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The New Speed of Politics: Technology and Sustainability in the EU

Event Type
European Union Center; Center for Global Studies; College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; Siebel Center for Design; University of Florida Center for European Studies
Nov 12, 2020   12:00 pm  

Countries of the European Union have collectively offered a leading global voice on the use of technology for local and planetary sustainability. This panel brings together two Former Members of the European Parliament with comparative experience in urban politics and corporate governance, from experience in the national politics of older and newer member states. How well has the legislative body of the European Parliament been able to negotiate such differences in experience and perspective to reach compromises? Is there currently stronger hope for technological solutions to sustainability? What are effective roles that corporations and local — even municipal — governments can play to promote sustainable innovation? These are some of the questions our panelists will explore.

This event is part of the #JMintheUS event series, an initiative of Jean Monnet Centers in the U.S. Please register here.


Hans-Olaf Henkel is former President of IBM Germany 987 and President of IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is a past President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), as well as the Leibniz-Association which comprises of 89 state-funded research institutions. From 2001 through 2012 he lectured as Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Mannheim. He has served on various corporate boards such as Audi/Ingolstadt, Bayer/Leverkusen, Continental/Hannover, Orange/Paris, Brambles/Sydney, Daimler Aerospace /Munich, SMS/Duesseldorf. From 2014 Henkel was a member of the European Parliament and Vice Chair of the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists), Vice-Chair of the Committee of Industry, Energy and Research and member of the Human Rights Committee. He is a long-time member of Amnesty International.

Benedek Jávor is a member of Dialogue for Hungary, part of the European Green Party. He was a founding member of the environmental NGO Védegylet (Protect the Future!), and has run for the position of mayor of Budapest (2010) and served in the National Assembly (2010-14). He has been an assistant professor at the department of environmental law at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Jávor served in the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019 and was the recipient of the Environment Award at The Parliament Magazine's annual MEP Awards.


Peter Christensen is Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He leads a team of economists and computer scientists that are integrating new forms of data, machine learning algorithms, and large-scale experiments into economic research in his role as a core faculty member at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He focuses on energy and environmental economics, particularly as related to public goods provision in cities around the world.

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