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Jan 1, 1970 | 12:00 a.m. EST

Jan 1, 1970 | 12:00 a.m. EST

Jan 1, 1970 | 12:00 a.m. EST

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H209: Water Down the Drain or Revenue Stream of the Future?

H209: Water Down the Drain or Revenue Stream of the Future?

Will the next major war be about water? Water has been underpriced and overused, and as a consequence, the world now, clearly is facing a shift in awareness regarding its limited supply. Because, unlike energy, there is no alternative to water.

Master of Ceremonies: Tone Bekkestad, TV-meteorologist and Author

8:00  a.m.  |  Registration

8:30  a.m.  |  Welcoming Remarks

Renée Lundholm, President, The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York

8:35 a.m.  |  Opening Remarks

Fabien Cousteau, Ocean Explorer and Film Producer

8:50 a.m.  |  Objectives for the Day from Conference Chair

Alexander Karsner, Chairman, Manifest Energy

9:00 a.m.  |  The Industrial Perspective

This session highlights the current societal and water resource trends affecting the private sector and strategies to address water-related risks.

Greg Koch, Director Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company
Michael Milligan, President & CEO, Axel Johnson Inc.
Ulf Söderström, Senior VP, Business Development and Strategy, SCA
Moderator: Linda Hwang, Manager, Business for Social Responsibility

10:15 a.m.  |  Coffee Break

10:30 a.m.  |  The Technology Perspective

This session focuses on how new technologies will address current water challenges.

Heiner Markhoff, President & CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies
Rich Lechner, VP Energy & Environment, IBM
Björn von Euler, Director Corporate Philantropy, ITT
Elizabeth Heider, Senior VP, Skanska USA Building
Moderator: Tone Bekkestad, TV-meteorologist and Author

11:45 a.m.  |  Key Note Speaker

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

12:15 p.m.  |  Networking Luncheon

1:15 p.m.  |  The Government Perspective

This session highlights the national challenge of creating a comprehensive water resources management policy framework that governs licensing, water use efficiency, and determination of illegal water use.

Upmanu Lall, Director, Columbia Water Center
David Rogers, Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy
Anders Berntell, Director, Stockholm International Water Institute
Moderator: Fabien Cousteau

2:30 p.m.  |  The Entrepreneurs Perspective

This session will bring light on how entrepreneurs with products applicable with a sustainable development and within water will drive the new economy and how even relatively small players can make a change.

Joel Bleth, President & CEO, Solarbee
Rudy Ahrens, President & CEO, DO Hawaii
Zain Mahmood, President & CEO, Parkson
Moderator: Linda Hwang

3:45 p.m.  |  Concluding Remarks

Jim Toth, Associate, Investor Growth Capital

H209: Water Down the Drain or Revenue Stream of the Future?

Will the next major war be about water? Water has been underpriced and overused, and as a consequence, the world now, clearly is facing a shift in awareness regarding its limited supply. Because, unlike energy, there is no alternative to water.


Alexander Karsner, Chairman, Manifest Energy

Keynote Speakers

Fabien Cousteau
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute

Speakers & Moderators

Rudy Ahrens, Founder DOHAWAII
Tone Bekkestad, Meteorologist, TV Broadcaster
Joel Bleth, President, SolarBee, Inc.
Björn von Euler, Director of Corporate Communications, ITT Corporation
Elizabeth Heider, Senior Vice President, Skanska USA Bullding, Inc.
Linda Hwang, Manager, Research & Innovation, BSR
Greg Koch, Managing Director, Global Water Stewardship Environment & Water Resources, The Coca-Cola Company
Upmanu Lall, Director, Columbia Water Center
Rich Lechner, Vice President, Energy & Environment, IBM
Zain Mahmood, President and CEO, Parkson Corporation
Heiner Markhoff, President and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies
Michael D. Milligan, President and CEO, Axel Johnson, Inc.
David E. Rodgers, of Strategic Planning and Analysis, Office of Energy
Ulf Söderström, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, SCA
Jim Toth, Investor Growth Capital
Anders Berntell, Director, Stockholm International Water Institute

  • The New York Academy of Sciences is a membership organization with over 24,000 members in 140 countries. They include research scientists at universities and industry, as well as representatives of business, government, and policy organizations.

  • AstraZeneca is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company. It is the world\'s seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries.

  • SCA is a global hygiene and paper company that develops and produces personal care products, tissue, packaging solutions and forest products. SCA has sales in more than 100 countries under many strong brands.

  • ITT Water & Wastewater is a global provider of water handling and treatment solutions for municipal and industrial customers in more than 140 countries. ITT designs and delivers energy-efficient solutions and related services for water and wastewater transport, biological treatment, filtration and disinfection.

  • SolarBee\'s award-winning and patented solar-powered long-distance circulation technology is a significant breakthrough in solving the world\'s water quality problems, naturally. SolarBee\'s in-water-body circulation and treatment can be applied to Lakes, Raw Water Reservoirs, Potable Water Storage Tanks, and other water bodies.

  • Volvo Group North America is the corporate office that provides Group Representation, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for North America.


    IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.


    The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage retailer, manufacturer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. Besides its namesake Coca-Cola beverage, Coca-Cola currently offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries or territories and serves 1.6 billion servings each day.

  • The General Electric Company is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in New York. The Company operates through five segments: Energy Infrastructure, Technology Infrastructure, Capital Finance and Consumer & Industrial.

  • Skanska is one of the world\'s leading project development and construction groups, with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships.

  • Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. The Group delivers sustainable solutions for increased customer productivity, through innovative products and services.

H209: Water Down the Drain or Revenue Stream of the Future?

There were no discussions for the 2009 program.

H209: Water Down the Drain or Revenue Stream of the Future?

Photo Albums



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Alexander ‘Andy’ Karsner served as America’s ninth Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (“EERE”) from 2005 to 2008, during a period of unprecedented growth in clean energy technologies, investments and policy formulations. He distinguished himself as a principal architect and contributor to international climate change deliberations toward achieving a post-2012 global energy framework and as America’s top regulator for energy effi ciency. Mr. Karsner brings twenty years of experience in international energy development and project fi nancing across a wide array of conventional and renewable sources.

Fabien Cousteau has evolved his family’s legacy to embrace exploration, environmental sustainability, and involvement with new media channels to broaden awareness for our planet’s precarious habitats. His field experience spans a lifetime on ships and in the sea, and in the Cousteau family tradition, his initiatives as advocate for habitats on land and sea are supported by his academic and business experiences. Mr. Cousteau has a degree in Environmental Economics from Boston University and has refined a public policy platform grounded by belief that environmental discipline can be a basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global challenges and the realities of market conditions. An example of this is the eco-tourism industry, which has already made a difference in awareness and appreciation of endangered species. Natural Entertainment, a recently launched initiative, develops numerous projects related to exploration and environmental awareness. He has partnered with his father, Jean Michel Cousteau and sister Celine to complete a three-year multi-hour series for PBS called Ocean Adventures. Topics explored include Grey whale migration, coral spawning, exotic marine habitats, and many other wonders of nature. The series started to air in April 2009. Mr. Cousteau is on the board of the New York Harbor School, he is part of the Water Innovation Alliance, and partners with outside initiatives like Save Bimini, and his recent call-to-action, The Plant-a-Fish Initiative to spearhead public education programs. He is also a writer, currently working on a children’s book trilogy, and is often seen on television as guest/contributor. He is also a passionate ‘planet rider’ on a wind surfer, mountain bike or piloting a plane.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs is Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, the international agreement to reduce extreme poverty, disease and hunger by the year 2015.He is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a non-profit focused on ending global poverty. He stands at the forefront of economic development challenges, poverty alleviation and leads efforts to promote global policies which help to expand economic opportunity and wellbeing while ensuring environmental sustainability. Prof. Sachs has also been active on the world stage advising governments, and with international agencies businesses and humanitarian organizations to forge sustainable development strategies. As Director of The Earth Institute, he leads large-scale efforts to integrate climatology, hydrology, engineering, economics, geography and public health platforms into a new field of sustainable development. To promote practical applications of interdisciplinary knowledge, he has helped to launch major new educational programs, public outreach and public policy to solve global problems. Time magazine has twice named Prof. Sachs among the 100 most influential leaders in the world. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2007 by the Indian government, a high civilian honor, and is author of numerous scholarly articles and books, including the New York Times best-sellers Common Wealth and The End of Poverty. He is a sought-after lecturer around the world, and was named the 2007 BBC Reith Lecturer. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and was Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General. Prof. Sachs is a native of Detroit; he earned his BA, MA and PhD degrees at Harvard University, and was also Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard from 1998-2002.

Rudy Ahrens is the founder of DOHAWAII and, starting one year prior to incorporation, prepared and implemented the company’s vision, technology development, management structure and fund raising. Since 1997, Mr. Ahrens has developed a strong focus on the ocean as a resource for solving global concerns about deep ocean resources. As a result, he has supported the commercialization of DOHAWAII, the first company in the world to harvest deep ocean water offshore Hawaii for global sale as a commodity ingredient. Mr. Ahrens was born in Germany and has been a US Citizen since 1986. During his career as a Merchant Banker, he has implemented national and international trading and distribution companies in the USA, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Taiwan, and The Peoples Republic of China. He further initiated and implemented major hotel developments in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda), the Canary Islands, and Hawaii. His international education process in seven countries included American Express Bank in Zurich, Switzerland and he later served as a board member and advisor to the International Trade BankCorp and managed diversified investments in a number of companies. He is a graduate of the Lauenburgische Gelehrten Schule in Ratzeburg, Germany.

Tone Bekkestad is a climate change lecturer and meteorologist with long-term experience in the broadcasting, climate and meteorology areas. She is a successful TV broadcaster in Sweden and Norway, and was previously an on-air meteorologist with TV4 for eght years. She is also the author of “Fråga Tone om Vädret” (“Ask Tone about the Weather”). Ms. Bekkestad earned her MS In Meteorology from the University of Bergen and the University of Calgary (Canada). She began her career as a consultant/scientist for the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) where her focus was on local air pollution. One of her projects took her to Botswana, Africa. In 1997, she moved to WeatherOne AS, a weather graphics company, where she became sales director. Her TV4 association began in 2000 with Ms. Bekkestad as an on-air broadcaster and with responsibility for the WeatherOne graphics system. Anders Berntell, Executive Director, Stockholm International Water Institute Anders Berntell is Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute, one of the leaders in the water sector. He is responsible for overall development and direction of the Institute’s activities. These include World Water Week, the Stockholm Water Prize; its program work, including applied research, advisory services and capacity building, the UNDP Water Governance Facility, the Swedish Water House and extensive communication and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining SIWI in 2002, Mr. Berntell, a biologist by training, was Water Director at the Swedish Ministry of the Environment. In this capacity, he had responsibility for national and international water issues. He was also Sweden’s representative in the group of EU Water Directors, in negotiation and implementation of the Framework Directive on Water. Mr. Berntell has over 25 years experience in the water, environment and development fields.

Joel Bleth is President of SolarBee, Inc., a world leader in improving reservoir water quality. Mr. Bleth and his partner, Willard Tormaschy, first developed a pump business after college, which supported their work in water science. Throughout the 1990’s fulltime laboratory research was devoted to various water quality improvement efforts. In 2001, the company pioneered the SolarBee long-distance circulation (LCD) machines for improving water quality in large bodies of water. Today, SolarBee machines are operating in almost all US states and in 14 countries to eliminate harmful algal blooms in lakes without using chemicals, for keeping potable water fresh, and for replacing energy intensive aeration in wastewater systems. The company has been recognized with numerous environmental awards in the US and in Australia. Mr. Bleth earned degrees in Industrial Engineering and Law at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Joel Bleth and Willard Tormaschy were named Entrepreneurs of the Year 2008 in North Dakota.

Björn von Euler is Director of Corporate Communications for ITT Corporation’s Fluid Technology and Motion & Flow Control groups. He has spent more than 35 successful years in the marketing and communications field, with the last half of them serving ITT in various growth positions at ITT Flygt and ITT Fluid Technology. Mr. von Euler’s long & impressive career started in 1972 as Marketing Manager for NK-Nordisk Kompaniet in Sweden. He has held many growth positions since then, both in advertising agencies and on the client side before coming to ITT in 1987. Mr. von Euler’s work and contributions have been honored with external appointments such as in 2002 becoming Director at Large, for Water Environment Federation, at the shift of 2005&2006 becoming Director of Water for People, and in 2006 entering Board of Trustees, for Water Environment Federation and The International Water Association’s Strategic Council. Furthermore Mr. von Euler holds seat 22 in the International Water Academy and is one of the founding fathers of the Stockholm and Junior Water Prize, he has memberships in Water Environment Federation (WEF), International Water Association (IWA) and American Water Workers Association (AWWA). Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Mr. von is a permanent US resident. Mr. von Euler and his wife Sharon, a high school teacher of Spanish, reside in Bloomingdale, NJ.

Elizabeth Heider is Senior Vice President, Skanska USA Building, Inc., and brings 30 years of experience in all phases of design and construction from master planning through project closeout as architect, construction and cost manager, and value engineering facilitator. She has completed value analysis and specialty studies of more than 100 projects covering a range of Federal policy issues including workplace productivity, security and the cost of LEED. She has also presented papers on a variety of building issues at some 40 international conferences and events. Ms. Heider founded and chairs Skanska USA Building’s Green Council which marshals all of the company’s sustainable preconstruction and construction capabilities nationwide. She is also involved at the project level in value management work at the United Nations. She holds a BS Architecture from the University of Virginia and its Architectural Graduate Program in Venice, Italy. From 1999 to 2004, she served as Adjunct Professor at the Catholic University of America. She is a member of the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Board of Directors and is a Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Construction Sciences Foundation.

Linda Hwang is Manager, Research & Innovation, Business for Social Responsibility. The company works with a global network of 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaborations. As manager of the Environmental Research & Innovation team, Ms. Hwang works with companies to identify and prioritize water-related risks for their operations, driving strategies on emerging issues related to supply, access, quality and land-use changes. She also leads the Sustainable Water Group. She heads two initiatives in southern China, one on how the global apparel and retail brands can reverse the degradation of water systems, and a second exploring the impact of water management on environmental health. Prior to joining BSR, Ms. Hwang worked in investment banking and helped lead community development strategies in South Africa. She holds a BA in Environmental Economics and an MBA from the University of Michigan and an M.Phil. in Development Studies & Social Transformation from the University of Cape Town.

Greg Koch is Managing Director, Global Water Stewardship Environment & Water Resources, the Coca-Cola Company. He is responsible for the management of the global water stewardship initiative, addressing the assessment and mitigation of water risks facing the global business of Coca-Cola. Other components include setting strategic direction, development of standards and support in the areas of plant performance, water and wastewater treatment technologies, social engagement, communications, watershed management and key global partnerships, such as with the World Wildlife Fund, now extended to 2012. Mr. Koch has over 20 years experience in the environmental and engineering fields, and was previously executive assistant to the Vice President of Environmental & Water Resources, and managed the Company’s global due diligence and wastewater program. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Columbus College, and Bachelor and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has also led and managed several strategic water resource projects including outreach and partnerships with public and private sectors.

Upmanu Lall is Alan & Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering at Columbia University, and is also Director of the Columbia Water Center and a Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate & Society. Mr. Lall was the first recipient of the endowed professorship, appointed in 2005. He joined EEE (Earth & Environmental Engineering) in 2000 and served as department chair from 2003 to 2006, and has been an integral part of its transformation into an environmental engineering program focused on critical and emerging 21st century issues. He has earned his BS in Civil Engineering from I.I.T., Kampur, India, and MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. His research interests cover technology and policy aspects related to water, climate and risk management. Other interests include: hydro-climate modeling, spatial data analysis and visualization, time series analysis and forecasting. Professor Lall has been published in numerous academic and scholarly journals.

Rich Lechner is Vice President, Energy & Environment, IBM. Named to the position in 2008, he leads the company’s efforts to help clients address energy issues and opportunities, the environment, and sustainability. He is responsible for strategy development and the management of capabilities and offerings that leverage IBM’s technology innovation, deep industry insight and business prospect strategy. As part of the Smarter Planet Initiative, Mr. Lechner also leads IBM’s efforts in Green & Beyond. Previously, Mr. Lechner was vice president for Enterprise Systems, and has held a number of senior positions within IBM in the United States and Europe across a broad range of organizations. He has a strong record for driving key cross IBM initiatives to deliver value to clients including virtualization, Project Big Green, and IT Optimization. He spent ten years as programmer for IBM, starting as a micro-code programmer in Financial Services. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from UCLA.

Zain Mahmood is President and CEO of Parkson Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axel Johnson, Inc. Parkson Corporation is a provider of advanced technology solutions in water and wastewater needs to industrial and municipal customers. Parkson has locations in the US, Canada and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai); the company also has partners in Brazil and India, with 25,000 installations worldwide. Prior to joining Parkson Corporation in 2007, Mr. Mahmood served as Vice President and General Manager of the Global Construction Material business unit at Johns Manville. He has over 15 years experience in other blue chip companies including AlliedSignal and ABB. He is an advisor to the US Department of Commerce in the Environmental Technology Trade Committee (ETTAC), serves on the Board of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (WWEMA), is a member of the Engineering Technology Advisory Council to the Dean at Purdue – Calumet, and is a trustee of the Bangladesh Foundation. Born and raised in Bangladesh, Mr. Mahmood came to the US as a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and completed his undergraduate studies in Industrial Engineering and graduate studies in Manufacturing Management at the Business School of the University of Toledo.

Heiner Markhoff is President and CEO of GE Water & Process Technologies. The company is a leading global provider of water treatment, wastewater treatment and process systems solutions, operating in 130 countries. It brings together nearly 8,000 experienced professionals and advanced technologies to solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality, increased productivity with cost reduction, and environmental regulation. Appointed to this position in 2008, Mr. Markhoff is a 15-year GE veteran with extensive international business experience, including President, Europe, Middle East, Africa for GE Plastics, and CEO, GE Bayer Silicones.

Michael D. Milligan is President and CEO of Axel Johnson, Inc., a $4 billion private equity company in the energy, water, engineered products and medical device industries. Axel Johnson, Inc. is also the sole owner of Parkson Corporation, a manufacturer of systems and equipment for municipal and industrial wasterwater treatment, and Kinetico Inc., a manufacturer of water treatment and filtration technologies for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Prior to this appointment in 2002, Mr. Milligan spent 17 years as Partner and Director of Monitor Group, a global consulting and merchant banking firm. While at Monitor, he covered a broad range of disciplines and industry sectors including communications technology energy, specialty chemicals, and retail and consumer products. Mr. Milligan has also served as director of numerous public and private companies. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and holds an MBA from the Harvard Graduate school of Business.

Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy David E. Rodgers is Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy. He supports the Assistant Secretary on numerous issues, including strategy and analysis, climate change and international energy programs. Prior to this appointment earlier this year, Mr. Rodgers has held a number of positions during his 19-year tenure at the Department of Energy. He has led the Department’s energy efficiency programs for buildings, industry and transportation. His other appointments include: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Development, Program Manager for the Building Technologies Program, Acting Program Manager for the Industrial Technologies Program, and Director of the Office of Technology Utilization. Mr. Rodgers has extensive experience with regulatory development, R&D management, deployment, business systems, legislative relations, planning and analysis. He is a former Presidential Management Fellow, and received degrees in chemical engineering and computer science from Washington University, St. Louis, and a Masters in public management from the University of Maryland.

Ulf Söderström is Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, SCA. He is responsible for sustainability-related issues in the Group. SCA offers personal care products, tissue, packaging, publication papers and solid-wood products. SCA has 52,000 employees in over 60 countries and annual sales (2008) of €11.5 billion. Europe is its primary market, and it also holds strong positions in North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Prior to his appointment at SCA, Mr. Söderström was President of Business Area Market at Swedish mining company Boliden. He also held positions with Scania and Forcenergy, an oil and gas company in the communications, press and investor relations areas. His undergraduate studies were at Stockholm University, and he holds an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Jim Toth is Associate at Investor Growth Capital where he is responsible for direct equity investments in renewable energy technologies and other ‘cleantech’ companies. Investor Growth Capital is a $1.8 billion venture capital fund based in New York and is an arm of Investor AB, a publicly-listed investment company based in Stockholm. Mr. Toth specializes in technologies relating to solar energy, wind energy, water, recycling and energy efficiency. Prior to joining Investor Growth Capital, he worked in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley in New York, where his focus was M&A transactions in the financial services sector. He holds a BA in Politics from Oberlin College.

Anders Berntell is Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute, one of the leaders in the water sector. He is responsible for overall development and direction of the Institute’s activities. These include World Water Week, the Stockholm Water Prize; its program work, including applied research, advisory services and capacity building, the UNDP Water Governance Facility, the Swedish Water House and extensive communication and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining SIWI in 2002, Mr. Berntell, a biologist by training, was Water Director at the Swedish Ministry of the Environment. In this capacity, he had responsibility for national and international water issues. He was also Sweden’s representative in the group of EU Water Directors, in negotiation and implementation of the Framework Directive on Water. Mr. Berntell has over 25 years experience in the water, environment and development fields.

Partnership Opportunities

With planning underway for this year's Green Initiative, From Farm to Fork 3, focusing on the future of the food chain, we decided to set the bar ambitiously high.

The Summit will address complex problems with innovative solutions, promising attendees limitless possibilities and vital new partnerships. The day-long Summit will bring together companies at the forefront of sustainable technology, academics at the center of groundbreaking research and investors at the helm of venture capital that have realized the challenges but also the opportunities within this global and critical issue.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and welcoming you as a partner!

Please contact Jennie Purushothaman for further information.

T: +1 212 838 5530

570 Lexington Avenue, 20th Floor New York, NY 10022 Tel +1 212 838 5530