Ján Figel', Vice-President of the National Council of Slovakia, former European Commissioner for Education, Training and Culture
Olof Ehrenkrona, Senior Advisor for the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Karim Lesina, Vice-President of AT&T's International External Affairs for the EU, Caribbean, Latin America and Trans-Atlantic Relations
Ivan Mikloš, Member of the Slovak Parliament, Former Minister of Finance of Slovakia
Adina-Ioana Vălean, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Moderated by: Erika Widegren, Executive Director of Atomium Culture
Olof Ehrenkrona is an Ambassador and Senior Adviser for the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, where he deals with issues related to globalisation. He is also a Policy Adviser at the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation (JHS). In the early 1990s, during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transformation of Eastern and Central Europe, he was Head of Policy Planning in the Swedish prime minister’s office.
Ján Figeľ is the vice-president of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and the Chairman of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH). From 2010 to 2012, he was the First Deputy-Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic and Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development. He has also been a European Commissioner responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth from 2004 to 2009. Ján Figeľ has a PhD from the St. Elisabeth University in Bratislava. He was awarded as Knight of the Honorary Legion in France, and has received a Human Tolerance and Humanitarian Award from the Czecho-Slovak Society of Arts and Science in Washington D.C.
Karim Antonio Lesina
Karim Antonio Lesina is Vice President of AT&T for International External Affairs focusing specifically on EU, Caribbean, Central, Latin America and Transatlantic relations. He leads AT&T's advocacy in those regions. He is also the Chair of AmChamEU Presidency Group and Chair of the AmChamEU Digital Economy Committee. He is also a board member of the European Internet Foundation and President of the Association EGO. Prior to joining AT&T, Karim held senior positions with another leading US-headquartered ICT company, and a number of leading public affairs agencies in Brussels. Karim has worked on external affairs projects in several countries across the EMEA region. Born in Dakar (Senegal), Karim is an Italian-Tunisian national and has a Master Degree in Economics of development at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve.
Ivan Mikloš is a Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, where he is a member of the Budgetary, financial and monetary committee. Prior to this, he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic (2010–2012, 2002–2006). During 1998–2002 he was Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs of the Slovak Republic. In 1991 he became Minister of Privatization (1991-1992). Ivan Mikloš significantly contributed to the entry of SR into the OECD and started an extensive and effective tax reform. In 2004 he was awarded by Euromoney the Best Minister of Finance of the Year and the top business reformer by the World Bank´s Doing Business report. He is the author of the Book of reforms (2005) and Rewriting the Rule (2001).
Adina-Ioana Valean is the Vice President of the European Parliament on behalf of the EPP Group. She is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, a substitute member in the Committee on International Trade, as well as a member of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the United States. Her work is focused on telecommunications, energy and industry issues. She is also following closely the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Erika Widegren is Executive Director of Atomium Culture and has been working in the field of connecting science and society for nearly a decade. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in Philosophy and Political Science, where she also continued her studies in Economics and Mathematics. Erika has actively cooperated to the development strategy of Atomium Culture AISBL, together with the former French President and Honorary President V. Giscard d’Estaing and the President M. Baracchi Bonvicini. In 2013 she directed the “Special Initiative for Citizen Engagement in Science” that AC developed together with Der Standard (Austria), El País (Spain), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy) and The Irish Times (Ireland). She is currently developing this concept further and heading the launch of REIsearch – Research Excellence Innovation Network. Erika was a member of the Quality Reference Group of the European Science Foundation’s Forward Look on Media Studies. She has contributed to several reports including European Research and Innovation – 2020: What can the Leading Institutions of Civil Society do for Europe (2010) and The Role of the Media in Responsible Research and Innovation (2013),