Festival 2024 > Speakers


Festival 2024 > Speakers

Banner of the 5th Festival


Here you can find the list of speakers, grouped by day.

Day 1 - 12 June 2024

Photo of Charlotte Denise-Adam
Charlotte Denise-Adam

Charlotte Denise-Adam is a policy analyst at the OECD Public Governance directorate. 
She is responsible for open government projects within the Innovative, Digital and Open Government Division.
She currently leads the Division work on open government and the green transition.

Photo of Jane Suiter
Jane Suiter

Jane Suiter is Professor of political communication at the School of Communications at Dublin City University and director of DCU's Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society. Her research focus is on the information environment in the public sphere and in particular on scaling up deliberation and tackling disinformation. She has been involved in various research and oversight capacities on the Irish Citizens' Assembly (2012-2022) ) and was a founder member of We the Citizens (2011), Ireland’s first deliberative experiment.

Photo of Laura Maanavilja
Laura Maanavilja

Laura Maanavilja is the Deputy Head of Unit for Communication, Civil Society relations and the Climate Pact at the European Commission's department for Climate Action. Her background is in business sustainability and climate policy communications.

Photo of Rich Wilson
Rich Wilson

Rich is the CEO of the Iswe Foundation and a democratic innovation specialist. In 2004 he founded Involve, which under his leadership became a leading international centre for democratic innovation research, innovation and policy-making. Since then he has been at the forefront of the new democracy movement; most recently co-founding a permanent Global Citizens’ Assembly designed to give millions of people a powerful voice in decision-making.

Photo of Anthony Zacharzewski
Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski co-founded the Brussels-based international association Democratic Society in 2006, of which he has been President since 2010. He has grown it to a multi-national organisation working across 31 countries to build new models of democracy and improve citizen participation and governance. Current projects include Net Zero Cities, the platform for the EU Cities Mission, where Demsoc leads the city interface and work on citizen and stakeholder engagement; and Networks for Democracy, a global network for participation practitioners, researchers and government.

Photo of Mark Hessellund
Mark Hessellund Beanland

Mark calls himself an avid democracy nerd and is an expert on deliberative processes including citizens assemblies, participatory democracy, and advanced stakeholder engagement.  In his work with Democracy X, Mark coordinates local, national, and international citizen engagement and innovation projects. Notably he was the among the main moderators and designers of the citizens panels of the Conference on the Future of Europe. He is also a part of the management group of KNOCA, and the main convener of the network. Mark has a background as a political advisor in Danish parliament.

Photo of Matej Miklian
Matej Miklian

Matej Miklian works as a cross-cutting expert at the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Slovak Republic for the Development of Civil Society. He holds a master's degree in socio-political philosophy and pursued postgraduate studies in management in Belgium. During his studies, he completed internships at the office of the quaestor of the European Parliament in Brussels and in the Department of Internal Policy of the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic. He has work experience from the European Parliament in Brussels and has undertaken several study visits to Norway (EEA Grants), Turkey (Erasmus+), and France.

Photo of Alexandra Suchalová
Alexandra Suchalová

Alexandra Suchalová leads so-called Participatory Unit within the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Slovak Republic for the Development of Civil Society, Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic. A team of nine public servants helps to promote the principles of open governance, with an emphasis on participatory policy making. Alexandra completed her doctoral studies with a focus on the theory of politics in 2010 at Faculty of Social and Economic Studies, Comenius University in Bratislava and subsequently started work as a university teacher and researcher until 2021.

Photo of Silke Toenshoff
Silke Toenshoff

Dr. Silke Toenshoff is an experienced manager in the Communication Directorate of the European Committee of the Regions with a background in Policy analysis, politics and External relations. She leads the teams working on large scale events in Brussels such as the European Week of Regions and Cities and outreach activities throughout the EU as well as working on participatory democracy for regions and the programme for Young Elected Politicians (YEPS), more than 800 young politicians on the local and regional level in EU Member States and Candidate Countries.

Photo of Marzia Mazzonetto
Marzia Mazzonetto

Marzia’s know-how builds upon 20 years of activity in various fields of public engagement in Research and Innovation (R&I). She is the CEO and founder of the Brussels-based SME Stickydot srl, dedicated to providing services in the field of stakeholder engagement in Research and Innovation. She works mostly with European cities, regions and research institutions, providing support in implementing co-design and co-creation processes in governance and R&I, focusing in particular on engaging societal actors.

Photo of Adriana O'Phelan
Adriana O'Phelan

Adriana is a dynamic professional committed to driving systemic transformations within cities as the mission lead for the Future Cities & Communities mission at Democratic Society. Her extensive experience in navigating sustainability transitions fuels her passion for enabling citizens and urban stakeholders to actively participate in designing and shaping the cities of tomorrow, as well as (re)imagining what's to come in our future climate-neutral societies.

Photo of Francesco Amodeo
Francesco Amodeo

Francesco Amodeo is policy officer at the competence centre for administrative capacity building at the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy. He is member of the team working on enhancing administrative capacity in Member States and improve the way they use and manage ERDF and CF funding. In particular, he works on strengthening the participation of citizens, including young people, in EU cohesion policy. Previously, he worked with public administration at national and local level on implementation of investments, reforms and innovative actions.

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 Lev Avitan
Lev Avitan

Lev Avitan (1996) is a spoken word-artist, political philosopher and theater maker. He is known for his artistic commitment to social causes and his vulnerable approach to self-reflection on stage. Recently, in collaboration with Rauwkost Production and Omroep HUMAN, a 40-minute spoken word film by him called My Mother Doesn't Want to Live Anymore was released. A movie which deals with societal topics such as ethnic alienation and discrimination, the rise of white supremacist far-right sentiments, but also with personal theme’s such as healing from trauma and mourning his parent’s passing. His work has been featured at events such as Lowlands and Down the Rabbit Hole festival, and as a philosopher, he has lectured poetically at Brainwash festival and for The School of Life.

Day 2 - 13 June 2024

Photo of Dubravka Šuica
Dubravka Šuica

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 Dominik Hierlemann
Dominik Hierlemann

Dominik Hierlemann is a Senior Advisor at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a member of the foundation’s management committee, and an expert on European democracy and citizen participation. He has designed pioneering citizen participation projects in cooperation with German ministries and European institutions. One of his recent publications is “Under Construction. Citizen Participation in the European Union”. Dominik is a political scientist with a master’s in public policy and a doctoral degree in Social Sciences. He studied at the University of Konstanz, Germany, and at the Institut d'études politiques in Aix-en-Provence, France. For several years he taught and worked in Krakow, Poland, and in Sydney, Australia.

Photo of Jolita Butkeviciene
Jolita Butkeviciene

As the Director for Innovation in Science and Policymaking in the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Jolita leads a team of dedicated scientists and passionate professionals from a broad range of disciplines with the mission to bring innovation and scientific evidence in EU policymaking. Her Directorate provides scientific knowledge, foresight methods, evaluation techniques and engagement with citizens as a way of strengthening the positive impact of EU policies on society. Prior to joining the Joint Research Centre, Jolita was, for more than 10 years, Director for Latin America and Caribbean, Overseas Countries and Territories in the Directorate-General for International Partnerships. She has extensive experience of working in the United Nations in the field of international cooperation. Her formal background and experience is in quantitative economics and international trade and trade negotiations.

Photo of Arya-Marie Ba Trung
Arya-Marie Ba Trung

Arya-Marie has been working at the European Commission since 2011, first at DG EAC, then RTD, and on the Prevention of Radicalisation for DG HOME since 2011. In her current position she is in charge of coordination of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) for Practitioners for the Commission and supervises the following working groups: families, Communities, Social care,  Youth and Education, RAN YOUNG platform training the next generation of Prevention workers.

Photo of Mathieu Berger
Mathieu Berger

Mathieu Berger is Associate professor of sociology at UCLouvain and a research affiliate at EPFL-Lausanne, and at the EHESS-Paris. His research focuses on theories of democratic public spaces and on the social aspects of urban planning. Since 2015, he has been the general coordinator of Metrolab Brussels. He has published numerous articles and books, the most recent being : Designing Transdisciplinarity in Urban Research (2024), Ecologie humaine (2024), L'Espace public tel qu'il a lieu (2024), Whose Future Is Here? Searching For Hospitality In Brussels Northern Quarter (2020), The Lifetime of A Policy. Chronicle of Brussels Neighborhood Contracts (2019), and Designing Urban Inclusion (2018).

Photo of Deniz Devrim
Deniz Devrim

Deniz Devrim leads work on the protection and promotion of civic space at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She oversees data gathering across OECD member countries (38) and advises governments on raising standards. She leads the OECD’s country assessments and technical support on strengthening legal, policy, and institutional frameworks and practices related to civic space protection. She has more than 15 years' experience working with intergovernmental organisations, the European Commission, research institutes, and civil society on good governance, human rights, and civic space.  

Photo of Marleen Stikke
Marleen Stikker

Marleen Stikker is founder and executive director of Waag Futurelab in Amsterdam. Waag Futurelab reinforces critical reflection on technology, develops technological and social design skills, and encourages social innovation. Marleen leads the trans-disciplinary team of designers, artists and scientists, utilising Public Research and Key Enabling Methodologies to empower people to participate in the collective design of open, fair and inclusive futures. Marleen founded 'De Digitale Stad' (The Digital City) in 1993, the first virtual community introducing free public access to the Internet in Amsterdam. Marleen Stikker strongly adheres to the Maker's Bill of Rights motto: 'If You Can't Open It, You Don't Own It'

Photo of Denisa Kera
Denisa Kera

Dr. Denisa Reshef Kera, based at Bar Ilan University, leads a Design & Policy lab that focuses on AI simulations for engaging stakeholders in regulatory decisions, part of the Science, Technology and Society studies program. As the Czech Republic's appointed AI expert, she consults on national AI strategies and represents the country in international AI forums. Her book, "Algorithms and Automation: Governance over Rituals, Machines, and Prototypes, from Sundial to Blockchain," details her experimental governance approach. Dr. Kera's academic journey spans universities in Malta, Israel, Spain, Singapore, the US, and the Czech Republic.

Photo of Erica Bol
Erica Bol

Erica is part of the EU Policy Lab: Foresight, Design & Behavioral Insights. As part of the innovative policy making mission they work on, amongst others, projects to engage citizens in the discussion on the future of the EU at an early stage. Erica has been actively initiating and engaging in participatory foresight & futures capacity building projects, both inside as well as outside the European Commission.

Photo of Elahe Rajabiani
Elahe Rajabiani

Elahe is a designer at the EU Policy Lab where she designs collaborative processes and creative tools to innovate policymaking. Previously she worked as a designer researcher at the University of Bologna, where she coached multidisciplinary teams of industry professionals and students in developing desirable ideas into viable businesses. She was also a leading educator and mentor in open innovation in collaboration with CERN IdeaSquare. Having gained her bachelor's in Industrial Design, and Masters with honors in Product Service System Design from Politecnico di Milano, she has worked in different countries designing digital services for a range of businesses from food to healthcare to mobility. Currently she spends most of her time at the art-science and policy nexus diving in speculative design for tangible futures.

Photo of Jemma Woolmore
Jemma Woolmore

Jemma Woolmore is a media artist whose work explores the spatial and emotional possibilities of light, sound and image in immersive and performative environments. Increasingly collaborative, her practice blurs the boundaries between real and virtual, intertwining ritual, workshop, VR and digital world-building as processes to build different relations with bodies and environments. Her artwork is shown internationally,  with recent presentations at iMAL Brussels, Gropius Bau Berlin (DE), Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (CA), Mass MOCA (USA), MIRA festival (ES), Mapping festival (CH), Sonos Studio (USA), Node festival (DE). She is a New Zealand artist, who is based in Berlin.

Day 3 - 14 June 2023

Photo of Britt Kramvig
Britt Kramvig

Britt Kramvig is a professor in the Department of Tourism and Northern Studies at the Arctic University of Norway. Her research centers around questions of decolonization, locally embedded practices of reconciliation, indigenous/Sámi ways of knowing, and storytelling. Kramvig's work is internationally acknowledged as it embodies a unique dynamic interplay between art and science, fostering collaboration across disciplinary fields within and beyond academia. Kramvig has engaged with the concept of landscape through storytelling throughout her academic career, including her work on Sámi art, land- and soundscape and (de)colonialism, as well as work on the Arctic sea- and soundscape, including collaboration with world-known sound artists and international academic networks.

Photo of Elle Márjá Eira
Elle Márjá Eira

Elle Márjá is a Sámi Indigenous versatile artist and filmmaker with a rich portfolio, showcasing her talents in writing, directing, composing and producing numerous short films, art films, and music videos. Director of STOLEN - a Netflix Original Production (2024). The film was on the Top 10 list in a total of 71 countries after its premiere on 12th April 2024. Elle Márjá is one of the directors of the award- winning TV series POWER PLAY (NRK 2023) two wins at Canneseries 2023, including Best Series. She is currently in development of the documentary KEVISELIE and feature film BOUNDLESS. (fiction). She has also worked extensively in VR, including premiering her VR 360 film EALLU (Reindeer herd) at Árran 360 - The Sami Pavilion in Venice Biennale 2022. She is also a reindeer herder and belongs to the reindeer herding district Lákkonjárga.

Photo of Tamara Metze
Tamara Metze

Tamara Metze (1972) is full professor in Public Administration at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. Trained in Political Science and Science and Technology Studies (both ‘cum laude’), with a PhD from the University of Amsterdam in Public Administration. Metze is an experienced project leader of transdisciplinary projects in which is experimented with boundary crossing collaborations for the governance of sustainability transitions (e.g. energy, food and the circular economy). In these projects, citizens’ science and participation are also included.