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Discover the Entrepreneurs and Creators Who Are Shaping the Sustainability Conversation

Sustainability influencers, concept Canva

Sustainability is on many lips today. From scientists, to entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, economists, journalists, and policy makers, people sfrom all corners of society have joined the round table of discussions, sometimes warning of the threats, other times focusing on the gaps and opportunities to be found in making a positive change.

Different contributions, from different mindsets, skill sets, and expertise areas are necessary to tackle sustainability and climate action in a systematic way. For this reason, The Recursive did a round-up of contributors in the space of communicating sustainability challenges and solutions, from climate tech entrepreneurs, to investors, community builders, and content creators. Check our list of sustainability influencers from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as elsewhere around the world.


Sustainability influencers from Central and Eastern Europe

Who: Dragoş Tuţă-Mihaylov

About: Dragos Tuta is the co-founder and General Manager of Romania-based The CSR Agency, a management consultancy specialized in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and business sustainability, and founder or one of their spin-offs the Embassy for Sustainability in Romania. Dragos specializes in helping managers conduct their business in a responsible way, as well as supporting CSR coordinators in research, strategic planning, project management, monitoring, and sustainability reporting.

What they talk about: #sustainableeconomy, #sustainablebusiness, #responsiblemanagement, #corporatesocialresponsibility


Who: Ciprian Stanescu

About: Ciprian is the President and CEO of Romania-based Social Innovation Solutions, an organization offering consultancy and support for organizations on sustainability and innovation. They run various educational programs and business programs such as Social Impact Award and Future Makers,  or conversation platforms like Future Summit. Ciprian wears multiple hats, from teacher at The Entrepreneurship Academy, to speaker, host at Tananana radio, and editor of Future Magazine.  He was the Director for Corporate Affairs and Membership at Aspen Institute Romania for 10 years. He is also a Global Shaper Alumni of the World Economic Forum.

What they talk about: #socialimpact, #innovation, #entrepreneurship, #future


Who: Tatsiana Zaretskaya

About: Tatsiana is the founder of Estonia-based Laava Tech, a climate tech startup with a proprietary combination of software and hardware that optimizes the light output of LED lights to increase efficiency of indoor farming. More recently, she founded Meliora, a carbon offsets intermediary platform that connects emitters with renewable energy providers and negative emission projects. She was recognized as a MIT Innovator 35 under 35 and Forbes 30 under 30.

What they talk about: #climatetech, #climateinnovation, #climatechange, #futureoffood


Who: Karolina Wojtas

About: Karolina is an Investment Manager at ICOS Capital Management, an Amsterdam-based VC fund where she is responsible for deeptech and sustainability investments in industry 4.0, foodtech, agtech and chemicals across Europe and Israel. She is also a Curator at Hello Tomorrow, a global organization supporting deeptech startups, a co-founder of a medtech startup and a pre-accelerator, speaker, trainer, mentor and judge at over 50 events, conferences and workshops.

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What they talk about: #deeptech, #climatetech, #agritech, #venturecapital


Who: Adina Teleuca

About: Adina is a co-founder at Romanian-founded and Paris-based toboro, a mobile app for renting and borrowing all sorts of things, to and from people nearby you. Through its sharing-based model, the platform encourages the circulation of products and services, thus preventing waste and carbon emissions. Adina has also founded Negebu, a business consulting boutique offering services in areas such as communication, creative work, employer branding, project management, and IT solutions. She has a background in PR, HR, and employer branding communications.

What they talk about: #startups, #blockchain, #consumerism, #sharingeconomy, #sustainability


Who: Lubomila Jordanova

About: Lubomila is the founder and CEO of Berlin-based Plan A, a climate tech startup offering an award-winning, AI-driven SaaS platform for business carbon accounting, decarbonisation and ESG reporting. She is also a co-founder of Greentech Alliance, a global community of climate tech companies, which connects the members to top tier VCs, media and experts.

Among her achievements, she was part of The Barack Obama Foundation’s Leaders program, and was recognized as a MIT Under 35 Innovator and a LinkedIn Top Voice.

What they talk about: #esg, #netzero, #greentech, #climatechange, #corporatesustainability


Who: Gregoire Vigroux

About: Gregoire has a track record of co-founding and investing in over 20 businesses across Eastern Europe, including CallPoint, which is now known as TELUS International. In 2021, he founded Romania-based, an app that combats food waste by connecting users with local food retailers, including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, bakeries, coffee shops and hotels. He also founded refurbished smartphones online store Fenix, acquired by Recommerce Group 14 months after launch.

What they talk about: #startups, #sustainability, #entrepreneurship, #profitswithpurpose 


Who: Anna Bellatig

About: Anna is an environmental and social consultant, specialized in mapping, assessing, and managing risks related to the environment, community, health, and safety of workers to make sure the clean energy projects develop with minimum tensions and maximum positive impact. She is also the founder and host of Sustainability Explored, a top-rated business sustainability podcast.

What they talk about: #esg, #business, #leadership, #environmentalfinance, #environmentalconsulting


Who: Roxana Buzetelu 

About: Roxana is the founder and community curator at Micile Bucurii (Ed.note Little Joys in translation), a community that spans across two Facebook groups with more than 25K cumulated members, as well as an NGO with a growing portfolio of educational projects for citizens and organizations. She is also a Romania referent for Climate Fresk, an educational game on climate change for citizens and professionals alike.

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What they talk about: #sustainability, #communitybuilding, #climatechangeawareness, #businesssustainability


Sustainability influencers from elsewhere around the world

Who: Joel Makower

About: Joel is co-founder of the GreenBiz Group, a media and events company focused on showcasing the dangers, solutions, and opportunities related to climate change and other global environmental challenges. He hosts the company’s annual GreenBiz, Circularity and VERGE conferences and is lead author of the award-winning annual State of Green Business report. A former nationally syndicated columnist, Joel is author or co-author of more than a dozen books. In 2014, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Institute of Sustainability Professionals.

What they talk about:#sustainability, #netzero, #circulareconomy, #sustainablefinance 


Who: Eva Gladek

About: Eva is the founder and CEO of Amsterdam-based Metabolic, a consulting, research, and venture building firm focused on tackling global sustainability challenges and advancing a circular economy. Metabolic provides strategies and tools, crunches data, creates new technologies, builds pilots and scales up innovations. Eva has advised hundreds of organizations, ranging from progressive cities such as Amsterdam to global NGOs like WWF. She is an expert in technical environmental management techniques such as Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flow Analysis.

What they talk about: #regeneration, #systemschange, #sustainability, #circulareconomy


Who: Desiree Driesenaar

About: Desiree is a certified biomimicry mentor and educator with decades of business and communication experience. She works as an external expert for the European Commission in areas of systemic solutions, biomimicry, and blue economy. She is also a published author, and the co-founder of Abundanism, a project promoting a proprietary systemic design method. 

What they talk about: #future, #climate, #economy. #systemsthinking, #regeneration


Who: Kate Raworth

About: Kate is an economist and the author of Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist, a best-selling book promoting a framework of prosperity in the 21st century, which has been influential with diverse audiences, from university students, to the UN General Assembly to Extinction Rebellion. She has co-founded the Doughnut Economics Action Lab, a community interest company focused on working with pioneering changemakers to co-create tools and methodologies that turn the ideas of Doughnut Economics into action. Kate is also a Senior Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management.

What they talk about:#sustainableeconomy, #planetaryboundaries, #future, #regeneration

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Who: Katharine Hayhoe

About: Katharine is the Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor and a Professor in Public Policy and Public Law in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment. She’s a book author and has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications, serving as lead author on the Second, Third, and Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessments. She is an Oxfam America Sister of the Planet and United Nations Champion of the Earth, and services on multiple climate initiatives and committees.

What they talk about: #sciencecommunication, #climaterisk, #climatechange, #climateimpacts, #climateadaptation


Who: Naomi Klein

About: Naomi is a Senior Correspondent for The Intercept, a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center, and a Professor of Climate Justice at The University of British Columbia. She is a New York Times bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed books published in over 30 languages. She co-founded The Leap, a climate justice organization that existed to inject new urgency and bold ideas into confronting the intersecting crises of our time: climate change, racism and inequality.

What they talk about: #climatejustice, #greendeal, #climatepolicy


Who: Michael Smith

About: Michael is a General Partner at Regeneration.VC, an early stage venture fund targeting consumer-powered climate innovation. A marketer, DJ, and serial entrepreneur among his many hats, he formed Ponvalley in 2015 as an environmental initiative with philanthropic, research, and impact investing practices. Within two weeks following the 2016 election, Michael assembled an emergency climate summit with Former VP Al Gore, Gen. Wesley Clark, the Department of Energy, and Harvard leadership. He currently serves on the boards of the PVBLIC Foundation, the American Renewable Energy Institute, and the Sustainable Change Alliance. He is a founding advisor to Salk Institute’s Harnessing Plants Initiative.

What they talk about: #reuse, #regeneration, #circulareconomy, #environmentalimpact, #startups, #venturecapital


Who: Sunil Paul

About: Sunil is the CEO and co-founder of Spring Free EV, a financial technology company built to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles through innovative fintech products. As a goal, they set out to reduce CO2 emissions by one gigaton by 2030. Sunil is an experienced entrepreneur and investor, having co-founded and ran several exited companies, including Sidecar, a pioneer of ridesharing, Brightmail, a pioneer of anti-spam, and early web pioneer FreeLoader. He co-founded Gigaton Awards with Sir Richard Branson and the co-founders of the Carbon War Room.

What they talk about: #fintech, #technology, #mobility, #EV, #climatechange


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Antoanela is a Sustainability Communications Specialist and Deputy Editor at The Recursive media. From these roles, she is helping organizations communicate their latest sustainability goals, strategies, and technologies. She writes about climate tech, ESG, impact investment, sustainability regulation, and related topics.