Mariya is a Bulgarian politician and a member of the GERB party, currently serving as the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. Previously, Mariya was also a Member of the European Parliament, active as both the Head of the Bulgarian European People’s Party (EPP) delegation and Vice-President of the EPP party, and involved in a wide range of parliamentary committees, including acting as EPP Group coordinator for the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality( FEMM), and as a Member of the Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI); Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE); Petitions (PETI); and the special committee on organised crime, corruption and money laundering (CRIM). Recipient of several international awards, she is passionate about initiatives related to young people, and has established six European information centres in Bulgaria.
Sara is an engineer at S.A. de Electronica Submarina (SAES), a company specialised in submarine electronics and acoustics. Prior to this, she was a Member of the Murcian regional Parliament where she served as First Secretary of the Defense Committee as well as a Member of the Science and Innovation and Equality Committees. She has been a Member of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party since she was 16. She studied communications engineering and has worked in the defence policy sector. She stands for male-female parity in Spain’s politics and for the presence of members of parliament of all ages.
Josep-Maria has over 20 years of international experience, having held senior positions in finance leadership, global strategy as well as legal and tax advice. Before his current role, Josep-Maria was Head of Finance Excellence at the chemical giant Solvay. Previously, he was one of Solvay’s leading tax lawyers, serving as Associate General of Tax at the Belgium-based global headquarters and Director of Tax for Spain and Portugal. Josep-Maria received a ‘40 under 40’ award, which acknowledges the best forty young lawyers from Spain and Portugal and was appointed as ‘Business Ambassador’ by the Government of Catalonia, recognising his role in attracting investment to the region.
Passionate about youth empowerment, urban affairs and youth participation, Katerina is President and Founder of the European Cyprus Society, an NGO which encourages young Cypriots to engage with issues that concern them, such as education, European and international relations, and national politics. Her contribution to youth empowerment in Cyprus and worldwide has earned her various titles and awards, including the Queen’s Young Leaders Award, Representative of European youth to the advisory body of the UN Habitat and UN Youth Envoy Nominee.
Mamoun is a Moroccan adviser and activist on sustainable development who founded in 2015 MakeSense, a sustainable development consultancy firm and has over six years of professional experience in environmental strategy consultancy and management. Mamoun gained media attention after launching Zero Zbel Xperience, an environmental association which seeks to educate Moroccan youth on environmental protection, sustainable consumption and recycling through the adoption of a ‘zero-waste’ lifestyle. In recognition of his efforts and expertise, he was part of the Moroccan delegation to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. He has often featured in the Moroccan press for his environmental activism and has also given a TED talk on the Zero Zbel Experience.
Edvard is a Chartered Scientist specialising in understanding environmental and social impacts of development projects around the world. His most recent work has focused on mitigating negative impacts to align mining projects in Kazakhstan with international standards. Edvard is also affiliated with the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute, where he lectures on sustainability issues and corporate social responsibility. He has previously held a number of roles at the interface of science and society, having worked at the European Geosciences Union and the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. He holds MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Oxford and undergraduate degrees from the University of St Andrews and McGill University.
Jamy supports young entrepreneurs as a member of the European Leadership Platform’s advisory board, and as the Country Director of Ashoka, the worldwide network of social entrepreneurs. She is also a board member of the Child at Venture Foundation, which she founded in 2005, and where she acted as Executive Director for over seven years. In 2010, she established an office in the Philippines, where she remains chairperson of the Youth at Venture Foundation. She is also a board member of the Children of Bulgaria Foundation, which supports Bulgarian orphanages through food and educational programmes. She has a Master’s degree in Geography and another in Pedagogical Studies as well as a Bachelor’s in Policy, Strategy and Management for Non-Profit.
Javier is Founder and CEO of aquaMobile SL, a mobile value-added services provider based in Madrid. AquaMobile SL is one of the most successful digital watermarking solutions companies; its products are recognised throughout the field and used in all kinds of media. Aquamobile SL won several prestigious awards, such as the Top Global 100 RedHerring winner and the NETI Award. He has also worked in management roles for various start-ups, such as Alvento and Mobile 365 Inc. He is Co-founder of the tMA Foundation, which encourages innovative and entrepreneurial projects in conjunction with MIT. Javier is a graduate from the Madrid Polytechnic University and ESCP Europe.
Matthew, a political scientist by training, has tried to bridge the gap between academia and policy-making when it comes to topics such as radicalisation, extremism and integration. He is an outward-facing researcher who shares the view that social science should be as much about contributing to wider society as to the social sciences. Before his appointment as Professor of Politics and International Relations in Kent, he served as a member of the UK government's working group on anti-Muslim hatred and spent twelve months on a full-time secondment in a central government department, working alongside policy makers on extremism and integration issues. Matthew also serves as co-editor of the Routledge book series on Extremism and Democracy and regularly contributes to news outlets such as The Guardian and Politico.
Alina is a Romanian lawyer and politician who is actively engaged in the local life of the city of Bucharest. In addition to being a lawyer and mediator in criminal investigations she is also former a Member of the Chamber of Deputies in the Romanian Parliament where she acts as Secretary for the Legal, Disciplinary and Immunities Committee. She studied Law, Administration and Political Science at well-known Romanian universities, and she is currently a PhD candidate in Criminal Law. Alina graduated from Harvard University’s Public Leaders in Southeast Europe programme.