What do a microbiologist, an entrepreneur, a journalist and a Member of Parliament have in common?
They are all European Young Leaders who are engaged in making Europe a global champion for a better world.
The European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme, organised by Friends of Europe, is a unique, inventive and multi-stakeholder programme that aims to promote a European identity by engaging the continent’s most promising talents and initiatives.
The European Young Leaders represent promising European leadership from all over the continent, with a wide variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.
Every year, they meet for two three-day seminars in symbolic European cities, joined by decision-makers, stakeholders and key European actors to discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete proposals and recommendations to tackle the challenges facing Europe and its citizens.
The European Young Leaders now represent a network of more than 180 alumni.
The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.
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 was until recently the international director of Digimarc, which develops solutions, licenses intellectual property, and provides development services to global business partners across a wide range of industries, focusing on delivering simplicity to users’ interactions with media and the physical world. Previously, he was founder and CEO of aquaMobile SL, a mobile value-added services provider based in Madrid, and one of the most successful digital watermarking solutions companies. 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.
As one of the most charismatic conductors of his generation, Dionysis made his debut at the age of twenty-one with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Since then, he has been awarded with several honours and was the first Greek to receive a Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. By the age of twenty, Dionysis had won European Young Musician of the Year Prize and had been featured on a Greek postage stamp. This young virtuoso has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Barbican Centre in London and has worked with orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, among others.
Prior to founding Project Alloy, Jakob was the CEO and Co-Founder of Tinyclues SAS, a Paris-based software startup with the objective of industrialising datamining on Big Data with the help of avanced machine learning algorithms in a Cloud Computing environment. Previously he was a partner and consultant at McKinsey & Company in Germany and France where he worked on topics ranging from Banking to Public Sector Reform to Global Public Health issues, notably the creation and distribution of child HIV treatments. Prior to McKinsey he briefly worked at the World Bank. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science from the University of St. Gallen. Jakob is also a founding partner of the “Cercle du Leadership".
The selection process for the Class of 2018 is closed and we are now in the process of announcing those who have been selected.
To find out more about the first 20 candidates to be announced as part of the Class of 2018, please click here.
Keep an eye on our website and social media for all updates regarding the programme and news from our Young Leaders!
The next selection process for candidates will open in early 2018.