Guest speakers

Jan Dhaene, ex MEP

Jan Dhaene holds extensive experience in sustainable development and administrative support services. He served as an Attaché for Sustainable Development at the Federal Public Service Finance in Brussels from 2010, playing a crucial role in implementing energy-saving programs and introducing new technologies. His prior roles include inspector at FPS Finance in Kortrijk from 2008 to 2010, specializing in contract registration. As an Advisor at the Federal Secretary of State Sustainable Development from 2004 to 2008, Jan focused on Energy and Mobility, showcasing a strong commitment to the intersection of politics and environmental concerns. Jan’s political engagement extends to his term as a Member of Parliament at the European Parliament from 2002 to 2004, where he actively contributed to discussions on transport and regional development. Before this, Jan served as a Secretary at the Belgian Senate where he coordinated political groups, demonstrating strong organizational and strategic skills. Jan holds a Master’s in Political Science from the Catholic University Leuven (01/10/1978 to 01/02/1983), with a focus on International Relations. Overall, Jan Dhaene is an established professional with a diverse skill set and a demonstrated commitment to sustainable development and political engagement.

Cristiana Virginia Petre, PhD. Biologist

Cristiana Virginia Petre is a PhD Biologist at “Anastasie Fătu” Botanical Garden of Iași (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași), coordinator of the Useful Plants Section and curator of the decorative chili collection (Capsicum sp.). Her main scientific interests focus on the taxonomy and ecology of fungi and their biotechnological potential, having published several articles and book chapters, attending conferences relevant for the field and being member in national and international research projects. Working at the Botanical Garden, she is involved in the ex situ conservation of plants as patrimony collections and coordinates the educative activities organized by this institution. She also actively participates in exchange programs at other academic institutions, botanical expeditions and mycology field trips, promoting the necessity of plant and fungi conservation and biodiversity preservation.
Additional information about Cristiana Virginia Petre and the Botanical Garden of Iași, can be found at

Romeo-Iulian Olariu, Professor PhD. Habil.

Dr. Romeo-Iulian Olariu is a university professor at the Faculty of Chemistry and the director of the CERNESIM Center at “Alexandru Ion Cuza” University in Iași. He graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry in 1995, and in 1996, he completed his master’s degree at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iași. From 1998 to 2002, he pursued his doctoral studies at Bergische Universität Gesamthochscule Wuppertal, Germany, where he defended his doctoral thesis on December 14, 2001. In 2016, he obtained habilitation in the field of Chemistry. Dr. Romeo-Iulian Olariu’s research directions are related to analytical chemistry and atmospheric chemistry. His research activities focus on identifying and quantifying organic and inorganic pollutants in air, water, and soil; reactivity and reaction mechanisms for photochemical processes induced by radical species (OH, NO3, etc.) on organic compounds in air and water; appropriate instrumental techniques (spectroscopic and chromatographic) for identifying and quantifying specific analytes in different natural matrices (air, water, soil, biological matrices); and the development and characterization of new materials for solid-phase extraction as stationary phases.
More about his achievements can be found on his dedicated webpage:

Cecilia Arsene, Professor PhD. Habil.

Dr. Cecilia Arsene is a University Professor at the Faculty of Chemistry and the Director of the Doctoral School of Chemistry at the “Alexandru Ion Cuza” University of Iasi. She graduated the Faculty of Chemistry in 1995 and in 1996 she completed her master’s degree at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iaşi. During 1998-2002 she did her doctoral studies at the Bergische Universität Gesamthochscule Wuppertal, Germany, where she defended her doctoral thesis on 14.12.2001. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece, from 2005 to 2007 as Marie Curie fellowship. She researches and teaches in the Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry from UAIC. She gained over the years, a vast amount of experience in handling laboratory investigation and field measurements. Her work resulted in more than 65 publications in peer reviewed ISI quoted journals and about 1540 citations (self-citation excluded). Dr. Cecilia Arsene has also special concerns in the fields of instrumental analysis techniques, especially on chromatographic techniques (GC-MS, HPLC-MS) applied in the investigation of specific compounds from various natural matrices.
More about her achievements can be found on her dedicated webpage:

Anastasios Pappas, PhD

Dr. Anastasios Pappas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of the Aegean (with a scholarship obtained from the “State Scholarship Foundation”- “IKY”), an MSc in International Banking and Finance from the University of Southampton (UK), and a PhD degree in Macroeconomics from the University of the Aegean. He has worked as an economist in the private and public sector (consulting, banking, and local government). Dr. Pappas has taught various courses (Macroeconomics, Economic Policy, Microeconomics, Political Economy, Business Economics, etc.) at the University of the Aegean and at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His research interests cover topics concerning Fiscal Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy, Economic Forecasting, Financial Crises, and Capital Mobility.
More about his achievements can be found on his dedicated webpage at the Hellenic Fiscal Council:

Maroje Lang, PhD

An experienced economist with a focus on monetary and fiscal policy, Dr. Maroje Lang spent most of their career at the Croatian National Bank, progressing from an intern to various roles, including analyst, director, and chief adviser. His education journey led them to Zagreb, LSE, and MIT, and he also participated in several professional and executive training programs. During his tenure as Assistant Minister of Finance of the Republic of Croatia, he was responsible for the Directorate for Macroeconomic Analysis, Economy, Financial System, European Union, and International Financial Relations. Additionally, he served as a member of the EU Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) and as the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) responsible for Pre accession EU Funds. Since 2018, he has been a member and Deputy President of the Croatian Fiscal Policy Commission. In his current role, he coordinates economic research at the CNB and engages in diverse projects, including those related to climate issues for central banks.
More about his achievements can be found on Linkedin.

Daniela Staicu, PhD

Daniela Staicu is an associate assistant and researcher at the Faculty of Business Administration in Foreign Languages (FABIZ), the University of Economic Studies in Bucharest. Since 2019, she holds a Doctor Degree from the University of Economic Studies in Bucharest. She conducted research on the challenges and opportunities in business development of social businesses in Romania. She is currently enrolled in a postdoctoral program, and she conducts research on innovative business models for the circular economy. Since 2016, Daniela Staicu is an associate assistant at the Faculty of Business Administration in Foreign Languages, the English and French sections. In 2018-2019, Daniela was the beneficiary of a Fulbright research grant and was involved in research at Penn State University, the United States of America. In addition to academic activity, Daniela is an entrepreneur and promotes and develops innovative health projects for children. For her projects’ achievements, she received the “Women of Courage Award” from the Embassy of the United States of America in Romania, and the “Innovation in Mobile Medicine – Anthony Vavasis” award, a recognition awarded by the Mobile Healthcare Association, USA.

Juan Sapena, PhD Professor

Juan Sapena is Professor at the Catholic University of Valencia (Spain, Since 2017, he is Head of the Chair “Betelgeux-Christeyns” for a sustainable economy at the UCV, and also the Head of the Economics Department since 2019. He has been the Dean at the Faculty of Economics and Business during the period 2008-2019 and Head of INEDE Business School for the period 2005-2019. His primary research interests include international economics and finance and sustainable economics and business, and also bounded rationality and its implications, corporate governance and international coordination of political economies. Juan has authored several articles published in national and international peer-review journals and book chapters and also participated in several national and international conferences and workshops. Juan is also a member of: the Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales (IEFS) since 1999, the Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Valencia (RSEAPV) since 2001, the Asociación Libre de Economía (AldE) since 2011 and the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization (CREDO) since 2015.
More about his achievements can be found on his dedicated Google Scholar webpage:

Ilias Tsagas, PhD Teaching Assistant

Ilias Tsagas has studied politics and engineering at Strathclyde University in Scotland and is currently wrapping up his PhD thesis on the UK’s electricity sector at the University of Greenwich in London (United Kingdom). Ilias worked as a tutor for energy studies at the University College London in the previous 3 years and his research on Scotland’s wind energy policy has been awarded by the Regional Studies Association. Apart from writing for academic purposes, Ilias is also experienced in communicating policy developments to stakeholders outside academia, e.g. policy makers and businesses, working as a freelance energy journalist since 2012. This experience stems from his journalistic work as a reporter and analyst for renewable energies at PV Magazine ( His geographic area of expertise includes the UK, southern Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but also has a passion for island nations.
More about his achievements can be found on:

Andreea Apetrei Kalveram, PhD Professor

Andreea Apetrei Kalveram is a full professor at Catholic University of Valencia (Spain, teaching Marketing and Management courses. She is also the International Coordinator of the Business Faculty managing the visits of more than 100 students and 20 professors every year. She has participated in more than ten international exchanges herself as lecturer or staff member at universities around Europe and Asia, building networks between institutions and people. She has organised and participated in more than 30 conferences while constantly publishing studies in the areas of management and sustainability. The latter had become a passion for Andreea therefore in the last years, she had been researching the topic of sustainable marketing and sustainable fashion. She had already been invited as a speaker by different universities or institutions presenting her insights on these themes, for example by ISC Paris, St. Thomas University of Colombia or Bucharest University of Economic Studies.
More about her achievements can be found on:

Ciprian Bîrsan, PhD

Ciprian Bîrsan is PhD biologist at the “Anastasie Fătu” Botanical Garden of Iași (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași), with a special interest for mycology and fungi ecology. His work focuses on the taxonomy, ecology, chorology and diversity of fungal species in Romania. He is also coordinator of Dendrarium Section of the Botanical Garden. He attended numerous scientific conferences where he presented various aspects related to fungi diversity and ex situ conservation of plants in botanical garden. His research activity is materialised in books and scientific articles published in the country and abroad.
More about the Botanical Garden of Iași and its personnel (including Ciprian BÎRSAN) can be found at:

Rodica Perciun, PhD Professor

Rodica Perciun is a doctor habilitate in economic sciences, in the field of Economics and Management. She is currently Head of the Department of Financial and Monetary Research within the National Institute for Economic Research – NIER, Republic of Moldova, and Professor within the Trade Cooperation University of Moldova.
To summarize:
1) she is research project manager from 2012, currently the coordinator of the State program project (2020-2023) “The development of the mechanism for forming the circular economy in the Republic of Moldova”;
2) she is member of the Editorial Boards of: Financial Studies journal of the Center for Financial and Monetary Research “Victor Slăvescu”, Romanian Academy, Bucharest; Economics and Sociology, Journal, NIER; CSIE Working Papers (WP), Academy of Economical Studies of Moldova, etc. and the member of the scientific committee of the International Scientific Conferences;
3) she is also: international expert of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, project evaluation expert in the National Agency for Research and Development, member of the Economic Expert Commission, National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research (Republic of Moldova), chairman of Ph.D. dissertation committees; member of the Scientific Profile Seminar NIER, Trade Cooperation University of Moldova, Technical University of Moldova, member of the Scientific Council of the Doctoral Economics School, State University of Moldova;
4) she is also a researcher which published more than 80 papers, including monographies, books, articles in professional/academic journals).
More about her achievements can be found on: Google Scholar, ORCID, Scopus (57222961760), Repository Socio-Economic Sciences.

Ricardo García Mira, PhD Professor

Ricardo Garcia Mira is Professor of Social Psychology at the Universidade da Coruña (UDC), specialized in Environmental Psychology. He is also a Doctor Honoris Causa at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași. Among his many accomplishments, we could mention:
(1) he led the People Environment Research Group of the UDC from 1995;
(2) he was a member of the Parliament of Spain in the period 2016-2019 representing the province of A Coruña, where he served as Spokesman for Climate Change of the Socialist Parliamentary Group in the Ecological Transition Commission;
(3) he was also a member of the Commission of Education and the Commission of Science, Innovation and Universities, as well as a member of the Economy and Foreign Affairs Committee;
(4) he was also President of the scientific society International Association for People-Environment Studies (2014-2018), and he is the President of the Institute of Psychosocial Studies and Research “Xoan Vicente Viqueira” from 2004;
(5) in 2016 he was appointed Visiting Professor of the Institute for Policy Research of the University of Bath, in the United Kingdom, for the period 2016-2020.
He is currently the Coordinator of the European Consortium of the Entrances Project (Horizon2020), on social aspects of transition to clean energy (2020-2023), at Other very important projects in his portfolio include: LOCAW (2011-2013) at, GLAMURS (2014-2016) at, TRANSIT (2014-2017), at, CONNECTING (2017-2022) at, SMARTEES (2018-2021) at, and many others.
More about his achievements can be found on his webpage (

Seyed Mehdian, PhD Professor

Seyed M. Mehdian is a professor of Finance in the UM-Flint School of Management (University of Michigan-Flint, United States of America), Honorary Professor of Finance at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași (Romania) and Visiting Professor of Finance at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest (Romania).
Career highlights:
(1) he is well-experienced as a teacher (at BBA, MBA and PhD levels) and researcher (published 64 scholarly articles in professional/academic journals). * Professor of Finance in the School of Management, at the University of Michigan since 1999. * Previous teaching positions at Temple University, Western New England University, Ohio State University, and University of Baltimore. Courses taught: corporate finance, financial management application and strategy (case course), international finance, and investments both at BBA and MBA levels. Also, served on several Ph.D. dissertation committees;
(2) has developed and led several study-aboard courses to Russia, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany;
(3) is Vice President of the Midwest Finance Association from 2008 to 2017;
(4) has referred papers for many finance journals;
(5) is member of the editorial board of several journals;
(6) has publication impact according Google Scholar citations since 2014 (827), h-index (16), and i10- index (20).
He actively supported the signing of the Erasmus + agreement with the partner countries in March 2015; as a result, exchanges of students and teaching staff, using European funds, are now possible between our universities UAIC and UMICH.
More about his achievements can be found on the UMICH Department’s Profile (

Angela Achiței, manager of the ADV Romania Foundation

Angela Achiței has been, for more than 20 years, the manager of the “Alaturi de Voi” Romania (ADV) Foundation, one of the biggest organizations specialized in social economy, which was declared the 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year within the international competition EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
Angela Achiței is one of the promoters of the law on social economy in Romania and of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova, having developed in time in ADV Foundation three social enterprises (UtilDeco, JobDirect, and WISE travel). She has developed the ADV Academy and 4 social innovation labs in Moldova and in Ukraine in order to support young people in becoming social entrepreneurs.
For the past 2 years, ADV has been grants administrator, having contributed to the establishment and financing of 42 social enterprises in Romania. Some of her awards include: Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2017; Finalist at Social Economy Awards 2021; Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise 2022; Excellence in management, CAPITAL Magazine 2022. Angela’s life motto is “What we do every day …, practically defines our future!”.
More about Angela Achiței’s achievements can be found on her dedicated webpage (