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.
Who are we looking for?
We’re looking for a new generation of change-makers – a new class of European Young Leaders who will carry the baton forward and help lead Europe into a better, brighter future. Do you know anyone who fits the bill?
The candidates should be European citizens between 30 and 40 years of age (born in 1979 or afterwards); with a proven track record as established opinion leaders in their fields of activity, including, but not limited to: politics, science, business, media, the arts, and civil society. We look for candidates who are creative, committed and passionate about reshaping the world and we are particularly interested in those who have not only demonstrated a strong engagement with Europe, but who are also on track to reach the highest ranks of their field of expertise. Past candidates include: government ministers, CEOs, Michelin-starred chefs, international film directors, and high profile journalists.
Every year we are amazed at how incredible each new class is. Help us make the 2019 class of European Young Leaders one for the record.
Current and previous European Young Leaders include
Jesse Klaver, Leader of the Dutch Green party “GroenLinks”
Eleni Antoniadou, Co-Founder of Transplants without Donors
Adil El Arbi, Film Director and Screenwriter
Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome
Eneko Atxa, Chef at three-Michelin-starred restaurant Azurmendi
Kaja Kallas, Member of the European Parliament
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society
Bastian Obermayer, Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist
John Collison, President & Co-Founder of Stripe
Selina Juul, Founder and Chairman of the Stop Wasting Food movement
Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
Janis Jonevs, Author and winner of the European prize for literature
Humza Yousaf, Scottish Minister for Transport and Islands
Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Astrophysicist and discoverer of the Proxima b exoplanet
Dionysis Grammenos, Award-winning conductor and clarinetist
Jens Spahn, Minister for Health, National Parliament of Germany (Bundestag)
Frédéric Mazzella, CEO and Founder of BlablaCar
Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke, Founder & President of Women’s Worldwide Web
Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, National Parliament of Luxembourg
For personal applications:
Please send your CV (including date of birth and full contact details), together with a cover letter explaining why you believe that you should be considered for the EYL40 programme.
Please send the full name, date of birth and full contact details of the candidate that you wish to nominate, together with a short biography of their professional background and achievements, and a letter explaining why you believe that they are a suitable candidate for the programme.
The 2019 nomination process is now officially closed.
Thank you to all those who nominated candidates or submitted an application for the Class of 2019.
Kindly note that only successful applicants will be contacted.
About the EYL40 Programme
The European Young Leaders programme is a unique, multi-stakeholder programme, which aims to promote a sense of European identity by bringing together 40 of the most promising European leaders and engaging them in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future. The relaxed tone, and out-of-the-box nature of the programme have led to salient and open discussions and created a strong leadership network of committed Europeans.
The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.
With the support of