State of Europe – the festival of politics and ideas: a new Renaissance

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State of Europe – the festival of politics and ideas: a new Renaissance

About State of Europe

State of Europe 2021 will go hybrid for the first time since Covid-19, combining networking activities in Brussels with global debates involving top influencers and civil society across Europe and the wider world.

This hybrid event will provide a unique platform for Friends of Europe’s core community to come together at this landmark moment, from our expanding European Young Leaders alumni to leading opinion-shapers, our Board of Trustees and strategic partners. We will connect with heads of international institutions, sitting (and former) heads of states, CEOs, members of parliament and citizens in diverse settings across Europe and internationally.

Whether meeting in-person in Brussels or joining through our ‘by invitation’ platform, State of Europe 2021 will provide the space to rethink together how our societies should be designed to be future proofed. The 2021 State of Europe has been designed for everyone dedicated to transforming this rethink into action. This event is by invitation only but we’ll also offer the opportunity to those interested to watch it online.


Since, 2018, Friends of Europe has been working with citizens and key stakeholders to push for a new European social contract. Their key recommendations will serve as backbone of what we will be discussing this year, read them in the reports below:

FAQ

FAQ

What is State of Europe – the festival of politics and ideas?

It truly is a festival of politics and ideas.

For the last 18 years, State of Europe has been gathering 200+ influential figures from more than 40 countries to brainstorm on the future of Europe and develop concrete recommendations on how to make our continent more fit for the 21st century, as well as deliver to its citizens and other project’s shareholders.

This is no ordinary event. Instead of long, drawn-out speeches, we involve sitting and former (prime) ministers, European Commissioners, members of parliaments, business and trade association representatives, civil society and social partners, influencers, and European Young Leaders in an interactive, inclusive and fast-paced brainstorm – a new way of working to generate new ideas for a new era.

What does being a discussant mean?

As a discussant you will have the opportunity to comment and intervene as the format is a roundtable where, collectively, decision-makers can craft big ideas and possible recommendations on the way forward. The aim is to get everyone of you involved. This year, given covid-19 restrictions, we will be welcoming 80 persons on site, with other joining our zoom sessions and a further audience watching the livestream.

Where to stay?

Friends Europe recommends these hotels to visitors coming to join the State of Europe festival.  All of them are located within a walking distance to the festival venue:

The Moxy Hotel
The address: Rue du Prince Albert 32, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Le Berger Hotel
The address : Rue du Berger 24, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Hotel NH Collection Grand Sablon Brussels
The address: Rue Bodenbroek 2, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

The Hotel
The address: Bd de Waterloo 38, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Q&A – Covid-19 Prevention

We are delighted to welcome you back in Brussels for an in-person State of Europe and President’s dinner. After months of online meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now adapted our format to a fully hybrid event for the very first time. We count on your support and indulgence.

Welcoming participants in person comes with a lot of responsibility and we would like to ensure everyone feels safe at all times.

We have decided to ask the Red Cross to support the welcoming of participants. They will be checking the Covid-certificates and PCR QR codes to ensure the best experience for all. They will be ready to welcome you on Wednesday  for the President’s dinner from 17.30 to and on Friday from 07.30.  Please make sure you carry all Covid-related documents at all times.  If you cannot provide these documents, you will be kindly required to get tested on site.  The test results should be available within the next 30 minutes.

In accordance with the current rules in Brussels, it is required that all participants wear mouth & nose covering masks when inside venues. Masks can only be taken off once participants are seated.

What measures will we apply for everyone’s safety during the event and we ask you to support?

  • Everyone will need to present a Covid vaccination certificate or PCR test at the entrance. Should you not have it, the Red Cross will offer covid tests onsite, the results should be known within the next 30-minutes
  • Maintain a safe distance from others.
  • Wear a mask in public, especially indoors or when physical distancing is not possible.
  • The venues in which we’ll meet will have windows open and are well-ventilated spaces. A CO2 sensor will at all times help us monitor the level of aerosols in the room.
  • Clean your hands often, hydroalcoholic gel will be available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home or at the hotel if you feel unwell.

Before traveling to Brussels

  • Covid rules change very often, please regularly check the following websites. We are doing our best, but the situation is so fluid that we cannot be held responsible for any change of information.
  • Please have your covid-19 vaccination certificate with you at all times. If f you are not fully vaccinated, do not forget to do a PCR test. Depending on your country of origin you may need to do it 48 hours or 72 hours in advance.
  • Make sure to fill your passenger location (PLF) form within 48 hours in advance. The PLF will give you the latest details on what’s expected from you in Belgium in regard to Covid-19 rules.

Whom to contact?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with:
Augusta Ramaccioni, Programme Manager
Phone: +32 2 893 98 23
Mobile: +32 485 96 97 12
Email: augusta.ramaccioni@friendsofeurope.org

Schedule

Schedule

EARLY BIRD MASTERCLASS — The world in 2030: will Europe be ready?
Expand EARLY BIRD MASTERCLASS — The world in 2030: will Europe be ready?

For participants on-site only

Systemic shocks, climate change, changing demographics, global economic shifts and the accelerating rollout of disruptive technologies are just some of the challenges that Europe and the world face as we move into the future. How can the EU ensure that democracy, justice, and equality not only survive but thrive in this new era?

These early bird masterclasses will look into the key issues that Europe should lead on if it wants to be a global leader and value setter in 2030 and beyond.

Conversation tables on these topics will be discussed by futurologists including:

Mathew Burrows

Director of the Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative at the Atlantic Council

Fabienne Goux-Baudiment

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ProGective

Nicolas Moës

Head of Operations & AI Policy Researcher at The Future Society

PLENARY - SCENE SETTING — Harnessing the power of speed
Expand PLENARY - SCENE SETTING — Harnessing the power of speed

The new world moves fast. To remain ahead of the curve, Europe needs to be forward-looking rather than simply reactive, embedding a ‘black swan’ mentality into policymaking so that no future crisis will ever shake us as much as those we face today.

The speed at which systems have transformed shows that Europe can be agile and effective. The recovery plans are a key tool to keep the momentum of this transition. If we are able to maintain the speed of change we have seen over the past months, we could expect the best outcomes for a new social contract, in which basic services, healthcare, education and housing are informed by our key values of inclusion, fairness and sustainability.

What are the key lessons from 2020 and what should resilient systems and sustained growth look like for the future?

FIRECHAT WITH

Solveigh Hieronimus

Senior Partner at McKinsey&Co. and Co-leader of the McKinsey's Global Center for Government (MCG)

Céline Gauer

European Commission Director-General and Head of the Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER)

PLENARY - OPENING SESSION — Don’t take the foot off the pedal too quickly
Expand PLENARY - OPENING SESSION — Don’t take the foot off the pedal too quickly

After a shock like 2020, governments need growth to pay back what has been invested in society, otherwise bankruptcies and unemployment – currently kept artificially low – will increase. We need to continue to spend – but wisely.

The problem is not debt per se. If it stems from productive investments in infrastructure, health, education, innovation and other public goods, debt determines future growth and yields high returns.

Exiting the crisis, how should governments manage significant public debt and the shadow of hyperinflation while trying to realign economies through recovery and resilience plans?

with

Nadia Calviño

First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Spanish Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation

Philippe Donnet

Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Generali

Johannes Hahn

European Commissioner for Budget

David Sassoli

President of the European Parliament

Coffee Break
SESSION I — Energy makes the world go around, as long as its price goes down
Expand SESSION I — Energy makes the world go around, as long as its price goes down

The European Climate Law legally binds the Union to become climate-neutral by mid-century. An ambitious set of measures needs to support its emissions’ reduction by 2030. In order for governments and the private sector – and with it, the social contract – to maintain legitimacy, it is essential that the price of energy, a basic service, does not increase: carbon pricing shouldn’t fall on citizens’ shoulders.

What needs to be done to stabilise the price of energy as renewables become increasingly prevalent? Will existing measures enable an equitable way of achieving the Union’s climate ambitions?

with

Fatih Birol

Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE

Mayor of Freetown and Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Steering Committee

SESSION II — Race to space
Expand SESSION II — Race to space

Space is highly strategic. As Europe sets out a strong space strategy to assert its position as a global leader, what are the technological, financial, environmental and geopolitical challenges in the race to space? How to ensure safe, autonomous, reliable and affordable access to space – while preserving its assets?

with

Josef Aschbacher

Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA)

Susmita Mohanty

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Earth2Orbit

Masami Onoda

Director of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Washington D.C. Office

Anna Rathsman

Director-General of the Swedish National Space Agency

Lunch
SESSION III — Digital for a successful Europe
Expand SESSION III — Digital for a successful Europe

Ambitious digitalisation in line with the values of the EU is a key tool to recovery and lays the foundation for the Union’s sustained growth and competitiveness.

In order to be successful, Europe will need forward-looking digital legislation that regulates in advance of adversity, rather than simply punishing afterwards. Europe must rapidly put in place a unified digital market and the hard infrastructure to guarantee sovereignty and advance global leadership, while simultaneously providing all citizens with fair access to high-quality connectivity to combat widening inequalities.

This kind of digital policy encompasses the interests of society, the economy and government and supports the Union in its green transition. How do we make all this happen?

with

Roberta Metsola

First Vice-President of the European Parliament and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Laura Piovesan

Director for Sustainability at the European Investment Bank (EIB)

Joakim Reiter

External Affairs Director at Vodafone Group and former deputy secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

SESSION IV — Health is the new Europe
Expand SESSION IV — Health is the new Europe

To sustain prosperity in Europe, governments need to invest in ‘healthy life expansion’. For every euro spent on healthcare, four are generated.

This gives governments the best return on investment for their citizens and economy. The pandemic has unlocked new cash for health at both EU and member state level, so how can we allocate it strategically to innovate for the way that healthcare is organised effectively at local, national and European levels? What innovation can be the smart enabler of the new social contract?

with

Sylvie Goulard

Deputy Governor of the Banque de France and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice-President of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada & Latin America at Edwards Lifesciences 

Mario Monti

Chair of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Johannes Schildt

Co-Founder and CEO of KRY/LIVI and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Coffee Break
SESSION V — What is the future purpose of foreign policy and diplomacy in a changed world?
Expand SESSION V — What is the future purpose of foreign policy and diplomacy in a changed world?

Global challenges require global solutions and collaboration informed by multilateralism and fair-trade practices. Hopes for a more cooperative multilateral order, based on open trade and the rule of law, have given way to great power rivalries, ideological competition and a growing willingness by many states to use military power to intimidate neighbours or force to resolve disputes.

With the rise of authoritarian states, how can the EU strengthen its geopolitical weight and, together with its partners, successfully use diplomacy to promote democratic models of governance without imposing them by force or applying a one-size-fits-all approach?

with

Zarifa Ghafari

Afghan activist and former mayor of Maidan Shahr

Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

Room set-up change
CLOSING SESSION — What’s in the cards for 2022
Expand CLOSING SESSION — What’s in the cards for 2022

Conversation tables on the digital and green transitions, health, Europe’s economies and architecture, and Europe’s role in the world, to draw on the day’s discussions and deliver concrete recommendations for Europe to be a global balancer and a value setter.
Conversation tables on:
Conversation tables on the digital and green transitions, health, Europe’s economies and architecture, and Europe’s role in the world, to draw on the day’s discussions and deliver concrete recommendations for Europe to be a global balancer and a value setter.

Conversation tables on:

DIGITAL TRANSITION

Roberto Viola (TBC)

European Commission Director General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT)

GREEN TRANSITION

Magid Magid

Founder and Director of Union of Justice and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Brune Poirson

Chief Sustainability Officer at Accor, former French secretary of state for the ecological and inclusive transition and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

HEALTH

Gottfried Ludewig

Head of the Directorate General for Digitalisation and Innovation at the German Ministry of Health and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

EUROPE’S ECONOMIES AND ARCHITECTURE

Dragoș Pîslaru

Member of European Parliament

EUROPE’S ROLE IN THE WORLD

Cecilia Malmström

Visiting Professor at Göteborg University, Former Commissioner for Trade and Trustee of Friends of Europe

End of the State of Europe – the Festival of politics and ideas
Speakers

Speakers

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE

Mayor of Freetown and Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Steering Committee

Show more information on Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has served as Mayor of Freetown since May 2018. Driven by her commitment to transform the city, the three-year Transform Freetown plan adopts an inclusive and data-driven approach to tackle a variety of issues, including environmental degradation. She is a chartered accountant and finance professional with over 25 years of private sector experience in strategic planning, risk management consulting, and project management.

Josef Aschbacher
Josef Aschbacher

Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA)

Show more information on Josef Aschbacher

Thirty years ago, Josef Aschbacher began his career at the European Space Agency (ESA) where he was seconded as the ESA Representative to Southeast Asia at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. Later, he joined the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, where he served as Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Space Applications Institute. Upon his return to ESA headquarters in Paris, he was tasked with advancing Copernicus activities within ESA, going on to become Head of the Copernicus Space Office, where he led all activities for Copernicus within the Agency and with external partners, in particular the European Commission. Before taking office as the ESA’s Director General, Aschbacher was entrusted with planning the ESA’s Earth Observation Programme, as well as formulating and implementing programmatic and strategic decisions across the Directorate.

Fatih Birol
Fatih Birol

Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

Show more information on Fatih Birol

Under his leadership, the IEA has moved to the forefront of global efforts to reach international climate goals while ensuring that the social and economic impacts of clean energy transitions are at the heart of policy-making and energy security is safeguarded. Birol led the IEA in its first comprehensive modernisation programme since its creation. These efforts focused on opening the doors to major emerging economies, making the IEA the global hub for clean energy transitions and broadening its energy security mandate beyond oil to also cover electricity, natural gas, renewables and the critical minerals needed in many of today’s clean energy technologies. Most recently, he was named among the 100 most influential people of 2021 by Time Magazine.

Mathew Burrows
Mathew Burrows

Director of the Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative at the Atlantic Council

Show more information on Mathew Burrows

Mathew Burrows is a leading expert in strategic foresight and global trend analysis. Burrows is the former counselor at the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and worked as an analyst for the Directorate of Intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), covering western Europe and the development of European institutions, including the European Union. He has also served as a special assistant to the former US ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, as well as deputy national security advisor to former US treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill. Burrows was the first holder of the Intelligence Community Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Nadia Calviño
Nadia Calviño

First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Spanish Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation

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).

Francesca Cavallo
Francesca Cavallo

Bestselling author, Founder & CEO of Undercats and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Francesca Cavallo

Francesca is a bestselling author of children’s books, entrepreneur, founder and CEO Undercats Media, and founder of Timbuktu Labs. She is the co-creator of ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’, a collection of 100 tales of extraordinary women that has become a publishing sensation. Francesca’s career began in theatre, where she worked as both a manager for a theatre company and as a playwright. In 2012, she moved to California to co-found a children’s media start-up called Timbuktu Labs, Inc. Since then, she has authored nine picture books that have been translated in more than 47 languages. Her most recent international bestseller is the children’s book “Doctor Li and the Crown-wearing Virus”.

Philippe Donnet
Philippe Donnet

Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Generali

Show more information on Philippe Donnet

Under Philippe Donnet’s leadership, Generali has signed the European green recovery alliance, committing the Italian insurance company to furthering the ‘reboot and reboost’ of the European economy through sustainable investments and championing a new capitalism that is in line with the challenges of the future. In his previous role as country manager of Italy at Generali, Donnet led the programme to merge the five Generali brands operating in Italy, one of Europe’s most complex integration and simplification projects. Prior to joining Generali, he co-founded and managed HLD, an investment management company, and served as the managing director of the Asia Pacific at Wendel Investments. He has also held several positions at the multinational insurance firm AXA.

Céline Gauer
Céline Gauer

European Commission Director-General and Head of the Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER)

Show more information on Céline Gauer

To tackle the COVID-19 recovery, Céline Gauer was appointed as the first acting Head of RECOVER. Her strong negotiation and leadership skills enable her to take on the challenging role of implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Her mission is to rebuild a more resilient Europe that is well prepared for the digital and green transitions. During her fruitful career at the European institutions, she has worked as the former deputy secretary-general in charge of the Smart Regulation and Work Programme and Policy Co-ordination, deputy director-general of the Directorate-General Health and Food Safety and held various positions at the Directorate-General for Competition.

Zarifa Ghafari
Zarifa Ghafari

Afghan activist and former mayor of Maidan Shahr

Show more information on Zarifa Ghafari

Zarifa Ghafari is an Afghan human rights activist, politician and entrepreneur. Appointed mayor of Maidan Shahr at the age of 26, she became the youngest mayor and one of the first female mayors in Afghan history. Known for her efforts to advance women’s rights in Afghanistan, Ghafari is regarded as a role model to women in her country. When the Taliban took over the Afghanistan government in August 2021, she fled with her family to Germany. Today, Ghafari hopes to raise the unspoken voice of Afghan women throughout the international community to fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Fabienne Goux-Baudiment
Fabienne Goux-Baudiment

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ProGective

Show more information on Fabienne Goux-Baudiment

Fabienne Goux-Baudiment is a French futurologist and the Founder of ProGective, an independent organisation, entirely devoted to prospective and foresight. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Foresight, Entrepreneurship & Intangible Capital at the University of Angers, Fellow at the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF), and sits on the editorial boards of Futures, Foresight and Journal of Future Studies. Goux-Baudiment is the former president of the WFSF and has also served as the vice-president of the Center for Transcultural Foresight. She is currently a member of both the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Future Society.

Sylvie Goulard
Sylvie Goulard

Deputy Governor of the Banque de France 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 Johannes Hahn
Johannes Hahn

European Commissioner for Budget

Show more information on Johannes Hahn

Johannes Hahn is an Austrian politician at the forefront of Europe’s recovery and the Next Generation EU policy instrument. Under his watch, the EU will kickstart its green bond sales in October 2021, transforming the EU into the largest issuer of environmentally-friendly debt in the world. Hahn is the former European commissioner for European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations and the former European commissioner for regional policy, prior to which he served as the Austrian minster for science and research. As a member of the Austrian People’s Party youth movement, he drafted the party’s first European manifesto and adopted a resolutely pro-European stance.

Solveigh Hieronimus
Solveigh Hieronimus

Senior Partner at McKinsey&Co. and Co-leader of the McKinsey's Global Center for Government (MCG)

Show more information on Solveigh Hieronimus

Solveigh Hieronimus leads the global McKinsey Center for Government (MCG) and predominantly serves clients in the public sector on topics related to digital and data strategies, sustainability, public health and public finance. She is a leader in McKinsey’s Organization Practice and a member of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Council, which advises on MGI research on global economic, business and technology trends. Previously, Hieronimus has held various positions at the United Nations, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. She is passionate about all things EU and serves on the European Commission’s high-level expert panel for the Future of Work.

Jean-Luc-Lemercier
Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice-President of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada & Latin America at Edwards Lifesciences 

Show more information on Jean-Luc Lemercier

Prior to assuming his current role at Edwards Lifesciences, the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, Jean-Luc Lemercier served as the vice president of transcatheter heart valves EMEA. Under his leadership, the company successfully launched the SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve technology and built its leadership position in Europe. Lemercier also serves as Chair of the Cardiovascular Sector Group of MedTech Europe, the association representing the medical technology industry in Europe.

Gottfried Ludewig
Gottfried Ludewig

Head of the Directorate General for Digitalisation and Innovation at the German Ministry of Health and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Gottfried Ludewig

In his current position, Gottfried is advancing the digitalisation and innovative capacity of Germany’s health sector. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Chairman and the spokesperson for health issues of the Christian Democrats Union parliamentary group in the Berlin House of Representatives. In this position, Gottfried was particularly committed to strengthening research and innovation in the healthcare sector as well as advocating for the creation of a Berlin nursing home as an institutionalised representation of the care sector in the Berlin House of Representatives.
He is also an alumni of the European Young Leader (EYL40) programme led by Friends of Europe.

Magid Magid
Magid Magid

Founder and Director of Union of Justice and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Magid Magid

Magid is a Somali-British race and climate justice activist, organiser and author, who moved to the United Kingdom as a refugee at the age of five. He is the Founder and Director of Union of Justice, a European, independent, people of colour-led organisation dedicated to racial and climate justice. He is also the Co-Chair of the refugee charity, City of Sanctuary Sheffield. Magid served as a Green Party member of the European Parliament, representing Yorkshire and the Humber for nearly two years until the UK’s exit from the EU. He is the former lord mayor of Sheffield, the youngest person ever and the first Green Party councillor to hold the office. Squatting on a staircase in Sheffield town hall and sporting a pair of Dr Martens, Magid’s inaugural portrait became an internet sensation. Magid was named one of TIME’s 100 rising stars shaping the future of the world.

Photo of Cecilia Malmström
Cecilia Malmström

Visiting Professor at Göteborg University, Former Commissioner for Trade and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Cecilia Malmström

Cecilia Malmström is a renowned Swedish politician who has held various positions at the national and European level. As European Commissioner for Trade, she was responsible for pursuing an ambitious trade agenda to the benefit of European citizens, SMEs and the broader economy, as well as negotiating key bilateral trade agreements, including a comprehensive EU-China investment agreement. Prior to her career in the Commission, Cecilia was also Minister for EU Affairs in the Swedish government and Member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, and on Constitutional Affairs.

Roberta Metsola
Roberta Metsola

First Vice-President of the European Parliament and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Roberta Metsola

Roberta Metsola is first Vice-President of the European Parliament and serves as a member on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, among several other parliamentary committees and delegations. A lawyer by profession, Roberta is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) Group and among the first female members of parliament to represent Malta. She is a two-time recipient of Parliament Magazine’s MEP Award, receiving recognition for her work on justice and civil liberties, and hosted the awards ceremony in 2017.

Nicolas Moës
Nicolas Moës

Head of Operations & AI Policy Researcher at The Future Society

Show more information on Nicolas Moës

Nicolas Moës seeks to advance the European governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies. While working at The Future Society, he has co-authored a report on digitalisation and European welfare states and the 2020 advisory report for the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Responsible AI Working Group. He also co-produced the 2019 Global Governance of AI Forum and the Athens AI Roundtable on AI in the Rule of Law. Previously, he worked for the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel on EU technology, AI and innovation policy. Throughout his career, Moës has consistently sought to ensure that disruptive technologies generate the greatest benefits for society.

amina j. mohammed
Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

Show more information on Amina J. Mohammed

Prior to her current appointment, Amina J. Mohammed served as the Nigerian minister of environment, spearheading the country’s efforts on climate action and environmental protection. She first joined the United Nations as special adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to facilitate the Millennium Development Goals. She led the process that resulted in a global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals, for which she was awarded the 2019 Global Citizen World Leader Prize. Mohammed has also previously worked in the public sector in Nigeria as an adviser to four successive presidents on poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development.

Susmita Mohanty
Susmita Mohanty

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Earth2Orbit

Show more information on Susmita Mohanty

Susmita Mohanty is a spaceship designer, climate ambassador and entrepreneur. She has co-founded space companies on three different continents: EARTH2ORBIT in Bangalore, LIQUIFER in Vienna and MOONFRONT in San Francisco. Prior to her entrepreneurship journey, she worked for the International Space Station Program at Boeing in California and served at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Mohanty is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council for Space Technologies and was selected as one of BBC’s 100 Women in 2019.

Mario Monti
Mario Monti

Chair of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development 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.

Masami Onoda
Masami Onoda

Director of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Washington D.C. Office

Show more information on Masami Onoda

Masami Onoda currently represents Japanese space to the United States and Americas at the Washington Office of JAXA. Onoda has extensive experience in international affairs, space policy, satellite applications and industry relations in the field of space. She has held several international positions, including at the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat in Geneva and at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna. Onoda also previously served as a space technology coordinator at the JAXA Kansai Satellite Office in Higashiosaka, supporting technology transfer to SMEs for a small satellite project.

Luca Parmitano
Luca Parmitano

Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA)

Show more information on Luca Parmitano

Luca Parmitano was the first Italian to serve as the commander of the International Space Station and is the ESA astronaut who has spent the most time in space, logging a total of 366 days. Awarded the Order of the Merit of the Italian Republic in a recognition of his achievements, Parmitano is not the typical astronaut, having performed the very first DJ session in orbit and addressed world leaders at COP25. Parmitano is also a Colonel and former test pilot of the Italian Air Force.

Laura Piovesan
Laura Piovesan

Director for Sustainability at the European Investment Bank (EIB)

Show more information on Laura Piovesan

Laura Piovesan is an Italian engineer, who currently works for the European Investment Bank, the largest multilateral lender, where her primary role is to carry out techno-economic assessments of projects requesting EIB funding. A champion of sustainability with the ambitious aim of turning the EIB into Europe’s climate bank, the EIB has changed its strategy under her leadership and set the goal of dedicating 50% of the bank’s financing to climate and environment by 2025. Piovesan has previously worked as a research scientist and industrial economist for an Italian engineering company.

Dragoș Pîslaru
Dragoș Pîslaru

Member of European Parliament

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Dragoș Pîslaru is a Romanian economist and politician. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019 on behalf of USRPLUS, affiliated to the European political family Renew Europe. He is the Renew Europe Coordinator of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and of the Subcommittee on Tax Matters. Pîslaru is the European Parliament co-rapporteur of 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.

Brune Poirson
Brune Poirson

Chief Sustainability Officer at Accor, former French secretary of state for the ecological and inclusive transition and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Brune is the Chief Sustainability Officer and a Member of the Executive Committee at Accor, a multinational hospitality company. Her role includes defining, driving and monitoring commitments, strategy and rollout of Accor’s plans in relation to sustainable development. She is also responsible for the Accor Solidarity and ALL Heartists endowment funds and additionally serves on the Board of Trustees of Fondation de la Mer. During her tenure as a member of the French National Assembly, Brune served as the secretary of state to the French Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition and became the first French minister elected as vice-president of the United Nations Environment Assembly. She was previously the director of sustainability and social responsibility for South Asia at Veolia, where projects focused on drinking water distribution in the slums of Indian megacities, and a coordinator of sustainability projects at the French Development Agency in New Delhi.

Anna Rathsman
Anna Rathsman

Director-General of the Swedish National Space Agency

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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.

Photo of Joakim Reiter
Joakim Reiter

External Affairs Director at Vodafone Group and former deputy secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

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At Vodafone Group, Joakim Reiter is responsible for public relations and corporate affairs, including policy and regulation, communications, security, sustainability and charitable activities. Prior to his appointment at UNCTAD by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Reiter served as the deputy director general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, where he also previously headed the Department for International Trade Policy. He is the former ambassador and permanent representative of Sweden to the World Trade Organization. Reiter has also served at the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade and held senior positions at the Swedish National Board of Trade.

David Sassoli
David Sassoli

President of the European Parliament

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In his current position, David Sassoli champions the European Parliament as a means to strengthen European democracy. Most notably, he has led the work of the European railway reform and the Single European Sky initiative. As a member of the European Parliament, he has previously served as delegation leader of the Democratic Party, a member of the Committee for Transport and Tourism and vice-president of the European Parliament, with responsibility for Mediterranean policy, budget and buildings. Before entering the world of European politics, he worked on the editorial team of TG1 as a special correspondent and later deputy director, as well as at the Rai Uno and Rai Due news programmes.

Johannes Schildt
Johannes Schildt

Co-Founder and CEO of KRY/LIVI and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Johannes Schildt is a Swedish serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of KRY/LIVI, which he plans to develop into the world’s leading healthcare provider by combining medical expertise with state-of-the-art technology. Currently available in Sweden, Norway, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the business has pioneered the digital healthcare model by enabling people to see a medical doctor or a psychologist via remote video connection, thereby replacing the need for in-person consultations. To date, the app has delivered over two million appointments and is set to launch in more markets this year. Long part of Europe’s start-up scene, Schildt has also founded a number of other initiatives, including Tieday Group and Wowallets.

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