Invited speakers

Andreas Bieler

Andreas Bieler is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Nottingham, UK and Co-Director of the independent Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ). His research interest is in the area of labour movements, broadly defined, and the possibilities for an alternative, labour-centred trade regime. Most recently he has published Fighting for Water: Resisting Privatization in Europe (Zed Books, 2021) and, together with Adam D. Morton, Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis (CUP, 2018).

Penny Clarke

Penny Clarke, Deputy General Secretary of the European Public Service Unions (EPSU).   EPSU brings together trade unions from across Europe and represents over 8 million public service workers in local and regional government, national and EU public administration, health and social services, and utilities (energy, water and sanitation, waste).  Penny coordinates EPSU’s policies on public services and trade, investment, EU Single Market, and competition policy. 

Mathilde Dupré

Co-Director of the Veblen Institute, Mathilde Dupré graduated from Sciences-Po Paris with a Master's degree in "International Development Economics". She joined the CCFD-Terre Solidaire, a French development NGO for which she was in charge of advocacy on development financing and the regulation of multinational companies. As a member of the board of the Tax Justice Network, from 2010 to 2014 she coordinated the work of the French civil society organization platform on tax avoidance and represented French civil society in OECD and European Union expert groups on the subject. Between 2014 and 2015, she coordinated the Citizen's Forum for corporate social responsibility and participated in the work of the national platform of global actions for CSR and in the drafting of the French law on the duty of vigilance of companies. She joined the Veblen Institute in 2015 to develop the programme on the reform of the European trade policy.

Luciana Ghiotto

Luciana Ghiotto is a Researcher based at the National University of San Martín (UNSAM) in Argentina. She is a Professor of International Polítical Economy. She has a Ph.D. in Social Sciences (2012) from the University of Buenos Aires. She is an associate researcher at the Transnational Institute (TNI). 

Juergen Knirsch

Jürgen Knirsch Studied biology at the University of Bremen, has been involved in trade issues (pesticide exports, agricultural trade, trade in individual commodities) since 1984. From 1999 to 2022, campaigner on trade and environment at Greenpeace, working on the WTO and UNCTAD and selected EU free trade agreements (TTIP, CETA, JEFTA, EU-Mercosur) and plurilateral agreements (such as TiSA and EGA).

Bettina Müller

Bettina Müller works as a trade and investment policy officer at PowerShift and the Transnational Institute. Her areas of focus are trade agreements with Latin America and corporate rights and their consequences for Latin American and Caribbean countries. Bettina lives and works in Berlin.


Jan Orbie

Jan Orbie is Professor in European Union (EU) External Relations at the Department of Political Science at Ghent University (Belgium). He is a member of the Ghent Institute for International and European Studies (GIES), the Ghent Centre for Global Studies (GCGS), the Human Rights Research Network (HRRN) and the Learning Network on Decolonization at the same university. He researches and teaches about the EU’s global role with a particular focus on critical and normative approaches to EU external trade, social and development policies. He currently (co-)supervises doctoral research projects on the geopoliticization of EU trade policy, the GSP+ system of the EU, the EU’s migration-development nexus, the human-nature divide in EU foreign policies, EU external deforestation policies, sustainable development in EU-Asia trade relations, EU ‘radical’ democracy promotion, financialization in EU development cooperation, and the post-Cotonou partnership agreement. His recent work has engaged with post-development, post-colonial perspectives to the EU in the world. 

Florance Palpacuer

Florence Palpacuer has conducted research on the rise of global value chains (GVCs) and their social and developmental implications over the last 15 years, particularly in global clothing and selected food chains. Her recent research in this area has focused on transnational social movements and multi-stakeholder initiatives addressing issues of social responsibility and corporate accountability with regard to work conditions in a global context.

Sandra Polaski

Sandra Polaski has been a policy maker, research expert and advocate on trade, labor and income distribution policy at national and international levels.  She served as the Deputy Director-General for Policy of the International Labor Organization and was its Sherpa to the G20.  Earlier she headed the US Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau where she negotiated labor provisions of international trade agreements.  Before that she directed the Trade, Equity and Development Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a global think tank. She is currently affiliated with Boston University as a senior research scholar in the Global Economic Governance Initiative and is a member of the Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board, created by the US Congress to monitor and advise on Mexican labor policy in the context of the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).  She has published widely on trade, labor and social policy topics. 

Etienne Schneider

Etienne Schneider is a political scientist and University Assistant (PostDoc) at the Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna. His current research focuses on the global political economy of decarbonization. He is particularly interested in how the current dynamics of geopolitical competition are changing industrial and competition policy, and what new forms of an asymmetric, 'green' international division of labour are emerging in this context. He also works on the integration of carbon dioxide removal technologies into international and European climate policy and related ‘mitigation deterrence’ effects.

Melinda St. Louis

Melinda St. Louis is the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Since working alongside labor unions and farmer organizations in Nicaragua fighting for fair trade policies more than two decades ago, St. Louis has developed deep expertise in trade and globalization issues and fought for progressive alternatives to corporate globalization that benefit people and the planet. She provides expert analysis of technical trade agreement provisions and implications for domestic policymaking to Congress and high-level government officials, the press, and civil society partners in the U.S. and around the globe and has helped lead successful campaigns to stop the corporate agenda of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, advance official discussions at the World Trade Organization about financial regulation, and support governments exiting from harmful investment treaties. She is a committed coalition builder, nurturing numerous global South-North coalitions, as well as broad and deep coalitions across the U.S., working cross-culturally to build trust, plan together, and implement coordinated strategic actions to challenge corporate power.