This page is also available in

Cillian Lohan,
Vice-President of the EESC in charge of Communication

Cillian Lohan has been Vice-President for Communication of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since October 2020, and an active member of the institution since 2015.

He has worked extensively in the corporate and environmental sectors.

He is a leader in the Circular Economy field and was the inaugural chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, which he helped to establish. Cillian has extensive experience as a delegate to the United Nations, working on initiatives such as the COP climate negotiations and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

As CEO of the Green Economy Foundation, he has overseen ambitious projects including the planting of over one million trees in Ireland and the establishment of a wildlife reserve in Tobago.

Cillian graduated from University College Cork and the University of Ulster with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Science.

Virginijus Sinkevičius,
Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, at the European Commission
Video message YEYS 2021

Virginijus Sinkevičius was from 2017 to 2019 Minister of Economy, and before he was leading the Committee of Economy at the Parliament of Lithuania. Mr. Sinkevičius was elected to the Parliament in October 2016. Prior, he was a Team Lead for Regulatory Affairs at Invest Lithuania. Mr. Sinkevičius holds BA in International Relations and Affairs from Aberystwyth University and Master‘s degree in European International Affairs from Maastricht University. Video message YEYS 2021

Josephine Becker,
Climate activist, writer and student

Josephine Becker (she/her) hosts the Yikes Podcast, which focuses on climate justice, anti-oppression and general “allyship”. On her blog @treesnpeace, she expands on this and advocates for system change.

When not online, Josephine is doing her MSc in Sustainability and Behavior Change, with a focus on Degrowth, Environmental Justice and transformation.

Nisreen Elsaim,
Climate activist and Chair of the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

Nisreen Elsaim is a climate activist and junior negotiator at intergovernmental climate change platforms with experience across a range of environmental topics, and she was part of the social movement that brought about democratic change in Sudan.

Nisreen is the chair of the UN's SG Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change and president of the Sudan Youth for Climate Change, being an organizer of the 2019 Youth Climate Summit.

She holds a Physics and Renewable energy degree from the University of Khartoum and has actively been involved in youth climate activism since 2012.

Corina Angheloiu,
Principal Design Strategist for the global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future

Corina Angheloiu is Principal Design Strategist for the global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future, where she coaches initiatives and organisations tackling systemic challenges – from ocean plastics to urban adaptation. In parallel, she’s a PhD candidate in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, where she investigates the role of systems approaches in urban resilience capacity building and co-hosts the Urban Resilience Dialogues podcast.

Lewis Akenji,
Managing Director at the Hot or Cool Institute

Lewis Akenji was, prior to his current job, Executive Director of SEED – the UN partnership promoting entrepreneurship for sustainable development. In the past he was Director of Sustainable Consumption and Production at IGES (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies). He has lead research and policy programmes on sustainable societies - including natural resources use and sustainable lifestyles. Furthermore, Lewis also lead the consortium on 1.5 Degree Lifestyles, analysing potential contributions of changes in lifestyles to the 1.5-degree target under the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

Lewis has a master's degree in Sustainable Resource Management at the Technical University in Munich and a doctorate in Political Economy at the University of Helsinki.

Saoi O’Connor,
Climate Activist

Saoi O’Connor is an 18 year old from Skibbereen who is a founder of Fridays for Future Ireland and who has been climate striking in Cork city for 111 weeks now. She is passionate about justice in all its forms especially climate justice. Despite the pandemic the work continues through online  and social media campaigning.  Her work protesting the climate crisis has brought her into a network of likeminded friendships all over the world from Sweden to Uganda to Palestine. She also writes, bakes and loves her 2 dogs and 4 cats!

Christian Kroll,
Ecosia founder

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, Christian 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. This led him to travel and learn about the importance of trees for survival of our planet, and eventually to the launch of Ecosia.

Juliet Bonhomme,
Slow fashion campaigner

Juliet Bonhomme is using Instagram to raise awareness towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Juliet's goal is to show that second hand, old clothes, ethical brands and upcycling are easy, trendy and the solutions of Tomorrow. As a former Fast Fashion Victim, she wants to counter over-consumption by using social media wisely.

In the past Juliet earned her Bachelor's degree in Public Relations at the Institute for Higher Social Communication Studies (IHECS) and she worked as a Digital Content Manager at the Lemon Spoon.

David Holyoake,
Arts manager

David Holyoake is an artistic director, arts manager, a published music composer, and a climate change campaigner and policy expert who formerly worked with EU NGOs ClientEarth.org and BankWatch network.

He brings experience in bridging the fields of system change theory with the arts. He founded UK charity swarmdynamics.org to bring together artists and experts in processes of defining system change and how to communicate it to general and specific audiences. For his independent work and arts projects he has received grant awards from a variety of sources.

As a published music composer he is represented as an Associate Artist of the Australian Music Centre since 2008, after which time he relocated permanently to Europe10 years ago.

Alix Konadu,
Moderator, Brussels actress and performer

Alix Konadu is active in movement and text theater, television and film. Recent productions are the film Binti, television series Loslopend Wild and theater play A plastic State of Mind.

Alix trained as an actor at Cours Florent Bruxelles and then at the Antwerp Conservatory and studied choreography at the Institut Supérieur des Arts et des Chorégraphies.