Studied Chemical Engineering with specialization in food and plants, and metal accumulation in plants. He started with environmental analysis for the Austrian Environmental Protection Agency in 1998, working his way through waste management, with the focus shifting to circular economy solutions from 2006 onward. He has held lectureships on Sustainable Product Design, Supply Chain Management, CSR, and Circular Construction at three Austrian Universities, together with delivering countless speeches and talks at conferences on a variety of different topics. He has worked at alchemia-nova since 2002, becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2010 and then Technical Director in 2019 in order to place greater focus on innovations, knowledge sharing and consulting for ministries and companies. He is evaluator, developer and initiator of many national and international and transdisciplinary projects and initiatives – co-creating ideas and nurturing them to life. The strong systems-approach combines technology innovation with nature inspiration and drives social transformation.
Francesco Menconi (BLC LLB) graduated with a Law degree from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in 2000, after which he established his own law firm. During the course of his tutelage and private practice, he was exposed to a broad spectrum of criminal and civil litigation matters, institutional procedures, business registrations, the protection of intellectual property rights; and the drafting of contracts, pleadings and business proposals.
After moving to Europe in 2003 he gained valuable business experience within the hospitality industry, fulfilling various managerial and self-start-up entrepreneurial roles in Italy and England. He moved to Austria in 2013 where he established himself as an English trainer, content writer and translator, before joining the alchemia-nova team in 2017. A Prince 2 certified Project Manager, and fluent in English, Italian and Afrikaans, he is enthusiastic about the opportunity of contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly circular economy.
With his varied background and experience, he brings added value to alchemia-nova’s offering in respect of communications, project management and business development. He was appointed as managing director of alchemia-nova GmbH in January 2019.
Nektaria Efthymiou-Charalampopoulou studied environmental biology at the University of La Verne, completed a Master Degree in Environmental Law and Conservation at the University of Kent and earned a Master Degree in Environmental Management from the European Association for Environmental Management Education. Her expertise is built on more than 15 years of professional experience in the fields of environmental protection, nature conservation, climate change mitigation & adaptation, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. She worked for international consulting companies and academic institutions and provided her expertise and management skills as an independent consultant to the private and public sector and to non-governmental organizations.
Fascinated by the interactions between human societies and the natural environment, Maria studied Environmental Technology and Political Science. She specialized on the nexus of water, energy and food systems and applied her interdisciplinary perspective throughout her assignments at GIZ and UNIDO. There, she worked on projects for sustainable agriculture value chains, climate change adaptation, food and nutrition security, as well as social inclusiveness of production systems. Working on smallholder aquaculture in Myanmar, Maria discovered the high potential of ecosystem-based solutions. This brought her to alchemia-nova, where she supports project development to leverage circular economy principles in the bioeconomy.