Margareta Wahlström was elected President of the Swedish Red Cross on 6 May, 2017. She joined the Swedish Red Cross in 1987 as a Desk Officer for Southern Africa. In this capacity she worked for some time also in the then newly started Swedish Red Cross Orthopedic Workshop for war wounded in Luanda, Angola. In 1989, she joined the IFRC in Geneva, and she served in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as Desk Officer for Southern Africa 1989–1991, Deputy Director of Operations 1991–1994 and finally as Under Secretary-General, 1995–2000. In total she served 15 years for the Swedish Red Cross and the Federation.
Between 2009 and 2015, Ms. Wahlström was the Special Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and simultaneously Head of the United Nations’ Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the focal point within the UN system for the coordination of disaster reduction, ensuring synergies with regional organizations across UN activities in socio-economic, development and humanitarian fields. Under Ms. Wahlström’s leadership, UNDRR designed and supported the inclusive consultations for, and subsequently the inter-governmental negotiations leading to, the ‘Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030’, adopted in March 2015 by all UN member states. The Sendai Framework is the first of the 2015 global policy directions for the coming 15 years.
Ms. Wahlström’s broad experience spans conflict and non-conflict emergencies, and addressing long-term issues of sustainable development.
Kerstin Cuhls is a scientific project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) since 1992. She finished her Dr. phil. at the University of Hamburg in Japanology about Technology Foresight in Japan and now combines this knowledge with methods from Futures Research.
She is Professor for Japanology at the University of Heidelberg, Center for East Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS). She combines East Asian studies with Futures concepts/ Foresight and time research. From 2011 to 2012, she was already interim professor for Japanology at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Heidelberg with lectures and seminars about East Asian history, cultural issues in the context of management, Innovation in Japan, Time Concepts in East Asia, and Demographic Change.
From 2007 to 2009 Kerstin Cuhls was the project manager of the first cycle of the BMBF Foresight. From 2008 to 2010 she was head of the business unit "Foresight and Futures Research" in Fraunhofer ISI. In national, regional, and international studies for different contracting authorities she built up a huge repertoire of methods in Foresight applied in projects and taught in seminars at the Freie Universität Berlin (Masterstudiengang Zukunftsforschung) as well as the Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik (BAKS).
Kerstin Cuhls was member of the European Forum for Forward-Looking Activities (EFFLA) of the European Commission, the High-Level Expert Group RISE and the expert group “Strategic Foresight”. She was member of the SCAR Foresight expert that conducted the 5th SCAR Foresight for the European Commission. Kerstin Cuhls is in the International Editorial and Advisory Boards of different Journals (e.g. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Journal of European Futures Research, Futures & Foresight Science) and co-editor of the German Zeitschrift für Zukunftsforschung.
Kerstin Cuhls Key-note speaker
Scientific project manager, Professor
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)