Ms Tanja AITAMURTO, Finland, Visiting Researcher, Data and Democracy Initiative, UC Berkeley

Tanja Aitamurto is a visiting researcher at the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford. She examines how collective intelligence, whether harnessed by crowdsourcing, co-creation or open innovation, impacts processes in journalism, public policy making and design. Related to her studies, she advises the Government and the Parliament of Finland about Open Government practices. Based on her previous research findings, she runs a pioneering experiment to crowdsource a law in Finland with the Ministry of Environment and the Committee for the Future.


Ms Otika Brenda AKITE, Uganda, Rural Projects Manager with Women of Uganda Network

Otika Brenda Akite is a Rural Projects Manager at WOUGNET. With a Bachelor's degree in Development Studies, she has extensive experience with Non Governmental Organizations working in the thematic areas of good governance. She is a human rights activist and advocate and was successful in increasing awareness among the communities of Northern Uganda on their rights, roles and responsibilities as citizens of this country. She has also empowered the rural people with ICT skills to enable them to monitor and report governance and service delivery issues within their communities.

Mr Khalil AL-HAMAR, Kuwait, Founder & CEO of Edges Media Company

Khalil AlHamar is a young Kuwaiti entrepreneur. He is the founder & CEO of Edges Media Company in Kuwait, head of the organizing committee of Bloggers Gathering, blogger ( and member in the Social Media Club. Khalil possesses a variety of creative skills in gadgets, technology, apps, graphic design and web development. In the past two years, he engaged mostly in social media and the blogging community.


Mr Shahidul ALAM, Bangladesh, Photographer, Blogger and Activist

Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before taking up photography, concentrating on issues of social justice. He set up the Drik and Majority World agencies, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and the Chobi Mela festival. Honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and visiting professor at Sunderland University, Alam has chaired the World Press Photo jury. Alam is also a new media pioneer and introduced email to Bangladesh. His book "My Journey as a Witness" has been described as "the most important book ever written by a photographer" by John Morris the legendary former picture editor of Life Magazine.


Ms Aleida ALAVEZ RUIZ, Mexico, Vice-president of the Mexican Congress

Aleida Alavez Ruiz is Mexican Federal Congresswoman, Vice chair of the Mexican Federal House of Deputies, member of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) since 2012 and parliamentarian appointed to the Council of Europe. She has been member of the Mexican Parliament and member of Mexico City Parliament. Her interests focus mainly on human rights, interculturality, domestic economy, and she is a defender of publicly owned oil companies. She has been member of Mexico City and national counselor of her political party as well as Communications Secretary.


Mr Ahmad ALHENDAWI, Jordan, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth

Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan is the first ever United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth. He assumed office in February 2013. He previously worked as a Team Leader for the World Bank funded programme to the League of Arab States on Institutional Development to Strengthen Arab Policy and Participation. Prior to this, he served as the Youth Policy Advisor in the League of Arab States in Cairo and as an officer in the Technical Secretariat of the Arab Youth and Sports Ministers Council. Past experience also includes serving as a Team Leader for the National Youth Policy Project in Iraq, a Youth Programme Associate at the Iraq office of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and as an Emergency Programme Officer at the non-governmental organization Save the Children.

Mr Sead ALIHODZIC, Sweden, Senior Programme Officer at International IDEA

Sead Alihodzic gained extensive experience in dealing with elections and post-conflict security issues through eleven years of field work for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The work entailed close cooperation with international military, police and civilian missions involved in multidimensional peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2008, Sead joined the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) where he is in charge of the Elections and Conflict project and leads the development of Electoral Risk Management Tool.


Mr Frédérick ANSART, France, Academy of Strasbourg

Academic delegate to the school life at Strasbourg Academy, Frédérick Ansart is responsible for leading and encouraging a dynamic high school life at the Academy of Strasbourg. This makes him a focal point for students. The fight against all forms of discrimination led him to work, especially on the issue of hate speech on social networks, with elected students of the Academy of Strasbourg.

Mr Aldo ARCE, Mexico, Founder of Puerta Joven

Aldo Arce is the Founder of Puerta Joven, Youth, Technology and Culture for Development. Being a college student on Communications, Aldo suffered misunderstanding and stereotyping. As a Latin American, young entrepreneur, with indigenous roots, in his early 20s, his ability to launch and manage a successful social enterprise was often questioned. Facts have proven him right.  His persistence and passion have granted Puerta Joven the recognition of numerous partners. Puerta Joven not only promotes intercultural dialogue but, it does so by improving access to basic education; preserving young indigenous people's intangible cultural heritage.


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.