Award People and Leaders

Who Will Be the Person of 2020? (FREE)

Who are the nominated for the "Person of the Year" 2020 Award? (Free Article)

2020 is a dramatic year; a year like no other. In fact, it’s the closest we have been to the Black plague during Medieval times. Anyway, some people build walls during storms while others build wind mills.

Let’s have a look at who made an impact on the bioplastics industry. Who were the most successful and impactful people of 2020.

The nominees were selected on the basis of: visibility, influence and impact on the web

Here are the nominees:

  • Daphna Nassenbaum (Israel)

Daphna, CEO of Tipa, seems to be a successful self made business women. Under her leadership, Tipa has become one of the most efficient bioplastic company in terms of marketing and business development.

  • Tom van Aken (NL)

Tom, CEO of Avantium, is Avantium and Avantium is Tom. Tom showed consistency and perseverance during the Corona crisis.

  • Peter Vanacker (Ge & Be)

Peter, CEO of Neste, was the person of the year 2019. Peter is the first person to be nominated again the year after winning the title. A sign of brightness and consistency; an achievement on itself.

  • Ilham Kadri (Maroccon)

Ilham, CEO of Solvay, has created unprecedented visibility for Solvay. She’s the most visible CEO of a Belgian company on the international scene.

  • Michael Stephen (UK)

Michael, Chairman of OPA (OXO-Biodegradable Plastics Association), is an example in terms of resilience and commitment. He’s also the only nominee from the “trade association” side; all the other candidates are CEOs/ general managers.

  • Jim Fitterling (US)

Jim, CEO of Dow, has been the first CEO to publicly defend plastics during the recent plastic waste crisis. He’s also the first CEO of a chemical company to come out for his sexuality. Jim walks into the prestigious lineage of charismatic American CEOs.

  • Florian Graichen (NZ)

Florian, General Manager at Scion, is the first scientist to be nominated for the Person of the Year award. Florian is the most efficient and visible scientist on social-media. Florian understands the science and knows how to communicate. An achievement on itself.

  • Martin Brudem├╝ller (Ge)

Martin, CEO of BASF, has been shining through his absence. Starting his tenure as an hyper kinetic bully, he took a step backwards. His deliberate absence from the public scene should be seen as a wise move.


The nominees are brilliant and skilful people striving to promote bioplastics and / or plastics in the circular economy. They are leaders in real life and on the web.

Most nominees are CEOs and we seem to be missing people from trade associations, federations, private-public partnerships, NGOs, consulting firms and from the government / regulatory side.

What’s the difference between European and American CEOs? Both are bright and skilful, but Americans have a natural “charisma”; a natural “je ne sais quoi“.

However, there’s only one American and 4 European nominees. Americans are a bit absent, but still waters run deep.

We’re missing “visible / popular” leaders from Braskem, NatureWorks, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Clariant, Total-Corbion, Arkema, Danimer Scientific, Eastman, Kaneka, Mitsui etc.

Some companies are still a bit “old school” and haven’t been able to modernise and adapt to the new web communications challenges.

Some CEOs are afraid to defend “plastics” publicly because they believe it’s not politically correct. Well, they should have thought about it before accepting the job.

Some people place “political correctness” above “efficiency / results”. Well, I guess Steve Jobs solve that one:

“In weak companies Politics win, In strong companies Best ideas win” – Steve Jobs

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