What is resilience in practice: the past and the future

18. October 11:30 - 12:45

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity, resulting in economic losses, environmental degradation and affecting the health and well-being of people all around Europe. As the Mission on Adaptation aims to support EU regions and local communities in their efforts to build resilience against the impacts of climate change, it is pressing to understand how resilience has been defined and approached in varied contexts, and what resilience will mean in the future.

This session is co-organised by EU-funded projects that support regions in developing climate resilience pathways and will focus on two main questions: How did European regions approach resilience in the past until today? And how does the future of resilience in regions look like?

The participants will have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas on the past and future of resilience with regions and institutions working in the field. The discussion will be focused on approximately 10 topics, addressing different sectors and systems based on the regions’ context.

Following the World Café setup, in the first part of the session, the participants can choose a topic to exchange with regions, institutions and other participants in smaller groups. In the second part of the session, participants can move around topics and groups.

The main conclusions from the session will be displayed in REGILIENCE’s stand in the marketplace and shared in REGILIENCE’s social media channels.

This session is part of the Challenging knowledge and innovation: accelerating a resilient and just transformation stream.


Tomislav Novosel

Expert Advisor, North-West Croatia Regional Energy and Climate Agency

Tomislav Novosel, North-West Croatia Regional Energy and Climate Agency

Tomislav is currently employed as an expert advisor in the climate department of the North-West Croatia Regional Energy and Climate Agency. He holds a Doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering obtained at the University of Zagreb where he worked as a researcher until 2018. His work and expertise focus on energy and climate planning, and he is deeply involved in the Agencies work on the application and implementation of various EU projects (LIFE, Horizon Europe, INTERREG and so on). Tomislav has been working as an expert advisor on the evaluation of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects for the European Commission and its Agencies.

Miljenko Sedlar

Head of Climate/Assistant Managing Director, North-West Croatia Regional Energy and Climate Agency

Miljenko Sedlar, Head of Climate/Assistant Managing Director, North-West Croatia Regional Energy and Climate Agency


Miljenko is the head of the climate department at the North-West Croatia regional energy and climate agency. He holds the degree in natural sciences from the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. The focus of his work is to support cities and regions on their path to energy transition and climate change resilience. He is deeply involved in that process, from strategic levels to the project development and implementation. Miljenko is very enthusiastic about nature and climate, so the connection to his professional life is quite clear. He is a member of several national and EU level working groups that focus on climate change.

Javier Marzo

Environmental Technician working on Climate Change Adaptation, GVA (Valencia Regional Government)

Javier Marzo, Environmental Technician working on Climate Change Adaptation, GVA (Valencia Regional Government)

Javier is a biologist with a Master in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. He has a lot of experience managing and participating in R&D projects both at national and international level focused mainly on circular economy and agrifood. During last year he is working for the Valencia Regional Government in Climate Change Adaptation contributing to the implementation of the Valencian law of Climate Change that was approved at the end of 2022.

Cristina Coelho

Head of Office for Sustainable Development and Environmental Emergency, Setúbal Municipality

Cristina Coelho, Head of Office for Sustainable Development and Environmental Emergency, Setúbal Municipality


Cristina Coelho is the Head of Office for Sustainable Development and Environmental Emergency at Setubal Municipality, a city council unit responsible for developing and implementing the municipal strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation, environmental education and communication and sustainable development. She has been involved in several climate action projects and initiatives such as the EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, BEACON, CLIMA-AML, PLAAC-Arrábida, EU Climate Adaptation Mission and CLIMAAX. She´s a biologist with an MSc in Natural Resources Management and a Member of the MARE NOVA Scientific Research Centre. Cristina is a native Portuguese speaker fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Chrysanthi Kiskini




Mr Chrysanthi Kiskini holds a degree of Architecture from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and a MA in Environment and Energy Studies from Architectural Association London. She is the Director of the Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia. RDFCM supports the development process in the Region of Central Macedonia, utilizing its know-how in the implementation of European Funded Programmes, Initiatives, and various studies, research, and services. Since 2007, she has been involved as a project manager in the implementation of more than 50 projects funded by European Territorial Cooperation Programmes (INTERREG) and initiatives (FP7, HORIZON etc) covering various fields (sustainable development, circular economy, urban mobility, entrepreneurship, innovation, cultural heritage, tourism).

Antonio Franković

IRENA - Istrian Regional Energy Agency

Antonio Franković, IRENA - Istrian Regional Energy Agency

Head of Department (Resilience Office), Municipality of Thessaloniki

Georgios PAPASTERGIOS, Head of Department (Resilience Office), Municipality of Thessaloniki


Dr G Papastergios holds a MSc and a PhD in Environmental Geochemistry and GIS, from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (in close cooperation with the University of Barcelona and the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Barcelona, Spain). Between 2009 and 2019 he was a post-doctorate-guest researcher at AUTh. He has more than 50 publications in international peer reviewed journals and conferences. He acts as the Head of the Department of Operational Planning & Development Programmes Monitoring (Resilience Office) since 2020. He has been/is involved in the implementation, and management of several projects funded by EU and national development funds (i.e., Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, LIFE, Interreg etc.), dealing with issues such as environmental management, resilience, climate change, climate adaptation, climate neutrality, air pollution, mobility etc. He currently leads the Climate Neutrality team of Thessaloniki. He speaks English and Spanish.

Beatriz Pereira

RESIST project team, Intermunicipal Community of Coimbra Region

Beatriz Pereir, RESIST project team, Intermunicipal Community of Coimbra Region


Beatriz Pereira is part of the RESIST project team within the Intermunicipal Community of Coimbra Region. She has three and a half years' experience in analysing, writing and managing applications for national and European programmes for the Intermunicipal Community of Coimbra Region and she is part of the Intermediate Body of the Operational Regional Programme Centro 2020.

Recently has been responsible for monitoring European projects from different European programmes, as well as providing support in the planning, organisation and management of events. She has also participated in peer review events, technical assistance projects, webinars and other networking events, interacting and articulating with public and private entities to integrate/constitute partnerships for European projects.

Beatriz has a degree in International Relations and a Masters in Management by the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra.

Catarina Pydzińska Azevedo

Operational Coordinator of the RESIST project (on behalf of INOVA+)

Catarina Pydzińska Azevedo, Operational Coordinator of the RESIST project (on behalf of INOVA+)

Catarina Pydzińska Azevedo, as the Operational Coordinator of the RESIST project (on behalf of INOVA+), is currently working closely with 12 European regions on climate adaptation, to pilot innovative solutions and improve their resilience to climate change. But also Catarina’s other projects and roles have been related to climate resilience and sustainability, and in particular urban sustainability. And she has special interest in the area of citizen engagement and citizen science. Yet her experience is broader, as for over 20 years Catarina was involved in numerous transnational projects and studies, especially ones funded by the European Commission and developed as services for its agencies. Some additional fields of her expertise include innovation policies and innovation and research support measures, promotion of science & research, entrepreneurship support, management of cross-national networks and research collaborations, public engagement, and stakeholder consultation. Catarina has collaborated with INOVA+ since 2010, with different roles and responsibilities along the years, including leading its Research & Technology department. She has also collaborated as a consultant, trainer and project manager with various organisations. Currently Catarina also supports revival of the Polish CIVINET network, linked to the CIVITAS Initiative. She holds a Master’s degree in Management from Warsaw School of Economics, as well as a diploma of European Studies by its International Relations Institute, and is currently completing her PhD in Sociology at the University of Porto (research focus on citizen science for sustainable and inclusive cities).

Ana Ardelean

Tbilisi Municipality

Ana Ardelean, Tbilisi Municipality


Matthias Watzak

Project Manager, FEDARENE

Matthias Watzak, Project Manager, FEDARENE

Matthias is leading the climate adaptation work within the FEDARENE team and has more than ten years of professional experience in the energy, climate, and environment sectors, backed by a Master of Science degree in energy engineering. He gained a deep understanding of implementing and funding regional energy and climate actions ranging from long-term strategy development to the implementation of concrete pilot measures. He conceived expert knowledge among others in renewable heating and cooling solutions, energy efficiency measures and emission reduction and climate adaption strategies. He has overseen national and international projects with a focus on climate adaptation, spatial planning as well as environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solutions for cities and regions including MIP4Adapt, REGILIENCE, ePLANET, ConnectHeat, Urban Learning, klimaaktiv renewable heat, Smart City Wien framework strategy, Green Energy Lab Spatial Energy Planning, etc. Matthias is fluent in English and German.

Jen Heemann

Expert in local action for energy and climate, IEECP

Jen Heemann, Expert in local action for energy and climate, IEECP

Jen Heemann has over 10 years of experience in sustainable development strategies in cities and regions. She holds an MSc degree in Urban Management and Development from Erasmus University Rotterdam, and has focused her career on local and regional climate action planning processes. At IEECP, she works as a researcher and project manager, developing and coordinating projects focused on improving public authorities’ capacity to implement climate-related measures. She is the project manager of REGILIENCE (Resilience Strategies for Regions) and is also involved in the development of peer to peer learning programmes in the EU-funded projects PROSPECT+ (Capacity building for cities and regions – from learning to action!) and ENERGee Watch (peer-to-peer learning programme).