4 November 2014 (14.00-16.00) - Room 10 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN/RU


Globalisation has increased the pressure for young people to connect globally in order to make their voices heard. What is the role of young people in international politics? How can transnational structures be set up to involve youth in international negotiations?

Y8/Y20 Summit, Policy Innovation, Germany

The Y8 and Y20 Summits are the official youth conferences within the Group of Eight (G8) and Group of Twenty (G20) processes. Both Summits provide a platform for youth from G8 and G20 members to communicate with world leaders about issues that are important to them, enabling them to both raise concerns and propose solutions. The Summits are more than just a single event, but a year-long exercise to build the participants’ capacity to understand and contribute to the G8 and G20 agendas, and thus offer them an unparalleled opportunity to shape real world politics.


Ms Cilia Christina KANELLOPOULOS, Greece, Vice-Chair of Policy Innovation e.V.

Cilia is a young graduate of the Freie Universität Berlin with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She is currently working at the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communication on issues such as tackling youth unemployment and the digital transformation of Europe. As Vice Chair of Policy Innovation e.V. she has been actively involved in the engagement of youth in international decision-making processes. Through her bicultural background she cultivated a passion for debate and the exchange of ideas while vigorously promoting the voice of youth in global debates.

Mr Philip STROTHMANN, Germany, Chair of Policy Innovation e.V.

Philip Strothmann is a freelancing environmental consultant based in Berlin, working mostly on a variety of projects of the United Nations Environment Programme. He holds a Bachelor in Political Science and a Master in Environmental Management. Besides his professional focus on environmental issues, mostly related to natural resource management and life cycle thinking, Philip has been promoting youth engagement in politics for quite some years. Especially in his role as chair of Policy Innovation he’s organized a number of youth summits in Europe. As recognition of his outstanding civil society engagement, he has been selected by the Robert Bosch Foundation to be one of 150 “The Responsibles”.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Mr Dobrica MILOVANOVIC, Serbia, Kragujevac City Council Member, Professor of Kragujevac University and Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Dobrica Milovanovic is a city council member in charge of international cooperation in the city of Kragujevac, Serbia, since 2008. He is full professor at the faculty of engineering at the University of Kragujevac since 2005. He is also a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe where he erves as rapporteur on local and regional democracy in Belgium, and observer at the elections in Ukraine, Armenia, Israel and Azerbaijan. Dobrica Milovanovic is Governing Board member of the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA).

Mr Ali SHAHBAZ, Pakistan, Youth Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and Youth Ambassador for Cultural Exchange to the United States

Ali Shahbaz is the Pakistan Youth Ambassador to the United Nations. Ali became an advocate for youth empowerment at a fragile age of 14. He has been appointed as Pakistan’s first Official youth delegate to the United Nations following which Ali has served as an indispensable resource on youth affairs for both, international and national audiences. Working actively with global stakeholders including the UN, governments, and civil society, Ali has been promoting a cohesive framework for sustainable development as an international priority, rendering him prominent awards, the likes of Honourable Mention for Reader’s Digest Asian of the Year. In an effort to endorse inter-governmental cooperation for egalitarian sustainability, Ali has been in discussion with High-Level Diplomats such as the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Moroccan Princess HRH Lalla Hasna, and United States Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan, to name a few. The young leader continues to work on multilateral issues with key stakeholders to stimulate a change for the better.


Mr Alex WIRTH, USA, Cofounder and CEO of Quorum Analytics, Founder of YouthCreatingAction.org

Alex Wirth is Cofounder and CEO of Quorum Analytics, an online legislative strategy platform providing big data analysis of the U.S. Congress.  Alex was the inaugural Chair of the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council. He was appointed by Secretary Clinton to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.  Alex is a blogger for the Huffington Post, founder of YouthCreatingAction.org, and an active tweeter (@amaliowirth). Alex has spoken at the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative, a UNFPA Conference in Istanbul, and the National Education Association.  Alex is currently a senior at Harvard University.



Mr Matthew JOHNSON, United Kingdom, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the Council of Europe

Matthew Johnson officially took up his duties as UK Permanent Representative (with the personal rank of Ambassador) in September 2012. Prior to his posting in Strasbourg Matthew completed a four year tour as Deputy High Commissioner at the British High Commission in Accra, Ghana. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1988 and has served in Pretoria and Cape Town, Osaka, and at the UK mission to the UN in New York from 2000 to 2003 where he dealt with human rights and social policy issues in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee. While in the UK he has worked in a variety of jobs in the FCO in London and on secondment to No 10 Downing Street as Private Secretary to the Head of the Policy Unit.


Ms Violette BERGER