Leona Lillian Abban
Leona Lillian Abban is Client Relations Manager at MicroEnsure Ghana and has been with the company since 2011. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Coast, where she majored in Fisheries and Aquatic Science.
Leona gained in-depth industry knowledge from 2007 at Prime Insurance Company Limited, working in the Finance, Business Development and Underwriting Departments. She then moved on to MicroEnsure in 2011 as an Accounts Executive. In 2014, she rose to the rank of Clients Relations Manager, overseeing relationship management for all corporate clients.
Leona continues to contribute to the Ghanaian insurance industry with her expert knowledge and experience: as a current Associate Member of the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) Incubation Lab, she joins the Ghanaian Insurance Regulator, together with key industry players, to explore ways in which insurance penetration may be deepened in Ghana. She has attended speaking and panellist sessions at the Ghana Insurance Brokers Association’s 2018 Conference, the Pan-African Bancassurance Conference, 2018 and the 13th Consultative Forum – which was jointly organised by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the A2ii.
Together with the Country Manager of MicroEnsure, Leona is responsible for sales and the top line growth of the company.
Eirliani is a student in the doctoral program in public health at Harvard University where she is a Prajna Leadership and Julio Frenk DrPH Fellow. She is a co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, a Chatham House Member
a Red Dot Foundation-Safecity Board Member and a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.
In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year.
She is an award-winning author. She was lead editor of "The Demographic Dividend and the Power of Youth. Voices from the Global Diplomacy Lab", a peer-reviewed compendium of essays on the demographic dividend (Anthem Press 2021). Eirliani also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine (Elsevier 2018). The book won first prize under the Public Health category in the 2019 British Medical Association book awards. She is co-author of "Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse" (Marshall Cavendish 2017). Now in its third print run, the book won joint 2nd Prize at the inaugural Golden Doors Award in September 2020. She edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi's book "Will for Children" (Prabhat Prakashan 2016).
Eirliani worked in Singapore’s Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017 she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
A graduate of the London School of Economics and Warwick University, Eirliani was a British Council Pathfinder scholar. She speaks English, Malay and German fluently, and has rudimentary understanding of Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian.
Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition and about human trafficking and learn more about her work, activism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.
With over 15 years’ experience in programme management and advocacy on governance, peace and reconciliation processes, Firmin Adjahossou has been dedicated to the advancement of social justice through the various non-profit international and research organisations in Africa where he has worked. He is currently working as a Civil Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where he is supporting the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) through peace campaigns, mediation and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Mr Adjahossou’s areas of expertise include development effectiveness, migration and human trafficking, good governance and democratic transition, natural resources, climate change and sustainable development policies.
Until 2019, Mr Adjahossou served as Director of Operations of SOPODIVA Training Centre, a regional language centre with offices in Cotonou, Accra and Bamako, which provides intensive English courses for students and professionals from French-speaking countries throughout Africa.
Mr Adjahossou holds two Master’s degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Management from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin; he graduated from the GIZ Global Leadership Academy in 2015 and is a Head Trainer in Junior Chamber International (JCI). Mr Adjahossou was the Campaign and Advocacy Officer at the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) from 2007 to 2016, where he supported the leadership of SECAM at the regional and international levels on peacebuilding and mediation, development policies, public engagement and political dialogue for the promotion of a just and inclusive society.
Before that, he worked with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Benin) as a Phytopathology Consultant and as a volunteer with the Institut des Artisans de Justice et de Paix (IAJP-Benin) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Over the course of his professional career, Mr Adjahossou has been able to create a network that has allowed him to engage in person with more than 36 countries in Africa and beyond and to liaise with the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. His ability to deal with people ranging from Heads of State, parliamentarians, civil society leaders and religious leaders to members of the public from various parts of Africa has been thoroughly tested on many occasions, including the African Faith Initiative Programme on Post-2015 Development Agendas that he co-facilitated from 2014 to 2015.
As an active member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) since 2016, Mr Adjahossou was the host of the GDL Accra Incubator Lab held for the first time in Africa and Ghana from 16 to 19 June 2019.
Khaldun Al Saadi is of Yemeni and German descent. He lived in Yemen from 1993 to 1995, as a child during the Civil War. His memories from that time still motivate him to seek reconciliation through dialogue as a means of restoring peace. From 2012 to 2016 he studied Arabic language and culture at the University of Leipzig. He holds a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and graduated from King’s College London with an MA in “Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies”.
Since 2013 he has been a member of the Junge Islam Konferenz (Young Islam Conference), the flagship project of Stiftung Mercator in immigration and integration. He currently works as a project coordinator for the Radicalisation Prevention Centre in the Division for Equality and Integration at the Saxon State Ministry of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Read more about Khaldun in his blog article.
Khaldun is also the host of the GDL Coffee Break podcast. Every three weeks, he guests a member and talks to them about their profession, inspirations and urgent global issues, to name just a few topics. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Summaries of the episodes are also posted on the blog.
Flávia is a demographer and social entrepreneur who works in the field of education for sustainable development. She is passionate about innovative and interactive learning experiences and understanding how this can help to drive social change at the individual and community level. The learning process in itself is what fascinates her. She is interested in identifying and building networks to shape a new positive narrative around global challenges.
From 2011 to 2017, Flávia worked as a researcher and consultant at Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) – one of the top 10 think tanks in the world. She assisted public, business and third sector organisations in Brazil with the development of projects in the areas of sustainable development, social economy, finance, management and public policy. In 2018, Flávia founded ZEBRALAB, a collaborative space for co-creating innovative solutions to tackle complex global challenges by mainstreaming and implementing the 2030 Agenda. In this field, she works as a consultant at National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO), volunteers at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora and acts as a facilitator for national and international training courses and conferences.
Flávia graduated in Economic Sciences and holds a PhD in Demography from the Center for Regional Development and Planning at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. During her PhD studies, she joined the ESRC Centre for Population Change at the University of Southampton, UK, as a visiting PhD researcher. She is also a fellow of Managing Global Governance (MGG Academy), an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by the German Development Institute (DIE).
Get to know her opinion on how ownership of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be increased in this interview.
Julie August is a graphic designer and art curator. She works as a graphic designer for publishing houses and architects, as well as cultural and social projects, and also organises exhibitions. Before moving to Buenos Aires, she lived in Berlin for 15 years. As art director at the small left-wing publishing house Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, she converted part of her home into a project space for contemporary artists.
The 18m gallery led her to other curatorial projects, first in Albania and Serbia, and now in Argentina and Germany. Together with Rachel Kohn, she has been directing the women artists’ network “Frauenmuseum Berlin” for eight years. She studied literature and art history in Munich and graphic design in Leipzig. She has a 24-year-old daughter and is married to the Argentine filmmaker Liliana Furió. In addition to her cultural activities, she sees a profound necessity to participate in social and human rights issues.
Learn more about Julie in this article.
Cecilia Barja Chamas has led political processes and cross-sector alliances in Latin America and the United States for 20 years. In 1999, she co-founded the political party “Movimiento Sin Miedo” and was elected to the office of councillor for La Paz at the age of 23. In 2008, she coordinated Magis Americas in New York, mobilising resources for “Fe y Alegría”, a Jesuit network of 3000 schools in 17 Latin American countries.
From 2010 to 2016, she was a member of Fundación Avina in Colombia, leading cross-sector alliances in six Amazonian countries and the peace process in rural areas of Colombia. Since September 2017, Cecilia has been part of the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations, affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a grassroots network that builds relationships between races and religions on issues of common concern such as housing and education. She has a Master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.
Cecilia currently works for the Listening and Dialogue Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and FADCA Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, since 2021. In addition, she is the Vice-president of El Futuro, which is a mental health clinic for immigrants. Furthermore, she is a board member of Nativa, Naturaleza Tierra y Vida (Gran Chaco Biome) and of the Immaculate Conception Church. Cecilia is also a community organizer of several local/state faith organizations, like North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations, Durham CAN -IAF. Besides that, she contributes to Bolivian magazines.
Read more about her vision of the GDL's communication strategy on our blog.
Dulguun Batmunkh is a development cooperation professional experienced in designing and implementing multi-stakeholder partnership projects. She is currently pursuing a MA in international policy at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences as a Knight-Hennesey Scholar. In her previous position as the Program Manager of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Mongolia, she focused on conducting projects that support the effective participation of youth and women in politics through educational programmes and sustainable networking platforms. Furthermore, Dulguun works to strengthen the dialogue between Mongolian and international foreign policy experts through regular foreign policy study projects and international consultation platforms.
Alongside her official work, she has been involved in several youth-led activities of the United Nations and served as the Secretary General of the United Nations Youth Advisory Panel Mongolia from 2013 to 2016. She contributed to the development of the monthly trilateral meeting between the Government of Mongolia, the UN agencies in Mongolia and youth organisations to promote the meaningful participation of young people at the decision-making level. Dulguun is also one of the co-founders of the annual Model UNESCO Mongolia, which aims to provide young people with equal opportunities to learn about practical diplomacy as well as to inspire them to be active and informed global citizens.
After completing a teaching degree (German and Latin literature), Maria lectured at King’s College London and at the University of Heidelberg. At the same time, she volunteered for Studies Without Borders and the Asylarbeitskreis [Asylum Task Force], teaching German to refugees.
Maria then decided to combine the spheres of education and migration. Working for UNHCR, she supported the tertiary education programme DAFI, which enables refugee students all over the world to pursue a university degree in their host country.
As a Mercator fellow, Maria explored the potential of digital technologies for offering free, location- and time-independent higher education.
Right now, Maria works as Curriculum Coordinator for Kiron Open Higher Education – a non-profit organisation in Berlin that offers free higher education for refugees through a blended learning model.
Johannes Braun is an experienced manager of international dialogues and cooperation projects between Germany and its global partners such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia.
He is currently based in Berlin and leads the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (www.gpqi.org), which is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Previously, Johannes served as an advisor for Strategy and Portfolio Development at GIZ’s China Office in Beijing.
Johannes is an alumni of the Mercator Foundation’s 2014 Zukunftsbrücke - Chinese-German Young Professional Campus and is a founding member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL).
Johannes holds an MA in Political Science, Public Law and Economics from the University of Regensburg and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
In 2004, Theresa Carrington set out to address the issue of extreme poverty. Having grown up in poverty in the Midwest, she drew upon her life experiences to develop innovative approaches to ending poverty.
Today, Theresa and her team have pioneered a formula that sustainably ends poverty. Known as Ten by Three, the formula has been successfully replicated in eight developing nations, reignited more than 80 broken economies throughout three continents and positively impacted the lives of more than 8000 people and 32,000 of their family members.
Here is how the formula works: Theresa and her team buys ten artisan products a month at Prosperity Wages from an artisan for three years. The artisan is required to use part of their earnings to start three businesses. Within three years the artisan’s businesses grow to support them and they graduate from the Ten by Three Program. Theresa’s model is widely recognised, and she has received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Washington University in St. Louis for her pioneering work.
Marty Castro is President and CEO of Castro Synergies, LLC, which provides strategic consulting services to persons and organisations seeking to have a positive social impact on diverse communities. He is also President and CEO of Casa Central, one of the largest Latino-serving social services agencies in the Midwestern United States.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Mr Castro to a six-year term on the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), also nominating Mr Castro to be the first Latino Chairperson in the history of the USCCR. Mr. Castro has received numerous awards and accolades for his community service, including the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government’s highest honour presented to those outside of Mexico for service to the Mexican diaspora.
Mr Castro is the recipient of three honorary doctorates of Humane Letters from Roosevelt University, DePaul University, and Governor’s State University. He received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from DePaul University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Elif Perla is an EU affairs expert based in Brussels. She currently works as a consultant to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships, and as an expert for the EU’s Sivil Dusun (Think Civil) Programme supporting civil society in Turkey. Prior to this, she served at the Ministry for European Union Affairs (MEU) of the Republic of Turkey for eight years, where she began her civil service career in 2010. She also worked at the European Parliament as a Pat Cox Fellow and at the European Commission as a National Expert in Professional Training. As the co-founder of Roman Medya, she was actively involved in issues concerning human rights, anti-discrimination and Roma rights in Turkish civil society.
Ms. Perla holds a BA in Social and Political Science from Sabancı University, an MA in EU Foreign Policy and Security Issues from the University of Warwick, which she attended with a Jean Monnet Scholarship, and an MSc in Governance and Development from the University of Antwerp.
Brisa has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and undertook a specialization in Global Governance at the German Development Institute (DIE).
In the past twelve years, she has collaborated with various international organisations, NGO’s and academic institutions on topics such as food security, migration, the strengthening of civil society, and international cooperation for development. In addition, she has participated as a civil society delegate in various forums and high-level meetings held within the framework of the United Nations and other international organisations.
Brisa has also written various opinion pieces and academic articles relating to fair trade, migration, NGOs, diplomacy and multi-stakeholder dialogues.
She currently works at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Cuba, coordinating the development of the Food Sovereignty and Nutrition Education Plan.
Prof. Chabrak from United Arab Emirates University is UAE team leader for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor programme and CEO of the UAEU Science & Innovation Park. She is in charge of the university pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 and was coordinator of the Dubai Decleration for sustainable finance, an initiative of UNEP FI. She is passionate about creating values-driven start-ups and ecosystem conditions for a new quality of growth to eradicate poverty and promote inclusiveness as conditions for fighting radicalisation.
She has created several success stories and youth role models, many of which have won prizes including the Mohamed Bin Rashid Award for the best university promoting entrepreneurship (2018), the Global Pitch@Palace People Award (2017), a special mention from the jury of the Falling Walls Venture (2017), and the Singularity University MENA Global Impact Challenge (2017).
Her research focuses on governance for sustainability and quality of life. She is currently coordinating research projects on the design of sustainable financial systems and on the wellbeing of visually impaired students. She teaches accounting, corporate governance, CSR, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Stefan Cibian believes that together we can generate social change and inspire our communities. He is passionate about bringing together global experiences and everyday local activities and does this through his work in research, consulting and volunteering.
Stefan has a background in development, international relations, political science and law and received his MA and a PhD from Central European University. His research focuses on peacebuilding, statehood and development in Africa. He is also involved in civil society activities, focusing on community development and resilience. Stefan is director at Cibian Consulting and co-initiator of the Făgăraş Research Institute. He is a visiting lecturer in international development at Babeş-Bolyai University.
Previously, Stefan was an Academy Associate and Robert Bosch Fellow at the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House as well as an Associate Fellow at Chatham House.
Rudrani Dasgupta works with ActionAid India, an international non-profit aiming to eliminate poverty. Having graduated from University College London with a Masters in sociology (childhood and children’s rights) on a full scholarship, she is now a child rights researcher primarily interested in exploring the long-term impact of structural violence on children, especially in education and family.
She is currently coordinating a state-level study examining the impact of domestic violence on children. Recently, she was part of a state-level committee that drafted a school safety policy for the state of West Bengal in India.
Rudrani has been mentoring young people across the geosocial-economic spectrum ever since she spent two years working in a remote Himalayan school for first generation learners. She also takes a personal interest in mentoring young people from non-traditional and non-linear backgrounds.
Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder of Red Dot Foundation Global (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Nepal.
She is an advisor to Women 7 (W7) under the German Presidency and part of the working group on Ending Gender based Violence. The W7 is a group of civil society organizations who come together to promote proposals on gender equality and women’s rights to governments within the Group of 7 (G7). At the same time, Elsa is a D&AD Awards Jury member for Impact (2021, 2022) and Future Impact (2021) and an Impact Council member.
Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, Stanford CDDRL as well as the Swedish Institute Management Program. She is a fellow with Gratitude Network, International Women's Forum, Yale World, Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices , SE Forum, Vital Voices, Fast FWD Philadelphia, Chevening Gurukul at Oxford and a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at NED. Moreover, Elsa is a BMW Responsible Leader, Bosch fellow and is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. She has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact and the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award.
Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.
Tarek Mohamed Hassan is a strategic designer focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship and social justice. He trained as a facilitator with the German UNESCO Commission and has been working in the field of organisational development, social justice and diversity since 2015.
Tarek founded the social start-up “Queer Refugees Network Leipzig” and was awarded the RAHM Global LGBTIQ+ Leadership Award 2018. He was trained in design thinking at the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut and empowers organisations such as Telekom, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Norwegian Refugee Council and others in the area of strategic innovation development.
As a partner with the consulting firm CONSTELLATIONS International, Tarek has been working in China and Germany since 2016 on the topics of start-ups and entrepreneurship for organisations such as the Berlin Senate, Stiftung Mercator and KPMG. He works part-time in the innovation management department of the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the state-owned consulting company that mainly advises the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. As an innovation manager at the think tank “Generation Why”, Tarek seeks to develop new formats and modes of collaboration to reach the Sustainable Development Goals using flexible approaches.
Kebba-Omar Jagne is the founder and CEO of the Making Our Visions and Aspirations Reality (MOVAAR) Group, an educational technology scale-up and a CIVICUS member. He was Accelerator Lab Lead and Head of Experimentation in the United Nations Development Program in Gambia and also managed Gateways boutique consultancy.
Omar served in US government as the Economic/Commercial Specialist at the US Embassy in Banjul, the Gambia and during that time helped to set up the first private think tank in the Gambia, known as the Forum for the Exchange of Ideas for Development (FOREID). Omar served as the inaugural Next Einstein Forum Country Ambassador for Science and Technology for the Gambia (2016) and was previously a Young Fellow for the World Islamic Economic Forum (2015) and the Global Economic Symposium (2015).
Omar holds an MSc in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies from the University of Sussex, UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Hofstra University, USA. He aspires to create platforms that communities can use to uplift voices from within.
Ankit Khanal is a Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA) in New York. Prior to joining UNDPA, he worked as a Human Rights Officer at Community Solutions Initiative - Nepal. He has more than five years of experience with international organisations, INGOs and NGOs, including the United Nations, the Carter Center and the European Union at national and international level, focusing on promoting human rights, peacebuilding, women’s empowerment, good governance and violence prevention.
Ankit has experience in engaging a wide range of stakeholders from the grassroots level up to national level and has in-depth knowledge of Nepal and South Asia. Ankit holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Northampton, UK.
Read more about Ankit in his latest blog article on promoting and protecting Human Rights of LGBTI community in Nepal.
Elizabeth has twenty years’ experience in addressing complex challenges. She works in cross-sectoral, trans-professional, multi-stakeholder settings, providing support in problem solving and decision making processes and facilitating learning and the exchange of ideas and information. She has extensive experience in international cooperation, development cooperation, and private sector development.
Elizabeth is active in cross-cultural groups, from grassroots level to global platforms, assisting in the professional development of leaders and the formation of, teams, policies, strategies, plans, and business models that contribute to addressing development challenges. She brings skills in capacity building, knowledge management, facilitation, conflict resolution and management, as well as experience as an entrepreneur gained through a wide variety of assignments. She lives in Nairobi, works across the world, and speaks English, Swahili, German and French.
Simon Masaba specializes in investigative reporting and is part of the crime team at New Vision newspaper, a subsidiary of Vision Group. He is an enthusiastic reporter with over ten years’ experience in journalism.
He is one of the few reporters focusing specifically on urban violence, human trafficking, terrorist financing, money laundering, the trade in illegal drugs, and other security threats. He has also manages major CSO initiatives, led regional campaigns addressing violence against women and children and built civil society capacities in the region.
His well-researched pieces, have prompted the government of Uganda to increase its efforts to investigate prosecute and convict people engaging in illegal activity. He also provides training focusing on how to bring about a crime-free society.
Alongside his work as a journalist, Simon is also currently undertaking a course in Peace and Security Studies.
Max Middeke is a policy advisor and project manager who specialises in peace and security, multilateral institutions and international development cooperation. He currently works with GIZ in Bonn, where he provides technical support to the German Government for its cooperation with international organisations such as the OECD, the World Bank and the UNDP.
Previously, Max worked for various political institutions in East Africa, North America, South East Asia and Europe, including the UN DPKO, the UNDP, the ILO, the Federal Foreign Office, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and the Africa Peace and Security Programme at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS).
Max holds a degree in political science and has studied in Berlin, Istanbul and Pau.
Patrick Mpedzisi is an organisational development consultant with over 15 years’ experience in the NGO sector in Africa. During this time he opened various processes for CSOs in Africa to engage in regional processes. He has managed major CSO initiatives, led regional campaigns and built civil society capacities across the continent. He now focuses on building NGOs’ capacities to be more effective in their sustainability and resource mobilisation.
A lawyer by profession, he also founded Mitupo.org, a platform for restoring, preserving and celebrating African culture and identity and promoting ownership of the evolution of culture. Prior to that, he coordinated the African Democracy Forum, was project coordinator at Southern Africa Trust and led the African Youth Parliament, among other roles. He also co-authored a paper on South African foreign policy and regional integration.
Fabrice is a leadership, education policy and social innovation enthusiast, with exceptional communication and advocacy skills who believes in making a difference and in the power of groups of people to find solutions to the most pressing issues in their communities through collaboration and innovation. He works as a country representative for ASHOKA in the DR Congo, coordinates the Robert Bosch Alumni Network in East Africa and has joined the Training for International Diplomats programme.
Prior to this, he ran for parliament in the Congo. He has six years of professional experience working with youth and women in the Congo and the great Lakes region, mostly in protecting youth through education with RET International, empowering women and youth in leadership and entrepreneurship with the Africa Youth Leadership Forum. He is currently a consultant for International Alert in youth leadership development.
Fabrice has founded One Best Corporate, a consulting company, and Lift up Africa, a venture that seeks to champion leaders for change across Africa.
Sonja Peteranderl is an editor at Spiegel Online and co-founder of BuzzingCities Lab, a think tank focusing on digitalisation and security/crime in informal settlements. She covers global politics, tech trends, security, justice and organised crime/cyber crime for example the global war on drugs, predictive policing, the digital transformation of drug cartels in Mexico or the European arms trade.
She has previously worked as a senior editor at Wired Germany magazine, and as a freelance foreign correspondent for German media such as Spiegel Online, Wired, Zeit Online, Impulse magazine or Journalist magazine in several Latin American countries, the USA and China.
As a fellow of the American Council on Germany, she is currently investigating the influence and the challenges of algorithmic decision-making systems/predictive policing in the policing and security realm in Germany and the USA. She is also an alumna of the Robert Bosch foundation's “Media Ambassadors China – Germany” programme, Otto-Brenner-Stiftung/Netzwerk Recherche and the foreign journalism programme of the German National Academic Foundation/Besser Foundation and has received several grants for her international investigations.
Likki-Lee Pitzen is an attaché at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, where her remit covers renewable energy policies in Asia and Latin America. Coming from the private sector, she previously served as an associate at Lion’s Head Global Partners, an alternative asset management and financial advisory firm in London, where she worked on renewable energy and sustainable development finance in developing countries.
She completed the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs in 2017, which saw her work on energy sector reform with the World Bank in Jakarta and on power access with IFC in Washington, DC. Prior to this, she advised on private sector engagement in ICT-based solutions for sustainable development at GIZ in Berlin. Likki studied economics, business and Chinese in Hamburg and obtained an MSc in Asian studies from Lund University.
Likki supports citizens’ engagement in climate action and has hosted workshops on divestment and carbon footprint reduction. She is a chief editor at ad hoc international and contributes articles on economic affairs to DIE ZEIT newspaper.
Drawn to the outdoors, Likki is determined to hike through all 16 German national parks and prefers to navigate the urban wild via skate and longboard.
Ivana is an experienced professional with more than a decade of work in the field of international projects, public administration, and civil society. She was engaged with the Global Diplomacy Lab, both as freelance project manager and an elected advisory council member.
She worked for the Government of the Republic of Serbia as Communications Officer to the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Serbia to the European Union. Prior to that, she was Public Relations and Project Manager at the European Movement in Serbia. She also led the media team of the international conference Belgrade Security Forum.
Ivana is a graduate of the Hertie School of Governance, Executive Master of Public Administration programme in Berlin, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade with focus on international relations, and the Diplomatic Academy of Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Jörg was born in Münster and studied at the local art academy. From early on he was interested in the ideas of the artist Joseph Beuys and the introduction of the concept of social sculpture. In 1988 he moved to Berlin to study art and cultural management. He began to exhibit and to work for several art institutes. In 1999, he began working with organizations and business schools transferring creative principles to the world of organizations. Later he attended an education program on systemic consultancy.
Recently, he was trained in positive psychology, which is now a cornerstone of his work. In his art projects he reflects on the human condition. Jörg loves to combine intensive reflecting on art with coaching sessions, focussing especially on personal growth, writes articles and teach on creative leadership. He is married, a father of two children and loves to sail.
You can learn more about Jörg and his creative approaches to social and political challenges in his newest blog article.
Since 2003 Hatem has worked in the cultural field in Egypt and on the international scene. He has implemented several projects as a project manager, curator, trainer, and theatre director. He holds a BA in theatre studies and has followed a programme in cultural management with the Goethe-Institut.
After participating in Tandem Shaml 2012/2013 (supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation), Hatem joined the Tandem team in Berlin in February 2014. He was the project manager for the Tandem Shaml programme, then for the Tandem Europe programme with cultural operators from different countries, focusing on the collaboration process. He contributed to the programme content through mentorship and offered support for the participants.
At the moment, Hatem is working with the Tandem team as a programme adviser. He offers support with methods, concepts, developing new Tandem programmes and advocacy.
Trini Saona is a journalist and has been a diplomat with the Chilean Foreign Service since 2010. She is currently posted to the Mission of Chile to the European Union and the Embassy in Belgium and Luxembourg. At the MFA, she previously served at the Embassy of Chile in Mexico, in Santiago, at the Directorate of Strategic Planning and the offices of the Under-Secretary and the Minister, and at ProChile, at the directorate-general for exports promotion.
Between 2015 and 2017, she worked at the Alfredo Zolezzi Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by Chilean innovator Alfredo Zolezzi, whose innovation model aims to connect advanced science and technology with emerging social and environmental challenges.
In diplomacy, her main interest is in exploring new methodologies and tools in depth to achieve a new understanding of their practical use. She studied for an MBA at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2017 and 2019, with the aim of identifying different frameworks of leadership and strategy applicable to diplomacy.
Trini is an alumna of Training for International Diplomats at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, and a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network. She speaks Spanish, English and French, and her main hobby is photography.
Learn more about Trinidad in her latest interview.
Milica is currently working in the Strategic Communication Team for Western Balkans and Turkey at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).
Up until the end of 2018, she worked as a coordinator for European Integration and International Cooperation in the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit within the Serbian Prime Minister’s cabinet. Her mandate was to strengthen government capacities to develop and implement social inclusion policies based on good European practices. From 2008 until mid-2018, she worked at the Ministry of European Integration dealing with questions relating to fundamental rights, reform of the judiciary, the fight against corruption, migration and freedom of expression. She started her professional career in the national Parliament, working in the Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2017, as a participant of the Fellowship Programme for Young Government Officials from the Western Balkans, she was an exchange civil servant at the Federal Foreign Office working with the Global Diplomacy Lab.
She is a graduate of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy and the College of Europe, Brugge.
Julia Sattler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at TU Dortmund University, Germany. Following her dissertation, in which she analysed mixed race narratives using the theoretical framework of contextual family therapy, she began exploring the intersections of American studies and urban planning, mostly working with Detroit, MI, and her native Ruhr Valley. She has worked with multiple urban redevelopment projects, and has co-taught a number of classes with urban-planning colleagues from Germany and the US. Following this trajectory, she is now studying the negotiation of radical urban transformation processes in American poetry. Furthermore, she is conducting research for a new book project on female responses to Walt Whitman’s poetry.
Beyond her academic interests, Julia loves theatre, travel, photography and creative writing.
Volkan Sezgin is an economic adviser and senior economic specialist at the US Mission in Turkey. Prior to that, he worked as a senior experts at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Turkey. In 2014, he was employed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs as a National Expert in Professional Training (NEPT). Before that, he was an energy expert at the state-owned Turkish Energy Company (BOTAS).
Volkan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in science and technology policy studies from the Middle East Technical University. He also holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Manchester and a PhD in economics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He was a visiting research fellow at the Department of Economics at the University of Cambridge and a Visegrad fellow at the Warsaw-based think tank, the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW).
Read more about Volkan in his article on re-shaping trade diplomacy.
Stefanos is very passionate about politics. During his childhood, he and his family moved very often, which is why he is able adapt very easily to different conditions and is always in search of new experiences and adventures.
He studied law in Greece (Thrace) and Germany (Berlin), but never became a lawyer. A scholarship from the German Bundestag (IPS) and an internship offered by a Social Democrat Secretary of State opened doors for him to become a political activist. As a scientific associate of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, he works on various important topics such as social inequality. However, he firmly believes that you have to have experienced inequality yourself in order to fully understand this issue.
He experienced inequality himself as he had to work hard to be able to finance his studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and also when he decided to return to his country, Greece, in the middle of the financial crisis. Being politically active is a matter of trying to change things that bother you and not a question of achieving personal ambitions.
Julia Spinelli is an architect and urbanist who has been working for the Brazilian Government since 2010. She currently serves as an infrastructure analyst at the Ministry of Cities, where she is involved in overseeing and advancing social housing policies at the National Housing Secretariat. Spinelli coordinates and monitors national and international cooperation and partnerships that focus on assessing, developing and improving housing programmes.
She is also involved in international agendas such as the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. She is interested in sustainability as an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. She holds a BSc and a Master’s degree in architecture from the University of Campinas, Brazil. She is a fellow of the Managing Global Governance Academy, which is run by the German Development Institute and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Annegret Warth has a strong background in academia, civil society and administration. She works at the interface between education and diplomacy by merging local, national and international perspectives on formal and non-formal education.
At Stuttgart Municipality, she currently coordinates a network which aims to mainstream education for sustainable development by encouraging intersectoral cooperation between education, civil society and administration.
In her academic work, Annegret has developed a non-essentialist approach to overcome Eurocentric research on youth in the Global South. As a 2018/19 Mercator-IPC Fellow, she explored potentials of local youth policy and youth participation in Turkey. She has formerly worked as a research and teaching fellow at Goethe-University in Frankfurt.
Since 2010, Annegret has been active at the intersection of research and practice in youth exchange with a focus on Turkey. She is a consultant to stakeholders in youth exchange including the German-Turkish Youth Bridge, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB), and Stiftung Mercator.
Annegret studied Educational Science at Tübingen University, Marburg University and Bosporus University in Istanbul. She holds a PhD in International Youth Research from Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg.
Born and raised close to Munich in Germany, Stefan entered higher education after a commercial-technical apprenticeship via the second educational pathway. He studied industrial engineering at both the Technical University in Ingolstadt, Germany and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA.
What runs like a continuous thread through all his professional activities so far is the topic of mobility: Stefan started his professional career within the automotive industry in the area of vehicle engineering at Magna Steyr in Austria. He moved from road to air transportation and joined the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS, today Airbus. Various assignments and missions in Toulouse, Munich and Marseille have clearly shaped his passion for aviation. During this period he earned an MBA from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
As a next step, Stefan took the opportunity to explore the rail sector and joined Bombardier Transportation as Head of Strategy, Business Development and Corporate Secretary based in Berlin, Germany. Only recently, Stefan returned to Airbus and joined its smallest but most fascinating division, Helicopters. He is in charge of governmental helicopter programmes, including major cooperation projects and partnerships with US companies.
He likes travelling, sports (skiing, tennis) and enjoys music and reading books. Stefan is married and has two children.
Prof. Dr. Liane Wörner, LL.M. (UW), holds the Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Criminal Law, medical Criminal Law and Legal Theory at the University of Konstanz since December 2018. She habilitated at the Justus Liebig University Giessen/Germany (JLU) in 2017 and holds a venia legendi for criminal law, criminal procedure, comparative criminal law, European and International criminal law, medical criminal law and legal theory. Before taking her position in Konstanz, she taught as a stand-in-professor at Universities in Göttingen (2017), Leipzig (2017), and Frankfurt/Oder (2018). Professor Wörner received her LLM from the UW Madison Law School/USA (2003) and her doctorate from JLU Gießen/Germany (2009). She is a member of the AIDP, the German Comparative Law Society, the IFCCLGE, the EAK+, and the Global Diplomacy LAB (GDL).
From 2008 to 2014, Liane conducted international research on the entrenchment of criminal law within societies, comparing German and Turkish laws in an institutional setting involving the JLU, Istanbul State University, and Istanbul Kültür University. Within her postdoctoral paper Professor Wörner focused on legal frameworks on abortion, embryo protection, and assisted dying. In European and International criminal law matters she is a specialist on mutual recognition as regards enforcing European Arrest Warrants and European Investigation Orders, mutual assistance in criminal matters, legal aid, and legal frameworks for measurements against terrorism.