Making sense of transitions in an age of crises: A new social contract for a new era

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Making sense of transitions in an age of crises: A new social contract for a new era

About

Friends of Europe is proud to announce the 19th iteration of its annual festival of politics and ideas State of Europe high-level roundtable event: Making sense of transitions in an age of crises: A new social contract for a new era, taking place on Thursday, 27 October, in Brussels.

After two years of COVID-19 pandemic, Friends of Europe will welcome 200+ influential figures from more than 40 countries all in person to get back to good habits and facilitate the exchange of ideas and brainstorming that is required to identify out-of-the-box approaches to current and rising challenges. The State of Europe is a fixture and highlight on the European calendar and the reason is simple: it is a place where top leaders from the worlds of politics, business, and civil society from Europe and beyond, connect and offer thought leadership to influence change and the direction of Europe.

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying wave of economic and climate crises, have fundamentally upended life as we once knew it. And just as we seemed to be nearing an inflection point in the management of the health crisis, the war in Ukraine and a host of global ramifications added fuel to an already raging fire. The war in Ukraine is testing Europe’s determination, speed and unity. While the West and many countries across the world reacted in unison to the war, there is no doubt this event will reshape the European security architecture and impact Europe’s digital, energy and green transitions.

The 2022 edition of this festival of politics and ideas is built around the idea of re-engineering a social contract to support individuals as they make their way through an age of transitions and crises. Throughout the deliberations, discussants will answer the question of what the different roles of the state, private sector, institutions and civil society should be in these areas.

Interested in finding out what happened at the State of Europe festival of politics and ideas last year? Check out the event recap below or click here

Friends of Europe is back to welcoming all discussants in person.

This is an invitation only event.
No invitation? Do not worry, the event will be livestreamed.

 


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Schedule

Schedule

Welcome coffee and registration of discussants
EARLY BIRD BRIEFINGS — EUROPE 360°
PLENARY - SCENE SETTING — Personal stories of change, transition and livelihoods.
PLENARY - OPENING SESSION — A shift in thinking: in changing times, who should be responsible for building a better society?
Coffee break
PARALLEL SESSION I — Idea sharing
PARALLEL SESSION I — Redefining the toolkit of modern warfare
PARALLEL SESSION II — Idea sharing
PARALLEL SESSION II — Globalisation and supply chains
Lunch break
PARALLEL SESSION III — Idea Sharing
PARALLEL SESSION III — Rewiring or revolutionising health systems
PARALLEL SESSION IV — Idea Sharing
PARALLEL SESSION IV — No one left behind: enhancing affordable connectivity for all
Coffee break
CLOSING SESSION & TABLE CONVERSATIONS — Redefining an inclusive and sustainable model of economic growth
End of the State of Europe: the festival of politics and ideas
Discussants

Discussants

Sacha Alanoca
Sacha Alanoca

Senior AI Policy Researcher & Head of Community Development at The Future Society

Show more information on Sacha Alanoca

Sacha Alanoca manages projects and research centred on the governance, policy and ethics of AI systems. Her research topics range from national AI national strategies, AI for development, algorithmic bias and existential risks, to international initiatives for trustworthy AI adoption including AI ethical guidelines with a focus on privacy and algorithmic fairness, the use of independent audits for AI systems, and civic empowerment platforms such as the AI Civic Forum. Her past work also focused on the impact of social and ecological trends in Latin America and the responsible use of AI in pandemic response. Previously, Alanoca worked at the OECD Development Center in Paris.

Brando Benifei
Brando Benifei

Member of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and Co-Chair of the MEP Heart Group

Show more information on Brando Benifei

Brando Benifei is a Member of the European Parliament and Head of the Italian S&D MEP Delegation. Benifei is also the Co-Chair of the MEP Heart Group, where he works to raise cardiovascular diseases as a priority on the EU political agenda. A member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), he is rapporteur for the Single Market Programme and shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus. Benifei received the MEP Award for his work on employment, social affairs, and youth unemployment. Forbes included him in their 30 Under 30 Europe Policy Class of 2016.

Franziska Katharina Brantner
Franziska Brantner

German Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, former member of the European Parliament, Trustee of Friends of Europe and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Franziska Brantner

Franziska is a German politician, who currently serves as Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. She is also the ministry’s Special Coordinator for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Prior to this, Franziska was a member of the Bundestag, and a member the European Parliament, where her work focused on foreign affairs, conflict resolution and rapid crisis response. She also conducted negotiations on the reform of the European External Action Service. Before entering politics, Franziska worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Photo of Cristian-Silviu Bușoi
Cristian-Silviu Bușoi

Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)

Show more information on Cristian-Silviu Bușoi

Cristian-Silviu Buşoi is a Romanian diplomat and politician, who has served as a Member of the European Parliament for nearly 15 years and currently chairs the ITRE Committee. He is a former member of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, in which capacity he was the rapporteur on the reform of the European Single Market. Buşoi briefly served as the president of the Romanian National Health Insurance Agency. He is also a former member of the Romanian parliament, where he sat on the Committee for Health and Family.

Photo of Malcolm Byrne
Malcolm Byrne

Irish Senator for the Cultural and Educational Panel and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Malcolm Byrne

Malcolm is an Irish politician for the centrist Fianna Fáil party and currently serves as a Senator for the Cultural and Educational Panel of the Irish Parliament. Malcolm formerly served as a member of the lower house for the Wexford constituency from 2019 to 2020, prior to which he was a member of Wexford Country County Council from 2009 to 2019 and Mayor of Gorey. Additionally, Malcolm was the Head of Communications and Public Affairs with the Higher Education Authority, the statutory agency in Ireland that allocates public funding to higher education and advises government on higher education and research policy. Having worked for various lobbying and representative organisations throughout his career, Malcolm was also the first commercial manager with myhome.ie, Ireland’s most successful property website. Outside of his professional career, Malcolm has completed over 30 marathons.

Nadia Calviño
Nadia Calviño

First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Minister for Economy and Digitalization

Show more information on Nadia Calviño

Nadia Calviño is a Spanish civil servant and economist with extensive experience in the public sector. Under her leadership as the Spanish Minister of Economy, Spain will see an increase in the minimum wage in October 2021. A well-known face in Brussels, Calviño is the former director-general for budget and covered varied portfolios in different European Commission directorates-general, spanning from competition and the internal market, entrepreneurship and SMEs, to financial services and the capital markets unions. An economist by training, she also sits on the boards of governors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Armin Cerkez
Armin Cerkez

Founder & CEO of Youth Power and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Armin Cerkez

Armin founded Youth Power, an influential Bosnian NGO which pushes for non-violence, human rights and tolerance in the country. The inspirational work he did on Program Y led to the inclusion of gender-based violence prevention in school curricula. Coming from a region that has historically suffered from religious violence, Armin has championed the need for more inter-faith dialogue. He has also brought his message directly to citizens, providing lessons to prevent alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and violence in schools.

Photo of Daniel Dăianu
Daniel Dăianu

President of the Romanian Fiscal Council, former member of the European Parliament, former Romanian finance minister and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Daniel Dăianu

Daniel Daianu has held various positions in the political and economic sphere and has authored several books on European and economic issues. A Romanian politician, author, professor of economics, he currently serves as Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania. Formerly a Finance Minister of Romania, Daianu was the Chief Economist of the National Bank of Romania and later became Member of the European Parliament.

desutter
Petra De Sutter

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, Public Enterprises, Telecommunication and the Postal Services, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Petra De Sutter
Mikołaj Dowgielewicz
Mikołaj Dowgielewicz

Deputy Secretary-General of the European Investment Bank (EIB), former Polish secretary of state for European affairs and economic policy, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Mikołaj Dowgielewicz
Isabelle Durant
Isabelle Durant

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Isabelle Durant

With a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics, Isabelle Durant has held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy, and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament and President of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport. With a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector, her time as European Parliament Vice-President included responsibility for relations with civil society. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

Markus Freiburg
Markus Freiburg

Founder & CEO of Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Markus Freiburg

Markus is the Founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE), a leading financial intermediary that helps social enterprises scale their social impact by helping them raise hybrid growth capital. FASE has built an open pipeline of investment-ready social enterprises and closed sixteen transactions leveraging around €6m in impact investments. Markus is also a member of the Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES), a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business that examines the progress of measures foreseen by the European Commission. He has experience of working with many social enterprises in finding appropriate financing solutions and scaling-up the impact of proven business models. Markus worked for seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where one of his roles was providing pro-bono consulting for social entrepreneurs.

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Mariya Gabriel

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Mariya Gabriel

Having previously served as the commissioner for digital economy and society, Mariya currently serves as the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Digital Economy and Society. Mariya is a former member of the European Parliament, in which role she was active as both the head of the Bulgarian European People’s Party (EPP) delegation and vice-president of the EPP party. She was also involved in a wide range of parliamentary committees, having served as the 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). The recipient of several international awards, she is passionate about initiatives related to young people and has established six European information centres in Bulgaria.

Photo of Mina Gaga
Mina Gaga

Greek Alternate Minister of Health

Show more information on Mina Gaga

In addition to her role at the Greek Ministry of Health, Mina Gaga is an advisor to the WHO and serves on the European Diploma Examination Committee HERMES. She is the Director of the 7th Respiratory Medicine Department and Asthma Centre at Athens Chest Hospital Sotiria, the largest lung cancer centre in Greece. A clinician by trade, Gaga also undertakes clinical research with a focus on lung cancer and asthma. Having served as president of the Central Health Council of Greece, she has also held several roles at the European Respiratory Society School and the European Board of Accreditation in Pneumology, contributing to the development of international guidelines and requirements for asthma and lung cancer care.

Sylvie Goulard
Sylvie Goulard

Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of France, Author of “Goodbye Europe” and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Sylvie Goulard

During the pandemic, Sylvie Goulard was appointed by the World Health Organization to serve as a member of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development in order to ensure that health tops the political agenda. Goulard is the former French minister of the Armed Forces, the second woman ever to hold the head position and has previously served as member of the European Parliament, where she addressed issues related to fighting poverty and advocating for gender equality in European institutions. Goulard began her career as a diplomat in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France.

Photo of Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica

Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trustee of Friends of Europe and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica

Zanda is a Latvian politician and serves as the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. Her role is to ensure cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Latvian Parliament and the European Parliament. She also represents the Latvian government at the EU Foreign Affairs Council meetings of development and trade ministers. Zanda also currently chairs the Consultative Board for Development Cooperation Policy of Latvia and sits on the board of European Movement – Latvia, a non-profit organisation. She previously served as a member of the Latvian parliament and chaired the Committee on European Affairs Committee and the Innovation and Research Subcommittee during her mandate. Zanda started her professional career at Jurmala’s city council and then went on to work at the Strategic Analysis Commission of the President of Latvia, where she served as an advisor to the president.

Photo of Gert Jan Koopman
Gert Jan Koopman

European Commission Director-General for Budget (DG BUDGET)

Show more information on Gert Jan Koopman

Gert Jan Koopman is the Director-General of the European Commission’s budget department since August 2018. In his role, he has worked to develop the EU budget from a mere source of funding for policies such as cohesion and agriculture to a tool fuelling Europe’s ever more ambitious policy agenda. He has contributed to putting in place the European Union’s €800 billion NextGenerationEU recovery plan and enable its financing on the capital markets through a sovereign-style funding system. Mr Koopman has been serving the EU for roughly three decades. Previously, he was in charge of State Aid control at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. His earlier assignments included senior management posts in the Commission’s departments for Economic and Financial Affairs, which supervises the smooth running of the single market.

Photo of Pascal Lamy
Pascal Lamy

President of the Paris Peace Forum, President Emeritus of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, former director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), former European commissioner for trade, Trustee of Friends of Europe and Member of the Africa-Europe Foundation High-Level Group of Personalities

Show more information on Pascal Lamy

Pascal Lamy is a French politician and the President of the Paris Peace Forum, a new innovative global governance initiative. He served as the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for two consecutive terms, prior to which he was the European commissioner for trade and head of cabinet for former Commission president, Jacques Delores. Currently an associate professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Lamy also frequently lectures at the Institut Jacques Delors and speaks on issues related to globalisation, global governance, international trade, international economics and regional integration. He has written several publications on the European Union and the ‘harmonising’ of globalisation.

Photo of Eva Maydell
Eva Maydell

President of the European Movement International, Member of the European Parliament and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Eva Maydell

Eva Maydell’s priorities focus on enhancing skills-creation and the use of innovation and technologies, supporting entrepreneurs and investments in Europe. In the European Parliament, she is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy as well as the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. She is also a member of the Delegation for relations with Japan as well as the Delegation for relations with the US.

Eva is among the most active members of the European Parliament. Currently, she is EPP rapporteur on the Data Strategy. She was the main Parliament rapporteur on the Regulation on charges on cross-border payments as well as worked on several legislative files, part of the Digital Single Market Strategy – the e-Privacy Regulation, the Directive for the supply of digital content, the Regulation on portability, Digitising European industry and the European cloud initiative. She was also rapporteur for the EPP Group on the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the New Skills Agenda and the Influence of technology on the future of the financial sector (FinTech).

Eva has been awarded the European Parliament’s MEP of the Year Award twice. She has also been
included in FT’s own ‘New Europe 100′ ranking of CEE’s emerging change-makers, European Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and others.

Ayman Mhanna
Ayman Mhanna

Executive Director of the Samir Kassir Foundation and 2017 MENA Young Leader

Show more information on Ayman Mhanna

Ayman Mhanna is Executive Director of the Beirut-based Samir Kassir Foundation, one of the leading press freedom NGOs in the Middle East. In this capacity, he oversees the foundation’s advocacy, monitoring, research and training activities. Mhanna has previously held the position of Executive Director of the Global Forum for Media Development, focusing on monitoring violations targeting journalists and providing them with the necessary support. He has also extensively worked with issues related to election observation, electoral reform and civil society involvement. Until recently, he was a lecturer on policy development and communications at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. In 2016, he was appointed Secretary-General of the Democratic Renewal Movement, a secular, social-liberal political party in Lebanon.

Photo of Meghan Milloy
Meghan Milloy

Co-Founder & Executive Director of Republican Women for Progress and 2017 North American Young Leader

Show more information on Meghan Milloy

Meghan Milloy is the Co-Founder of Republican Women for Progress (RWFP) and the Director of Strategic Communications at the Institute for International Bankers. Prior to this, she was a fellow at the Robert Bosch Foundation, where her work focused on trade issues in the German public and private sectors. Meghan previously served as the chair of Republican Women for Hillary (RWFH) and director of financial services policy at the American Action Forum (AAF). During the Obama administration, Meghan worked as a presidential management fellow at the Small Business Administration on matters of financial inclusion and as a counsel with the House Financial Services Committee. She was an intern at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the George W. Bush White House. Meghan has also worked in the office of former Senate majority leader Trent Lott and has volunteered for the campaigns of Haley Barbour, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton.

Notis Mitarachi
Notis Mitarachi

Greek Minister of Immigration and Asylum

Show more information on Notis Mitarachi

Notis Mitarachi is a Member of the Hellenic Parliament. Prior to his current role, he has held the positions of Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, as well as Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness. Combining an extensive career as a politician and experience in the development and private sectors, Mitarachi has also notably served as Alternate Governor in the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) and Governor in the Board of Governors of the Black Sea Trade & Development Bank (BSTB).

Mario Monti
Mario Monti

Chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, Italian Senator for life, former Italian prime minister, former European commissioner for competition and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Mario Monti

As Chair of the newly-formed WHO Europe Commission, Mario Monti spearheads attempts to rethink health policy priorities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A distinguished economist and Italian lifetime senator, Monti 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. He 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.

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Wolfgang Philipp

Acting Director & Head of Service of the European Commission Directorate-General of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (DG HERA)

Show more information on Wolfgang Philipp

Wolfgang Philipp is an experienced scientist and policy-maker. He has worked for over 15 years for the European Commission on health-related issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention, chronic and rare diseases. Philipp is currently, after a short period as deputy, the Acting Head of the Unit for crisis management and preparedness in health at the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety.

Photo of Andris Piebalgs
Andris Piebalgs

Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, former European commissioner for development and for energy, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Andris Piebalgs

Andris Piebalgs is an experienced Latvian politician who occupied key positions at both the national and European level. He is currently a member of the Latvian political party UNITY. Previously, he worked in the Latvian diplomatic service, first serving as the Ambassador of Latvia in Estonia where he helped to solve the sea border issue between the two states. He went on to become the Latvian Ambassador to the EU helping to establish Latvia as the EU candidate country. Afterwards, Piebalgs served as the European Commissioner for Energy, then as European Commissioner for Development.

Dragoș Pîslaru
Dragoș Pîslaru

Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and former Romanian minister of labour, the family, social welfare and the elderly

Show more information on Dragoș Pîslaru

Dragoș Pîslaru is a Romanian economist and politician. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019 on behalf of USR PLUS, affiliated with the European political group, Renew Europe. He is a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Subcommittee on Tax Matters. Pîslaru is also the co-rapporteur on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the largest financial instrument created by the European Union for the economic recovery of the Union after the pandemic.

CRISTINA POZZI
Cristina Pozzi

Board Member, COO & Head of Contents at Treccani Futura and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Cristina Pozzi

Cristina is Board Member, COO and Head of Contents Treccani Futura, the new Italian cultural and education Edtech hub born from the acquisition by Treccani Scuola of Impactscool, the company she co-founded and guided as CEO for 5 years. Cristina is a populizer, a social entrepreneur and an active citizen with the aim to impact society positively. After selling Wish Days, co-founded in 2006 with Andrea Dusi, she created a social enterprise (Impactscool) in order to bring awareness about the future and innovative education to schools, universities and organizations on technologies, ethics and future studies tools. Her mission is to give everyone access to the future in the global – fast changing society in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution. Her motto is “the future is open source”: shaped together as a co-creation activity and accessible to everyone.

Thanks to the work done with Impactscool and to her previous experiences she has been invited to join the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum (2019-2024) in 2019 and the EYL40 community in 2020.

She is also member of the International Advisory Board of the Institute for Ethical AI in Education and Independent Advisor in the advisory board of Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR.

Books: “Benvenuti nel 2050” (EGEA, 2019), “Destination 2050” (BUP, 2020).

Anna Rathsman
Anna Rathsman

Director-General of the Swedish National Space Agency

Show more information on Anna Rathsman

With many years of experience in the space industry, Anna Rathsman has worked as a systems engineer, subsystem engineer, technology development manager, business developer and communications director. She was involved in the building of Sweden’s first scientific satellites as a member of the team that designed and realised the research satellite, Freja. Rathsman also led the work on the first Swedish microsatellite, Astrid-1. She has served on the boards of several Swedish space technology companies and is currently Chair of the European Space Agency (ESA) Council.

Monica Sanders
Monica Sanders

Professor at Georgetown University and former senior committee counsel for the United States House of Representatives and Senate committees on homeland security

Show more information on Monica Sanders

Monica Sanders is an American scholar, research and activist from the University of Delaware, where she sits as Director for the Bill Anderson Fund. She also teaches at Georgetown University as Adjunct Lecturer. In addition, she sits on the Council of the Internet Society of DC. Prior to her current positions, Sanders served as the Senior Legal Advisor for International Response and Programs at the American Red Cross and was a Senior Committee Counsel for both the House of Representatives and Senate Committees on Homeland Security. As a journalist for CNN, she received a 2002 Emmy award for her work covering the September 11 attacks and the military engagement in Afghanistan that followed.

Stefano Sannino
Stefano Sannino

Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS)

Show more information on Stefano Sannino

Prior to his current role, Stefano Sannino served as deputy secretary-general for economic and global issues at the EEAS. Throughout his career, he has held various senior positions at the European Commission, including director-general for enlargement and director for crisis management at the Directorate-General for External Relations. A renowned Italian diplomat, Sannino formerly served as ambassador of Italy to Spain and Andorra and as the permanent representative of Italy to the EU. He was also previously the diplomatic advisor to the Italian prime minister and his personal representative to G8 summits.

Sven Smit
Sven Smit

Chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)

Show more information on Sven Smit

Sven Smit is currently spearheading McKinsey’s work on the Western European region. During his 30-year long career at McKinsey, Smit has acquired experience on the analysis of business growth, examining the way megatrends influence it, and defining the lessons of diversified growth. As co-chair of MGI he leads research on global economic trends and topics such as productivity and growth, urbanization, innovation and technology, labor markets and the Future of Work, emerging markets, and Europe’s economic outlook, focusing on the social contract and how it changed over the past 20 year – and especially this year.

Dubravka Šuica
Dubravka Šuica

Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Democracy and Demography

Show more information on Dubravka Šuica

Dubravka Šuica leads the Commission’s work on deliberative democracy and the Conference on the Future of Europe, giving people a say in how the Union is run and what it does. She is in charge of ensuring that Europe’s social protection systems adequately address the needs of an ageing population, as well as coordinating a long-term vision for rural areas and better reconciliation between work and family life. Šuica is a former member of the European and Croatian parliaments. She served as the vice-president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe for 10 years and was the first female to serve as mayor of the city of Dubrovnik.

Paul Tang
Paul Tang

Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Tax Matters

Show more information on Paul Tang

As chair of the new permanent tax subcommittee, Paul Tang is at the forefront of the European Parliament’s fight against tax evasion, tax fraud and tax avoidance, as well as financial transparency for taxation purposes. He has become a go-to figure on tax matters, providing ardent support for the digital tax and speaking out against tax evasion. In his national capacity, Paul represented the Dutch Labour Party in the EU elections, served in several party committees and acted as Member of the House of Representatives in the Netherlands.

Wietse van der Werf
Wietse van der Werf

Founder & CEO of Sea Ranger Service and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Wietse van der Werf

Wietse is an award-winning Dutch social entrepreneur and conservationist, pioneering regenerative blue economy ventures. Wietse has received wide recognition for his innovative approach to mobilising businesses, governments and citizens to form uncommon partnerships for the social, economic and ecological regeneration of European coastal and ocean areas. His current venture, the Sea Ranger Service, trains unemployed young people from port cities with the help of navy veterans to manage Marine Protected Areas in European seas. A new type of professional sailing vessel has been developed for the Sea Rangers, with cost-effective sea operation and zero emissions.

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