BEST Virtual Summit

Future of diversity is now!

September 29- October 2, 2021


Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest BEST Virtual Summit news!

By submitting, you agree to receive email communications from BEST Virtual Summit, including upcoming promotions and reminders to register for new sessions, news, and access to exclusive invite-only recordings.

Leave your CV here if you want our partners to take a look at it!

What is BEST Virtual Summit?

An online and international conference brought by us, the Board of European Students of Technology. We are gathering students and inniators of innovation from different organisations, universities and industry with the aim to bring diverse and relevant topics of the future to the podium!

Between the 29th of September and the 2nd of October, discover and embrace the diversity that makes each one of us unique. Meet exceptional people, get inspired and take action in building the diversity of tomorrow.


What is BEST Virtual Summit?

Also known as BVS, it is an online and international conference brought by us, the Board of European Students of Technology. Here, students and representatives from universities, companies, other institutions and international organisations are gathering together to strengthen the connections between them in the safest way during this pandemic.

After the success of our first edition in 2020, where the participants had the opportunity to learn about and discuss the impact of the pandemic and the future of education, work and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are already preparing the second edition!

Between the 29th of September and the 2nd of October, you are welcome to discover and embrace the diversity that makes each one of us unique, which is a topic inspired by our vision. Through the interactive activities of the summit, STEM students will have the opportunity of discovering the different approaches and perspectives of our partners in building diverse and inclusive workspaces, while having their role explained in the whole process!


Here you can see the schedule of the last year's BEST Virtual Summit and all the activities that took place

Why should you attend?

Build the future of diversity with us.

Join your peers for three days full of learning, innovation and networking. BEST Virtual Summit is a virtual platform designed to exchange ideas, provide opportunities to network with a variety of people and hear what the experts and professionals have to say on the hottest topics of today. Make the first step towards improving the diversity around you and become the catalyst of change in European society.

Expand your network

Meet and talk with experts from various academic and industry fields through facilitated sessions designed just for networking! Through our summit, you'll be able to talk 1-on-1 with them, exchange ideas and seize new opportunities with people from all around Europe.

Learn through experience

Feed your creativity with out-of-the-box ideas, learn and share your new knowledge with others around you. From interactive small-group workshops to lecture-style keynote sessions, choose the learning methods that work best for you.

Inspire and get inspired

This experience will inspire you to not stop at learning, but to take action and build the future of diversity with everyone around you. Ask questions you've always wanted to ask and expand your horizon.

How does it work?

You can access the whole Summit through a separate platform linked below. There you will find a community, interactive features such as adding sessions to your calendar, networking sessions and much more. Keynotes and Panel DIscussion will be openly live-streamed to our social media channels. You can interact with the speakers and ask your questions live only through the platform.

Workshops will have limited spots, and you will need to apply and state your motivation to get access to them.

Keep following our website to stay updated about the BEST Virtual Summit and how you can join us and take a part in creating a future of diversity!

Great minds meet at BVS

Last year's speakers

  • Žiga Šolar
  • Galina Androsova
  • Mariia Istomina
  • Sergiu Lazar

Name: Gerardo Noto
Company: United Nations Development Programme

He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts-Harvard University (1993) and a B.A. Summa Cum Laude in Political Science and Public Administration, the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina, 1988).

Appointed Resident Representative (RR) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Libya, he assumed his functions in Tripoli on 13 March 2019. Previously, he was RR ad interim in UNDP Iraq (December 2018/February 2019) as well as Country Director ai. (September/November 2018). He was Deputy Country Director - Programme in Iraq since March 2018. Iraq country programme focused on Stabilization, Governance and Peacebuilding, Reconciliation, Sustainable Development and SDGs, Private Sector Development, Environment and Sustainable Energy, Gender, Innovation and Youth.

Previously, he was UNDP Regional Government and Peacebuilding Cluster Leader for Latin America and the Caribbean coordinating the regional programme and policy support on Governance and Peacebuilding in the LAC Region. He was before Democratic Governance, Participation and Inclusion Team Leader at the LAC Regional Hub (2015- 2017), Democratic Governance Team Leader (2012-2014) and Governance Programme Specialist (2009-2011) in the Regional Bureau for Latin American and the Caribbean (RBLAC) in HQ (NYC), managing the Regional Programme in Democratic Governance to promote democracy and citizens inclusive participation. He coordinated the Regional Study on Political Citizenship (UNDP, 2014).

Name: Sahba Sobhani
Company: United Nations Development Programme

Mr. Sobhani brings 19 years of experience in the private sector in Silicon Valley, Singapore and at UNDP as Programme Advisor, Team Leader and Programme Manager including as the technical lead for the recently endorsed UNDP private sector strategy. He has significant partnership development and advocacy experience with the private sector working with over 100 companies and business organizations and a track record of operational leadership, innovation and management of 6 global UNDP-led strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives in the area of business and development including the Business Call to Action Initiative, the Connecting Business Initiative and the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business and has been the principal author and content manager of all 5 major UNDP-led reports in the area of private sector in development, Previously, he managed two key UNDP private sector initiatives in the executive office of the former Administrator of UNDP, Mark Malloch Brown, including the Commission on the Private Sector and Development, and the African Financial Markets Initiative. He co-authored Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor, the seminal report of the Private Sector Commission produced at the request of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Mr. Sobhani was the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy (USA).

Name: Patrizia Lombardi
Company: Politecnico di Torino

Patrizia Lombardi (f) PhD, MSc, BA/MA is Deputy Rector of the Politecnico di Torino and Full Professor in Decision making for sustainable development goals. Since 2019 she is the President of the Italian Universities Network for Sustainable Development which involves 77 universities in the promotion of the Agenda 2030. At Politecnico di Torino, she coordinates the Green Team Office and the Circular Economy Platform which has been launched at metropolitan level for promoting research activities and enhancing social impact. In addition, she coordinates the Honours programme involving about 240 students across different colleges. At UN ITC-ILO campus, she coordinates the master in World heritage and cultural project for development since 2012. She is an established figure in the field of sustainable urban development evaluation and management for over 20 years, publishing widely in the subject area and coordinating, or serving as lead partner in several interdisciplinary Pan-European Projects. She has received a number of awards for excellence for her career and quality of research.

Name: Manuela Fulga
Company: World Economic Forum

Formerly a private banker with experience in sustainable finance and ESG investments, Manuela Fulga manages the community of the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP), a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and the OECD comprising 42 public-private institutions with the shared ambition to create the conditions for capital to flow for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is also the manager of the Global Future Council on Development Finance, involving pre-eminent experts to promote innovative thinking on the global financial architecture.

Manuela Fulga holds an MA in Corporate Communications from IE Business School and a BSc in International Management and Economics from Bocconi University. She is currently pursuing the Economic Development Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy School.

  • Anna Leidi
  • Anna Redkina
  • Nishtha Tiwari
  • Sandra Saarniit
  • Gergana Georgieva
  • Sonia Veselovská

Name: Marianne Hewlett
Company: Atos

Marianne Hewlett is a Senior Vice President at Atos and a seasoned marketeer and communications expert. Passionate about connecting people, technology and business, she is a member of the Atos Scientific Community where she explores the Future of Work and the impact of technology on individuals, organizations and society.

She is a strong ambassador for diversity and inclusivity – and particularly encourages female talent to pursue a career in IT – as she believes a diverse and happy workforce is a key driver for business success. She explores new technologies and ways of working that address the needs of current and future generations of employees.

A storyteller at heart, she writes about the human side of business and technology and posts include insights into the future of work, the science of happiness, and how wellbeing and diversity can drive success.

Name: Denis Stolyarov
Company: Skoltech

Denis Stolyarov, Head of Student Department at Skoltech. Denis holds an Engineering degree in Information Systems and Technology and has more than ten years of experience in the career, educational, and scientific projects development. Before Skoltech worked in the most innovative Russian city Innopolis launching the student recruitment process at Innopolis University; has a track record of civil service in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and military service in the scientific company of Russia's Air Force Academy. During the service performed research in the fields of information security and radio warfare, was awarded Medal for Achievements in the Innovation Technologies Development by Russia's Ministry of Defense, and Medal of Honor by National Defense University of the Republic of China (Taiwan).​

Name: Felipe Gómez Gallo
Company: SPEED

Felipe is the current president of the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED). SPEED ( is a global, non-profit student organization that functions as an interdisciplinary network of engineering students, who provide opinion and create an impact on the future development of engineering education and its effect on society and the environment. He is an Environmental and Civil Engineer and currently a student at the master's program in Environmental Engineering. His work in research has been involving Engineering Education, Sustainable Development Goals, and Climate Change Adaptation. He has developed and led educational content for international conferences (Global Student Forums) in Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, and Albuquerque revolving action planning and design thinking the SDGs.

Name: Hanno Brümmer
Company: Covestro

Since 2015 Hanno Bruemmer is Senior Vice President as the Global Head of Production and Technology in the Business Unit Polyurethanes at Covestro. This includes Isocyanates, Polyether Polyols as well as the basic chemicals like Chlorine.

Hanno Bruemmer is a PhD chemist and started at Bayer in 1996. In his career he has held positions of increasing responsibilities in production included assignments in several locations in Germany as well as in Baytown, Texas, USA.

Hanno Bruemmer is married and has three children.

  • Senne Meeusen
  • Ihor Lerro
  • Irene Sanlorenzo

Name: Jakob Stoustrup
Company: Aalborg University

Jakob Stoustrup is currently Vice Dean at Aalborg University, where he is responsible for education at the Technical Faculty for IT & Design. He is responsible for the digital strategy for education at Aalborg University. He is also involved in the sustainability policy of the university.

Jakob Stoustrup has received M.Sc. (EE, 1987) and Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics, 1991) degrees, both from the Technical University of Denmark. From 1991-1996, Stoustrup held several positions at Department of Mathematics, Technical University of Denmark. From 2006-2013 he acted as Head of Research for Department of Electronic Systems, Aalborg University. From 2014-2016, Stoustrup was Chief Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA. From 1997-2013 and since 2016, Stoustrup has acted as Professor at Automation & Control, Aalborg University, Denmark

Dr. Stoustrup has acted as Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member of several international journals. Served as General Chair, Program Chair, and IPC member for several international conferences. Member of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors. Past Chairman of IEEE CSS/RAS Joint Chapter. Chair for IEEE CSS Technical Committee on Smart Grids. Chair for IFAC Technical Committee SAFEPROCESS, and Member of IFAC Technical Board. Recipient of several prestigious awards. He received the Chivalric Order of the Dannebrog for his research contributions. Member of the European Research Council as well as the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Research Councils. He is a member of The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences, where he has acted as Board Member.

Stoustrup's scientific contributions have been to robust control theory and to the theory of fault tolerant control systems. With co-workers, he has proposed a novel Plug-and-Play Control framework. Published approx. Author of 300+ peer-reviewed scientific papers.. Apart from the theoretical work, he has been involved in applications in collaboration with 100+ industrial companies, including acting as CEO for two technological startup companies.

Name: Klara Kövesi
Company: SEFI

Klara Kövesi holds Bachelor’s degree in computer sciences and Master’s degrees in business engineering and economics. She obtained PhD degree in management and marketing from University of Rennes 1, in 2008. She has nearly ten years industrial experience in telecommunication industry at several multinational companies and twelve years teaching experience in academia. Currently, she is associate professor at ENSTA Bretagne, a graduate and postgraduate engineering school in France. She teaches graduate courses in Industrial and Innovation Management, Marketing of New Technology and Entrepreneurship. She is member of the laboratory FOAP (Research Laboratory of Education) at CNAM in Paris. She is also a member of the SEFI Board of Directors and Head of the Students Relationship Committee. Her research interests in engineering education are employability and placement, sustainability education, interdisciplinary collaboration, entrepreneurship learning and teaching.

Name: Alexandra Knupe
Company: Atos

Name: John Hall
Company: Atos

Name: Fabrice Jerineck
Company: Dow

Professional Highlights

  • 2002 – 2013: Various Manufacturing & Engineering roles in Chauny, France with assignment in China and Pennsylvania, USA in the Water and Process Solutions Business
  • 2014 – 2018: Various Manufacturing Directors role in Texas in Electrical and Telecommunications, Packaging and Specialty Plastics and Agricultural Businesses
  • 2018 – Today: Business Manufacturing Director, Coating Materials Business
Personal Interests
  • Enjoy family time with my wife Virginie and our four kids Romane (12 years), Susane (7 years), Adam (5 years), Abel (3 years)
  • Cooking, wine tasting
  • Traveling around the world with my family
  • Sport: bicycling, soccer, swimming
Mission: I lead with passion and care. I foster a safe and inclusive environment where people can achieve their dreams and leave a legacy. I do this using my brain but listening with my heart.

Name: Gillian Saunders-Smits
Company: TU Delft, SEFI

Gillian Saunders-Smits is an Associate Professor in Aerospace Structures and Materials at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands specializing in Engineering Education. She has been teaching Research Methodologies to Aerospace Engineers MSc students for more than 10 years as well as the edX MOOC Introduction to Aerospace Structures and Materials. She has taught many mechanics courses and design projects and served as project education coordinator, MSc track coordinator for Aerospace Structures and Materials as well as online education coordinator for aerospace. She is also a member of the SEFI Board of Directors. She received her MSc and PhD from Delft University of Technology in 1998 and 2008, respectively with her main research focus on competencies and skills in engineering education.

Name: Sarah Springman
Company: ETH Zürich

Sarah Springman has been Full Professor for Geotechnical Engineering at ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) since January 1997 and Rector of the university since January 2015. She studied engineering sciences at Cambridge University. She then worked for five years as an engineer on several geotechnical projects in England, Fiji, and Australia before returning to Cambridge, where she earned her PhD in soil mechanics in 1989 and established an academic career as a lecturer. Her main interest in research is soil-structure interaction and the geotechnical aspects of natural hazards. Professor Springman has supervised two dozen doctoral students, while she has inspired many young women to take up engineering and science degrees. As Rector of ETH Zürich and within the Executive Board she is responsible for education and as such for 21.000 students. She is in charge of admissions to study programmes at all levels and for the organisation and management of study-related matters.

Name: Emanuela Tilley
Company: UCL

Emanuela Tilley is the Director of the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL. Previously, she designed the curricula for IEP projects and global challenges to introduce problem, experimental, research and enquiry-based learning to a multi-disciplinary first- and second-year engineering students at UCL.  She champions a teaching and learning programme focused on self-awareness, teamwork and leadership aimed at supporting students in their development of engineering skills. Emanuela is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and a Principal Teaching Fellow within the Faculty. Educated in mechanical and civil structural engineering, she has worked as a consulting engineer, leading multi-disciplinary engineering teams in the design and testing of the world’s most unique tall towers and structures. Emanuela is an active member within the symposium of research on engineering education occurring within UCL, nationally and internationally. Effective assessment and feedback systems for design based engineering education and understanding the student learning experience of context rich, authentic problem-/project-based learning pedagogy are the focus of her current research

Name: Joana Ribau Leite
Company: ESN

Name: Senne Meeusen
Company: BEST

Name: Hanna Alajõe
Company: AEGEE

Name: Duarte Oliveira
Company: ESTIEM

Name: Marie-Claire Graf
Company: Sustainability Week International

Name: Adrià Balcázar
Company: Learnlife

Name: Ana Gabriela Aguilera Silva
Company: Learnlife

Name: Mark Smith
Company: Atos

Mark is the Chief Marketing Officer, member of the Executive Committee of the Unify Division of Atos, and program director for the Atos Group response to Covid-19 called Future Ready. Mark joined  Atos in 2014 and has held a number of roles in the Unify division from product management, to digital transformation. Today he leads a global team of 40 across Marketing, Communications, Portfolio Management, Go-To-Market and Sales Enablement. We often joke that Mark is the “Chief Millennial Officer” as he one of the youngest executives in the business as well as being one of our senior LGBT+ leaders.

Prior to joining Atos Mark worked for E.ON as a Digital Consultant, Barclays as VP of Interactive Help and held a number of roles in the Fasthosts and 1and1 Internet group. He is passionate about Digital Innovation and Skills, acting as one of the founders of the famous Barclays Digital Eagle Program and having pioneered the use of Gamification and Social Media in customer experience.

Mark is keen to meet and collaborate with diverse colleagues and partners with an interest in ethical & inclusive digital innovations and applying such innovations to the post Covid-19 recovery.

Name: Ramiro Jordan
Company: IFEES

Ramiro Jordán was born in Bolivia, South America and studied his postgraduate at the Universidad Nacional de la Plata in Argentina from where he obtained the title of Electrical Engineer. In 1987 he received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering at the Kansas State University. Since then, he joined the select team of professors and researchers at the University of New Mexico, which houses the most prestigious schools of Engineering in the United States. He has centered his activities of research in software engineering, digital processing of signs and images, communications network, microprocessors and microcontrollers. In 1990, after he made an investigation regarding the future of the Science and the Technology in Latin America and after meeting with representatives of several universities and industry of the private sector, he created ISTEC (Ibero-American Science & Technology Education Consortium), of which he is now the Strategic Manager. ISTEC is a non-profit organization that its objective is to plan and implement projects and programs to promote the development of the superior education, the research, and the transfer of technology of scientific and technological matter in the region. He has received several awards and distinctions like the Order of Rio Branco in the Official rank granted in 1998 by the Government of Brazil and the International Award of Excellence from the University of New Mexico in 1999, distinguishing and compromising him in the search of solutions to the common problems of development in the region.

Name: Philippe Antoine
Company: Google

Curious developer, regular speaker in tech conferences, Philippe is passionate about tech and methodology and loves to share experiences during meet-ups and conferences. At Google he is connecting with the best developers across Europe and has started the students program for more than 200 universities in 35 countries.

Name: Alfredo Soeiro
Company: EDEN

Degrees in Civil Engineering (UPorto, 76) and (UFlorida, Ph.D., 89), Pro-Rector of U. Porto (98/03), president of IACEE (01/04), president of AUPEC (01/05), president of SEFI (03/05), secretary general of AECEF (17/…), vice-president of ISHCCO ( 19/…), member of ANECA EUR-ACE committee (14/…) and coordinator and partner of several EU projects in e-learning and author of several papers in e-learning, e-assessment, construction safety, construction management, quality of lifelong learning and use of digital tools in construction.

Name: Carolina Pinart
Company: Nestlé

Carolina Pinart is the Global Product Director for New Generation Technologies at Nestlé, in charge of industrializing emerging technologies across the Group such as AR/VR, AI, chatbots, advanced nutrition, or voice. She holds a PhD in Engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia and has conducted business studies at the London Business School and New York University. Prior to Nestlé, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a New York City based startup, where she developed and launched an app ecosystem to match taxi supply and demand in real time. She also led Telehealth and Connected Car product development and new business launches for wireless carrier Telefónica, based in Madrid and the UK, with operation in Europe and Latin America. Carolina started her career as a consultant for Altran in France and worked in research and innovation for Siemens in Germany and for a leading technology center in Barcelona. Over that period, she published over 70+ papers in international journals and conferences, and obtained 1 patent in diverse areas such as mobile video, wireless communications, and optical networking.

Name: Martin Gallardo
Company: PwC

Martin Gallardo is leading the Innovation and Digital Delivery practice for PwC in Stavanger, Norway. He has previously designed and develop a Digital Hub for Accenture and worked as the in-house entrepreneur for Vertical Strategy (part of Bain Nordics). Martin has a youtube channel on innovation and has published a book where he forecasts the effects of emerging technology in a book called "The future is waiting"

Name: Francesco Melcarne
Company: IBM

Executive IT Architect
IBM Europe, Office of the Global Markets Federal CTO

Joined IBM in the Center of Research in Rome just after being graduated. In all these years, even if he changed many internal organizations and job roles, he was constantly involved into innovation projects.

He is currently a member of an International team developing solutions for governmental institutions around Europe. He is a member of the ISO technical committee 307 preparing standards on Blockchain.

He says he was so lucky to, but he made a lot for, dealing very early with technologies that later goes on everyone’s lips. He loves to lecture at university, has a master’s degree cum laude in Electronic Engineering and many interests he neglects in favour of his work and his kids.

Name: Athina Nousiopoulou
Company: Isomat

Athina Nousiopoulou is the Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator at ISOMAT S.A. She coordinates activities such as financial support and sponsorship programs to various stakeholder groups – NGOs, local community activities and society at large, educational organizations - supporting the company in developing, managing and altering social responsibility policies. She creates, curates and promotes CSR content internally and externally via PR and marketing (press releases, emails, social media, newsletters, advertorials, webinars) to deliver the message of the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and increase internal and external awareness of the programs, helping drive employee engagement and brand reputation. During her previous working experience, she worked with the startup innovation ecosystem as a PR and Communication Manager of OK!Thess, which is the incubator – accelerator for early stage startups of the City of Thessaloniki, promoting the innovative programs and the startup teams that attend the acceleration program and its services. She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) on Management and Entrepreneurship from the American College of Thessaloniki/ACT School of Business, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in International Relations and Business (Major Concentration in Business – Minor Concentration in Marketing), American College of Thessaloniki and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, American College of Thessaloniki.

Name: Olivier Woeffray
Company: World Economic Forum

Olivier currently oversees private sector engagement with the World Economic Forum’s Strategic Intelligence practice. His background sits at the intersection of the private and public sector, developing tools and frameworks to help senior leadership make sense of complexity and shape the future of their organizations. He previously worked with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Federation for Housing and Planning as well as with Urbego, a network of young professional focused on urban issues.

Name: Paul Peterson
Company: Atos

Paul Peterson graduated from Brigham Young University and pursued graduate education at The Ohio State University. He joined Atos in 1998, early in his career, as the HR Director for the Major Events business unit. Over his career, Paul has worked and lived in North America, APAC, and across Europe, holding leadership roles in HR, IT, and Operations. Notable and more recent leadership roles include Head of HR and Talents in North America (2012), Head of HR for Global Infrastructure and Data Management (2018), and Deputy Head of Group HR (2019). Paul became Head of Group Human Resources in February 2020, leading a team of +1,500 worldwide HR professionals. Paul currently resides with his family in Paris, France.

Name: Fredrik Georgsson
Company: SEFI

Name: Frank Gielen
Company: IET InnoEnergy

Name: Alfredo Soeiro
Company: EDEN

Name: Peggy Poon
Company: Ownemployed

Peggy Poon is an enthusiast when it comes to entrepreneurship. She has a technical background and worked in the tech-industry for 6 years before she moved to helping startups to scale and grow at Microsoft for Startups. Peggy meets startups everyday and runs initiatives in the startup ecosystem both at work and in her freetime. Ownemployed is an initiative coming from her passion and more than 20 people all around the world are currently building this platform together. The idea is to encourage unemployed people to choose the entrepreneurship path as a movement against COVID-19. Ownemployed was one of the winners in the EuVsVirus challenge

Name: Mirna Smidt
Company: Trainers Toolbox

Mirna Smidt is an interpersonal skills trainer and coach, specialising in positive psychology training and interventions, and a founder of Happiness Academy ( and Trainers Toolbox (

She is a BEST alumni from Zagreb who joined BEST as part of her passion for travel, but then discovered training in BEST many many years ago - and never fell out of love with it.

One of the first people in Europe holding a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, she is combining her academic knowledge with applied experience from 10+ years in a successful corporate career in advanced technologies in Cisco. 

A certified trainer since 2008, she is also an NLP Master practitioner and holds a range of coaching and training related certifications.

Mirna lives in Croatia, but works internationally with organisations and individuals in numerous European countries. 

Absolutely in love with her work and positive psychology, Mirna brings a depth of knowledge, energy and enthusiasm in all of her workshops. 

Apart from training, she loves travelling (a bit of a digital nomad for the last 10+ years), adventures and outdoors sports such as diving, sailing, motorbike and horse.

Name: Noah W. Sobe
Company: UNESCO

Dr. Noah W. Sobe is Senior Project Officer in the Future of Learning and Innovation team at UNESCO where he helps to lead the Futures of Education: Learning to Become initiative. He is former president of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), editor of the academic research journal European Education, and on leave from a faculty position as Professor of Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago

Name: Laura Orestano

Laura Orestano (@lauraorestano) is CEO at SocialFare | Center for Social Innovation Italy ( and President of the first impact seed fund in Italy, SocialFare Seed.Laura has extensive experience in social entrepreneurship and social innovation ecosystems and has worked for large multinational corporations and institutions worldwide.She focuses her work on how to leverage social value so that it may generate economic value for communities and society as a whole. Laura is co-author of UN-ILO Paper "Social Innovation and the Future of Work", EU Commission Expert on SocialInnovation, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2016 was awarded with the WEF Prize "Iconic Trail Blazer Woman of the Decade". She has been recently appointed ActionAid Partner andCEO of Cottino Social Impact Campus (

Name: Diogo Mendonça
Company: Bee Engineering

Diogo Mendonça has been working in tech for more than 8 years and has the habit of transforming his knowledge in added value to the community, his clients and partners. As Bee Engineering Operations Director, he looks to each organization challenges and builds solutions and opportunities.

Name: Paul Peterson
Company: Atos

Name: Paula Humphry
Company: J.P. Morgan

Name: Dirk Bochar
Company: FEANI

Name: Bettina Schaller
Company: WEC-Europe

Name: Steven Price
Company: European Institute for Industrial Leadership

Steve Price is Executive Director of the European Institute for Industrial Leadership (or EIIL), a non-profit, non-advocacy, association of industrial companies from the chemical, plastics, engineering and construction sectors. EIIL helps its members research issues which their future leaders will face, and helps their future leaders to develop the skills needed to tackle these issues.Steve is passionate about attracting top technical talent into a career in industry, convinced that young engineers have a crucial role in influencing its future direction, particularly with regard to the SDGs.

Steve and the EIIL have been friends of BEST since 2016, and work closely with several other leading associations of young professionals JADE and JEEurope (Advisory Board since 2007), JEGlobal (Advisory Board since 2018), EYE (since 2018) and ESN (partners since 2017).

Name: Ewa Duraj
Company: AKKAdemy

Ewa Duraj is a coach practitioner, she works full time in the Learning Department at The Akkademy managing the Graduate Engineering Program. Since 2016 Ewa is a visiting lecturer at Haute Ecole de Gestion in Geneva, Switzerland. She is passionate about positive psychology, personal growth and technology.

Name: Massimiliano Riva
Company: United Nations

Max is responsible for contributing to the United Nations work on sustainable and innovative finance. In late 2019 he joined the Joint SDG Fund as Investment Advisor to set up new approaches and schemes that can result in better and higher financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There he is managing one of the largest UN grant facilities in support of SDG finance in developing countries. Max is a sustainable finance advisor by background, with +15 years of experience in the public and private sector. He accumulated expertise in areas such as guarantees, inclusive finance, export credit, impact investing, green/SDG bonds and sector resource mobilization strategies. In his career he facilitated a wide range of partnerships on sustainable trade and finance, providing advisory services on the ground to more than 30 countries-across all continents. He co-authored several publications on the same. Max has a Master in Economics and International Policies from ASERI and a Degree in Economics from the Bocconi University. Max is keen to meet and collaborate with colleagues and partners to unlock much needed resources for sustainable development and trigger a more efficient, effective and equitable allocation of resources in-countries.

Name: Emanuele Musa
Company: Babele

Manu is an author, speaker, trainer, strategic advisor and expert in the field of open and social innovation. He is the co-founder of Babele: the largest online acceleration network for social business modelling and mentorship, which hosts the acceleration programs of the United Nations, Yunus & Youth, Ashoka, Berkeley, the British Council, etc.

He is the co-founder of the Circle of intrapreneurs in Bucharest and helps large organizations (such as Ernst & Young, Chicco, CDC bank, etc.) to design, implement and run social intrapreneurship programs - involving up to 25.000 employees. He is the co-founder of LEVEL-UP: the first business accelerator in Europe dedicated to Makers, which was co-developed in collaboration with Nod Makerspace, BOSCH & Banca Transilvania.

Manu has held over 40 workshops and boot-camps on social lean-startup, impact business modeling and investment proposals, having trained over 500 social entrepreneurs in 15 countries - from Germany to Japan. He is a speaker at conferences on open & social innovation (from SOCAP to Global Social Business Summit, Crowdsourcing Week, Ouishare Fest, etc.); he is a co-author of the book "Crowdfunding for sustainable entrepreneurship & innovation"; and he is a 2018 YTILI Fellow of the US states department.

Last year's partners

Powered by

Sponsored by

NGO Partners

Supported by

Here you can find more information about the potential collaboration for this year

Company booklet Become a Partner