Conference speakers


Siamak Ahmadi is co-founder and managing director of the civic education programme “Dialog macht Schule” gGmbH (Dialogue at School) in Berlin. He has a background in psychology and systemic councelling. His current interests are developing new formats of civic education within the context of migration and diversity.

Ramy Al-Asheq is a Syrian-Palestinian poet, writer and journalist. He is also the editor-in-chief of “Abwab”, the first Arabic newspaper in Germany.

Adullah Al-Kafri is a playwright, cultural activist and the executive director and co-founder of Ettijahat-Independent Culture. Ettijahat manages multiple long-term initiatives that aim to sustain Syrian creative freedom, whilst increasing the skills of their beneficiaries in artistic and research disciplines. He is a regular participant at international cultural forums and has written and directed several plays.

Moez Ali is a civil society activist on human rights, countering violent extremism, corruption fighting and civic education and president of the non-governmental organization “Union of independent Tunisians for freedom” (UTIL) created after the Tunisian upraising that played a role in the country’s democratic transition. He is a founding member of the NACE initiative “Networking Arab Civic Education“ and has been a member of the NECE focus group “Exchange between Europe and North Africa“ since 2012.

Marinko Banjac has been a teaching assistant in political theory at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, since 2007. He has held the position of a researcher at the same faculty since September 2009. Currently, he is involved in the implementation of the LLP project – Information and Research Activities for “Learning EU at School” entitled “Engaging the Youth – Building the Future”.

Oliver Baumann-Gibbon founded “Kooperative Berlin” in 2004, where he is responsible for the fields of ideas, conception and project management and finances. Additionally, he supervises projects like as well as the International Conference for Democracy Leipzig. From 2000 until 2004 he served as project manager within the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Monis Bukhari is visual artist, journalist and blogger inspiring motivated people to live, work and connect at the Integration HUB and the Syrian House. He has a deep interest in history and social development and wide experience with social media as well as NGO building and social services.

Piotr Buras is a journalist, author and expert in German and European politics. He is head of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Warsaw office. Between 2008 and 2012 he worked as a columnist and Berlin correspondent for “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the biggest Polish daily. Former appointments include positions at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Birmingham and at the University of Wroclaw (Poland).

Petr Čápworks as a community-led local development adviser at the Czech Government’s Agency for Social Inclusion. Formerly, he was director of the Civic Education Centre at Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). He is actively engaged in the development of civic education programmes for public libraries in rural areas, postcolonial global citizenship education and popular education programmes with the Homeless Action Group.

Nelly Corbel is the executive director of the Lazord Foundation and an independent consultant in citizenship education working with universities and governments around Europe and the Mediterranean. Prior to this, she served as the associate director of the Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo until March 2015, where she has been providing leadership to a number of programmes.

Maja Dobiasz is coordinator of educational programmes in the field of antidiscrimination and cultural education at the Centre for Citizenship Education, Poland. She prepares her PhD thesis on alternative education in Poland after the democratic breakthrough of 1989. Furthermore Maja Dobiasz is author of educational materials, textbooks and articles and leads workshops for teachers and students.

Noha El-Mikawy serves as regional director for the Ford Foundation’s Middle East and North Africa office in Cairo, Egypt. She oversees all of the foundation’s grant making in the region. Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2012, Noha El-Mikawy served as a team leader for democratic governance at the UNDP regional center in the Arab States region and as global policy adviser who connected governance and poverty reduction themes with a special focus on legal empowerment of the poor.

Brahim Fattah is a project officer at ProDemos Academy, the knowledge centre of ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, the Netherlands. Brahim Fattah has over 15 years of experience in the field of political participation of youngsters, non-Western minorities and women by organising various projects around these themes. During election time, he provides face-to-face information to migrant audiences in order to raise their awareness about the importance of voting.

Oliver Gnad is the founder and CEO of the “Bureau für Zeitgeschehen” (Bureau of Current Affairs), a Berlin-based think-and-do-tank specialized in strategic foresight and scenario planning. Since 2008, he has also been director of GIZ AgenZ, an in-house consultancy of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Previously, he led the international programmes at the Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius ZEIT Foundation in Hamburg (2003-2007). He is a visiting fellow at The Dahrendorf Forum and serves on the German expert group of the “New Pact for Europe“.

David Goodhart is head of the Demography, Immigration and Integration unit at the Policy Exchange think tank in London, UK. He is also the director of the Integration Hub, an Internet platform for integration issues. David Goodhart is the former director of the think tank Demos and was the founder editor of Prospect Magazine. Before Prospect, he was a correspondent for the Financial Times. In his book The British Dream (2013) David Goodhart discusses the challenges of postwar multiculturalism, national identity and immigration.

E.M. (Eddy) Habben Jansen is the new executive director of ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, the Netherlands. From 2010 to 2016 he was deputy director, responsible for the ProDemos visitor’s programme in parliament. Eddy Habben Jansen has been working in civic education since 1992 and was involved in the development of StemWijzer (VoteMatch) since 1994. Since 2008 he co-ordinated the development of the new educational centre of ProDemos, including programmes for secondary schools as well as a number of exhibitions.

Caroline Hornstein Tomić is head of the Operative Division at the German Federal Agency for Civic Education/ bpb since April 2016. Previously, she was senior researcher at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb and lecturer at the Chair for Anthropology at Zagreb University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her fields of expertise include migration, identity politics, state-building and transformation processes in Central and Southeast Europe. From 2001 to 2005 she headed the Konrad Adenauer foundation’s country office in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Milan Hrubeš is a researcher at the Institute of Sociological Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Charles University (Czech Republic). His research interests include political language analysis, framing analysis and political framing. Milan Hrubeš also works with the Civic Education Centre, Faculty of Humanities at Charles University. He has participated in various educational projects within which he focuses on research tasks.

Boris Jokić has been research associate at the Institute for Social Science in Zagreb since 2010. His fields of interest include educational sciences, psychology with a special focus on the advancement of primary and secondary education in Croatia. He was one of the authors of the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology and a leader of Comprehensive Curricular Reform of Croatian Education.

Michalis Kakos is a senior lecturer in education at Leeds Beckett University (UK) where he leads a postgraduate programme on inclusive education. Previously he was leading the PGCE course in citizenship education at the University of Leicester. Michalis Kakos has also held research fellowships in the Centre for Citizenship and Human Rights Education, University of Leeds and in the Centre for Research in Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Edinburgh.

David Kerr is a consultant director of education at the Citizenship Foundation (UK) and head of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) at the University of Reading. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Fellow at the University of Bristol and as a Research Director at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). David Kerr is currently the UK representative for the Council of Europe’s Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project (EDC/HRE).

Marko Kovačić is a youth researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, where he is affiliated to the Center for Youth and Gender Studies. His research focus is on youth policy, particularly non-formal political participation of young people in the post-socialist context. Having been a trainer in various civil society organizations and initiatives, Marko Kovačićis a national correspondent on youth policy for the European Knowledge Center for Youth Policy, administrated by the Youth Partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

Daniel Kraft has been head of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education’s Central Office for Public Relations and press officer for internal and external communication at the German Federa Agency for Civic Education/ bpb. Until 2005 he was director of the Brücke-Most-Centre and of the Brücke/Most Foundation in Dresden.

Thomas Krüger is the director of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb. After being a founding member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the former GDR, and becoming the executive director of the SDP in Berlin (East), Thomas Krüger became deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in Berlin (East/West). Subsequently, he was the city's Senator for Youth and Family Affairs (1991-1994) and a member of the German Parliament, the Bundestag (1994-1998).

Jenny Kuhlmann is a project manager at the German migration organisation “Minor – Projektkontor für Bildung und Forschung” where she is coordinating the regional and national networking activities within the special programme "Promotion of Vocational Mobility of Young People Interested in Vocational Training" (MobiPro-EU) commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. She has conducted research in the fields of international migration, transnationalism and diaspora and has worked as a scholar, academic coordinator and lecturer in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Southern Africa and Ethiopia.

Benjamin Kurc is co-founder and co-chairman of “Vote&Vous”, a French organisation working in the field of citizenship education in Europe. He is highly committed in the Franco-German relations and specializing in the “Weimarer Dreieck”.

Khalid Mahmood is responsible for supplementary schools, a CPD evaluation project and international development within the School Development Support Agency (SDSA), Leicester (UK). He developed the country’s first ever independent umbrella organisation, the Leicester Complementary Schools Trust (LCST) supporting out-of-school education providers. Between 2007 and 2011 he led the Islam and Citizenship Education Project, which developed curriculum and support materials to teach citizenship from an Islamic perspective.

Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk has been working as a project manager at ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law (resp. with its predecessor the IPP) in the Netherlands since 2006. She is the contact person for NECE at ProDemos and the project manager for the Europe Direct Center The Hague. Former appointments of Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk were with the German Office of Foreign Affairs, the OSCE and the EU Administration of Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina) in fields of humanitarian aid, protocol and democratization.

Almut Möller is the head of the Berlin office and a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Previously, she headed the Alfred von Oppenheim Centre for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations (2010-2015), worked as an independent political analyst based in London (2008-2010) and as a research fellow at the Centre for Applied Policy Research (C·A·P) at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (1999-2008).

Farooq Mullah is director of Darul Arqam Education and Training centre and was trained in a range of Islamic education organisations in UK, Pakistan and India. He is an executive member of UK’s Mosques and Imam National Advisory Board. Farooq Mullah joined the Islam and Citizenship Education project as a local delivery partner from the outset and has been successfully involved in the running of the project and training of Madrasah teachers throughout.

Adam Newman Turneris an education consultant currently working as an associate for the School Development and Support Agency (SDSA) in Leicester (UK’s most ethnically diverse city). He has a master’s degree in the management of community cohesion and has extensive experience in multicultural education including twenty years of senior management, school headship and local and national government work. Much of his work specialises in school improvement through equalities, diversity, social cohesion, leadership and active global citizenship.

Sogol Noorani is an education policy and systems analyst at Eurydice – a European network providing analyses and information on education systems and policies in all countries participating in the EU's Erasmus+ programme. She has a background in educational science, cross-cultural psychology and European politics. Currently, she is working on a comparative thematic report on “Citizenship Education at Schools in Europe”, which will be published in autumn 2017.

Audrey Osler is professor of education at the University College of Southeast Norway and the University of Leeds, where she founded the Centre for Citizenship and Human Rights Education. Her research addresses human rights and democratic citizenship education policy and practice, in established democracies and post-conflict societies. Audrey Osler acts as expert to the Council of Europe, European Commission and UNESCO. Her 2016 book “Human Rights and Schooling: an ethical framework for teaching for social justice” is published by Teachers College Press, New York.

Alicja Pacewiczserves as Vice President of Center for Citizenship Education, one of the leading Polish NGOs working in the area of quality education, civic engagement and school reform. She is the co-author of numerous educational programmes and publications on citizenship education, instruction methods, student assessment and learning environments. For her merits in building civil society in post-communist Poland, she was awarded Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Martin Pairet is the network manager of European Alternatives since January 2016. He has been working in the non-profit sector for more than seven years with experience in membership development, communications and fundraising in international organisations. He has a strong interest on how activists and civil society organisations are articulating and organising themselves to influence European politics both at the grassroots and at the institutional level.

Yulia Pererva worked on technical assistance programmes in the Delegation of the European Commission in Moscow before joining the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 1997. Since then, she contributed to a number of co-operation programmes in the field of human rights, youth and education. At present, she is responsible for the Council of Europe intergovernmental co-operation programme on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights.

Antonija Petričušić is an assistant professor at the Chair of Sociology, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb (Croatia). Her research interests include management of diversity as well as inter-ethnic relations and minority policies in South-Eastern Europe. Her current research focuses on the perception of the refugee crisis by the Croatian societal elites and society.

Georg Pirker is the head of the International Department at “Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungsstätten” (AdB, Association of German Educational Organisations), an NGO umbrella of non-formal civic educational organisations in Germany and founding member of the DARE network (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe). At AdB he has run several international programmes on the issue of Education for Democratic Citizenship, and he has been coordinating the DARE network and its activities since 2007.

Eli Pijaca Plavšić is executive director of Forum for Freedom in Education in Zagreb. Prior to joining Forum for Freedom in Education in 2010, she worked as project manager at the international organisationNetwork of Education Policy Centers. Eli Pijaca Plavšić has experience as a trainer for teachers and school staff with a special focus on mediation.

Sarah Portner is working as an editor for This European press review is provided by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education/ bpb and produced by the journalist network n-ost, based in Berlin. On this job she has been tracking Europe’s crises for quite a long time now – by picking and publishing the most interesting commentaries and opinion articles about them.

Tomaž Pušnik is a young researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His broader field of research is political theory with a focus on citizenship, citizenship education, mobility and EU policies. He has been involved in several EU and national projects, including “Citizen(ship) in a New Age: Citizenship Education for the Multicultural and Globalized World”, Jean Monnet, “Building the Future”, European Social Fund, and the Erasmus+ project “Recognize it! Recognition of non-formal learning”.

Ivana Radačićis a research associate at Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb and a part-time lecturer at the University of Zagreb, University of Osijek and the Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization, Venice. Her research focuses on human rights, women's rights, feminism. Previously, she also worked as a lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights.

Nino Raspudiić is a philosopher, writer and political analyst and professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb and the Faculty of Humanities in Mostar.

Berto Šalaj is associate professor at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. His scientific interests include issues of democracy, populism, political culture, social capital, civil society and political education. He is a member of the editorial board of the scientific journal Annals of the Croatian Political Science Association.

Jan Schneider (PhD) works at the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR). As head of SVR’s Research Unit, he coordinates a team of junior and senior researchers, conducting innovative and practice-oriented research on pressing issues and emerging trends in migrant education, forced migration and labour migration. Before joining the SVR, Jan Schneider held research positions with the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI), and he also worked for the German Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Vladimir Sestovic has entered the European Civic Forum (ECF) in 2012, where he is now the communication and network development officer. The ECF is a transnational network that brings together over 100 associations and NGOs across Europe and is actively working to promote civic participation. He is trained in European political studies at Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle University.

Vedrana Spajić-Vrkaš is a professor of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia. At different periods she held courses at the UN University of Peace in Costa Rica, the Central European University in Budapest and worked with European and international governmental and non-governmental organisations in over forty countries in Europe and the world. The topics of her scientific research projects range from the anthropology of education to human rights and citizenship education.

Ernst Spek is head of the education department of ProDemos, House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, the Netherlands. The education department of ProDemos develops political excursions, interactive games, role-plays and lesson materials on current topics related to democracy and the rule of law: a wealth of resources for making lessons both concrete and engaging.

Zrinka Štimac (PhD) joined the Georg-Eckert-Institut (GEI) as a researcher in April 2013, exploring religion and diversity in education and educational media. Previously she was in charge of teaching and administration for the Study of Religion at Bielefeld University. Zinka Štimac's activities in the field of education include the “Suitcase of Religion” (Religionskoffer) project for multi-disciplinary education in schools and her term as General Secretary of the European Association on World Religions in Education.

Susanne Ulrich has been head of the Academy Leadership and Competence at the Centre for Applied Policy Research (C·A·P), University of Munich since 2003. She focuses on diversity and conflict management, Europe, democracy, tolerance, participation and evaluation. C·A·P’s own proposals are complemented by methods and experiences provided by partners from all over the world. Susanne Ulrich adapted and created programmes for the use in the educational sector in Germany.

Mads Vestergaard researches political science and philosophy at the interdisciplinary Center for Information and Bubble Studies, University of Copenhagen (Denmark). His research focuses on the new networked digital environment of political deliberation and opinion formation and post-factual society. Besides he debates and communicates political philosophy in written press, radio and television and has applied philosophy in non-philosophical contexts as popular culture and artistic projects.

Drago Župarić-Iljić is research associate at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, Zagreb (Croatia). In 2015 he defended his PhD thesis on the topic “Impact of Environmental Changes on Generating of (In)Voluntary Migration” at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Aside from environmental studies his research focuses basically on migration and ethnic studies, especially issues of migrants’ and minorities’ integration policies and practices.


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