Dr. Laurent Bontoux holds a food technology engineering degree from ENSIA (Paris), and a PhD in environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (USA).
Laurent started his professional career at Procter & Gamble in Brussels performing environmental risk assessments for chemicals and working on the European ecolabel on behalf of industry. After joining the European Commission, he mostly worked at the science – policy interface. At DG Joint Research Centre he worked on issues such as environmental technologies foresight, environment & health and life-cycle assessment. At DG Health and Consumers he managed the independent Scientific Committee for Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). That led him to get involved especially with how to use science to inform policy, how to engage with stakeholders and how to communicate science to a lay public in topics as diverse and complex as nanotechnologies, antimicrobial resistance and the health effects of electromagnetic fields. He also worked at DG Research and Innovation in the Environment & Health area (endocrine disrupters, electromagnetic fields, air quality and health, etc.).
For the last three years, using participative processes, Laurent has been running a foresight study to explore several ways of how the EU could evolve towards a sustainable economy. He is now trying new approaches, especially serious gaming, to make the systemic reflection developed in the foresight study useful to help people imagine realistic sustainable futures and get a feeling for the systemic challenges that this entails. His latest endeavors are participative exercises aimed at helping EU industry bring manufacturing back to Europe and at developing a long-term EU vision for the "sharing" economy.