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EYL Lisbon Seminar

Summary

Lisbon was the venue for the latest European Young Leaders (EYL40) seminar held on 8-10 September under the sunshine of the late Portuguese summer. As always, the programme was a mix of insightful debate and meetings with local experts, citizens and political leaders, as well as the strengthening of old – and forging of new – friendships, as the group continued the decade-long EYL40 tradition of working hard and playing hard.

About

About

Building on our last European Young Leaders (EYL40) seminar in Zagreb, Saving democracy from itself, we are now turning the table to look back at ourselves as individuals, as members of communities and as voters. This seminar will focus on redefining European identity in all its diversity, exploring oceans and space for solutions to terrestrial problems, and how to better tackle climate change, moving beyond rhetoric towards an ecology of strategic change at all levels from supply and demand. Underpinning our discussions will be the need to recognise the current realities for vast majorities of the European and global populations, as well as the impact of inflation, interest rates and prices on their economic livelihoods.

Climate change is the defining crisis of our generation, and no corner of our planet is protected or immune. Rising temperatures are causing biodiversity degradation, natural disasters, extreme weather, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict, health issues and terrorism. With the insurmountable effects of this crisis reaching irreversible highs and piercing through a myriad of policies – from security, migration and trade, to agriculture, health, international cooperation and beyond – business as usual is not acceptable anymore. Bold and immediate climate action that is integrated into all policies is paramount. This EYL40 autumn seminar will host a series of sessions exploring various aspects of mainstreaming climate action in all policies.

Reflections on the dire need for constructive politics and a presentation of the findings of Friends of Europe’s Transatlantic Climate Dialogue series will allow the EYL40s to reflect on the need for new science-based and citizen-centric policymaking and leadership. Over three days, the EYL40 Class of 2022 will join EYL40 alumni, senior decision-makers and key European actors to address these issues. They will once more engage in conversation with those at the core of the discussions: citizens of Lisbon and Portugal.


Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

PHOTO CREDIT: Pedro Szekely

Schedule

Schedule

On The Ground reportage Expand On The Ground reportage

Already in Lisbon? Join us for a reportage with local partners and citizens who have direct experiences with the housing crisis. We will be working with this group to put together a photo reportage. The results will feed into the Time for Europe to tackle its housing crisis session.

Led by

Nassira El Moaddem

Journalist, Author and Presenter, Arrêt Sur Images and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Registration
SCENE SETTING AND WELCOME - Introduction to the seminar Expand SCENE SETTING AND WELCOME - Introduction to the seminar

With

Geert Cami

Co-Founder and Secretary General

Edite Estrela

Vice-president of the Portuguese National Assembly

An EYL40 seminar moderated by Dharmendra Kanani, Chief Operations Officer and Spokesperson at Friends of Europe

PLENARY - What does it mean to be European? Expand PLENARY - What does it mean to be European?

The EYL40 programme echoes the European Union’s 22-year-old motto: “United in diversity.” But what does it truly mean to be European, and can all definitions be reconciled? Recent crises have triggered an unprecedented wave of European solidarity and now, more than ever, European unity can be a catalyst for positive and sustainable change, if it is harnessed properly. How can we create a culture that fosters engagement with the European project?

Inspired by the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb and belief in the power of emotions and personal stories, we have arranged this session to enable young leaders to bring with them a memento, a symbol or personal belonging that reflects their emotional connection to Europe. Rather than stories of heartbreak, this session will be a forum for positive storytelling about the power of Europe and its meaning to the EYLs. This will result in curating an exhibition about the power of Europe to you and us.

Each EYL40 will bring to Lisbon an item, avoiding passports.

with

Thomas Bellinck

Theatre director, multidisciplinary artist and Founder of Robin

PEER LEARNING ROUNDTABLE - Europe 360° Expand PEER LEARNING ROUNDTABLE - Europe 360°

Roundtables led by European Young Leaders, run in parallel, on Europe’s position in the world and its relationship with neighbours, to gain expertise from this resourceful network.

1. What do we do about Russia? Strategies to survive its aggression

Klen Jäärats

Director for EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Estonia and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

2. Aftershock – Why we should focus on the Balkans to prevent another Ukraine scenario

Liza Gashi

Kosovar Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

3. Where exactly does Europe end? Europe seen from Morocco

Othman El Ferdaous

Vice President for Growth at ABA Technology and 2017 MENA Young Leader

4. Iran’s role in the Middle East and beyond

Negar Mortazavi

Journalist and 2017 MENA Young Leader (EYL40)

5. US foreign policy – Navigating Asian waters

Meghan Milloy

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

PLENARY - Building Climate Resilience — for and with citizens Expand PLENARY - Building Climate Resilience — for and with citizens

This session will be informed by ideas and insights from citizens gathered by Debating Europe, our online citizens’debate platform with a community of 6,5 mn users since its inception.

PART I
As exemplified by the Friday For Future climate strikes and similar youth-led movements, younger generations are the most vocal about the climate emergency. The current energy and food crises, as well as latest findings confirm that the current pace of mitigation measures will not allow us to fulfil our decarbonisation commitments, if all stakeholders, including citizens and younger generations, don’t carry their fair share. It is now urgent for older generations to realise being corned is not enough and amounts to inaction.

with

Wouter Vermeulen

Senior Director Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company Europe

Citizens’ fears, hopes and wishes,

Through the findings of a Debating Europe’s focus group

Sasha Cantet

Spokesperson at Dernière Rénovation, a French climate advocacy group, and youth activist

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cities are responsible for more than 70% of CO2 emissions globally and will need to change how urban areas “are designed, constructed, [and] managed” to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Urban areas can and should be at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis, due to their proximity to citizens, data capabilities and ability to act fast.  Cities are also most directly impacted and concerned, due to their direct link to citizens: 75% of European population lives in cities.

  • How can citizens, the private sector and governments fully play their part in creating an environmentally sustainable future?
  • What role should science-based targets and policymaking play in building resilience?
  • How can we get on fasten our pace to achieve our climate goals in a world of many crises?

with

Karen Burns

Co-Founder and CEO of Fyma, an urban analytics startup

Jane Burston

Executive Director of the Clean Air Fund and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Continue to DAY 2
PARALLEL SESSION I - Constructive Politics Working Group Expand PARALLEL SESSION I - Constructive Politics Working Group

2022 has been marked by electoral campaigns that highlight the lack of citizens’ trust in their policymakers and democratic institutions, with anti-establishment parties gathering more support than ever and abstention rates continuing to grow. To re-establish trust, there is a need to promote democratic dialogue and political processes that are more responsive to people’s needs and expectations of involvement and representation, especially in this time of anxiety fuelled by security and economic concerns.

The Constructive Politics project, launched in 2021, builds on the expertise and experiences of the EYL40 to craft a toolkit for newly elected politicians in the 2024 European elections.

The Working Group is a closed session, solely for EYL40 politicians and journalists.

Facilitated by

Kirsten van den Hul

Director of DutchCulture, former member of the Dutch Parliament; Writer, Change Agent and Columnist and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

With

Kirsten Brosbøl

Founder and CEO, 2030beyond, former Danish minister for the environment and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Ricardo Marvão

Co-founder & Head of Global Sales at Beta-i, a collaborative innovation consultancy firm

PARALLEL SESSION II - The open space: discuss what you consider important Expand PARALLEL SESSION II - The open space: discuss what you consider important

Designed as a laboratory for ideas, this open space is the opportunity to suggest ideas for activities and/or discussions that you consider to be critical and not included in the programme. Conversations may lead to an op-ed or a project within or outside the EYL40 programme. Previous iterations of this session brought to life the Capital of Europe, Women of Europe initiative and Arts and Culture working group and report. Groups will decide on the shape of their key deliverable based on their topic of discussion.

For this session, we envision an unconference format: an open space for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity.

PLENARY - Oceans: Looking beyond the horizon Expand PLENARY - Oceans: Looking beyond the horizon

The ocean touches every aspect of our lives. It regulates our climate and weather, generates around half of the planet’s oxygen and provides food for billions of people.

Yet our oceans are under threat as a consequence of human activity. It is our responsibility to consider how to protect what constitutes 70% of our planet. The European Commission noted in 2021 that “if the global blue economy was compared to a national economy, it would be the seventh largest in the world, and the ocean as an economic entity would be a member of the G7.”

Building on the Lisbon Declaration (July 2022) and the commitments made at the UN Ocean Conference, Young Leaders will consider how to combine urgent protection measures while harnessing the opportunities that oceans can offer, from energy production to sustainable raw material sourcing.

With

Catarina Canelas

Award Winning Senior Journalist and environment coordinator at CNN Portugal

Tiago Pitta e Cunha

CEO of the Oceano Azul FoundationCEO of the Oceano Azul Foundation, former counselor for Environment, Science and Maritime Affairs to the President of Portugal

EYE OPENER - Space for Earth: Harnessing space technology for a sustainable future Expand EYE OPENER - Space for Earth: Harnessing space technology for a sustainable future

As Europe faces a dire twin energy and climate crises, no one can pretend that it has not brewed for years and the urgent need for scalable solutions is pressing. Space technology represents an opportunity for Europe and the world to identify a more affordable and sustainable energy source.

In the 1940s, author and biochemist Isaac Asimov imagined a world in which a spatial station harvested solar energy for the Earth. Eighty years later, is space solar power the solution for Europe and the world to reach its net-zero targets?

with

Angeliki Kapoglou

Strategist and Researcher at the European Space Agency (ESA)

PARALLEL SESSION I — HYBRID ROUNDTABLE - Transatlantic Climate Dialogue Expand PARALLEL SESSION I — HYBRID ROUNDTABLE - Transatlantic Climate Dialogue

As the US and the EU raise ambitions to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a whole-of-society approach is needed, involving the private sector and citizens in this effort. This is even more pressing given the need to fasten the transition in the context of the given geopolitical crises. Recent data indicates that citizens on both sides of the Atlantic view climate as the top priority for transatlantic cooperation. In light of this, Friends of Europe, with the support of the United States Mission to the EU, invited entrepreneurs to exchange views on how to support climate action through technology for behavioural change.

Innovators and policymakers rarely have the opportunity to engage with each other, which hinders the uptake of innovative climate solutions. The US and the EU also have different approaches to climate action, with each focusing on a different balance of investments and regulation. This roundtable will be the opportunity to highlight synergies between partners: US and EU; private and public sectors.

The roundtable is a closed session, with a preselected group who have been involved with transatlantic cooperation and climate innovation. The roundtable will identify recommendations and ideas to move forward, building on our series of Critical Thinking Live with innovators  and entrepreneurs that began the discussion around nudging behaviours, sustainable mobility and green fintech (see herehere and here).

Participating EYL40s and climate tech entrepreneurs will be joined by:

Elina Bardram, Director of International Affairs and Climate Finance, European Commission Directorate General for Climate Action; Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Chair of the Industry, Research and Energy committee at the European Parliament; Laura Cozzi, Chief Energy Modeller, International Energy Agency (IEA); Ethan Hinch, Legislative Correspondent at the Office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders; Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO & Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team; Jutta Paulus, Member of the European Parliament; Yamina Saheb, IPCC Lead Author and Senior Energy Policy Analyst

PARALLEL SESSION II - Time for Europe to tackle its housing crisis Expand PARALLEL SESSION II - Time for Europe to tackle its housing crisis

The current economic environment is putting a further stress on people; more and more people can’t afford a decent home from Dublin to Lisbon, from Paris to Barcelona. According to recent Eurostat data, rents are up 17% and housing prices rose of 45% since 2010. Rapid digitalisation and new tourism trends pressure real estates prices. In the Portuguese capital today, entire streets in the historical core have caved to cater to touristic demands and now consist mostly of hotels and Airbnbs, pushing out long-time residents who can no longer afford their rent. This phenomenon is nowadays common to many European urban areas.

Building on conversations held with locals during the On the Ground reportage, Young Leaders will seek to propose solutions replicable on a European scale.

Interested in joining the On the Ground reportage on Thursday morning? Let us know!

led by

Nassira El Moaddem

Journalist, Author and Presenter, Arrêt Sur Images and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

WHAT DO CITIZENS WANT? - For the people, by the people: is Europe delivering? Expand WHAT DO CITIZENS WANT? - For the people, by the people: is Europe delivering?

A year ago, European leaders met in Porto to address citizens’ concerns of fairness inclusivity and sustainability with the aim of placing people at the centre and to ensure no one is left behind in Europe’s recovery post pandemic.

More and better jobs, increased equality through education and eradicating poverty for 15 million were among the most significant key agreements.

Since last year, the situation in Europe has not gotten any better. As the Ukraine conflict rages on, we are now facing a winter where more and more people will have to make a choice between heating and eating. It will be a significant social test for Europe as it juggles mounting anger and worries, spurred by skyrocketing economic inflation, high energy prices and pressure to meet climate targets.

This session will be the occasion for European Young Leaders to meet citizens of Lisbon and Portugal.

More info on this session here: For the people, by the people: is Europe delivering? And register via This link.

Discussion quick starters

Tea Jarc

President of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Youth Committee and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Michal Šimečka

Vice-President of the European Parliament and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Continue to DAY 3
PEER-LEARNING ROUNDTABLES - Connecting with EYLs and alumni Expand PEER-LEARNING ROUNDTABLES - Connecting with EYLs and alumni

Over breakfast, short 30-minute conversations with European Young Leaders run in parallel on issues that matter to them, to gain expertise from this resourceful network.


PART I:

1. Faster, higher, stronger: the case for better incentives for European youth to pursue professional sports

Pavlos Kontides

Competitive sailor, Olympic medallist and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

2. The future of humans and AI: diversity, bias, labour, and automation

Iva Gumnishka

Founder and CEO of Humans in the Loop and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

3. My life as a humanitarian doctor in 13+ countries

Gustavo Carona

Intensive care doctor and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

4. Social justice and climate action are two sides of the same coin

Tea Jarc

President of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Youth Committee and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

PART II:

1. How to speak to and empower the youth?

Talitha Muusse

Chief Impact Officer at Blikverruimers, Founder of Energieboot and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

2. Thriving in male-dominated industry

Enass Abo-Hamed

Co-Founder and CEO of H2GO Power and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

3. Lesson learned from COVID-19 and the future of global health

Ricardo Baptista Leite

Founder and President of UNITE, Member of the Portuguese National Parliament and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

4. How do we build transparency within organisations ?

Stevan Dojčinović

Investigative reporter, Editor-in-Chief of Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

PART I & II:

60 minute roundtable

5. What it means to be a political start-up and (how to) create a movement for positive change

Ivan Štefunko

Founding Chairman of Progresívne Slovensko, Consultant in Innovation Policies and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

PLENARY - Renewing trust and citizen-institution relationships Expand PLENARY - Renewing trust and citizen-institution relationships

This session will be informed by a focus group organised by Debating Europe, our online citizens’debate platform with a community of 6,5 million users since its inception.

Contemporary society has seen the rise of new stakeholders who have disrupted our usual understanding of the political scene and relations between players. We must take heed of the new players in town and contemplate how to navigate a social contract
that works for all.

How can we build on citizens’ relationships with Europe to reinvent the current model and develop a new lens for a society and a Europe that works for everyone? Building on the recommendations of citizens, players old and new will help us consider the evolution of leadership. As today’s society facing different challenges, we will also discuss different reactions and how all groups must cooperate within a united system.

With

Citizens’ ideas to regenerate European democracy,

Through the findings of a Debating Europe’s focus group

Tiago Antunes

Secretary of State for European Affairs of the Portuguese Government

Yves Dejaeghere

Executive Director of the Federation for Innovation in Democracy (FIDE)

Wrap up of the EYL40 autumn seminar Expand Wrap up of the EYL40 autumn seminar

With

Ricardo Baptista Leite

Founder and President of UNITE, Member of the Portuguese National Parliament and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Discussants

Discussants

Photo of Jamila Aanzi
Jamila Aanzi

Member of the Appeal Advisory Committee on Childcare Allowance and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Jamila Aanzi

Jamila is a leading independent strategic consultant, educator, and board member. She currently serves on the Dutch government appeal advisory commission, to provide advice about the childcare benefits affair. Furthermore, she is a board member of the World Press Photo, and the Stichting JES Rijland, an organisation which promotes the rights of youngsters in education and society. For various international clients, Jamila provides consulting and coaching services about leadership, empowerment, education, diversity and inclusion. She is currently pursuing a degree to teach business and economics. Jamila previously worked as a senior international political trainer for the Max van der Stoel Foundation, with political parties in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North Africa on diversity, the inclusion of young people and women, EU enlargement and democracy. She was the Dutch women’s representative to the UN, and a member of the European Elections Programme Committee of the Dutch Social Democratic Party (PvdA). Previously, Jamila served as the Vice President of FNV Young, the youth network of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions, and as the Dutch women’s representative to the United Nations.

Photo of Samir Abdelkrim
Samir Abdelkrim

Founder EMERGING Valley & Member of the Digital Strategy Group of the Africa Europe Foundation and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Samir Abdelkrim

Samir Abdelkrim  is not only a French entrepreneur but also an author and a tech reporter. Passionate about all things digital, he founded EMERGING Valley as an international summit on African innovation to connect tech start-ups with investors, thinkers and decision-makers across continents. He also leads StartupBRICS, a company that provides insights on entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Abdelkrim is a former chronicler on African tech entrepreneurs for Le Monde and has also featured in the Huffington Post, Le Point and Les Echos. His book, “Startup Lions”, chronicles his experience travelling the African continent in search of the most interesting and innovative tech start-ups. With French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative “Summit of the Two Shores of the Mediterranean”, Abdelkrim was amongst 10 selected to make proposals to relaunch European and Mediterranean cooperation.

Enass Abo-Hamed
Enass Abo-Hamed

Co-Founder and CEO of H2GO Power and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Enass Abo-Hamed

Enass is the Co-Founder and CEO of H2GO Power, an award-winning British company that develops hydrogen energy storage technologies. Her designs for a new energy storage system can guarantee stable supply of renewable energy for areas in developing countries with limited or no access to the electrical grid. With over a decade of both research and business experience in renewables and energy storage, Enass champions climate entrepreneurship and clean energy technology. She is currently a Member of the Advisory Board of General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero $4bn equity growth climate fund, a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow and a technology consultant for the European Research Executive Agency. Enass has received several awards in recognition of her work, including the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Europe Visionary of the Year award and the Best Energy Start-up award at the Global Hello Tomorrow Summit.

Ana Antunes
Ana Antunes

Head of Scientific Events and Communication at MabDesign and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Ana Antunes

Ana is microbiologist and currently works in the field of therapeutic antibody and immunotherapy at MabDesign. Prior to her current role, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut Pasteur and a visiting scientist at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. While completing her PhD in microbiology, Ana was awarded the Marie Cure Fellowship and the PhD Fellowship by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). Additionally, she has received various grants and nominations over the course of her academic career. Ana has lectured in vaccinology and pharmaceutical clinical development, been published in peer-reviewed journals and spoken at numerous international conferences. Ana is the Co-Founder and President the Association des Diplômés Portugais en France (AGRAFr), which brings together Portuguese expats and French nationals. She is also a member of Native Scientists, a non-profit organisation that connects children with science in their native languages, and Conto-Contigo, which provides Portuguese reading sessions for children.

Ricardo Baptista Leite
Ricardo Baptista Leite

Founder and President of UNITE, Member of the Portuguese National Parliament and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Ricardo Baptista Leite

Ricardo is best known as a Member of the Portuguese Parliament where he currently serves as a member of the committee on health. He also founded the UNITE global network of parliamentarians committed to achieving political impact towards ending infectious diseases as a global health threat. He is a medical doctor with specific training in infectious diseases, having studied at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School, and has an active role on a number of scientific and advisory boards of health-related foundations and organisations – including his role as Head of Public Health at the Catholic University of Portugal.

Photo of Thomas Bellinck
Thomas Bellinck

Theatre director, multidisciplinary artist and Founder of Robin

Show more information on Thomas Bellinck

Thomas Bellinck is a Brussels-based theatre and exhibition maker, well known for his work on state-sanctioned violence, memory politics and mobility injustice, which he explores in collaboration with other artists, experts by experience, academics, et al. In 2013, Thomas created ‘Domo de Eŭropa Historio en Ekzilo’ (’The House of European History in Exile’), a futuristic-historical museum about life in the former EU, which traveled from Brussels to Rotterdam, Vienna, Athens, Wiesbaden and Marseille. Since 2015, Bellinck has been developing ‘Simple as ABC’, a series of performances and installations about EU border thinking and practices. The latest installment, ‘The Museum of Human-Hunting’, unravels contemporary dynamics of humans hunting humans within the context of VISA and asylum policies. Bellinck is also a co-founder of the transdisciplinary School of Speculative Documentary, as well as of ROBIN, a production structure supporting socially engaged art practices.

Erenik Beqiri
Erenik Beqiri

Film director, screenwriter and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Erenik Beqiri

Erenik is an award-winning Albanian film director and screenwriter based in Tirana. His films showcase the inner struggles of characters and highlight the comic, tragic or grotesque aspects of society. His latest short film, “The Van”, was in the running for the Short Film Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and shortlisted in the Live Action Short Film category for the 93rd Academy Awards. His earlier short films include “Bon Appetit”, “Alphonso” and “Seed Money”. Erenik’s works have featured in several internationally renowned film festivals, including the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Sarajevo Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Brussels Short Film Festival. He has also participated in the Sarajevo Talent Campus programme at the Sarajevo Film Festival as a screenwriter.

Photo of Loubna Bouarfa
Loubna Bouarfa

Founder and CEO of OKRA Technologies, a leading artificial intelligence analytics company in the life sciences sector and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Loubna Bouarfa

A Dutch machine learning scientist turned entrepreneur, Loubna is the Founder and CEO of OKRA Technologies, a leading artificial intelligence analytics company in the life sciences sector. The start-up aims to revolutionise traditional healthcare systems by abandoning the one-size-fits-all model and building a future of personalised medicine. OKRA uses explainable AI to empower healthcare professionals to make decisions that will support the delivery of the right drug to the right patient at speed. In recognition of Loubna’s leadership, OKRA received the StartUp Europe Award for Best Female-Led Startup. The same year, Loubna also accepted the CEO of the Year Award at the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards. As a former member of the European Union High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, she supported the implementation of the Union’s strategy on AI within the digital single market.

Mario Brandenburg
Mario Brandenburg

German Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Research, computer scientist and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Mario Brandenburg

Mario is a German computer scientist and politician, who currently serves as a Member of the Bundestag for the Free Democratic Party (FDP). He is determined to support Germany’s future through the use of digital technologies. With strong knowledge in quantum computing, biotechnology, AI, 3D printing and blockchain technologies, Mario currently is the Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Research. In addition to his role at the federal level, he remains active in local politics as a Member of the Municipal Council of Rülzheim and the District Council of Germersheim. Mario also has a keen interest in how digital processes can benefit rural areas within society’s digital transformation.

Nicolas Brien
Nicolas Brien

Chairman of the Management Board at EuraTechnologies and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Nicolas Brien

Nicolas is the Chairman of the Management Board of EuraTechnologies, Europe’s largest and oldest incubator, and President of the European Startup Network, an industry group which represents start-ups in Brussels. An avid supporter of Europe’s digital sovereignty and named among the most influential people in the digital sector in Europe, Nicolas promotes greater investment in local start-ups across Europe. Nicolas sits on the board of a number of other companies and foundations, including Tilder and France Alzheimer, and regularly contributes to the global conversation on tech policies through op-eds in global media. He is the former chief executive officer of the largest start-up organisation in Europe, France Digitale. Prior to entering the tech sector, he was the research director at Kantar-TNS Sofres and a senior advisor to the French government’s spokesperson.

Photo of Kirsten Brosbøl
Kirsten Brosbøl

Founder and CEO, 2030beyond, former Danish minister for the environment and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Kirsten Brosbøl

Kirsten is the CEO of 2030beyond, a do-tank which she established to accelerate action on 2030 Agenda and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2020, she founded the Parliamentarians for the Global Goals initiative, a global network of parliamentarians committed to the 2030 Agenda. Kirsten formerly served as the Danish minister of environment and a member of the Danish parliament, during which time she founded and chaired the All-Party Group on the Sustainable Development Goals. She is a German Marshall Fellow and former Obama Foundation scholar at Columbia University.

Photo of Karen Burns
Karen Burns

Co-Founder and CEO of Fyma, an urban analytics startup

Show more information on Karen Burns

Karen Burns is determined to change the world through the use of computer vision. With extensive public and private experience in ICT and business development roles, she co-founded Fyma. Borne from Burns’ drive to make AI accessible to everyone, Fyma is a computer vision platform for the urban tech sector that helps public entities gain data and analytics from video and image feeds. She is passionate about women’s participation in STEM and particularly in STEM management positions.

Photo of Jane Burston
Jane Burston

Executive Director of the Clean Air Fund and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Jane Burston

Jane has dedicated most of her life to climate and environmental issues. Before bringing together donors to set up the Clean Air Fund, Jane was head of climate and energy science in the UK government, where she was responsible for the UK greenhouse gas inventory and a £45m science programme. She also founded Carbon Retirement, an award-winning social enterprise working with the EU ETS. Additionally, she has led a team of 150 scientists working on energy and environment at the National Physical Laboratory. Her dedication to sustainability and entrepreneurial drive has been rewarded with being named as one of the ‘Top 30 UK entrepreneurs under 30’ by Real Business, ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Square Mile and one of the ‘Top 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the UK’ by the Chamber of Commerce International, among others.

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.

Photo of Edoardo Camilli
Edoardo Camilli

Co-Founder & CEO at Hozint - Horizon Intelligence and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Edoardo Camilli

A young entrepreneur and security expert, Edoardo started working as a political and security risk consultant after graduating from the University of Bologna. In 2010, he established the International Security Observer, a web-based think tank seeking to foster the next generation of security experts. At the time, he was also working as a research analyst at the Italian Institute of Strategic Studies Niccolò Machiavelli, where his activities focused on insurgency, intelligence, national security policies and organised crime. Edoardo is the co-founder of Hozint (Horizon Intelligence), a consulting firm providing location-based media and social media monitoring services on political, safety and security risks. He is frequently interviewed on security issues by media in Italy and across Europe.

Catarina Canelas
Catarina Canelas

Award Winning Senior Journalist and environment coordinator at CNN Portugal

Show more information on Catarina Canelas

Catarina Canelas is an award-winning senior journalist and environment coordinator at CNN Portugal. She started working in journalism in 2003, at TVI (Televisão Independente). Canelas curiosity about the East took her to Macau, where she has worked as a journalist at TDM – Rádio Macau. During her stay in Asia, she also reported in Malaysia and travelled to China, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, India and Japan. Back in Portugal, she returned to work for TVI, mainly on socially relevant issues. In 2021, Canelas was awarded the UNESCO’s Human Rights & Integration Journalism Award. She is currently working as an environment coordinator at CNN Portugal.

Gustavo Carona
Gustavo Carona

Intensive care doctor and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Gustavo is a Portuguese doctor and anaesthesiologist, specialising in intensive care. Gustavo has been actively outspoken about COVID-19 and the pandemic to raise awareness around scientific information, vaccination and mental health. He has appeared on major news channels, such as CNN, Reuters and Público, while his Facebook and Instagram accounts reach audiences of 60k and 80k, respectively. An activist and self-described dreamer, he is passionate about humanitarian medicine. Over the last years, Gustavo has joined 13 humanitarian missions to war zones with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Following his first mission to Mozambique, he has travelled to various Central and Northern African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Burundi and South Sudan. In the greater Middle East, these humanitarian missions have brought him to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine. His latest book, “The World Needs to Know”, shares his experiences of several humanitarian missions to war-torn countries.

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Mila Carovska

Former Minister of Education and Science of North Macedonia and European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Prior to her current position, Mila served as Minister of Labour and Social Welfare of North Macedonia as well as Deputy Prime Minister responsible for economic affairs during the transition Government in 2020. She was elected to government in 2017. Mila is an avid proponent of human rights whose professional career to date has been marked by a commitment to social work on behalf of the most vulnerable and threatened citizens, whether it be Roma, disadvantaged youth, drug addicts or victims of domestic violence. Projects she has managed over the years include organising drama workshops with children housed in institutions, hosting educational workshops, offering consultations for drug users and their families, and conducting field research. Mila has used her platform as Minister to advocate for gender equality, the elimination of violence against women, and anti-discrimination.

Francesca Cavallo
Francesca Cavallo

Bestselling author of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”, Founder & CEO of Undercats and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40) 

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Francesca Cavallo is a bestselling author of children’s books, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of Undercats Media. 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 into more than 47 languages. Her most recent international bestseller is the children’s book “Doctor Li and the Crown-wearing Virus”.

Silvia Console Battilana
Silvia Console Battilana

Co-Founder & CEO of Auctionomics and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Silvia is a young economist and entrepreneur specialising in game theory and interest groups. She has extensive experience as a strategist in auction design. In 2008, she co-founded Auctionomics, a high-stakes auction consulting and software firm with clients ranging from governments to Fortune 500 companies. Silvia has acted as project manager on several high-stakes auctions in Australia, Canada, and the United States, in many European countries, and in Africa and Latin America. She is also the co-founder of xSwan, an interactive version of eBay that allows charities to raise more money via online auctions. Silvia frequently speaks at major universities both in the United States (including Berkeley and Harvard) and around the world.

Mihai Danila
Mihai Danila

Senior Investment Manager at the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Mihai is a value-oriented investor from the United Kingdom with extensive experience in the financial sector. He is the current Senior Investment Manager at Abu Dhabi Growth Fund. Previously, as Vice-President at BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, his work focused on event-driven and special situation investments in both public and private markets throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mihai is a former executive director in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs, covering multi-billion transactions across Europe and the Middle East, prior to which he worked in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley. Mihai is also a national contests laureate in piano, maths and business ethics.

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Alexandra Dariescu

Award-winning concert pianist, Piano Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Alexandra is the creator and producer of “The Nutcracker and I”, a ground-breaking multimedia performance created for a piano solo with dance and digital animation. She currently teaches piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Alexandra made her debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York and has performed in many prestigious orchestras, including the Sydney Opera House, London’s Wigmore Hall, Dubai Opera House and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She was the first female Romanian pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Alexandra is an Honorary Associate Artist at the Royal Northern College of Music, Patron of Music in Lyddington, Cultural Ambassador of Romania and Officer of the Romanian Crown. An activist for gender equality in classical music, she is a recipient of the UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category and dedicates her life to education projects, building bridges and reaching out to the younger generation.

Valentina Diouf
Valentina Diouf

Professional athlete and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A professional Italian volleyball player, Valentina is a true role model for girls and women in sport. She currently sports the #7 jersey for LKS Commercecon Lodz in Poland, prior to which she played for Wealth Planet Perugia in Italy. Valentina is an Ambassador for Laureus Italia and Nike Made to Play project, two initiatives which encourage inclusion, gender equality and female leadership in youth sports. Before returning to Italy to play for the Italian women’s volleyball league, Serie A1, Valentina spent three seasons abroad. She played for KGC Ginseng in South Korea, where she scored a personal record of 54 points in a single match and earned her position among the top 10 best single-game scorers in the world. While playing for Associação Vôlei Bauru in Brazil, she helped lead the team to its victory at the Paulista Championship. Valentina has won gold medals with the national Italian team at the U20 World Championship and Mediterranean Games.

Stevan Dojčinović
Stevan Dojčinović

Investigative reporter, Editor-in-Chief of Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Stevan is a Serbian reporter, specialising in the investigation of organised crime, corruption, privatisation deals and money laundering. He is the Editor-in-Chief of KRIK and the Regional Editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) for the Balkans, prior to which he was the founding editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia. The author of “Šarić”, a book which dissects the role of the Balkan mafia in international cocaine smuggling, Steven also teaches journalists how to collect and analyse business data and property records. He has received national and international recognition for his journalistic work, most notably as the recipient of the Knight International Journalism Award, the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and the Serbian National Award for Investigative Reporting. He was also a member of the award-winning OCCRP investigative team that uncovered links of the former Serbian government to organised crime.

Lukasz Dziekonski
Lukasz Dziekonski

CEO and Managing Partner of Montis Capital Fund and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Lukasz is the CEO and Founding Partner of Montis Capital Fund. There, Lukasz oversees the formulation of financial and operational strategies. Previously, he was head of the Marguerite Fund office for the Central and Eastern Europe and member of the management board for the Marguerite Fund 2020 for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure in Luxembourg. He is also on the supervisory board of Pomeranka Development, InvestGas and Energa Operator in Poland, and of PZU Ukraine Insurance Company and Kredobank, also in Ukraine. Lukasz began his career as an adviser in the European Parliament, focusing on energy policy and security as well as EU relations with Russia and Ukraine.

Othman El Ferdaous
Othman El Ferdaous

Vice President for Growth at ABA Technology and 2017 MENA Young Leader

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Othman El Ferdaous is an experienced public affairs and strategic communication professional. Prior to his current role at the ABA Technology, he served as Moroccan minister of culture, youth and sport and the secretary of state for investment and assistant to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy. He is a strong advocate for EU-Maghreb integration and founded clubgibraltar.org, a non-profit organisation which provides a ‘South-North’ perspective on European affairs, especially regarding policy and institutional matters related to the Mediterranean and Africa. Othman currently serves as a board member of Sciences Po Alumni Morocco, focused on fostering reverse brain drain by mentoring Moroccan students, and writes a monthly newsletter covering Moroccan issues, which is read by over 7,000 subscribers. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was listed among the 50 most influential Moroccans under 40 by Telquel Magazine in 2016.

Nassira El Moaddem
Nassira El Moaddem

Journalist, Author and Presenter, Arrêt Sur Images and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Nassira is a French journalist, who currently works as a reporter for the evening news at France 2 and an interviewer on the French parliamentary TV channel. She is the former director and editor-in-chief of the Bondy Blog, a news website which highlights the topic of ethnic diversity in France. In this role, she was notably among the few female editors-in-chief of a French national media outlet. Her work focused on local investigations related to marginalised people living on the outskirts of cities, particularly around Paris. She began her career as a TV reporter and news anchor at Itele/Canal+.

Andrea Fernández Benéitez
Andrea Fernández Benéitez

Secretary of Equality for the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Andrea is a Spanish lawyer and politician, who currently serves as the Secretary of Equality for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), the government’s ruling party. As a Member of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, she is the Deputy Spokesperson of the Justice Commission and the First Vice President of the Commission for the audit of democratic quality, the fight against corruption and institutional and legal reforms. She is also committed to NGOs which provide free legal and psychological assistance to people who are victims of abuse and sexual violence. Andrea previously practiced corporate law and has held various positions within different youth organisations, including as a member of the Permanent Commission of the School Council of Castile and León, and as the secretary-general of the Autonomous Federation of Student Associations (FADAE).

Agnesta Filatovė
Agnesta Filatovė

Creative entrepreneur, Member of the Lithuanian National Radio and TV Commission, and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Agnesta is a Lithuanian image and executive specialist with extensive knowledge of the creative industry and public advocacy. She was the head of Lithuania’s annual Vilnius International Film Festival (VIFF) ‘Kino Pavasaris’, one of the biggest film festivals in the Baltic States. In 2019, VIFF screened around 170 films in 17 cities, 34% of which were made by women directors. Agnesta’s long career in the cultural environmental also extends to the role of coordinator at the European Commission’s 2007 MEDIA programme office in Lithuania, as well as a number of cultural projects, including the Latin American culture festival ‘In Latino’ and the educational cinema project for youths ‘Cine Book’ in Lithuania.

Mary Fitzgerald
Mary Fitzgerald

Researcher and Analyst specialising in the Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya, Trustee of Friends of Europe and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Mary Fitzgerald is a researcher and analyst specialising in the Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has consulted for a number of international organisations including in the areas of peace building and civil society.

She has worked with the International Crisis Group (ICG), the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) among others. She is a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King’s College London, and an Associate Fellow at ISPI in Milan. Mary has also worked on wider initiatives with UNESCO, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the British Council and other cultural organisations. Her writing has appeared in publications including Foreign Policy, The New Yorker online, the Washington Post, Financial Times and the Guardian.

Alessandro Fusacchia
Alessandro Fusacchia

Member of the Italian Parliament and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Alessandro serves as a Member of the Italian Parliament. He is also the Co-Founder and former secretary of the Italian political organisation, Movimenta, prior to which he worked as a strategic advisor for H-Farm’s Education division. Alessandro is the former head of cabinet at the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. He has prior experience as a special advisor on economic diplomacy to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and as a special advisor on innovation, entrepreneurship, youth and European affairs to the Italian Minister of Economic Development. Alessandro has also worked as an official at the Council of the European Union dealing with global economic governance and under the Italian Prime Minister’s office in Rome as part of the G8 summit team.

Joss Garman
Joss Garman

UK Programme Director at the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Joss Garman is a British environmental and humanitarian campaigner, who currently works as the UK Programme Director for the European Climate Foundation, where he oversees the organisation’s strategy and grant-making in Britain and advises the organisation on its broader European and international strategies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and also sits on the boards of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and GreenerUK, a coalition of the UK’s largest environmental NGOs. His previous roles include associate director for energy and climate change at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), political advisor to the Labour Party and chief advisor for the British Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. He has also held several senior positions at Greenpeace UK, including political director, head of media and head of the energy and climate campaign. During his time at Greenpeace, Joss co-founded the direct action group, Plane Stupid, and acted as an advisor to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and UNICEF.

Liza Gashi
Liza Gashi

Kosovar Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Kosovar innovator and entrepreneur, Liza is shaping public discourse around diaspora and civic engagement. As Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, she advocates for the advancement of Kosovo’s policies, legislation and institutional approaches regarding diaspora engagement. She founded the Kosovar committee for the United World Colleges (UWC), a global movement that promotes education as a force to unite people, nationals and cultures, where she served as chairwoman for over a decade. Liza is well known as the Founder and former executive director of GERMIN, an NGO that uses technology and virtual channels to connect and engage with the diaspora community to advance the socio-economic development and democratisation of the Western Balkan region. Additionally, Liza is also the Co-Founder and former managing director of KosovoDiaspora.org, a crowdsourcing digital engagement and diplomacy platform that connects Kosovars to the world and vice versa to promote Kosovo’s statehood internationally.

Edvard Glücksman
Edvard Glücksman

Partnerships Manager for International Clean Growth and Net Zero at the University of Exeter and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Edvard is an environmental sustainability professional working at the University of Exeter, currently serving as the business-facing manager on Tevi, a programme funded by European Regional Development Fund which supports the growth of SMEs in Cornwall with a focus on circular economy and environmental growth. Edvard recently spent three years as a senior environmental consultant with Wardell Armstrong, specialising in the environmental and social impacts of development projects in emerging economies in line with the standards of international financial institutions. He has also 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.

Luke Graham
Luke Graham

Special advisor on the Union to the UK government and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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In his current position as special advisor to the UK government under Boris Johnson, Luke works on fostering greater unity amongst the different countries of the United Kingdom. He was previously a member of parliament for the Conservative Party and served as the parliamentary private secretary to the Cabinet Office. Before entering politics, Luke worked in the private sector as an accountant for over a decade. Upon returning from five years abroad in China, Thailand and the United States, he campaigned for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom. He also notably took on the role of finance director for Stronger In, the official Remain campaign during the Brexit referendum. 

Iva Gumnishka
Iva Gumnishka

Founder and CEO of Humans in the Loop and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Bulgarian social entrepreneur, Iva is the Founder and CEO of Humans in the Loop, which provides remote online employment to conflict-affected and displaced people, such as refugees, in the field of dataset annotation and model validation for computer vision and artificial intelligence. The award-winning social enterprise has provided work and training opportunities for over 500 people in Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen, and maintains a dedicated programme to promote the economic inclusion of women. Humans in the Loop is part of MIT SOLVE’s ‘Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship’ cohort of social enterprises and has also been awarded by the Global Innovators programme of the Dubai 2020 World Expo. Iva is passionate about promoting the role of humans in AI pipelines and the mitigation of bias in AI systems through diverse and representative data. She is also part of Forbes 30 under 30 in her country.

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Jakob Haesler

Managing Director at Foxdixneuf and European Young Leader (EYL40)

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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 advanced 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”.

Audrey Hanard
Audrey Hanard

Chair of the Board of Directors at bpost and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Audrey is a Belgian businesswoman with a wealth of experience in advising corporate, government and philanthropic clients on a range of development and social impact topics. As an Associate Partner at Dalberg Advisors, she works with clients to improve education, employment and health outcomes worldwide through the development, implementation and impact evaluation of inclusive development strategies. Audrey currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors at bpost, leading the Belgian postal operator’s transition from a mail to parcel network. She is the Chair of the Board at Be education, an organisation that supports the improvement of education in Belgium. Audrey is also the Co-Founder and former operational director of Spectralys Biotech, a start-up that provides a unique protein analysis technology for the biopharmaceutical industry. She was previously the president of Groupe Vendredi, a think tank focused on societal issues in Belgium, and head of philanthropy at Telos Impact, a venture philanthropy firm.

Kirsten van den Hul
Kirsten van den Hul

Director of DutchCulture, former member of the Dutch Parliament; Writer, Change Agent and Columnist and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Kirsten is the director of DutchCulture, an Amsterdam-based network and knowledge organisation for international cultural cooperation. She has been elected in the Dutch national Parliament in 2017. Prior to starting her political career, she was working as a ‘change agent’. As such she has been involved in a number of different change projects for companies and organisations such as Nike and Amnesty International. She is also a columnist for several Dutch newspapers on issues ranging from women’s rights to international relations. Trained as an Eastern Europe specialist, she has worked for several international NGOs, including international women’s fund Mama Cash and the European Cultural Foundation. After working as a Communication Officer for LPG multinational SHV Gas, Kirsten also worked as a Programme Coordinator for Cultuurfabriek, a communications and production agency. While there she set up WOMEN Inc., a platform for debate and interaction, and was also involved with several other social and cultural projects.

Hera Hussain
Hera Hussain

Founder of CHAYN and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Hera is the Founder and CEO of CHAYN – a global non-profit that creates resources on the web to address gender-based violence. CHAYN’s multilingual resources, designed with, not for survivors, have reached more than 500 000 people. Raised in Pakistan and living in the UK, Hera committed early to tackling violence against women. She believes in using the power of open-source technology, trauma-informed design and hope-filled framing to solve the world’s pressing issues. Hera is an Ashoka Fellow, and was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 list.

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Klen Jäärats

Director for EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Estonia and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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As Director of the EU Secretariat in the Estonian government, Klen coordinates and develops all EU policy and acts as the chief European affairs adviser to the Prime Minister. A career civil servant, Klen started out in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, rising quickly to the position of Head of the Refugees Department. In this capacity, he dealt with a variety of NGOs and international organisations including the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He later moved to Brussels where he spent six years working at the Estonian Permanent Representation to the EU during which time he dealt with many issues related to the preparation, ratification and implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Justas Janauskas
Justas Janauskas

Serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Vinted and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Justas is a Lithuanian entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Lithuania’s first unicorn start-up, Vinted. The mobile shopping platform for second-hand fashion is Europe’s largest online customer-to-customer (C2C) marketplace in Europe. Operational in 15 countries with over 45mn users, the platform has continued to experience tremendous growth, as consumption patterns continue to shift against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Justas served as Vinted’s CEO for nearly a decade. A serial angel investor who offers his expertise and financial support to young entrepreneurs, Justas has backed a wide range of projects, including Memby, an after-school online learning platform, the sustainable Local Ocean shrimp farm, as well as Dogo, a mobile app for dog training that has been named Apple’s App of the Day in countries across North America, Europe and Australia.

Tea Jarc
Tea Jarc

President of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Youth Committee and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Tea is a grassroots youth activist from Slovenia, who campaigns for social justice and actively engages in various social movements. As President of the ETUC Youth Committee, she leads the organisation in its mission to amplify the voice of the European youth workforce. Tea is also the President of Sindikat Mladi plus, a Slovenian youth trade union that represents working and unemployed Slovenian young people and students, including high school students, and seeks to protect their social and labour rights. A freelance educator, trainer and facilitator, Tea also hosts a podcast, which covers labour issues and explores labour policy alternatives that prioritise the well-being of citizens and the environment.

Nektarios Kalantzis
Nektarios Kalantzis

President of the European Local Leaders and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Nektarios is a Greek politician with a passion for good local governance. He currently serves as the President of the European Local Leaders, a committee of young European politicians that have been elected at the regional or local level. The initiative aims to promote creativity and share pioneering ideas among the new generation of locally elected officials throughout cities across Europe, with a focus on climate change, environmental protection, smart cities and new technologies. Nektarios is also the President of the Union of Young Local Councillors of Greece, which brings together newly elected regional and municipal councillors, governors, deputy mayors and mayors in Greece and organises events on the role of local governments in the development of smarter and greener cities. He is also the Municipal Councillor of the Pallini Municipality in Greece, prior to which he has served as a member of the Municipal Council.

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Angeliki Kapoglou

Strategist and Researcher at the European Space Agency (ESA)

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Angeliki Kapoglou is a systems designer and strategist, who works across disciplines and large-scale systems. Having worked at NASA, ESA and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), she is experienced in leading early phase research and opportunity definition projects. After spending a year at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) at Stanford University, Kapoglou became interested in applying human-centred design methodologies to early space mission concept formulation, with the belief that designing space systems is a creative process after all. Given her background at international research centres, she has been exposed to the complex interplay between science and politics and one of her favourite things is bringing together non-traditional partners to engage in multi-stakeholder initiatives, especially those involving governmental entities and policymakers.

Stefania Kapronczay
Stefania Kapronczay

Executive Director at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Stefánia is a human rights activist, whose work focuses on illiberal democracies. A lawyer by training, she has particular expertise on the reproductive rights of people with disabilities and is a passionate defender of the rights of vulnerable groups. She currently serves as the Executive Director at HCLU, the leading human rights organisation in Hungary that aims to increase awareness of fundamental human rights and empower Hungarians to enforce these rights when they are abused, especially by those in positions of public power. Stefánia previously served as the HCLU’s head of patients’ rights program, in which role she led the organisation’s effort to stop restrictions on reproductive rights and the criminalisation of homelessness, as well as foster the rights of persons with disabilities. She currently co-chairs the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations and sits on the advisory board of School of Public Life, a community-based research and training centre.

Jesse Klaver
Jesse Klaver

Member of the Dutch House of Representatives, Leader of the Dutch green party GroenLinks and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Jesse currently serves as the green-left party leader in the Dutch Parliament, with a mandate focused on environmental and educational issues. In his time as party leader, Jesse was instrumental in capturing 10 additional parliamentary seats, rising to an all-time high of 14, and making GroenLinks the fifth most important group in the House. Previously, Jesse was the spokesperson for Finance, Environment and Education and sat on a wide range of parliamentary committees. He has publically opposed tax evasion and has co-authored a memo on protecting the Dutch flora and fauna.

Leszek Konrad Jażdżewski
Leszek Konrad Jażdżewski

Editor-in-Chief of Liberté! and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Polish writer, speaker and activist, Leszek is the Editor-in-Chief of Liberté!, a journal which he founded over a decade ago to promote freedom, share ideas and counter populism. He is the co-creator of Freedom Games, an interdisciplinary event that gathers 4,000 attendees and 350 speakers to discuss the key challenges Western societies must face in the 21st century. Leszek is also the Founder and CEO of Bookme, an app which makes reading internet-friendly. He currently serves on the Council of European Forum for New Ideas and recently completed a policy fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, where his work focused on how the narrative of change could counter the rise of populism in EU member states, overcome the European identity crisis and strengthen transnational governance.

Pavlos Kontides
Pavlos Kontides

Competitive sailor, Olympic medallist and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A competitive sailor from Cyprus, Pavlos is an Olympic medallist and the first and only athlete to win an Olympic medal for the country. Following his historic win, he went on to place second at the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) World Championship and then earned the title of World Champion for two consecutive years, as well as European Champion. Pavlos has been recognised as the Cyprus Athlete of the Year seven times. He is a true role model for young athletes and actively supports the sporting community in his country. Ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, Pavlos launched the #TowardsTokyo campaign to financially support five promising Cypriot athletes in their preparations to qualify for the national Olympics team, four of which were successful in reaching Tokyo.

Beatrice Leanza
Beatrice Leanza

Cultural Strategist, Museum Director and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Beatrice is an Italian cultural strategist with over 15 years of experience developing urban and social impact programmes. Currently, she is the Director of MUDAC, Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts in Lausanne. She is an advocate of practical creativity for educational empowerment in sustainable futures. Prior to her current role, Beatrice co-founded B/Side Design, an urban and social impact organisation, which worked on the establishment of The Global School, the first independent design and multidisciplinary research institute in China. She has previously served as the creative director for Beijing Design Week, China’s largest and internationally renowned design and architecture event, and worked on the urban regeneration plan of Beijing’s Baitasi historic district. She is also a member of the advisory board for Design Trust in Hong Kong.

Ivan Lesay
Ivan Lesay

Board Member and Head of Strategy and M&A of ESCO Slovensko, civil servant and fiction writer and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Ivan is a political scientist, economic advisor and writer from Slovakia. Shortly after joining the Slovak Ministry of Finance as advisor to the minister, Ivan instigated the setup of the Slovak Investment Holding (SIH). Since being appointed its CEO in January 2017, Ivan led this state-owned fund in investing in strategic sectors of the economy, and driving economic development throughout the country. As of 2022, Ivan now leads ESCO Slovensko, a joint company of Czech and Slovak energy companies as a board member and head of Strategy and M&A. He previously served as deputy finance minister, and held leading roles during the Slovak Presidency in the EU Council. Ivan is a keen writer and has seen the publication of a number of his works, including a popular study of the 2008 Financial Crisis he co-authored and a children’s book.

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André Loesekrug-Pietri

Chairman and Scientific Director of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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André Loesekrug-Pietri is an entrepreneur and has held leadership positions in private equity, government and industry. He is currently the Chairman of JEDI, which aims to accelerate Europe’s leadership by financing and nurturing the development of breakthrough technologies. He previously served as a special advisor to the French Minister of Defence, where he was responsible for European defence policy, as well as technology and innovation, prior to which he has 15 years of experience in private equity and venture capital. Loesekrug-Pietri is a lecturer at Sciences Po and a regular columnist at several international media outlets. Having studied aerospace engineering, he is also a private pilot and Colonel with the French Air Force People’s Reserve.

Arancha Martínez Fernández
Arancha Martínez Fernández

Founder of It-willbe.org, Co-Founder and CEO of The Common Good Chain, and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Arancha is a Spanish social innovator on a mission to maximise the impact of social projects. With 13 years of experience in the field of humanitarian aid, Arancha is tackling poverty through innovation and reshaping the world of philanthropy. She founded It-willbe.org to maximise aid and funds by leveraging data to understand the dimensions and significance of problems faced by vulnerable people. Its largest project, the People’s Protection App, promotes the right to identity by accurately identifying homeless minors through biometrical recognition and data processing software, making “invisible” people visible. Arancha is also the Co-Founder and CEO of The Common Good Chain, the first blockchain-backed platform to measure and report social impact across entire value chains, providing the social sector with the traceability and transparency it needs to transform society. In recognition of her work, she has received the European Commission’s EU Prize for Women Innovators and the Princess of Girona Social Award.

Adolfo Mesquita Nunes
Adolfo Mesquita Nunes

Partner, Gama Glória and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Adolfo was the Portuguese Secretary of State of Tourism till 2015. Prior to this he was a Member of the Portuguese Parliament’s Committees on Ethics, Communication and Citizenship; Budget, Finance and Public Administration; and Monitoring Measures of the Financial Assistance Programme to Portugal. He has extensive experience in the legal sector, having served as a lawyer, consultant and advisor to various public institutions and private firms. In 2004 he was Head of Cabinet for the Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning. He holds a Master’s degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Lisbon where he defended his thesis on The Urgency in Public Procurement Litigation.

Ayman Mhanna
Ayman Mhanna

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

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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. Ayman 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

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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.

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Carlos Moedas

Mayor of Lisbon, former EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and former Portuguese Under Secretary of State, Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Roger Montañola i Busquets
Roger Montañola i Busquets

Founder and President of Twenty50 and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Roger is one of the founding fathers of Twenty50, a think tank that unites the best global talents on a multidisciplinary platform based on cooperation, exchange and thought. Connecting professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and a variety of major cities, Twenty50 maintains that its primary objective is to forge the society of the future. Focusing on technological innovation, the think tank works on a range of issues such as nanorobotics, genomics, AI and virtual reality. As a former MP in the Parliament of Catalonia and as deputy of the Convergència i Unió, Roger was one of the youngest members to join at the age of 24. In 2015, he was selected for the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program by the US State Department.

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Negar Mortazavi

Journalist and 2017 MENA Young Leader (EYL40)

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Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian-American journalist and columnist, who exclusively covers stories about Iran in both English and Persian. She is also the host of the Iran Podcast and a frequent commentator on Iranian affairs at MSNBC, BBC, PRI, The New York Times, Aljazeera, HuffPost and international outlets across the world, including Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Switzerland and Japan. Mortazavi previously worked as a TV presenter at Voice of America (VOA) Persian, where she hosted a daily hour-long interactive show that discussed current affairs with Iranians across the world.

Talitha Muusse
Talitha Muusse

Chief Impact Officer at Blikverruimers, Founder of Energieboot and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Dutch businesswoman and entrepreneur passionate about sustainability and innovation, Talitha is involved with a number of social initiatives. She launched Blikverruimers, a training programme and recruitment selection agency for young professionals in the Netherlands, who aspire to become business leaders. She is also the driving force behind Energieboot, a leadership programme for young professionals developing sustainable energy projects. As one of the faces of the Coalition-Y movement, a partnership of youth, trade union and climate organisations, Talitha promotes youth participation in society. She also regularly appears on talk shows and previously hosted the current affairs TV programme, Op1. She started her career at MVO Nederland, an organisation which guides companies in corporate social responsibility, where she became the youngest member to sit on a supervisory board in the Netherlands nearly a decade ago. Talitha is also Member of the Advisory Board at the research institute TNO.

Aleksandar Nikoloski
Aleksandar Nikoloski

Vice-President of the Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Member of the Assembly of North Macedonia, Aleksandar is the Vice-President of the country’s main opposition party, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE). Committed to tackling corruption and pursuing the country’s EU membership, he serves as the Chairman of the National European Integration Council, in which role he facilitates the country’s EU accession talks. Aleksandar is a Vice-President of the European People’s Party group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), where he also sits on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. He previously served as vice president of PACE and first vice-chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, as well as the Monitoring Committee. Prior to his entry in politics, Aleksandar was the secretary of FRESTA, a programme led by the Danish Foreign Ministry to promote the NGO community and interethnic dialogue in south-eastern Europe.

Kevin Noertker
Kevin Noertker

Co-Founder and CEO at Ampaire (United States of America)

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Kevin Noertker is Co-founder and CEO of Ampaire. Over the past half decade, Kevin and his team at Ampaire have pioneered practical, compelling electrified flight through the upgrade of existing aircraft types. In the last years, Ampaire flew the world’s largest hybrid electric aircraft and deployed and demonstrated electrified flight with multiple airlines across the globe. To date they have flown over 20,000km hybrid electric. Prior to Ampaire, Noertker contributed engineering and program management expertise to aircraft and satellite development programs at Northrop Grumman, and as a research fellow at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. An entrepreneur at heart, Noertker is driven to apply the science and engineering disciplines of large aerospace organizations to pressing environmental problems here on Earth.

Paolo Petrocelli
Paolo Petrocelli

Director-General for the Stauffer Center for Strings and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Paolo is the Founding Director-General of the Stauffer Center for Strings in Italy, the first international music centre for higher education dedicated entirely to string instruments. Paolo’s work is driven by the belief that culture, arts and education are a major force for growth, development and change on the global level. He is the Founder and President of EMMA for Peace (Euro-Mediterranean Music Academy), among the largest international non-profit organisations for the promotion of a culture of peace through music diplomacy and education in Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Paolo is the Founder and Honorary President of the Italian Youth Association for UNESCO, the largest youth organisation in the UNESCO system, and Cultural Diplomacy Officer for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. A performing arts manager, professor and researcher, he has become an influential global cultural leader, collaborating with renowned organisations and artists, including the United Nations, European Commission, Rome Opera House and Coldplay.

Tiago Pitta e Cunha
Tiago Pitta e Cunha

CEO of the Oceano Azul FoundationCEO of the Oceano Azul Foundation, former counselor for Environment, Science and Maritime Affairs to the President of Portugal

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Tiago Pitta e Cunha been working on ocean policies for 19 years, as a policymaker in the United Nations, the Government of Portugal, the European Commission and as an independent consultant. Has been an advocate of the strategic importance of the oceans and seas both for Portugal and for Europe, in Lisbon and in Brussels. Is currently working as Chief Executive Director for the Oceano Azul Foundation since its creation in 2017. Is also a Member of the General Council of the University of Lisbon. Pitta e Cunha is the former counselor for Environment, Science and Maritime Affairs to the President of Portugal.

CRISTINA POZZI
Cristina Pozzi

Co-Founder and CEO at Treccani Futura and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Cristina is an Italian businesswoman and social entrepreneur with a passion for emerging technologies and a goal to ensure everyone has access to a digital future. She is the CEO of Tercanni Futura, an Italian cultural EdTech hub and the product of the Treccani Scuola acquisition of Impactscool. Cristina co-founded Treccani to raise awareness about innovative education, stimulate reflection on the ethics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and encourage citizens to adopt a more forward-thinking approach to technological change. She led Impactscool as CEO for five years, prior to which she co-founded Wish Days, where she served as general manager and a board member. Her motto, “the future is open source”, acknowledges that the future is shaped by and accessible to everyone. A published author, Cristina is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Institute for Ethical AI in Education and an Independent Advisor on the Advisory Board of Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR.

Anne-Solene Rolland
Anne-Solène Rolland

Director of Heritage and Collections at the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Anne-Solène is Director of Heritage and Collections at the  Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. She previously headed the department of museums at the French Ministry of Culture. A fierce advocate for history and heritage, she has shaped her career around showcasing the societal benefits of cultural conservation. As a curator of heritage, she has held leading positions at the prestigious French National Museum of Immigration History. Anne-Solène has also been director of research and collections at the Louvre Museum, where she oversaw the acquisition and lending of the museum’s artwork. She played an instrumental role in increasing the availability of the world’s finest art to a greater number of people.

Marko Russiver
Marko Russiver

Founder and CEO of Grantful and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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An Estonian designer and innovator, Marko is passionate about the open sharing of knowledge and its capabilities to shape the future. Having most recently founded Grantful, he helped launched a global online hackathon series, Hack the Crisis and The Global Hack, to address challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Marko delivered a TED talk on how the initiative could create solutions for the post-pandemic world. He is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Guaana, an online platform that connects scientists and researchers to break down barriers between disciplines. Marko is a Member of Accelerate Estonia’s Advisory Board, the Estonian Founders Society and the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs’ mental health think tank. He has worked closely with research organisations and government institutions, including CERN, the European Space Agency, Dubai Future Foundation and the European Commission, to empower researchers and innovators. Marko previously worked as a creative and art director at branding and service design companies.

Gundbert Scherf
Gundbert Scherf

Co-Founder, President and COO of Helsing and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A German technology expert, Gundbert’s personal mission is to make technology work for the purpose of democratic defence and security institutions. He co-founded Helsing, a security and artificial intelligence company that specialises in real-time information processing software, with the aim of strengthening Europe’s liberal democracies by providing the clearest image possible of an operating environment. Assisting democratic governments in becoming technology makers not takers, Helsing has quickly become one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe. A self-described ‘transatlanticist’, Gundbert is also a Member of Atlantik-Brücke, a non-profit association which aims to deepen transatlantic cooperation. Gundbert previously served as a commissioner at the German Federal Ministry of Defence, in which role he contributed to the design of the Cyber and Information Domain Command, a new military service related to the information domain.

Michal Šimečka
Michal Šimečka

Vice-President of the European Parliament and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Michal is the first Slovak politician to serve as a Vice-President of the European Parliament. The highest-ranked Slovak in the Parliament’s history, Michal is responsible for democracy and human rights. He is a former vice-president of Renew Europe and was the rapporteur for a key proposal to introduce a new mechanism for the protection of democracy, the rule of law and European values in member states. A champion of a free, secure and democratic Europe, Michal is a Founding Member and the Vice-President of the Progressive Slovakia, a pro-European party in Slovakia. Previously, he worked as a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague, studying European integration and security, and served as an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Michal began his professional career as a journalist for SME, a Slovak newspaper, and then the Financial Times.

Tamara Srzentić
Tamara Srzentić

Former Montenegrin Minister for Public Administration, Digital Society and Media and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Tamara served as the Minister of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media in Montenegro, in which role she advocated for public administration reform, digital transformation and the development of e-government services. Prior to this, Tamara was integral to the launch of the Government of California’s Digital Innovation Office, established to improve the state’s digital services. In this capacity, she led the COVID-19 digital response, the Policy Design Lab and the Inclusive by Design initiative. She is also the Co-Founder and former deputy director of the Office of Innovation at the California Health and Human Services Agency, where she was responsible for driving innovation to provide critical healthcare and social services. She has been involved with a number of organisations and programmes, including Alchemist, CivicMakers, Code for America, New America and most recently, Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), where she provides support for public administration reform in the Western Balkans.

Ivan Štefunko
Ivan Štefunko

Founding Chairman of Progresívne Slovensko, Consultant in Innovation Policies and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Ivan has extensive experience in technology, media and the Internet as a serial entrepreneur and angel investor in the Slovakian venture capital industry. Ivan co-founded Progresívne Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia), a social-liberal and pro-European political movement, becoming the party’s first chairman and currently serving as Vice Chairman. Prior to this, Ivan co-founded Neulogy Ventures, a management company which invests public and private funds in early stage tech companies, and Neulogy, a Bratislava-based consultancy boutique specialising in R&D management, technology commercialisation and start-up consultation. He has also been at the helm of a number of start-up companies with global or regional reach, including Diagnose.me, Pelicantravel.com, Piano Media and GA Drilling.

Wietse van der Werf
Wietse van der Werf

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

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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.

Ruben van Zwieten
Ruben van Zwieten

Founder and Reverend, De Nieuwe Poort and 2019 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Ruben van Zwieten

Ruben is a Dutch pastor and social entrepreneur, well-known for building bridges between the financial sector and spirituality. As a pastor he fills in for ministers, marries couples and baptises babies, as co-founder of the project Zingeving on the Zuidas (finding meaning in the Amsterdam Financial Sector), he aims to discuss a more human and moral perspective on the financial sector with its employees. Recently he opened The New Gate, a modern community house in Amsterdam and Rotterdam dedicated to philosophy, meeting people, and building a kinder society. Ruben is adviser at Goldschmeding Foundation and board member at VUMC Foundation and also member of the Dutch Monitoring Commission for banks. Dutch Newspaper De Volkskrant called him one of the nation’s most influential people.

Wouter Vermeulen
Wouter Vermeulen

Senior Director Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company Europe

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With over 25 years of experience in corporate social responsibility, public affairs and communications, Wouter Vermeulen has extensive knowledge of working directly with government, private sector and not-for profit organisations. Within the Coca-Cola Company, he currently holds the role of Senior Director Sustainability, responsible for driving the corporate sustainability agenda in Europe. Wouter started his career as spokesperson to the Belgian Minister for SME’s and Agriculture, André Bourgeois, and State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Réginald Moreels.

João Wengorovius Meneses
João Wengorovius Meneses

Secretary General, BSCD Portugal and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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João is the Secretary General of the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Portugal (BCSD Portugal), a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Global Network. Prior to assuming his current role, João held several roles in the public, private and non profit sectors. He served as Secretary of State for Youth and Sports in the Portuguese Government, had several roles in the Portuguese startup ecosystem (as head of Startup Discoveries, a venture capital fund, head of the REACTOR – Innovation Hub, and head of the Mouraria Creative Hub). He also served as director of GABIP Mouraria, a mission unit reporting to the mayor of Lisbon that led the rehabilitation of Mouraria – in the past a deprived area in the center of Lisbon, but also its most traditional and multicultural quarter. Finally, he’s the founder of HUB 2050, a consulting firm acting in the field of innovation for sustainability, and author of two books about management and innovation.»

Eberhart Wusterhaus Gomez
Eberhart Wusterhaus Gomez

Commercial Director at Carbon Clean and 2015-2016 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Eberhart Wusterhaus Gomez

Eberhart is an engineer specialising in energy generation for heating, power and vehicle fuel from both conventional and sustainable sources. He also has expert knowledge of the feasibility of the development and practical application of energy generation based on local conditions. Born in Mexico and educated in Germany, Eberhart has a vital understanding of industrialised and developing countries alike. He has been responsible for national renewable gas projects in Germany, and for the mechanical design and commissioning of gas processing plants in developing countries. He has a strong understanding of the global energy market, current obstacles and future perspectives, with experience of various multi-million euro investment contract negotiations around the world.

Darya Yegorina
Darya Yegorina

Founder & Board Member of CleverBooks and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Darya is an Irish entrepreneur and influential global pioneer of the role that ‘augmented reality’ (AR) can play in education. She recently created CleverBooks to provide personalised educational content for students by utilising three-dimensional AR technologies. Darya has been widely recognised for her work, having won the Digital Female Leaders Award in Entrepreneurship as well as being named an Innovator by the Irish Times and a Young Irish Entrepreneur. She has been featured in Inc.com, Forbes, CBS and many other global media platforms for her efforts to bridge the technology gap in classrooms around the world and boost student outcomes.

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