Etienne is one of the few statesmen in Europe who has been actively involved in EU affairs from the beginning, from his early role as Chief of Staff to Paul-Henri Spaak to today. He has held high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, including as Vice-President of the European Commission, President of the Société Générale de Belgique, first President of the International Energy Agency and through various board mandates.
Joaquín Almunia is Visiting Professor at LSE and Sciences Po Paris and an experienced politician who was responsible for competition policy at the European Commission. From 2010 to 2014, he has led the efforts to control the state aid granted to banks during the crisis and ensure fair competition between businesses and companies. Prior to that, he was responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs during European Commission President Barroso’s previous mandate.
László Andor is a Hungarian economist and politician. He currently holds the position of Head of Department of Economic Policy at Corvinus University in Budapest and is a Senior Fellow at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He was also European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion during José Manuel Barroso second term. Before his time as Commissioner, he was a Member of the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), representing the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia.
Michel Barnier is a French politician with a particular expertise in security and defence policy. He currently serves as the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. Previously, he was elected as Member of the European Parliament and the President of the French Delegation of the EPP. Afterwards, he worked as European Commissioner and then Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Internal Market and Services.
Enrique Barón Crespo is a Spanish politician, economist and lawyer. A Member of European Parliament for over twenty years, he served as President of the European Parliament and of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. Additionally, he chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee and the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament. He is the author of numerous books on a range of global and European issues, which were translated in several other languages.
Xavier Bettel is a Luxembourgish politician and lawyer who serves as the 24th Prime Minister of Luxembourg after succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker. Before becoming Prime Minister, he has held posts as Mayor of Luxembourg City, Member of the Chamber of Deputies and Member of the Luxembourg City communal council. Parallel to the beginnings of his political career, he has also practised as a lawyer, having studied, amongst others, Public and European Law.
A renowned international diplomat, Carl led the Swedish government that negotiated and signed Sweden’s accession to the EU and modernised its welfare system. He later served as Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs and was one of the initiators of the EU’s Easter Partnership and of EU engagement in the Middle East. Most recently, he chaired the Global Commission on Internet Governance that produced original research and recommendations on topics such as cyber security, internet freedom and the dark web.
Joachim Bitterlich is a lawyer and former German diplomat. He was adviser to Helmut Kohl, first for European politics and then leading the Department for Foreign, Development and Security Policy at the Federal Chancellery. Throughout his diplomatic career, he served in Algeria, Spain and as the German Ambassador to NATO. With his extensive experience on China, Bitterlich is also Vice-President of the Comité France-Chine, Member of the China Advisory Council and was the first European to be invited to take part in the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in 2001. Currently, he works as a professor at ESCP Europe in Paris.
Franziska Katharina Brantner is a German politician. Since 2013, she is Member of the German Parliament for the Green Party where she has served as Chairwoman of the parliamentary Sub-Committee for Civilian Crisis Prevention and as member of the Committee on Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Previously, she was a Member of the European Parliament where she worked, amongst others, on foreign affairs, security and defence issues. As such, she was member of the Peace and Security Commission of the Green national party and one of the authors of the party's manifesto for the European election in 2009.
Elmar Brok has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1980, best known for his role as chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2007. Brok has held many leadership positions in German and European politics. As a member of the Convention on the Constitution for Europe and in the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Brok is widely credited with contributing crucially to the Constitution of the European Union. He is currently the President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF).
Building on a business economics, marketing and communications background, Jamila has positioned herself as one of the leading innovators in the fields of youth involvement and social outreach in the Netherlands. She has participated in numerous programmes (Visie NL, P!oneer, TANS) aimed at encouraging cooperation between diverse backgrounds and envisioning a new social and political vision. Jamila was recently appointed as a member of the European Elections Programme Committee of the Social Democratic Party of the Netherlands (PvdA) and was a supportive candidate (lijstduwer) for the PvdA during the Dutch national elections in September 2012. As Vice President of FNV Young (2008-2011), the youth network of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions, she was responsible for advocating and representing the interests of young students and employees with regards to education, employment and income.
A gifted violinist and visionary champion for youth and community development, Nabeel has led and inspired people from all walks of life across Israel, Europe and the U.S. He performed with, and was a spokesperson for, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra for a decade as well as performing as a soloist with the Jerusalem Camerata and the Haifa Symphony orchestras. In 2006, Nabeel gave up his music career and returned to his hometown, the Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth, where he founded and led the Barenboim-Said Conservatory—now known as the Polyphony Conservatory—to answer the need he saw in the community for quality music programming. Nabeel has been awarded the Yoko Ono Award for Courage in the Arts for his lifelong-commitment to fostering a sense of community between young pan-Arab and Jewish musicians
Seif is a social and policy entrepreneur, passionate about education and its relationship to governance. Seif co-founded the Agency for Development and Enhancement, which provides training for young people, and the Nabadat Foundation, a non-profit which aims to use technology to improve education to fight poverty and enhance political awareness. Seif is also the former CEO of Tahrir Academy, a blended learning platform that creates intellectually-stimulating learning experiences for more than 160,000 registered Egyptian and Arab learners. In 2015, he founded the Mavericks International School, which seeks to leverage innovative teaching methods and technology to develop the unique potential of its students.
Alberto is one of the leading experts in the areas of EU law and policy, risk regulation and global health, teaching EU Law and risk regulation at HEC Paris. He founded ElabEurope a civic start-up, lobbying for the European public interest by filling the gap between academic thinking and reality and also “The Good Lobby”, a pro-bono network. Previously, he clerked at the Court of Justice of the EU and at the European General Court. Alberto received the prestigious Chauncey Starr Award from the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) in 2011 for outstanding achievement by a young risk analyst in science and public policy. He received the 2013 ECTA Award for the Best Paper in Trademark Law.
Elena is a manager at the BBVA Group Innovation unit, where she leads the Big Data/Smart Cities Global Initiative aimed at creating new urban services based on smart data and information management. For this, she has obtained international recognition through various publications in the media. She has played an active role in the development of telecommunications in EMEA and LATAM in the business development area, and subsequently expanded her career as an expert in the field of innovation. Elena holds a degree in Economics & Business Management from the University of Madrid and a BA in Business Studies from the University of Sunderland in the UK.
Cayetana is a former Member of the Spanish Parliament (2008- 2011) and Vice-President of the Joint Committee for the European Union and a Member of the Justice and Constitutional Committees. She was also Deputy Speaker for the Partido Popular of Madrid and Director of the International Department of FAES Foundation. She was awarded the Silver Microphone of the Spanish Professional Association of Informants of Press, Radio and Television for her articles published in El Mundo. She holds a BA and a PhD in History from Oxford University.
Ines has been the Deputy Secretary-General of the Maghreb Economic Forum since November 2015, as well as being a founder and the current Vice-President charged with fundraising and projects of the Organisation Volonté et Citoyenneté, a Youth-led NGO in Tunisia that seeks to promote human rights and social entrepreneurship projects. A passionate social entrepreneur, Ines is also co-founder and team leader of an initiative called Med Voices, a free, independent platform for creative voices from the banks of the Mediterranean, working for social justice and social change. Ines served as a member of the International Jury of the Plural+ Video Festival, hosted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2013, and was nominated by the US Embassy in Tunisia to represent Tunisia in the 2014 International Visitor Leadership Program : The Role of NGOs in Promoting Global Women’s Issues.
Eleni has been working on artificial organ technology and regenerative medicine in hospitals across the world. After graduating in biomedicine, she participated in the first successful artificial trachea transplant operation on a late-stage cancer patient. She is also the co-founder of the London-based start-up Transplants without Donors, which aims to develop tissue-engineered organs that are transplanted into sick patients. Eleni also trained NASA astronauts in biomedical experimentation for the International Space Station (ISS).
Andreas completed courses at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In 2002, he founded a theatre productions company, Alpha Square, to enhance theatre in Cyprus and provide spectators with an inspirational selection of plays. Andreas has already directed 14 stage productions in his country, including several award-winning plays and his own musical-comedy adaptation of Cinderella, which will tour Greece in 2017. Andreas has also written several plays, such as ‘The Rich Also Cry’, which was staged by Theatro Ena in 2007. He has translated numerous theatre texts from English to Greek and published a collection of articles in Phileleftheros, the biggest-selling newspaper in Cyprus.
Martijn is Founder and CEO of Brand Expedition, a new concept enterprise comprising a foundation, consultancy and publishing experience based on sharing the entrepreneurial lessons and stories of well-known brands and inspiring people in the areas of branding, strategy and social media. With his new initiative Forget The Box, he combines the gems of the new and the old world in order to create and implement new concepts regarding value creation, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding—all guided by his philosophy: don’t try to think out of the box, there is no box! In his book Brand Expedition, a best seller in the Netherlands, Martijn has shared his experience meeting with people behind some of the most popular European brands. In 2011, Martijn won the Dutch Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was nominated for ABN AMRO’s Entrepreneurial Book of the Year Award.