Annika Östergren Pofantis
Annika Östergren Pofantis is a Policy Officer for Digital Skills and EU Code Week at the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, DG CONNECT.
Since 2012, Annika has worked in DG CONNECT with stakeholder relations, communication and digital skills more specifically on EU Code Week, the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition and the Digital Opportunity Traineeship initiative. She has also worked with various communication and media related issues at Eurostat and the Directorate-General for Environment. Between 1999-2000 she was head of the press team at the Commission Representation in Stockholm and in 2001 she served for the Swedish Commissioner Margot Wallström. She holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the Universities of Uppsala and Gothenburg, Sweden.
Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport
Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva joined DG EAC on 1 October 2016. She is currently Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport.
Antoaneta started her European Commission journey in 2008 in DG Justice, Liberty and Security where she was dealing with external relations and enlargement. She also worked at DG HOME on matters related to internal security and police cooperation. In the period 2011 – 2016 Antoaneta was Head of Unit in DG INFSO/CONNECT responsible respectively for cyber security, stakeholder relations and international affairs.
Prior to joining the Commission, Antoaneta worked for her national administration in expert and managerial positions on matters related to Bulgaria’s accession to the EU in the field of justice and home affairs. She moved to Brussels in 2003 where she spent 5 years working at the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU.
A graduate in political science of Sofia University, Antoaneta has also acquired training and qualifications in democracy and governance and European studies in Germany (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung) and UK (Sussex University). She has also gained valuable professional experience from working for NGOs active on legal and political matters.
Deputy Minister of Education and Science Bulgaria
Ms Denitsa Sacheva has a master’s degree in public relations from the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Sofia ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ and a master’s degree in health management from Prof. Assen Zlatarov University, City of Burgas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social pedagogy from South-West University ‘Neofit Rilski’, Town of Blagoevgrad.
She began her career at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, where she held different positions – from a specialist to a head of sector at the National Center for Social Assistance.
In 1999, she took the position of Head of the International Cooperation, European integration and Projects Directorate at the National Health Insurance Fund.
In the period from 1999 until 2001 she was Head of the Cabinet of the Minister of Health, in charge of the relations with international institutions, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Commission. She served as Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy from 2016 to April 2017.
She is proficient in English language and has working knowledge of German and Russian languages.
Teach For Bulgaria
Evgenia Peeva-Kirova is the CEO of Teach For Bulgaria. She launched Teach For Bulgaria and recruited the start-up team in the summer of 2010 with the generous support of America for Bulgaria Foundation. Prior to that, right after graduating from college, Evgenia worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company where she advised companies in the technology, pharmaceuticals, industrial electronics, and non-profit sector on strategy, marketing, sales, and operations.
Evgenia graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2008. Her senior thesis focused on exploring the factors and impact of institutional entrepreneurship in university reforms in post-1989 Central Eastern Europe. She also has Masters degree in Educational Management from Plovdiv University.
In 2007, Evgenia co-founded the Step for Bulgaria Foundation, a volunteer driven initiative which engages young and seasoned professionals in supporting skills development and personal growth of youth living without parental care. Evgenia was voted Young Manager of the Year in 2017, Woman of the Year in the Community category in 2012 and listed in various prestigious rankings, incl: the Forbes Bulgaria ranking 30 under 30 in 2013, Darik Radio ranking 40 under 40 in 2014 and various rankings of most influential women in Bulgaria.
Gabriela works for ALL DIGITAL (formerly known as Telecentre Europe), a pan-European network of digital competence centres – places where people can freely access Internet and digital technologies and learn digital skills. ALL DIGITAL works for digital inclusion of all and strives to ensure that everyone is able to benefit from the opportunities that digital transformation offers and can use digital technologies confidently and wisely. ALL DIGITAL has 60 member organisations, most of them providing non-formal education and training, as a vector for social inclusion. They all have different profiles, some focus on elderly, some on young people, some on women and ICT, others on all those groups and more. Their common mission is to show people that everyone CAN learn digital skills for work, learning, better life. Before becoming an advocate on digital inclusion, Gabriela worked on youth policy at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science. Among the topics dear to her heart are non-formal education, media literacy, digital citizenship.
Jan De Craemer
Co-ordinating the ICT and Digital Media Policies
Flemish Ministry of Education & Training
Jan De Craemer is responsible for co-ordinating the ICT and digital media policies at the Flemish Ministry of Education & Training since 1998. Besides his role in the ICT & digital media policy development, he has been responsible for ICT initiatives such as the ICT-infrastructure program, the Flemish regional expertise network for in-service training and the development of the ICT-curriculum for primary, secondary and adult education. He is involved in ICT-integration projects about e-safety, serious gaming, digital learning resources and ICT for special needs policies. He represents Flanders to the European Commission ET2020 Working Group on Digital skills and Competences. He is also Vice-chair of the European Schoolnet Steering Committee and member of the Board of Directors of European Schoolnet.
Director Vocational Education and Training
Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science
Maria Todorova is a Director for Vocational Education and Training at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science.
She started her career as a teacher and researcher. During the last 17 years she has been working in the field of Vocational Training and Adult Learning in Bulgaria and the ЕU Member States and the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood regions, developing a broad expertise in governance, work-based learning and labour market policy in her capacity as an expert, advisor and director of an office of an international organisation.
During the last few years Maria Todorova worked as an expert at Cedefop and as a policy officer at the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the Directorate General for Education and Culture at the European Commission in Brussels, unit VET, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning.
Milena Stoycheva is the CEO of JA Bulgaria and Visiting Professor with the EIT Digital Master School in I&E (Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Entrepreneur and educator, she is passionate about the importance of education and the opportunity for young people to develop their talents and discover their future as entrepreneurs.
Milena is an executive with more than 20 years of experience in international organizations and companies, who has also served as the Chair of the Global Member Council of JA Worldwide and Senior Adviser of Higher Education of JA Europe.
She was the first Dean of Students of the American University in Bulgaria following its establishment in 1991. Additionally, to having a few own ventures, she has served on the entrepreneurship and science core group of Intel Education Team in Europe; worked for a while as a journalist with AP television; as well as mentored and coached startups in the area of cyber physical systems, security and privacy, edu-tech and etc.
She has degrees from Bulgarian and US universities.
Senior Executive, Angel Investor and Philanthropist
MOVE.BG & EDIT.BG
Sasha Bezuhanova is a senior executive, angel investor and philanthropist with a 20-years executive business career in HP and a multi-dimensional track record of service to society. Her long list of business achievements and social development engagements throughout the years involve positioning Bulgaria as an ICT center of global significance, boosting the entrepreneurial culture and women empowerment in her home country Bulgaria and at European level. In 2013 she left her business career and devoted herself to supporting social prosperity trough innovation, education and collaboration.
Sasha is the founder of MOVE.BG – non-partisan platform for collaboration in finding sustainable solutions for the state, economy and society via innovation, participation and co-creation and the initiator of EDIT.BG – open network initiative for digital innovation.
She founded her own yearly Entrepregirl Award for supporting young women to develop their entrepreneurial ideas into business.
Sasha is Chair of the Boards of Bulgarian Center of Women in Technologies, Technical University in Sofia and Bulgarian School of Politics. Sasha was named Digital woman of Europe for 2013 and one of the Top 100 Challengers in New Europe 100 for 2015.
Digital Policy Consultant
Teodora Raychinova is a Digital Policy Consultant at Hanover Communications – an independent Brussels-based consultancy that helps clients navigate through the complex world of EU affairs. Teodora specialises in EU’s digital policy, working on issues such as data protection, e-Privacy, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Teodora is a keen advocate for the role of women in technology.
Achilles D. Kameas
Hellenic Open University
Achilles D. Kameas is Associate Professor with the Hellenic Open University, where he teaches Pervasive Systems and Software Design. He is the Director of the Postgraduate Study Programme on “Engineering of Pervasive Computing Systems” (http://sdy.eap.gr/) and the Head of DAISSy (Dynamic Ambient Intelligent Social Systems) Research Group (http://daissy.eap.gr). He has participated as in more than 30 EU and national R&D projects (coordinated more than 10 of them) in FP5, FP6, FP7, H2020, Lifelong Learning, Erasmus+ and other frameworks. He has published over 120 journal articles, conference papers and book chapters, and authored / co-edited more than ten books. He regularly participates in several conference and workshop committees. He is a Board member of ALL DIGITAL European network, and member of the ESCO Reference Group on ICT Services, the CEN PC428 on e-competences and ICT professionalism, the CEN Workshop on e-Skills, the EADTU Course & Curriculum pool of experts and the CEDEFOP Community of practitioners on promoting quality in VET delivery. His current research interests include peer learning platforms and social systems, IoT and mobile computing systems, STEM education, ontologies and semantic matching, profiling of emerging job roles, educational assessment and flexible learning paths. He can be contacted at https://gr.linkedin.com/in/achilleskameas
Director of Digital Inclusion
Good Things Foundation
Adam Micklethwaite is Director of Digital Inclusion at Good Things Foundation, a UK charity and digital social change organisation. The Foundation helps people to thrive in the digital world, and since 2020 has helped over 2.3 million people improve their lives with digital. Their model is based on working with hyper-local community organisations, building digital inclusion into their social mission. Good Things Foundation works extensively with the UK Government, delivering national programmes with the Department for Education, National Health Service, Courts and Tribunals Service and others; leads place-based projects with local Government, with a strong focus on Greater Manchester; and delivers a range of innovative programmes in partnership with the private sector, including Google, Lloyds Banking Group, TalkTalk and Three. In 2017 Good Things Foundation entered a three year partnership with the Australian Government to deliver Be Connected, a national programme engaging older Australians who are excluded from the digital world; and is also working with the Kenyan National Library Service to pilot new models of digital inclusion.
Adam leads the Foundation’s digital inclusion programmes, building partnerships and championing digital for all. Before joining Good Things Foundation, Adam was a senior civil servant in the UK Government, leading national policy and change programmes in education, skills and enterprise.”
Deputy Head of Unit
Alexander Riedl is Deputy Head of the “Digital Economy and Skills” unit in the European Commission’s DG CONNECT. His unit contributes to the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy and is monitoring progress in Member States through Europe’s Digital Progress Report. His team also analyses the impact of digitisation on work and the labour market, and develops concrete actions to tackle the digital skills challenges Europe is facing. A trained economist, Riedl worked in the media and telecommunications sectors before joining the European Commission in 2004. Prior to his current job in the Commission, he worked in competition enforcement and scientific advice to policy making.
Leaders of the Natural Sciences Olympic Teams Association (LNSOTA)
Alexey Hristova is a Chairman of the Leaders of the Natural Sciences Olympic Teams Association (LNSOTA) Board of Directors. He recieved Master’s degree in Theology at the end of the 90s from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. During 2001-2002 he is a guest researcher at the Georgetown University in Washington, working on Non-profit organizatins and Civil society. Since 2004 Alexey Hristov has been a Program director of the American Foundation for Bulgaria and a manager of the affiliate in Bulgaria.
European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education
Amanda Watkins (United Kingdom) is Assistant Director with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. She is responsible for various European level activities and co-ordinates international projects focussing upon topics such as country policy review and analysis, as well as European Agency statistical data collection to inform policy making.
She has worked extensively with the topic of ICT in education for people with disabilities. This has included European Agency projects, as well as work for UNESCO, UNESCO/G3ICT and UNESCO-IITE.
She has a PhD in Education, MA in Education and BEd in Special Needs Education.
She has published widely around the topic of inclusive education at European and international levels most recently as co-editor for a research study on inclusive education for learners with disabilities for the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament, co-editing a volume on Implementing Inclusive Education: issues in bridging the policy-practice gap for Emerald Publishers and authoring a piece on European policy on inclusive education for the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Education.
Business Development Manager
Anastas Shopov is a member of the Industry 4.0 workgroup at the Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT) and a lecturer in digital transformation and customer relationship management at the ERP Academy.
For more than 15 years he’s been helping companies to improve their business with renovation and optimization of business processes, along with implementation of business management software solutions (ERP, CRM and BI). Anastas has worked with global business software solutions from Microsoft, Salesforce and Tableau, as well as with leading Bulgarian solutions like EnterpriseOne.
He is currently working as a Business Development Manager at ERP.BG and is founder of the business transformation consulting company SmarkIT. He is also teaching courses at the Master’s programme “Business Analysis and ERP Solutions” at VUZF University.
Anastas has a Master’s Degree in Finance Management from D. A. Tsenov Academy of Economics and is a Microsoft Certified Professional.
Project manager, Research and Trainer
Angela Rees is a project manager, researcher and trainer for Pontydygsu. She has been involved in many pan-european education and research projects since joining Pontydysgu in 2009. With a PGCE and an MA in Special Educational Needs her expertise lies in teaching, training, MOOCs, e-learning and open badges.
She currently heads up the Media in Action project which is creating a repository of resources and a training course for educators in Media Literacy with a focus on creating media and storyteling. Previously she was involved with the highly successful Taccle3 project training educators in teaching coding and computational thinking to younger children.
Managing Director Strategy & Digital, ExCo Member
Anna Dimitrova was born in Bulgaria and came to Germany in 1996 to study Marketing, Business Informatics and Controlling at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. In 2001, she achieved the best degree in her year as a business graduate. During her studies, she made her first contacts in the telecommunications industry, where in 2001 she started her career at Vodafone Germany (at that time Mannesmann D2) in the field of marketing. This was followed by significant positions and tasks such as the restructuring of the Czech Vodafone subsidiary as CFO or the integration of Kabel Deutschland. In December 2014, Ms. Dimitrova became a member of the Executive Board Strategy & Corporate Development at Vodafone Germany. Since April 1, 2016 she is Managing Director Strategy & Digital, ExCo Member, Vodafone Germany.
In addition, she is a member of the University Council of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and sees herself as an external source of inspiration, whose work aims to build the bridge between the theory of study and practice in the digital professional life. On 1.1.2018, Dimitrova was appointed to the Supervisory Board of HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG
Minister of national education
Ministry of National Education Poland
Born on July 6, 1965 in Świebodzice.
Deputy to the Sejm of the VI, VII and VIII term.
MA in Polish Philology, ecologist, education manager, former Deputy Governor of Świdnica District.
Career in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland:
As a Deputy, she held the position of Vice-President of the Committee on European Union, Health Committee, Committee on Energy, she was the Chair of the Parliamentary Group for Wind Energy Safe for People and the Environment.
Anna Zalewska is one of the most active MPs in the Lower Silesia region. Effectively fights for a number of issues and serves people. For many years, she has been providing legal and organizational support to people protesting against locating wind turbines too close to human settlements.
As the only parliamentarian in the constituency of Wałbrzych she has been strongly opposing the close down of local educational institutions – and has been actively cooperating with teachers, parents, and representatives of trade unions, representing their stance during talks with local government.
For many years, in her constituency offices operating in every county of the Wałbrzych district, the residents have been provided with on-going legal assistance and intervention.
Deputy Anna Zalewska has been the member of Law and Justice since 2003. Over the past seven years, she held the position of the Chair of the Law and Justice District Board. She is the party’s leader in Wałbrzych district.
She is married, has two daughters.
European Political Strategy Centre
Aura Salla is currently working as Communication Adviser in the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), in-house think thank to President Jean-Claude Juncker. Before joining the EPSC she was working as a Member of Cabinet and Communications Adviser of Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. She joined Mr Katainen’s team in August 2014. Before joining the Commission she worked in a consultancy firm Recommended Finland as a Project Manager specialising in Public Affairs and EU Communications and before that as a speechwriter in the Finnish Parliament. Aura holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Turku Finland where she continued to her PhD studies in 2017. She has also studied Economics of the European Union inUniversity of Leipzig, Germany and has been visiting lecturer in Harvard University.
Head of Unit
“Innovation and EIT” at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
Begoña Arano is presently Head of Unit for “Innovation and EIT” at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. She joined the European Commission in 1998 as Scientific Officer at the Directorate-General for Research, within the Unit for Marie Curie Fellowships (Improving Human Potential Programme). From 2007 she served as Head of Unit in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation where she was responsible for the units “Marie Curie Actions – Networks”, “External and Internal Communication” and “International Cooperation North America, Latin America and Caribbean”.
Educational Foundation Perspektywy
Dr. Bianka Siwinska is a journalist, scientist, initiator of public campaigns, executive director of Educational Foundation “Perspektywy.” She is editor-in-chief of educational magazine Perspektywy, correspondent of University World News. She is also initiator of public campaign „Girls to Technical Schools” and Start-up Academy for female students of technical and exact sciences studies, as well as projects: “Lean in STEM,”, “IT for SHE,” “Girls Learn!”, and „New technologies for girls” scholarships (in cooperation with Intel). She is coordinator of the program “Study in Poland” conducted by the Conference of Polish Academic Rectors and the Educational Foundation “Perspektywy” and expert of World Bank in Tajikistan.
Program she developed – “IT for SHE” – received a prestigious award – European Digital Skills Award 2017, in the “Women in IT” category. -The “Women in IT” award has been awarded for the first time. Its goal is to appreciate the achievements and potential of extraordinary, brave young women and girls. I would like to sincerely congratulate “IT for SHE” and Perspektywy Education Foundation. I hope that your energy and motivation will spread all over Europe!, said Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society when giving the award.
In 27-28 November 2018 she will organize “Perspektywy – Women in Tech Summit” in Warsaw – the gathering 1000 of female technologiests from IT industry and students of informatics and computer science in CEE region and Central Asia.
Carlota Tarín Quirós
Carlota Tarín is managing partner of the Spanish consultancy Iclaves, specialised in qualitative and quantitative research in the Information Society and the Digital Economy. She has over 10 years conducting research on social and policy issues and ICT topics, and holds a BSc and MSc in Political Science and Public Administration (UCM) and MSc in European Public Affairs (EPA and Maastricht University). She has leaded the last two reports of the European Commission on women in the ICT and digital sectors, “Women Active in the ICT sector” (2014) and “Women in the Digital Age” (2018).
Deputy Director General
Charlina Vitcheva was appointed Deputy Director General of the JRC in September 2016.
Previous to this, she was Director of Smart and Sustainable Growth and Southern Europe at DG Regional and Urban Policy, and also held a position in Inclusive Growth, Territorial and Urban Development and Northern Europe.
Before joining the Commission, Charlina spent 15 years in the Bulgarian public administration including at the Permanent Representation in Brussels, dealing mainly with agricultural and fisheries issues.
During this period, she was actively involved in the accession negotiations of Bulgaria and headed, between 2000 and 2004, the negotiations teams in the area of agriculture and rural development, food safety and fisheries.
Education Policy Analyst and Education Technologist
Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Serbia
Danijela Scepanovic, PhD is Education Policy Analyst and Education Technologist with extensive experience in preparing, reviewing and assessing strategic and programing documents relevant for all levels of the education sector development. While working in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development in Serbia she has been involved in managing several education programs with large number of collaborators and stakeholder representatives. She worked as trainer and consultant across the education spectrum, particularly in the area of Education Technology, Evidence Informed Policy Making, Teacher Professional Development, School Food Policy and Higher Education. She has worked as an evaluation expert for the H2020 research program of the European Commission and external evaluator for the Erasmus+ project proposals in Serbia.
Ms. Scepanovic was a member of the European Commission ET 2020 Working Group Digital and Online Learning (2013-2015) and was coordinator of the National Expert Team for Digital and Online Learning (2015-2016). She is currently member of the European Commission ET 2020 Working Group on Digital Skills and Competences.
Industry Solutions Executive for Education
Multi country region at Microsoft
As education Industry Solutions Executive at Microsoft Danijel takes care of all educators and students across all levels of education empowering every student on the planet to achieve more.
At Microsoft we believe that an excellent education is a basic right, a socioeconomic and workforce imperative. People can do remarkable things when technology is within reach and technology applied in new ways can shift behavior and inspire improved learning outcomes.
Engagement within education is proven with delivery and participation in number of successful project including: education governance projects, remote learning and connecting remote schools in rural areas, nationwide implementations of eschools projects as well as implementations of large number of digital classrooms across the region.
Prior joining Microsoft Danijel worked in Samsung, developing business market segments, with special attention to education and delivering mobile devices and mobility solutions for education in Adriatic region. Danijel started his carrier at Hewlett-Packard, where he served multiple roles, among which was 6 years tenure as General Manager in Croatia.
Passion for education in also proven in role of Assistant tutor held on VERN’ Applied science University in Zagreb, lecturing business performance measurement for post graduate students.
DCU’s Institute of Education
Deirdre Butler, a professor in DCU’s Institute of Education is internationally known as a leading scholar and creative practitioner of methods supporting teachers’ professional development and students’ learning. Deirdre’s passion in life is exploring what being digital in learning can mean and what skills or competencies are needed to live in today’s complex globally connected world. She is driven by discovering how using digital technologies can revolutionise learning, challenging us to examine how we learn and questioning our assumptions about “traditional” models of schooling.
Prior to being a teacher educator, she was a primary school teacher, resource teacher, teacher for the travelling community and vice-principal of a school.
Deirdre is internationally recognised in the field of digital learning, particularly for the design and development of innovative sustainable, scalable models of teacher professional learning & has managed a range of projects / school-based initiatives which focus on creative uses of digital technologies.
Currently Deirdre is Expert Advisor to the Irish Department of Education and Skills as they implement the Digital Strategy for Schools.
Development of the digital and educational platform ERSILIA
Delphine Schram is in charge of the development of the digital and educational platform ERSILIA developed by LE BAL. LE BAL is an independent venue in Paris offering exhibitions, publications, ideas and education, centered on the contemporary image in all its forms – photography, video, film and the new media.
Since its creation in 2008, LE BAL’s educational part, La Fabrique du Regard, trains youths from 6 to 25 years old on how to become conscious observers who are aware that images obey to codes and usages get them think of the world in images. In this context, LE BAL has developed a digital education platform www.ersilia.fr, launched on May 2016.
Delphine Schram has joined the team of LE BAL in 2015 and especially to work on the project ERSILIA. From a legal background, specialized in intellectual property, she has been in charge of the rights’ negotiation for the digital educational platform.
Informatics and Information Technologies Teacher
High School of Mathematics “Dr. Petar Beron” Varna
Eleonora Pavlova has a Masters degree in Informatics from the University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She teaches informatics and information technologies in the High School of Mathematics “Dr. Petar Beron” Varna. Pavlova provides academic support to students in preparing their projects for the student IT olympiads and other competitions in IT. Having been involved in assisting students to conduct their projects for years, she is committed to sharing her expertise with her colleagues in teacher seminars and strives to better her pedagogical methods by incorporating the successful methods the conference participants share. She organizes and leads extracurricular seminars in visual programming. Pavlova has been awarded the Yale Educator Award of 2016 – recognition for inspiring teachers who have provided their support to students with exceptional academic success.
Dr Elpida Makrygianni
Engineering Education Developer
Dr Elpida Makrygianni is the Engineering Education Developer and Coordinator at UCL Engineering. She is responsible for the development, support and management of Pre-19 engineering engagement activities for young people aged 5-19 years old in the UK. Elpida received her PhD in electronic, electrical engineering and computer science before working as an academic, research fellow, project lead and consultant for the private, public and voluntary sectors. She has led and contributed to UK and US funded projects with a focus on primary, secondary and higher education at Cambridge University, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, National Lottery, UK Department for Education, Google UK, Dyson UK and the James Dyson Foundation. Elpida works in partnership with government, industry and organisations to promote effective design and delivery of STEM education and engagement programmes for students. Her work focuses on considering the diversity of young people and enabling participation of students from a broad range of abilities, backgrounds and levels of understanding to ensure inclusiveness, equality and real choice in STEM careers and degrees. She is responsible for conceiving, delivering and implementing UCL Engineering’s 50:50 Engineering Engagement Strategy, creating a step change in the representation of girls as well as black and ethnic minority pupils on Pre-19 engagement programmes. The strategy has enabled participation of children and young people who would otherwise be excluded from engineering due to invisible social structures.
Prof. Emil Kolev
High School Students Institute of Mathematics and Informatics
Prof. Emil Kolev is the director of the High School Students Institute of Mathematics and Informatics and has worked with high-school students in various capabilities since 2000. His research interests are in Coding Theory and Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science, but he has also authored more than 60 popular science articles and 20 textbooks.
Elena is leading the educational programs of Asociatia Techsoup, the winner of the Digital Skills in Education in the European Digital Skills Award in 2017.
She has been working in a senior capacity in the Romanian nonprofit sector for 15 years now, either as a program designer and manager or communicator. Elena designed, lead and managed a diverse range of educational programs and communication teams, from special editorial projects in investigative journalism to advanced digital skills blended learning programs for nonprofits, or empowering young people to use computer science to advance their potential as a good citizen and professional, as well as supporting educators in reforming STEAM education in Romania.
Elena holds a B.A. in Political Science from the National School of Political and Administrative Sciences and a MA in Ethics from the Philosophy Faculty, University of Bucharest, and also trained in pedagogy to become elementary school teacher.
Professor of Informatics
University of Roma
Enrico Nardelli is full professor of Informatics in the University of Roma “Tor Vergata” and President of Informatics Europe, the association representing informatics departments and research laboratories in Europe and neighbouring areas. He is also member of the ACM Europe Council.
Since April 2014, he is coordinating the project “Programma il Futuro” for the introduction of basic concepts of informatics as a scientific subject in Italian schools, with emphasis on primary schools
Member of the European Parliament
Eva Maydell (née Paunova) is a Member of the European Parliament. She is President of the largest organisation of associations and civil societies in Europe – European Movement International, ambassador of the European Commission´s E-skills for jobs initiative and initiator and co-founder of Education Bulgaria 2030.
Maydell´s priorities focus on enhancing skills-creation and the use of innovation and technologies, supporting entrepreneurs and investments in Europe. In the European Parliament, she is a member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and the key Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. Eva Maydell is currently working on several legislative files, part of the Digital Single Market Strategy – the e-Privacy Regulation, the Directive for the supply of digital content, the Regulation on portability, Digitising European industry and the European cloud initiatives. She was also rapporteur for the EPP Group on the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the New Skills Agenda and the Influence of technology on the future of the financial sector (FinTech).
Amongst others, Eva´s work has been recognised by the Financial Times, which included her in the “New Europe 100”, the ranking of CEE´s brightest and best people that are changing the status quo through their ideas and innovative solutions. She is also part of the European Forbes 30 under 30 list, featuring the change agents in 20 different sectors. Politico defined her as one of “the most eye-catching 28 people from 28 countries who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe”. She was awarded the MEP of the Year Award twice.
“Georgi’s interest in technology dates back since he was 11 when he starts to do computer programming. In 2008 he particpates in the creation of the technology project Imagga, which later on evolves into a successful business ventures offering image recognition A.I. to business customers. Currently the company has more than 13,000 API users and 250 customers across the globe.
In 2013 Georgi is recognized by Forbes Bulgaria as one of the „30 under 30“in technology. The company has been awarded multiple international prizes such as the Best Technology Vendor at South Summit ’15 by HM The King of Spain, Global Champion in News and Media at World Summit Awards ’16 by United Nations and Global Innovator in Image Analytics ’16 by IDC.
Georgi also lectures at Sofia University, Junior Achievement, and New Bulgarian University with focus on technology entrepreneurship and core technology, where he loves to share his practical experience.”
Public Libraries 2020, Reading and Writing Foundation of the Netherlands
Ilona Kish is a library avenger. As Director of the Public Libraries 2020 (PL2020) project team in Brussels, she leads a network of pioneering librarians from across Europe who are dedicated to the transformation of society through community engagement. PL2020 works to raise awareness of the immense potential of Europe’s 65,000 public libraries among EU policy makers; PL2020 works towards building stronger EU communities.
Ilona is a proud trustee of the UK Society of Chief Librarians and is currently serving on the Governing board for the Coalition for Digital Jobs and Skills hosted by the European Commission.
As the former Secretary General of Culture Action Europe (an association promoting European arts and cultural associations), Ilona has extensive experience in EU advocacy and campaigning, as well as a thorough working knowledge of both the operational and political functions of the EU institutions.
Professor of Education
University of Sheffield
Jackie Marsh is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield. She has led numerous research projects engaging children, teachers, parents and children’s media industry partners in research on young children’s play and digital literacy practices in homes and schools (e.g. the ESRC-funded project ‘Technology and Play’: http://www.techandplay.org). Jackie is Chair of COST Action IS1410: ‘The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children’ (DigiLitEY), a European network of 34 countries focusing on research in this area (2015-2019). She is currently leading a 7-country project on makerspaces in the early years (MakEY) (2017-2019), funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. The project is exploring the value of makerspaces in both formal and non-formal educational settings for the development of digital skills and creativity.
Emmaüs Connect and WeTechCare
Jean Deydier is the director of Emmaüs Connect and WeTechCare. Emmaüs Connect is a French NGO, dedicated to make ICT a booster for socio-economic integration, through field projects, services to key stakeholders who can make a difference in e-inclusion, and development of technologies and services of high social value. It’s present in 7 cities in France has helped 10 000 people in their integration through ICT, with adapted solutions both on access and digital skills (social ICT equipment and telecom offers, counselling, e-skills development activities). Since its first steps in 2010, Emmaüs Connect has become the pioneer and key advocate of e-inclusion in France, extending collaborations between public, private, and social sector.
Before getting involved in social inclusion and innovation, Jean worked for 20 years in ICT, and in particular in software development. Six years ago we joined Emmaüs Défi as volunteer, to later become the president of the organisation. To multiply Emmaüs Connect’s activities, he created WeTechCare. This new, sister organisation puts in place online tools for job seeking and acquiring digital skills aimed at disadvantaged people such as Les Bons Clics (The Good Clicks) and CLICNJOB.
Jens Nymand Christensen
Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture
Jens Nymand Christensen is the Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture in the European Commission. He is Danish and holds a Master degree in Business Economics and International Economics. Jens Nymand Christensen has been working for the European Institutions since 1979, including as a Director in the Commission’s Secretariat-General from 2003 to 2014, and previously as Member of Cabinet of Vice-President Henning Christophersen and Head of Unit for International Food, Veterinary and Phytosanitary questions. He has also headed the European Commission Representation in Denmark and was an Advisor at the Danish Permanent Representation to the EU dealing with the Convention on the future of Europe and the preparations of the Inter-governmental Conference drafting a Constitutional Treaty for the European Union.
João Sousa has a degree in Physics, a Professional Degree in Education and postgraduate training in Educational Multimedia Communication. A Secondary School Teacher of Physics and Chemistry and in-service teacher trainer in ICT and Education, he collaborated actively with APS – a regional teacher’s professional association committed to the professional development of its associates – and between 2009 and 2014 was Head of the Boarding Committee. A member of the Boards of several national and international Science and Education associations and the author of several ICT-related articles and book chapters in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
João Sousa participates actively and is regularly invited as a speaker and/or moderator in events on the use of ICT and e-Learning in Education. He participated and coordinated the Portuguese Project Teams of several European Projects. In September 2014, he become responsible for the Team of Resources and Educational Technology of the General-Directorate of Education, Ministry of Education and Science and in January 2015 he became Director of Services of Educational Projects. Since January 2018 João Sousa is the head of the INCoDe.2030 team in the same institution. He is the Portuguese representative in the ET2020 Working Group on Digital Skills and Competences.
Lecturer ICT & Media
LEGO® Education Academy Certified Trainer
As a professional in ICT, originally started as software engineer, I shifted my professionalism towards education. Since 2002 I’m active in the field of education as a teacher for primary schools, secundary schools and as a teacher trainer at the university college PXL. Nowadays I teach as a LEGO certified teacher trainer with a lot with LEGO®products with the insight of 21th century skills I try to enrich my education for my pupils to ensure that they can think out of the box and be ready for a job of the future.
MIT trained entrepreneurship instructor and Founder
FutureHack Innovators Bootcamp
Joseph is a MIT trained entrepreneurship instructor and Founder of FutureHack Innovators Bootcamp, a transformational Tech/Entrepreneurship program specifically for teenagers held at MIT and Harvard. [www.futurehack.co]. He has been an authority on the topic of “Future of Education” and is active in the MIT, World Economic Forum, Singularity University communities. Through his many talks and guest lectures, Joseph has inspired thousands of students at top universities (Cambridge, Tsinghua, HKUST, HKU, HEC, TUM, etc.) and high schools (HKIS, TAS, BCIS, etc.) across Europe and Asia. Joseph is also the Co-Founder and Head of Social Impact for EXLhub.org. The EXLhub.org initiative provides a free, cloud-based platform that trains and certifies students in low resource communities for transformative, globally competitive careers. Exlhub.org is committed to making technology education universally accessible so that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, can be creators of technology and leaders in the digital age.
Prior to his efforts in redefining education, Joseph had a 20+ years career on Wall Street at UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, that also included co-founding a $400mil Hedge Fund and an institutional brokerage which was sold to India’s second largest financial services firm. Joseph immigrated to the U.S. from China with nothing and lived the American Dream. He has been sharing his experience and inspiring many around the world to become self-motivated learners and entrepreneurial leaders in the digital age ever since.”
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Karen Triquet is doctoral student based at the Department of Educational Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and more recently also a University College of London (Institute of Education) Visiting Doctoral Alumni. Having completed an MSc addressing the systemic educational determinants of integrating information and communication technologies (ICTs) within primary education; her current doctoral work takes this further by addressing technologies potential and practices in supporting self-regulated learning (SRL). Karen looks at SRL within technology-enhanced and enabled learning environments (TELEs), given their unique affordances and risks (as inherent technology and pedagogical supports), towards learning personalization, in aiming to shed greater light on predictors of effective TELE-SRL promotion. Her work more generally is situated under the overarching BILD research team and supervision of Prof. dr. Koen Lombaert, focussing on educational change and innovation.
Girls Code Fun Foundation
Karolina Cikowska was raised in New York City, and returned to Poland ten years ago. Armed with a Master’s in Psychology, she entered in the field of education and technology when she founded the Girls Code Fun Foundation 5 years ago in Warsaw, Poland. Since then, she has also became co-founder of Kids Code Fun, a programming school for children ages 5-16. She is passionate about developing innovative ways to teach children and women programming, and showing them that the field of technology is for everyone.
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education and Science Bulgaria
Born on June 9, 1975
Mr Krasimir Valchev holds a Master’s degree in Public Finance from the University of Economics – Varna and an academic specialization in “Budget and Financial Management” from Duke University, USA.
Mr Valchev has comprehensive experience in the field of the education system, especially management and funding, evaluation and monitoring, including implementation of European pre-accession programs. He has started his career at the public administration more than 15 years ago and during this period he has been always directly involved with the sector of education and science.
In 2002, he joined the Ministry of Finance at the State Expenditures Directorate, where he worked on planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating budget expenditures. Krasimir was part of the national High-Level Group responsible for the development and implementation of the sectoral and budgetary policies.
For the last ten years, Mr Valchev is a key figure in the decentralization of the education system and introducing sound and efficient funding model. From September 2009 until February 2017 he was Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Science. During his work in office, Mr Valchev is responsible for introducing management efficiency measures in the Bulgarian higher education sector and the entire national school network.
Deputy Head of E-Services Department
Ministry of Education and Research Estonia
Mrs Kristel Rillo is responsible for the portfolio of digital skills and related matters in Estonia. Mrs Rillo is coordinating the policy-making of IT skills development on all education levels – starting from digital competence as the ability to successfully cope in the information society until technological literacy as the ability to create technology. In Estonia education and infotechnology go hand in hand. In fulfilling her responsibilities she is closely cooperating with other government organisations, schools (including universities), the third sector, industries and communities in general. Commonly agreed objectives and schools’ autonomy has proven to be one of the success factors in Estonian education
Impact Officer – Entrepreneurship and Business Creation
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Laurent Roux joined the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), as Entrepreneurship Officer in September 2013, and became Impact Officer – Entrepreneurship and Business Creation in Nov 2017. He is mainly responsible for the EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs) Entrepreneurship and Business Creation activities across EU-28, including synergies with other EU and National Business Creation programs, and also focuses on the EIT Monitoring of the KIC activities, through Key Performance Indicators, Scoreboards, including H2020 ones, and on site in-depth broader strategic Evaluations and Reviews focusing on Results, Impact and Financial Sustainability. Laurent Roux represents EIT on the board of the EIT Alumni association. Laurent Roux also leads the EIT Women Leadership and Entrepreneurship activities, and the organization of the annual EIT Awards and Innovation Tour, as a member of the organizing team of EIT annual Innovation festival INNOVEIT. Laurent Roux is a graduate from the INSEAD MBA program and holds a MScEE from INSA Lyon, France. Before joining the EIT, Laurent Roux worked for the French Ministry of Finance Trade Commissions in North America and Asia Pacific as Head of IT, and for US MNCs in corporate business development roles. In the past, he’s also advised Internet start-ups and has been an active Angel Investor in San Francisco and Singapore.
Founder and CEO
Linda Frietman is the founder and CEO of IamProgrez a Dutch Tech company that develops next gen soft skill assessments by using technics as Ai, gamification and data analyses at IamProgrez they have developed their own Ai engine: Xavier to measure psychometrics from open answer questions.
The assessments are used by last year students to bridge the skill gap to the labor market and as a pre-selection recruitment/onboarding tool for corporates. IamProgrez deploys their assessments in the Netherlands as well as international.
Entrepreneur at heart she is passionate about using these innovative technics to maximise potential and facilitate growth and live long learning with (young) people in order to help them further their career, she is a frequently asked speaker about Ai, Augmented Intelligence layers and gamification in the education, hr & recruitment context and for her indepth knowledge about corporate digital tranformations the changing labor market and how this reflects on future job skill demands.
Linda is chairwoman of The Dutch School a collective of 60 + Dutch Ed Tech startups/scale ups/organisations that transform and bring innovation to the Dutch education system. The Dutch School is working together with N8 the Nordic EdTech Forum to form the European EdTech Associations Alliance.
She is a boardmember of several non profit organisations that promote entrepreneurship with young people and coaches several Dutch EdTech startups.
Linda is on the 2017 list of 50 most inspiring Women CEO’s in Tech in The Netherlands.
Tech Literacy and Education Programmes, BT Group
Liz heads BT’s tech literacy programme which aims to help build a culture of tech literacy, where it is viewed as a cornerstone of modern education. The programme was launched in March 2015 alongside a first ambition to reach 5 million young people with better teaching in computing skills by 2020. To date, over 900,000 children have benefitted. Liz also leads the BT Group Education Strategy which helps young people, particularly those at risk of being disadvantaged, become work ready and get into jobs.
Liz is Chair of the Good Things Foundation, a UK based charity which supports digitally and socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital. Most recently, Liz chaired a review of digital skills on behalf of the UK Government. Liz represents BT on the Movement to Work employer coalition committed to tackling youth unemployment through high quality vocational training and work experience. In 2016, Liz was named in Business Cloud Magazine’s inaugural ‘100 Women Role Models of Tech’ list.
Dr. Mara Jakobsone
Vice-President and ICT and e-skills Project Manager
Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA)
Dr. Mara Jakobsone is vice-president and ICT and e-skills project manager at the Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA). Her responsibilities include development, coordination and implementation of information society and e-skills related policies, initiatives and projects.
From 1984-99 she was researcher and assistant professor at the Faculty of Business administration, University of Latvia. She holds a Doctorate in economics from the Institute of Finances and Economics, St.Petersburg, Russia (1988) and University of Latvia. In 1993 Mara has created the first ICT journal in Latvia „Datorpasaule„ and was an editor in-chief until 2005.
Mara Jakobsone is coordinator of the Latvian National Digital Skills Coalition. She represents LIKTA at European organizations like ALL Digital ( formerly Telecentre Europe ) , CEPIS and ECDL. For the last four years Mara Jakobsone has been a board member of ALL Digital , elected as a chair in October 2012.
Marc Durando, Executive Director of EUN, has over 35 years’ experience in the field of education and training, both at European and national level. He has worked in the education and training area since 1983, where, after five years in the field of continuing education for enterprises, he developed specific expertise on European cooperation in the field of education and training.
Since September 2006, Marc Durando joined the European Schoolnet network as Executive Director of EUN (www.europeanschoolnet.org). As a network of 34 MoE, European Schoolnet’s mission is to support ministries of education, schools, teachers and relevant education stakeholders in Europe in the transformation of education processes for 21st century digitalized societies.
More particularly, European Schoolnet’s remit is to:
- identify and test promising innovative practices,
- share evidence about their impact, and
- support mainstreaming teaching and learning practices aligned with 21st century standards and expectations for the education of all students.
ICT and digitization are a particular focus of European Schoolnet’s work, because of the critical role they play in terms of designing and implementing future classroom scenarios and supporting new forms of learning both in and out of school.
Scientix Ambassador for Bulgaria
Maria Brauchle is a Scientix Ambassador for Bulgaria and a mathematician at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Since 2003 she is working in the field of dynamic mathematical software implementation in mathematics education. The appearance of dynamic mathematical software provides new opportunities to apply inquiry based learning approach in teaching mathematics. The teacher training plays an important role for the successful implementation of this approach. To provide professional development courses for math teachers is an important part of Maria’s work. Through her connections to teachers she has direct observations about the digital gap in the classroom.
European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
Mariya Gabriel is the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society since July 2017. Within her overarching portfolio, she has as an overall objective the realisation of the Digital Single Market which should directly benefit the European citizens. She served as Member of the European Parliament from 2009 to July 2017. Being the EPP Group Vice-President, she tackled issues related to EU enlargement, Mediterranean region, Middle East and North Africa. She chaired the EUROMED Working Group and focused on various priorities, e.g. migration, security, fight against terrorism and radicalisation, EU external policy, Western Balkans, women`s rights. Mariya Gabriel also has considerable achievements in the area of the EU visa policy – she is the EP rapporteur on 1/3 of all EU visa liberalisation agreements. She was awarded twice the prestigious prize “MEP of the year” – in 2016 for the Development category, and in 2013 for the Gender equality category.
In 2017 she was honored with the Royal Spanish Order of Civil Merit for her contribution to the foreign relations of the country and 2016 – with the Columbian Order of San Carlos for merits to the country in international relations and diplomacy.
During her academic career, she worked in the area of International Relations, History of the European Institutions, Political Sociology and Comparative Politics.
European Committee of the Regions
Mr Markkula has been the President of the European Committee of the Regions from February 2015 to July 2017 and the First Vice President since August 2017. He is the Chair of the Espoo City Board, as well as the Vice Chair of the Board of the Helsinki Regional Council. He works within Aalto University in EU research, innovation and education policy. He is a former member of the Finnish Parliament.
Director and Chief Operating Officer
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Martin Kern is the Interim Director and Chief Operating Officer at the EIT since 1 August 2014. Prior to joining, he worked at the European Commission for 15 years in a variety of posts, mainly in the area of enlargement policy having started his career with a short stint at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Working for the EU, he held a variety of positions, the latest being Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Serbia where he coordinated the programming and implementation of EU funds to bring Serbia closer to EU accession and among many issues, he led the EU’s rapid response following the disastrous floods in Serbia in May 2014.
Previously, he worked as country coordinator for financial assistance for the Turkey team in the European Commission’s DG Enlargement. In 2009, he was seconded to the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm during their EU Presidency by the European Commission. He started his career in the EU in Lithuania and Estonia, working in the EU Delegations and helping the two countries join the EU and ending his 6 years in the Baltic States as Acting Head of the EU Representation in Tallinn. Following the accession of the ten new Member States to the EU in 2004, he continued working on financial assistance, dealing inter alia with the anti-corruption policies and irregularity follow up in the use of EU funds in Bulgaria and Romania around the time of their accession.
He started his career after a brief stint at the UN and has Master degrees in Economics and English from the University of Heidelberg and in European Studies from the University of Reading.
Chief Officer of Public Partnerships, Member of the Senior Leadership Team of Teach for Bulgaria
Public Partnerships and
Neli Koleva is the Chief Officer of Public Partnerships and member of the Senior Leadership Team of Teach for Bulgaria. She is responsible for School Placement, Public Partners engagement and Communications. She is also the Project Manager of the New Ways for New Talents in Teaching Project, a pilot, funded by the European Commission which sees a consortium of five organizations across the network, respective Ministries of Education and university partners, pilot alternative pathways for entry into the teaching profession. Neli comes to PPS after more than four years in various roles in Training and Support team of Teach For Bulgaria. Prior to starting work at Teach For Bulgaria in 2011, Neli taught at Rice University in Houston, TX and Universite de Haute Bretagne in Rennes, France. She holds a BA in American literature from Middlebury College, VT, USA and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Rice University, Houston, TX, USA.
Education at Strawbees
Ms. Lindstrom is the Vice President of Education at Strawbees, a Swedish company supporting teachers and schools all over the world to embrace the Future of Learning. Following working as a strategy consultant for Bain & Company and with large private corporations all over the world, she decided to devote more of her time to NGOs and solving global challenges.
As an active member of the ‘Maker’ community, Ms. Lindstrom has always strongly advocated curiosity, technology, and innovation as means of empowering young people, especially in socio-economically challenged areas. Ms. Lindstrom has coached teachers as well as taught students aged 6-19, and university students in Europe and in China. Currently, she works to develop a future-orientated teaching model which aims to incorporate methods that help students to develop complex problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity whilst working collaboratively in the classroom.
In 2017 Ms. Lindstrom was recognised by the US Department of State for her work in using technology courses as a means of promoting inclusion and particularly for empowering girls and women. She was also the mentor and project manager for the Swedish Olympic team in the First Global Challenge Robotics Games, gathering 15-18-year old students from 157 countries for the event in Washington DC.
With a background including Mechanical Engineering at the Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics, as well as studies in Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Psychology, and Computer Science, Ms. Lindstrom has always put education at the forefront. She is dedicated to supporting decision makers, schools and teachers to create the best possible learning environments.
Writer, Researcher and Educator
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Oliver is a writer, researcher and educator. He has been a school teacher, a university lecturer, and run digital education and research programmes for UK charities.
He is Senior Research Manager at The Raspberry Pi Foundation, leading the foundation’s research into learning and teaching in digital making and computing.
His book, ‘The Thinking Teacher‘, was published in January 2014 and takes ideas from business, the arts and other varied fields to challenge assumptions and paradigms in education.
Throughout his projects and writing technology and learning have been a strong theme, particularly the way in which new and social technologies affect how we learn and work.
Panagiotis Kampylis, SELFIE project leader, Joint Research Centre, European Commission
Panagiotis joined the Human Capital and Employment Unit of the Joint Research Center (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science service, in January 2012. He contributes to research and policy support in the field of learning and skills for the digital age. Currently, he is the project leader and principal researcher of SELFIE, the self-reflection tool for digitally capable schools.
Before joining the JRC, Panagiotis worked as a primary school teacher, music teacher, head teacher, teacher trainer and creativity researcher. He holds a Ph.D. in cognitive science and his research interests include creativity and innovation in education and training, arts education, technology-enhanced learning, digital competence and entrepreneurship competence.
Paolina Gadjulova is currently pursuing a Bachelor degree in computer science at Sofia University. She has participated in numerous olympiad-styled programming competitions and international science fairs. Paolina is also mentoring high-school students and is a guest lecturer at national programming camps.
Member of the European Parliament
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D)
Petra Kammerevert has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2009. She is a Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
Kammerevent is a Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT), responsible for culture, education, information-society, media, youth and sports policy. She is also a member of the Delegation to the EU-Montenegro SAPC and a substitute in the Delegation to the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee.
Before joining Parliament, Kammerevert was a consultant at ARD public service broadcasting company from 2002 to 2009. Between 1999 and 2009 she was a Member of the municipal council of Düsseldorf.
Kammerevert was born in 1966, in Duisburg, Germany.
Head of the unit “Data Applications and Creativity”
Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak Head of the unit “Data Applications and Creativity” European Commission – Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology Rehana Schwinninger-Ladakwas appointed Head of the Unit “Data Applications and Creativity” in January 2018. The Unit ’s mission is to support the digital transformation of cultural and education institutions by i) promoting the digitisation of cultural heritage and its wider access and reuse through new technologies and the further development of Europeana as Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage and ii) fostering the modernisation of education and training systems in an age of rapid technological changes. To this end, the unit supports policy, research, innovation and the wider take up of interactive technologies, learning technologies and connectivity to allow European citizens to have a richer experience of cultural and educational content and to allow European businesses to create value from digital cultural heritage. In her previous position at the European Commission, Rehana was the deputy Head of the Unit responsible for Learning, Multilingualism and Accessibility. Prior to it, she was closely involved in the development and follow-up of the European regulatory framework on audiovisual media and the Commission’s strategy on Data. Rehana holds a degree in finance and economics and a master in actuarial science.
Instigator of the Digital Schools of Distinction Award
Robbie O’Leary is a recently retired primary school principal from Dublin, Ireland. He is a graduate of St. Patrick’s College of Education, and holds a Masters Degree from Trinity College, Dublin. He has had extensive involvement in the evolution of ICT usage in Irish primary education since the early 1990’s. He has written and lectured widely on the subject both in Ireland and Europe, and is co-author of ICTs in the Primary School: Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century (Dublin West Education Centre, 2010). He was among the first proponents of the PC as an educational tool, and was the first Irish teacher to successfully publish indigenous digital content for use in Irish primary schools. Since then, he has been centrally involved in the design and production of numerous software titles for Irish primary schools. He has worked closely with numerous universities and Education Centres throughout Ireland in the design and delivery of pre-service, in-service and postgraduate training courses, and in promoting the use of ICTs in primary education. He is the instigator of the Digital Schools of Distinction award scheme and has worked to support the development of similar schemes in a number of other European countries.
Ross is responsible for scaling CoderDojo globally through developing partnerships and supporting the international community. He is a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology where he studied Computer Science. A former financial technology journalist for the Sunday Business Post (Ireland) and is a member of the Technology Journalist Association of Ireland. Ross is now based in London in the new Raspberry Pi Foundation office where he and a team are helping to scale and support the CoderDojo movement across the United Kingdom.
Grande Ecole du Numérique
Samia Ghozlane totals more than 20 years of professional experience. She holds a Doctorate in Business Administration at International University of Monaco, a MBA at Sherbrooke University in Canada and post graduate degree at Denis Diderot Paris University.
She started her career as a Publisher with major publishing groups and then she joined a first class non-profit organization structuring the knowledge management and sharing aspects namely via internet. In 2009 Samia GHOZLANE became the Vice-President of Cyberelles (and President in 2015), a community gathering women evolving in the digital arena. She led the development of the first national contest acknowledging young e-businness women with innovative digital projects. In 2013, Samia GHOZLANE joined Groupe INSEEC to structure and develop the online offer and the associated programs. In 2016, Samia Ghozlane joined the Grande Ecole du Numérique initiative to structure and launch the biggest network of accredited digital courses throughout France and by this way encouraging the rise of new talents for tomorrow’s digital economy.
Sofia Ester Pereira Reis http://sofiaester.pt is a teacher of basic and secondary students and a professor at Autónoma University. She completed her PhD in Computer Science at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a Master in Informatics Engineering also at NOVA. Sofia Reis authored several papers about digital games and wrote books for children.
Sofia Reis won several awards with her students. In 2017 her students were the national winners of the Odysseus Contest II, a contest funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020. In 2015 her students were the European winners of the eSkills for Jobs, a competition organized by the European Commission. In 2013 her students were the national winners of the Best Content for Kids European Award, a contest organized by Insafe and European Schoolnet. In 2009 her student won the Webmaster Contest, organized by Microsoft.
She participated in the projects ERASMUS+ The Healthier! The Happier! and Comenius Project Verantwortungsbewusster Konsum and in various eTwinning projects.
Sofia Reis also created the Lisbon School of Magic https://schoolofmagic.net/ that was chosen as the best national educational content by the Best Content for Kids Award. She is the developer of Weather Wizards, the first mobile game that uses real weather data.
Consultant and Project Manager
The Danish ICT Industry Association (IT-Branchen)
Steen is working at The Danish ICT Industry Association (IT-Branchen). He is chief consultant and project manager for Coding Class. The Coding Class project teaches twelve-year-old kids to code games as school projects. After the school project the kids visit a company and show their games to them.
Steen has works with business development and digitization in the public sector. He is MA in philosophy and religion and has a master degree in IT-strategy and management.
EMEA Senior Regional Manager
Stuart is the EMEA Senior Regional Manager for Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, which supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues worldwide and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges
Before joining Google, Stuart was Chief Executive of an Irish non-profit, Business to Arts, from 2007 to 2014 and was also co-founder of Fund it (www.fundit.ie), Ireland’s leading crowdfunding platform, for which he received and Arthur Guinness Fund Social Enterprise Award.
Previously Stuart spent 4 years as Business Development Director with Accenture working across both the public and private sectors in Ireland. Before this he spent a number of years working for Fujitsu in the UK culminating in his appointment as Commercial Manager for a 1000-person in 1999. He moved to Ireland in 2001 to join CapGemini as Head of Outsourcing.
Stuart is a Board Member at the Irish Film Institute, and is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Humanities Institute at University College Dublin. He has previously been an adjunct lecturer at Trinity College (MSc Management of Information Systems), and UCD (MA in Cultural Policy).
High School of Mathematics, Plovdiv
Tanya Otsetarova is a young person highly interested in science, currently a student at the High School of Mathematics in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. When she entered Secondary school she started focusing on Mathematics and since then she has worked on several different projects in the field of Combinatorial geometry. She has taken part in the biggest research competitions and camps worldwide – Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2017 and Research Science Institute 2017 at MIT. In the future, Tanya wants to see herself as a motivated researcher in the field of STEM
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Tibor Navracsics is the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport for the Commission of President Jean-Claude Juncker (2014 – 2019).
Before this mandate, he served as Head of the Prime Minister’s Office in Hungary, member of the Hungarian Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Administration and Justice and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In the 1990s, Tibor Navracsics started to teach at the University of Economics in Budapest. From 1997 until taking up office as European Commissioner, he taught at the Eötvös Loránd University’s Faculty of Law and Political Sciences in Budapest, where he became an associate professor in 2001.
Tibor Navracsics is responsible for improving the quality and efficiency of the EU education systems, notably through the European Semester and the Education and Training 2020 strategic framework. Modernising education in the EU and making it more inclusive is crucial to meet the challenges of employability, innovation in the digital age, as well as building resilient, cohesive societies. Tibor Navracsics is also in charge of the implementation of Erasmus+, as well as other programmes in the field of culture (Creative Europe) and youth (European Solidarity Corps).
Veronique De Leener
Veronique De Leener is the director of Maks vzw since 1999.
For Veronique, digital inclusion has always been a priority. In 1999, she helped found Maks vzw in one of the poorest and most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Brussels: Kuregem. Her goal was to help people on their way to inclusion in society and work, through social economy projects and digital skills.
In our two telecentres, reaching 2500 inhabitants every year, there are projects for all ages and lessons in basic ICT. The main focus is on Digital Storytelling (DS) on the one hand and on learning to code on the other. Through the digital storytelling, participants learn digital skills while telling their story to the world. This empowers people from disadvantaged situations. At the same time, there are various projects on learning to code, ranging from camps for children, teaching youngsters to become a digital camp animator, to introducing adults to digital technology and code.
Our main challenge is to empower disadvantaged learners to become prosumers. A prosumer is not only consuming media but also creating media.
Before working at Maks, Veronique was a director of a VET school, for youngsters between 15 and 20 years old (alternate working-studying). She is a member of the ALL DIGITAL Board. All Digital is an umbrella organization of digital competencies centers all over Europe.