Our speakers in 2019



Boris Herrmann

Offshore sailor and skipper of Team Malizia

He is a German offshore sailor and ocean explorer. Recently, Boris Herrmann sailed climate activist Greta Thunberg from Plymouth to New York City on his emission-free racing yacht Malizia II. Boris has done three laps around the world, one of them non-stop and will soon be attempting this challenge single handed for the 2020 Vendée Globe, making him the first German to compete in the race.


Veronique Lebar

President of the Sport Ethics Committee

After 15 years at the Ministry of Sport, 7 years at the French Anti-Doping Agency and a total of 25 years in sports federations, she now pursues the objective of developing and proposing concrete projects in the service of athletes, their dignity and integrity.


Sylvia Poll

Champion for Peace, Olympic Medalist

After winning the Costa Rica's first Olympic medal in 1988, she worked as Deputy Ambassador in the Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations from 2010 to 2014 in Geneva. Since 2014 she is the Head of the Project Support Division at ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.


Isabella Burczak

Advocacy Manager for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

Her responsibilities include collaborating with cities and regions, national federations, NGOs and various cycling advocacy organizations worldwide to promote the growth of cycling as both a sustainable form of transport and healthy recreational activity, while developing strategies to ensure elite cycling can drive and inspire wider participation.


Charmaine Crooks

President of NGU Consultants Inc and Champion for Peace

She is President of NGU Consultants Inc, a global strategic advisory company as well as Director of several profit or non-profit Boards and Champion for Peace. Charmaine is also a Member of the Order of Canada, a Five-Time Olympian, Olympic silver medalist and was the Flag Bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Summer Games.


Dr. Chung-Won Choue

President of the World Taekwondo

Dr. Chungwon Choue is the President of World Taekwondo since 2004. In line with his sustained personal investment in international sports and peace, he has created various foundations to help advance humanitarian and social development efforts through sport of taekwondo.


Rita Van Driel

Board Executive of the International Paralympic Committee and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Agitos Foundation

She has been an IPC Governing Board member since 2009. Currently she is the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Agitos Foundation and the Chair of IPC's Women in Sport Committee. Rita is also member of the IOC 2022 Coordination Commission and Future Host Winter Commission. Rita has a background in winter sports and sport for development.


Dr. Balázs Fürjes

Secretary of State responsible for the development of Budapest and Major International Events – Official Representative of H.E. Mr. Orban, Prime Minister (Hungary)

Lawyer by profession, he worked in the private sector for 15 years. President of the NGO “I love Budapest” and a true sports fan, he was Chairman of the Budapest 2024 Olympic Bid. Mr. Fürjes will participate in the Debate “Unleashing the potential of new and urban sport for social good”.


The Hon. Mr. Hadrammeh Sidibeh

Minister of Youth and Sports– Official Representative of H.E. Mr. Barrow President of the Republic (Gambia)

Following his accounting studies in Gambia, the Honourable Mr. Sidibeh is since 2018 the new Minister of Youth and Sport. His Ministry prioritizes youth empowerment and development within the country as well as the promotion of sport as tool for national cohesion. He will participate in the Roundtable on Education through sport on December 11.


Harry Wake

President of SJR

Before establishing and growing London operations for Group SJR, Colloquial and Truffle Pig, Harry served as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Little Dish, a high-growth company with a vital – and timely – social mission. Prior to this, Harry spent a number of years working at leading global management consultancy Bain & Company and multinational consumer goods company Unilever.


Hervé André-Benoît

Hurricane Group CEO and FISE Founder

He is the CEO of Hurricane Group and the founder of FISE, the world’s biggest action sports festival. For over 20 years he has been dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in action sports and delivering ground-breaking, authentic and inspirational events. FISE has been a driving force behind the democratization of urban sports and remains committed to ensuring the development of urban sports worldwide.


Laetitia Habchi

Deputy Head of AFD's Social Link Unit

Laetitia Habchi is currently the Deputy Head of the Social Link Unit of the French Development Agency in Paris, where she has also been working as a Sport and Development Advisor since June 2018. Her mission as a sports advisor is to define AFD's strategy for Sport and Development with the goal of creating a platform for the coordination of sport and development actors, two worlds that have so far met very little despite their convergence...


Didier Drogba

Peace and Sport Vice-President, Champion for Peace and Football legend

He is credited with playing a vital role in bringing peace to his country, Ivory Coast. His charity work led to the creation of Didier Drogba Foundation.


Jorn Wemmenhove

Co-Founder Humankind

Jorn is an Urban Change Maker, Social Entrepreneur and Creative Strategist. In 2005 he co-founded non-profit El Desafio Foundation, promoting youth development and local democracy in Rosario, Argentina. He also co-founded Humankind, “the agency for urban change”, organization that aims at creating cities that are human and kind to ourselves, others and our planet.


Morinari Watanabe

IOC Member and President of the International Federation of Gymnastics

He served as president of the International Gymnastic Federation since January 2017. He also served as General-Secretary of the Japan Gymnastics Association (2009–16) and was also appointed an Executive Board Member of Tokyo 2020.


Mary Harvey

Chief Executive of the Centre for Sports and Human Rights

Mary is spearheading the development of the newly established Centre for Sport and Human Rights, ensuring its successful transition from an interim structure to a fully independent entity by 2020. This includes oversight for the Centre’s vision, including facilitating the deliberations of the Centre’s multi-stakeholder Advisory Council, operational and financial management, stakeholder engagement, and good governance.


Professor Andy Miah

Chair in Science Communication and Future Media at Salford University

He is a pioneering researcher into the relationship between digital technologies and sport: he has worked globally to position esports within conversations about the future of digital leisure and physical activity. Previous roles include digital media training for IAAF athletes and mentoring on the IOC Young Reporters Program.


Dr. Jernej Pikalo

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Science and Sport of Republic of Slovenia

Following his doctoral studies and level academic career in collaboration with numerous national and international projects covering a variety of political science issues, Dr. Pikalo became in 2013 one of the youngest full-time professors of political science at the University of Ljubljana. In the past he also held the position of Vice Dean and had been Minister of Education, Science and Sport during 2013/2014.


Valérie Hernando-Presse

Danone Global Chief Marketing Officer

Valérie Hernando-Presse is Danone’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. Her previous roles at the company include General Secretary of Danone France, VP of Public Affairs and Chief Brand Officer. Valerie helped to shape the strategic direction of the company, forming the new corporate vision of “One Planet One Health” and since November 2017, in her role as Chief Marketing Officer is turning that vision into an operational reality.


Mr. João Paulo Rebelo

Secretary of State for Youth and Sport within Education Ministry (Portugal)

As a Member of Parliament, he integrated the Commission for Economy, Innovation and Public Works. Working also in the business industry, he managed a recycling company in Viseu, the city where he started his political career. EPAS Member, Portugal actively participated in the ALL IN program regarding gender balance in sport and will co-animate with Council of Europe the devoted Focus on December 12.


Mikhail Chkhenkeli

Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport

Mikhail Chkhenkeli graduated from Tbilisi Secondary School №1 with a gold medal. Correspondingly, he graduated from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, with honours distinction, and was the recipient of the Academician Muskhelishvili scholarship. Furthermore, Mikhail Chkhenkeli received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, thus earning his doctorate in mathematics.


Massimiliano Montanari

Executive Director Save the Dream, CEO ICSS INSIGHT

Massimiliano Montanari – formerly of the United Nations – is the Executive Director of Save the Dream. His experience is with international policies, diplomacy, social innovation and design of multisectoral programmes. In countries and organizations where he worked, Massimiliano has given priority to the development of common languages among different sectors and regional cooperation grounded on the principle of shared responsibilities for the promotion of common goods, such as security, justice and development.


Gergely Muranyi

Head of Diplomatic Relations and CSR at FITEQ

He came from the world of film and joined Teqball at an early stage before it was public. Gergely participated in building up both the Teqball company and the federation as well together with the founders. He is responsible for the political and diplomatic relations of the International Teqball Federation and coordinating the global charity programs of the organization.


Stanislas FROSSARD

EPAS Executive Secretary

Since 2008 Mr Frossard has been the Executive Secretary of the « Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport » (EPAS), which is an intergovernmental platform of co-operation of the Council of Europe on Sports policies. EPAS counts 37 member states and 29 partner sports organisations. It organises ministerial meetings of the Council of Europe every second year. Mr Frossard started his career in the Council of Europe in 2003 as an Administrator in charge of the monitoring of the Sports Conventions Unit (Anti-doping and Spectator Violence Conventions), as well as the cooperation with the World Anti-doping Agency, UNESCO and Sports Federations in this area.


Philippe Blanchard

Founder and CEO Futurous

With a 25-year-old global expertise in Technology and mega-event, Philippe Blanchard founded Futurous, the “Olympics” of Innovation. Futurous brings mankind and machines together in friendly competition to offer education and interactivity between competitors and spectators. Mr. Blanchard has been Senior Advisor of Dubaï Minister of State during the bid phase of Expo 2020 during 7 years and he served previously as Director of Information Management Department within IOC.


Cedric Messina

General Director My Coach

He is the General Director and Founder of My Coach Sport, a start-up specialized in digital sport. He also is Vice-President of the ComEX40 at the Movement of the Enterprises of France and ambassador of the French Tech network.


Afridun Amu

First Afghan surfer

He is the first athlete to internationally represent Afghanistan in surfing. He works as an expert in Constitutional law at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law. Amu also won the first official Afghan surfing championship (man) in 2015 in Portugal. He appears in “Unsurfed Afghanistan” a documentary that follows him in his quest to bring joy to his homeland.


Jean-Francois Laurent

Junior Director, TAFISA (The Association For International Sport for All)

He is responsible for regional and business development, partnerships, as well as coordinating TAFISA’s global programs and events. He specializes in the promotion and advocacy of Sport for All and physical activity, with special insight on the topics of Active Cities and Traditional Sports and Games. He has been consultant for Sport for All in many countries.


Pascal Boniface

Founding Director of IRIS (Institute for International and Strategic Relations)

He is professor of international relations in the “Institut d’Etudes européennes” (Institute for European Studies) in the University of Paris-8. He has been made a Chevalier of the French award for distinguished services in public and private capacity. He is also a consultant on strategic issues for the French Ministry of defense and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Daniela Bas

Director of the Division for Inclusive Social Development at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

Of Italian nationality, Daniela Bas is Political scientist who has held several roles in addition to her work at the United Nations, including Representative of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy on the topic “Tourism for All” at the European Union.


Anne-Laure Bonnet

Sport journalist

She is an established broadcast journalist and one of France’s leading sports presenters. Anne-Laure's multilingualism coupled with her extensive experience in live broadcasting make her an accomplished & confident interviewer. She speaks fluently French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and some German and Russian. After four years at Sky Italia, she now works for beINSPORTS France. Alongside her on-screen work, Anne-Laure is in demand as a host of corporate and black-tie events.


Mgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca

Under-Secretary, Pontifical Council for Culture (Holy See/ Vatican)

After a degree in Philosophy, his research areas focus mainly on the relations between science, culture and religion, interreligious and intercultural dialogue, particularly with the Muslim and Arab world. Mgr. is in charge of the Sports & Culture Department and President of Athletica Vaticana, the first athletics association ever in the Vatican. He will participate in the Roundtable on Sustainable Education on December 11.


Richard Pichler

Special Representative for External Affairs and Resources at SOS Children’s Villages International

He led the global organization active in 135 countries as the CEO from 1995-2015, time during which he broadened portfolio and impact for most vulnerable children and engaged in shaping the SDGs. Today, Richard Pichler represents SOS Children’s Villages at the UN, EU and on other major international platforms. He initiates, promotes and strengthens international cooperation with other leading international actors.


Philipp Müller-Wirth

Executive Officer for Sport, Sector for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO

Philipp holds an MBA in Economics and Finance. His career in UNESCO since 1991 evolved around three areas: partnerships with the business community, institutional communication and branding, and sport. He coordinated the last two World Conferences of Sport Ministers: MINEPS V in Germany in 2013 and MINEPS VI in Russia in 2017.


Ivana Pranjić

Committee Member ENGSO Youth

She is a former basketball player who has experienced the power of sport at a very young age. Since June 2019, she is a committee member of ENGSO Youth – entity that addresses social & political issues by using sport as a tool. Her biggest interests lie in sports for development, sports diplomacy, international relations and gender equality.


Ms. Dominique Hyde

Director for External Relations at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

She is responsible for partnerships with governments, civil society, UN agencies, and the private sector, as well as communications and advocacy, in support of the UN Refugee Agency’s protection and assistance programmes. Dominique began her career working for the Canadian Government (Senate, House of Commons and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) from 1989 to 1994. She later joined the International Organization for Migration in Haiti from 1994 to 1995. From 1997 to 2010, she worked for the United Nations World Food Program where she held different positions in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Iraq, Italy and Nepal.