Jose Maria Figueres Olsen
Former President of Costa Rica and former CEO of the World Economic Forum, Jose Maria Figueres Olsen is an expert in public service, climate change and technology. Jose offers a perspective into the world of international affairs and development from his unique insight. Chairman of The Rocky Mountain Institute, he campaigns for environmental change through this non-profit organisation. A engaging and insightful keynote speaker.
President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998, Jose Maria Figueres was elected to office at the age of 39, and then was one of the youngest presidents of a Latin American country. During his presidency, he created a comprehensive national Sustainable Development strategy combining sound macroeconomic indicators, together with strategic investment in human development, with a strong undercurrent of sustainability, through the implementation of innovative environmental policies. Previously Minister of Foreign Trade and Agriculture, in his role as President he was able to implement his global vision.
In February 2015 Figueres was elected Chair of the country’s National Liberation Party.
In his role as CEO of Concordia 21, he promotes the issues of climate change and sustainable development, supporting organisations which promote development and democratic values around the world. He co-founded the Carbon War Room, alongside Sir Richard Branson, an initiative that develops market-driven solutions to mitigate climate change, in 2012 he was made the organisations Chief Executive.
He is also a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.
In the world of business, public service, and non-profit organisations Jose pioneered the connection between sustainable development and technology. He set up and headed up the UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force and is the founder of the Fundacion Costa Rica para el Desarrollo Sostenible.
In 2000, he joined the World Economic Forum and eventually became its first CEO. In his role, he enhanced international corporate ties to social and governmental sectors by identifying common long-term interests.
Figueres offers a unique perspective into the world of international affairs and development. He also speaks knowledgeably, and passionately, about how changes in the world's climate are influencing the global economy and can advise and inspire organisations on the steps necessary to tackle climate change.
He uses his expertise to advise decision makers on future trends in an informative and thought provoking manner. Passionate and replete with valid messages, his inspirational presentations are compelling.
Able to draw together the economic and sustainable impacts of climate change on both the planet and global economy, Jose is well-placed to share insights into globalisation, green living and foreign investment.