Pascal Lamy is a French politician and author. As a Member of the French Socialist party, he was Chief of Staff for the President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors. Afterwards, he returned to Brussels to become the European Trade Commissioner and then served for two consecutive terms as General Director of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In a 2014 poll casted by the British magazine Prospect, he was selected among the top 50 of the world’s leading thinkers.
Spiros Latsis is a Greek businessman and Member of the Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation which helps to fund programs in the areas of education, scientific research, social welfare, and culture. He is a board director of EFG International while also having a stake in oil company Hellenic Petroleum and Lamda Development, a publicly traded real estate developer active in southeastern Europe.
Yves Leterme is a Belgian politician who has held a variety of political posts in Belgium. After starting his career as an Alderman in his home town of Ypres, he became a Member of Parliament in the Chamber of Representatives, Group Chairman and leader of the opposition. Eventually, he served as Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs and, later on, Belgian Prime Minister. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Belgium held the Presidency of the European Union. He currently serves as the Secretary-General of the intergovernmental organisation International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
Linas Antanas Linkevičius is an experienced Lithuanian politician and diplomat and the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. Having chaired the Committee on Foreign Affairs Member of the Seimas, the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, he embarked on a diplomatic career in the Lithuanian Foreign Service. He served, for instance, as the Head of the Lithuanian Mission to the WEU and NATO and as Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the North Atlantic Council before becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Philip Lowe is a distinguished British EU policy veteran. He joined the European Commission in 1973, and held a range of senior posts as Head of Cabinet and Director in the fields of regional development, agriculture, transport and administration, before becoming Director-General of the Directorate-General Development in 1997. Later on, he headed the Directorate-General Competition and then Directorate-General Energy. Afterwards, Lowe served as one of five non-executive directors of the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Board. He is currently Executive Chair of the World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Initiative.
A distinguished economist, Mario has cemented his reputation as a committed supporter of the single currency and a talented negotiator leading a government of technocrats in the wake of the Italian debt crisis in late 2011. Most recently, Mario chaired the High Level Group on Own Resources, a consultative committee of the European Union, aimed at proposing new forms of revenue for the European Union’s budget, which resulted in the final report “Future Financing of the EU” arguing for new tax sources.
Alojz Peterle is a Slovenian politician and Member of the European Parliament, where he is currently chairing the Delegation to the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee. Before his time as an MEP, he became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Slovenia. During his mandate Slovenia introduced major democratic reforms and became an independent sovereign state. Additionally, Peterle has invested considerable efforts in raising the political awareness of fighting and preventing cancer.
Andris Piebalgs is an experienced Latvian politician who occupied key positions in both national and European political fields. He is currently member of the Latvian political party UNITY. Previously, he worked in the Latvian Diplomatic service, first serving as the Ambassador of Latvia in Estonia where he helped to solve the sea border issue between the two states. He went on to become the Latvian Ambassador to the EU helping to establish Latvia as the EU candidate country. Afterwards, Piebalgs served as the European Commissioner for Energy, then as European Commissioner for Development.
Hans-Gert Pöttering is a long-serving and highly-decorated German politician and who currently serves as the Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. He was the only deputy who has been Member of the European Parliament continuously since the first direct election in 1979 until 2014. Apart from positions on various committees and subcommittees, he also served for two years as President of the European Parliament.
Paul Révay was the experienced European Director of the Trilateral Commission, a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group which was founded to foster substantive political and economic dialogue across the world. He also works as a consultant on various topics.
Victor is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Capital Partners, the leading independent investment banking company in Romania, which he continues to co-own with three other bankers. Victor is also the Managing Director of One United Properties, a property developer that focuses on exclusive residential compounds in Bucharest. Since May 2014, he has been a Board Director at SIF Oltenia SA, an investment company listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange with a net asset value of €350 million. Victor has been the recipient of various awards including Acquisition International’s M&A Award in 2013, Ziarul Financiar’s Excellence Award in 2011 and Business Review’s 2009 Financial Adviser of the Year Award.
Jasmina works across a range of media including photography, performance, installation and video. Most often characterised as a visual artist, her artwork is focused on the positioning and analysing of space vis-à-vis other societal categories. She is the author of numerous exhibitions which have been shown all over Europe, as well as the recipient of prestigious Slovenian, European and international awards, including the Bevilacqua la Masa (Venice 2002 and 2005), the Slovenian Trend Award for Outstanding Achievements in Visual Art (2011), and the Catlin Commission Award (London, 2011). She represented Slovenia at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. She studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice before receiving an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London.
Ciara is a chartered physiotherapist and experienced researcher passionately dedicated to improving the management and treatment of people with neurological conditions. At the age of 22, she launched Beats Medical, a medical application available on smartphones, which aims to help people with Parkinson’s disease take control of their condition through technology. Ciara received the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Anne O’Brien Prize for Clinical Excellence and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.
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.
In his current position, Manuel heads the directorate in charge of implementing infrastructure projects and stimulating foreign investment and public-private partnerships in Romania. Before joining the government, he worked as an executive director at J.P. Morgan, a multinational banking and financial services holding company, where he was responsible for the relationship with various public sector clients in Europe, including central banks, debt management offices, development banks and government agencies. Manuel also worked as an independent consultant on business and development projects in Australia, South Africa, Tanzania and Peru, as well as at the Brattle Group, where he was a research analyst with a focus on risk management and strategies in the energy sector. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Xavier is an engineer in computer science who is passionate about the digital renaissance. In 1999, while still at secondary school, he founded Tribal, a site that gathered student content from around Belgium for publication in a magazine that was distributed to 30,000 students nationwide. Ten years later, he co-founded Storify, a social media curation platform that enables users to create stories or timelines using content from social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Storify is now used by top brands, organisations and publishers around the world, including CNN, the New York Times, the United Nations and the White House. More recently, he co-founded OpenCollective, another successful company that enables groups to collect and spend money transparently without having to create a new bank account.
Carole Dieschbourg served as a municipal councillor in Echternach from 2011 to 2013, when she was appointed to the government as Minister of the Environment. At the time she was the youngest member of the cabinet and the only Green Minister of the Environment in Europe. Carole represented the European Union during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, which coincided with Luxembourg’s Presidency of the EU Council. Her role was to ensure that the EU had a coordinated position during the conference. In the run-up to the COP21, she also represented the EU at many bilateral meetings and high-level conferences such as the Petersberg Climate Dialogue and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).
Tishani is an Indian-Welsh dancer, poet and freelance writer. Currently based in Madras, India, Tishani divides her time between dancing for one of India’s leading choreographers, Chandralekha, and writing pieces for publications such as The Guardian, Corriere della Sera, The New York Times, The Hindu, The National, India Today, Outlook, Tricycle, Vogue and Elle. Her written work has garnered her various awards such as the prestigious Forward Prize (UK) for Best First Collection (2006) for her debut collection of poems, and she was selected to represent India at the 2012 Poetry Parnassus Cultural Olympics in London. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, was published to critical acclaim in 2010, and has been translated into multiple languages. Her latest book is a collection of poems, Everything Begins Elsewhere, and has been published in India, the UK and the USA.
Xavier is a synthetic biologist and entrepreneur who was named French Innovator of the Year by MIT Technology Review in 2015. He co-founded Eligo Bioscience, where he has developed a system that uses genetic editing techniques and nanotechnology and designs new types of medicine to eliminate specific bacteria and leave the others intact. After winning several start-up competitions, the company has recently raised €2.4m in seed funding. Xavier also co-founded Hello Tomorrow, a global non-profit organisation that aims to accelerate science and tech innovation by empowering start-ups and offering cash prizes and connections with industrials and investors. Xavier is a senior adviser to the French government on emerging technologies and their impact on industry.
A lawyer by training, Muna is passionate about politics. During her studies, she was the international secretary of Socialist Youth Austria and worked for the French Socialist Party. After graduation, she became a local councillor in the Vienna-Donaustadt district at the age of 23. In 2010, she joined the Austrian Federal Council where she became the Social Democrat spokesperson on foreign policy. Six years later, she was nominated as Secretary of State in the Office of the Federal Chancellery. Muna is also the President of the Palestinian-Austrian Society, a group that aims to deepen exchanges between Austrians and Palestinians and play an active part in Austrian society by promoting anti-racist, democratic and transnational programmes.