June 18-19, 2019, HOTEL SPLENDID
Montenegro, Budva

Digital Influencers in Action Forum
200 participants from 30+ countries gather in Budva, Montenegro at Digital Influencers in Action Forum.

At a two-day event, digital marketers, social influencers, analysts, entrepreneurs, journalists, and other professionals will have a chance to look at digital campaigns with social impact in a comprehensive way.

Participants will discuss various topics such as identifying and engaging influencers, amplifying the reach, influencers reputation and personal branding, monitoring campaigns' impact and key metrics, fake influencers, and negative influence, reaching audiences in a whole new way.
Program
Tuesday, June 18
1:00-2:00 PM
1:00-2:00 PM
Registration
Please, collect your badge and register for the lightning talks (short presentations on the second day
1:00-3:00 PM
1:00-3:00 PM
Fair/Exhibition opening
Moderators:
Moderators:
Darko M. Ivanovic
Alin Claudiu Apostu

2:00-2:15 PM
2:00-2:15 PM
Digital Influencers in Action Forum Kick-Off
Artur Gurau, President, Digital Communication Network, Moldova
2:15-2:30 PM
2:15-2:30 PM
Welcoming Word
The Honorable Judy Rising Reinke, Ambassador of the United States to Montenegro
2:30-2:45 PM
2:30-2:45 PM
Digital influence as a tool for participatory democracy and social change
Franak Viačorka, Vice President, Digital Communication Network, Belarus, @franakviacorka
2:45-3:00 PM
2:45-3:00 PM
Influence In The Modern Age
Adam Harrell, NEBO Agency, USA
3:00-3:15 PM
3:00-3:15 PM
Gamification and fun for bigger influence
Žiga Vrtačič, General Manager, Danes je Nov Dan, Slovenia, @gyzar
3:15-3:30 PM
3:15-3:30 PM
How to build Instagram profile from 0 to 1.9M followers without using any bots? (Q&A with Olivia Drost)
Veronica Bielik, Spotlight Agency, Poland, @vieronicabielik
3:30-3:45 PM
3:30-3:45 PM
Choosing a suitable influencer for the campaign?
Nazli Ozgur, influencer (230K+ followers), Turkey, @nazliozgur
3:45-4:00 PM
3:45-4:00 PM
Frenemies: what traditional media and influencers can learn from each other?
Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN, USA, @elbordeaux
4:00-4:15 PM
4:00-4:15 PM
How to tackle disinformation via networks of influence
Alex Mackintosh, Director of Content, Zinc Network, UK
4:15-4:30 PM
4:15-4:30 PM
Real Power behind Personal Brand and Influence and how you get it
Liisi Toom, Personal Branding Agency, Estonia, @liisi_toom
4:30-4:45 PM
4:30-4:45 PM
How Digital Influencers Transformed the Fashion Industry?
Kamile Kaselyte, Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer, Belgium, @frontrowbasics
4:45-5:00 PM
4:45-5:00 PM
How Influencers are turning the corporate world upside down
Natasa Djukanovic, Chief Marketing Officer, Domain.me, Montenegro, @natasadjukanovic
5:00-5:20 PM
5:00-5:20 PM
Coffee Break
5:20-6:00 PM
5:20-6:00 PM
Digital Influence and Politics
  • Irakli Porchkhidze, Vice President at Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS), Georgia
  • Panagiotis Papachatzis, Red Wolf Digital Group Strategy and Communications Advisor, Greece, @papachatzis
  • Levan Zhorzholiani, Head of strategic communication at the National Center for Teacher Professional Development, Georgia
  • Akilnathan Logeswaran, Digital Ambassador Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany, @voteakil
6:00-6:15 PM
6:00-6:15 PM
The noise in our political/digital discourse
Zain Velji, Partner + VP Strategy Northweather, Canada, @zainvelji
6:15-6:30 PM
6:15-6:30 PM
Preparing influencers campaign that brings about Social Impact
Suveer Bajaj, Co-founder, FoxyMoron, India, @suveer_b
6:30-6:45 PM
6:30-6:45 PM
Digital Influencers campaigns with minimal resources
Bektour Iskender, Kloop, Kyrgyzstan, @bektouriskender
6:45-7:00 PM
6:45-7:00 PM
Starting from Zero: Creating a Social Media Empire
Taylor Nikolai, CEO at Viral Spark, California, USA, @taylornikolai
Taylor Nikolai will explain how he went from graduating university and not being able to find a job, to creating a social media empire and becoming an international influencer. This story includes his 'formula for virality' and how he used it to garner a following of over 10 million.
7:00-7:15 PM
7:00-7:15 PM
Ai-powered influencer marketing systems
Andjela Todorovic, Machine Learning Engineer at Createsi GmbH, Serbia
7:15-7:30 PM
7:15-7:30 PM
How to Start a YouTube Channel
Alex Negrete, Head of Marketing
SuperBam, Inc, USA, @keeptheheat
7:30-7:45 PM
7:30-7:45 PM
How we involved Youtubers in Media literacy campaign, and other campaigns by GLOBSEC
Katarina Klingova, GLOBSEC, Slovakia, @kateklingova
7:45-8:00 PM
7:45-8:00 PM
Domestic violence and serious social problems as topic for digital influencers campaigns
Iliada Evangelia Kothra, Founder of living-postcards, Business Consultant, Greece, @iliadakothra
8:00-8:15
8:00-8:15
Influencer marketing campaigns: How to create problems and solve them

Ladi Gabunia, Co-founder at "Influence Georgia", Georgia, @ladi_gabunia (ig)
8:15-8:30
8:15-8:30
#EuNextGEN: Informing, Engaging, and Motivate for EU Elections 2019
Nikos Panagiotou, Assistant Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
8:30-8:35 PM
8:30-8:35 PM
Conclusion of the day
Franak Viačorka, Vice President, Digital Communication Network, Belarus, @franakviacorka
Workshops+Hackaton
Wednesday, June 19
Concurrent workshop sessions. You can select one
Concurrent workshop sessions. You can select one
  • A series of short, impromptu talks (approx. 10 minutes in length) followed by an open discussion
  • Talks are casual, slides must be sent in advance if needed
  • If you'd like to contribute a lightning talk, post your topic on the lightning round board on the day of the workshop,
  • Small groups stand around bar tables, together with a "table host", and work together on various tasks.
  • Each table will examine a different platform and role in our organisations.
  • After approximately 10 minutes participants move on to a different table, but the "table host" stays behind.
  • Discussion results are noted down on a flip chart.
  • At the end, the results of all groups will be reflected on in a common plenum session
  • Five chairs will be arranged in an inner circle. This is the fishbowl. The remaining chairs are arranged in a circle outside the fishbowl.
  • The moderator introduces the topic and the participants start discussing the topic. The audience outside the fishbowl listen in on the discussion.
  • One chair will be empty in the fishbowl, meaning that any member of the audience can, at any time, occupy the empty chair and join the fishbowl.
SPEAKERS
The Honorable Judy Rising Reinke
Ambassador of the United States to Montenegro
Judy Rising Reinke is only the fifth foreign service officer from the Department of Commerce – and the first woman – to be confirmed as Chief of Mission. Reinke carried out the duties of the Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) from June 2013 through August 2017, also serving for extended periods as the acting Assistant Secretary/Director General for the US&FCS. In this role, Judy was the chief operating officer of the U.S. Government's premier export promotion agency, managing its programs in 100 domestic offices and over 75 countries overseas. Judy holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs (MPA) from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College; she has also completed the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University.

Alin-Claudiu Apostu
Project Manager, Romania Business Leaders
Bucharest, Romania
Moderator
Mr. Alin-Claudiu Apostu is a multipotentialite serving the global community in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. Entrepreneur and investor at heart, he strongly believes in a happy and sustainable world. He coordinates a national program in Romania called „I want to be an entrepreneur" which aims to promote the entrepreneurial mindset among young people and create local communities of young entrepreneurs. Recently he started another program on top of „I want to be an entrepreneur" which aims to help companies innovate with the help of youngsters. Alin-Claudiu is also a Non Voting Board Member in Digital Communication Network
Franak Viačorka
Vice President, Digital Communication Network,
Consultant, U.S. Agency for Global Media
Minsk, Belarus
Franak Viačorka is the Vice President of the Digital Communication Network. He concurrently works as the consultant for U.S. Agency for Global Media, and Creative Director of RFE/RL Belarus service. Franak conducted more than 50 training course on digital communication and New Media for activists and journalists from Europe and the United States. He has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense, Freedom House, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, spoke at various events in the National Endowment for Democracy, Atlantic Council. Franak graduated from American University in Washington D.C. and Warsaw University in Poland, he also studied in Georgetown University, College of Europe and European Humanities University.
Natasa Djukanovic
Chief Marketing Officer
Domain.me
Podgorica, Montenegro
An economist by education, Ms. Natasa Djukanovic has spent her entire career at the intersection of international relations, technology and leadership. Natasa is the CMO at Domain.ME, the company that operates the internet domain ".ME", a ccTLD of Montenegro. During her work with .ME, Natasa was part of the team that launched Spark.me, one of the most carefully curated tech/business conferences in Southeast Europe, as part of Domain.ME's CSR efforts. She is a co-founder of NGO Digitalizuj.Me, a digital community helping citizens and organizations in Montenegro to understand and realize exciting new opportunities for social change and business in the digital environment.
Emma Lacey-Bordeaux
D.C. Editor
CNN
Washington, DC, United States
Ms. Emma Lacey Bordeaux is the D.C. Editor, The Row at CNN, where she vets scripts and videos to ensure the integrity of television packages and enterprise digital content. Ms. Lacey-Bordeaux was previously the Row Editor, Producer, and Associate Producer at CNN. Ms. Lacey-Bordeaux has broken stories on loopholes in federal gun laws, the scourge of rape on college campuses, and companies using mugshots to turn a profit. Ms. Lacey-Bordeaux has a Masters of Fine Arts in Narrative Nonfiction from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Bachelor's degree from Georgia State University.
Ladi Gabunia
Co-founder
Influence Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia
Mr. Ladi Gabunia is the co-founder of Influence Georgia. He successfully founded the first influencer marketing agency in Georgia as well as the first influence marketing platform, Echolize. Previously, Mr. Gabunia was the global project manager/coordinator at Universum, where he built and maintained existing partnerships with organizations, universities, and educational agencies. Mr. Gabunia has executed paid and organic social media advertising campaigns and events on a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Google Adwords, and Twitter for a wide range of clients.
Artur Gurau
Chief Executive Officer
Granat Digital Agency
Chisinau, Moldova
Mr. Artur Gurau is the Chief Executive Officer of Granat Digital Agency and the President of the Digital Communication Network. He is a digital communication innovator and strategist with over 100 successfully implemented projects over the past six years. Mr. Gurau launched the Rockit Conference in Moldova in 2014 and co-founded the Rockit Academy in 2015, initiatives which support regional development in the digital communications space. Mr. Gurau also co-founded the Digital Communication Network professional association after participating in the U.S. exchange program in 2015. His interests include innovative startups, social entrepreneurship, technology, media, politics, and sports.
Adam Harrell
Co-Founder
NEBO Agency
Atlanta, Georgia
Mr. Adam Harrell is the co-founder of Nebo, which he helped grow from a bootstrap startup into one of the largest independent digital agencies in the Southeast United States. He is also the author of "Creative Direction In A Digital World"-a guide to creating human-centered digital experiences-which was published by CRC Press in 2016. He speaks frequently on the topics of human-centered design, brand strategy, user experience, and storytelling. His work has been honored by the Addy's, Webby's, and everything in between. Mr. Harrell also teaches interactive design at the Creative Circus--one of the nation's premier portfolio schools.Adam has been named one of Atlanta's '40 under 40' rising stars by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta AMA's Agency Marketer of The Year, Digital Marketer of the Year by the Technology Association of Georgia and Interactive Marketer of the Year by the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association.
Darko M. Ivanovic
CEO/Founder- The Badger Crew
Serial entrepreneur, Innovator
Podgorica, Montenegro
CEO of the technology company The Badger Crew and Executive director of NGO 35mm, Mr. Darko Ivanovic is also a mass communication specialist and TEDx speaker.
Heavily involved in wearable and hardware industry, Darko is owner of several US patents on hardware in his first successful venture thebadger.me and expert in crowdfunding, with several successful campaigns on Indiegogo. He worked as video producer at CNNMoney New York, and is also author and editor in chief of several media outlets since 1999. One of the most known and trusted journalists in Montenegro. Movie director by profession, he was campaign manager in more then 10 projects for companies and political parties, Darko is also media consultant and media innovator. Alumni of Humphrey Fulbright scholarship at Arizona State University where he finessed his entrepreneurial skills at Innovation and entrepreneurship lab.
Kamile Kaselyte
Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer
Brussels, Belgium
Ms. Kamile Kaselyte is an entrepreneur & digital marketer, with her latest entrepreneurial venture being KIKOINNE, an online personal styling platform. For most of her professional life, Ms. Kaselyte has served as a marketing and communications consultant to provides strategic consulting and communication services for companies through insightful branding and communication. Ms. Kaselyte is a frequent speaker at international fashion weeks, entrepreneurship conferences and various workshops where she shares her digital marketing and business leadership mindset, empowering people with various digital marketing tools, strategies and techniques. She is also a contributor to various media outlets, such as Artic Startup or Thrive Global. Besides professional development, Ms. Kaselyte is a vice-curator of Global Shapers Vilnius Community, an initiative by World Economic Forum, with a mission to shape a more inclusive world.
Levan Zhorzholiani
Head of strategic communication
National Center for Teacher Professional Development
Tbilisi, Georgia
Levan Zhorzholiani has a wealth of communications experience, starting from his time as a journalist/ TV host at Fund "Internews" and Maestro Broadcaster. He has worked for a range of corporate clients ranging from Georgian and Ukrainian based companies and nongovernmental organizations. His activity has covered everything from media relations to crisis management. He also has extensive experience of raising the profile of organizations on the political stage including coordinating liaison at a Ministerial level. He has provided advice to clients on message framing and personal brand development.
He works as a Head of Strategic communications at National Center for Teacher Professional Development. This organization participates in the policy-making process for Teachers Professional Development, ensures the development and implementation of teacher professional standards and ethical norms, carries out teacher professional development programs and promotes the introduction of teachers' professional development activities and open development system.
Tanya Bershadsky
Founder
Casting Influence
Los Angeles, California, USA
Ms. Bershadsky is an Emmy-nominated TV producer and digital video pioneer who has worked with influential talent since before the term "YouTuber" existed. She's not only developed multiple YouTube celebrities, but guided traditional media figures like Larry King into becoming multi-platform digital icons. She was Creative Director for the world's first influencer marketing company, TadCast, and launched her company, Casting Influence, in 2015, which was recently featured in the documentary New Kings. Casting Influence, is an influencer marketing, casting, talent strategy and creative agency that has been profiled in Forbes Magazine as the "first of its kind." Clients have ranged from StateFarm and Purina to Disney, Legendary Pictures, and DreamWorks.
Iliada Evangelia Kothra
Founder of living-postcards.com / Business Consultant /Columnist / Writer/ TEDx Speaker
Living Postcards
Athens, Greece
Iliada Evangelia Kothra was born in Athens. She studied advertising, public relations, sales techniques, marketing, and worked at major firms such as Gucci (Pearheroudakis Group), Planeta Moda S.A., MED S.A as SalesDirector / Franchise Consultant and responsible for the wholesale expansion in Greece and abroad as well as for the merchandising of many retail stores.
She is the founder of the global platform www.living-postcards a project started in 2012, at a time of deep economic and political crisis, out of the need to change the world's perspective of Greece. Her approach was to promote new boutique hotels, designers, artists, local products, and innovative Greek brands abroad.
Living Postcards.com is today the biggest data base about Greece and it is visited by businessmen from abroad who choose Greek enterpreneurs, creators, and feature their products or items in their shops, galleries or concept stores .
She has published many articles about Greek creativity in big sites and magazines such as travelfashiongirl.com, HuffPost Greece, New Diaspora, Adorn Magazine. She is invited to speak at many entrepreneurship and tourism conferences. She likes to travel trying to find people with a special #successtory.
She is the founder of the #dontacceptit campaign against domestic violence and speaks often about this cause in many conferences and networking events.
She has published two books.
Akilnathan Logeswaran
Digital Ambassador
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Munich, Germany
Mr. Akilnathan Logeswaran is the Digital Ambassador & Digital Focal Point for the Governance Program of the German Development Agency (GIZ) in Ghana. He also serves as Advisory Council Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community. For the upcoming European Elections 2019 he acts as European Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator for VoteSwiper. With more than half a million downloads the unique app helps to ease political decision-making and increases voter participation. As Community Builder and Human Rights Activist for Refugees & a united Europe he was recognized as 30 Under 30 (Forbes Magazine), as 40 Under 40 (Capital Magazine) and among the Top 100 Visionary Leaders Under 30 (Real Leaders Magazine).
Panagiotis Papachatzis
Strategy and Communications Advisor
Red Wolf
Athens, Greece
Mr. Panagiotis Papachatzis is a digital communication strategist. He brings more than a decade of experience in corporate and political communication, as well as online crisis management. He works as a Strategy and Communications Advisor at Red Wolf PR Agency (www.redwolf.com.cy), and he is the co-founder of Win The Race (www.politicalseminars.gr). It is the first organization in Greece that provides holistic training seminars for political candidates and political advisors. Mr. Papachatzis has undertaken senior-level positions in the Office of the Greek Prime Minister and prestigious advertising agencies. He is helping brands and politicians run successful digital campaigns and form effective crisis plans. Mr. Papachatzis is an experienced public speaker helping the digital transformation of brands and governments, through tailor-made training seminars. He is also an instructor of Diploma in Digital Marketing of KnowCrunch (www.knowcrunch.com) in Deree The American College of Greece (www.acg.edu).
Andjela Todorovic
Createsi GmbH
Machine learning engineer
Niš, Serbia
Ms. Andjela Todorovic works in Createsi GmbH and Telekom Serbia as a software engineer. She has a long history of working in the non-governmental sector, as a youth worker and a social entrepreneur, and currently represents Serbia in various international organizations. Using her large social media following and networking events she attends, she has managed to lead several campaigns on social entrepreneurship. She currently attends two Bachelor programs, both in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Zain Velji
Vice President, Strategy
Northweather
Calgary, Canada
As VP Strategy for Northweather, Mr. Velji brings a decade of experience in political, business, and non-profit communications, as well as marketing and engagement. Mr. Velji has managed and provided senior counsel to clients in several areas including microtargeting, digital integration, brand strategy, and grassroots mobilization. Mr. Velji is a frequent public speaker and regular political commentator who appears weekly on CBC radio and television. In 2017, Mr. Velji served as the campaign manager for the successful re-election of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the Digital Lead for Premier Notley's re-election campaign. Mr. Velji serves on the board of the YMCA Calgary, Calgary Reads, and The Canadian Children's Book Centre. He is also a member of the Banff Forum as well as the World Economic Forum's Global Shaper community. Prior to joining Northweather, Mr. Velji was a Senior Campaign Strategy Consultant with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, the Principal of Canspring Strategies, and a Public Policy Analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society. Mr. Velji's political commentary, along with his popular podcast "The Strategists," have been covered by the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Christian Science Monitor, and The National Post. Mr. Velji has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta.
Liisi Toom
Personal branding and performance coach
Personal Branding Agency
Tartu, Estonia
Ms. Liisi Toom is the Personal Branding Agency owner and CEO, as well as a blogger and influencer in the sphere of living a life on your own terms. Liisi has guided creating 200 + personal influence and brand mindsets and strategies, trained thousands of experts, entrepreneurs and leaders in areas from finance to art, education to startups, HR to law. Her 4-question model of personal branding easily creates trust for true experts who want to live their passion and widen their influence. Liisi also trains teams of company brand ambassadors and talents. As a side hustle, she is a mental trainer for top athletes and a sprint kayaker. Instagram: liisi_toom, Twitter: @liisi, website: liisitoom.com
Irakli Porchkhidze
Vice President/Co-founder
Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS)
Tbilisi, Georgia
Mr. Irakli Porchkhidze is co-founder and vice president of the Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS). He simultaneously holds the position of Dean of the Law School of Ilia State University. From 2010 until October 2012, Mr. Porchkhidze was the First Deputy State Minister for Reintegration. He was in charge of the policy towards the occupied territories of Georgia. He headed the Georgian delegation to the humanitarian working group of the Geneva Talks between Georgia and Russia. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of Georgia and as an ex officio Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia. In this capacity, he led the National Strategic Review process, which included the development of the National Threats Assessment Document, the National Security Concept and other strategic documents. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Porchkhidze was the first head of the Civil Registry Agency (biggest service delivery unit under Ministry of Justice). The reform of the agency became the flagship case of Georgia's transformation. Before joining the government, he spent 4 years at the Open Society Georgia Foundation managing programs designed to support rule of law and good governance initiatives. Mr. Porchkhidze holds a master's degree in international affairs and political science from the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University (New York) and Central European University (Budapest). He is also a fellow of the Draper Hills Program of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.
Nikos Panagiotou
Assistant Professor
International and Peace Journalism Lab, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki, Greece
Dr. Nikos Panagiotou is Assistant Professor and Google Research Scholar at the School of Journalism and Mass Media Communication at Aristotle University. He has been a Chevening Scholar of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK, Socrates Scholar at Universidade Fernando Pessoa (Portugal), Scholar of the State of Luxembourg, RCAP Scholar from APU University Japan, and Scholar to Beijing Foreign Studies University. He is engaged in research work, including the Digital News Initiative, funded by Google. He is the initiator and organizer of the Thessaloniki International Media Summer Academy. Dr. Panagiotou is a member of the advisory board for Networking Knowledge, member of the board of Municipal Company of Information and Communication of Thessaloniki, member of the Radicalization Awareness Network of the European Union, and a member of the International Relations Committee of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His research interests include global journalism, political communication, mass media literacy, and conflict analysis and resolution.
Katarína Klingová
Senior Research Fellow of Strategic Communication Programme
GLOBSEC
Bratislava, Slovakia
Ms. Katarína Klingová is a senior research fellow at the GLOBSEC Policy Institute in Bratislava. A member of GLOBSEC's Strategic Communication program, she has helped the institute prepare publications on disinformation such as Information War Monitor since 2016. Prior to joining GLOBSEC, she worked as a researcher and project coordinator at Transparency International Slovakia, and she also currently contributes to the research of the International Republican Institute's Beacon Project. Ms. Klingová has authored or co-authored numerous scholarly analyses on foreign disinformation and subversion in Central Europe, including Vulnerability Index: Subversive Russian Influence in Central Europe and Countering Information Warfare- Lessons Learned from NATO Members and Partner Countries. She earned her master's degree from Central European University in Budapest.
Veronica Bielik
Co-founder, Influencer
Spotlight Agency
Warsaw, Poland
Ms. Veronica Bielik holds a Masters degree in Law and is an ambassador of top fashion brands such as New Balance Poland and Guess. Her Instagram profile is conducted in two languages, Polish and English, and many of her followers come from the United States. Through her profile, Veronica shares her passion for traveling, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle.
Said Maximov
Founder
EfCom
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Mr. Said Maximov is the Founder of EfCom (Effective Communications), a marketer, entrepreneur, and speaker. He has ten years of professional experience in marketing, research, advertising, and brand building. Mr. Maximov is also the organizer of the network movement, "Meeting with investors," is a trainer for pitching, preparing presentations, and public speaking.
Suveer Bajaj
Co-Founder
FoxyMoron Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd
Mumbia, India
As one of the Co-founders of FoxyMoron, a leading digital marketing and media solutions agency, Mr. Suveer Bajaj's responsibilities include builiding across Strategic Alliances, Corporate Developments, Media Buying and Planning, Data Analytics and Content Production. A management graduate from Mumbai University, Suveer also possesses a Bachelor's degree in Law and looks after the corporate functions of the agency as well.
Bektour Iskender
Co-founder
Kloop Media Foundation
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Mr. Bektour Iskender is the co-founder of Kloop, an NGO and leading news publication in Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Iskender is committed to freedom of speech and training young journalists to cover politics and investigate corruption. With an all female team, Kloop is also building Kyrgyzstan's first-ever satellite and preparing for a 2020 mission. Mr. Iskender is currently working on recruitment and development for the Kyrgyz Space Program, and building the security infrastructure for Kloop Media.
Nazli Ozgur
Founder and CEO
Mongate Company
Istanbul, Turkey
Ms. Nazli Ozgur is the Founder and CEO of Mongate Company. She also writes in newspapers and travel websites. She has a bachelor degree in Media and Communication Systems as well as a masters in International Marketing. Ms. Ozgur has 15 years of experience in communication and marketing, is an influencer, and is currently providing social media consultancy services to several industries like tourism and hospitality.
Žiga Vrtačič
Product Manager / Co-Founder
Today is a New Day
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Mr. Žiga Vrtačič says he's from the internet but lives in Ljubljana. He's the product lead behind Parlameter and one of founders of a Slovenian civic tech NGO Today is a new day. Before starting Today is a new day, he served as a director of product development at Outfit7, one of the world leading mobile game developers with over 50 million daily active users.
Alex Negrete
Head of Marketing
SuperBam, Inc
Los Angeles, USA
Alex Negrete started his career as one of the first YouTubers and grew to become one of the top 100 creators on the platform. He has built multiple social media channels with a total of over 1 billion views and 10 million followers and was invited to the White House by President Obama for the Digital Influencers Summit. He is currently the Head of Marketing at SuperBam, a digital rights management and optimization company for creators and media companies.
David Tenenbaum
CEO, Founder
Honor Media
Lost Angeles, California, USA
David Tenenbaum is the founder and CEO of Honor Media, a nonprofit production company and distribution platform for the veteran community. As a veteran himself, he's focused on creating actionable content that informs and unites viewers to specific calls to action through volunteering, financial support, partnerships, membership or directing viewers to platforms that connect veterans with housing, employment, mental and medical health, recreational therapy and additional well-being services throughout the US. Mr. Tenenbaum previously served as the Executive Director of Rights Universal, a nonprofit publisher focused on awareness regarding the rights of women, children and the LGBT community in the Middle East and North Africa and helped launch the platform while leveraging industry leading journalists. Ever the fan of digital publishing and leveraging influencers, Mr. Tenenbaum has most recently worked closely with and created branded content or impact campaigns for the US Department of Veterans Affairs, NBCUniversal, Gathr Films, Women Veterans Alliance, the American Legion, the Bob Hope USO as well as original content for an upcoming documentary, And Now, Love and continues to connect digital influencers with content ranging from current national policy to cultural trends. Mr. Tenenbaum is a member of Veterans in Media and Entertainment, Team Rubicon, the American Legion, Team Red, White and Blue, is a volunteer at UCLA Operation Mend and is a previous Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs appointee to a federal advisory committee focused on veteran homelessness here in Los Angeles.
Lukasz Krol
College of Europe,
Warsaw, Poland
With a background in technology and political science, Łukasz studies the ways in which we can bridge our technological and social realities. He is a researcher, lecturer and workshop facilitator based at the College of Europe in Natolin. Łukasz currently focuses on how people perceive AI, as well as issues related to inequality and discrimination in algorithms and tech in general. He is also fascinated by the intersection between algorithms, algorithmic recommendation engines, and the spread of disinformation.
Taylor Nikolai
CEO
Viral Spark LLC
Burbank, California, USA
Taylor Nikolai runs a social media marketing and consulting company called Viral Spark. He graduated college with two BAs (Business and Journalism), but no one would hire him because the country was in the midst of a recession. In his spare time, he developed a formula to go viral. Taylor used this formula to grow a network of millions of followers across multiple social media platforms. He made a company and called it Viral Spark. Taylor Nikolai popularized many of the memes you loved in the early 2010's. He was the first person to ever have a feature film based on a Twitter account. Taylor's also a funny guy, so lots of people started following him on Snapchat. Once he exploded in popularity, he made the move out to LA, where he was presented with opportunities to work with brands such as Taco Bell, MasterCard, and Warner Bros. Taylor is now a leading thought-leader in social media and influencer marketing, speaking internationally on various subjects.
Participants
Lusine Barseghyan
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
WELL PR Agency
Yerevan, Armenia
Ms. Lusine Barseghyan is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WELL PR Agency based in Yerevan, Armenia, Board Member of Digital Communications Network, researcher, co-author of the report "Mapping digital influencers in Central and Eastern Europe". She has more than 6 years of experience in Digital Communications and PR. Lusine has a technical background and graduated from the State Engineering University of Armenia with a bachelor degree in Information Technologies. Later on, received MA in Electronic Business Management at the Armenian State University of Economics. She started her professional career as an e-learning projects facilitator and technical platform developer. Before founding a company, Lusine worked as a Communications Projects Officer at one of Armenian leading market research and communications company. Implemented a number of successful PR campaigns, branding and SMM projects. Now she specializes in coordinating communications projects, digital media, and branding projects, financial planning and sales. Her interests include digital communications, storytelling, visualization, technology, media, politics, music and sports.
Ryhor Astapenia
Chairman
Center for New Ideas
Salihorsk, Belarus
Mr. Ryhor Astapenia is a civic activist with an extensive experience in management, research and creative work. He is a founder and chairman of the Center for New Ideas, a Minsk-based nonpartisan NGO promoting reforms in Belarus. Ryhor received his PhD in Political Science at the University of Warsaw and previously worked as a development director and analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre, a Belarusian think tank. He has cooperated with a number of civil society organizations in Eastern Europe and has written for Belarusian and Western media outlets and think tanks, including the Washington Post, the Guardian, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Yauhen Razkho
CEO
Infludb inc.
Minsk, Belarus
Mr. Yauhen Razkho is CEO of Infludb inc., where he pursues his passion for building products from scratch. For the last 10 years, Yauhen has built teams and products and is currently in the process of working on free influencer databases.
Michaela Lyutskanova
Co-founder and Communications Manager
YOUTHub Association
Sofia, Bulgaria
Ms. Michaela Lyutskanova is the Communications Manager at YOUTHub Association in Sofia. Michaela co-founded her nonprofit organization, YOUTHub, in 2016 after seeing the potential in social media as a platform for learning and growth, especially for youth. Michaela is a DCN Exchange Alumna (Fall 2018) and did her fellowship at Nebo Agency in Atlanta.
Anita Stefanova
Information Assistant
United States Embassy in Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgaria
Ms. Aneta Stefanova has worked for the U.S. Embassy in Sofia for over 20 years and is part of Public Affairs Press Section. She is the primary media briefer for the Ambassador and monitors Bulgarian media (print, radio, television, and internet) on topics relevant to Embassy objectives in Bulgarian, including bilateral U.S.-Bulgarian relations. Her responsibilities also include developing and maintaining contacts within Bulgarian media; advising the Embassy on media strategy and tactics and assisting with placement of U.S. public diplomacy material, as well as responding to routine press enquiries. She also serves as Public Affairs Section's liaison for bilateral political-military relations, including liaising with political leaders, and civilian entities and institutions on matters of U.S.-Bulgarian security cooperation. Aneta advises on public affairs strategies regarding political-military affairs and acts as the principle point of contact with Bulgarian media on military matters. Aneta holds a BS in International Relations from London School of Economics, University of London. She also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Relations from the Chattered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in London.
Teodora Tsaneva
Reporter
Bulgarian News Agency (BTA)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Ms. Teodora Tsaneva has been working as a political reporter at the Bulgarian News Agency/BTA in Sofia for more than 10 years, where she focuses on EU affairs. In 2016, she had the privilege to learn from skilled ex-Reuters journalists at the "Economic and Political Reporting from Southeast Europe" training program in London and Berlin. In June 2017, Ms. Tsaneva had a memorable experience in the United States as a part of the Digital Communication Network Exchange Program, along with other 15 communication professionals from Europe and Asia. She is also interested in photography, digital communications, and space topics and is eager to learn and face new professional challenges.
Mikhail Ageev
Data/Visual Journalist
CurrentTime TV, RFE/RL
Prague, Czech Republic
Since February 2018, Mr. Ageev has been working as a Data/Visual Journalist at CurrentTime TV, venture of RFE/RL and VOA, in Prague. His focus areas are: Innovations, Data Journalism, Technologies and Media, Software Development and Product Management. Last year, Mikhail built an internal publishing toolkit for colleagues called KAFKA. KAFKA allows journalists to build beautiful long reads, timelines and quizzes without any HTML knowledge. The tools have been already used by over 10 newsrooms across RFE/RL. Together with his colleagues, Mikhail is running The Innovation Lab at RFE/RL — the place where journalists share knowledge, discuss trends and build new products. In addition, Mikhail is a founder of projects in Kyrgyz Republic: an independent and profitable Financial Media in Kyrgyzstan titled Akchabar and a non-profit Open-Data portal OsOO.kg that is widely used by journalists, activists, government and business.
Liina Laul
Founder and CEO
Extreme Tribe
Tallinn, Estonia
Ms. Liina Laul is a business and marketing professional at a a niche travel site titled Like A Local Guide and the Founder and CEO of Extreme Tribe, which is a community connecting working remotely with extreme sports. Before starting an Extreme Tribe and joining Like A Local Guide, Liina worked in the biggest university in Estonia, Tartu University. Liina focused on marketing and taking care of alumni relations, as well as organizing different events. Before her role at the university, Liina worked as a freelancer and helped several companies (e.g. Sports Magazine in Estonia, Estonian Swimming Federation) with social media, marketing, and communication. Liina has also been e-marketing manager at one of Estonia's biggest media companies, Ekspress Meedia. She was responsible for the marketing digital newspaper and magazine subscriptions, as well as helped to develop new apps. Throughout her career, Liina has been in collaboration with bloggers and influencers and has managed her own blog for the last 7 years.
Irakli Chomakhashvili
Chairman of the Board
Center of Civic Education and Development (CCED)
Tbilisi, Georgia
Mr. Irakli Chomakhashvili is a lawyer currently working at Ilia State University as a lecturer. He is also the Executive Director of the International Network of Monitoring, is a member of the Committee of the Rights of Lawyers, and is currently working with a few NGOs. Within CCED, he is the Chairman of the Board and takes part in planning the organization strategy. Mr. Chomakhashvili earned his Bachelor's degree in Criminal Law at Ilia State University and received his Master's in Criminal Law at Tbilisi State University. He has also received his PhD at East European University.
Nika Gurini
CEO
RLG
Tbilisi, Georgia
Mr. Nika Gurini is currently studying at Ilia State University, School of Law. He is the founder and CEO of RLG and is a researcher at the Justice Enhancement and Legal Education Center, as well as a Regional Coordinator at Myth Detector. He is currently working on human rights, public law, civic education, media rights, anti-propaganda, and more. Mr. Gurini is also a PR consultant for a few famous people!
Anthoula Baliou
Librarian
University of Macedonia
Thessaloniki, Greece
Ms. Baliou is a graduate of the Department of Library Science and Information Systems, TEI of Thessaloniki and holds a MA in "Management of Cultural Units" from Hellenic Open University. She is currently a student of the Department of Journalism and Mass Media at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. For the last 15 years, Anthi has worked as a Reference Librarian at the Library of the University of Macedonia in the Department of Scientific Information and Documentation. Ιn the context of her studies in journalism, she has participated in the Digital Influencers Hub in Thessaloniki, Greece in September 2018. Last year, she attended many forums about media literacy and fake news and is also a member of a team (AUTH) for the project "EuFactCheck", which will last during the EU election campaign. The first week of May 2019, Anthi will be working as a member of the Press Team for the ThessIsMun 2019. Her research interests include: European & International Journalism, Disinformation, Propaganda and Fake News and Media and Social Media impact.
Ioanna Georgia Eskiadi
Student of Journalism and Mass Media Communication in the
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki, Greece
Ms. Ioanna Georgia Eskiadi is a student of Journalism and Mass Media Communication at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She knows English, German and Italian and has participated in numerous seminars and conferences about international and European journalism. In addition, she is a volunteer writer on several websites and she takes part in researches such as EU fact checking about European elections. Specifically, she is involved in international journalism, with an emphasis on the diplomatic field, as well as investigative journalism and media literacy.
Spyridoula Markou
Research Fellow
International and Peace Journalism Laboratory
Thessaloniki, Greece
Ms. Spyridoula Markou is a graduate student from the Department of Primary Education, University of Ioannina. She holds a MA in Journalism and New Media at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. As a researcher in various programmes, her interests include the role of the media in crisis management and media literacy. She is also a scholar of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Greece and Cyprus and has spoken about the Bone Marrow Transplant in a series of events. In addition, she is a volunteer at the NGO "Doctors of the World" and at the PanHellenic Parents' Association of Children with Cancer titled "Floga".
Elena Samara
Digital Marketing Manager / Blogger
Freelance
Athens, Greece
Ms. Elena Samara works as a Digital Marketing Manager both in a digital agency and as a freelancer. Some of her clients include: pastry shops, cocktail & sushi bars, a beach house, a cosmetic surgery clinic and a dance studio. She is also an amateur dancer and a fitness enthusiast. She tries to combine modern living, digital life, marketing, and creating content with meditation, dancing and a happy life. Elena writes about experiences, thoughts and projects in Savoirville, an online magazine. She is currently in the process of creating her own blog.
Betty Tsakarestou
Associate Professor and Head of Advertising and Public Relations Lab
Panteion University
Athens, Greece
Dr. Tsakarestou's work focuses on strategic branding and public relations, mobile, entrepreneurial Journalism and media innovation, corporate social responsibility, social innovation ventures, branding with a keen interest in cities as platforms for co-creation, social media and digital innovation, and on mobile and sharing economy collaborative consumption. She is a U.S. Department International Exchange Alumna scholar (SUSI on Journalism and Media at Ohio University). In 2017, The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State named Betty Tsakarestou as an International Exchange Alumna/Alumnus of the Month for her work at the Advertising and Public Relations Lab at Panteion University and the Connecting Cities project with other alumni SUSI fellows. She was also featured in a video documentary series, "Women Changing Greece," a U.S Embassy production in Athens. Dr. Tsakarestou has gained international academic experience as a visiting sabbatical research professor at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism at Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism (May-November 2017), as an Erasmus Plus Grant-International Mobility Exchange professor at Zhejiang University in China (2018, 2017) and Alberto Hurtado University in Santiago, Chile (2018), teaching entrepreneurial journalism, media innovation, co-creation and design thinking.She also authored a chapter, "Entrepreneurship Abroad, Cultural and International Perspectives and Challenges," in "Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship" by M. Ferrier and E. Mays, Rebus Community for Open Textbooks. In May 2016, she organized the first Startup Weekend on "Entrepreneurial Journalism" in Athens with the support of U.S. Embassy Athens and in collaboration Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. In May 2018, she led the 2nd Athens Startup Weekend on Entrepreneurial Journalism focusing on Audio and Radio Innovation and Summit as an inaugural activation of her new educational entrepreneurship and innovation partnership between Advertising and Public Relations LAB of Panteion University and Antenna Music of Antenna Group.
Katerina Velliou
Assistant Project Manager
Higher Incubator Giving Growth & Sustainability
Athens, Greece
Ms. Katerina Velliou is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace, in Greece, with excellent knowledge of English, proficient knowledge of German, and exceptional computer skills. From 2013 to 2016, Katerina worked in the non-profit organization "EMFASIS", as Senior Office Administrator. Among others, she supported the organization's initial step in digital/social media, including Facebook campaigning, as well as relevant posting and crowdfunding. From 2016 until now, she works as an Assistant Manager in the field of Communications and Events at HIGGS, a Non-Profit Organization offering education, counseling and networking to NGOs operating in Greece. In this position, she is responsible for social media strategic planning and management, community management through Facebook & LinkedIn groups, organizing and scheduling events that educate and consult NGOs, helping newly established NGOs in Greece operate efficiently and secure their first funding, conducting research for various issues for NGOs, making the creative for various events and promotional activities to be used on social media, newsletters and in print. Recently, she completed a 155-hour training seminar, organized by the Hellenic American Union, and acquired a Certificate in Digital Marketing. She gained important knowledge and practical experience in the fields of: Building a Website, Digital Content Marketing, SEO, Google Analytics & Ad words, Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Influencers Marketing, and was introduced to Growth Hacking Marketing. During this seminar, she was also offered the opportunity to collaborate with representatives of leading digital agencies and specialized consultants in developing a full digital marketing plan for a hotel in Greece. As a result, she received the appropriate guidance and basic tools, which she uses for HIGGS' further development as well for empowering the other non-profits in Greece.
Besnik Boletini
Investigative Journalist
NGO ÇOHU
Fushe Kosove, Kosovo
Mr. Besnik Boletini attended the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Sociology at the University of Prishtina, where he completed both his undergraduate and master's program. Since 2009, Mr. Boletini has been working as a journalist in several daily newspapers. He currently works at the Kosovo Centre for Investigative Journalism with Preportr, which is part of the NGO "ÇOHU". The Kosovo Centre for Investigative Journalism's goal is to limit the influence of political corruption in public institutions of Kosovo. In his free time, he enjoys reading novels in the field of media, sociology and philosophy.
Liridona Gashi
NCO of KSF
Ministry of Defense
Prishtina, Kosovo
Ms. Liridona Gashi is a member of the KSG since 2009. She is also a member of the Faculty of Journalism and has a Master in Communication. Since 2017, Liridona has been working as a media instructor and in the Defense Ministry. Her husband is also involved with KSG.
Alba Riza
Office Manager
Kosovo United States Alumni Association
Prishtina, Kosovo
Ms. Alba Riza is an Office Manager at Kosovo United States Alumni Association, where she assists U.S. alumni implement projects beneficiary to the community. Together with the Executive Director, she ensures that the KUSA has a developed long- range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress. She graduated from the University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina", with a Bachelor's degree in Banking, Finance and Accounting in 2015. Focusing on Business studies, her experience involves working in public institutions, micro-financial and insurance companies. Alba is currently doing the master's program at South East European University and University of Bamberg in Business Administration.
Saranda Salihu
Media Monitoring and Analysis Officer
Ministry of Justice
Pristina, Kosovo
Ms. Saranda Salihu has worked in Ministry of Justice since 2011. She finished her studies in Political Science at the University of Pristina and is currently completing a Master Degree in International Politics at the University of Pristina. As an Officer for the Public Communication Office in the Ministry of Justice, she keeps continuou contact with rule of law institutions, non-governmental organizations and public opinion, media representatives and other stakeholders by informing them of every activity of the Ministry of Justice and providing necessary information. In addition, she has been assisting in various reform initiatives and raising public awareness, as well as being responsible for the requests for access of official documents. The Public Communications Office tries to be transparent, to share their activities, discuss ideas, and accept requests for different issues. In 2009, Saranda finished the International Pristina Summer University course: The Politics of European Integration and Public International Law. Recently, she was part of the training for Enhancing Digital Diplomacy Activities in the Western Balkan and Eastern European Countries organized by The Centre for European Perspective/ Slovenia; a workshop on Media Interviews, organized by RESPA / Monte Negro; and training for Transformational Leadership Program, Public Service Courses / AUK- Pristine.
Blerta Thaci
Executive Director
Open Data Kosovo
Prishtine, Kosovo
Ms. Blerta Thaci is the Executive Director of Open Data Kosovo and the founder of Girls Coding Kosova. Her main goal is to contribute to public causes and to help the youth of Kosovo build their capacities in the tech industry. She is driven to contributing to the formation of 'smart institutions' that deliver high-quality services to Kosovo's citizens. As ODK's Executive Director, Blerta has always encouraged young women to take part in the events and workshops organized by the organization and has granted a number of the participants internship opportunities. She studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Prishtina. She was awarded the FIDES Philanthropy Award in 2016 and the Women in ICT Award in 2017. Blerta is also a part of different local and international tech communities, including FLOSSK, Prishtina Hackerspace, Open Heroines, and TransparenCEE. She was previously awarded the Forbes 30 Under 30 award for her work at Open Data Kosovo, which recognized the organization as one of the most successful initiatives for contributing to the improvement of Law and Policy making in Europe. Blerta strives to help young Kosovars develop their technical abilities and portfolios through mentorship and training programs. She is constantly engaged in fostering new international partnerships that focus on providing expertise for potential civic-tech initiatives.
Donara Barojan
Information Warfare Expert
Riga, Latvia
Ms. Donara Barojan is a disinformation and information warfare expert. As the former Assistant Director for Research and Development at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab and NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, she uses her skills to advise private and public sectors on how to address disinformation through strategic communication. In her spare time, Donara analyzes foreign influence and disinformation campaigns worldwide with a special focus on elections. She is a frequent media commentator on disinformation; her insights were featured by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Al Jazeera, Reuters, CBC Canada, El Pais, The Economist, The Hill and Business Insider. Donara is a London School of Economics graduate.
Anna Udre
Freelance Journalist
Riga, Latvia
Ms. Anna Ūdre is a freelance journalist with working experience in reporting for Latvia's national radio, national newspapers, and leading online media in Latvia. Her areas of engagement have encompassed hard news, feature stories, investigative journalism, and exposing disinformation. In Washington, D.C., she worked closely with the United States Congress, administration, and other key institutions on advocating for Baltic issues with the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC). After returning, she received acknowledgement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia for significant contribution to strengthening bilateral relations between Latvia and the United States. Currently, Anna is a Master's student of Political Science and continues to work as a freelance journalist and a fixer in Latvia, having established many professional contacts across multiple fields.
Dominykas Sumskis
Producer
Laisvės TV / Liberty TV
Vilnius, Lithuania
Dominykas Šumskis is a Producer at Laisvės TV / Liberty TV – Lithuanian based innovative and socially active YouTube media channel. Dominykas is the leading creative and production processes in the most popular Liberty TV shows. He successfully took his professional policy analyst's career into a creative field four years ago and helped to launch Laisvės TV into a place it is in now. Even though his works mostly consists of developing entertainment products, his passion is socially and politically relevant initiatives such as mayoral or presidential debates or even public protests.
Kire Babanoski
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Security Studies, MIT University - Skopje, North Macedonia
Skopje, North Macedonia
Dr. Kire Babanoski is Dr. Sc. in the field of security and currently he is working as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of security studies, MIT University – Skopje, North Macedonia. He is a mentor for student practical education responsible for organizing field visits and expert lectures at the Faculty. He is a young researcher in the field of contemporary security challenges arising from the Euro-Atlantic integration of the aspirant countries as well as the new hybrid threats that affect peace and stability around the world. He has acquired a detailed knowledge in methodology of planning, designing, preparing, developing and
conducting surveys, projects and researches. Kire Babanoski is a Program Director for Security in IMPETUS - Center for Internet, Development and Good Governance, where he is working on monitoring foreign influence, online propaganda and fake news, as well as developing indicators for measuring positive peace. Among others, he attended the 2017 cycle of the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies and he was participant at 6th World Forum for Democracy (Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France). He was also participant at the Personal Democracy Forum for Central and Eastern Europe.
Nina Nikolik
#SwissEP Eco-System Facilitator and Manager of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Initiative
SwissEP / Startup Macedonia
Skopje, North Macedonia
Since 2014, Ms. Nina Nikolik's mission has been to develop and strengthen the startup and innovation ecosystem in MKD through the #MKstartups community and as an advisory board member and co- founder of the association Startup Macedonia. Nina's passion for supporting the start up community in Macedonia and the region is infectious. Her dedication to bring together eco-system actors has led her to become a super-connector of people across the country and beyond. As a member of the #SwissEP team, she has an impactful job to do and for her it means so much more than earning an income. After graduating in E-Business, Nina became a storyteller for startups and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post with the #StartUpSelfie initiative. She continues to promote and support innovative
thinking in the region. Well traveled, she's a keen observer of what works and shares that knowledge freely with partners and ecosystem actors. Most recently she has strengthened her transatlantic relationships by bringing in new partners from the U.S. Her latest initiative celebrates inspiring women in business through Womenpreneurs Stories. She has also organized numerous startup events and conferences and has been a speaker and moderator. Her specialties include : storytelling, copywriting, innovative thinking, pitching, growth hacking and business development.
Olivia Drost
Managing Partner
Spotlight Agency
Warsaw, Poland
Ms. Olivia Drost has a Master of Science in Media Governance at the world-renowned London School of Economics. Olivia, a recognized Onet and CNN reporter, is Managing Partner at the influencer marketing agency titled "Spotlight". Olivia has been granted numerous awards, including the Polish Journalists Association Award. Despite her young age, Olivia published a book chapter in "Our Daily Affairs". In addition, Olivia is the LSE Polish Business Society Head of Media Strategy and was responsible for co-organizing the largest conference about the Polish economy abroad. Olivia is inspired by the culture of South-East Asia, where she also developed as a journalist.
Elena Ghioc
President
Inițiativa România
Bucharest, Romania
Ms. Elena Ghioc is a civic activist: co-founder and President of Inițiativa România. In addition, Elena leads a global digital practice for a multinational IT company. Inițiativa România (IR) is a civic movement developing anti-corruption and transparency projects and promoting civic engagement through community building. Starting as an informal group in November 2015 following the street protests triggered by the tragedy at Club #Colectiv, Inițiativa România became a registered NGO. During its 3 years existence, IR has developed projects in the areas of transparency, anti-corruption, open data, election laws, and coalition building. All Inițiativa Romania's members are volunteers. In 2017, Inițiativa România founded a national civic platform: Contract România. Contract România is a national network of non-governmental civic groups and NGOs, whose mission is to support the independence of the judiciary and anti-corruption.
Paul Kasprovschi
Senior Consultant of Strategy and Branding
Graffiti Public Relations
Bucharest, Romania
Mr. Paul-Ioan Kasprovschi has been learning, working, and teaching for 20 years in marketing and communication. He is passionate about civic involvement, as he believes we have as much democracy as we are willing to work for it. In addition, he is the founding member and a proud Geeks for Democracy activist. He was involved in the major Geeks civic engagement initiatives such as Every Vote Counts, Convince Romania that Every Vote Counts. Mr. Kasprovschi was also involved in the generation of the Campaign "New People in Politics" and is a founding member of the Bucharest Community Foundation.
Cosmin Pojoranu
Communication Director
Funky Citizens
Bucharest, Romania
An activist, a journalist and a creative guy walk into a bar. Mr. Cosmin Pojoranu is none of them, because he dislikes labels. But if you do need a tagline for his work, then he could be either one, since he is a jack of all trades and master of some. Since 2012, he is the Communication Director of Bucharest-based Funky Citizens. When he is not busy translating NGO speak into humanese, he can be found DJIng in Bucharest, at his regular funkoteques. He enjoys gluing communities together and is anxiously awaiting for the future in which man plus machine will coexist in sweet harmony.
Nebojsa Djeric
Executive Director
European Youth Center of Vojvodina
Novi Sad, Serbia
Mr. Nebojsa Djeric is a youth worker and freelance journalist active at the European Youth Center of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Serbia. He is also a member of Independent Journalists Association of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Serbia. He is influencing youth ages 15 – 19 years old by using non-formal education through practical work. For example, he is using non-formal education and theater methods by helping young people to identify/recognize and fight against propaganda, disinformation and fake news in the digital space. He is also leading education workshops about different campaigns with social impact, including media literacy campaigns.
Milena Milicevic
Digital Transformation Consultant and Founder
INAT Centre
Belgrade, Serbia
Ms. Milena Milićević helps companies achieve business growth and succeed in new markets with technologies of the future and building committed teams. She works as a digital transformation consultant for diverse industries and business development consultant for IT companies. Milena has significant experience in the following fields: using Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions in digital marketing and Industries 4.0; building online and offline communities for businesses, non-profits and alumni organizations; building destination branding and event management projects from scratch; and teaching university students at Bachelor and Master programs. In addition, Milena is the founder of INAT centre (Innovation Attitude Centre) and co-founder of AI Serbia, non-profit organizations that enhance education and career development of IT professionals for jobs of the future. Due to her education and professional engagements, she lived and worked until age 25 in Belgrade, Berlin, Cambridge, London and Rome. Milena completed her MA in English Language and Literature from The University of Belgrade and MPhil in Management from The University of Cambridge.
Tijana Stojiljković Rolović
Independent Adviser for Communication Planning and Promotional Activities
Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, Government of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade
Belgrade, Serbia
Ms. Tijana Stojiljkovic Rolović is a sociologist with professional experience in the public and civil sector, specifically in the areas of human rights, gender equality, transitional justice, social protection, youth and citizen participation in policy making and the legislation adoption process. Tijana is also skilled in research, project management, PR and communications, and social activism. As PR for the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, she is working on communication planning, promotional activities, outreach, and establishing different models of cooperation between public administration and CSOs, especially in the field of drafting legal acts and policies.
Zeynep Alisbah
Owner
True Dijital Agency
Ankara, Turkey
Ms. Zeynep Alisbah is the owner of True Dijital Agency. She embarked on this journey in the design world after earning her Bachelor's degree in Interior Architecture and Environmental Design. This then led her to graphic design. Consequently, True Dijital is a boutique agency specializing in a wide range of areas from branding to digital marketing with a 360 degree perspective.
Burak (Mustafa) Avsar
Engagement Editor
Teyit
Ankara, Turkey
Studying Photography and Camera at Anadolu University, Mr. Burak Avsar is interested in mythology, history, and ecology. He has worked as Chief Editor at Gaia Dergi and Content Editor at Dusunbil, Libido, and Godfather Mag. Burak took part in several United Nations projects as a Corporate Communications Specialist. He also creates solutions in the fields of graphic and web design.
Kaan Kayabali
Mikalai Kvantaliani
Board Member
DCN
Minsk, Belarus
Mr. Mikalai Kvantaliani is the director of the association "New Group." He has been a civil society activist since 2001, and was previously a Board Member of the National Youth Council of Belarus. More recently, he co-organized the Open Media & IT Forum in Belarus. Since 2017, Mr. Kvantaliani has been a Digital Communication Network country Ambassador. In 2018 he took part in the DCN Fall Exchange to the United States, and has since been a Board Member for DCN.
Elvira Jukic-Mujkic
Editor-in-Chief
Mediacentar Sarajevo
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Elvira Jukić-Mujkić is a journalist, researcher and editor. She is currently the editor of Mediacentar Sarajevo's online Media.ba. Previously, she worked as a correspondent at Balkan Insight in the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and as a journalist at Federation TV in Sarajevo. She graduated Journalism and was trained through many professional trainings, including the Reuters training on reporting on economy and politics and training of trainers. In the last three years, Elvira has been working more closely on analyzing media reporting and is involved in several research projects regarding the work of media, ethical journalism and trust in the media.
Ljubisa Micic
President / Teaching Assistant
Center for Career Development / Faculty of Economics, University of Banja Luka
Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mr. Ljubisa Micic is a Business Informatics Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Economics, University of Banja Luka and President of the Center for Career Development. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Banja Luka University and a Master's in Information systems and Technology from the University of Belgrade. He is currently a PhD student of Business Informatics at the University of Novi Sad. He has also been a fellow and scholar of the U.S. State Department, the Erasmus+ programme, the British Foreign Office, the German DAAD, the Austrian Development Agency and the Norwegian embassy in partnership with EY. Running web portal www.cerk.info and works with several local, national and international government and nongovernmental organisations. Ljubisa speaks fluent English and has German language skills of B1 level.
Lidija Pisker
Freelance Journalist
Rome, Italy
Ms. Lidija Pisker is a freelance reporter from Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has worked as a researcher on Numerous media research studies in the Balkans. Her work has been published by BBC, The Guardian, Euronews, Radio Free Europe and media outlets from the Western Balkans. Last year, she has received two UN prizes for professional reporting on children rights and promoting respect for human rights and anti-discrimination.
Mirna Brekalo
Zagreb Correspondent
Al Jazeera Balkans
Zagreb, Croatia
Ms. Mirna Brekalo is a Zagreb Correspondent with a demonstrated history of working in broadcast media. She is skilled in live reporting, news writing, and video editing. Mirna is a media and communication professional with a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb.
Andrej Hanzir
Head of Innovation and Projects
Croatian Office for Creativity and Innovation
Zagreb, Croatia
Andrej is a performance-driven project manager, entrepreneur and social innovator with strong entrepreneurial, creative and problem-solving skills. He has co-founded two organizations, two startups, and one company. In the last five years, Andrej has started more than 20 projects which have influenced more than 10,000 people so far. For the projects, he received many international awards and recognition. The most famous project he is leading is LEAP Summit – an international conference with 3,000 participants from 40+ countries. Currently, he is head of innovation and projects in the Croatian Office for Creativity and Innovation, where he is in charge of supervising all projects executed by the organization. Andrej is always focused on delivering extraordinary value to the project's stakeholders. He is passionate about usage of modern technologies for social impact.
Marko Matijević
Main Editor
Srednja.hr and Mirovina.hr
Zagreb, Croatia
Marko Matijević is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of two media websites in Croatia. Founded in 2011, Srednja.hr is focused on youth and education and is an award winning media for investigative journalism. The second website is mirovina.hr, a new media focused on retired people.
Pavel Marozau
Chair of the Board
ARU TV
Tallinn, Estonia
Mr. Pavel Marozau is a concept author and implementer of more than 50 projects in the fields of civic activism, information, and culture. He has delivered a number of lectures on situations in East Europe at Woodrow Wilson Center, Kennan Institute, European Doctoral College (Strasbourg), European College of Tartu University, German Marshall Fund, the Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Center (Moscow), Congress Center (Geneva), and other organizations. In addition, he is an expert at Atlantic Council's DisinfoPortal.org – a website aimed to track the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns abroad. In late 2014, Marozau founded the Russian-language web television ARU TV aimed to counteract Kremlin propaganda in Eastern Europe. In addition, he is the organizer of the RUBYCON annual conference for Russian and Belarusian pro-democratic experts and journalists conducted in partnership with the Estonian MFA. Marozau is an alumnus of the PACT Leadership Institute (U.S.), Fletcher School (U.S.), and Maastricht University (Germany-Netherlands) programs. He holds MS in Finance and MA in Political Science.
Fis Malesori
CEO
VentureUP - University of Prishtina Entrepreneurship & Innovation Centre
Prishtina, Kosovo
Mr. Fis Malësori has an MBA in Investment Management & Entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri - Columbia. He has worked with the Mizzou Innovation Centre and its Angel Fund for roughly two years - supporting entrepreneurs and analyzing thousands of pitch decks for investors. Mr. Malesori is a USAID – Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) Alumn, awarded Volunteer of the Year 2018 for his contribution to developing Entrepreneurship & TechTransfer support mechanisms at the national research university – University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina" along with multiple TLP alumni under his leadership. He is an experienced strategist, having developed Strategic plans for universities and funded business plans for various industries. In his spare time, Fis enjoys reading fiction, hiking with his dog and catching sun rays on the beach.
Jolita Katkute
Account Director
Fabula Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Vilnius, Lithuania
For more than 9 years, Jolita has been working as communications consultant in one of the biggest communications agencies "Fabula Hill+Knowlton Strategies" and with the biggest brands and companies in Lithuania. Jolita has a highly successful background in leading corporate communication, content marketing, employer branding, influencers marketing, and integrated communication projects from brief to final report. At the moment, Jolita is working with European Parliament elections communication as well as is responsible for Coca-Cola, Audi, Hollister Incorporated brands, stories and engagement with audiences in Lithuania. As communications consultant she is also working with art and culture projects. Jolita is fluent in Lithuanian, English, German and Russian.
Hanna Liubakova
Freelance Journalist
Warsaw, Poland
Ms. Hanna Liubakova is a freelance journalist from Belarus. She started her career at the only independent Belarusian TV channel Belsat, where she worked as a correspondent from London, Prague, Vilnius, Warsaw and the EU Parliament in Brussels, among others. Hanna later moved on to work as an investigative journalist, focusing on financial and money laundering issues. Highlights of her work include exposing state-level corruption in infrastructure in Belarus and reporting on money laundering in the London real estate market, with a focus on post-Soviet countries. She was a recipient of the Vaclav Havel Fellowship at Radio Free Europe, as well as the Nordic Council scholarship ESSYB.
Marta Ardashelia
Founder, Editor-in-Cheif
Independent Russian Language Media About Georgia Sova News
Tbilisi, Georgia
Ms. Marta Ardashelia has over 12 years of experience in TV journalism covering Georgian foreign affairs, relations with US and Russia and the situation in South Caucasus region. Marta is a founder and editor-in-chief of the only independent Russian language online magazine in Georgia – Sova News. By producing balanced content and speaking loudly about fake news phenomenon, the outlet focuses on increasing media literacy among their audience, highly targeted by Russian propaganda.
Alkisti Georgiou
Social Media Manager, Influencer Marketing & PR
ESTHÉ Clothing
Thessaloniki, Greece
Ms. Alkisti Georgiou is an experienced Online Content Professional, New Media Journalist and Influencer Marketing Manager, from Thessaloniki, Greece. After her studies in History & Archaeology, she pursued her dream of journalism by successfully attending the country's first ever academic Postgraduate Program in New Media Journalism. Fascinated by the emerging role of Social Media in the world of information during the early 2010s, she focused her thesis on the role of Twitter in the distribution of news. The following years, she had the chance to work as an online editor in Greece's most popular online magazine, LIFO.gr, a news network with more than 4 million unique visitors per month. Today, LIFO.gr counts more than 700.000 Facebook fans and it's ranked amongst the four most influencing news outlets in Greece. Always eager to further enrich her experience in the field of digital communications and hoping to face the creative opportunities and challenges one can meet in such a fast-growing industry, she decided to follow relevant studies. She attended the awarded "Professional Diploma in Digital & Social Media" in Greece at The American College of Greece. For more than two years she worked as an Account Manager in Flipside Digital Media (Google Partner). Now she works as a Social Media & Communications Manager for a London based fashion brand ESTHE Clothing. Her position as a Communication & Social Media Manager in ESTHE Clothing sums up in daily influencer marketing strategies, research for the right influencer who is compatible with the brand's image and ethical values; getting in touch with them, writing down all the legal disclaimers and making sure they're consistent with their part of our deal and of course measure their performance and report all the right KPI's of our campaign.
Kasia Szczypska
Student
University College London
Ms. Katarzyna Szczypska is originally from Poland. She was engaged in the democratic reform process in Ukraine after the EuroMaidan Revolution working for the Open Dialogue Foundation. Katarzyna interned and worked for the Cato Institute as well as the Civic Development Forum, libertarian think-tanks based in Washington D.C. and Warsaw respectively. Currently, she is a student at the University College London and a Mercatus Center Frédéric Bastiat fellow.
Maria Bagrin-Tabacaru
CEO, Creative Director
Makeover Buro SRL
Bucharest, Romania
Ms. Bagrin-Tabacaru helps brands find their wings on the internet. Drawing on skills and over 7 years of experience gathered in her career as a Creative Director driving growth in startups and building brand new entities from scratch, Maria shows startups how to get to the next level, find the right brand ambassadors, and cultivate regional and international connections. Her company bridges the line between advertising and entertainment, by bringing together influencers from fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, healthcare, and auto/tech with the next generation of brands and startups, connecting influencers, managers, and innovators.
Silvia Boeriu
PR and Communications Coordinator
CeRe: The Resource Center for public participation
Bucharest, Romania
Ms. Silvia Boeriu is a Communications Specialist with 13 years of experience in NGO sector and advertising. Her main professional interests and activities include public relations activities, and designing and implementing communication strategies for both corporate clients and non-governmental organisations and online communication. She joined CeRe: The Resource Centre for public participation 7 years ago and since then is managing the Media Relations and contribute to designing and implementation of the PR strategies, promoting the organization's mission, activities and beneficiaries' advocacy campaigns. She is also involved in tailoring the communication approach for CeRe's fundraising activities and the organization's events.
Brindusa Nastasa
Multimedia Journalist and Filmmaker
Springroll Media
Bucharest, Romania
Ms. Brindusa Nastasa iss a filmmaker and award-winning multimedia journalist, co-founder of Springroll Media, a female only collective of media and social-change makers. She has worked on projects for ZDF, CCTV, TV Brasil, Der Spiegel, Initium Media, The Ferret and De Correspondent. Her docu-animation 'Goodnight Stories' has been nominated for ReporterPreis for Best Web-Video in 2017 and received 2nd prize in the Migration Media Awards 2018. Two of her web documentaries went viral in India and Russian speaking countries. She has received the Reporters in the Field Fellowship for cross-border projects in 2015 and 2018. She is also a graduate of RNTC (Radio Netherlands Training Centre) specializing in Producing Media Campaigns to Counter Radicalisation. In 2019 Brindusa became a Digital Communication Network US Fellow.
Andrei Radu
Founder & CEO
GPeC
Bucharest, Romania
Andrei Radu is for 14 years the organizer of GPeC – the main e-commerce authority and community in Romania and the most important e-commerce event - and the Co-Founder of TRUSTED.ro – the Romanian national certification program for e-commerce. Andrei Radu offers User Experience and e-commerce consultancy for Romanian and Central and Eastern Europe online shops. At the same time, Andrei is an e-commerce usability and customer experience trainer, being often invited to conferences and workshops to speak from his experience in auditing more than 1000 online shops.
Pedrag Puač
Account Manager
Drive d.o.o
Belgrade, Serbia
Mr. Pedrag Puač is an experienced digital marketing enthusiast with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunication, public relations, and communication industry. He is also skilled in digital marketing, marketing management, sales, event management, team building, and corporate communications. He graduated from the Faculty of Culture and Media.
Ongun Tan
Founder
Makers Turkiye
Istanbul, Turkey
Mr. Ongun Tan is an entrepreneur, professional speaker, and a startup mentor. He has 20 years of experience in technology and marketing. He worked for global management consulting companies as well as telecommunication companies throughout his career. 5 years ago, Ongun founded Makers Turkiye, the biggest innovation initiative in Turkey. Makers Turkiye provides innovation services to corporate clients.
Maksym Kyiak
Co-Founder
Global Ukranians
Kyiv, Ukraine
Mr. Maksym Kyiak is a Doctor of Philosophy, the Deputy Director in the Central European Institute, and a co-founder of "Global Ukrainians", a worldwide network of public diplomats. He worked at various academic and governmental institutions in Ukraine and abroad. He has represented Ukraine at the CAHROM Committee in the Council of Europe and was one of the co-authors of the research of the NATO StratCom COE on the role of humor in strategic communications, "StratCom Laughs: In Search of an Analytical Framework". Maksym is also working on his postdoctoral research on information society and its influence on religious processes. Research interests: disinformation, information warfare, public policy, foreign policy, sociology of religion, ethnic policy.
Darya Loban
Communications Strategist
Wargaming
Minsk, Belarus
An alumni of Freedom Support Act 2003/04 (U.S. Department of State) and GV for Future Leaders of Business and Industry 2009 (Iacocca Institute, Lehigh University, USA), Darya has been working in advertising communications since 2010. In 2014, she has founded a portable branding studio On Foot, specialising in verbal and visual brand identity for startups and small businesses across Europe. Currently, she is developing brand and communications strategies and delivering integrated advertising campaigns for video games in NA, EU, APAC, and CIS regions, and holds sprints and workshops for creative teams, developers, and product owners.
Krenar Gashi
Programme Manager Western Balkans
European Endowment for Democracy
Brussels, Belgium
Mr. Krenar Gashi is a Program Manager for the Western Balkans at the European Endowment for Democracy in Brussels and Basileus Doctoral Fellow at Ghent University. Gashi works on democracy support, while his doctoral research focuses on exploring the role of the European Union (EU) in the Western Balkans. Before moving to Belgium, Gashi was a prominent journalist, civil society leader, and non-profit executive in Kosovo. He was the director of Kosovo's first think tank, KIPRED, and established the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP), an influential think tank that focuses on democratisation, Europeanization and sustainable development. Before that, Gashi served as editor for Balkan Insight, covered Kosovo for the Financial Times, and established the only English-language newspaper in Kosovo - Prishtina Insight. He holds an MA in Media and Communication (KIJAC) and an MA in European Politics (University of Sussex). He has authored tens of influential policy-papers that have shaped key public policies in Kosovo.
Ena Hasečić
MA of Bosnian Language and Literature
Personal Blog 'Ena u zemlji knjiga' / Book Blogger
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms. Hasečić is completing her last year of Master Studies in Bosnian Language and Literature at the University of Sarajevo. Last year, she was involved in the Ceepus student exchange, therefore she spent a semester at the University in Zagreb. She would like to be a part of Digital Influencers in Action because she is a book blogger who has cooperation with many publishers from Balkan and is always seeking new skills.
Meliha Kešmer
Journalist and Social Media Producer
Radio Free Europe, Balkan Service
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ms. Kešmer is a Journalist at Radio Free Europe, where she produces original content in local language both for the website, radio and TV magazine and for native sharing on social Media. In addition, she produces content specifically geared for social media use across platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit).She also uses journalistic acumen to find stories that are both likely to be shared and meet RFE/RL standards, updates the web for news leads and developing news stories, and works with web-ready news and feature content mixing traditional story-forms with digital and social-centric reporting. She is an ongoing Masters student at the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian language.
Asen Genov
Freelancer
Sofia, Bulgaria
Marko Gregovic
CEO
BRODOTO
Zagreb, Croatia
Mr. Marko Gregovic is the founder of Brodoto, a social impact agency supporting nonprofits, companies and institutions to achieve positive social change. He is also a co-founder of Crowdfunding Academy, a crowdfunding support programme. Marko previously worked for Greenpeace and European Greens and has founded Cyclists' Union in Zagreb.
Ali Mahmood
Digital Strategy Manager
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Inc.
Prague, Czech Republic
Mr. Ali Mahmood works for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty as the Digital Strategy Manager for Southwest Asia. He works with the Persian (Radio Farda) Afghan and Pakistan services of RFE/RL on their digital products. Mr. Mahmood is also the digital advertising coordinator for all of RFE/RL, and has been with the company for more than 15 years.
Dmitri Romanovski
Founder
SprintUX
Prague, Czech Republic
Mr. Romanovski runs a boutique Design Sprint consultancy based in Prague and operating across CEE, Russia, and Central Asia. He helps organizations to reduce the risks of innovation by validating their most important business or product ideas with real clients in just 4 days. In addition, he works with SME, startups, foundations, nonprofits, and international organizations.
Dimitrios Bounias
Group Manager
iMEdD
Athens, Greece
Mr. Bounias currently manages teams and individuals who are beneficiaries of iMEdD, a non-profit organization founded to support journalism in Greece. In addition, he sets up the curriculum of seminars and talks for media professionals. He has previously worked as an Executive Producer at VICE Greece, as a correspondent for the New York Times for Greece and Cyprus, a radio producer, and as a reporter for Greek print newspapers.
Dimitris Dimitriadis
Chief Innovation Officer
The FutureCats Digital Agency
Thessaloniki, Greece
Mr. Dimitriadis is a skillful founder with an expertise in Digital & Social Media Marketing. He is focused on problem solving and providing practical solutions with high ROI for online campaigns. From launching large-scale social media activations, creating global digital strategies and creative campaigns, to community management projects, Dimitris understands how social media should always focus on the consumer and finding impactful ways to generate 3-way conversations between the brands and their consumers. His true north is growth and working within the parameters of a scalable and repeatable method for growth, driven by product and inspired by data. He lives at the intersection of data, product, and marketing. He is passionate about Internet and is trying to "save the world" by designing bike sharing systems. He is naturally optimistic, he believes in fairness at work and that if you work really hard and you are amazing, things will happen. He is the Chief Innovation Officer at the FutureCats, an integrated digital marketing agency. They partner with business for marketing automation services. These include digital strategy and digital marketing consulting, social media optimization and online advertising management.
Ioanna Kostopoulou
Research Fellow at PJL
Peace Journalism Laboratory, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki, Greece
Ms. Ioanna M. Kostopoulou is pursuing her second master's degree in European Journalism, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH). Her bachelor's degree was in Journalism and Mass Media Communication and her first master's degree focused οn New Media Journalism, at the same university. She has attended Journalism & Communication courses at the University of Vienna (Universität Wien), where she stayed for five months due to her participation in the Erasmus program. He has taken part in various research programmes, seminars and summer schools such as: the communication campaign for the European elections "#pressEU_NextGen" (Thessaloniki, Greece), "Young social media multipliers from Greece" (Brussels, Belgium), NATO internships for crisis Journalism (Thessaloniki, Greece), "CSIS Practicum in Modern Journalism: Reporting on International Affairs" (Washington DC, USA), "Digital bridges" and "Greek-Turkish Dialog" (Eskisehir, Turkey), "Seminar for Young Journalists and the Role of the European Parliament" (Brussels, Belgium), "Edomeni Map of Greece" (Thessaloniki), "Environmental Journalism" summer school (Chania, Greece), etc. Ioanna has worked as Press Clipper and Media Monitoring Manager (Print, Social Media, RTV), journalist, editor-in-chief and editor in various local media (electronic and printed) in Thessaloniki. Skilled in journalism, communication, photography, news writing, editing and media relations, she is planning her PhD future in the same field. She is research fellow at the Peace Journalism Laboratoty (AUTH) and her research interests include: European & International Journalism, Disinformation, Propaganda and Fake News, Media and Social Media impact, the role of the Media in Crisis Communication.
Bardh Ahmeti
Senior Political Adviser of the Minister and Chief of Cabinet of the Minister
Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Prishtina, Kosovo
Mr. Bardh Ahmeti was appointed Senior Political Adviser of the Minister and Chief of Cabinet of the Minister on 14th of September 2017. Before being appointed in Ministry, Mr. Ahmeti served as a General Director at Management Consulting since 2016. Prior to this, since 2014, Mr. Ahmeti was part of American Hospital, Commercial Department. For a period of time, was Brand Manager for a number of world brands for Kosovo at the well-known Kosovar Corporation, Elkos. Mr. Ahmeti, started his professional career as Researcher at the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Ahmeti obtained the title of BSc. and MSc. cand. at the University of Prishtina in the Republic of Kosovo. He also completed participation in trainings, conferences and many certifications. He currently is member of the Steering Committee of various Donor Programs in Kosovo. In addition to Albanian language as a native language, Mr. Ahmeti speaks fluently English and basic knowledge of Serbo-Croatian.
Armin Konjalic
Co-Founder
Startup.ba
Travnik, Latvia
Mr. Armin Konjalic is a serial entrepreneur and startup ecosystem builder. Armin is recognized as one of the key players of development of startup ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe. Among other activities, Armin is a founder of startup.ba, an association for the promotion of entrepreneurship in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Cofounder of Limitless Nomads, Digital nomad community; Former Regional Director of International Digital News, Eastern Europe tech media. In addition, he is the author of : "Startup Investment and Innovation Ecosystem in Emerging Europe" and "How can policymakers support startup ecosystem in Western Balkans.
Justina Steiblytė
Account Executive
Fabula Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Vilnius, Lithuania
Ms. Justina Steiblytė is currently an Account Executive at one of the largest communication agencies in Lithuania, Fabula Hill+Knowlton Strategies. She has had opportunities to work with popular, well-known brands and companies in Lithuania for over two years in this position. Her passion is product launch campaigns and exploring the marketing strength of influencers.
Doina Babcinschi
PR & Event Manager
Farmacia Felicia
Chisinau, Moldova
Ms. Babcinschi has 10 years professional experience in the fields of mass media and PR. She started her career as a journalist for a local glossy magazine AQUARELLE, where for four years she worked on special projects, health, beauty, lifestyle sections and worked closely with clients of advertising materials. For an additional five years, Ms. Babcinschi was PR Specialist in Avon, Moldova. She was involved in strategy implementing, event organizing, influencers marketing, and Social Media content creating. After some time, she joined the Internal Communication team on the Central Europe level, being responsible for the informational newsletter. Since April 2019, her title includes PR & Event Manager in Farmacia Felicia – a local business and the first drugstore chain in Moldova. Here, she is responsible for PR, Social Media and the Events team.
Natasa Lucic
Project Manager and Legal
Amplitudo
Podgorica, Montenegro
Ms. Natasa Lucic is a PhD student studying International Relations where she focuses on EU affairs and bilateral and multilateral political relations of Montenegro, and she is also interested in international law. Ms. Lucic currently works as lawyer and EU Project Manager at Amplitudo in Podgorica, where her responsibilities also include international public procurement. She has a Master's degree in Law and Economy and speaks the following languages: Spanish, Italian, French, Turkish, Portuguese and Arabic. Previously, Ms. Lucic worked in event management in many international conferences such as Belgrade Model Europen Union, Belgrade International, Model United Nations, Innovation Adriatic Island, and LEAP Summit. She was in the international student organization AIESEC in Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, where she was a link between the organization and different embassies. Furthermore, she has experience in pursuing SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), particularly those focusing on poverty alleviation, hunger alleviation, quality education, and strong institutions.
Rafal Hetman
Reporter
Outriders
Warsaw, Poland
Mr. Rafal Hetman is both a blogger and a reporter. He is currently working at Outriders but is also the author of a blog focused on non-fiction books. He's been published in well-known Polish newspapers including Gazeta Wyborcza, Polska the Times, and Jewish magazine Chidusz. In his current position, he is also responsible for Interactive Stories and stories on social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook.
Veranika Laputska
Research Fellow
EAST Center / GMF
Warsaw, Poland
Ms. Veranika Laputska is a Co-founder and Research Fellow of the EAST Center and a non-resident Fellow of GMF in the framework of Rethink.CEE program. Veranika is a co-author of Mapping Digital Influencers DCN research embracing Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Veranika is a DCN Fellowship Spring 2019 Alumna, which she spent in New York at digital and marketing agencies focusing on working with influencers. Previously, Veranika has cooperated with the OSCE/ODIHR, the EU East StratCom Task Force, the Council of Europe and the USHMM, and has worked in business consulting and academia. She is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the Graduate School for Social Research, the Polish Academy of Sciences, holds a Master's degree in Economy and Society from Lancaster University, a Master's degree in East European Studies from the University of Warsaw and a Master's degree from the European Humanities University.
Karolina Rustecka
Junior Influencer Manager
Spotlight Agency
Warsaw Poland
Ms. Karolina Rustecka is experienced in PR agencies and organizing events. She learned the basics of PR by serving clients in the real estate and pharmaceutical industries. While working in a PR agency that specializes in the promotion of design, Ms. Rustecka gained valuable experience by cooperating with well-known international interior design brands and respected architects. Outside of her professional work, she enjoys attending and participating in marketing conferences and workshops. For over a year, she's been connected with TED and organized a TedxWarsaw event. At her current position with Spotlight Agency, Ms. Rustecka is working on an industry report on the Tik-Tok app and continues to pursue her passion for design.
Stefan Dedović
Office Manager
Fulbright and Friends
Belgrade, Serbia
Mr. Stefan Dedović is an office manager of the Fulbright and Friends USA Alumni Association in Serbia. Stefan is a graduate of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. During his bachelor studies, he spent one year at the University of Konstanz and the University of Marburg, Germany. Stefan has a various experience gained through various activities. He was a Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate course Political Sociology and Contemporary Society at the Faculty of Political Sciences, and he founded a chapter of the international student organisation oikos Belgrade – students for sustainable economics and management. In addition, he is a Junior Communications Associate at the RES Foundation. He has great interest in sustainable development, innovations, digitalizations and e-governance.
Natasa Sokolovic
Public Relations
Ministry of Public Administration and Local-Self Government
Belgrade, Serbia
Andrej is a performance-driven project manager, entrepreneur and social innovator with strong entrepreneurial, creative and problem-solving skills. He has co-founded two organizations, two startups, and one company. In the last five years, Andrej has started more than 20 projects which have influenced more than 10,000 people so far. For the projects, he received many international awards and recognition. The most famous project he is leading is LEAP Summit – an international conference with 3,000 participants from 40+ countries. Currently, he is head of innovation and projects in the Croatian Office for Creativity and Innovation, where he is in charge of supervising all projects executed by the organization. Andrej is always focused on delivering extraordinary value to the project's stakeholders. He is passionate about usage of modern technologies for social impact.
Barkin Ozdemir
Storyteller
Istanbul, Turkey
Mr. Barkin Ozdemir is a social media personality, content creator, global adventure photographer, and public speaker. After visiting 6 continents, Barkin ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to become the youngest Turk to visit every continent. His groundbreaking storytelling style is aimed to inspire Turkish youth to travel and explore everything this world has to offer. Having worked with several multinational organizations and global brands, Barkin remains on the move, constantly in search of the next adventure, and new media to share his adventures. He is currently consulting on digital media, branding and storytelling, and will soon be publishing a book based on his journey to Antarctica.
Yuliia Reshitko
Communications Manager
CHESNO Civic Movement
Kyiv, Ukraine
Ms. Yuliia Reshitko is a communications manager at CHESNO movement, which is a well-known Ukrainian non-profit watchdog based in Kyiv. After graduating from the Institute of International Relations Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (MA in International Media Communications), Yuliia worked as the Vice Prime-Minister`s Press Secretary at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (2015) and the Press Service Specialist at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (2016). Moreover, Yuliia is the alumni of the Oxford University International Politics Summer School (Great Britain, 2014) and the Open University of Reforms by the Reanimation Package of Reforms (Ukraine, 2015). In summer 2018, Yuliia took part in the LEAD program for Ukrainian future leaders (Great Britain). In spring 2019, Yuliia participated in the Digital Communications Network US Exchange Program during which she had a fellowship at the Atlantic Council think tank (Washington).
Waheedullah Massoud
Production Executive
BBC World Service
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Waheedullah Massoud was the editor and bureau chief for BBC World's Afghanistan Service based in Kabul from 2011 to 2017 where he was leading the BBC Afghan Service's operation in Afghanistan. Prior to working with the BBC, Mr. Massoud worked as the correspondent and bureau manager for Agence France-Presse (AFP) based in Kabul for over eight years. Mr. Massoud has a master's degree in public administration from New York's Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Public Administration and Citizenship. He has his BA in law and political sciences from Kabul University. Mr. Massoud has a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in security studies and a Certificate of Advanced Study in leadership of international organizations and NGOs. Mr. Massoud is a Fulbright Scholar. Mr. Massoud is interested in conflict resolution, peace studies, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and geopolitics.
Organizers
Our partners