Dr. Nikola Schmidt, Ph. D
Senior researcher and head of the Centre for Governance of Emerging Technologies
Nikola Schmidt works as an senior researcher and is head of the Centre for Governance of Emerging Technologies. He studied Sociology at the Charles University Prague (BA), and International Relations and Security at the Metropolitan University Prague (MA), he received his PhD from Charles University in 2016 where he works as a researcher as well. He participated in a European Space Agency and NASA-funded planetary defence team project organized by the International Space University in 2015. The subject of his professional interests varies between International Relations theory Science and Technology Studies with focus on space, cyber and the general relation between technology, politics and global governance. He is currently leading a multidisciplinary project with participation from astronomers, space engineers, international lawyers, and political scientists. The objective is to devise a strategy for planetary defence and asteroid mining policy as key topics of a cosmopolitan responsible state. He edited or authored a number of recent works, including the Springer volume Planetary Defense: Global Collaboration for Defending Earth From Asteroids and Comets as well as articles in Acta Astronautica, Space Policy, New Space or Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Prior to re-entering academia, he founded and led two software development companies and worked on a nongovernmental organization-driven food facility project in Afghanistan.
Elisabeth Alber, Ph.D
Senior Researcher at the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research & lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Science at the University of Innsbruck
Elisabeth Alber leads the research group ‘Participation and Innovations’ at the Eurac Research Institute for Comparative Federalism in South Tyrol, Italy. She also co-leads the Eurac Research Federal Scholar in Residence Programme, and she is lecturer at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. She holds a PhD from the University of Innsbruck, and degrees in International Relations, Comparative Constitutional Law and European Studies from the universities of Torino and Turku. As visiting scholar, she has worked in Germany, the US, Spain, Australia, Overseas France, Northern Macedonia and India. As consultant, she has worked in Moldova, Ukraine and Myanmar. Her latest publications include Federalism and Ethnic Relations (2022), an edited volume on direct and deliberative democracy in European multilevel systems (2021), Language realities and policies in Italy(2022), and Federalism and constitutionalism: a relation based oninterdependency (2023). Elisabeth holds external associate positions at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra and the Centre for Multilevel Federalism of the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi, and she is part of the Scientific Committee of the Vienna-based KDZ-Centre for public administration research and the Bolzano/Bozen-based Alexander Langer Foundation. Her working languages are English, German and Italian. She also understand French and Spanish.
Laura Maaß, BA, MA
Doctoral Researcher at Leibniz Science Campus Digital Public Health Bremen and Member of the Steering Committee at the European Public Health Association (EUPHA)
Laura Maaß, BA, MA is a Doctoral Researcher at Leibniz Science Campus Digital Public Health Bremen and Member of the Steering Committee at the European Public Health Association (EUPHA)- Section Digital Health. Her research is focused on developing an index to measure the maturity of digital public health systems nationally with the aim to use digital public health tools for healthcare and health promotion purposes.
ESI’s Senior Analyst for the Western Balkans
Adnan Ćerimagić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is ESI’s Senior Analyst for the Western Balkans and is researching EU policy towards the region. Before joining ESI in August 2013, Adnan has worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and Brussels. He also did a traineeship in the Secretariat of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and worked for the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC) in Graz. He studied law at the University of Graz and EU international relations and diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Peace in Vienna and the International Advisory Board of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy. Adnan is based in Berlin.
Prof. Jeffrey V. Lazarus (PhD, MIH, MA)
Co-director of the Viral and Bacterial Infections Programme at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona at ISGlobal, Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona as well as a senior scholar at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
Prof Jeffrey V. Lazarus (PhD, MIH, MA) is the head of the Health Systems Research Group and co-director of the Viral and Bacterial Infections Programme at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona at ISGlobal and Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona as well as a senior scholar at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.
His decade-long career as a health systems, HIV and viral hepatitis expert at WHO’s Regional Office for Europe was followed by three years at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is the past Vice-Chair of the EASL International Liver Foundation, Board Chair of AFEW International and he was the first director of Health Systems Global. He currently serves as co-chair of the HIV Outcomes Beyond Viral Suppression coalition, a member of the board of directors of the SHARE Global Health Foundation and as a member of the EASL Public Health and Policy Committee and the Global NASH Council.
He is the author of more than 300 publications, including the Global COVID-19 Consensus Statement (Nature 2022) and multiple studies on COVID-19 vaccines hesitancy including in Nature Medicine and Nature Communications and has been advising governments, NGOs and WHO, as well as frequently appearing in the media to address pressing issues about the pandemic.
As Principal Investigator (PI) of the HCV Free Baleares, EU-COMSAVAC, COVID-VAC and the NAFLD public health and global policy studies he has had continued competitive funding for over a decade, since leaving WHO. He is a co-author of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, the Lancet GastroHep Commission on viral hepatitis and the EASL-Lancet European Liver Commission and led The Lancet HIV series on HIV Beyond Viral Suppression. He is on the editorial board of HIV Medicine, the International Journal of Drug Policy and the Journal of Hepatology.
He earlier served as Professor at LUHS Medical Academy, Lithuania, and as Affiliated Professor at the WHO Collaborating Centre on HIV and Viral Hepatitis at Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen, and at the University of Porto, Portugal.
Dr. Tijo Salverda
Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna
Tijo Salverda is an anthropologist who has extensively studied inequality, power, elites, and corporate actors. After holding the position of Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vienna (2019-2022), he is now dedicating his experiences to shaping a fairer and ecologically friendlier world. More info can be found on his website at www.tijosalverda.nl
Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Polaschek
Austrian Minister for Education, Science, and Research
Martin Polaschek was born in Bruck an der Mur, Austria, in 1965. After studying law, he was appointed associate university professor at the Institute of Austrian legal history and European legal development at the University of Graz. Polaschek’s research focussed on the areas of post-war justice, university law, and communal research. From 2003, he was Vice Rector for Studies and Teaching, and from October 2019 until December 2021, he served as the Rector of the University of Graz. Furthermore, Polaschek was the spokesman for the Austrian vice rectos for teaching.
On December 6, 2021, Polaschek was appointed Federal Minister for Education, Science, and Research.
Solar Energy Sector Expert & Manager at Swimsol
Daniel Reinhardt graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in 2015. His background is economics and political science. He has been working in the solar energy sector for more than five years for the Austrian company Swimsol, where he is responsible for project & business development as well as project financing. Daniel shares a passion for sustainability. Before his current position, he was working as a Project and Communications Manager for the think tank Club of Rome. Daniel will share his perspective on how solar energy and other forms of renewables can contribute to energy security, which technological advancements are on the way, what the constraints of common renewable energy sources are and how to potentially overcome them in the future.
Intercultural leadership consultant, Coach, Author and Speaker
Gabor Holch is an intercultural leadership consultant, coach, author and speaker who has served 100+ clients in 30+ countries. An expat since age 4, China-based since 2002 and working globally, Gabor is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) in English and Mandarin, certified consultant at the management academies of half a dozen global corporations and licensed in major assessment tools including DISC, the Predictive Index, NeuroColor and MBTI.His upcoming book, ‘Dragon Suit: The golden age of expatriate executives in China’ will be published by Business Expert Press in New York, 2023.”
Bulgarian politician, Member of the EP, EPP Group
Radan Kanev is a Bulgarian politician, Member of the EP, EPP Group. Starting his political activities as a political blogger in 2004, he has always been involved in the topics of media freedom, transparency and alternative forms of public communication. During his active political career, he was chairman of the centre-right Democrats for strong Bulgaria and served in the National Assembly of Bulgaria as co-chair of the Parliamentary group of the Reformist bloc coalition. In the European Parliament, he is now working at the Committees of Petitions (PETI), Employment and social affairs (EMPL) and Environment, public health and food safety (ENVI). Currently, he is actively engaged with the legislation on the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive as well as the whole legislative package "Fit for 55" - part of the European Green Deal, which aims to strengthen the EU's position as a global climate leader.
Prof. Makram Rabah
Lecturer at the Department of History & Archeology at the American University of Beirut
Makram Rabah is a Lecturer at the Department of History & Archeology at the American University of Beirut. Rabah is a graduate of AUB with a BA’03, MA’07 in History with a minor in Political Studies. Rabah also holds a PhD in History from Georgetown University (2016). His latest book Conflict on Mount Lebanon: The Druze, the Maronites and Collective Memory (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) covers collective identities and the Lebanese Civil War.
Rabah, who has a law degree from the Lebanese University, was vice president of the University Student Faculty Committee (USFC) for two consecutive terms (2005-07) while a student at AUB. In addition, Rabah was an elected member of the World Wide AUB Alumni Council, and has been serving in this position for two consecutive terms (2007-2011).
Rabah’s research interests include the modern Middle East, the modern history of Lebanon, the Lebanese Civil War and the role of memory in the reconciliation process. He is also the author of groundbreaking book entitled, A Campus at War: Student Politics at the American University of Beirut 1967-1975 (Nelson Publications, 2009).
Rabah is also a regular contributor to a number of regional and international publications on Middle Eastern political affairs.
Prof. Dr. Anis H. Bajrektarevic
Professor and Chairperson International Law and Global Political Studies
Anis H. Bajrektarevic is a former legal practitioner, former MFA official and career diplomat, research fellow at the Institute for Modern Political-history analyses, Dr. Bruno Kreisky Foundation, Legal and Political Advisor for CEE at the Vienna-based Political Academy, senior legal officer and Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Vienna of the Intergovernmental Organization ICMPD, and Professor and Chairman for Intl. Law and Global Political Studies at the IMC University of Austria. He teaches subjects of Geo-political Affairs, International Law (including Intl. Relations, Law of IOs and EU Law), Theory of Law (incl. Political Systems), and Sustainable Development. He is also a visiting professor for international law at the University in Geneva and the American SIT for diplomacy and international relations. Prof. Bajrektarevic is the International Institute IFIMES' Department Head for Strategic Studies on Asia and Permanent Representative to Austria and Vienna-based IOs.
He recently launched one of the fastest expanding European platforms for politics and economy, security and energy, with special chapters on environment and the so-called 'Tomorrow's people for the Green planet/economy'. He is the author of dozens of books and is an elected arbiter and mediator before numerous national arbitrational tribunals. He lives in Vienna, Austria.
Dr. Ing. Alberto Sanna
Director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Health & Well-being and Nuclear Engineering graduate of Politecnico di Milano
Alberto Sanna, Director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Health & Well-being and Nuclear Engineering graduate of Politecnico di Milano, coordinates international projects in three major research programmes: SMARTer and SAFer HOSPITAL, SMARTer and HEALTHIER LIFE, and SMARTer and HEALTHIER CITY.
He has participated extensively in the European Research Framework Programs FP5, FP6, and FP7, and he is currently active in 16 Horizon 2020.
His scientific activities have been presented at more than 150+ top level international congresses, and he has been an active contract professor in Information Technology, Design, and Medicine courses.
He is the author of edutainment videogames and formats, as well as an avant-garde photographer who investigates the function of visual arts in socio-technological ecosystems.
An online TEDx Talk on the subject of Engineering Awareness is accessible at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMhj4Q30q0U.
Social-economist at the Institute for Economic Geography & GIScience at the Department of Socioeconomics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
Lena Gerdes is a social-economist working at the Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience at the Department of Socioeconomics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is working as a research associate and is in the final year of a PhD program. In her research, she focuses mostly on unequal exchange in international trade, agent-based modeling and alternative economic systems. Since 2021, she is a board member of Attac Austria, an NGO working for the democratic, socio-ecological and gender-equitable design of the global economy.
MA. PhD. Markus Kornprobst
Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations & Dean of the Master of Advanced International Studies at the Vienna School of International Studies
Professor Markus Kornprobst chairs the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Vienna School of International Studies and serves as the Dean of the Master of Advanced International Studies. His research appears in leading journals in the field such as the European Journal of International Relations, International Affairs, International Organization and International Theory. He has co-edited six books, co-authored Understanding International Diplomacy and authored Irredentism in European Politics as well as Co-managing International Crises. He is co-editor of the Routledge New Diplomacy Series, serves on the board of the Hague Journal of Diplomacy, leads the Peaceful Change Working Group at the Austrian Research Association, and serves as the Regional Director Africa of the Global Research Network on Peaceful Change. His current research projects deal with processes of global and regional ordering, peaceful change, arms control, digital international relations and global health.
Dr. Kristina Curtis
Consultant, Researcher, Lecturer and Trainer in Behavioural Science
Dr. Kristina Curtis is a consultant, researcher, lecturer and trainer in behavioural science. She has expertise in using multi-disciplinary approaches to developing digital behaviour change interventions (DBCIs) for improving health and wellbeing. She has worked on a range of projects across academia, public health, and industry in the areas of childhood weight management and self-management of chronic conditions. She leads a behavioural science research consultancy (Applied Behaviour Change) offering training, research and intervention design for a range of organisations including government departments, technology start-ups and pharmaceutical companies. She is also an honorary lecturer and associate of UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change and delivers regular teaching and student supervision in digital health interventions.
US Diplomat, Foreign Service Officer & Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna
Baron Lobstein is Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. He has been a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service since 2002. He most recently served as Chief of the Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade (2019-22). He previously worked at the U.S. Embassies in Beijing and Moscow, and also served as Director for Russia in the National Security Council at the White House and as Economic Chief at the State Department’s Office of Russia Affairs. He has also worked at the U.S. Embassies in Uzbekistan and in Trinidad & Tobago. Before joining the Foreign Service, Baron worked at the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C., and as an investment analyst in Moscow. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard College and Master’s Degrees in Business and Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati.
Mag. Oliver Prausmüller
Policy analyst, Lecturer and Researcher on EU and International Affairs
Oliver Prausmüller works as a policy analyst, lecturer and researcher on EU and International Affairs. His areas of expertise are foreign economic relations and trade policy as well as the political economy of critical infrastructure and public services. Current affiliations: Expert at the Chamber of Labour Vienna, Department for EU and International Affairs. External Lecturer at the University of Vienna and the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna. He is also part of the organising committee for the upcoming international conference “The Future of Trade in a Polarised World Order”, which will take place in June(https://www.oefse.at/veranstaltungen/future-of-trade-conference/).
MA. Elena Ardelean
Founder AI4DevelopmentAgency | EMBA | AI 4 Youth
Elena is an international development specialist and social entrepreneur with a focus on strategy, technology, and sustainability. By day she works as the Head of Tech for Institute for Global Change, and by night, she leads AI4DA (Artificial Intelligence 4 Development Agency) a tech non-profit organization that raises awareness and creates knowledge on AI among youth. She has worked for the World Bank, EIB and others in different regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. Under the UN initiative “United for Smart Sustainable Cities”, Elena was co-chairing the experts’ group working on the Governance and Policies Framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI) principles in Smart Cities. She holds an Executive MBA, a M.A from Sciences Po Paris, and a B.A. from the University of Vienna.
MA. Kristy Rancier
Youth Focal Point for UNODC, Associate Programme Management Officer
Kirsty Rancier is the youth focal point for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and has in-depth experience engaging youth in educational and electoral contexts. As an Associate Programme Management Officer, she works to mainstream youth activities within UNODC and advocates for the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals in inter-agency spaces. Kirsty holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University (Canada) as well as a Bachelor of Management from the University of British Columbia (Canada).
Lydia Maria Lienhart, BA, MAIS
Doctoral researcher at the University of Graz
Lydia Maria Lienhart, BA, MAIS is a doctoral researcher at the University of Graz and does science communication on Youtube as "lydiaexplains". Her research focusses on the decarbonization of the mobility sector in general and air travel in particular, while in her videos she explains complex topics like international trade, policy instruments and sustainability for "normal" people in an easy way.
Her Youtube Channel is available under https://www.youtube.com/@lydiaexplains
M.Sc. M.A. Robin Tim Weis
Director of International Affairs at the Zero Project
Robin Tim Weis is the Director of International Affairs at the Zero Project. He is responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing the Zero Project’s strategy, policy, and programs relating to its international activities. He also engages the Zero Project’s international partners in order to build public sector coalitions to achieve a world with zero barriers for all.
With a background in science diplomacy and cybersecurity, Robin Tim Weis looks to empower the aspirations of persons with disabilities and remove the barriers they face. Thus, he manages programs such as the Zero Project Ambassadors’ Circle, which elevates the importance of the disability inclusion in the diplomatic collectives.
Robin Tim Weis holds a M.Sc. in Cybersecurity Law from the University of Maryland, a M.A. in American Studies from the University of Heidelberg, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the Free University of Brussels.
H.E. Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar
Ambassador of India to Austria
Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1989. He has earlier served in various diplomatic capacities in Hong Kong, Beijing, Chittagong, New York (UN), Cairo, as Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing and in Kathmandu and most recently as India's Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines.
In his stints in New Delhi, he has served in the Prime Minister’s Office on foreign affairs, defence and security issues, atomic energy and space, as Chief of Protocol and most recently as Head of the Southern Division in the Ministry of External Affairs of India looking after bilateral relations with countries in Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island Countries. Concurrently, he has headed the Nalanda Division in the Ministry of External Affairs, charged with the revival of the ancient Nalanda University, an East Asia Summit initiative.
Ambassador Mazumdar has a Bachelors degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Management.
He is married to Parvati C. Mazumdar and they have two children - a son, Ronojoy and a daughter, Deboleena.
Global Communications Manager at Generation
David Timis is the Global Communications Manager of Generation, the largest global employment program by annual volume that both trains and places people into life-changing careers that would otherwise be inaccessible. His mission in life is to prepare people for the future of work and his interests lie at the intersection of education, employment, and technology. David was educated in Business and Management at the University of Glasgow and in European Political and Governance Studies at the College of Europe. He has 8 years of work experience in marketing, communications, and public affairs in organisations such as Google, BCW, L’Oréal, and Mars Inc.
David has guest lectured at renowned universities such as Cambridge University and the College of Europe, and delivered keynote speeches about the impact of technology on the future of work for a wide range of clients including TEDx, Google, and the European Commission. He has been recognised as an Influential Leader by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for his work to equip young people with digital skills, and selected by the World Economic Forum to be part of the Davos Lab.
M.Sc. Tim Joris Kaiser
Advisor on Economic Governance at European Commission
As Advisor on Economic Governance at the European Commission Representation in Vienna since September 2021, Tim Joris Kaiser is focused on EU economic policy coordination, with a focus on the European Semester and NextGenerationEU in Austria.
Starting in 2011, he has worked at the Commission's headquarters in Brussels on economic and trade issues. This included analytical positions in macroeconomic forecasting on the EU's G20 partners including the US and Russia, cooperation with development banks and from 2018 coordinating trade policy in Turkey and Central Asia. He trained as an economist at Maastricht University and held positions in financial analysis and business development in international companies previous to joining the Commission.
Paralympic Swimmer and ORF-Moderator
Andreas Onea is Austria's most successful para-swimmer. After a serious car accident in May 1998, in which his left arm was amputated, Onea started swimming as a therapy. In the course of his career, he won twelve silver and bronze medals at major events, among others. At his third Paralympics participation in Rio 2016, he fulfilled his big dream of a Paralympics medal by winning bronze in the 100m breaststroke. In addition to sports, Andreas Onea presents various programmes for ORF and, as an event presenter and speaker, shows what is possible as a person with a disability.
Mag.Dr.iur. Ambassador Thomas Oberreiter
Director-General for Europe and Economic Affairs (Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs)
Born in Linz, Thomas Oberreiter is currently the Director-General for Europe and Economic Affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Vienna. Having been ambassador to the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and the Principality of Liechtenstein, he has gained a lot of experience in the international sector. Due to his various positions in the Foreign ministry and the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU, he focuses on European politics.
Mag. Dr. Michael Wiesmüller
Head of Department for Key Enabling Technologies for Industrial Innovation, Federal Ministry for Climate , Innovation and Technology
Initially stemming from the humanities and holding a degree in philosophy of science, working several years as scientists in the Humanities and as Management Consultant with A.T. Kearney he joined the Federal Ministry in late nineties. He is currently Head of Department for Key enabling Technologies for Industrial Innovation. Main responsibility of this department covers the design of Innovation Policies for High-Tech-Industries, national R&D strategies and programs in these domains, and areas of International R&D Policy and Coordination. Among others he acted as Austrian Delegate to the European ICT-Program, as Governance Board Member of the JTI’s ECSEL, ARTEMIS, ENIAC and KDT, as Director of the EUREKA Clusters ITEA 3 and CATRENE and Austrian Lead Delegate to the Key Enabling Technologies. He represents Austria in various Mirror-Groups of European Technology Platforms and in several European Policy Coordination Initiatives. Special Initiatives which were initiated within his department are for example Industry 4.0 Pilot Factories; Silicon Austria, The AI-Strategy Austria and various national Lighthouse projects such as Data Market Austria or Trustworthy Internet of Things.