Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

The 11th WBC Program will consist of 5 days of presentations, workshops and tours. Expected attendance is approximately 500 people from around the world. These are the keynote speakers who will address the Congress theme of Sustainability = Environment + Society + Economy:


Yoshihiro Yamagishi

Yoshihiro Yamagishi

"100 years with Tiger Bamboo in Japan, Sustainable Use of Regional Resources"

Yoshihiro Yamagishi is the fourth generation founder of a long-established bamboo business started in 1894 in Japan called Taketora (Tiger Bamboo) Company, Ltd. This company manufactures many products from this one species of bamboo and through sensational promotion, has attracted attention of the global media including the BBC. The cultural value of Tiger Bamboo has been rediscovered thanks to Mr. Yamagishi’s marketing prowess using brand power as a regional resource. In 2016, he created an electric car woven of tiger bamboo, which traveled around the country to gain attention to the power of bamboo. His message is clear : "living rich with bamboo".

Troy Wiseman

Troy Wiseman

"EcoPlanet Bamboo's Integrated Strategy for the Industrialization of Sustainably Grown & Manufactured Bamboo"

Troy Wiseman, Co-founder and CEO of EcoPlanet Bamboo, started his entrepreneurial career at age 20 when he co-founded a clothing manufacturing and retail company, best known for its B.U.M. Equipment label, for which he served as a Director and various executive roles during his career including Executive Vice President and COO. Over the next 7 years the company’s revenue grew from US$0 to US$120 million before selling the company and starting The InvestLinc Group, a private equity and advisory firm in 1992.

Troy served as InvestLinc’s Chairman and CEO for 14 years, eventually selling the company in 2006. InvestLinc was built around a proprietary private equity model that Troy created. However, the company evolved into a fully integrated financial services firm, which included a diversified private equity “family of funds”, business advisory, M&A, money management and estate planning services, with offices in eight U.S. states.

In 2006 Troy joined the ranks of Howard Hughes, Henry Ford II, Orson Welles and four U.S. Presidents when he was selected as one of “Ten Outstanding Young Americans”. The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program ("TOYA") is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, the United States program has sought out the ten young men and women who best exemplify the attributes of America’s youthful achievers.

In 2007 Troy co-founded and served as Chairman of TriLinc Global, a social impact publically traded investment fund, focused on bringing scalable private capital to SME entrepreneurs in developing countries, with the goal of targeting triple bottom line returns. Troy resigned as Chairman in 2010 in order to dedicate his full time efforts on building EcoPlanet Bamboo Group.

Troy’s environmental and social achievements through EcoPlanet Bamboo were recently recognized as he joined the elite Board of the Earth Day Network, the world’s largest environmental movement, where he focuses on bringing environmental literacy to school curriculums around the world.

Lynn Clark

Lynn Clark

"New World Bamboos"

Lynn Clark is one of the world’s leading bamboo experts. Her focus on New World bamboos, and specifically on the genus Chusquea, has led to discovery of the diversity and distribution of hundreds of species throughout the Americas. She works as a Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB) at Iowa State University, heads up research and collaborations of the Bamboo Phylogeny Group, is mentor to many graduate students, and a long-time supporter of the American Bamboo Society. Her contributions to the book, American Bamboos in 1999 (with Judziewicz, Londoño, & Stern), launched new understanding to these plants and their importance in the ecology of their ranges.

Jeff Delkin and Rachel Speth

Jeff Delkin and Rachel Speth

"The Challenges of Building a True Green Business in Today’s Marketplace"

Jeff Delkin and Rachel Speth are co-founders and owners of bambu®. Our presentation will cover building a sustainable business with a focus on material sourcing, creating a design aesthetic, designing for production, and customer care excellence. bambu® is a pioneer in sustainable business recognized for its design-led, award-winning products.

Prior to co-founding bambu® in 2003, Rachel gained extensive experience in consumer products with over 10 years of product development and 3 years in corporate responsibility and sustainable business practices working for Nike in US, Taiwan, China and Thailand. After leaving Nike, Rachel pursued post-graduate work in environmental studies focusing on ‘Cleaner Production.’ Rachel heads up bambu®'s office in Shanghai, China putting her at the world’s hub for bamboo growth and production and where design influences merge. Rachel leads bambu®’s product design, development and production in China.

Jeff brings over 20 years of branding experience to bambu®. Prior to launching the business with Rachel in 2003, Jeff held regional and management positions with WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis’ Leo Burnett, IPG’s McCann-Erickson, as well as several boutique brand communications firms. He’s managed some of the world’s most respected brands including Coca-Cola, Heinz, McDonalds and others. Today, he oversees sales, marketing and brand development for bambu® and its affiliates globally.

Jed Long

Jed Long

"The Global Bamboo Collective – Architecture Keynote"

Jed Long is a co-founder of Sydney-based architecture collective Cave Urban alongside Nici Long and Juan Pablo Pinto. Utilizing the fluid relationship between art and architecture, Cave Urban explores, creates and tests new structural systems outside the confines of the architectural profession, that emphasize community engagement and the continuation of vernacular tradition. Jed sees collaboration as a key component to the development of bamboo globally. Working with an a number of different organizations including the Humanitarian Bamboo Project, Taiwanese artist Wang Wen Chih and various universities Jed weaves together a range of different projects from community capacity building to artistic installations that form a large interrelated narrative. A current Churchill Fellow and an Associate for the University of Tasmania, Jed is investigating the translation of traditional bamboo construction into contemporary building practice.

Hormilson Cruz Rios

Hormilson Cruz Rios

"SurBambu: a practical case of business integration in the field with the industry"

Hormilson Cruz Rios is a Colombo-Mexican Agronomist specialized in tropical forests. He is Research Director of the National Center for the Study of Bamboo in Colombia and the International Center for Forest Research in Chiapas, Mexico. His claim is the creator of the largest commercial plantation of Guadua angustifolia in the world. He has written eight books on different subjects on bamboo. He is specialized in large plantations linked to industrial projects with bamboo. He is a founding partner of three bamboo companies; SurBambu being the most recent. SurBambu develops plantations for industry of engineered wood and bamboo pellets. Mr. Cruz has developed 15 business plans with different species and industries for bamboo. "For bamboo to be important in America, you have to make it massive."

Eduardo D'Esezarte Lara

Eduardo D'Esezarte Lara

"Bamboo Evolution in Mexico"

Eduardo D'Esezarte Lara is a Mexican Agronomic Engineer specialized in phytotechnology. He graduated from the Autonomous University of Chapingo in 1981. For over 20 years, he has worked as a researcher, forester and technical advisor in the cultivation and uses of bamboo.

Lecturer and international consultant, with presentations of his research in international and national congresses, trainer in universities and public and private institutions, where he enthusiastically transmits all his knowledge and promotes the cultivation of bamboo for environmental improvement in this country.

His experience and extensive technical knowledge in agricultural and forestry issues led to his being invited as a coordinator and adviser to private companies and government agencies in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.

He is currently General Director of Bambúes Edel S. de P.R. of R.L., which under his leadership, has coordinated and managed the planting of 5 million bamboo plants on the side of rivers and creeks in the state of Veracruz, with the mission of generating economic, social and environmental resources through bamboo.

Dr. Eduardo Ruiz Sánchez

Dr. Eduardo Ruiz Sánchez

"The Bamboo of Mexico in the 21st Century: Diversity, Useful Species and Conservation"

Dr. Eduardo Ruiz Sánchez is a graduate biologist at the University of Guadalajara, with a PhD in Sciences in Systematics from the Instituto de Ecología AC. He did two postdoctoral stays, one at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2011 he joined to work as a Researcher at the Instituto de Ecología AC, in the Centro Regional del Bajio and from April 2017 is attached to the University Center of Biological and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Guadalajara as Professor Researcher "A”. He has published 40 research articles in indexed journals of which 23 are related to Phylogenetic Systematics, Taxonomy and Evolution of Mesoamerican Bamboos. He has described 16 new species of bamboos for Mexico and one for Colombia. He has mentored a graduated Phd student and has three more Phd students, two of whom will graduate in the fall of 2017. He teaches two postgraduate courses: Phylogenetic Systematics and Phylogeography and at the undergraduate level: Taxonomy and Monocotyledons. He is the Executive Director of BOTA (Bamboo of the Americas) a non-profit organization that supports students and researchers from Latin America in their projects of conservation, ecology and / or taxonomy of native bamboos of America.

Cecilia Alcoreza

Cecilia Alcoreza

"New Generation Bamboo Plantations: towards a sustainable future"

Cecilia Alcoreza leads the Sustainable Paper and Packaging work in WWF’s Global Forest Practice. In addition, she coordinates the WWF Pulp and Paper Alliance and the New Generation Plantation Platform in South America. She was also in charge in the Forest Program in WWF Chile. In all her WWF roles, she focuses on implementation of conservation measures to contribute to the maintenance and/or enhancement of the ecological integrity in key ecosystems and the reduction of the pulp and paper footprint globally. Prior joining WWF, Cecilia worked in two international consulting companies being responsible for implementing and assessing the performance of international social and environmental standards in the forestry and mining sectors. She has also been a senior lecturer in a multidisciplinary and international Swedish Training Program for sustainable forest management and forest certification directed at Western African Countries.

Ximena Londono

Ximena Londono

"A Bamboo and Guadua Paradise – An Eco-Tourism Destination and Field School"

Ximena Londoño de la Pava is a Colombian bamboo expert and independent researcher, born in Cali, Valle del Cauca. Since her childhood, she developed a lifelong passion for this giant grass at her family farm La Esmeralda, in Montenegro, Quindío.

As an independent researcher, she has been consultant and promoter of diverse Guadua research projects in Colombia and in Latin America, working in association with Instituto Vallecaucano de Investigaciones Científicas - INCIVA, the Technological University of Pereira, the National University of Colombia, University Francisco de Paula Santander, the Instituto de Ecología in Mexico, Universidad de Mérida in Venezuela, Academia de Ciencias in Cuba, Perubambú in Perú and Universidad Nacional de Tucumán in Argentina.

Ximena is one of the founders and the first president of the Colombian Bamboo Society, a non-government organization born on 1998, with the purpose of provide links between the academics, farmers, government and businesses at the regional and country level about the native bamboo Guadua angustifolia Kunth. She is the president of Colombian Commitment 178 Guadua-Bamboo for standardization - ICONTEC, and was President of the Bamboo Specialist Group of the IUCN 1994 – 2000, International Director of the American Bamboo Society 2000-2002, Expert Group for INBAR Strategic Plan 2005, and member of the Bamboo Phylogenetic Group 2008-2011. In 2008, she received an award from the National University Palmira in recognition of her research career.

Today, Ximena is CEO of an educational bamboo park entitled “A Bamboo and Guadua Paradise”, with the most extensive collection of bamboo in Colombia, and where visitors can learn general aspects of bamboo, and also allow researchers to investigate applications, environmental benefits, and ecological and taxonomical features.

David Trujillo

David Trujillo

"The Advent of Bamboo Engineering"

David Trujillo graduated from civil engineering at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2000. His dissertation was on connection design with bamboo. After graduation he worked in the reconstruction of the coffee-growing region of Colombia following the 1999 earthquake, where he became motivated to learn more about bamboo structures, however he felt he lacked the skills and experience to lead in this field.

In 2003, he moved to the UK to study Earthquake Engineering at Imperial College London, where he obtained a Masters degree in Science. . In 2004 he started working for Chiltern Clarkebond, (later CCB Evolution) a consultancy that specialized in the design of multi-storey timber-frame structures (a former sister company to BMTRADA). In 2007 he moved to Buro Happold, a structural engineering consultancy. Here he contributed to the design of numerous landmark steel & concrete structures such as the Library of Birmingham. In 2010 he became chartered with the Institution of Structural Engineers.

In 2009, determined to further his research work with timber and bamboo, David moved out of industry and into academia, joining Coventry University as a Senior Lecturer. Through his research, he has contributed to the development of standards for design and construction with bamboo. Currently David chairs the INBAR (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan) Task Force for Bamboo Construction and is the UK technical expert to Working Group 12 - Bamboo Structures of Technical Committee 165 of the International Organization for Standards (ISO). Through these two roles he is spearheading the development of a new generation of international standards for bamboo.

Avery Chua

Avery Chua

"dasso Innovation: Bamboo Manufacturing Technique span over 25 years (1993 – 2018)"

Avery Chua is the CEO of dassoUSA. He is a Malaysian living in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Prior to this, Avery lived in China for 17 years. He speaks several languages and dialects including English, Malay and Mandarin. He is a forester by academic training and a wood/bamboo industrialist by profession. Avery has extensive experience in the wood-based panel & related industries, through working in wood technologies and factory planting teams. He participated in pioneering and building of 2 MDF (medium-density fiberboard) plants; 1 glue factory for MDF; a wood-coating factory and several bamboo production plants. This experience of working across various fields like wood and bamboo fiber, glue and coatings enriched his technical skill. Avery Chua holds a degree in Bachelor Science of Forestry, with a major in forest resource management from Agricultural University of Malaysia. He joined dasso in 2005 and is presently the CEO of dassoUSA. His WBC presentation will cover the traditional use and manufacturing of bamboo, the industrialization of bamboo, including 1st -3rd generations of industrialized bamboo products, the evolution of interior usage to exterior usage and the evolution of manufacturing techniques and the benefits – the China experience!

Arief Rabik

Arief Rabik

"A Thousand Bamboo Villages Begins With a Single Strip"

Arief Rabik is the current director of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, which was formed in the 1980s by his mother, the late Linda Garland. Arief, along with several other scientists, has been working for the past 10 years on developing sustainable community-based bamboo forestry techniques and methodologies.

Since 2009, the Environmental Bamboo Foundation has published several different important manuals on the following:

  • Resilient bamboo forestry
  • Bamboo field school curriculum
  • A sustainable bamboo forestry standard
  • A smoke preservation pilot plan and methodology
  • Low-cost bamboo preservation – Vertical Soak and Diffusion

As well as working in the research and development of community-based bamboo forestry, Arief is the owner and director of a strand woven bamboo laminate factory. In the One Thousand Bamboo Village vision, each village will grow enough bamboo to supply 20+ tons of semi-processed bamboo product per day to become long terms suppliers to the bamboo industry in Indonesia, in the following product sectors: Bamboo Strips, Bamboo Pallets, Bamboo Pulp, Bamboo Powder for extruded and injection molded bio-plastic composites.

As part of his vision, Arief expects that a single family of two or three members who belong to a bamboo production cooperative can earn up to USD 750 per month ($250-375 per person). This figure is more than double the average amount that currently is made by rural farmers in Indonesia. Arief states that one dollar earned by a rural farmer in Indonesia has the same impact as one thousand dollars from tertiary industry when it comes to real and tangible economic growth.

Arief is confident that collaboration between government, rural communities, micro finance institutions, and industrial players in Indonesia will be able to create a bamboo industry that generates USD 10 billion of revenue per annum.

The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry has worked with Arief and his team for the past 3 years to create and launch the One Thousand Bamboo Village program. This program, however, is still nascent and needs support from additional stakeholders not only from Indonesia but from tropical landscapes around the world. Several institutions have integrated the One Thousand Bamboo Villages program into their program strategy including:

  • ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization)
  • The Bio-Diversity Foundation (KEHATI)
  • The Indonesian Partnership Foundation (KEMITRAAN)
  • INBAR (International Network of Bamboo and Rattan)
  • TNC (The Nature Conservancy)
  • TLFF (Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility)

It is Arief’s hope that with the help of these strategic partners, the Indonesian Government can successfully catalyze the start of the One Thousand Bamboo Villages program and Indonesia’s first national bamboo strategy. His presentation will outline the program and its progress to date.

  • World Bamboo Organization
  • BFM
  • Bambuver
  • Bambúes EDEL
  • Bambas Bicicletas
  • DICMA Trade
  • Bambú Business
  • Bravo