Speakers

Věra Jourová
Věra Jourová
Vice President
European Commission
Věra Jourová is a Czech politician and lawyer who has been the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency since December 1, 2019. She previously served as the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality from 2014 to 2019. She has also served as the Czech Minister for Regional Development and Member of the Chamber of Deputies (MP) between 2013 and 2014.
Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa
Former President of Poland
Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Lech Wałęsa is a Polish elder statesman and former union organizer who served as the first democratically elected President of Poland from 1990 to 1995. He used to be the leader of Solidarity (NSZZ Solidarność), one of the first oppositional and freedom-oriented social movements in the communist bloc, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. Photo: Lars Møller
Judit Varga
Judit Varga
Minister of Justice
Hungary
Judit Varga graduated from law studies at the University of Miskolc in 2004. She practiced law firms in Budapest, then in 2006–2009 she worked as a court clerk. In 2009, she passed the bar exam. Later, until 2018, she was employed as a political advisor to MEPs elected from the Fidesz-KDNP coalition. In June 2018, she was appointed Secretary of State for European Affairs at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. In June 2019, she became a candidate for the office of the minister of justice in the government of Viktor Orbán. She took up the office in July that year. Speaks English, German, French and Spanish. Married with three children
Mathias  Döpfner
Mathias Döpfner
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Axel Springer SE
Mathias Döpfner, born 1963, studied musicology, German and theatrical arts in Frankfurt and Boston. He started his career as a journalist at the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” in 1982. He was director of a PR agency from 1988 to 1990. In 1992 he worked on the staff of the international director of the Gruner + Jahr publishing company in Paris and later became assistant to the CEO of Gruner + Jahr in Hamburg. He then held further positions in journalism as editor-in-chief of “Wochenpost” in Berlin (1994–1996) and “Hamburger Morgenpost” (1996–1998). He has been with Axel Springer SE since 1998. Initially as editor-in-chief of Die Welt. Mathias Döpfner became the member of the Executive Board responsible for the Multimedia Division in July 2000 and took charge of the Newspapers Division as well in October 2000. He has been CEO of the Axel Springer SE since January 2002. Holding a stake of about 22%, Mr. Döpfner is also one of the company’s largest shareholders.
Stephen Brown
Stephen Brown
Editor-in-Chief
POLITICO
Stephen Brown is Editor in Chief at POLITICO. He is in charge of all of our journalistic content in Europe, helping to design our strategy and running the newsrooms as well as editing, commissioning and writing stories from Brussels and our European bureaux. He began his career in journalism at the Financial Times in London before joining Reuters as a graduate trainee. He had postings in Madrid and Lisbon before moving to Argentina from 1994 to 2002, eventually as bureau chief for southern Latin America. Stephen was then bureau chief in the Nordic & Baltic region, based in Stockholm, Italian chief correspondent based in Rome and chief correspondent for Germany, based in Berlin. He joined POLITICO in June 2015.
B. Bix Aliu
B. Bix Aliu
Charge d'Affaires
U.S. Embassy in Poland
B. Bix Aliu returned to U.S. Embassy Warsaw to serve as the Deputy Chief of Mission in June 2019. Fifteen years ago, Bix was a Vice-Consul and Deputy Cultural Attaché at the Embassy. Most recently, Bix served as the U.S. Consul General in Krakow. Prior to returning to Poland, Bix was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Montenegro, where he often served as Charge d’Affaires, a.i. During his diplomatic career, Bix was detailed to Congress as a Pearson Congressional Fellow and served as a Special Advisor to the Representative of Virginia’s Second Congressional District. He also served at the Department of State’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he helped shape the future generation of the U.S. Foreign Service. Bix has represented U.S. interests abroad in Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, and the UAE. A native of Chicagoland, Bix holds a Medical Degree from the University of Kosovo School of Medicine and a Master of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College. He speaks fluent Albanian, Montenegrin, Macedonian, Serbian, and Polish, among others.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
The leader of democratic Belarus and a human rights activist
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of democratic Belarus and a human rights activist, who challenged and by many accounts beat the autocratic president Aliaksandr Lukashenka at the 2020 presidential election. She stood in for her husband, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, in the presidential election after he was jailed for his political aspirations. The election was fraught with widespread fraud and followed by unjustified violence. Tsikhanouskaya has become the symbolic leader of Belarusian protests and has contributed greatly to promoting positive change in Belarus both through her domestic and international engagement. Following her forced relocation to Lithuania by Belarusian authorities, she met with global leaders to coordinate joint international efforts against the authoritarian regime to ensure the voices of Belarusians are heard. The European Parliament recognized the fight of Belarusian people for democracy and freedom led by Tsikhanouskaya by awarding her, among other leaders, the prestigious annual Sakharov Prize. She has also received a series of international awards for her courageous struggle against the authoritarian regime of Lukashenka (GLOBSEC Freedom award; 2020 Prize of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience; Politiken Freedom Prize).
Christophe Deloire
Christophe Deloire
General and Executive Director
Reporters Without Borders
The Chair at Forum on Information and Democracy. Christophe Deloire is a French journalist who has been secretary-general and executive director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) since 2012. He ran one of the leading French journalism schools, the CFJ, from 2008 to 2012, and was an investigative reporter for the politics and society sections of the French news magazine Le Point from 1998 to 2007. He has also worked for the TV channels ARTE and TF1, made documentary films, edited several authors and written several bestsellers including Les islamistes sont déjà là (2004), Sexus Politicus (2006) and Circus Politicus (2012)
Valdo Lehari Jr.
Valdo Lehari Jr.
Vice President
European Newspaper Publishers Association
In 2010, Valdo Lehari Jr. became Vice-President of the European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA), Brussels – after serving as its President for four years, the maximum term allowed under the organization’s statute. Since 2001, he has been Chairman of the Executive Board and President of the Association of Newspaper Publishers of Southwest Germany, based in Stuttgart.
Emma Lacey-Bordeaux
Emma Lacey-Bordeaux
Senior Director
CNN News Standards & Practices
Emma Lacey-Bordeaux is a journalist working for CNN based in Washington DC. At a moment of unparalleled political turmoil in the United States, she works to ensure the integrity of CNN’s political coverage as a Senior Director for Standards and Practices. Throughout her decade at the company, Emma has occupied many roles. She’s reported and produced, provided research and editing. During that time she has gained the trust and respect of news leaders from Beijing to Los Angeles reporting or helping guide the network on some of the biggest stories of our time. She’s broken news on numerous stories concerning America’s justice system, gun laws and immigration system. She has covered Presidential elections, one attempted insurrection, many major protests and always seeks out the unexplored, human angles to the giant stories capturing the world’s attention. Compassion and curiosity drive Emma’s journalist interests and passions. She’s lived in various cities in the United States and around the globe and loves few things more than a leisurely dinner with new friends. She holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from Georgia State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Narrative Non-Fiction from the University of Georgia and recently released a groundbreaking documentary exploring how restrictive notions of masculinity play out in America’s prisons. She’s also a passionate advocate of cross-cultural exchanges and dialogues, especially in this unique and tumultuous global moment of challenge and interconnectedness. Emma has delivered talks on journalism and communication at home in the United States and in countries including Estonia, Ukraine and Serbia. She’s hosted journalists from South Africa, Uganda, Ukraine and Georgia. She’s actively engaged in discussions around the globe about advancing the mission of the free flow of quality reporting especially amid significant challenges. Emma lives in DC with her husband and their dog, Scout, and two cats. She loves cooking, eating, biking and following her boundless curiosity to new delights.
Maarit Jaakkola
Maarit Jaakkola
Co-Director
Nordic Centre for Media Research
Maarit Jaakkola, PhD, Associate Professor, is the Co-Director of Nordicom, a Centre for Nordic Media Research at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Her research interests focus on digital media literacy, user-generated cultural content, cultural journalism and cultural citizenship. She is the responsible editor of NordMedia Network, as well as the founder and coordinator of Academic Forum of MIL Research in Sweden.
Aleksandra Przegalińska
Aleksandra Przegalińska
Vice-Rector
Kozminski University
Vice-Rector responsible for International Relations and ESR at the Kozminski University, habilitated in Management in New Technologies at Kozminski University and received her doctorate in the field of philosophy of artificial intelligence at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw. Apart from the Vice-Rector's position, she is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Management in Digital and Networked Societies at the Kozminski University and the Leader of AI in Management Program. Until recently, she conducted research at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. She graduated from The New School for Social Research in New York. In autumn 2020, she started a Senior Researcher Fellowship at the American Institute for Economic Research on the automation of work, and in 2021 she will join the Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard University. She is interested in the development of new technologies, natural language processing, humanoid artificial intelligence, social robots and wearable technologies. She is the author of Collaborative Society (The MIT Press) http://www.collaborativesociety.net/, published together with Dariusz Jemielniak.
Klaus Bachmann
Klaus Bachmann
Professor
SWPS University
Klaus Bachmann is former foreign correspondent in Central and Eastern Europe and the Benelux countries. Since 2004 he works as a political scientist, first at the University of Wroclaw, then at SWPS University in Warsaw. He also used to work at Johns Hopkins University, USA, Renmin University (China) and the universities of Bordeaux, Vienna and Stellenbosch (South Africa). In Poland he writes for Tygodnik Powszechny, Polityka and Gazeta Wyborcza.
Mark Dekan
Mark Dekan
CEO
Ringier Axel Springer Media
Mark Dekan is responsible for the CEE Joint Venture of Axel Springer and Ringier. In addition he holds the position of CEO Ringier Axel Springer Polska. Mark has extensive experience in media business, including the traditional and digital media, as well as in management of large and diverse organizations.
Grzegorz Hajdarowicz
Grzegorz Hajdarowicz
Chair of the Supervisory Board
Gremi Media SA
A graduate of the Faculty of Law at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (majoring in political science). He started his professional career as a journalist and then Deputy Editor-in-Chief of a Polish weekly published in New York and a daily published in Kraków. He started his entrepreneurial career in the pharmaceutical industry, running a nationwide pharmaceutical wholesaler. In addition to the media industry, he was involved in capital investments, real estate projects and film production. From 1990-1994 he was a Councillor on Krakow City Council, and since 2010 he has been an Honorary Consul of Brazil. Since 1991, he has been creating a capital group comprising, among others, KCI S.A., the Company, and Dragmor sp.z o.o. He has extensive management experience gained on the boards of the companies he has run. Over the last ten years or so, he has performed management and supervisory roles in a number of companies from the capital group he has created, including Gremi sp.z o.o. (President of the Management Board from 2004-2014), Dragmor sp.z o.o. (Member of the Supervisory Board from 2001-2013 and President of the Management Board from 2014-2018), Gremi Film sp.z o.o. (President of the Management Board since 2005 with breaks), KCI S.A. (Member of the Supervisory Board from 2010-2013 and 2014-2015 and President of the Management Board from 2015-2019), e-Kiosk (Member of the Supervisory Board from 2014-2018) and the Company (President of the Management Board from 2012-2013).
Peter Bárdy
Peter Bárdy
Editor-in-Chief
Aktuality.sk
Peter Bárdy has been Editor-in-Chief of Aktuality.sk, as well as a columnist for the website, for more than 10 years. Aktuality.sk is one of most popular and respected news portals in Slovakia. Peter has been involved in the media business for more than 20 years; he started working as a journalist for the Žilinský večerník paper, than he worked for the Nový Čas daily. First he specialized in crime and the Slovak Mafia, later focusing on politics.
Hannah Bailey
Hannah Bailey
Oxford Internet Institute
Hannah is a DPhil student in Social Data Science at the Oxford Internet Institute and a researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project. Her research focuses on China’s use of state-sponsored digital disinformation. In particular, she focusses on the effect of China’s digital disinformation campaigns on international audiences by assessing how they interact with this disinformation. She employs both quantitative text analysis and social network analysis to explore, for example, China’s use of bots and the ways that external audiences engage with these bots. She holds a BSc in Politics and Philosophy from the London School of Economics, as well as two MScs, in Contemporary Chinese Studies, and in the Social Science of the Internet, both from Oxford University. She has also studied Mandarin at Fudan University (Shanghai). Her DPhil is generously funded by the Oxford Internet Institute’s Shirley Scholarship.
Joanna Plucinska
Joanna Plucinska
Political and General News Correspondent for Poland
Thomson Reuters
Joanna Plucinska is Reuters’ Political and General News Correspondent for Poland. She joined Reuters in 2018 in Warsaw. She previously worked in Brussels for POLITICO Europe as a technology reporter and before that in Hong Kong for TIME. She is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, where she was recognized as the Student of the Year for her class in 2014. She is originally from Ottawa, Canada
Ricardo Castanheira
Ricardo Castanheira
Digital Counsellor Coordinator at the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union
Ricardo Castanheira is the Digital Counsellor Coordinator at the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union (REPER), in Brussels, since 2017. Previously, he was General Manager at Motion Picture Association – Latin America (2013-2017), based in Brazil, which represents institutionally the biggest studios in the world: Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Universal, Paramount and Netflix. He was Director of Corporate Affairs for Microsoft Brazil, from 2011 to 2013; Legal and Corporate Affairs Lead at Microsoft Portugal, from 2007 to 2011; CEO of FDTI (Foundation for the Promotion of Information Technologies), in Lisbon, between 2005 and 2007. For many years he practiced law as a main partner of CAPA – Law Firm, in Coimbra. Between 1995 and 2002, he was the youngest MP in the Portuguese Parliament, elected for Coimbra. He was also a Member of the NATO Assembly (1999/2002) and a petitioner of the “Committee of the 24” at the United Nations, in NY. He´s graduated in Law (1997) by the University of Coimbra and he holds diverse additional post-graduations: on Negotiation by the University of Harvard – John F. Kennedy School of Government (Boston); on Communication Management by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV/Brazil); an Advanced Management Program (AMP) by Instituto de Empresa – Business School (Madrid) and a Mini – MBA by INDEG Business School (Lisbon).
Christoph Fiedler
Christoph Fiedler
Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of EMMA and Managing Director of European and Media Policy at VDZ
Christoph Fiedler is Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of EMMA and Managing Director for European Affairs and Media Policy at VDZ, the Association of German Magazine Publishers. He is a lawyer and professor for media law. His PhD-thesis focused on media Law, censorship and fundamental rights and he has released various publications on press and media freedom. He also participated as an expert at several hearings at the German Bundestag and at the European Parliament about inter alia data retention and the protection of journalistic sources, general data protection law, a German law on the strengthening of press freedom and net neutrality.
Alona Romaniuk
Alona Romaniuk
Editor-in-Chief
«Behind the News»
Editor-in-Chief of the informational campaign «Behind the News» and the author of the initiative «Behind the pandemic» on fakes and manipulations about coronavirus. Journalist, media expert, trainer, author of a fake lightning-rod experiment. She has been working in the field of journalism, PR and advocacy for more than 10 years, including 2 years in crisis communication. Also she has been working on the topic of fakes and manipulations for more than 5 years. She leads courses "Verification and fact-checking", "Cross-media start-ups" at the Institute of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She is co-author materials for Media Literacy Course «Very Verified», сo-author of a journalist's guide "How to write about education and medical reform." Alona has coordinated more than 30 national and regional projects, has organized more than 100 events for journalists (press conferences, press lunches, off-record meetings, press tours), has written more than 5000 journalistic materials.
Bartosz  Węglarczyk
Bartosz Węglarczyk
Editor-in-Chief
Onet.pl
He started his career as the foreign editor and correspondent in Moscow, Brussels and Washington. He was head of foreign department of Gazeta Wyborcza, where he continues to work until 2011. In 2013–2016, Bartosz Węglarczyk becomes the deputy editor-in-chief in the daily Rzeczpospolita (Republic). In March 2016, he becomes the programming director of Onet.pl, and since December 2018, he takes over the duties of the editor-in-chief, also being responsible for the direction and program line of the portal.
Beata  Balogová
Beata Balogová
Editor-in-Chief
SME
Beata Balogová joined The Slovak Spectator in 2003 and became the first Slovak editor-in-chief of Slovakia’s English-language weekly. Ms. Balogová was in charge of the paper and its special publications between 2003 and 2006. Prior to joining The Slovak Spectator, Ms. Balogová worked for Slovakia’s first private newswire, SITA, and the state newswire, TASR. In January 2015 she left the Spectator to lead editorial team of the SME daily paper.
Zoltan Varga
Zoltan Varga
Founder
Central Médiacsoport
Graduated from the University of Pécs, Hungary. In 1990 he joined the Budapest Stock Exchange board and in 1991 to the CSFB as a deputy manager. He first worked in London and then in New York. After 10 years of international carrier, he joined the Wizz Air success story among the firsts as the biggest private shareholder in 2004. He founded Centrál Group. In 2014 Central Group expanded with Central Médiacsoport Zrt, manages the biggest Hungarian independent print and digital media portfolio. Central has several interest in Poland, among them Central owns one of the largest educational business, called WSIP. Mr. Varga has established a Math Foundation in his hometown in Bonyhád. Social responsibility is highly important for him; he is a dedicated supporter of several foundations and the largest private donor for Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Stéphanie Yon - Courtin
Stéphanie Yon - Courtin
Member
European Parliament
Stéphanie Yon-Courtin is a French MEP for the La République En Marche! party, part of the Renew Europe group. She was elected in May 2019 to the European Parliament where she is the vice-chair of the committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON). Yon-Courtin is also a substitute member in the internal market and consumer protection committee (IMCO) and in the tax matters sub-committeen (FISC). In addition, she is the chair of the delegation for relations with Canada and a member of the delegation for relations with the United States. Prior to her election, she served as mayor of Saint-Contest, and vice-president of the urban community Caen la Mer. Before that, Yon-Courtin worked as an advisor on international affairs in the office of Bruno Lasserre, former president of the French Competition Authority. Yon-Courtin holds a master’s degree in law from the Universities of Caen and Bristol, and a master’s degree in European Business Law from the Institute of European Studies.
Franak Viačorka
Franak Viačorka
President
Digital Communication Network
Franak Viačorka is Belarusian politician and journalist. He is president of the Digital Communication Network and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center and journalist from Belarus. Viačorka is a frequent speaker and advocate for democracy and personal freedom. For his activism and journalism work in Belarus, he was jailed multiple times by the Belarusian government. Viačorka's activism in Belarus has been chronicled by documentary filmmakers and recognized by many international organizations. He graduated with an MA from American University in Washington DC and a BA from Warsaw University in Poland. He also studied at Belarus State University, Georgetown University, and European Humanities University.
Mihály Hardy
Mihály Hardy
Head of news and current affairs
Klubrádió
Mihály Hardy holds a degree in „international journalism” of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) since 1980. He started working at public service MTV or Hungarian Television as news editor and foreign affairs correspondent. He has been Moscow Bureau Chief of Hungarian TV from 1985 to 1991, during the Gorbachev-years. After returning from Moscow he also worked as news anchor, editor of current affairs programs mainly focusing on EU and NATO accession of Hungary. From 1997 to 2000 he has been the news director and news anchor of TV3, an American-owned commercial cable and satellite TV in Hungary. From 2002 to 2005 he has been with ATV as news director and anchor. After 26 years in the media had moved to corporate communication, he joined TESCO Hungary as communication director 2003 and from 2008 to 2019 he worked as communication director of Budapest Airport. He joined Klubrádió in February 2020. Mihály Hardy also worked as Vice-Chairman and spokesperson of MÚOSZ, the Association of Hungarian Journalists. He has received several Hungarian awards in journalism and also as a spokesperson for Budapest Airport. He speaks English, Russian and Spanish.