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State of Europe 2019: Vision Innovation for Europe, Brussel

Atomium in Brussel.
© Kevin Bergenhenegouwen

About

This high-level event, now in its 16th edition, annually gathers 200+ influential figures from more than 40 countries to brainstorm on the future of Europe.

As a forum for developing the exchange of ideas into recipes for action, it is second to none. We involve sitting and former (prime) ministers, CEOs, NGO leaders, European Commissioners, members of Parliaments, influencers, top journalists and European Young Leaders, in an interactive, inclusive and fast-paced brainstorm - a new way of working to generate new ideas for a new era.

The results of Friends of Europe’s second annual #EuropeMatters citizens’ poll will be released on the same day.

Demographics, the gap in social mobility, technological capacity, industrial regeneration, trade relations - are undoubtedly the key influencers of Europe’s future. But the underpinning driver of its success will be bridging the current trust deficit between citizens and their national and regional representatives.

The ‘challenge opportunity’ for Europe in the next ten years is to rewire its system for systemic innovation. This requires a new social contract that resets the relationship between and among the public, private and civil society sectors.

The time has passed for responding in a 20th century manner to 21st century challenges. Europe needs to take a bold and holistic approach across policies and that means leadership of a different nature at all levels - one that seeks to make innovation, Europe’s comparative advantage.

While the forces affecting societies in this early part of the century resemble many of those experienced in the early part of the last century, the ‘hardware’ available to us is fundamentally revolutionized.

This will be the only way to navigate in a world of disruption, marked by America First, a forthright China, a rising India and a transforming Africa. The new EU political cycle is an opportunity that can be leveraged to make the needed changes.

Discussions at State of Europe this year will be inspired by our ‘Vision for Europe’ report which is part of our #EuropeMatters flagship project, bringing together business leaders, policymakers, civil society representatives and citizens to co-design a Europe that still matters in 2030.

Inconvenient truths and big questions to be addressed for Europe to become a global innovation lab:

  • The trust deficit - reinvigorating democracy through citizens’ participation?
  • Are you in or out - making the EU political project work?
  • Rich and poor - narrowing the gap?
  • Hot or cold - taking a whole systems approach to climate?
  • No jobs or more jobs - rejuvenating Europe’s industrial base?
  • Dependent or interconnected - reappraising Europe’s foreign policy role?
  • Men and women - getting better and different political leadership?
  • Old and young - bridging differences and divides?
  • Direct or indirect - crafting a new and fairer taxation model?

This is an invitation only event.

Current registered discussants include

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

Schedule

Schedule

08.30 09.20

Early bird briefings - How are we changing Europe Expand Early bird briefings - How are we changing Europe

This set of parallel early-bird briefings, held by experts in their respective fields, features short and inspiring conversations to showcase Europe as an innovation hub.

TABLE 1 - How AI and machine learning are innovating health

Loubna Bouarfa

Founder and CEO of OKRA Technologies

TABLE 2 - Generating and educating the next generation of founders

Marta Krupinska

Head of Google for Startups UK, Co-Founder of real time pay FinTech start-up FreeUP, 2019 European Young Leader

TABLE 3 - Facial recognition, social scoring, autonomous machines… Will technology destroy liberal societies or will it allow us to reinvent democracy?

André Loesekrug-Pietri

Director of JEDI, former special advisor to the French Minister of Defence, Founder of ACAPITAL, 2013 European Young Leader

TABLE 4 - Unleashing girls’ digital power

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

CEO of Plan International

TABLE 5 - Broken mobility is breaking the European job market

Karoli Hindriks

CEO and Founder of Jobbatical

TABLE 6 - Levering the power of "Designed in Europe"

Alfredo Munoz

Founder and CEO of ABIBOO, 2019 European Young Leader

Moderator

Shada Islam

Director of Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe

09.30 11.15

Opening Session - Vision innovation for Europe Expand Opening Session - Vision innovation for Europe

Scene setting

The trust deficit - reinvigorating democracy through citizens’ participation?

The turnout for the European Parliament elections provides an opportunity to build on an engaged citizenry. The message to policy-makers and members states is strong: citizens want to have a say in how Europe is run, be involved in policy decisions, and see an improvement of transparency.

Can Europe develop a different model based on power-sharing and learn from local innovation, which is paving a new way to listen to citizens while increasing transparency and accountability?

Introductory discussants

Anna König Jerlmyr

Mayor of Stockholm and President of EUROCITIES

Jere, Joonas and Iina

School children from the town of Ii in Finland, leading municipality in the transition to renewable energy and climate action

Moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

Vision Innovation for Europe

Europe and its new leadership need to adopt an innovation mindset and find a formula to balance conflicting interests. These include: competitiveness in a global economy vs. social equality at home; the free flow of capital, goods, and ideas vs. the preservation of intellectual property and entrepreneurial spirit; security vs. individual rights, liberties and self-determination; the free movement of people, migration, and political asylum vs. the preservation of traditions, cultural identity and the ability to integrate.

How can innovation become Europe’s comparative advantage in policy making? What are the conditions, trade-offs and deal-breakers to enable politics, the private sector and civil society to create a culture of trust and make Europe the global innovation hub of the future?

Introductory discussants

Dalia Grybauskaite

Former president of Lithuania and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus of the Notre Europe Jacques Delors Institute and lead of the mission on “Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters” for Horizon Europe, former European commissioner for trade and WTO director-general, Trustee of Friends of Europe

Jacques Bughin

Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and Director at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)

Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice President, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and Latin America, Edwards Lifesciences

Moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

11.15 11.45

Coffee break

11.45 12.00

Idea sharing - Men and women, getting better and different leadership? Expand Idea sharing - Men and women, getting better and different leadership?

Any football fan will tell you: you can’t win a match with 11 left footed strikers. And yet, that’s exactly who we have on the EU’s pitch today. It’s time to get women off the bench and into the game. Or else, we’re destined to lose. Big time. One of the first places to start is with our leadership. How can we cooperate and build partnerships to make sure that power, in all areas, is distributed equally among men and women?

With

Francesca Cavallo

Author & Entrepreneur, Founder of Timbuktu Labs, 2019 European Young Leader

12.00 13.15

Session I - Hot or cold, taking a whole systems approach to climate? Expand Session I - Hot or cold, taking a whole systems approach to climate?

Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will require a different approach, one that has the power to align investment, policy and regulation to streamline the fight against climate change across all sectors. System change is both the challenge and the opportunity. Technology will be a key strategic tool to ensure that targets are met whilst driving a social and just transition.Can institutional, public, private, and citizen-driven leadership strengthen innovation that helps us win the argument for carbon neutrality on all fronts? Can Europe reconcile the necessary with the desirable to face our ecological ultimatum?

INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSANTS

Connie Hedegaard

Lead of the mission on “Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation” for Horizon Europe, Chair of the KR Foundation, former European Commissioner for Climate Action and Minister of Environment to Denmark

Leena Vuotovesi

CEO of Micropolis, award-winning development company leading climate action in the Arctic Circle

Sébastien de Halleux

COO at Saildrone, 2018 European Young Leader

Moderator

Shada Islam

Director of Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe

11.45 12.00

Idea sharing - Old and young, bridging differences and divides? Expand Idea sharing - Old and young, bridging differences and divides?

The age and generational gap will only get bigger. By 2060 those aged 65 and over will number 152 million. As well as impossibly high fiscal costs, demographic change condemns the under-35s to being outvoted for the foreseeable future. Both groups are affecting Europe by what they want from society. How can we ensure that we mitigate the demographic impact which is going to fundamentally change Europe in the years to come?

With

Magid Magid

Member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, former Lord Mayor of Sheffield City Council, 2019 European Young Leader

Etienne Davignon

President of Friends of Europe

12.00 13.15

Session II - Rich and poor, narrowing the gap through a fairer taxation model? Expand Session II - Rich and poor, narrowing the gap through a fairer taxation model?

Growing inequalities between and within EU member states pose a serious threat to Europe’s cohesion. From the North to the South, to the East and West, social mobility is decreasing. A mass of people are not benefitting from our transforming technologically driven economies. Can we balance the score card between rich and poor by leveraging housing, education, entrepreneurship, technology and access to finance to enable those who are net-benefiters of welfare to become net-contributors? How can we transform the system and re-set the economic and social frameworks for a fairer taxation model?

INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSANTS

Mateusz Morawieck

Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln

Chair of Macroeconomics and Development, Goethe University Frankfurt, and winner of the Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation

John Collison

Co-Founder and President of Stripe, 2018 European Young Leader

Moderator

Shada Islam

Director of Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe

13.15 14.15

Lunch

14.15 15.30

Session III - Dependent or interconnected, reappraising Europe’s foreign policy and security role? Expand Session III - Dependent or interconnected, reappraising Europe’s foreign policy and security role?

Rapid global and domestic changes are forcing Europe to reassess its relations with old and new global powers - and redefine its own international role. The EU’s move to forge a stronger security identity, clinch new trade and investment accords and take the lead in salvaging the Iran nuclear deal, reforming the World Trade Organisation and maintaining momentum on Climate Change are encouraging signs. It’s now time to become bolder, more skilful and more innovative. The EU’s focus should shift from out-dated “hub and spoke” agreements to innovative deals which encourage a real two-way exchange of knowledge, finance and people to tackle shared challenges.

What should be the key elements of a new European global strategy? In a world marked by zero-sum games, can the EU invest in cooperative leadership for better global governance?

POETRY READING BY

Khaled Mattawa

Award-winning Poet and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Michigan, Author of the Collection Mare Nostrum

INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSANTS

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former president of the Republic of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate

Paul Taylor

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, Contributing Editor for Politico

Moderator

Shada Islam

Director of Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe

14.15 15.30

Session IV - No jobs or more jobs, rejuvenating Europe's industrial base? Expand Session IV - No jobs or more jobs, rejuvenating Europe's industrial base?

Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and data are transforming capital flows, value chains, industrial bases, consumer behaviour and ultimately the jobs market. How Europe transitions to a fully-fledged digital society while preserving its manufacturing and industrial power, will depend on a drastic rethink of its relationship with its industrial base. How we get there requires a new and innovative digital global strategy for industrial policy with a European intent. How can we bring leaders closer to craft an innovation based industrial strategy?

INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSANTS

Andreas Schleicher

Director for Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Mate Rimac

Founder & CEO of Rimac Automobili

Nicolas Schmit

European Commissioner-designate for Jobs, European Commission, former minister for labour, employment, and the social and solidarity economy of Luxembourg

Moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

15.30 16.00

Coffee break

16.00 17.15

Conclusion - Are you in or out, making the EU political project work? Expand Conclusion - Are you in or out, making the EU political project work?

Europe is at a crossroads. As the incoming leadership is set to take its place, the political landscape between those that want to be part of strong and united Europe of values and those who see the EU as an economic transactor - has fragmented institutions, member states and citizens between two camps. As we move ahead, member states must ask themselves what do they want out of the political project and are they willing to make it work? How will the new EU leadership learn from the legacy of the last mandate to manage the social, economic and political divides that have hampered unity?

WITH

Věra Jourová

European Commission Vice-President-designate for Values and Transparency

Maroš Šefčovič

European Commission Vice-President-designate for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Alexis Tsipras

Leader of the Opposition and former prime minister of Greece

Moderator

Joe Litobarski

Editor at Debating Europe

Discussants

Discussants

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

CEO of Plan International

Show more information on Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

A renowned leader in development and gender equality, Anne-Birgitte has worked for over 25 years in international development, human rights, change management and diplomacy, and has been listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Gender Equality by Apolitical. She was United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director for Management at the United Nations Population Fund. Anne-Birgitte is also Chairman of the Board of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and a member of the United Nations Every Woman Every Child High Level Steering Group.

Loubna Bouarfa

Founder and CEO of OKRA Technologies

Show more information on Loubna Bouarfa

Loubna is a machine learning expert with extensive expertise in implementing artificial intelligence solutions for real-world applications. She founded OKRA Technologies as a means to apply machine learning to healthcare. The company aims to change the way pharmaceutical companies access and generate real-world evidence and provides a platform that allows them to respond to a changing healthcare market. Loubna holds a number of advisory positions and is a member of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group for Artificial Intelligence. Loubna was recognised by the MIT Technology Review as one of their Innovators Under 35.

Jacques Bughin

Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and Director at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)

Show more information on Jacques Bughin

Jacques is a senior partner at McKinsey and a director of the McKinsey Global Institute, the firm’s business and economics research arm, and one of its three global co-leaders. Since joining the firm, he has worked with media, telecom, online services, healthcare, fin-tech, travel and logistics companies on a variety of issues. He is also the co-author of numerous reports on the Internet of Things, big data and social technologies, including “Digital Europe: Realizing the continent’s potential”. He is a fellow of the Aspen Institute, ECORE, and KUL University.

Francesca Cavallo

Author & Entrepreneur, Founder of Timbuktu Labs, 2019 European Young Leader

Show more information on Francesca Cavallo

Francesca is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and founder of Timbuktu Labs. She is the co-creator of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”, a collection of 100 tales of extraordinary women that has become a publishing sensation. As the most successful new title in the history of crowdfunding, it has sold more than 3.5mn copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. Francesca’s career began in theatre, where she worked as both a manager for a theatre company and as a playwright. In 2012, she moved to California to co-found a children’s media start-up called Timbuktu Labs, Inc. Since then, she has authored nine picture books that have been translated in more than 47 languages.

John Collison

Co-Founder and President of Stripe, 2018 European Young Leader

Show more information on John Collison

John Collison is president and co-founder of Stripe, the software company that is expanding internet commerce by making it easy to process transactions from anywhere. John and his brother Patrick started Stripe in 2010 while John was studying physics at Harvard. Their goal was to make accepting payments online simpler and more inclusive, after learning firsthand how difficult it was. Today, the 1700-person and growing Stripe team powers online businesses around the world. Prior to Stripe, John co-founded Auctomatic, which was acquired by Live Current Media in March 2008. Originally from Limerick, Ireland, John lives in San Francisco, California, where Stripe is based.

Etienne Davignon

President of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Etienne Davignon

Etienne (Stevy) is one of the few statesmen in Europe who has been actively involved in EU affairs from the beginning, from his early role as Chief of Staff to Paul-Henri Spaak to today. He has held high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, including as Vice-President of the European Commission, President of the Société Générale de Belgique, first President of the International Energy Agency and through various board mandates.

Sébastien de Halleux

COO at Saildrone, 2018 European Young Leader

Show more information on Sébastien de Halleux

Sébastien is responsible for the operation of Saildrone, a company revolutionising data collection at sea through the use of wind and solar powered drones. Saildrone’s mission is to quantify planetary systems like extreme weather, global fisheries and carbon fluxes. Sébastien also cofounded Playfish, which was one of the largest and fastest growing social gaming companies with over 300mn players, before being acquired by video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) in 2009. Sébastien has also been the recipient of the Tech 100 and Tech Fellow Awards.

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln

Chair of Macroeconomics and Development, Goethe University Frankfurt, and winner of the Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation

Show more information on Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln

Nicola is a German economist and an award-winning researcher. Prior to joining the faculty of Goethe University Frankfurt, Nicola was an assistant professor at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the analysis of household savings and labour supply behaviour, labour market integration, and the determinants of political preferences. The president of the German Economic Association, Nicola is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, and winner of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation.

Dalia Grybauskaite

Former president of Lithuania and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders

Show more information on Dalia Grybauskaite

Dalia has headed the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of 75 current and former female leaders, for the past five years. During her appointment she also served as the first female president of Lithuania for two consecutive terms (2009-2019). Before assuming the presidency, she worked as Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Finance Minister and as a European Commissioner. In her time as Vice Foreign Minister, she took on a leadership role within the delegation responsible for negotiating Lithuania’s accession to the EU. She was recently invited to become one of the Leaders for Generation Equality, a UN Women initiative.

Connie Hedegaard

Lead of the mission on “Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation” for Horizon Europe, Chair of the KR Foundation, former European Commissioner for Climate Action and Minister of Environment to Denmark

Show more information on Connie Hedegaard

Connie holds several leading positions in support of a low-carbon and green economy. This year, Connie was appointed Lead of the Mission on “Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation” for Horizon Europe and is also the chair of the Board for the KR Foundation, a Danish climate and sustainability foundation. Connie was the European Commissioner for Climate Action from 2010 to 2014, during which she led the negotiations towards the adoption of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework and the 2050 Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy, whilst also representing the EU in international climate negotiations.

Karoli Hindriks

CEO and Founder of Jobbatical

Show more information on Karoli Hindriks

Karoli is an Estonian entrepreneur, founder and CEO of the forward-looking global mobility company Jobbatical. Last year, Forbes named Jobbatical one of Europe’s 10 most exciting technology SMEs. At 16, Karoli patented a soft reflector for pedestrians, becoming Estonia’s youngest inventor. She also led the launch of National Geographic Channels and MTV in Northern Europe.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former president of the Republic of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate

Show more information on Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the world’s first elected black female president and Africa’s first elected female head of state. Ellen began her political career in William Tolbert’s government as Deputy Minister of Finance in 1971. After Samuel Doe seized power in a coup d’état, Ellen fled to the United States. Returning to Liberia, she won the 2005 presidential election and remained in office until 2018. In 2016, she was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), making her the first woman to hold the position since it was created. In 2011, Ellen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

Marta Krupinska

Head of Google for Startups UK, Co-Founder of real time pay FinTech start-up FreeUP, 2019 European Young Leader

Show more information on Marta Krupinska

Marta is a London-based fintech entrepreneur who co-founded the real time pay start-up FreeUp. She is also an entrepreneur-in-residence at the global GovTech firm PUBLIC.io. Having experienced first-hand the challenges that arise when attempts are made to send money home, she helped co-found the global money transfer platform Azimo, raising over $70mn in funding and gained over 1mn customers. Marta is a frequent public speaker and advocate for responsible leadership and inclusion.

Anna König Jerlmyr

Mayor of Stockholm and President of EUROCITIES

Show more information on Anna König Jerlmyr

Anna is Mayor of Stockholm and Chair of the City Executive Board. She has a background in economics and communications, and previously served as a member of the Swedish Riksdag. Upon entering the Stockholm City Council, she was appointed Vice-Mayor for Social Affairs and Chair of Stockholm’s Police Authority. She served as Opposition Vice-Mayor representing the Moderate Party. In addition to her role as Mayor, Anna is President of the European city network EUROCITIES and sits on the steering committee of the global climate network C40.

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus of the Notre Europe Jacques Delors Institute and lead of the mission on “Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters” for Horizon Europe, former European commissioner for trade and WTO director-general, Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Pascal Lamy

Pascal 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 Organisation (WTO). In a 2014 poll cast by the British magazine Prospect, he was named as one of the world’s top 50 leading thinkers.

Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice President, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and Latin America, Edwards Lifesciences

Show more information on Jean-Luc Lemercier

Jean-Luc is the Corporate Vice President Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and Latin America regions of Edwards Lifesciences. Prior to assuming his current role, Jean-Luc served as the vicepresident of transcatheter heart valves EMEA. Under his leadership at Edwards, the company successfully launched the SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve technology and built its leadership position in Europe. Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring. Jean-Luc also serves as Chair of the Cardiovascular Sector Group of MedTech Europe, the Association representing the medical technology industry in Europe.

André Loesekrug-Pietri

Director of JEDI, former special advisor to the French Minister of Defence, Founder of ACAPITAL, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on André Loesekrug-Pietri

André is a French-German entrepreneur who has held leadership positions in private equity, government and industry. Starting as assistant to the CEO of Aerospatiale-Airbus, he then spent 15 years in private equity and venture capital, including 10 years with China, investing in European companies with global ambitions. In 2017, he became special advisor to the French Minister of Defence, responsible in particular for European defence policy as well as technology and innovation. He is currently in charge of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI), aiming to accelerate Europe’s leadership in disruptive innovations. He is also a lecturer at SciencesPo and a Non-Resident Fellow of the German Marshal Fund. His professional experience is complemented by his expertise in aerospace - he is a private pilot and a Colonel with the French Air Force People’s Reserve.

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Iina Loukusa

Show more information on Iina Loukusa

Iina is 17 years old. She is the Student Union Chair at Ii Upper Secondary School. Her hobbies include skiing, orienteering, and playing the piano. She promotes sustainable development through active action in the school community. In her free time she organises climate awareness events.

Magid Magid

Member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, former Lord Mayor of Sheffield City Council, 2019 European Young Leader

Show more information on Magid Magid

Magid is a Green MEP, elected to the European Parliament in 2019. Prior to this, he was chosen by Sheffield City Council to serve the one-year term as Lord Mayor. He was the youngest person ever to hold the job and he is also the first Green Party councillor to wear the chain of office. Magid came to Sheffield aged five after six months in an Ethiopian refugee camp. He joined the Green Party in 2015 due to his opposition to the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Khaled Mattawa

Award-winning Poet and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Michigan, Author of the Collection Mare Nostrum

Show more information on Khaled Mattawa

Khaled is a renowned Libyan-American poet, writer and translator. His poetry explores the intersection of culture, narrative, and memory. In the poet’s stunning new collection Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) he reflects on his return to the Mediterranean by tackling the migrant crisis. A Chancellor of the Academy of American poets, Khaled has been awarded several prestigious awards such as the PEN Award for Literary Translation, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and a MacArthur fellowship. The editor of Michigan Quarterly Review, he is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Michigan.

Mateusz Morawieck

Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland

Show more information on Mateusz Morawieck

Mateusz is a Polish politician, historian and economist, who has served as Prime Minister since 2017. He was previously a member of Beata Szydło’s cabinet, taking on responsibilities as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Economic Development and Minister of Finance. He also has extensive experience in the private sector, including as Chairman of Bank Zachodni WBK.

Among his key priorities as Prime Minister is to a champion entrepreneurship and investment, notably through the development of a nationwide ‘Polish Investment Zone’. Mateusz has been recognised for his work through numerous awards, including the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for his efforts in promoting Polish culture.

Alfredo Munoz

Founder and CEO of ABIBOO, 2019 European Young Leader

Show more information on Alfredo Munoz

Alfredo is a global architect who has designed and managed more than six million square meters across five continents. In addition to being the youngest internationally-renowned Spanish architect, he was also selected for the European Centre & Chicago Athenaeum Museum Architecture and Design bi-annual awards programme. Under Alfredo’s leadership, ABIBOO has designed projects in a wide range of scales, from large urban developments and affordable housing townships to small temporal structures. Before founding ABIBOO, Alfredo held senior roles at Toyo Ito (Pritzker Prize), and SOM (1,700+ awards).

Mate Rimac

Founder & CEO of Rimac Automobili

Show more information on Mate Rimac

Mate is the Founder & CEO of Rimac Automobili. Mate started out at the age of 19 in a borrowed garage, tinkering, dreaming and already thinking several years ahead of the traditional car industry. In 2009 Rimac Automobili was born, and in 2011 the Rimac Concept One became the world’s first true electric supercar. Today, Rimac Automobili is recognised as a trusted partner by many global original equipment manufacturers, bringing ‘hypercar’ technology to many applications.

Andreas Schleicher

Director for Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Show more information on Andreas Schleicher

Andreas is an award-winning German statistician and researcher in the field of education. In his role at the OECD, he is responsible for promoting the organisation’s work on education and skills. This includes studies such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) or the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). Before joining the OECD, Andreas was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA).

Nicolas Schmit

European Commissioner-designate for Jobs, European Commission, former minister for labour, employment, and the social and solidarity economy of Luxembourg

Show more information on Nicolas Schmit

Nicolas was elected to the European Parliament in the latest elections and has been nominated to head the employment portfolio in the upcoming Commission. An economist by training, Nicolas has been in charge of Luxembourg’s labour and employment affairs since 2009. After a short stint in academia, he joined the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held a variety of positions, including Head of the Department of International Economic Relations and Cooperation, before moving onto a Cabinet role as Minister for Labour. Prior to joining the government, Nicolas’ final diplomatic posting was as Permanent Representative to the EU.

Paul Taylor

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, Contributing Editor for Politico

Show more information on Paul Taylor

Paul is a Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and the author of Friends of Europe’s European Defence Cooperation report series. A Paris-based journalist, he also writes the “Europe at Large” column for Politico. He previously spent four decades working for Reuters as a foreign correspondent in Paris, Tehran, Bonn and Brussels, as bureau chief in Israel/Palestine, Berlin and Brussels, as chief correspondent in France, as diplomatic editor in London, and finally as European affairs editor. His assignments have included covering the Iranian revolution, the Cold War Euromissile crisis, the 1991 Gulf War, German reunification, the Maastricht summit, France in the 1990s, EU enlargement, the Eurozone crisis and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

Alexis Tsipras

Leader of the Opposition and former prime minister of Greece

Show more information on Alexis Tsipras

Alexis is a Greek politician. He is the current Leader of the Opposition in the Greece. He served as prime minister of Greece from January 2015 to May 2019. His political career stretches back two decades, first as secretary of the youth wing of the Coalition of the Left - Movements and Ecology, then as a member of the Municipality of Athens council. Alexis was first elected as an MP in 2009, when he became president of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group. From 2012 to 2014, he served as Leader of the Opposition in Greece and was also the vice-chairman of the European Left Party, from 2010 to 2014. In the 2014 European election he was candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission.

Joonas Veijola

Show more information on Joonas Veijola

Joonas is 15 years old. His hobbies include Finnish baseball and fishing. He cycles as much as he can and always uses public transport. Joonas is interested in how we can source our food locally; he grows vegetables in his garden and forages for berries in the forest.

Jere Viinamäki

Show more information on Jere Viinamäki

Jere is 12 years old. He is interested in Japanese culture and his hobbies include acting, crosscountry skiing and playing the guitar. Jere is passionate about responsible shopping and committed to recycling. He cycles to school and tries to use as little electricity as possible.

Leena Vuotovesi

CEO of Micropolis, award-winning development company leading climate action in the Arctic Circle

Show more information on Leena Vuotovesi

Leena Vuotovesi is CEO of the development company Micropolis, located close to the Arctic Circle. Micropolis is at the forefront of climate-friendly local policies, helping municipalities pilot solutions for green growth. In 2017, Leena’s company was recognised for its strong regional climate action through the European Commission’s RegioStar Award. That same year, the Nordic Council of Ministries identified Ii - a Finnish town that Micropolis is closely working with - as one of the best bio-economy cases in the region. Leena is also permanent advisor to the board of the Storm Warning.

Alexis Tsipras

Leader of the Opposition and former prime minister of Greece

Show more information on Alexis Tsipras

Alexis is a Greek politician. He is the current Leader of the Opposition in the Greece. He served as prime minister of Greece from January 2015 to May 2019. His political career stretches back two decades, first as secretary of the youth wing of the Coalition of the Left - Movements and Ecology, then as a member of the Municipality of Athens council. Alexis was first elected as an MP in 2009, when he became president of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group. From 2012 to 2014, he served as Leader of the Opposition in Greece and was also the vice-chairman of the European Left Party, from 2010 to 2014. In the 2014 European election he was candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission.

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