Carlos Montes

Is Full Professor of Ecology at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid and head of the Social-ecological Systems Laboratory (SES-Lab), ( The SES-Lab is a research group that focuses on exploring the structure, functioning and dynamics of social-ecological systems (humans in nature) from a systemic and trans-disciplinary approach, to tackle complex issues related to sustainability ( The team research is intended to bring down barriers and tend bridges between social and biophysical sciences, as well as between researchers, local stakeholders, and decision-makers, to build adaptive capacities in the face of current global change.

His main research focuses on the analysis of the environment-society interface, from the Sustainability Science’ perspective, contributing to the development of the conceptual framework of Ecosystem Services Assessment and Socio-ecological Resilience.

He is founder and President of the Interuniversity Foundation Fernando González Bernáldez for the study and management of protected areas ( which promotes the effective use of the social-ecological system approach for management of protected areas. He is the Director of the School of Sustainability of International University of Andalucía ( He is chief scientific adviser of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in Spain (

He has been a scientific advisor for several years of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), for the development of the framework and strategic plan of “ARAUCARIA XXI”, the program for the conservation of biodiversity in Latin America, under which he has developed various cooperation projects in Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia, highlighting the scientific coordination of the past two Management Plans (2005 and 2013) of Galapagos National Park (Ecuador), which gave him the title of Honorary park ranger. Currently he is chairing the NGO called Development Cooperation Network Society for Ecology and Sustainability (networks).

Federica Ravera

Is a PhD in Ecological Economics and Environmental Science at the University Autonomous of Barcelona (Spain). She is currently postdoctoral researcher at the ICAAm (Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas), of the University of Evora, working on social innovation in agrifood systems as socio-ecological systems in the Mediterranean. She is an interdisciplinary researcher concerned by issues related to value incommensurability, participation and deliberative processes, knowledge integration and transdisciplinarity. Her research is framed by disciplines such as ecological economics and political ecology and based on theories of resilience and vulnerability of socio-ecological systems to global change. Her research interest focuses on evaluating factors, practices, institutions which support processes of adaptation to change and transitions of socio-ecological systems towards sustainability. She has experiences in the global South, especially working in mountain regions and semi-arid systems in Asia and Latin America. One of the lines of her recent research is specifically interested in intersectionality feminist theories applied to explore gender issues and the distribution of roles and power relations in conservation and management of agro-biodiversity and ecosystem services for reducing vulnerability and enhancing adaptation to climate change. Recently she has mainly collaborated in research-action projects with groups of women. She worked within a CCAFS project looking at barriers and potentialities for local adaptation through agrobiodiversity conservation working with groups of women in Himalaya. Currently, she is working with the RAL, la Red Agroecologica de LOja, a network born for the management of the local agri-food system in the Andean region of southern Ecuador. The network is mainly represented by women and based on new collective rules built on the principles of agro-ecology. 

Elisa Oteros

I am interested in understanding the millenary relationships between ecosystems and humans from the Sustainability Sciences perspective. In understand sustainability as a dynamic equilibrium integrated by various social (including cultural, economic, political and institutional) and ecological dimensions. In the current context of systemic crisis (ecological, social, financial, care, etc.) and unsustainability the key leitmotifs of my work are: 1) to make visible the links between human well-being and ecosystem functioning, 2) facilitate dialogue between different forms of knowledge including scientific, traditional, local and technical and 3) generate useful information for decision-making at all scales. I am interested in the exploration of the social-ecological history and memory for the evaluation of resilience and adaptive capacity of systems when facing the effects of disturbances and drivers of change. My work has been developed mostly in agroecosystems and traditional farming practices in the Mediterranean Basin. However, given the relevance of North-South and center-periphery disequilibria for sustainability, and the associated ecological distributive associated, I try to maintain part of my research in Latin America, with attention to Colombia. In my postdoctoral phase, since October 2015 and during two years, I benefit from an Andalusia Talent Hub (Marie Curie) grant for the development of the project ““Navigating the rural-urban continuum under a social-ecological perspective”, within the Social and Participatory Action Research Group at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain) and the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). I also collaborate with I collaborate with the Social-ecological Systems Laboratory (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).

Marina García Llorente

Ph.D., is an environmental science researcher at the Madrid Institute for Rural, Agricultural and Food Research and Development (IMIDRA). She is also a collaborating researcher at the Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory of the Department of Ecology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. Her main area of research is focused on the links between ecosystem functioning and human wellbeing using a social-ecological perspective and the ecosystem service approach. Currently her research is focus on revitalize rural areas and agrarian landscapes through research-action projects with open and collaborative agriculture as the central point. She is also starting to develop social farming experiences on rural and periurban areas in order to promote social inclusion, social protection and equal opportunities for local communities, as well as sustainable food systems reconnected with nature.

Alicia Cebada Romer

Associate Professor in Public International Law and European Union Law at Universidad Carlos III (Madrid, Spain). Phd in Law and LLM in European Union Law. Chairholder of a UNESCO Chair in Public Freedoms and Civic Values. Project Manager at Women for Africa Foundation, based in Madrid. She is managing projects related to women empowerment, leadership and mediation in different African countries, including Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Benin. Previously she was the Director of the Peacebuilding Program at Toledo International Center for Peace (CITPAX), a Spanish private diplomacy institution. She has authored and edited four books as well as around 40 scientific articles and chapters in edited volumes. She has completed research stays at different Universities, including the London School of Economics and Political Science, Max Planck Institute for International and Public Law, New York University and the European University Institute in Florence. She has been awarded with different Academic Prizes and Fellowships: Award of Excellence, granted in 2011 by the Social Council of the University Carlos III; BANKIA Research Fellowship 2011/2012; Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado, UCIIIM; Award from the Spanish Royal Academy of Doctors to the best doctoral dissertation in the field of social and legal sciences; Global Emile Noel Fellowship, New York University, 2006 and Jean Monet Fellowship at the European University Institute, Florence in 2004/2005.

Conchi Piñeiro

Is a trainer, a researcher and a facilitator, with sustainability as the core goal and passion for different methods and approaches. She was an activist and part of different social movements for more than 15 years. She is founder and an employee of Altekio, a collective experience of entrepreneurship in solidarity economy, that helps her to catalyse entrepreneurship in different projects.

She has been trained since 2001 in group facilitation in many different approaches and methods. She is currently studying Phase II of the Process Work Diploma. With this diverse experience, she has been part of a youth entrepreneurship and leadership training based on the Elos Philosophy or Oasis Methodology in communities in Mexico, Brazil and different places in Europe. Her experience of living and working in different countries, especially Mexico, connects her with her search for diversity.

In the environmental field, she holds a PhD in Environmental Education at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2011), a University degree in Environmental Sciences (1997-2001), the Permaculture Certificate (2005) and the Ecovillage Design Education Training of Trainers Certificate (2011).

Irene Iniesta Arandia

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and I am a group member of the Social-ecological systems lab. My main research interests deal with community-based resource management and local knowledge systems, specifically related to water and agricultural systems. My experience has taken place mostly in semi-arid areas in the South-Eastern region of Spain. My work is inherently interdisciplinary and I use different frameworks and tools for my research. I am increasingly incorporating gender and feminist perspectives to my work as a way to explore and reflect in my role as a researcher and how can research affect different social-ecological processes and to explore the power dynamics that affect natural resource management.

Alessia Cartoni

Holds a graduate degree in Cultural & Social Anthropology and and undergraduate degree in Art History from UAM University in Madrid. She also graduated in Dramatic Arts from Juan Carlos Corazza’s Studio in Madrid, Spain. Alessia is a facilitator, performer and director, a Theatre of the Oppressed and Theatre of Witness practitioner, and has been ImaginAction’s non-profit Co-Director from 2012 to 2014 in the U.S. As a facilitator, Alessia explores stories of trauma and resilience using Theatre of Witness, Autobiographical Storytelling, Rainbow of Desire, Ritual, music and movement. She has worked in Sudan, Guatemala, US, China, Northern Ireland, Spain, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium and Colombia facilitating community based projects using Theatre of the Oppressed, Theatre of Witness, Council Circle, movement, dance, arts and storytelling. She creates theatre pieces with the very protagonists of the real stories in real life, that have been silenced or invisibilized by society. She directed in 2014 her first Theatre of Witness production in Belfast, Our Lives Without You, with the families of those killed in the Ballymurphy massacre. As a social educator Alessia has done therapeutic work with both children and adolescents whom are under the custody of IMMF, The Madrid Institute for the protection of children and Families. As a member of the therapeutic team, Alessia tapped the healing power of creativity and imagination as tools to help these children symbolize their difficult ordeals. Alessia has combined her training as a performer and anthropologist in her involvement with projects of international cooperation in which she has used Theater of the Oppressed methodologies. In Sudan she developed forum theater pieces dealing with female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Back in Spain, she has worked with Entreculturas NGO developing workshops geared to sensitizing people about the difficult conditions of South Sudan using Art therapy and other modalities. She currently works as a social educator with the marginalized youth of Madrid through Participatory Theatre.

Ana Salado

Journalist. Degree in Information Sciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Journalist and literary critic in the newspaper Hoja del Lunes de Madrid.

Head of press of the Socialist Parlamentarian Group in the Congreso de los Diputados.

Literary Critic for the newspaper ABC for ten years, and El País for two.

Writer and literary critic for the TVE (Spanish public channel) program Paper Time, and presenter of Entre líneason the same channel.

Head of the Culture section in the newspaper El Sol, and contributor to magazines like Insula and Cuadernos del Norte

Director for Communication of the City of Alcobendas.

Deputy Director for Communication of the vice President of the Government of Spain, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega.

Director for Communication of the Minister of the Presidency, Ramon Jauregui.

She is since its inception Director for Communication of the Women for Africa Foundation.