What do a microbiologist, an entrepreneur, a journalist and a Member of Parliament have in common?
They are all European Young Leaders who are engaged in making Europe a global champion for a better world.
The European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme, organised by Friends of Europe, is a unique, inventive and multi-stakeholder programme that aims to promote a European identity by engaging the continent’s most promising talents and initiatives.
The European Young Leaders represent promising European leadership from all over the continent, with a wide variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.
Every year, they meet for two three-day seminars in symbolic European cities, joined by decision-makers, stakeholders and key European actors to discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete proposals and recommendations to tackle the challenges facing Europe and its citizens.
The European Young Leaders now represent a network of more than 180 alumni.
Meet the Class of 2019
The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.
Kira is director of data science of eBay, responsible for the next generation predictive data mining, deep learning and natural language processing solutions that will transform eCommerce. Before this, Kira co-founded SalesPredict, working in the field of predictive marketing by building solutions leveraging large-scale data mining to predict sales conversions. As well as this, Kira is involved in research activities, gives workshops and tutorials, and is visiting Professor at Techiunion. In 2013, she was on MIT’s 35 Innovators Under 35 list.
Virginia is the first woman to become mayor of Rome after winning the 2016 municipal election with two-thirds of the vote. She is considered as a rising star of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), a party that she joined in 2011, two years before being elected to Rome’s city council. Called a talented debated by the Economist, Virginia vowed to end corruption, introduce a new level of transparency to the Roman government and revamp the city’s failing infrastructure. Virginia fiercely campaigned against the proposed amendment to the Italian constitution in the run-up to the 2016 constitutional referendum. A lawyer by training, she specialises in intellectual property and new technology.
Sam currently represents the citizens of Roanoke in the Virginia House of Delegates, being Virginia’s only Muslim legislator. His political ambition is driven by an idea of changing the way politics is conducted by building trust on the left and the right, across political divides, and by improving government services for veterans and seniors in rural areas. Rasoul brings to the position two decades of leadership and management experience gained with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the International non-governmental organization Kissito Healthcare International, Rasoul worked closely with United Nations Agencies and other government officials to strengthen healthcare systems in East Africa. Rasoul is also a proven leader in organizational change and serves as a Transformational Change Agent at ENVIGOR where he delivers pragmatic solutions for organizations facing disruption and change in the Digital Age.
Nina is Head of Life Science at the Swedish Industrial Development Fund (Industrifonden) where she is responsible for international business development in early life science companies. Prior to this, she was Vice President of Ventures and Strategy at Gambro, a leading global medical technology company. Nina has worked in the academic, non-profit, and government sectors in the USA, France and the UK. Her academic background is in molecular neurobiology and biochemistry, and includes a PhD from the Karolinska Institute. In 2012, she was selected as one of 20 “Rising Talents” worldwide by the Women’s Forum.
Nasima is an Afghan-Finnish politician, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki and a former member of the Finnish Parliament, representing the Social Democratic Party. She also works with Finnish NGOs that work to promote gender and ethnic equality in Finland. Nasima’s family first moved to Finland from Afghanistan in 1992, and her refugee experience has shaped her political career, in which she prioritises social welfare such as education, the environment, and housing. Nasima is the first Member of Finnish Parliament to have a refugee background, and in 2010 was named refugee woman of the year by the Finnish Refugee Council for her work to promote equality and the preservation of the Finnish welfare system.
Emma is a Member of the British Parliament since 2010 and a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee as well as Shadow Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to becoming an MP, Emma helped to set up a business which supported British companies in understanding and influencing EU laws. She then went on to work for the Party of European Socialists in Brussels as an adviser to Robin Cook. Emma was later appointed as political advisor to Geoff Hoon, in his role as Europe Minister and then Chief Whip. She graduated from Oxford University in philosophy, politics and economics.
Daan is a Dutch artist and innovator; he’s a creative thinker who explores the relations between people, technology and space through social designs. Having been inspired by natural phenomena like light-emitting fireflies and jellyfish from an early age, Daan’s long-standing fascination with nature and technology is reflected in designs that include his Smart Highway project (roads which charge from sunlight and glow at night) and Waterlicht (a virtual flood). His Smog Free Project has seen the creation of the largest outdoor air purifier in the world, transforming smog into jewellery, and the Smog Free Bike which cleans the surrounding air with every pedal. In 2007, he founded Studio Roosegaarde, a internationally renowned social design lab where he works with his team of designers and engineers to craft a better future. Together, they develop ‘Landscapes of the Future’ by building smart sustainable prototypes for the cities of tomorrow.
Lara is a serial entrepreneur. In 2009, she founded Dealissime, a website providing buyer groups with daily offers relating to products and services for women. By 2011 it had been acquired by LivingSocial, part of the Amazon group. In 2013, she launched Selectionnist, which seeks to bridge the gap between offline content and online experience by allowing users to find any item featured in French fashion magazines through a mobile application. Selectionnist is also a high-performance analytics tool for both advertisers and publishers and is currently working with more than 30 top magazines in France, such as Elle and Marie Claire. The venture raised €2m in seed financing. Lara is also a member of the French Digital Council, which aims to make recommendations on the impact of digital technologies on society.
EUROPEAN YOUNG LEADERS (EYL40) PROGRAMME
Join the 2020 class of European Young Leaders
Under the patronage of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Young Leaders programme is a unique, inventive and multi-stakeholder programme that aims to promote a European identity by engaging the continent’s most promising talents in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future.
The European Young Leaders represent the most promising European leadership from all over the continent and with a wide variety of backgrounds including: politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.
The programme acts as a forum for those who have already established themselves at the forefront of their professions to meet, discuss and collaborate with their counterparts from other fields of expertise. Previous candidates include: government ministers, CEOs, Michelin-starred chefs, international film directors, and high profile journalists.
For examples of current and previous European Young Leaders, please refer to Annex I.
OVERVIEW OF THE SELECTION PROCESS
Since the launch of the programme in 2012, we have gradually taken steps to ensure the diversity and exceptional quality of its selection process. We have made sure that its comprehensive and competitive nature ensures the identification and selection of remarkable individuals.
We aim to select 40 European Young Leaders of diverse backgrounds in order to enable a broad exchange of ideas, creating the basis for a new generation of engaged European leaders.
Candidates can either apply or be nominated for the selection process of the programme.
1. NOMINATION GUIDELINES
Individuals can be nominated to the European Young Leaders programme by several means.
- Institutional partners
A wide network of European organisations is called upon to recommend high-potential individuals to Friends of Europe.
- Pre-selection by Friends of Europe’s Board of Trustees and other outstanding personalities
Our Board of Trustees and a limited selection of outstanding personalities from different sectors (business, politics, media, science and the arts) are asked to nominate young leaders that could be considered in the selection process.
For a list of Friends of Europe’s Board of Trustees, please click here.
Every year, the alumni network of the European Young Leaders programme is called upon to send in recommendations to Friends of Europe. Given their experience of the programme, we consider the alumni extremely knowledgeable about who is the best fit for such a leadership programme.
2. APPLICATION GUIDELINES
Candidates should send a biography (including their date of birth and full contact details), a recent high-resolution photo and a cover letter outlining the relevant achievements and experiences that make them a viable candidate, also highlighting the means by which they hope to contribute to the European Young Leaders network and the development of the programme.
- Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age (born on or after 1 January 1979);
- Candidates must be a national of an EU member state or of one of the 6 Balkan states currently on the path towards EU integration (Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro);
- Candidates should have established themselves the highest levels of their chosen profession, or be on track to do so;
- Candidates must be committed to serve society at large through noteworthy contributions and have demonstrated a record of significant achievements and outstanding professional experience;
- Candidates are also evaluated based on their ability to contribute to the enrichment of the programme as a whole;
- Candidates are required to be fluent in English as it is the working language of the programme.
- Candidates must commit to participating in at least one seminar during the programme year.
To be considered for the 2020 selection process, all applications and nominations must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline: Monday, 3 June 2019
Spring 2020 3-day seminar in a European city Autumn 2020 3-day seminar in a European city Ongoing European Young Leaders are involved in (virtual) working groups throughout the year, allowing their input from afar into the topics and projects of their choice based on their availability and interest. October 2020 Exclusive invitation to the President’s Gala Dinner and Friends of Europe’s annual State of Europe ‘high-level’ roundtable, which are attended by several Heads of State and Government, and a few hundred other personalities from across Europe and beyond. October 2020 Participation in the European Young Leaders alumni meeting in Brussels, open to all current and previous European Young Leaders.
With the support of