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Advisory Council

Whereas the Supervisory Board focuses on governance, the Advisory Council contributes advice and insight. Its main purpose is to support the Supervisory Board and Executive Director and give them guidance and advice as needed. By supplementing specific areas where they require expertise, the Advisory Council help Avalon leadership make better decisions and get more done. The Avalon’s Advisory Council is composed of high-profile professionals whose careers have been linked to organic agriculture, environmental protection, rural development and/or sustainable/green businesses. The Advisory Council has no governing power or fiduciary responsibility. It offers opinions and focus on specific areas of Avalon's needs or ambassadorship.

Martien is founder of Avalon and until 2023 was its executive director. He is a medical doctor (not practising) and an organic farming pioneer, advocating organic farming in Europe, Asia, and Africa for more than 40 years. He is an IFOAM Organic Ambassador and former chairman of the Supervisory Board of the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands. He set-up more than 20 NGOs. For his merits in promoting organic farming in the Netherlands and abroad, in 2019 he was appointed Officer of the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau. In 1977 he set up an organic farm and an organic food shop next to his medical practice, and also started promoting the conversion of farmers in the Dutch province of Friesland. With a nature conservation organisation, he developed the first agri-environmental programme in the Netherlands (and probably the fist in Europe, too).  See  more about Martien here

Chair

Martien
Lankester

Marcello is an entrepreneur and philanthropreneur, founder of the Progressio Foundation, that completed over 300 entrepreneurial ventures, projects, initiatives in 33 countries. His current major activity is the launch and leadership of B Corporations in Europe (B for Benefit). He is Board member of Tällberg Foundation and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London, Member of the Club of Rome, winner of The Economist Prize for his work on Strategic Philanthropy. ​Palazzi’s alma maters include: London School of Economics, London Business School, Erasmus University, Harvard (2013 Fellow) and Stanford (2015 fellow). He has been a visiting lecturer, tutor and mentor to students and professionals for many years. Marcello was Co-Chair of Avalon's Supervisory Board  (2010-2022).

Member

Marcello

Palazzi

Helmy is member of the Club of Rome and CEO of SEKEM from Egypt, one of the the most innovative organic food enterprises in the World. Under his leadership SEKEM was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) in 2003 for integrating ecology, economy and societal and cultural life. Besides operating several farms, food processing & distribution companies, SEKEM also runs its own University, hospital, school, kindergarten, nursery, an institute for disable people, etc. He is member of a number of international organizations and councils, such as Cradle-2-Cradle, the World Economic Forum, the World Goetheanum Association and the World Future Council, as well as president of Demeter International – one of the leading international certifiers for organic food and agriculture.

Member

Helmy
Abouleish

Marita has a distinguished career spanning four decades in international development, as anthropologist, environmentalist, and social entrepreneur. She is former Director General of IUCN – the World Conservation Union, the foremost global environmental umbrella organization, and the World Bank’s Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development for the Latin America and Caribbean Region, and head of Asia Environment Programs. She is founder and president of Earth3000, a non-profit organization (www.earth3000.org) and also president of World Heritage Watch, an international platform serving some 200 Civil Society Organizations worldwide. Maritta holds a Doctorate from Bonn and Cologne Universities (Germany), and an honourable Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University (UK). Marita was Avalon's Supervisory Board member (2005-2012).

Member

Dr Maritta

Rogalla von Bieberstein Koch-Weser

Piotr is an agricultural and rural development expert who spent most of his career working for the World Bank in Washington. He currently runs an organic farm in Poland. Piotr holds a PhD. degree in agricultural sciences. He was Avalon's Supervisory Board member (2008-2022).

Member

Dr Piotr

Krzyzanowski

Advisory Council

Whereas the Supervisory Board focuses on governance, the Advisory Council contributes advice and insight. Its main purpose is to support the Supervisory Board and Executive Director and give them guidance and advice as needed. By supplementing specific areas where they require expertise, the Advisory Council help Avalon leadership make better decisions and get more done. The Avalon’s Advisory Council is composed of high-profile professionals whose careers have been linked to organic agriculture, environmental protection, rural development and/or sustainable/green businesses. The Advisory Council has no governing power or fiduciary responsibility. It offers opinions and focus on specific areas of Avalon's needs or ambassadorship.

Chair

Martien

Lankester

Martien is founder of Avalon and until 2023 was its executive director. He is a medical doctor (not practising) and an organic farming pioneer, advocating organic farming in Europe, Asia, and Africa for more than 40 years. He is an IFOAM Organic Ambassador and former chairman of the Supervisory Board of the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands. He set-up more than 20 NGOs. For his merits in promoting organic farming in the Netherlands and abroad, in 2019 he was appointed Officer of the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau. In 1977 he set up an organic farm and an organic food shop next to his medical practice, and also started promoting the conversion of farmers in the Dutch province of Friesland. With a nature conservation organisation, he developed the first agri-environmental programme in the Netherlands (and probably the fist in Europe, too).  See  more about Martien here

Member

Marcello

Palazzi

Marcello is an entrepreneur and philanthropreneur, founder of the Progressio Foundation, that completed over 300 entrepreneurial ventures, projects, initiatives in 33 countries. His current major activity is the launch and leadership of B Corporations in Europe (B for Benefit). He is Board member of Tällberg Foundation and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London, Member of the Club of Rome, winner of The Economist Prize for his work on Strategic Philanthropy. ​Palazzi’s alma maters include: London School of Economics, London Business School, Erasmus University, Harvard (2013 Fellow) and Stanford (2015 fellow). He has been a visiting lecturer, tutor and mentor to students and professionals for many years. Marcello was Co-Chair of Avalon's Supervisory Board  (2010-2022).

Member

Helmy
Abouleish

Helmy is member of the Club of Rome and CEO of SEKEM from Egypt, one of the the most innovative organic food enterprises in the World. Under his leadership SEKEM was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) in 2003 for integrating ecology, economy and societal and cultural life. Besides operating several farms, food processing & distribution companies, SEKEM also runs its own University, hospital, school, kindergarten, nursery, an institute for disable people, etc. He is member of a number of international organizations and councils, such as Cradle-2-Cradle, the World Economic Forum, the World Goetheanum Association and the World Future Council, as well as president of Demeter International – one of the leading international certifiers for organic food and agriculture.

Member

Dr Maritta Rogalla von Bieberstein Koch-Weser

Marita has a distinguished career spanning four decades in international development, as anthropologist, environmentalist, and social entrepreneur. She is former Director General of IUCN – the World Conservation Union, the foremost global environmental umbrella organization, and the World Bank’s Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development for the Latin America and Caribbean Region, and head of Asia Environment Programs. She is founder and president of Earth3000, a non-profit organization (www.earth3000.org) and also president of World Heritage Watch, an international platform serving some 200 Civil Society Organizations worldwide. Maritta holds a Doctorate from Bonn and Cologne Universities (Germany), and an honourable Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University (UK). Marita was Avalon's Supervisory Board member (2005-2012).

Member

Dr Piotr Krzyzanowski

Piotr is an agricultural and rural development expert who spent most of his career working for the World Bank in Washington. He currently runs an organic farm in Poland. Piotr holds a PhD. degree in agricultural sciences. He was Avalon's Supervisory Board member (2008-2022).

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