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.
Diane has more than 15 years of international experience in global corporations, consulting, government, international organisations and NGOs. As current Vice-President at Suez, a global leader in the water and waste sector, she leads their activities in Africa and the Middle East supporting cities and industries in the circular economy to preserve, optimise and secure the resources essential to our future. Diane is also the founder of the NGO Action Emploi Réfugiés, which aims to facilitate refugees’ access to jobs, and advises French President Emmanuel Macron as Member of the Presidential Council on Africa. In 2014, she was listed by the French newspaper Les Echos as part of the “French touch”, the 100 personalities promoting France abroad.
Chaima Bouhlel serves as the President of Al-Bawsala, a non-profit Tunisian NGO operating to bring transparency to political processes and engage ordinary citizens in a region wracked by government crackdowns. Chaima joined Al-Bawsala in 2014 to start and lead “Marsad Baladia” project, an observatory that monitors all municipalities across the country, and was elected as president in October 2016. Since 2016, she has also been co-hosting a weekly radio show on the National Radio discussing public policy and public institutions’ performance. Prior to joining the Al-Bawsala, Chaima worked in the micro finance sector, and in building the capacity of journalists in post-revolutionary Tunisia. During her studies at Harvard University, she was president of the Society of Arab Students, and co-organized the Harvard Arab Weekend in 2011, the biggest pan-Arab conference in North America.
Yostina, dubbed “the magic machine” by farm owners, is Founder and Managing Director of Taqa Solutions, an Egyptian based organisation aiming to provide a clean and independent energy source to farmers by producing energy from poultry waste. By doing this, the Taqa solutions simultaneously addresses the problem of waste management from one of Egypt’s main agricultural industries, while maximising clean energy production. Yostina was selected as a Pioneer of Egypt after becoming a finalist on El Mashrou3, an entrepreneurship reality television competition.
Franziska is a member of the Deutsche Bundestag for the constituency of Heidelberg. She is also the spokeswoman on European Policy for the parliamentary group of Bündnis ’90/The Greens. In addition to these roles she holds the chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Networked Action and is part of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Affairs of the European Union. Before her national role she was a member of the European Parliament. She is a trustee of Friends of Europe.
Kirsten has represented the Social Democrats in the Danish Parliament since 2005. She was a rapporteur on research and higher education as well as on gender equality and food. She was appointed as Denmark’s Minister of the Environment in 2014, in the government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt. In that position, she facilitated the development of sustainable solutions and contributed to the development of industrial growth and workplaces in Denmark. In the 2015 general election, she was re-elected to the Danish Parliament. Kirsten is the co-founder of the Bilateral Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. The network operates across party lines in the Danish Parliament to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights at a national and international level.
Hanke is a Dutch politician, former military officer and hockey player. Immediately after graduating from university, Hanke joined the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations as a Senior Policy Officer. She remained in this position for four years before attending the Dutch Royal Military Academy (KMA) where she undertook officer training, and specialised as an artillery commander. Assigned as a Tank Platoon Commander in 2007, Hanke served in Afghanistan and by 2009 was Acting Field Officer assisting the Director of Operations, Land Forces Commando Staff. In 2010, Hanke was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives where she currently serves as party spokesperson on health and defence issues for the Christian Democratic Appeal party, and also focuses on local government, medical law, psychiatry and sports. Hanke is a keen hockey player and was on the team that won the Rabobank Premier Division national indoor hockey championship in 2005.
Beata has been a Member of the Polish Parliament since 2005. As a member of the International Affairs Committee she focuses on Polish-Argentinian, Polish-Indian and Polish-Israeli relations. Before devoting herself to politics, she worked as an entrepreneur for eight years during which she held the post of Manager at General Motors Poland and Opel Polska. Beata graduated from Warsaw University (in Applied Social Sciences) and Warmia-and-Mazury University (in Humanities). Outside of her political career, she founded the Marian Bublewicz Foundation which advocates improving access to education.
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 Centre 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.