Nordic Innovation and Sustainability Forum

Nordic Sustainable Packaging​​​​​​​
November 15, 2023 , 2:45 - 6.30 PM EST
​​​​​​​at the Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C.

About the event

​​​​​​​The focus of the event will be on sustainable architecture and transportation solutions, and it will bring together a carefully selected group of global experts, policymakers, and practitioners. Our objective is to facilitate discussions on innovative approaches that can revolutionize cities through sustainable building and transportation practices, while also examining the growing demand for Nordic solutions in the United States.

This exclusive event for invited only will provide a unique opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing, enabling participants to connect with Nordic companies and other experts in the field. You will have the chance to exchange ideas, share experiences, and explore potential partnerships.
Invitation-only event


Registration and Networking 
Welcome: Idar Voldnes, Chairman NorCham USA 
Ambassador´s address: Anniken Krutnes 
Biden Administration´s Sustainability action: David Livingston  
Keynote: Jim Lane, Editor & Publisher, “The Digest” 
Panel 1: Packaging
Moderator: Ulla Lainio, Commercial Counselor Business Finland 
SAS: Jasmin Utter, Regional Manager, Americas 
Genera Energy: Dr. Kelly Tiller, Chief Strategy Officer 
USDA: Dr. Karama Neal, Rural Business-Cooperative Service  
Huhtamaki: Michael Hodges, VP Sustainability 
Leg-stretch while Panels switch 
Panel 2: Recycling
Moderator: Stephen Jordan, CEO Institute for Sustainable Dev. 
RENAS: Bjørn Arild Thon, CEO 
BioLargo: Dennis Calvert, CEO 
TOMRA: Michael Noel, Director Public Affairs 
​​​​​​​Networking reception 

Announced Speakers 

Ambassador's address

Anniken Krutnes - Norway’s Ambassador to the United States.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Anniken Krutnes is ​​​​an expert in security policy, law of the sea and Arctic issues, Amb. Krutnes has served with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since beginning as a trainee in 1994. In her previous position with the Ministry, she served as Deputy Director General of the Department of Security Policy. Before that, she was Norway’s Ambassador for Arctic and Antarctic Affairs.
Amb. Krutnes has had postings in several European countries, including ambassadorships of the Netherlands and Luxembourg. She was recently a member of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing responsible State behavior in cyberspace in the context of international security. She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Oslo and a Master of Science in Economics and Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics, and has also studied international management at Universittá Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. Amb. Krutnes is married and has three adult children.

Biden Administration's Sustainability action​​​​​​​

David Livingston -  Senior Advisor and Managing Director for Energy U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

David Livingston is senior advisor and managing director for energy in the office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. Prior to joining government, Mr. Livingston previously worked at the Eurasia Group, a consultancy, focusing on energy, climate, trade and technology issues, and as a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council. He has also served as a Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as well as the inaugural Robert S. Strauss Fellow for Geoeconomics at the Office of the US Trade Representative during the Obama administration. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of Oxford, serves as an adjunct lecturer with the University of Southern California, and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Keynote speaker

Jim Lane - Editor and Publisher of The Digest 

​​​​​​​Jim Lane is editor & publisher of The Daily Digest, the world’s most widely-read bioeconomy daily with 6.1 million unique readers and followers.

Panel 1: Packaging

Moderator: Ulla Lainio   - Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Finland

Ulla holds a Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, New Packaging Technologies of Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland and Master of Arts from the University of Turku, Finland. Currently Ulla serves as Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC. She is with Business Finland, the governmental innovation funding company of Finland. Prior to joining Business Finland, Ulla served 14 years at Finnish and French stock listed paper, packaging, bioeconomy and forest industry companies, UPM, Ahlstrom and Walki. Ulla has deep knowledge in packaging industry through her Masters’ studies and a long work experience in the industry.

Ulla has been in charge for new innovative packaging materials’ development and opening new markets for these products in North America, Europe and Scandinavia. Ulla is actively co-Chairing Maine – Michigan - Finland Bioeconomy Collaboration Group with ca 100 members and driving co-innovation activities of the forest bioeconomy sector.
Jasmin Utter - SAS General Manager Region Americas

Jasmin Utter is the General Manager for Scandinavian Airlines in the Americas. Together with the organization, she is responsible for passenger and cargo sales, as well as the airport handling across the eight airports SAS fly to in the US and Canada. SAS is an instrumental part of the infrastructure of bringing people together, not just in Scandinavia but also here in North America, and to do so in a sustainable way.

Jasmin has more than 35 years of experience working in SAS, across various functions throughout the organization. In addition to working at SAS head office in Stockholm, other postings for SAS have been in Brussels, Belgium and London, UK.
Kelly Tiller, Ph.D - Founder & Chief Strategy Officer Genera

Dr. Kelly Tiller founded Genera in 2008 and grew it from a university spin-out to become North America’s largest vertically integrated biomaterials manufacturer, producing a range of agricultural fiber packaging and bioproducts from locally grown regenerative crops. Dr. Tiller spent the first 15 years of her career in academia as an agricultural and resource economist at the University of Tennessee. She is widely recognized as a visionary leader helping shape and advance the transition to a more circular bioeconomy and sustainable future, evidenced across her multiple congressional testimonies, federal advisory committee appointments, service on industry and academic advisory boards, and accolades spanning business, science, and leadership.  


Dr. Karama Neal - Administrator of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service at the U-S Department of Agriculture

Karama Neal, PhD, is the Administrator of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prior to joining USDA, she served as president of Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a nonprofit community development loan fund promoting economic mobility in rural Arkansas and Mississippi and in 2013 she started a statewide grassroots organization promoting passage of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act in Arkansas which was passed in 2015. Dr. Neal completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Swarthmore College, her graduate degree in bioethics and health policy from Loyola University Chicago, her doctorate in genetics from Emory University, and her executive education in impact investing at the University of Oxford Said School of Business.
Michael Hodges - Vice President, Sustainability and Communications, Huhtamaki  

Michael Hodges is the Vice President, Sustainability and Communications for Huhtamaki North America. He is responsible for developing beginning-of-life and end-of-life sustainability strategies for Huhtamaki’s fiber-based, paperboard and plastic packaging. He is passionate about the role of packaging in providing safe, hygienic, accessible and affordable, food for everyone, everywhere.  
Michael has more than 35 years of experience within the packaging industry with a career that has spanned responsibilities in business development, national and international sales team management, global communications, public affairs and sustainability. He holds an MBA from Emory University.    

Panel 2: Recycling

Moderator: Stephen Jordan - CEO, Institute for Sustainable Development 

Stephen Jordan leads the Institute for Sustainable Development, a 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Alexandria, VA. ISD’s mission is to catalyze resilience so that communities can thrive long-term. Under his leadership, the Institute has advanced  development and disaster recovery challenges and solutions. The Institute has worked with inner city neighborhoods, small towns, and small businesses and is currently working on an international initiative to build support for increased Green R&D and innovation. For more information, visit
A serial entrepreneur, Jordan co-founded IO Sustainability, a management consulting firm specializing in valuation and stakeholder management. Previously, In May 2000, Jordan founded and served for 12 years as executive director of the Center for Corporate Citizenship of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  
Jordan is a fellow of the Caux Roundtable and Babson College’s Lewis Center for Social Innovation. He is married and has two children. 

Bjørn Arild Thon - CEO of RENAS

Bjørn Arild Thon is CEO of RENAS, a leading advocate for the circular economy in the United States, Norway, and beyond, and author of his upcoming book Let's Get Practical. Bjørn has dedicated his career to fostering sustainable practices, aiming to redefine the relationship between society, businesses, and the environment, and as a founding partner of the Nexus Council, he is able to broaden his impact on society through constructive dialogues with policymakers and key business leaders towards more sustainable and practical practices.

Dennis P. Calvert - President and CEO of BioLargo, Inc. ​​​​​​​
Dennis P. Calvert is BioLargo’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, and is chairman of the board of directors of each of ONM Environmental and Clyra Medical Technologies, both BioLargo subsidiaries. Mr. Calvert holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Wake Forest University where he was a varsity basketball player, and he also studied at Columbia University and Harding University. He serves on the Board of Sustain SoCal, a trade association that seeks to promote economic growth and stimulate innovation in the Southern California clean technology industry. He also serves on the Board of Directors at TMA BlueTech, the leading regional water cluster promoting science-based ocean and water industries and also serves on the Board of Directors of Tilly’s Life Center, a nonprofit charitable foundation aimed at empowering teens with a positive mindset and enabling them to effectively cope with crisis, adversity and tough decisions.


 Mike Noel - Public Affairs Director, TOMRA 

Mike is a Public Affairs Director at TOMRA, the world’s largest provider of recycling and reuse technology. Mike advises policymakers throughout North America on packaging and textiles waste management and reuse public policies. TOMRA operates in over 40 jurisdictions around the world with refillable and single-use container deposit return systems and EPR for packaging programs. The first project of TOMRA’s Reuse venture includes operating a reusable take-out packaging program in Denmark. Mike is the co- author of “Rewarding Recycling: Learnings from the World’s Highest Performing Deposit Systems”. Prior to joining TOMRA, Mike was a Strategy Director at Futerra where he advised multinationals including Google, Target and 3M on their circular economy and climate strategies. Mike studied Marketing and Environmental Policy at Fordham University where he helped establish the University's Sustainable Business program.  Mike is based in Connecticut with his family.