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 in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future.
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.
The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.
Alex Budak is a serial social entrepreneur, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Reinventing Leadership, and a firm believer that anyone can be a changemaker. Alex co-founded, and now advises, StartSomeGood.com which has helped 700+ social impact organizations in 50+ countries raise $7M+. He is a mentor, coach and adviser to social entrepreneurs around the world, most recently running Scandinavia’s leading social impact incubator, Reach for Change, in Stockholm, Sweden. Alex has given talks on the topics of leadership and social innovation in venues ranging from Ukraine to Cambodia; LA to the Arctic Circle; and at both the World Bank and White House. His writing has been published in FastCompany, The Guardian and Huffington Post.
Hala Bugaighis is a lawyer and co-founder of Jusoor, a non-governmental organisation committed to independent policy research and human development projects for women with focus on the economic and social empowerment. As a lawyer with 15 years of experience, Hala focuses on commercial, banking, civil and investment laws, and has a sound understanding of law practice in an international context. Through her private companies, Hala has worked as a consultant to many international companies as well as Libyan private and public entities, focusing on development and capacity building. In 2015, Hala was nominated a UN Women Champion for Women Economic Empowerment – an initiative that aims to improve women’s economic standing and potential around the world.
Steffen is Director of the International Media Center Hamburg. He researches and teaches with a focus on media sociology, social media, privacy and public sphere. His current research includes the transformation of privacy as a consequence of the internationalisation and digitalisation of media. He is a founding member of the Global Communication Association and is associated with numerous international organisations and think-tanks. He is a member of the selection committee of the German National Academic Foundation and several trusts to promote press freedom, human rights and democracy
Jane has dedicated most her life to climate and environmental issues, serving first as a strategic consultant on low carbon policy to the Mayor of London and is now running a world-class climate science and low carbon technology centre at the UK’s National Measurement Institute. In 2008, she founded Carbon Retirement, an award-winning social enterprise working with the EU ETS. Her dedication to sustainability and entrepreneurial drive was rewarded with being named as one of the ‘Top 30 UK entrepreneurs under 30’ by Real Business in 2010, a 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year' by Square Mile in 2011 and one of the ‘Top 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the UK’ by the Chamber of Commerce International in 2015, among others.
With two master’s degrees in Communication and European Integration (Economics), Martin first entered the world of journalism in 2002 initially as a European correspondent and later a political journalist. He has been a reporter for La Libre Belgique and De Morgen, as well as an editor for the television programme “Politiquement Correct” on RTL-TVI during the most recent legislative and regional elections in Belgium. He is currently a Senior Writer at the daily business newspaper L’Echo where he serves as both a political journalist and an editor. Martin appears daily on the Bel-RTL television channel where he conducts a political interview every morning. He is an accomplished author having most recently published a biography of the current Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders.
Malcolm is Head of Communications with the Higher Education Authority, the Irish state agency that advises government on higher education and research and funds the higher education institutions. He is also a councillor and former mayor for the centrist Fianna Fail party. He has previously served as Vice-President of the National Youth Council of Ireland, as Education Officer with the Union of Students in Ireland, as an Executive member of the European Students Union and as Youth Spokesperson for the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. He previously worked as commercial manager of myhome.ie, Ireland’s most successful property website and as chief executive of a national children’s organisation. A graduate in law and arbitration from University College Dublin, Malcolm is currently completing a Doctorate in Governance at Queen's University Belfast. He has completed 26 marathons.
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.
Since 2014, Krysztof has been the Director of the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg. He has also previously worked as the Founder and Director of the Lodz Art Centre and the Foundation of Visual Education in the city of Lodz. The Foundation is responsible for the International Festival of Photography, held annually since 2001, which is one of the largest photographic events in Europe. As Director and Chief Curator of this event, Krysztof has established an association of 30 European festivals of photography, called ‘Photo Festival Union’. He is the creator of the Lodz-European Capital of Culture campaign. In 2008 he was named Lodz Citizen of the Year.
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.
Valerie is an internationally recognised designer, innovator and consultant for businesses and governments around the world. She helps organisations on challenges ranging from the creation of new products and services to transforming organisational processes and behaviours. Prior to starting her own practice in San Francisco, Necessary Projects, she held executive positions at the design firms frog and Pentagram, as well as the design and innovation consultancy IDEO. She is Founder of the Designers Accord, the global coalition of designers, educators and business leaders, who work together to create a positive and sustainable impact on society. Casey was named a Fortune magazine ‘Guru of the year’, a ‘Hero of the Environment’ by Time magazine, a ‘Master of Design’ by Fast Company, and one of the ‘World’s Most Influential Designers’ by BusinessWeek.