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Katayoon Eghtedar

Christian Schmitz

Managing Director

Christian Schmitz is a seasoned professional with expertise in sustainability, climate technology,

Sustaianble agriculture, specializing in sustainable production of rice crops, and more

importantly entrepenurship.

He began his career at Bayer and BASF, eventually becoming a renowned expert in rice crops.

Holding a variety of global and local management positions, he contributed significantly to high-

level development projects that led him to visit nearly every rice-producing country worldwide.

His extensive travels took him to local farmer communities and research facilities, both in

developing and developed nations, to implement sustainable rice production adaption practices-

providing him with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of rice production.

In 2009, he founded Aventa, a consulting firm for international and Japanese corporations, and

ventured into startup investments. He represents the World Innovations Forum/Society in

Japan, fostering global sustainable innovation ecosystems.

Christian is also involved in blockchain technology as the CMO and Head of Asia at Rice

Exchange, which aims to enhance transparency in the global rice market.

Through his role at GSS THINk, his mission is to find holistic solutions to tackle some of the

world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. He believes that the way forward to a greener

world converges on leveraging the skills, research and innovation from some of the leading

thinkers and entrepreneurs in sustainability.

For Christian , the ultimate focal pointt should be “people, planet and prosperity.”

He launched the PDIE Group in 2019 to give purpose to new communities and a new way of

belonging.” This community comprises like-minded corporations and startups, researchers, and

investors who want to help develop innovations focused on a more sustainable future.

In 2019 Christian starrted climate launch pad in Japan, part of the world’s largest green

business competition, which helps entrepreneurs build businesses that help fight climate


Along with this, PDIE recently became the Japanese nominator for the Earthshot Prize,

launched by the U.K.’s Prince William and the environmentalist Richard Attenborough with the

purpose of rewarding individuals for their work in Climate change.

Since March 2022, he is the senior adviser to the Future Food Institute , using his experience to

contribute to its holistic approach to planetary health.

Christian is born and raised in Cologne, Germany. His education is in Regional studies with a

focus on East Asia and the Japanese language at Duisburg-Essen University.

He is multi-lingual in German, English, and Japanese.

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