The Power Panel: Global Lessons on Building Sustainable Cities

We are pleased to present The Power Panel: Global Lessons on Building Sustainable Cities - Committee for Perth's Future Ready Forum on Thursday, 2 November 2023.

This event will bring together Lord Mayors and key city developers from the World Energy Cities Partnership to share their experiences in managing the energy transition.

Perth has won the right to host the annual meeting of the World Energy Cities Partnership, home to the world’s biggest energy companies and focused on building a sustainable future.

Our lunch-time panel discussion will showcase how leaders from different corners of the globe are tackling the challenge of future proofing their cities.

Committee for Perth provides an independent platform to hear the good, the bad and the honest insights on what works and the lessons to be learnt.


  • Jesper Frost Rasmussen, Mayor of Esbjerg, Denmark
    Esbjerg is playing a leading role in Denmark’s energy transition via offshore wind and green hydrogen projects. Mayor Rasmussen is the President of the World Energy Cities Partnership.
  • Basil Zempilas, Lord Mayor of Perth, Western Australia
    Lord Mayor Zempilas is the 18th Lord Mayor of Perth and was recently elected for a second term. He has an ongoing broadcasting career in television and radio and as a newspaper columnist with The West Australian.
  • Sissel Knutsen Hegdal, Mayor of Stavanger, Norway
    Stavanger is one of 113 European cities aiming to become climate neutral by 2030. Mayor Sissel Knutsen Hegdal is committed to developing and transforming the oil and gas industry into a sustainable energy industry.
  • Kadri Nassiep, Executive Director of Energy, Cape Town, South Africa
    Nassiep has close to 30 years' experience in South Africa's energy sector and currently leads over 2,600 staff at the energy utility. Nassiep and his team are developing the strategy and implementation plans that will guide the utility in its transition to a future-fit energy business.
  • Andy Icken, Chief Development Officer, Houston, USA
    Andy Icken is Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Chief Development Officer, with oversight of the city’s economic development. This involves ensuring Houston, as the energy capital of the world, is a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future.

Our Future Ready Forums explore tomorrow's opportunities. Featuring future-focused leaders, this event will give you the platform to make connections, share insights and discuss important issues.

As Perth and WA continue on a journey of decarbonisation and diversification, this conversation will provide ideas and inspiration to plan for our city in an energy-constrained world.

This event will sell out - purchase tickets now to secure your seat!

Meet our speakers and panellists

Jesper Frost Rasmussen Image
Jesper Frost Rasmussen

Mayor of Esbjerg, Denmark

Jesper Frost Rasmussen is mayor of Esbjerg Municipality since 2018. Since 2022, he is also the president of the World Energy Cities Partnership, WECP, connecting leading energy cities on all continents to foster sustainable energy production for the benefit of global communities.

Jesper Frost Rasmussen is a trained engineer and in his business career, before becoming a mayor, he held positions with, among others, Danfoss, LEGO, Esbjerg Forsyning A/S and most recently as CEO of DIN Forsyning A/S.

Basil Zempilas Image
Basil Zempilas

Lord Mayor of Perth

Basil Zempilas was elected Lord Mayor of the City of Perth in October 2020.

He became the 18th Lord Mayor, joining Local Government after a successful and ongoing broadcasting career in television and radio.

Basil is also a regular columnist in The West Australian which is Australia's second oldest newspaper.

As the Lord Mayor, Basil works with his Council to provide direction to the City of Perth. He is committed to connecting International and National Corporations with the community to achieve the liveable, sustainable and prosperous pillars of the City's strategic vision.

Basil is the chair of the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief fund which under his stewardship, has raised almost $35 million in a 2-year period for communities impacted by natural disasters.

Since 2010 Basil has been host of Telethon, the world renowned 26-hour live television charity fundraiser. Since its inception, Telethon has raised more than $500 million (AUD) for sick children and medical research and in 2022 raised a record $71.4 million dollars (AUD).

Basil was the chair of the Australian Council of Capital City Lord Mayors until January 2023. Basil is on the City of Perth Committee, the WALGA State Council and the Capital City Planning Committee.

Basil was educated in Western Australia at the prestigious Hale School and gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Graduate Diploma of Journalism from Murdoch University.

Sissel Knutsen Hegdal Image
Sissel Knutsen Hegdal

Mayor of Stavanger, Norway

Sissel Knutsen Hegdal is a politician from the Conservative Party in Norway. She graduated as a lawyer from the University of Tromsø in 1991. She then moved to Stavanger, practicing law and became engaged in a broad area of politics. She has been in the politics for more than 20 years, working across a number of sectors.

Sissel has a deep passion for people, connecting people to work in a collaborative way for the region and the local environment. Her initiative in the climate challenges has turned Stavanger into one of 113 cities in Europe aiming to become climate neutral in 2030. She is committed to further develop and transform the oil and gas industry into a sustainable energy industry.

Kadri Nassiep Image
Kadri Nassiep

Executive Director of Energy - Cape Town, South Africa

Kadri Nassiep is the Executive Director of Energy at the City of Cape Town. In 2006, he was appointed as CEO of the newly established South African National Energy Research Institute, under the Central Energy Fund. This institute then became the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), after promulgation of the Energy Act in 2008. He held the position of CEO for 11 years, during which time he led a team of highly skilled scientists and engineers, responsible for the creation of key programmes and projects in the energy sector. In 2017 he was appointed to his current position, in which he heads up the electricity utility with over 2,600 staff, as well as a highly skilled team of professionals in the Sustainable Energy Markets Department.

This team is largely responsible for developing the strategy and implementation plans that will guide the utility in its transition to a future-fit energy business.

Andy Icken Image
Andy Icken

Chief Development Officer - Houston, USA

Andy Icken currently serves as Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Chief Development Officer. He has oversight of the Houston Airport System, Convention & Entertainment Facilities, Planning Department, Office of Business Opportunities, Housing and Community Development Department, Emergency Medical Services, Economic Development, International Affairs and Homeless Initiatives.

Prior to his appointment to Chief Development Officer, he served as Deputy Director of Public Works & Engineering; 6 years as Executive Vice President of the Texas Medical Center and 30 years with ExxonMobil.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.