Björn D. Fischer (M.Sc. International Management & Sustainable Economics, BA Real Estate Asset Management) is a carbon markets pioneer and climate finance expert with over 25 years of experience in real estate & climate and sustainability finance. Since the early 2000’s, he has been active in climate finance and sustainability markets, having gained extensive experience across a variety of industry sectors, regulatory regimes, technologies, climate finance supporting mechanisms, private and public investment schemes from around the globe.
Bjoern is passionate about innovation and the role it can play to solve one of humankind's biggest challenges, the negative impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations. Holding the belief that change has to start from the bottom up, he is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs in the developing world to encourage innovation, the development of new markets, and improved livelihoods.
Björn received a BA Real Estate (Kaufmann der Grundstuecks- und Wohnungswirtschaft) Chamber of Commerce Cologne & GEHAG, Berlin/Aachen, Germany, Real Estate Management Boarding School, Ratingen, Germany in 1995 and graduated in 2003 as MSc in International Management from the International University of Maastricht (Sustainable Economics and International Finance).
Thomas Laleike is an experienced IT manager, with over 15+ years of industry experience. He has lead teams of IT professionals in creating online platforms, marketing campaigns, fairs, online marketing tools and classic sales tools for a wide and expanding range of clients covering many different industries and sectors. He also has experience in e-commerce, and won the German Award for the best online shop of 2008. Thomas maintains his own boutique consultancy laleike.co to serve his clients in aspects of UX design, conversion optimization, e-commerce consulting, seo and sem campaigns and online marketing.
While working at epages in Hamburg, Germany - Europe’s largest developer of e-commerce software for managed cloud solutions - Thomas was moving this transformation forward. Prior to his work at epages, he was senior web designer & e-commerce specialist at Otto, one of the most recognizable DIY brands in Europe. Otto was one of the first large industrial players that tested and championed in making use of innovative e-commerce software solutions.In these industry and market shaping years,Thomas was responsible for the design and development of online shopping applications for DIY products.
Thomas received a transactional leadership training (2015), a conversion boosting certificate (2014) and has won the German Award for the best online shop of 2008.
Heather Fischer leads the team in external communications and also assist in research and development of diagnostic tools. She has 10 years of experience as an analyst and writer, including 5 years with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., where she synthesized technical information to make it understandable for policymakers, managed cases on market-based electric energy rates compliance, and followed trends in energy generation and transmission (e.g. renewable energy, and smart grid). Recognizing that climate change has a disproportionate effect on women in the developing world, Heather is particularly interested in gender issues within climate finance.
Heather holds an MPA in Environmental Policy and Policy Analysis from Indiana University - Bloomington, and a BA in Environmental Science from Alma College.
Zachary Schweinfurth has worked for 8 years in the technology space, with an emphasis on data analysis, data architecture, data integration, and application development. He has worked both in the government sector and the private sector, with experiences ranging from ERP implementation to single page web applications. He is experienced with both traditional data stores, such as relational database, and more flexible schema-less NoSQL stores. Most recently, he worked with an energy consultancy firm, developing a django web platform to help commercial business find and realize energy savings. Zach holds a BA in Philosophy from University of Maryland - College Park.
Steffen has 10 years of experience in information technology. He brings experience in IT administration, web programming, and platform development to the team. Steffen studied information technology and business administration at Technical University Kaiserslautern.
Xiaochen Zhang brings more than 15 years of global experience in climate finance and innovation to the Ecokraft Gmbh advisory team. He leads the design and implementation of New Development Venture’s global strategy, and serves on the Board of Directors of American Crowdfunding Professional Association and as a green finance advisor of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asia Small and Medium Enterprises Financing Network. Xiaochen also has experience advising government agencies and multinational organizations on low-emissions-development planning, climate policy and finance, and sustainable energy in positions at the World Bank, United Nations, and other international partnership platforms. Xiaochen has extensive experience in the incubation and scale-up of result-based climate solutions and innovative financing mechanisms for the public and private sectors globally. He holds an M.A. in Global Studies from Leipzig University.
James Hutchins is a senior-level sustainability expert with more than 25 years of professional experience related to environment/natural resources management. He has a broad-based understanding of development paradigms, as well as in-depth knowledge in several technical fields, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, community development, water/natural resources, and biodiversity conservation. He is currently serving as the Chief of Party for the USAID Water CKM Project. He holds an MA in Sociology, Rural Development and Natural Resource Management from Auburn University and a BA in International Studies from Spring Hill College.
Anja Soisson will advise Ecokraft Gmbh in efficient and effective use of IT resources, and business strategy and direction. During 18 years of experience managing IT applications and development of complex IT projects, Anja gained in-depth knowledge of IT systems & information architecture and developed an understanding of the financial and commercial implications and requirements of an increasingly digitalized economy. Anja currently serves as IT project manager for the European Energy Exchange. She holds an MBA in business economics from Leipzig University.