European Young Leaders

Introduction

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 programme is supported by renowned and solid foundations such as the Fondazione Cariplo and the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.

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.

Meet the European Young Leaders
Xavier Damman
Founder & CEO of OpenCollective and Co-Founder of Storify

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.

Xavier Duportet
CEO & Chairman of Eligo Bioscience

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.

Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica
Parliamentary State Secretary for European Affairs, Latvia

Zanda started her professional career at Jurmala’s city council in 1998. She then worked at the Ministry of Regional Development before joining the Strategic Analysis Commission, where she advised Latvian President Valdis Zatlers on strategic planning. She was elected to the Latvian Parliament in 2011. During her mandate, she chaired the Committee on European Affairs and the Reform Party parliamentary group. In 2014, Zanda was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary in the Latvian government. Her role is to ensure cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Latvian Parliament and the European Parliament – a crucial role during Latvia’s Presidency of the EU Council in 2015.

Manuel Costescu
Secretary of State for Foreign Investments and Public-Private Partnerships (2016-2017), Romania

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.

Nabeel Abboud- Ashkar
Co-Founder & Artistic Director at Polyphony Foundation

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

André Loesekrug-Pietri
Special Advisor to the French Minister of Defense, Founder of ACAPITAL and European Young Leader (EYL40)

André Loesekrug-Pietri is French-German, held leadership positions in private equity, government, industry and as an entrepreneur.

He has been appointed Special Advisor to the Minister of Defense in the first Government of President Macron, responsible for European Defense policy, as well as technology and disruptive innovation. Previously, he was Chairman of ACAPITAL, investing in fast-growing European companies with strong global potential, in particular in Europe and China. Previously André led several investment funds in Europe and Asia, founded CarBoulevard.com, was assistant to the CEO of Aerospatiale-Airbus in Toulouse and started his career at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Graduate of HEC, the Michigan Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, he attended Sup-Aéro aerospace engineering school. Frequently invited as a speaker on disruptive technologies, he is member of several boards as well as on the advisory board of Jiaotong University, Beijing. André was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a European Young Leader (2012). He is a private pilot and Colonel with the French Air Force People’s Reserve.

Mary Fitzgerald
Libya Analyst, Researcher and European Young Leader

Mary Fitzgerald is a journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She began her career reporting on post-conflict Northern Ireland, and since then she has worked across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Fitzgerald has conducted researches on Libya for well-known think-tanks and institutes, and is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. She has worked on a number of award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC, one of which won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award.

Mary Fitzgerald
Libya Analyst, Researcher and European Young Leader

Mary Fitzgerald is a journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She began her career reporting on post-conflict Northern Ireland, and since then she has worked across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Fitzgerald has conducted researches on Libya for well-known think-tanks and institutes, and is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. She has worked on a number of award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC, one of which won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award.

Jorge Juan Fernandez Garcia
Director of eHealth and Health 2.0 at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu & European Young Leader
Alberto Alemanno
Professor of EU Law & Risk Regulation HEC Paris, Founder of The Good Lobby

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.

 

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