Mr Rainer ADAM, Germany, Regional Director for Central, East and Southeast Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

A man who remembers his childhood fun and effective learning experiences through interactive-participation, he knew what was missing in the civic education classrooms in Thailand and why most youngsters had no interest in politics. This was how SIM Democracy came into existence.  He strongly believes that an interactive-learning tool can encourage young people to view the world through a democratic-political involvements spectrum.  Since 2008, he was a Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Bangkok, Thailand. He holds a PhD degree from Bonn University, Germany.

Mr Samiuddin AHMED, Bangladesh, Programme Officer – Youth (Research & Development) at ActionAid Bangladesh

Sami is a young professional at ActionAid Bangladesh and leads the organisation’s research and development efforts concerning youth. He is also heavily involved with Activista Bangladesh – ActionAid Bangladesh’s national youth network. Sami has experience in coordinating young people’s activities on the ground and linking them up with national level efforts. He is currently engaged in mainstreaming youth across various issues, undertaking policy research and looking into the Post-2015 process from a Bangladeshi youth’s perspective.


Mr Mohammed ALSAUD, Syria, Civil Society Activist

Mohammed studied management, sociology and global politics. Has been working for the last 6 years for more freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, mainly in terms of strategic planning and consultancy in media, campaigning, community organizing and launching community initiatives in Syria, Jordan and Tunisia. Lately was working as head of campaigning at the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces in Turkey. Mohammed is now establishing the Syrian Democracy Hub aiming to support development of a democratic culture and practices among young leaders and to prepare them for a less violent transitional period.

Ms Daniele AMARAL, Brazil, Journalist and Coordinator of Vote on the Web

Daniele Amaral is a Brazilian journalist working at Webcitizen, a company that develops internet projects in the area of social mobilization and e-government data. She is the  coordinator of the citizen engagement site, Vote on the Web, and her job is to encourage young people to participate actively in politics on the internet and at the same time show lawmakers how they can do their job following the demands of the population.


Ms Seda ARICAN MASLEN, Turkey, Senior Project Officer, Council of Europe Ankara Programme Office

Ms Seda Arıcan Maslen is a Senior Project Officer, working at the Council of Europe Ankara Programme Office since 2011 and currently responsible for Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project in Turkey. She received her B.A in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University, Ankara. She holds two M.A degrees in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University (class of 2003,cumlaude) and in European Policies and Politics from Catholic University of Leuven (class 2005, cumlaude). She previously worked in Brussels as a Junior Consultant in a private consultancy dealing with lobbying activities for different business sectors between 2004- 2007.  She is currently a PhD candidate in the United Nations University, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance with a focus in Education and inclusion of immigrants in Information and Communication Technologies.

Ms Karin ASTEGGER, Austria, Human Resources, Research & Development at Lebenshilfe Salzburg, Board member of the European Association for Service Providers for Persons with Disability

Karin leads Human resources, Research & Development in her organisation, an Austrian service provider for persons with intellectual disabilities. She has focused on user involvement and inclusive research in Lebenshilfe and international projects. She is member of Board and Policy Impact Group of EASPD. She holds a masters and PhD in psychology, and is licenced as psychotherapist. She worked in research, training, and clinical practice at the University of Salzburg, Austria; since 1997 she has worked in social services.

Mr Mensah ATTOH, Togo, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist

Mensah Attoh is a Human Rights activist, lecturer at the University of Lomé and a lawyer for 20 years, specialised in Criminal Law, Civil Liberties and Sports Law. He runs a law firm in Lome. He was Executive Director of the Association 'Rights and Duties in Democracy' and Vice-President of the Network against Arbitrary Detentions and Arrests (RADAR), as well as Former Head of the Division of Legislation at the Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of the Rule of Law in Togo.

Ms Suruchi AULAKH, India, Senior Advisor of Blue Ribbon Movement

Suruchi Aulakh is a Senior Advisor of Blue Ribbon Movement. She facilitates workshops for the organisation using theatre-based techniques and is an accomplished artist and trainer with an experience of 2 decades in the area.

Mr Diego ÁVILA DA SILVA, Brazil, Lawyer of Vote on the Web

Diego Silva is Bachelor in law whit specialization in civil law and civil procedural law. He is a volunteer in Vote on the Web website, and his job is to resume and simplify the texts of the bills to help Brazilian citizens understand the true goals of the bills and thus contributing to reduce the distance between citizens and politicians.

Mr Julian BARLEN, Germany, Project Manager and Co-founder of "Stork Heinar", Member of the Parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Julian Barlen is a Hotel Manager and graduate economist from Germany. He is spokesperson for the Social Democrats on public health policies, aging society and anti-extremist initiatives in the Land parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. As a co-founder and today’s voluntary project manager of the satirical anti-Nazi project „Stork Heinar“ he aims to contribute to attracting, inspiring and developing democratic participation – especially among younger people – by giving up-to-date information about current neo-Nazi strategies and offering low-threshold possibilities for taking a democratic attitude.