Speakers and Moderators

Khaled al-Osaily

Minister of National Economy, State of Palestine

Khaled al-Osaily, born in Hebron in 1947, is the Minister of National Economy in the PA government of Mohammad Shtayyeh, formed in April 2019. He is a Palestinian businessman, who helped establish the Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel) in 1996 and the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) in 1994. He has been a member of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) since 1995.

H. E. Ms Esen Altuğ

Ambassador, Turkish Embassy in Ljubljana, Turkey

H. E. Ms Esen Altuğ was appointed as ambassador at the Turkish Embassy in Ljubljana in 2016. Before her appointment she served as a Deputy Director General for Migration, Asylum and Visa Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey from 2013 to 2016.

Jaka Ažman

Chief Marketing Manager, Lushna Glamping d.o.o., Slovenia

A brand concept thinker, entrepreneur, researcher and doer. An off-track traveller and passionate kiteboarder. A mystery shopper for eco resorts and glamping cabins. A co-founder and the CMO of the pharmaceutical company Freyherr, the first Slovenian company to achieve an IPO on the London NEX stock exchange. In 2012, he founded Lushna Glamping with two partners, where his focus is on brand management, strategic communication and concept design for new destination brands.

Dr Marlen Bakalli

Industrial Development Officer, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Austria

Dr Marlen Bakalli is an Industrial Development Officer at UNIDO. His activities in the development of creative industries were recognised by ADI, which awarded to UNIDO the Compasso d'Oro in 2016 for using design as a tool for development. Prior to his engagement with UNIDO, Marlen worked in the private sector as an entrepreneur and business manager.

Aleksandar Bogdanović

Minister, Ministry of Culture, Montenegro

Aleksandar Bogdanovic finished high school in California, USA, and graduated from the Faculty for Management in Belgrade as the best student in his class. His career started at the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro. Later on, he was appointed as Advisor to the President of Montenegro, he was also the youngest Member of the Parliament of Montenegro, the Mayor of the Old Royal Capital Cetinje and the Minister of Culture since 28 December 2017.

Sabina Briški Karlič

Head of AV sector, Motovila, Centre for the Promotion of Cooperation in the Cultural and Creative Sectors, Slovenia

Sabina Briški Karlič is a co-founder and deputy-head of the Ljubljana-based Motovila, Centre for the Promotion of Cooperation in the Cultural and Creative Sectors. Sabina specialises in audio-visual arts (and is also the Creative Europe Desk Slovenia's MEDIA sub-programme manager, as Motovila is the host institution of the Slovenian information office for the EU Creative Europe Programme 2014–2020).

Dr Miro Cerar

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia

Dr Miro Cerar was appointed Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia on 25 August 2014. He served as Prime Minister until 13 September 2018. On 14 September 2018, he took up the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs. Before entering politics, Dr Cerar was a full professor of theory and philosophy of law, comparative law and the ethics of the legal profession at the Faculty of Law.

Vassilis Charalampidis

President, ECHN European Creative Hubs Network, Greece

Vassilis Charalampidis is President of the European Creative Hubs Network and Director of BIOS, a cultural organisation for contemporary art, urban life, and creative industries, and Bios Romantso, a creative hub in the centre of Athens, the first structure to support cultural and creative businesses and professionals in Greece. He has received numerous Greek and European design awards and distinctions.

Martin Cuff

Strategic Advisor, South Africa

Martin Cuff is a marketing, communications and sector development strategist with more than two decades of experience in Creative Industries and Tourism. With projects across all five continents, Martin specialises in the marketing, competitiveness and strategic development of Country Brands and Destinations, with a particular interest in how creative industries can contribute (and how they can’t) to tourism development and country promotion.

Dr Milena Dragićević Šešić

Professor, University of Arts Belgrade, Serbia

Dr Milena Dragićević Šešić, former President of the University of Arts in Belgrade, is now Head of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, Director of the Research Institute of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and a board member of the European Diploma in Cultural Project Management, Brussels. She is also a UNESCO and Council of Europe expert. She has published 18 books, translated into 17 languages. She is a guest lecturer at numerous world universities and holds the title of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques 2002.

Abdelhamid ElZoheiry

President, Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI)

Professor ElZoheiry worked at Cairo University School of Medicine then moved to the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research to serve as the Director of the Research Development and Innovation (RDI) Programme and Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister. In 2012 he was appointed as the Founding President of Heliopolis University for Sustainable development in Cairo. In February 2014 he was appointed as the President of EMUNI in Slovenia.

Mohammed Elrazzaz

Project Analyst, Union for the Mediterranean

Mr. Elrazzaz is Project Analyst at the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, in charge of Social Economy, Creative Economy and Digital Economy. He is a also a professor of Mediterranean Heritage at the International University of Catalonia in Barcelona.

Azza Fahmy

Chair and Creative Director, Azza Fahmy Jewellery, Egypt

Azza Fahmy is Chair and Creative Director at Azza Fahmy Jewellery. Almost 50 years ago, Azza Fahmy began her journey towards becoming one of the most esteemed jewellery designers in the MEA region. With a profound purpose, she has taken the role of translating the region’s culture and international art and historic references to the world, through contemporary jewellery design that reflects her unique research approach and craftsmanship preservation.

Cristina Farinha

Cultural and creative sector expert, freelance, Portugal

Cristina Farinha is a policy expert currently lecturing in post-graduate and MA courses on creative industries and cultural management at the Universities of Porto and Santiago de Compostela; member of the monitoring and selection panel of the European Capitals of Culture; evaluator for Creative Europe, Erasmus+ and H2020 programmes. As a CEO of ADDICT Creative Industries Portugal (2012–2016, alongside with the British Council), she participated in the creation of the European Creative Hubs Network.

Matej Fegus

CEO, DONAR D.O.O., Slovenia

Matej Fegus has acquired extensive experience through the development of innovative business models that create value for employees, the environment and the society. Owner at Donar d.o.o., a company that has built a strong customer base with its designs, materials and business ethics, Matej brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in building relationships of trust with customers along with a deep understanding of sustainable consumption patterns, whereby particular focus is placed on improving social interaction ad creating a cohesive community.

Mato Franjičević

Deputy of Minister, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I was born 29.10.1958 in Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I finished elementary school and high school in Livno. I was graduated in philosophy and history at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb in 1982. He is politically active since 1989.

Greta Galezzi

Policy Officer at DG DEVCO, EU Commission, Belgium

Greta Galeazzi is policy officer in Unit B4 - Culture, Education, Health, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development. She is working on culture for sustainable development and managing programs for cultural and creative industries. She was previously a policy officer at think-tank European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and researcher at European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

H. E. Nasser Ahmed Kamel

Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean

Nasser Kamel is the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean since June 2018. As career diplomat for the Egyptian government, Nasser Kamel held the position of Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom and to France. He also served as Deputy-Minister for Arab and Middle Eastern Affairs and as the Director of Egypt’s Public Information Service. Prior to this position he served in various embassies.

Petra Kežman

Head of Department for Public Diplomacy and International Cooperation in Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia

Petra Kežman coordinates Slovenian international cultural relations since the beginning of 2019, with Creative Forum Ljubljana being among major projects. Before that, she was the national coordinator for the Union for the Mediterranean – a role, in which she already engaged for reinforced Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in various areas. She also worked at Slovenian Embassies in Paris and Buenos Aires where she organised dozens of cultural and public diplomacy events.

Robert Kieft

Project Manager, European 'Houses' of Culture', EUNIC Global, Netherlands        

Robert Kieft is a project manager at the European ‘Houses’ of Culture at EUNIC Global. EUNIC — European Union National Institutes for Culture — is Europe’s network of national cultural institutes, with 36 members from all 28 EU member states. EUNIC Global coordinates the network from Brussels. Before joining EUNIC, Robert worked as a strategic and funding advisor at DutchCulture, EUNIC’s member from the Netherlands.

Miha Klinar

Founder and coordinator, KCDM Competence Centre for Design Management, Slovenia

Miha Klinar started his career as a freelance designer. After some successful projects, he became one of the founding partners of the Gigodesign design agency. In 2012, he initiated the founding of the Competence Centre for Design Management (KCDM), a pilot design management project in Slovenia. After over a decade of design consulting, he is a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana on the subject of design management.

Ayalet Kol

Senior Manager for Trade and Services, Ministry of Economy and Industry, Israel

Ayelet Kol is a Senior Manager for Trade & Services in the Strategy & Policy Planning Department in the Ministry of Economy & Industry. She is responsible for initiating and developing policy processes regarding the trade & services sector, for the long and short term with the aim of improving regulation and increase productivity in the economy.

Jana Konstantinova

Architect, PhD Researcher, Research Fellow, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland               

Jana Konstantinova is an architect conducting studies in architecture and urbanism, based in Lausanne. Her doctoral thesis, at EPF Lausanne, focuses on a methodological overview of the cultural infrastructure in three city case studies: Skopje, Sarajevo and Belgrade. Although her portfolio is dedicated to various research and design projects she has participated in, she is also a co-founder of Exhibit – a NGO for urban research platform based in Skopje, Macedonia.

Valdrin Lluka

Minister of Economic Development, Government of Kosovo

Valdrin Lluka has been Minister of Economic Development for Kosovo since 2017. He is responsible for the development of the energy, mining and ICT sectors in the country, and for the supervision of all public enterprises. He was previously an executive and entrepreneur with more than 12 years of experience in private sector development, management, managerial consulting and leadership development.

Eva Matjaž

Programme Director, Poligon Creative Centre, Slovenia

Eva Matjaž holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Social Work and Sociology. She is the co-founder of the first Slovenian creative centre Poligon, Slovenia Coworking and Slovenia Crowdfunding initiatives, research institutes Memo Institute and Intakodalje and Slovenian’s first library of things – Knjižnica REČI. Her research focuses on alternative models of wealth, opportunities and pitfalls of new work and economy models, and the potential of creative communities.

Dr Jaime Moll de Alba

Chief Inter-Regional Adviser, UNIDO, Spain

Jaime Moll de Alba serves as the UN industrial development organisation’s Chief Inter-Regional Adviser at the Directorate of Programme Development and Technical Cooperation. He monitors, leads and coordinates the integration of the technical operations of the organisation at all levels to scale-up and enhance the impact of UNIDO's operations. He also provides strategic advice for UNIDO’s engagement with the UN Development System and the 2030 Development Agenda.

Zmago Novak

CEO, Zavod Big, Slovenia     

Zmago Novak is the founder and managing director of Zavod Big, the Centre for Creative Economy of the South-East Europe, the driving force behind BigSEE platform and the internationally established projects, such as the City of Design, Month of Design, Big Architecture, Wood Icon and Creative Tourism. Zmago is an honorary member of the Designers Society of Slovenia and the Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia.

Aleksandar Peković

Managing Director, Arteria Creative Network, Slovenia

Aleksandar Peković graduated from the Department of Film and Television Production at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. He is a co-founder and the Managing Director of "ARTERIA Creative Network “, Institute for Creative Industries for the Western Balkan Region, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. ACN is the first regional network for Cultural, Creative and Digital Industries, launched in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in April 2018.

Dr Mario Pezzini

Director, OECD Development Centre, Italy   

Dr Mario Pezzini is the Director of the OECD Development Centre. After having served as Acting Director of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate for a year, he was nominated Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development. In the past, he held several senior management positions in the OECD, where he has worked since 1995.

Zdravko Počivalšek

Minister, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Slovenia

Zdravko Počivalšek was appointed Minister of Economic Development and Technology in 2014. Before that, he held several management positions in the private sector. He also received an award from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia for outstanding economic and entrepreneurial achievements and was declared Manager of the Year 2010 for outstanding achievements of long-term significance in the economy.

Natalija Polenec

Acting Director, Technical Museum of Slovenia, Slovenia

Natalija Polenec has been director of Technical museum of Slovenia since 2014. Her previous experience were in the field of tourism. As director of local tourist board for eight years she designed nationally recognized touristic products. She developed her organizational and communication skills working for thirteen years as public relation in science and three years in aeronautical information office. She is a member of CIMUSET Board.

Ivica Poljičak

State secretary, Ministry of culture, Croatia

College professor at the Polytechnic in Šibenik(2008 – 2016) Adviser for physical planning and settlement system in Šibenik-Knin County (2001 – 2008) Deputy Mayor of the City of Šibenik (1997 – 2001) Director of the County Institute for physical planning of the Šibenik-Knin County (1995 - 1997) Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar (1992 - 1995) Journalist at Radio Šibenik and Šibenski list (1991 – 1992)

Zoran Poznič

Minister, Ministry of Culture, Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia          

Academy-trained sculptor Zoran Poznič was born in 1959 in Trbovlje. In 2007, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Ljubljana with a degree in sculpting, and in 2010 obtained a master’s degree from the same Academy. From 2008 to the moment he was appointed Minister of Culture, he worked as the Director of the Trbovlje Workers’ Home Institute for Culture.

Dr Barbara Predan

Assistant Professor, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Slovenia   

Dr Barbara Predan is an assistant professor, theoretician, lecturer and author. She is also a co-founder and leader of the department of design theory at the Pekinpah Association, and Director of the Institute of Design. She has published several professional and scholarly articles, and is the author of six books. She teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design and regularly lectures at international academic and professional conferences.

Dr Danica Purg

President and Dean, IEDC - Bled School of Management, Slovenia

Professor Danica Purg is the President of the IEDC - Bled School of Management, Slovenia, and the President of the CEEMAN, an international association uniting 200 management development institutions from 50 countries. She teaches leadership at the IEDC - Bled School of Management, and her research focuses on seeking inspiration for managers in arts and other professions. She holds three Doctor Honoris Causa titles and two honorary professorship titles.

Aida Ridanovic

Director of MedForum2020, Anna Lindh Foundation, Croatia

Aida Ridanovic is a communications executive with extensive experience in media engagement, cultural relations across the Middle East, the United States, the Balkans and Europe. She has also been involved in leader group award-winning television debating programme broadcasts with international media, including BBC World News and Deutsche Welle.

Atılım Sahin

Creative Hub Director, ATÖLYE, Turkey

Atılım is a connector, community developer, and facilitator. His educational background has blended within the fields of mechanical engineering, product design, interaction design, and performative arts. He is currently Creative Hub Director with ATÖLYE, Secretary-General with the European Creative Hubs Network (ECHN), Creative Enterprise Programme Facilitator with Nesta, and a board member with the Swedish Alumni Network Turkey. He loves jamming with his percussions, hiking in the jungle, playing ping-pong and cycling across Istanbul traffic jams.

Barbara Stacher

Cultural policies and CCIs, EU Commission, Belgium

Barbara is from Vienna, Austria, and works at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC), in the Cultural Policy Unit. She participates in cultural policy making, dealing in particular with cross-cutting issues in cultural and creative sectors, industries and spaces, creative hubs, CCIs and financing. She has been part of the process of establishing the European Creative Hubs Network and its supporting measures since 2014, ensuring links with policy-making.

Zoran Stančič

Head of the EU Representation

As of 1st of January 2016 he is a Head of the EU Commission Representation in Ljubljana. Before that he was a Deputy Director-General in the Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT) in charge of Directorates dealing with "Components and Systems", "Excellence in Science", "Net Futures" and "Sustainable and Secure Society" from 01/09/2009 to 31/12/2015.

Valbona Shujaku

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Culture, Albania

Valbona Shujaku was born in Prishtina in 1978. In 2002 she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Prishtina, Faculty of Arts, in the field of Graphic Design. She holds a Master of Arts degree in 2008 from Columbia University in New York, USA, in the program of art management.

Siniša Šešum

Head of Office, UNESCO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr Siniša Šešum is the Head of the UNESCO Antenna Office in Sarajevo, of the Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, and is responsible for the implementation of UNESCO’s core programmes and activities in South-Eastern European (SEE) Member States. He oversees the operational activities of the Regional Bureau related to the safeguarding and management of cultural heritage in the SEE region. He has an academic background in civil engineering. Joined UNESCO in 1995.

Eva Štravs Podlogar

State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Slovenia

Eva Štravs Podlogar was appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in 2016. Her previous posts include that of Director-General responsible for Tourism and Internationalisation, President of the Institute Council of the Slovenian Tourist Board and SPIRIT Slovenia – Public Agency, and President of the Commission for the Promotion of International Trade with the SID Bank.

Meta Štular

General Manager, RogLab at Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Meta Štular is an expert on cultural development in the field of creative industries and cultural heritage. She is a developer and manager at the RogLab Creative Hub, a pilot project for the biggest cultural revitalisation project in Ljubljana that received the prestigious Eurocities Innovation Award in 2018. She works as a consultant for the City of Ljubljana, Museum for Architecture and Design, Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Commission and European Cultural Foundation.

Ahmed Yehia

Founder and CEO, Eco Nubia, Egypt

Before starting his current business, Ahmed Yehia had a diversified career, from being an architect, studying and working in computer science, facilitation, training and development, and finally eight years in marketing and strategies with a multinational telecom company. In 2014, he established Eco Group, focused on helping local communities to discover their own natural and cultural heritage treasures. He put it in action in tourism practices, reaping financial and psychological benefits.