Shelby Strand, co-founder

Shelby Strand has made her career working in the Canadian post secondary sector, most recently in the international education sector. Born and raised in Alberta, Shelby has seen the energy sector shift towards renewables and she is passionate about changing perceptions regarding how ecology and renewable energy can work together to create a more sustainable future. Shelby has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from MacEwan university and is currently working on completing her Master of Arts in Global Leadership from Royal Roads University.

Alec Balasescu, co-founder

Trained as anthropologist (Ph.D. at University of California, Irvine), Alec Balasescu worked in state administration in Romania, cultural diplomacy in Istanbul, healthcare in Vancouver and in the automobile industry, while teaching and researching at universities around the world . His research, writing and practice is centred on developing strategies of change based on deeply engaging the socio-cultural, economic, institutional, and environmental context. He developed projects in international multidisciplinary teams in urban development, arts, and environmental actions. 

Alec is founder member of Nature, Art and Habitat, Italy, Moving Matters Travelling Workshop, California, and he is member of the Advisory Group for Environmental Action at Royal Roads University, Canada, where he also teaches in the Master of Global Leadership, and in the Master of Intercultural and International Communication.

Florin Furdui, co-founder

Florin is currently the  Country Manager of Portland Trust in Romania. His responsibilities include investment, development and asset management of Portland Trust’s portfolio.

Florin has worked in the banking and insurance sectors between 1994 and 2001 holding various managerial positions, the last one being IT Director of ING Group in Romania. In 2001 he has founded Dial Telecom, one of the first alternative telecoms operators in Romania that he has sold in 2008 to Digital Cable Systems.  Since 2008 he is active in the real estate sector with a long term goal of being involved in social entrepreneurship.

As one of the first members and ambassadors of the Romanian Business Leaders foundation Florin has been involved in multiple projects and currently he is a board member of the foundation.

Florin holds a BA in Computer Sciences from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. He has graduated in year 2000 the ASEBUSS Executive MBA, an executive program developed in Bucharest by Romanian Academy of Economical Studies and Washington University of Seattle.

Valentina Ivan, co-founder

Valentina Ivan is one of the leading experts in Romania’s energy market. Over the past 15 years, her extensive track record includes successful projects in both renewable technologies and energy market reform. Throughout her career, she has worked with decision-makers, both private and public, and has participated in cross-border projects providing strategic advice concerning political, regulatory and reputational risk. 

Additionally, Valentina has advised key think tanks, environmental organisations, and public bodies on energy policy. She writes academic articles, editorials, and speaks publicly on energy issues (conferences, radio and TV interviews). Valentina is a keen advocate for sound energy policy in Europe aiming to accelerate the transition to a net-zero future, promoting sustainable investments that bring a positive impact for communities. 

She is an economist and has been awarded an MSc in Comparative Public Policy by the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Economics – Management of Energy Policies by the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest.