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José María Figueres Olsen

Former President of Costa Rica, Co-Founder Ocean Unite

José María Figueres served as President of Costa Rica and created a comprehensive national development strategy combining sound macroeconomic policies, strategic investments in human development, and a strong alliance with nature.

"Climate change is the ultimate challenge"

José María Figueres Olsen - speaker profile photo

In detail

After years of public service, José María joined the Management Board of the World Economic Forum and was appointed its first CEO. He was the chairperson of the Carbon War Room, created by Sir Richard Branson, later also becoming its chief executive. José María helped launch the Global Ocean Commission and became its Co-Chair together with David Miliband and Trevor Manuel. Now as Co-Chair of Ocean Unite he has taken on the task to chart a way forward for the high seas; to identify challenges and threats, and highlight reforms that will allow the ocean to be managed effectively, productively and sustainably for the maximum benefit to humankind. He also serves on the board of Rocky Mountain Institute - Carbon War Room.

What he offers you

José María is involved in the search for solutions to global challenges and offers a truly unique perspective into the world of business, international affairs and development. He speaks knowledgeably and passionately about how changes in the world can be brought about through innovation and principled leadership.

How he presents

José María Figueres is recognised as a world-class speaker and moderator. His inspirational presentations are both well researched and compelling.

Languages

He is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Speaking topics

  • Sustainable Economic Development
  • The Economic Opportunity in Addressing Climate Change
  • Attracting Foreign Investment
  • Innovation and Competitiveness
  • Leadership

Books and publications

  • 2010
    Key Elements for a 2020 Competitiveness Agenda in the Americas
  • 1996
    Remarkable Events in Central America: International Perspectives on Sustainability

Credentials

  • Chairman, Carbon War Room
  • Chairman, Global Fairness Initiative
  • UN Secretary General's Advisory Group on Climate and Energy
  • Trustee, DARA
  • Trustee, FRIDE
  • Clinton Global Initiative
  • Earth Council Geneva

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