STATE OF EUROPE

People Power Change – Navigating the new era

12 October 2017 - 08:30 - 17:45
Eleni Antoniadou, Carl Bildt, Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska, Jacques Bughin, Ciara Clancy, Silvia Console Battilana, Etienne Davignon, Alexander De Croo, Caroline de Gruyter, HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Rachael Farrington, Mary Fitzgerald, Carl Benedikt Frey, Enrico Giovannini, Ulrike Guérot, Karel Janecek, German Jeub, Ylva Johansson, Lie Junius, Angela Kane, André Loesekrug-Pietri, Matti Maasikas, Mario Monti, Helen Mountfield, Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke, Natalie Nougayrède, Jerzy Plewa, Xavier Prats Monné, Kevin Rudd, Stuart Russell, Sima Samar, Nicolas Schmit, Erik Solheim, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Paul Taylor, Laura Thompson, Philippe Van Parijs, António Vicente
Introduction

It’s democracy, but not as we know it. People power is changing the rules of politics, economics, society and global relations.

Moods and attitudes shape political debates: frustration with the established order; a sense of loss of control or of being left behind. Technology amplifies these feelings, underpinning new movements and leaders that shake the old order.

The results can be unsettling: facts dismissed; hard-won rights threatened; deals and threats replacing negotiations and diplomacy.

But opportunities abound too: the chance to bring more people into the democratic process; to shake up sclerotic institutions; to use automation and robotics to change rather than replace jobs, and to relaunch Europe’s economy.

This year’s State of Europe roundtable is focused on how people are rewriting the rules of politics. How does Europe turn an age of uncertainty into an age of opportunity?

Related content:

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Topics

Brexit looms large on the EU's agenda, and with the tide of populism narrowly missing many member states there is a need to update and reform the Brussels institutions and make sure that they work for European citizens.

Programme
08.00 – 09.30

Welcome coffee and registration of participants

08.30 – 09.20

EARLY-BIRD MASTERCLASSES – War and Peace: Learning from conflicts and peace talks

The continuing conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan and Syria have highlighted Europeans' inability to act collectively to shape global events. Against this backdrop, is a European ‘defence union’, capable of speedily projecting force, a realistic prospect?

This set of five parallel masterclasses will look at some of Europe’s biggest foreign policy challenges, seeking to learn both from conflicts and their resolution. It asks, with the help of senior experts, whether and how Europe can assert itself globally and build a safer world.

Welcoming remarks by Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe

Table 1 - Afghanistan
Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights (AIHR) and Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs (2001-2003)

Table 2 - Libya
Mary Fitzgerald, Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist and European Young Leader

Table 3 - South Sudan
Matina Stevis-Gridneff
, Africa Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and European Young Leader

Table 4 - Syria
Angela Kane, Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Table 5 - Ukraine
Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska, Executive Director of the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research

09.30 – 11.15

SCENE-SETTING - Reinventing the European project: New ideas to reboot Europe and address pressing challenges

by Jacques Bughin, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)
 

PLENARY SESSION - Populism and the politics of pan-Europeanism

Populist politicians have eroded support for the EU and prised votes away from Europe’s centre-right and centre-left. These politicians – often working across borders as a ‘Populists International’, with similar themes and approaches – offer simplistic solutions to globalisation’s challenges and reflect dissatisfaction with mainstream parties.

This session will look at how Europe moves past its political and leadership crisis and ask whether populism can be harnessed to create a genuinely different kind of politics at national and European level – one that has popular support, input and trust – and so improve people’s lives. The 2019 European elections will see the children of the 21st century voting for the first time: can we rethink Europe to match the expectations of this new generation?

We will ask innovative thinkers to pitch their ‘wild ideas’ for a more citizen-focused Europe, going beyond the options set out in the Commission’s white paper on the future of Europe.

Welcoming remarks:
Etienne Davignon, President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former European Commission Vice-President

Introductory discussants:
Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994) and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Caroline de Gruyter, Author and European Affairs Correspondent for leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad
Ulrike Guérot, Founder & Director of the European Democracy Lab and Author of “Why Europe must become a republic”
Karel Janecek, Founder & Former Chairman of the Board of RSJ, one of the most successful and largest algorithmic trading companies in the world, Founder of Democracy 2.1 (D21) and European Young Leader

Moderator:
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe

11.15 – 11.45

Coffee break

11.45 – 13.15

PARALLEL SESSIONS – Shaking up Europe, shaking up the world

PARALLEL SESSION I

Democracy in the digital age

The paper ballots still used in most elections around Europe symbolise a refusal to rethink our democracy. Many of our democratic practices are stuck in the era of the first or second industrial revolutions while the world moves into the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Digital technologies are changing politics. They are giving – for good and ill – a platform to those who were often ignored, including activists, citizen journalists and extremists. They are also hastening the fragmentation of the predominantly left-right political spectrum, already weakened by changes in society and the economy.

We will debate the implications of digital for democracy in Europe. Do online platforms such as Debating Europe offer lessons for the development of online democracy, and for reducing the voting age? What can be done to counter the rise of ‘fake news’ and hacking? And can we channel the positive elements of ‘people power’ online but prevent the rise of demagogues?

Introductory discussants:
Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Digital Agenda and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Rachael Farrington, Founder of Voting Counts, a political resource that helps citizens make informed decisions when voting
Matti Maasikas, Estonian Deputy Minister for European Affairs

Moderator:
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe

PARALLEL SESSION II

Global leadership and governance: Harnessing unusual suspects to define a new world order

Brexit, Trump and populist movements around the world are shaking the post-war consensus. Institutions such as the European Union, NATO and the World Trade Organization were built by earlier political generations. They now have less currency and importance for many leaders and the public, as well as for emerging powers like China which is developing new multilateral organisations.

Is this just a sign of the times – a consequence of economic and social difficulties? Or are we seeing a more fundamental shift from openness to protectionism, from diplomacy to deal-making, from multilateralism to bilateralism and even nationalism?

This session looks at whether multilateralism still has a place in the 21st century – and if so, how we reshape, rebuild or even replace the current framework of institutions, making them fit to address such global issues as Artificial Intelligence, robotisation and increasing inequality within and between nations?

Introductory discussants:
Natalie Nougayrède, Columnist, Leader Writer & Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Guardian
Kevin Rudd, President of the Asian Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010)
Erik Solheim,
UN Under Secretary-General & Executive Director of UN Environment

Moderator:
Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe

HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON MIGRATION (by invitation)

Towards the global compacts on migration and refugees

This high-level meeting on the sidelines of State of Europe gathers a select number of leading stakeholders under the chairmanship of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Chairman of the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) Institute. As the international community works to formulate and agree upon two global compacts on migration and refugees, this “brainstorm” will allow for a frank dialogue with the aim of forging a shared and agreed sense of how a multi-stakeholder perspective and approach can make meaningful inroads to this complex, unpredictable issue underscored by both politics and geopolitics.

Moderator:
Giles Merritt, Founder & Chairman of Friends of Europe

 

13.15 – 14.15

Networking lunch

14.15 - 14.30

IDEA SHARING I

Artificial intelligence: Shaping the politics and economics of tomorrow

by Stuart Russell, AI Pioneer and Professor of Computer Science at the University of California

IDEA SHARING II

Bringing back the ‘left behinds’: Is a universal income the way ahead?

by Philippe Van Parijs, Political Philosopher and Political Economist

14.30 – 16.00

PARALLEL SESSIONS – Divide and rule? Addressing the deep rifts that threaten Europe’s future

PARALLEL SESSION III

The future of work: Jobs, education and welfare in the new era

Inequality remains the scourge of our era. The bargaining power of the low- and middle-skilled workers has been severely undermined by automation, overseas competition and weaker trade unions. Zero-hour contracts, the gig economy and other precarious forms of work mean that many people experience constant stress. The 'Future of Work' may well prove to be the greatest challenge yet to the European project: the information age is not only transforming jobs but polarising societies and creating social tensions that encourage populism.

Europe needs to rise to the challenge to create the environment for new types of jobs, and make the most of the opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution, such as AI and automation. Given the link between employment and health, how do we strengthen resilience in a future with fewer jobs? How could education and training structures be adapted to ensure that the benefits of digitalisation are evenly spread? Should we be thinking of ‘skills security’ rather than ‘job security’ (and how do we explain the difference)? Should social security and economic policies be reformed? And what roles should be played by national governments and by the EU through its long-term budget?

Introductory discussants:
Carl Benedikt Frey, Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment
Lie Junius, Director for EU Public Policy and Government Relations at Google

Helen Mountfield, Deputy High Court Judge and Co-Chair of the Future of Work Commission

Moderator:
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe

 

PARALLEL SESSION IV

The changing face of Europe: How migration and local development policies can bridge electoral divides

Europe’s post-industrial service-based economy is throwing longstanding trends and loyalties into question. The support that mainstream political parties relied on from rural or manufacturing regions is shifting to the far-left and right. Populism is also being fuelled by concerns over immigration, even though an ageing Europe badly needs new manpower and a growing number of employers are taking migrants onto their payroll.

What priority should be given to integration of migrants and their children? How do we ensure that local development and infrastructure support designed to give opportunities to migrants doesn’t place excessive pressure on scarce capacity and alienate long-term residents? How do we change the narrative on migration at a time Europe needs new blood to fuel its economies and to contribute taxes to EU countries' social support mechanisms?

Introductory discussants:
HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the WANA Institute, Jordan
Ylva Johansson, Swedish Minister of Employment and Integration
Laura Thompson, Deputy Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Moderator:
Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe

16.00 – 16.15

Coffee break

16.15 – 17.45

TABLE DISCUSSIONS – Funding ambition: How does Europe pay for its political choices?

The future financing of the European Union is a hot topic, with the European Commission’s High-Level Group on Own Resources publishing new budget recommendations. In a post-Brexit environment, the EU budget will be smaller so tough choices will have to be made. Now is the time to decide how we should invest and what financial choices should be made.

As Europe faces up to the big challenges like climate change, demographics, digitisation and security, what should scarce EU funds be spent on and what should be left to member states? More than half of welfare and social spending worldwide is within the EU, but can we afford to continue this?

The session features parallel table discussions with top-level decision-makers on how to balance the needs of Europe. If we were to design the Multiannual Financial Framework to reflect the chief demands of EU citizens, what would it look like? How better could EU spending improve the daily lives of Europe’s citizens?

Introductory remarks:
Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013) and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Table 1 - Developing sustainability for people and the planet

Enrico Giovannini, Professor of Economic Statistics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Co-chair of the UN Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, and Italian Minister of Labour and Social Policies (2013-2014)
Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke, Founder & Managing Director of Women’s Worldwide Web and European Young Leader

Table 2 - Removing barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship

Ciara Clancy, CEO of Beats Medical and European Young Leader
António Vicente, Head of Cabinet to EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas

Table 3 - Making food and agriculture policy work

German Jeub, Director-General at the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Jerzy Plewa, European Commission Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development

Table 4 - Delivering a safe and secure Europe

André Loesekrug-Pietri, Former Special Advisor to the French Minister of Defence and European Young Leader
Paul Taylor, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, Contributing Editor for Politico and Author of “Jumping over its shadow: Germany and the future of European defence”

Table 5 - Moving towards a fair, inclusive and cohesive growth

Silvia Console Battilana, Co-Founder & CEO of Auctionomics and European Young Leader
Nicolas Schmit, Luxembourg Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy

Table 6 - Tackling growing health challenges

Eleni Antoniadou, Co-Founder of Transplants without Donors and European Young Leader
Xavier Prats Monné, European Commission Director-General for Health and Food Safety

Moderator:
Tamsin Rose, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe

Ideas on these topics will feed into a wider discussion in which representatives of each table debate policy choices and political challenges. These will examine how we design a budget that delivers for Europeans, providing effective government and a desirable and sustainable future.

Closing remarks:
Etienne Davignon, President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former European Commission Vice-President

Speakers
Eleni Antoniadou
Co-Founder of Transplants without Donors and European Young Leader
Eleni has been working on artificial organ technology and regenerative medicine in hospitals across the world. After graduating in biomedicine, she participated in the first successful artificial trachea transplant operation on a late-stage cancer patient. She is also the co-founder of the London-based start-up Transplants without Donors, which aims to develop tissue-engineered organs that are transplanted into sick patients. Eleni also trained NASA astronauts in biomedical experimentation for the International Space Station (ISS). 
Carl Bildt
Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994) and Trustee of Friends of Europe
A renowned international diplomat, Carl led the Swedish government that negotiated and signed Sweden’s accession to the EU and modernised its welfare system. He later served as Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs and was one of the initiators of the EU’s Easter Partnership and of EU engagement in the Middle East. Most recently, he chaired the Global Commission on Internet Governance that produced original research and recommendations on topics such as cyber security, internet freedom and the dark web.
Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska
Executive Director of the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research
Iryna is a Ukrainian civic activist and political expert with more than 15 years of research and teaching experience in identity-based conflicts. Originally from Crimea, she was an outspoken critic of Russian annexation and fled the region to avoid arrest, taking refuge in Kiev. She currently runs the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research, a non-governmental organisation, which focuses on training government officials and journalists in diversity management, on misconceptions and on stereotypes.
Jacques Bughin
Director at the McKinsey Global Institute and Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company
With expertise in digital marketing and in digital strategy and value creation, Jacques co-leads McKinsey’s recently launched Digital Economy Initiative. Since joining the firm, he has worked with media, telecom, online services, healthcare, fintech, travel and logistics companies on a variety of issues. He is also the co-author of numerous reports on the Internet of Things, big data and social technologies, including “Digital Europe: Realizing the Continent’s Potential”.
Ciara Clancy
CEO of Beats Medical
Ciara is a chartered physiotherapist and experienced researcher passionately dedicated to improving the management and treatment of people with neurological conditions. At the age of 22, she launched Beats Medical, a medical application available on smartphones, which aims to help people with Parkinson’s disease take control of their condition through technology. Ciara received the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Anne O’Brien Prize for Clinical Excellence and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.
Silvia Console Battilana
Co-Founder & CEO of Auctionomics and European Young Leader
Silvia is an economist and entrepreneur specialising in game theory and interest groups. She has extensive experience as a strategist in auction design. She is the co-founder of Auctionomics, a high-stakes auction consulting and software firm with clients ranging from governments to Fortune 500 companies. Silvia is also the co-founder of xSwan, an interactive version of eBay that allows charities to raise more money via online auctions.
Etienne Davignon
President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former European Commission Vice-President
Etienne is one of the few statesmen in Europe who has been actively involved in EU affairs from the beginning, from his early role as Chief of Staff to Paul-Henri Spaak to today. He has held high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, including as Vice-President of the European Commission, President of the Société Générale de Belgique, first President of the International Energy Agency and through various board mandates.
Alexander De Croo
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Digital Agenda and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Alexander takes significant action to maximise the growth potential of Belgium’s digital economy. Most notably, he initiated the establishment of an advisory board called “Digital Minds for Belgium”, made up of the country’s top ICT experts, and launched an ambitious action plan “Digital Belgium”, aimed at positioning the country as one of Europe’s top three digital member states. This digital revolution includes developing 1,000 new start-ups, creating 50,000 new jobs, and achieving an electronic government by 2020.
Caroline de Gruyter
Author and European Affairs Correspondent for NRC Handelsblad
Caroline is a well-known European affairs correspondent for the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, currently based in Oslo. She is a regular commentator on the rise of populism, the use of the Internet to counter the anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic messages and on what the EU and its member states can do to create a greater sense of unity. An author of several books on Europe, she has been awarded three prestigious Dutch prizes and Prix du Mérite Européen for political reporting of exceptional quality.
HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal
Chairman of the WANA Institute
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal has dedicated his life to promoting intercultural dialogue and regional cooperation. He has initiated, founded and is actively involved in around 20 prominent Jordanian and international committees and institutes, and served as a member of the Informal Advisory Group to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 1981, HRH proposed the establishment of the New International Humanitarian Order, which led to a request by the Secretary-General to found and co-chair the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI).
Rachael Farrington
Founder of Voting Counts
Rachael set up the Voting Counts website in 2014 to provide unbiased information on British political parties to potential young voters. The site aims to serve as a resource for users wishing to compare the policies of different parties, thus allowing young people to feel sufficiently informed to become involved in the democratic process. Through Voting Counts, Rachael has been able to contribute to the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy in the UK Parliament and consultations on the General Certificate of Secondary Education and A-Level reforms with the Department for Education.
Mary Fitzgerald
Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist and European Young Leader
Mary is an analyst and journalist specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya since 2011 and lived there throughout 2014. She has conducted research on Libya for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), the European University Institute (EUI) and IEMED among others, and is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. Mary has worked on a number of award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC, one of which won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award.
Carl Benedikt Frey
Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment
Carl Benedikt's academic research focuses on the transition of industrial nations to digital economies and the challenges for economic growth, labour markets and urban development that ensue. He is also widely engaged in advisory, media and policy activities related to these topics. Carl Benedikt has provided his expertise to governments and international organisations, working with the Digitalisation Commission of the Swedish Government, the Digital Skills Select Committee at the UK House of Lords, the OECD and UN agencies.
Enrico Giovannini
Professor of Economic Statistics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Co-chair of the UN Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, and Italian Minister of Labour and Social Policies (2013-2014)
Enrico currently serves as the director of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development aimed at increasing awareness on the importance of pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals. He has previously acted as Minister of Labour and Social Policies and has chaired the UN Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. He also designed the Global Project on the ‘Measurement of Progress in Society‘, which fostered the development of numerous worldwide initiatives on the issue of moving beyond GDP.
Ulrike Guérot
Founder & Director of the European Democracy Lab and Author of “Why Europe must become a republic”
Ulrike is the founder and director of the European Democracy Lab, a think tank dedicated to the future of European democracy, which emphasises the European common good and the transnationalism of all European policy beyond the nation state. Ulrike is also professor of European policy and the study of democracy at Danube University Krems. She is also a regular commentator and writer on European and transatlantic affairs and author of “Why Europe must become a republic: A political utopia”.
Karel Janecek
Founder & Former Chairman of the Board of RSJ, Founder of Democracy 2.1 (D21) and European Young Leader
Karel is a Czech anti-corruption activist, mathematician and social-reformer, who is using his skills to rethink how democracy functions. Following a series of corruption scandals in 2013 that threatened to bring down the Czech government, Karel engaged in a number of initiatives aimed at improving governmental accountability through citizen action and electoral reform. One of these is Democracy 2.1 (D21), primarily based on the possibility to vote against a candidate. This concept is currently used by the cities of Prague and New York, and was also tested by the UK National Health Service (NHS).
German Jeub
Director-General at the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture
German's long career at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has earned him a reputation as a seasoned expert in the areas of consumer protection, food, and sustainable agriculture. German is currently in charge of dealing with EU policy, fisheries and international cooperation. In this capacity, he oversees the German fisheries sector, covering both the North and Baltic seas, and capacity building efforts in the respective partner countries aimed at simplifying international cooperation in the agri-food sector.
Ylva Johansson
Swedish Minister of Employment and Integration
With Sweden receiving significant numbers of applications for asylum every year, Ylva tries to find solutions to huge challenges ahead, especially when it comes to housing, educational services and creating more opportunities for newly arrived immigrants to find work. She brings to the position excellent leadership skills gained while serving as a Deputy Chair of the Committees on the Labour Market and on Health and Welfare in the Swedish Riksdag as well as a Minister of Health and Elderly Care.
Lie Junius
Director for EU Public Policy and Government Relations at Google
Lie joined Google in November 2015 when she was appointed the new director of public policy and government relations in Brussels. She has more than twenty years of European and international public affairs experience. Before Google, Lie led government affairs in EMEA for Goodyear Dunlop from 2008 and also managed corporate communications. Previously, she was senior vice-president of government relations for ABN Amro Bank and worked in the government affairs team of General Motors Europe.
Angela Kane
Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)
Angela is a world-renowned expert on disarmament, negotiations, peace operations and political relations. She served as the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs where she took a leading role in delivering the UN’s multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation agendas. In this position, Angela was responsible for conducting, negotiating and planning the ground-breaking investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria in 2013, which resulted in Syria joining the Chemical Weapons Convention and dismantling its chemical weapons stock.
André Loesekrug-Pietri
Former Special Advisor to the French Minister of Defence and European Young Leader
André  was appointed special advisor to the Minister of Defense in the first government of President Macron, responsible for European defence policy as well as disruptive innovation and technology. Previously, he was chairman of A Capital, investing in fast-growing European companies with strong global potential, particularly in China and Europe. André  started his career at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants before going on to lead several investment funds in Asia and Europe.
Matti Maasikas
Estonian Deputy Minister for European Affairs
Matti has been heavily involved in effectively implementing the aims of the Estonian Presidency of the EU, the priorities of which include encouraging technological progress, from ensuring the availability and quality of electronic communications to developing cross-border e-commerce as well as digital public services. In addition, Matti works on implementing the Estonian Presidency’s initiatives in the field of migration, security and the EU neighbourhood policy, including fulfilling the objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
Mario Monti
Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013) and Trustee of Friends of Europe
A distinguished economist, Mario has cemented his reputation as a committed supporter of the single currency and a talented negotiator leading a government of technocrats in the wake of the Italian debt crisis in late 2011. Most recently, Mario chaired the High Level Group on Own Resources, a consultative committee of the European Union, aimed at proposing new forms of revenue for the European Union’s budget, which resulted in the final report “Future Financing of the EU” arguing for new tax sources.
Helen Mountfield
Deputy High Court Judge and Co-Chair of the Future of Work Commission
A versatile practitioner with a wide-ranging and successful legal career, Helen currently serves as barrister and mediator at Matrix Chambers. With a breadth of knowledge on equality and human rights, she has sat on the panel of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and served as a member of the Council of Justice. One of her current roles includes co-chairing the Future of Work Commission aimed at understanding the implications of new technology on work and make recommendations on the most pressing challenges and opportunities of the future.
Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke
Founder & President, Women's Worldwide Web (W4)
Lindsey is Founder and CEO of a web-based philanthropy platform, Women’s Worldwide Web, dedicated to connecting and empowering girls and women around the world through education, microfinance, mentoring and networking. She also works for Enfants d’Asie, a humanitarian NGO that provides care for over 10,000 children in South-East Asia. In 2009 she won the Independent MBA Student of the Year Award that recognises exceptional MBA students with a talent for leadership.
Natalie Nougayrède
Columnist, Leader Writer & Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Guardian
Prior to assuming her current position, well-known foreign affairs commentator Natalie served as managing editor and executive director of the flagship French newspaper Le Monde. She has become a prominent voice in the French media through her coverage of Russian politics, ranging from the USSR dissolution and civil wars in Chechnya to Putin’s Russia, for which she has received two major French journalism awards. Natalie is also a regular commentator on the impact of Brexit and Trump’s policies on the EU.
Jerzy Plewa
European Commission Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
Jerzy leads the Commission directorate responsible for the EU policy area of agriculture and rural development. He works specifically on managing and developing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), reinforcing rural development policy as its second pillar, and safeguarding the European model of agriculture. Prior to that, Jerzy held a series of posts in the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Bank of Poland, and several universities. He was also chief negotiator of agricultural affairs in the team negotiating Poland’s accession to the European Union.
Xavier Prats Monné
European Commission Director-General for Health and Food Security
Xavier is responsible for EU policies and programmes in the field of health and food safety. With a goal of providing all EU citizens with equal access to quality healthcare while responding to their specific needs, Xavier has supported the adoption of efficiency-boosting measures such as establishing 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) for rare diseases. Before his current assignment, Xavier spent more than a decade in employment and education policy circles and served as European Commission Director-General for Education and Culture.
Kevin Rudd
President of the Asian Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010, 2013)
As former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin is internationally recognised as one of the founders of the G20. In 2015, he joined the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), an organisation dedicated to assist businesses and governments in resolving policy challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. In his recent report entitled “UN 2030: Rebuilding order in a fragmenting world”, Kevin provides his personal views, based on his background as Prime Minister, on the world situation and suggests how the UN can adapt to cope with the rapid pace of change.
Stuart Russell
AI Pioneer and Professor of Computer Science at the University of California
Stuart is an award-winning computer scientist known for his contributions to artificial intelligence (AI). He has published over 150 papers and authored numerous books on a wide range of topics related to AI. Stuart's co-authored book “Artificial Intelligence: A modern approach” has been translated into 13 languages and is used in more than 1,300 universities in 118 countries. Stuart also works for the UN, developing a new global seismic monitoring system for the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
Sima Samar
Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights (AIHR) and Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs (2001-2003)
Sima's work on democracy and human rights has earned her international recognition and numerous prizes. She began her career as a medical doctor in Afghanistan before fleeing to Pakistan following the Russian invasion. There she treated refugee women and established the Shuhada Organization, which provides healthcare and education to girls and women. Returning to Afghanistan in 2002, Sima served as Minister of Women’s Affairs in the country’s interim administration, winning multiple rights for women in the realms of education and employment.
Nicolas Schmit
Luxembourg Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy
Nicolas addresses the need to bridge the gap between the country’s digital transformation, particularly in the financial sector, and the skills which are currently available. Nicolas is an experienced diplomat with an extensive knowledge of European affairs, having previously served as Luxembourg’s Permanent Representative to the EU and Minister Delegate of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, among other top assignments.
Erik Solheim
UN Under Secretary-General & Executive Director of UN Environment
Erik has cemented his reputation as an international peacemaker and environmental advocate having served as Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development as well as holding key positions in numerous international organisations. During his ministerial tenure, he played a key-role in the Sri Lankan peace process and initiated the process leading to the global coalition to conserve and promote sustainable use of the world’s rainforests. Erik has been named Champion of the Earth by UNEP and Hero of the Environment by TIME Magazine.
Matina Stevis-Gridneff
Africa Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, North-American Delegate
Based in Nairobi, Matina covers conflict, economics and security across Africa for the Wall Street Journal. She has extensively reported on and from South Sudan and has been distinguished for her coverage of the civil war rocking the world’s youngest nation. Before joining the WSJ, she wrote for the Economist, where she won the 2010 Marjorie Deane financial journalism award. Matina is particularly interested in migration-related issues in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In 2015, she was one of the few foreign journalists reporting from Eritrea as part of an exclusive investigation into Eritrean refugees.
Paul Taylor
Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, Contributing Editor for Politico and Author of “Jumping over its shadow: Germany and the future of European defence”
Paul writes the ‘Europe at Large’ column for Politico and is a freelance writer and broadcaster based in Paris. He was previously European affairs editor at Reuters and served as a foreign correspondent for 39 years in Europe and the Middle East. His assignments have included covering the Iranian revolution, the Cold War Euromissile crisis, the 1991 Gulf War, German reunification, the Maastricht summit, France in the 1990s, EU enlargement, the Eurozone crisis and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. He is also the author of the report "Crunch time: France and the future of European defence".
Laura Thompson
Deputy Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Laura has more than 20 years of experience in diplomacy, humanitarian affairs and multilateral negotiation. She has provided leadership across the fields of human rights, migration, refugees and the environment. In her current role, Laura has led the implementation of a worldwide structural reform to consolidate the IOM’s growth and expansion. Prior to joining IOM, Laura was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations.
Philippe Van Parijs
Political Philosopher and Political Economist
Philippe is a leading Belgian philosopher and one of the world’s most outspoken advocates of the universal basic income concept. He is also a co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network, which links academics and activists interested in the idea of a universal basic income. In addition, Philippe sits on the editorial boards of various international journals, has held numerous professor positions in prestigious universities across the world, and has (co-)authored a dozen books, including “Basic income: A radical proposal for a free society and a sane economy”.
António Vicente
Head of Cabinet to EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas
António is in charge of policy coordination and strategy within the cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. Prior to that, he served as Chief of Staff of the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Portugal, monitoring the Portuguese adjustment programme and serving as the dedicated interface with the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. António has also been a regular contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit, writing monthly reports on Portugal’s political and economic situation from 2006 to 2011.
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