Festival 2022 > Speakers


Festival 2022 > Speakers

4th Public Participation and Deliberative Democracy Festival


Opening session
day 1 | 9:00-9:30 | brussels
Photo of Carlos Ferreira de Morais Pires
Carlos Ferreira de Morais Pires
Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel



President Biden’s Summit for Democracy 2023
day 1 | 09:30-10:15 | brussels
Photo of Art O’Leary
Art O’Leary
Secretary General, Electoral Commission of Ireland & Co political lead on behalf of the Irish Government of the DDCA Cohort

Art was the Secretary General to the President of Ireland from 2014-2021, responsible for advising the President on constitutional and all other matters relating to the presidency. Prior to that he was Secretary to the Constitutional Convention, a two-year citizen-led initiative to consider constitutional change in a wide number of areas, from the electoral system to marriage equality.

Photo of Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul
Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul
Deputy Head of Unit DG Communication - European Commission

Former Deputy and Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in France, Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul has held various positions as a European official. She has been part of the Common Secretariat for the Conference on the Future of Europe, more particularly in charge of the European Citizens’ Panels. She is now working on the follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe as Deputy Head of Unit in DG Communication. She also worked for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Deputy Secretary General for the Citizens Consultations on Europe and then Head of Department at the Mission Grand Débat. Earlier, she worked as Secretary General of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris and for the Belgian Government, as advisor on European affairs.

Photo of Graham Allen
Graham Allen
Convenor of the Citizens’ Convention on UK democracy and co-founder of the DDCA Cohort

Democratic reform advocate, Member of UK Parliament 1987-2017. Co-Founder of the Summit for Democracy’s Deliberative Democracy Cohort. Convenor of Citizens’ Convention on UK democracy. Chair of Parliamentary Select Committee on Political & Constitutional Reform 2010-2015.

Photo of Iain Walker
Iain Walker
Executive Director, newDemocracy Foundation (australia)

The work of the Foundation is to find ways to do democracy better through research, trial and implementation of processes which will result in trusted public decisions. The methods used focus on exploring a complementary role for randomly-selected everyday people, much like a criminal jury, to see if they can find common ground. NewDemocracy is the main NGO sponsor of the DDCA Cohort.


Citizens’ participation and deliberative democracy across borders! The Conference on the Future of Europe: Lessons learnt and next steps 
day 1 | 10:15-11:15 | brussels
Photo of Colin Scicluna
Colin Scicluna
Head of Cabinet to the Vice President of the European Commission, Dubravka Šuica

In 2019, Colin was appointed Head of Cabinet to the Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica. Previously, he served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta, the EU Negotiations Secretariat, the Policy Unit of the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the European External Action Service. Subsequently he was appointed he was appointed Middle East and North Africa Adviser in the Cabinet of the EU High Representative for CFSP and Vice President of the European Commission and served as Adviser on the Southern Neighbourhood of the EU. He is a graduate in Law (University of Malta) and International Politics (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

Photo of Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul
Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul

Former Deputy and Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in France, Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul has held various positions as a European official. She has been part of the Common Secretariat for the Conference on the Future of Europe, more particularly in charge of the European Citizens’ Panels. She is now working on the follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe as Deputy Head of Unit in DG Communication. She also worked for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Deputy Secretary General for the Citizens Consultations on Europe and then Head of Department at the Mission Grand Débat. Earlier, she worked as Secretary General of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris and for the Belgian Government, as advisor on European affairs.

Photo of Nicolas Morávek
Nicolas Morávek
Member of the European Citizens’ Panel on Climate change, Environment, Health, and Citizens’ Representative in the Conference Plenary

Nicolas is seventeen years old and is currently studying economy at high school. He is interested in politics and health in the EU.

Photo of Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen
Director-General of DG for Communication, European Commission

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen is the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Communication in the European Commission, previously having served as Deputy Secretary-General, the Director responsible for the Commission’s Representations in Member States and Chief Spokesperson under former President Barroso.

Photo of Valentina Balzani
Valentina Balzani
Member of the European Citizens’ Panel on Democracy, Values, Rights, Rule of Law, Security, and Citizens’ Representative in the Conference Plenary

Valentina specialises in book publishing and after a long and varied experience in that field, she is now a consultant for social media activities. She also deals with language, holding refresher courses on the Italian language (basic rules, usage trends). As a cultural activist, she collaborates with local non-profit organisations.

Engaging children and young people to participate in the workings of democracy: success stories
day 1 | 11:30-12:30 | brussels
Photo of Katrin Grabner
Katrin Grabner
Child rights expert & Head of social policy and awareness at SOS Children’s Villages Austria

Katrin is a child rights advocator, campaigner and project manager with a special focus on digital rights, youth participation and peer-to-peer-programmes. Since 2017 she works for SOS Children’s Villages Austria, now heading the department for social policy and awareness. She studied law and international development at University of Vienna.

Photo of Nora Wolloch
Nora Wolloch
Executive Manager at World Summit Awards

Nora holds a Diploma in German Literature and Theatre Science. Since 2005, she worked as a Production Manager for various international Theater Festivals, as Vienna Festival, Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture or Salzburgfestival. Nora joined the ICNM Team in November 2010 as Event & Project Manager for the World Summit Awards. She is responsible for partnerships, fundraising as well as the strategic development of the initiative.

Photo of Karolina Babicka
Karolina Babicka
legal adviser at the International Commission of Jurists, Europe and Central Asia Programme

In her work Karolina focuses mainly on the protection of human rights and rule of law in the EU, including on the rights of migrants and refugees, juvenile justice, and counter-terrorism and human rights.

Photo of Gilles Pelayo
Gilles Pelayo
head of unit at of the Europe for Citizens Unit at EACEA

Gilles leads the team that manages for the Commission the EU Citizens, Equality, Rights & Values funding programme 2021-27 (website). The ‘CERV’ programme supports projects from NGOs and local authorities that contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. It covers the EU Member States and soon associated countries.

The impact of deliberative democracy on youth
day 1 | 11:30-12:30 | online
Photo of Ariane De Backer
Ariane De Backer
member of a deliberative commission in the Brussels French speaking parliament

Ariane De Backer is a 22 years old law student in Brussels University. She was a member of the first deliberative commission in the Brussels French speaking parliament about the implication of citizens during a crisis.

Photo of Ilias Qacham
Ilias Qacham
member of the Occitanie Citizens' Convention

Ilias Qacham is a 26 years old industrial engineer currently working for Airbus, an European aerospace corporation. He was a member of the Occitanie Citizens' Convention. Occitanie is a region in the South West of France.

Photo of Joy Clara Schäflein
Joy Clara Schäflein
Representative of European Citizens’ Panel 2, Conference on the Future of Europe  

Joy is 23 years old and currently attends law school in Germany. She was one of the ambassadors of the European Citizens’ Panel 2 and therefore a member of the Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Photo of Katharina Zeugel
Katharina Zuegel
co-director of Décider ensemble

Katharina is co-director of Décider ensemble, a French think-tank working on citizen participation at local, national and European level.

Photo of Sarah Grau
Sarah Grau
co-director of Décider ensemble

Sarah is co-director of Décider ensemble, a French think-tank working on citizen participation at local, national and European level.

Photo of Quentin Madi
Quentin Madi
member of the paris citizen assembly

Quentin is 27 years old and is a technical director in a fashion brand company. He is one of the hundred members of the Paris Citizen assembly, participating in the environmental committee.

Democracy gym at the public library: Getting ready for engagement!
day 1 | 13:30-14:30 | brussels
Photo of Susana Silvestre
Susana Silvestre
Head Division of Monitoring, Communication and Public Participation in the Urban Planning Department in the Lisbon City Council

Susana is a developer of urban labs as well as a practitioner of citizen engagement and democratic participative processes in public libraries. Through design thinking, visual thinking and storytelling training Susana energises the creativity in others. Susana holds a Degree in Social and Cultural Communication and a master’s degree in Libraries. Susana took on a leadership position in the Lisbon Libraries Network between 2010-2022. 

Photo of Asmund Bertelsen
Asmund Bertelsen
Democracy Worker and Project Manager at Aarhus Public Libraries

Asmund is specialised in public participation activities. He currently works at Aarhus Public Libraries (Denmark) to explore, try out and evaluate new library activities on their democratic potential. Asmund holds a master’s degree in political science from University of Copenhagen.

Photo of Sara Bindeballe
Sara Bindeballe
Event Coordinator at Aarhus Public Libraries

Sara is currently part of the Aarhus Public Libraries’ efforts to strengthen local democracy, e.g., by organizing debates, initiating new partnerships, and working towards inclusion and empowerment of minorities and marginalised groups.

Photo of llona Kish
llona Kish
Director of Public Libraries 2030

Ilona is a Library Avenger. She aims to create a stronger European library sector through EU advocacy and network building. A former Secretary General of Culture Action, Ilona has extensive experience in EU advocacy and campaigning, as well as a thorough working knowledge of both the operational and political functions of EU institutions. 

Local Labs: Kickstart local action
day 1 | 13:30-14:30 | brussels
Photo of Jaimie Just
Jaimie Just

Jaimie is an expert on gender equality and local governance. In addition to managing CEMR’s advocacy and knowledge-sharing activities in the area of gender equality, she coordinates the Citizenship Team activities to promote fair, equitable and democratic territories in Europe.

Photo of Marie Wutzler
Marie Wutzler

Marie is a project manager with a focus on innovation in the public sector. Marie holds a Design Thinking education from the renowned Hasso Plattner Institute and a master’s degree in National and International Administration and Policy (University of Potsdam).

Photo of Matthis Dippon
Mathis Dippon

Mathis is an expert on civic participation on the local and regional level. He also manages an international network of mayors. He holds a master's degree in Public Professional Decision Making (University of Bremen) and a bachelor's degree in Politics and Public Administration (University of Constance).

Photo of Nadia Di Iulio
Nadia Di Iulio

With over 4 years of experience in the management of European funded projects, Nadia has coordinated European projects working in different areas, from urban resilience to civic participation, culture and education. She also has experience in different European programmes, such as Interreg Italy-Austria, Erasmus + KA2, Europe for Citizens and Creative Europe.

Street Workout and citizen participation
day 1 | 13:30-14:30 | brussels
Photo of Vincent Verhoef
Vincent Verhoef
International Calisthenics and Street Workout Federation (ICSWF)

Vincent is former President of the Dutch Calisthenics Federation and the treasurer for the International Calisthenics and Street Workout Federation.

Image of Mike Destuyver
Mike Destuyver
Co-founder of Barbenders Belgium

Mike is the co-founder of Barbenders Belgium, an official organisation that is working towards a National Calisthenics Federation.

For the past 3 years he has been working on the sport by organizing social events and creating opportunities for all people.

The Hive: Democracy in a honeybee hive
day 1 | 13:30-14:30 | ispra
Photo of Nadine Schuller
Nadine Schuller
co-founder of Pollinator Ambassadors

Nadine is an Austrian speaker, social entrepreneur and Erasmus Mundus student. Through Pollinator Ambassadors she teaches sustainable beekeeping and nature-based leadership. Apart from engaging in the arts, her aspiration is to create a strong appreciation for pollinators and to empower European youth.

Photo of Nynke Blömer
Nynke Blömer
co-founder of Pollinator Ambassadors

Nynke is a Dutch beekeeper, conservation scientist, and a PhD student at the University of Cambridge where she studies bumblebees in agricultural landscapes. In 2019, Nadine and Nynke founded Pollinator Ambassadors, an organisation to build capacity for pollinator projects. 

Voicify Spaces - Fostering Political Participation Of Youth With Lived Migration Experiences Through Self-Organisation
day 1 | 13:30-14:30 | online
Photo of Alexandre Beddock
Alexandre Beddock
Advocacy and Communications director at Voicify & Freelance Journalist

Alexandre has years of experience advocating for human rights at the European level, including working at the European Parliament and heading the communications of the European Youth Forum. He also works as a reporter for French-speaking radios across the globe (RTBF La Première, Radio France, Radio Canada) on political and social issues. 

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Cihan Kilic
Board member at Voices of Young Refugees in Europe

Cihan has also been working as an external educational advisor on behalf of the Council of Europe regarding the development and the implementation of educational activities based on non-formal education methodology. He has been mainly working with grassroots movements, young refugee activists/youth initiatives through trainings, to create their own grassroot organizations, which are currently taking action in order to be involved in the decision-making process in various different countries. 

Photo of Syrine Rekhis
Syrine Rekhis
Civic Education and Advocacy freelance educator

Syrine has delivered training sessions and workshops with several international organizations such as UNESCO, Goethe Institute, Academy of policy research-CAP Munich, IFMSA, AEGEE Europe. Active in the civil society in the fields of human rights, peace and democracy since 2011, she is a member of The Young Republic, Voicify advocate, Co-founder and former president of Inno-PEACE, coordinated and supervised several projects mainly in the fields of education, health and advocacy. 

Social Innovation in support to EU Missions
day 1 | 15:00-16:00 | brussels
Fabienne Gautier
European Commission, Head of Unit, Research & Innovation Directorate General, Common Missions & Partnerships Service
Madeleine Clarck
Executive Director at Genio - Scaling Social Innovations to Solve Complex Problems
Neville Reeve
Advisor, Common Policy Centre, DG RTD, European Commission
Katrine Soma
Wageningen Economic Research, Wageningen University and Research
What can civic monitoring offer to deliberative democracy?
day 1 | 15:00-16:00 | ispra
Photo of Alice Toietta
Alice Toietta
illustrator & expert at the SensJus project

Independent illustrator, specialist in illustration of scientific content, contracted for the SensJus project.

Photo of Anna Berti Suman
Anna Berti Suman
Principal Investigator, SensJus Project, European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Digital Economy Unit

Anna is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the European Commission Joint Research Centre. She leads the project “SensJus”, on the potential of civic monitoring as a source of evidence for environmental litigation and as a tool to foster environmental mediation. Anna is also Barrister in environmental and climate law.

Photo of Fulvio Fagiani
Fulvio Fagiani
Physicist, former Mayor, Spokesperson for the Rete Clima Verbano

Fulvio holds a degree in Physics and has worked in the IT sector. He was formerly mayor of the Municipality of Malgesso and member of the ANCI Environment Department as an expert. He is founder of Agenda21Laghi. He currently coordinates the “Rete Clima Verbano” for city council action to tackle climate change.

Photo of Gianni Tartari
Gianni Tartari
Spokesperson for the Osservatorio Lambro Lucente

Gianni is former research manager at the National Research Council. He is currently co-chair of the Water Energy Nexus competence area of the LE2c Cluster. He is member of the Scientific Council of the “Lambro Lucente” River Observatory.

Photot of Giovanni Zenga
Giovanni Zenga
PhD Candidate, European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Digital Economy Unit & Politecnico di Milano

Giovanni is a PhD candidate within the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership between Design Department of Politecnico di Milano and the JRC Digital Economy Unit. He focuses on participatory human-centric governance, with a specific focus on co-creation, ICT4Gov and multi-level governance. Previously, he was MSc PIONEER student and a civil servant for local government.

Photo of Gregorio Pulcher
Greg Pulcher
Osservatorio Italiano delle Assemblee Cittadine

Gregorio holds a University degree in Psychology in Padua (Italy). He has been for 30 years a statistical (quantitative and qualitative) researcher, in the marketing, political and sociological field. He followed since about 20 years the energy and the environmental world situation, and recently he became an environmental activist.

Photo of Sven Schade
Sven Schade
Team leader, European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Digital Economy Unit

Sven is a team leader at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, with a background in geospatial information science and knowledge engineering. His research interests cover digital transformation of governance, multi-disciplinary interoperability, and public participation in science for policy – always with a view to improve inclusive and sustainable transitions.

Photot of Sofia Greaves
Sofia Greaves
Postdoc at PROSPERA / Postgrowth Innovation Lab

Sofia is a post doctoral researcher working for the Postgrowth Innovation Lab, researching on a future no longer obsessed with economic growth. She is interested in urban planning, utopia and public health. Sofia holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is also an artist and uses art to challenge growth-oriented planning culture.

On the same boat with young immigrants
day 1 | 15:00-16:00 | online
Photo of Aistė Motekaitienė
Aistė Motekaitienė
Executive Director for Business Development, LCC International University, Lithuania

Aistė works at LCC International University, a place with students from 60 countries. Recently Aistė has been involved in setting up an educational program for war-affected youth from the Middle East. She also runs various initiatives in Lithuania for Ukrainian and other refugees. 

Photo of Eglė Stonkutė
Eglė Stonkutė
Director of the Baltic Institute for Research and Development, Lithuania

Eglė is the founder of the Baltic Institute for Research and Development and lectures at Vytautas Magnus University. She is a Vice-President for Research of the NGO EUROPA. She is passionate about merging academic and practical approaches while developing better public policies. 

Photo of Javier Gutiérrez Espinosa
Javier Gutiérrez Espinosa
President of AISD, Spain 

Javier has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations. His research interests are democracy, the EU and Euroscepticism. He has worked at the CCHS-CSIC, CIS, INE, UPV/EHU and UCM, and he is the President of AISD, which works for the integration of migrants. 

Photo of Mariana Drăgotoiu
Mariana Drăgotoiu
specialist in Social Anthropology and Cultural Management & volunteer in the Association for the Promotion of Traditions, Romania

Mariana has a bachelor's degree in Social Work (1998) and a master’s degree in Social Anthropology and Cultural Management. Her professional experience: social worker in school, social worker in adoption, head of probation service (2001-present).

Photo of Mariana Rosca
Mariana Rosca
Project Manager and President of the Association INCREDERE, Italy

Mariana finished the PhD program “Human Rights: Ethical, Social and Political Challenges” at the University of Deusto, where she focused on social integration of religious minorities. Born in Moldova, living in different countries, much of her personal interest, academic passion and intellectual curiosity have revolved around diaspora communities, minorities and social integration. 

indigenous voices from the arctic
day 1 | 16:15-17:15 | ispra/brussels
Photo of Amalie Bourup
Amalie Bourup
Student at the University of Greenland in the Department of Arctic Social Sciences

Alongside her studies, Amalie works at the Parliamentary Office as a student assistant and in her spare time is Chairman of the Youth Organization (Siumup Inuusuttunut Suleqatigiiffia) which is a youth movement that focuses on politics.

Photo of Anja Márjá Nystø Keskitalo
Anja Márjá Nystø Keskitalo
Advisor in the Saami Council's EU unit

Anja Márjá was raised in Guovdageaidnu on the Norwegian side of Sápmi. She holds an MSc in Geography from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Currently, Anja Márjá is working as an advisor for the Saami Council's EU unit on topics including youth engagement and research.

Photo of Sebastian Plate
Sebastian Plate
Researcher for Foresight and Participation at Ellery Studio, Berlin

Sebastian Plate holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Groningen where his main research area was Arctic geopolitics. After the completion of an internship at the German Arctic Office he now works as a researcher for Foresight and Participation at Ellery Studio in Berlin, where he engages in and leads projects in the fields of climate adaptation, energy transition, and social innovation. Through his experience with Futures Studies at UNESCO and affiliated partners, he is specialised in designing and facilitating participatory formats for diverse target groups.


Why youth can (or cannot) change things? Addressing the problem from different perspectives
day 1 | 16:15-17:15 | online
Photo of Andrea Felicetti
Andrea Felicetti
Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy

Andrea’s work focuses on democracy, democratic innovations and social movements. He has published extensively in leading academic journals and is involved in numerous research networks. He is currently the PI of the project Social movements as agents of democratization. The case of genome editing governance (2021-2023). 

Photo of Fiona Beullens
Fiona Beullens
Student & Brussels Citizens’ Assembly participant

Fiona is a 19 year old woman born and bred in Brussels, a real Brusseleir. In October she’ll start a bachelor in European Studies. She was one of the citizens drawn by lot for the Brussels Citizens’ Assembly and will participate in her panel from a participating citizens’ perspective. 

Photo of Hannah Vanbelle
Hannah Vanbelle
Co-organiser of Brussels Citizens’ Assembly & employee at Agora.Brussels

Three years ago Hannah started working for Agora.Brussels, setting up the first Brussels Citizens’ Assembly. The Assembly invites citizens randomly drawn by lot to think and deliberate together about a topic important to the Brussels region. Four Assemblies later, Agora gained more experience in citizens’ participation set in a multicultural city.

Photo of Martín Portos
Martín Portos
Conex-Plus Marie Curie Fellow in Social Sciences, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain

Martin holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute and has widely published on young people’s political participation, social movements, inequalities and nationalism.

Photo of Martina Francesca
Martina Francesca
Group facilitator and participation expert at La Prossima Cultura

Martina is a group facilitator and participation expert, passionate about applying these skills to the ecological transition. She is a collaborator of Democratic Society and ProssimaDemocrazia, and cofounder of La Prossima Cultura, exploring how the intersection between systems thinking, deep ecology and facilitation/participation can shape a regenerative culture. 


Kuannersuit/Kvanefjeld: The mountain that became the focus for democratic discussion about Greenland’s future
day 1 | 17:15-17:45 | Ispra/brussels 
Photo of Adriaan Eeckels
Adriaan Eeckels
Coordinator of the SCI-ART project, JRC, European Commission

Adriaan Eeckels is a historian, humanist and semiotician. Since his university years, he has been testing boundaries, not only between art and science. As a thesis proposal, he investigated the epistemological properties of the narrative in historical research, by applying semiotics in historical research with a focus on the history of mentalities in Quattrocento Florence. He describes himself as an intellectual vagabond looking for the pattern that connects, and as pontifex minimus traveling along borders and interstices of various disciplines, with a great interest in knowledge acquisition and the history of sciences. Most of his career has taken place in the European Institutions: from the Schengen Secretariat, through the European Court of Justice to the European Commission, in Luxembourg, Brussels and Ispra, Italy. He has carried out important projects in Document and Quality Management. Since 2016 he is leading the SciArt project of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.

Photo of Lise Autogena
Lise Autogena

Lise, originally from Denmark, is an artist and Professor of Cross Disciplinary Art at Sheffield Hallam University. She is Head of the Art, Design and Media Research Centre (ADMRC), UK and Founder of the independent non-profit organisation Narsaq International Research Station (NIRS) in South Greenland.

Intergenerational conversations on the future of civic education
day 2 | 9:45-10:45 | brussels
Photo of VP Dubravka Šuica
Dubravka Šuica
European Commission Vice-President Democracy and Demography

Dubravka Šuica leads the Commission’s work on deliberative democracy and the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Vice-President is also coordinating work on a long-term vision for rural areas and supporting youth education and employment through the Youth Guarantee. Ms Šuica served as Head of the Croatian European People's Party (EPP) delegation as a Member of the European Parliament from 2013 to 2019. She was Vice-President of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities from 2004 to 2014.

Photo of Stephen Quest
Stephen Quest
Director-General of the Joint Research Centre

Prior to this, he was Director-General of the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union and the Director-General for Informatics. His career spans over 25 years in the European civil service, and has included work on the EU budget, social and environmental policy and four years as Assistant to the Secretary-General. As Director-General, Stephen is focused on modernising organisational culture and promoting innovation within the Commission, regarding the use of technology and empowering and involving staff in decision-making. He is passionate about communication and the interface between policy and technology.

Photo of David Kapusta
David Kapusta
Representant of Intergenerational conversations in Slovakia

David is an active high school student that participates in School Parliament. Through this institute he organises and prepares events for other students, in order to make school an inclusive, friendly and prospering environment.

Photo of Dominik Omerović
Dominik Omerović
Representant of Intergenerational conversations in Croatia

Dominik is a 22-year-old student of Sociology and Communication Studies with a special emphasis on public relations. As a student, he worked as a journalist and was head of the association of communication students. In addition, he participated in numerous projects dedicated to working with young people and European policies. Dominik sees Europe as a place that knows no borders, but also a place where progress can only be achieved through joint work.

Photo of Jenny Oštarić Vunjak
Jenny Oštarić Vunjak
Representant of Intergenerational conversations in Croatia

Jenny is a Union Representative of State and Local Government Employees of the Republic of Croatia and Senior Special Advisor for North America in the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Over the years, she has implemented numerous development programmes and projects in developing, transition and conflict affected countries.

Photo of Knud Nielsen
Knud Nielsen
Representant of Intergenerational conversations in Denmark

Knud is a master of sociology, retired as head of Communications at the Danish Food and Environmental Administrations, and head of Publications at the Nordic Council of Ministers. Has extensive experience in democratic involvement – once a house squatter. 

Photo of Kristoffer Emil Bruun Bjerregaard
Kristoffer Emil Bruun Bjerregaard
Representant of Intergenerational conversations in Denmark

Kristoffer is 22 years old and is currently a student at Grundtvigs Højskole where his main subject is politics. He is planning to later go study Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.

Photo of Lukáš Vícen
Lukáš Vícen

Lukáš is a teacher of mathematics and geography at SZŠ and SG CENADA in Bratislava. He has been cooperating for a long time with the organization People in Need Slovakia, where he creates global education activities not only in the subject of mathematics and geography, but also thematically focused experiential activities. He works as a lecturer in global education and together with his colleague mentors teachers in a subject-oriented blended-learning course.

Photo of Nicole Makóová
Nicole Makóová
Representant of Intergenerational conversations in Slovakia

Nicole is currently studying law and she is the president of the Students Union at Trnava University. Moreover, she represents the voice of the students in Academic senate, Board of Internal Quality System and also as a delegate at National Students Council for higher education in Slovakia.


Past, Present and Future of Digital Participation: Are we heading towards a Metaverse for Democracy?
day 2 | 11:00-12:30 | brussels
Photo of Alejandro Moledo
Alejandro Moledo
Coordinator at European Disability Forum

Alejandro leads and coordinates the European Disability Forum’s advocacy and policy work at EU level, and supports the work of the European Parliament Disability Intergroup. Among other areas, Alejandro has developed policy positions and recommendations regarding political participation of persons with disabilities, accessible Information and Communication Technologies, Assistive Technologies and different standardisation activities.

Photo of Antoine Vergne
Antoine Vergne
co-director of Missions Publiques

Antoine is co-director of Missions Publiques, an organization aiming at improving Governance for the 21st Century. He is a global leading expert in the field of governance and deliberation. He has 20+ years experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of processes of citizen participation, deliberative democracy and stakeholder participation. Antoine coordinates We, the Internet, a global coalition aiming at engaging citizens into Internet Governance.

Photo of Elisa Lironi
Elisa Lironi
Programme Director for European Democracy at the European Citizen Action Service

Since 2015 Elisa develops and leads ECAS’ European Democracy focus area by implementing EU projects and services related to Digital Democracy, Understanding Populism and Civic Engagement. She conducts research specifically on e-participation practices in Europe and her latest publication includes the book chapter “Crowdsourcing EU Legislation: Harnessing the Power of Digital Democracy” (2021, ECPR Press).  Elisa is currently leading the Civil Society Convention’s Digital Transformation Cluster that is brings CSOs proposals to the Conference on the Future of Europe and will feed into the EU’s priority of “A Europe fit for the digital age”. Since 2018, she is the ECI Expert and Manager of the European Citizens’ Initiative Forum, working with Secretariat-General of the European Commission on developing and implementing this online collaborative platform.

Photo of Wietse Van Ransbeeck
Wietse Van Ransbeeck
co-founder & CEO of CitizenLab

Wietse is the co-founder and CEO of CitizenLab, a digital democracy platform that allows governments to give their citizens a direct say on the topics that matter to them. Today, the citizen engagement platform is used by more than 400 local governments around the world, from national governments and big cities to the smallest municipalities. Wietse was named by Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe in law and policy for his work on bringing local democracies into the digital age.

Image of Olivier Mauco
Olivier Mauco
CEO, Game in Society

Olivier teaches video games at Sciences Po Paris and is a doctor of political Sciences. He created and manages Game in Society, a video game creation agency specializing in the production of meaning through games, the worlds of art, culture, public policy and behavioural psychology.


Co-creation lessons from cities
day 2 | 11:00-12:30 | online
Gilles Nöel
Participation collaborator and support to the production at Ultima Vez dance house

Born in Belgium, Gilles has worked as a performer for several dance companies in France, the Basque Country, Slovenia and Belgium before studying cultural management at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is currently participation collaborator and support to the production at Ultima Vez dance house, based in Molenbeek, Brussels.

Photo of Jad Zeitouni
Jad Zeitouni
Political Advisor at the Cabinet of Brussels Minister Van den Brandt

Jad Amine Zeitouni grew up in Anderlecht and has been active in various youth organisations over the past 10 years. Previously elected Youth Councilor (Vlaamse Jeugdraad), Vice President of the Young Humanists International, Jad is a 'male role model iagainst violence against women' for Emancipator NL and an actor/translator for the Molenbeek non-profit Ras el Hanout. In 2022, Jad was a presidential candidate in the Flemish Green party’s elections. At the moment, Jad is the advisor for equal chances, economy, employment and energy at the cabinet of the Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt in which he plays a key role in creating the bridge with unheard and underrepresented groups. Previously, Jad was the adjunct-secretary of the office of Vice-Prime Minister Petra De Sutter, Coordinator for a Brussels City-funded holiday playgrounds aimed at children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, freelancer on inclusion & diversity and speaker/writer on the importance of youth rights, intersectional feminism and inclusion, as such having been featured in various Belgian newspapers and magazines (Knack, Flair, De Morgen, ...).

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Karīna Miķelsone
Deputy Chairman of the Ādaži Municipal Council, Councilor at Association of Riga and Pieriga Municipalities "RIGA METROPOLIS", Young Elected Politicians Programme

Karīna is professional and qualified Development Process Manager, with experience in strategic planning and management, business development planning - implementation, project management and investment attraction. Professional experience in spatial planning, human resource management, construction and EU structural fund project management.

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Martina Gentili
Department of Management in the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture, Delft Technical University

Martina is a postdoctoral researcher working on housing inequality and its linkages with social policy, with a focus on how participatory practices and co-creation with young people can improve local housing policy in Amsterdam (UPLIFT project). Her research interests include housing affordability for young adults, as well as the relation between housing, local politics and welfare systems. 

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Usue Lorenz
Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness

Usue Lorenz is currently developing and coordinating local and European projects to promote collaborative ecosystems and developing participatory and co-creation methodologies as responses for social challenges. Previously she worked as a consultant and advisor for diverse companies and organisations in research and development.

Deliberating paths towards NetZeroCities: Designing ecosystems and infrastructure for engagement
day 2 | 13:30-14:30 | brussels
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Adriana Colquechambi
Climate Democracy and NetZeroCities Project Lead at Democratic Society

Adriana is part of the Climate Programme team at Democratic Society. She is currently dedicating and bringing her expertise and passion to NetZeroCities, which is the platform supporting the implementation of the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. Her main commitment is to co-create and be a stand for citizens and urban stakeholders “meaningful” participation and engagement in the Cities Mission.

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Lise Deushautel
Policy-making and Citizen Participation Independent Consultant for citizen participation in climate policies

Lise is an independent consultant in EU and national policymaking, political campaigning and capacity building for citizen participation in climate in France and Europe. Her previous role with the French Citizens’ Convention on Climate and her current contribution to the Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies have led her to reconsider how to address the logjam on climate change and the power citizens are entitled to seize to act on it.

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Ermioni Chatzimichail
Coordinator for Generation Climate Europe

Ermioni is an urban planner and climate activist. She is the Clean Mobility Coordinator for Generation Climate Europe, the largest coalition of youth-led networks on climate and environmental issues at the European level. She is co-leading a group of young advocates, which aims to improve sustainable mobility and to decarbonize transport in cities and urban environments.

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Saha Balaganesh
Policy Manager at Democratic Society

Saha leads the Policy and Open Government work at Democratic Society. As an avid debater at university, she later ran a non-profit organisation in youth participation, using debate and other informal methods of education to enable young people to understand and participate in EU policy processes. She joined Democratic in 2019 working on several projects on climate and democracy. She was heavily involved in the Conference on the Future of Europe, and you’ll find her in Demsoc’s Brussels office working on different exciting citizen engagement activities.

New frontiers for youth political participation: lessons from outside the West
day 2 | 13:30-14:30 | brussels
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Biljana Spasovska
Executive Director at Balkan Civil Society Development Network

Biljana's work focuses on empowering civil society to ensure sustainable and democratic development. She holds an MA in Eastern European Studies from The University of Bologna and is pursuing a PhD in Democracy & Globalisation.

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Emiel Bijlmakers
Network and Delivery Manager at Democratic society

Emiel is Network and Delivery Manager for the Netherlands at Democratic Society. He is responsible for programming on issues such as participatory budgeting and designing participatory processes. He has previously worked with political parties, parliaments and civil society to support democracy in the Middle East and Africa.

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Richard Youngs
senior fellow at Carnegie Europe

Richard is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at Carnegie Europe. He works on EU foreign policy and on issues of international democracy. Richard is also a professor of international relations at the University of Warwick. Previously, he was the director of the European think-tank FRIDE.

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Tim Hughes
Democracy and Participation Lead at Open Government Partnership

Tim is leading on deepening OGP’s work around strengthening and reimagining democracy through open government and especially through innovative approaches to participation. He is a specialist in citizen participation and democracy, with a focus on participatory and deliberative democracy.

How to adapt parliamentary architecture to participatory democracy
day 2 | 13:30-14:30 | brussels
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Emilien Paulis
Post-doctoral researcher in political science at Université du Luxembourg

Emilien is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg. He is currently co-leading a project on the Klima Biergerrot, which is a citizens' assembly on climate. His areas of expertise fall into the study of democratic innovations, public opinion and participatory behaviours.

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Cécile Molle
Project and communication manager at Particitiz

Cécile is a project and communication officer at Particitiz. She has completed her studies in political science and international relations and also holds a Master's degree in European Policy and Governance Studies from the College of Europe. Throughout her studies, Cécile has been focusing on issues of legitimacy of the European Union and participatory democracy

Forecasting tournaments as a tool for citizen engagement
day 2 | 13:30-14:30 | online
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Blanka Havlíčková
Director at Confido Institute

Blanka tries to improve global collaborative decision-making with the wisdom of the crowd and other forecasting concepts and applications. She teaches probabilistic thinking and communicating uncertainty and focuses on creating interactive user-friendly tool Confido and educational materials.

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Jan Kleňha
Director at Czech Priorities

Jan is a co-founder and director of České priority, a non-profit think tank focusing on advancing evidence-based policymaking in the Czech Republic and internationally. He also co-founded Czech Association for Effective Altruism. In his Ph.D. research, Jan focuses on improving the methods of foresight.

Youth Voices in the Conference on the Future of Europe: loud enough?
day 2 | 15:00-16:00 | brussels
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Alexis Prokopiev
Director of Public Affairs, Make.org

Alexis is Director of Public Affairs of Make.org (independent European civic tech) since 2019. He runs the organization's Public Affairs department in Paris and Brussels. Alexis Prokopiev used to teach Economics at Sciences Po Paris and worked for the National Assembly of France and several NGOs before joining Make.org.

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Caterina Rende Dominis
National Event Croatia participant, Member of the Citizen Component, Member of the Youth Association “Youth in the EU”

Caterina is 25 and comes from Croatia, where she works in the Association “Youth in the EU”. In the context of the CoFoE, she took part in the Croatian National event, and was a member of the citizen component of the Conference Plenary.

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Kacper Parol
CoFoE Panel 1 participant, Member of the Citizen Component, Founder of Youth NGO “Impulse”

Kacper is 23 and comes from Gniezno in Poland. He is a youth activist and started a foundation for youth called "Impulse". The foundation is creating projects to inspire young people to get closer to politics. He participated in the Conference Panel 1 and was a member of the Plenary.

Matous Belohlavek
Matous Belohlavek
CoFoE Panel 2 participant, Member of the Citizen Component

Matous is 19 and comes from Litoměřice in the Czech Republic.  During the Conference, he was a last year high-school student and now starts his bachelor in law. He participated in the Panel 2 of the CoFoE and was one of the citizen Spokesperson in Working Group ‘European Democracy’.

A photo of Sarah Ascencio
Sarah Ascencio
French participant to the online Consultation “Parole aux Jeunes”

Sarah Ascencio is 25 and lives in Lyon. She participated in the Make.org consultation "Paroles aux Jeunes" and has lived in France and Australia. She is optimist by nature and believes that it is not too late to save our planet: she studies law to protect the environment in the future.

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Yves Mathieu
Founder and Co-Director of Missions Publiques

Yves created Missions Publiques 25 years ago in Paris, and has 35 years of experience in deliberative democratic processes. In the last years, Yves has been involved as lead coordinator in the design and implementation of the French Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat and of the European Citizens Panels.

Crafting Climate Neutral Cities with the Next Generation
day 2 | 15:00-16:00 | online
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Andrea Thilo
freelance journalist and documentary producer

Andrea is a freelance journalist and documentary producer who moderates conferences, panel discussions and open space formats. She studied social and business communication at the Berlin University of the Arts. She works on conference conception and training, with focus on culture and education, digital transformation, civil society, and sustainability.

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Maria Hansen
Executive Director at ELIA

Maria is Executive Director of ELIA, the globally connected European network of art universities and academies. She worked in the management of the performing arts for more than 30 years, in Canada and the Netherlands. Maria has integrated work on environmental sustainability into her work for many years.

CEPS Young Thinkers: how to foster pan-European youth communities?
day 2 | 16:15-17:15 | brussels
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Cinzia Alcidi
Research Director at CEPS

Cinzia is Director of Research, Head of the Economic Policy and Jobs & Skills Unit at CEPS and Research Fellow at LUISS – School of European Political Economy. Since 2015 she coordinates CEPS Academy Activities. She has experience in coordinating research projects and networks, published extensively on the economics and governance of the Euro area crisis, and participates regularly in international conferences.

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Francisco Jose López Vélez
Erasmus Mundus Master Student, CEPS Young Thinkers community

Francisco is an Erasmus Mundus scholarship recipient focusing on EU-Latin-America and Caribbean (LAC) relations and economic development. He has interned at the EU-LAC Foundation, GIGA Hamburg, SAP SE, and Leiden University. He is an active member of the International Youth Think Tank, involved in youth political participation projects.

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Inés Satué Crespo
Legal assistant at Aleppo Lawyers, CEPS Young Thinkers community

Inés is specialising in EU migration and asylum law. After participating in a research programme at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar during her undergraduate studies, she completed an LL.M. in EU law at the University of Maastricht, a research internship at the Asser Institute, is a legal aid volunteer at the Red Cross and works as an assistant at Aleppo law firm.

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Rosanna Fanni
Researcher & Trade and Technology Dialogue Coordinator, CEPS Young Thinkers team

Rosanna is Researcher and Coordinator of the Trade and Technology Dialogue at CEPS. She is responsible for managing policy-oriented research and stakeholder engagement to support the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council. Her research interests focus on analysis of digital policy and the impact on international relations.  

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Tinatin Akhvlediani
Research Fellow at CEPS

Tinatin is a Research Fellow at CEPS’ Foreign Policy unit. Her expertise covers the EU’s trade and neighbourhood policies focusing on the Eastern Partnership. Tinatin conducts and coordinates studies and evaluations commissioned by the EU institutions and publishes extensively on the EU’s trade and neighborhood policies. She also leads CEPS Young Thinkers Initiative as part of CEPS’s Sustainable Diversity Goals.

Overcoming obstacles in youth involvement in the implementation of the SDGs: Find your own solutions
day 2 | 16:15-17:15 | online
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Katarina Polomska
specialist at the Regional Representation for UN FAO RLC

Katarina is a specialist in Strategic Regional Support at the Regional Representation for UN FAO RLC. She is the 2022 Young Leader of the European Development Days. Katarina has a background in food security and conflicts and holds a Masters in Violence, Conflict and Development.

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Marie-France Rodier
Policy officer at DG COMM, European Commission

Marie-France is a policy officer currently working on citizens’ dialogues, especially on the follow-up of the Conference on the Future of Europe and on the organization of high-level youth policy dialogues. In the framework of the Junior Professional Programme, Marie-France is part of a project on youth involvement and SDGs.

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Nikolaos Theodosiadis
policy analyst at DG SG, European Commission

Nikos is a policy analyst for the Secretariat General of the European Commission, where he prepares briefings for the President and Vice Presidents. As part of the Junior Professional Programme he is also involved in the project on the EU’s first-ever voluntary review of SDG implementation, specialising in youth policy.     

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Sevim Aktas
policy officer at DG CLIMA, European Commission

Sevim is a policy officer at the European Commission, working on climate. Besides, Sevim is a European Climate Pact youth ambassador and is part of a team of Junior Professionals working on the ‘Youth and SDGs’ project that aims to collect best practices of EU youth involvement in SDG implementation.