, he was the IUCN Pan-European Regional Director, overseeing operations in Europe, Russia and Central Asia, while having also managed the organizations global fundraising unit.

He has also worked in IUCN’s Eastern Africa Regional Office, as senior technical advisor for the Ministry of Science and Technology in Vietnam -where he was the first foreigner to be decorated with the Medal for Science and Technology. In Thailand, Dr. Friederich was the Chief Technical Advisor of a UNDP Mekong Wetlands Conservation and Management Programme, and he provided oversight over the IUCN Programme in China. Dr. Friederich earned his PhD in groundwater hydrochemistry from the University of Bristol, UK.


Valeria Sorgato

San Francisco University of Quito, Ecuador

I studied Environmental Communication in my bachelors in the San Francisco University of Quito, Ecuador. Right now I’m finishing my masters on Sustainable Resource Management at the Technical University of Munich.
I have worked as an environmentalist journalist for different platforms and journals, from Ecuador and International. I also have experience in environmental education with children and indigenous communities.
I love to travel, to enjoy nature, paint, read and help people.

Media links: Twitter: @ValeriaSorgato
Facebook: Valeria Sorgato


Christopher Knowles

Advisory Council Member, Climate Bonds Initiative
OECD Centre for Green Finance Investment

Former head of the European Investment Bank’s environmental division, Christopher Knowles is a longtime leading figure in climate and environmental finance. For eleven years, he led the Bank’s operational team handling investments in equity and debt funds for infrastructure and environment, throughout which the EIB scaled up and innovated its contributions to climate finance.

With a background in development economics and finance, project finance, PPPs and crediting, he developed an interest to tackle environmental issues since the 1980s. He has held positions in supervising and advisory bodies of many clean energy, environmental, infrastructure and carbon funds and is currently working to promote business and consumption practices that support biodiversity conservation, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation. He is also advising the World Agroforestry Centre DG on financing issues for agro-forestry.


Emmi Lindqvist

University of Huelva

Hello! My name is Emmi, and I’m thrilled to be part of the GLF Youth Ambassador program. I’m originally from Finland, but for the past six years I have called Spain home. My background is in sustainable coastal management and currently I’m pursuing a master’s degree in biodiversity conservation, specifically in the marine environment.

I’m passionate about sustainable living and making the world a greener, happier place. I’m a firm believer in movements that support grassroots-level community initiatives, backed by the appropriate legislation and funding necessary to move these initiatives forward. As a longtime supporter and volunteer of organisations such as WWF and Plan International, I aim to contribute to sustainable landscape development goals from the ground up. Most recently, I’ve joined the Birdlife Spain team in my current hometown of Huelva, to help bring forth the importance of biodiversity conservation in Doñana National Park.

The GLF Youth Ambassador program provides a fantastic opportunity to get insight into the realities of sustainable land use and natural resource management, while simultaneously providing the means to holistically combat global landscape degradation issues.

Twitter: lind_emmi
Instagram: emmibahialla


Andrea Catalina Fajardo

Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)

Andrea Catalina Fajardo works as doctoral student at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS). Her doctoral studies focus on social-ecological resilience in the German agriculture by applying System Dynamics, transformational adaption and EPIC model (Agricultural Model). This research conducts in cooperation with Hamburg University in the project “Integrative Modelling Lab”. This will help on the analysis of impacts of global change at the local and regional scale through the creation of integrative models. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the Universidad del Atlántico in Colombia, Andrea Catalina obtained her MSc. on Environmental Protection and Agricultural Protection with emphasis on renewable energies at University Hohenheim.

Previously, Andrea Catalina worked as chemical engineer in several chemical plants in Colombia and then as environmental engineer with local NGOs and the local Bogota government in sustainable agriculture implementation and environmental protection projects in local rural communities. She has conducted participatory workshops in agriculture and design and installation of a small biogas device. For her Master thesis, she worked at Phaesun in the European Project REvivED, where she conducted cost and performance optimization simulations at MATLAB of the solar brackish water desalination units installed in developing regions.

She is active engaged at Global Landscapes Forum as Youth Ambassador and Climate Reality Leader in Hamburg where she is currently participating in the Climate Reality Hub ( and filming a series of videos about the coal industry impacts in Germany in a small town Keyenberg and Hambacher Forst.


Christian Kroll

Founder & CEO
Ecosia GmbH

In 2009, Christian Kroll founded Ecosia as a start-up search engine that uses its profits to plant trees and combat global deforestation. With more than 7 million active users, Ecosia is known for its industry-leading standards of corporate transparency and user privacy, alongside its mission to restore the world’s degraded and vulnerable forests, in turn aiding livelihoods and relieving poverty. So far, Ecosia has planted more than 39 million trees of its 1 billion-tree goal.

Originally from Wittenberg, Germany, Kroll studied business administration in Nuremberg. While in university, he became disillusioned with profit-making being the only valid objective for a business, and decided to do something more meaningful with his energy. This led him to travel and learn about the importance of trees for survival of our planet, and eventually to the launch of Ecosia.

Read more on Landscape News on how Ecosia has been making global headlines with its efforts to save a German forest from a coal mine’s expansion.


Durreen Shahnaz

Founder and CEO
IIX (Impact Investment Exchange)

With a career spanning three decades, Durreen Shahnaz is a global leader of social impact and impact investing as well as a defiant optimist with a bold vision for a more inclusive and peaceful world. She is the founder of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and IIX Foundation, home of the world’s first social stock exchange and Asia’s largest crowdfunding platforms for impact investing. Furthermore, per Shahnaz’s ambitious vision and entrepreneurial spirit, IIX also is the social innovator behind a proprietary impact assessment methodology and innovative financial structures such as the world’s first Women’s Livelihood Bond. Through its cutting-edge programs and products, IIX connects the backstreets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world by changing financial systems and innovating solutions for women empowerment, climate action, and community resilience, thus driving forward the Sustainable Development Goals. To date, IIX and IIX Foundation’s work has spanned 40 countries, unlocked nearly $75 million of private sector capital, avoided over 850,000 metric tonnes of carbon and impacted over 23 million lives.

Born in Bangladesh, Shahnaz has built an international track record as a successful social entrepreneur, banker, media executive and academic at leading institutions including Morgan Stanley (New York), Grameen Bank (Bangladesh), Hearst Magazines International (New York), and the National University of Singapore. Additionally, she founded, grew and sold oneNest (New York) – an impact enterprise and one of the first e-commerce sites focused on creating a marketplace for handmade goods which created economic opportunity for over a half-million people worldwide. oneNest was sold to Novica United, working in association with National Geographic Society. Through these roles, Shahnaz has broken down walls and built bridges to build a more just, inclusive and sustainable future.

Shahnaz holds a BA from Smith College and a joint degree – an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from the School for Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University.

Leadership & Awards

Shahnaz is the recipient of the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for Business’, the 2017 Global Steering Group for Impact Investment Impact Market Builder of the Year Award, the 2016 Asia Society Asia Game Changer Award, in addition to the prestigious 2014 Joseph Wharton Social Impact Award given by the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she currently serves on the advisory board for UNDP, United Nations ESCAP, G20 Steering Committee for Impact Investing, and was also an appointed member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. She has been a program advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative, a 2010 TED fellow, a TED speaker and is frequently invited to contribute as a resource person to media, foundations and universities.

Key Achievements

  • First Bangladeshi woman to work on Wall Street
  • Facilitated the transaction of Grameen Bank’s first financing round
  • Became the youngest Vice President (at age 29) in the history of Hearst Corporation – one of the largest media companies in the world and oversaw the entire Asia operation
  • Successfully founded, grew and sold an E-commerce platform that connected microbusinesses in the developing world to global markets
  • Developed a proprietary impact assessment methodology that has been adopted by over 130 high-impact enterprises and non-profits worldwide
  • Visionary of the world’s first social stock exchange, Impact Exchange, and the first-of-its-kind Women’s Livelihood Bond Structure
  • Facilitator of Asia’s largest impact investing crowdfunding platform, Impact Partners
  • Invited to address the United Nations General Assembly High Meeting: Innovative Finance for Sustainable Peace in 2018
  • Recognized motivational speaker on TED and TED Fellow
  • Host of the Back Street to Wall Street podcast series with Knowledge@Wharton bringing global voices of development, innovative finance and social entrepreneurship to mainstream radio

Impact in Numbers

  • Impacted over 25 million lives throughout her career
  • Led efforts that avoided over 850,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • Advocated for empowering women, underserved communities, and the environment at over 200 gatherings worldwide
  • Spoken to youth groups from over 20 global universities on social innovation, entrepreneurship and impact investing

About IIX

IIX (Impact Investment Exchange) is a global organization dedicated to building a more inclusive world as the foundation for sustainable peace. The company together with our sister foundation connects the Back Streets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world by changing financial systems and innovating solutions for women empowerment, climate action, and community resilience. Our mission is to unlock US$1 billion in private sector capital to impact over 100 million lives by 2022. Over the past decade, our work has spanned 40 countries, unlocked nearly $75 million of private sector capital, avoided over 850,000 metric tonnes of carbon and impacted over 23 million lives.

Read more about Durreen Shahnaz in our full profile here.


Amanubo Amos

Africa Restoration Forum

Mr. Amos is a final year student currently pursuing a BSc. Conservation Forestry and Products Tech. at Makerere University, Uganda. He is a youth leader and the founder of Africa Restoration Forum, a knowledge sharing platform that aims at building resilience in the livelihoods of indigenous communities through climate action, awareness creation and landscape restoration.