Speakers

PATRIK CHOLEVA - WORKSHOP LEADER

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Graduated at Silesian University in Karvina, MBA studied at City University of Seattle and LLM at Nottingham Trent University. He participated in special courses at IMD Lausanne and London Business School. Currently, he is Chief Financial Officer at leading construction company Skanska Poland and also responsible for Diversity & Inclusions there. Previously worked as CFO for Skanska Czech Republic & Slovakia, Innogy group or KPMG. In 2012 he was awarded CFO of the Year in the Czech Republic by CFO Club. He is or was a member of Supervisory Boards in several companies. He is convinced that D&I and Ethics approach is vital for success in the current business world.

BIRGIT VAN HOUT - KEYNOTE SPEAKER

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Birgit Van Hout heads the United Nations Human Rights Regional Office for Europe since June 2017. She has over 25 years of experience in human rights, rule of law, gender, and peace & security from the UN Department of Peace-Keeping Operations, the UN Department of Political Affairs, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union, and the Office of the Commissioner-General for Refugees of Belgium.Her field experience includes Guatemala, Timor Leste, Bosnia, Central Asia, Palestine, Venezuela and Togo. She holds an LL.M., a M.A. in International Politics, and a postgraduate degree in International Human Rights Law.

MORSE CAOGAS FLORES WORKSHOP LEADER & COMMITTEE SPEAKER

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Morse is originally from the Philippines, he holds a Masters in International Law & Human Rights from the UN-mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica) & also has an Erasmus Mundus Joint European Masters in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA Programme), a joint Erasmus Mundus Masters Programme from the University of Deusto (Spain), University of Ruhr (Germany) and University of Uppsala (Sweden). Morse has over 13 years of working experience for the United Nations in Geneva, in the fields of human rights & international cooperation & development assistance in various capacities. He is currently serving as the Coordinator of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Indigenous & Minorities Fellowship Programmes and the Secretariat of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples. Prior to that, Morse served as Expert on Indigenous Peoples & Local Economic Development with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Secretariat of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP)- the first global inter-agency initiative between ILO, OHCHR), UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP to work together to promote the rights of indigenous peoples at the country level, supported and complemented by strategic interventions at regional and international levels.

MARIJE CORNELISSEN COMMITTEE SPEAKER

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My passion is to make a concrete difference for people in a vulnerable position. People who live in poverty, who are discriminated against, who lack chances for education, employment, and housing. I love using my experience in local, national and European politics as well as in civil society to find ways to get things done. With a team of dedicated women, I am working towards the establishment of a UN Women National Committee in the Netherlands, to promote gender equality and the position of women worldwide and to combat gender-based discrimination and violence. As UN Women's Representative, I will give a speech at the UN General Assembly in October on behalf of Dutch women, addressing the role of women in sustainable development. Currently, Marije is the Executive Director of United Nations National Committee in the Netherlands 

SARAH K. LEE KEYNOTE SPEAKER *TO BE CONFIRMED

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Sarah achieved a Masters of Education at Harvard University. Throughout her career, she was part of the Admissions Recruiting Committee at Harvard Law School, Schools Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at MIT and she was also an assistant director at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Nowadays Sarah K. Lee leads Strategy and International Growth at Higher Ground Education-- a platform for high fidelity Montessori and Montessori-inspired schools under the Guidepost Montessori, Polis World School, and Academy of Thought and Industry brands. Higher Ground also facilitates Montessori professional development and research initiatives under the Prepared Montessorian brand. Sarah also advises education companies and edtech leaders around the world. She works closely with founding teams as they face some of the most critical human capital, operational growth, and fundraising milestones in their early stages. She brings 16+ years of experience launching and leading education enterprises to each conversation and every project. Sarah's expertise in international operations, expansion/scale, and career and admissions advising is built on a strong record of helping companies exceed targets, establish strategic relationships, and maximize individual and team potential. Sarah has a strong reputation among clients, peers and industry leaders for her strategic thinking, creative solutions, relentless focus on results, and dedication to positive educational impact. 

ANITA RAMAN COMMITTEE SPEAKER

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Sustainable development expert skilled in fund management, technical and strategic writing, research and data analysis, strategic planning, and project management. 10+ years of sustainable development experience in government, international organizations, and academia. Educational background in environmental/climate science and policy. Manages a multi-million dollar United Nations Development Programme trust fund focused on achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and supports an over $50 million UNDP SDG trust fund portfolio through financial management of resources, continuous monitoring of progress, coordination with implementation agencies and project managers, and assessment of the performance of individual development projects. Supported the launch, initiation and advancement of the Southern Climate Partnership Incubator (SCPI), a Secretary-General-led initiative to facilitate South-South partnerships on Climate Change and for the SDGs. Conducted regular policy research on South-South Cooperation trends in areas of climate change and sustainable development, with focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCS) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCS), and led production of the SCPI website and coordinated regular updates.

RONA VAN DER ZANDER WORKSHOP LEADER LETSTALKSUMMIT

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Rona is an entrepreneur and university lecturer. She has working experience in 8 different countries with large businesses, NGOs and international organizations. Rona graduated with a Bachelors in International Business (France/UK) and a Masters in International Relations and European Politics (UK/Germany) and worked in fast-paced business environments in China, Australia, and Germany. Always attracted by the cross-over of innovative business and development challenges she also undertook on the ground development projects in Cambodia, China, and Myanmar, amongst others implementing the UN SDGs. Rona worked on projects with the United Nations Association in Australia and the UN Global Compact in New York City. She now runs her own company GrowbeYOUnd, that supports universities and businesses to respond to educational challenges in the 21st century. Rona is a lecturer at various universities and business schools all over Europe.

ELINA VIITASAARI - COMMITTEE SPEAKER

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Elina Viitasaari is a global citizen from Finland. She has focused on Psychology and Criminal Justice as her undergraduate studies and on Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research at the graduate level. Human rights, peace, andsecurity are subjects very close to her heart, and she has been actively promoting women’s rights and gender equality both locally and globally. She is a UN representative at Gender Focal Point for Center for Global Nonkilling and has therefore written UN statements concerning violence against women for the Commission on the Status of Women. Her work has mainly concentrated on gender-based violence and as a chairwoman of the local UN Women committee, she has organized many events and fundraisers to end the violence against women and girls.

Salam Kedan - Speaker

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Salam is a 23-year-old BA graduate of Tel Aviv University International in Liberal Arts. Salam is a Muslim Arab who grew up in a Muslim Arab town called Baqa al Gharbiyye, under the control of the Israeli government; she joined Model UN when she was 16 years old, traveling and joining many international conferences made her more aware of her identity, situation and made her a more open, curious and confident person. It also gave her hope and a passion for making a difference. Through Model UN, Salam met and created friendships with students from all around the world; she has a deep interest in dialogue and raising awareness to promote understanding and peace in the Middle East. She opened her centre, Salam Centre for Peace, to provide more opportunities for the youth in her community.