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, Head of Research and 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.


Ms Clara ALMEIDA SANTOS, Portugal, Journalist and Vice-rector for Culture, Communication and Heritage at the University of Coimbra

Clara Almeida Santos is currently vice-rector for Culture, Communication and Heritage at the University of Coimbra. Diretor of the University’s web television, she is assistant professor at the Faculty of Letters and has a PhD in Communication Sciences and a Master degree in Communication and Journalism. Since 2003, she has participated in applied research projects on diversity in the media, authoring or co-authoring several books on the subject.  She worked as a journalist at the Portuguese TV channel SIC, mainly as editor at the channel’s website. 

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 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.

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.

Ms Gabriella BATTAINI-DRAGONI, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Ms Battaini-Dragoni was elected to the post of Deputy Secretary General in June 2012. In 2011, the Secretary General appointed her Director General of Programmes, responsible for overseeing the bi-annual programme of intergovernmental activities and for coordinating all monitoring, standard-setting and cooperation activities on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Since 2005 she has coordinated the Council of Europe's projects on intercultural dialogue, preparing the "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue", the first document of its kind to be adopted at international level. Ms Battaini-Dragoni has published widely on a variety of social and educational policy topics in both Anglophone and Francophone academic journals and international publications.

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