- David D. Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his BA from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
He has taught at three universities: UCSD (1975-87), the University of Chicago (1987-1999) and now at Stanford. Over his career, as a student of comparative politics, he has conducted field research in Somalia, Yorubaland (Nigeria), Catalonia (Spain), Estonia, and France, all the time focusing on issues of language and religion, and how these cultural phenomena link nation to state. Among his books, Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad (1998), based on fieldwork and surveys in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Estonia, examines the cultural and political dilemmas faced by the “Russian-speaking populations” living in the non-Russian Union Republics in the wake of the Soviet collapse.
Presently, Laitin is a co-director of Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab, seeking to use the latest experimental and survey methods to determine what policies most successfully enhance the integration of immigrants into host societies in a way that enriches the communities to which they migrate. On this theme, Laitin’s latest book, based on research in France, is Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies.
Laitin has been a recipient of fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He was a Fulbright Fellow assigned to Tallinn Technical University. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
Professor Dr. David Laitin
- Keith Banting is Stauffer-Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. Dr. Banting completed his doctorate at Oxford University, and taught for thirteen years at the University of British Columbia before coming to Queen’s. In addition, he has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics, the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, Oxford University, the European University Institute, University of Melbourne, and Stockholm University.
Professor Banting’s research has long focused on the politics of social policy and the politics of multiculturalism in Canada and other democratic countries. Recent publications include Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics (UBC Press 2015), co-edited with John Myles; and The Strains of Commitment: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies (Oxford University Press 2017), co-edited with Will Kymlicka. In addition, Professor Banting is the co-director, along with Will Kymlicka, of the Multiculturalism Policy Index project, which is designed to provide information about multiculturalism policies in a standardized format that aids comparative research and contributes to the understanding of state-minority relations – see www.queensu.ca/mcp.
Dr. Banting is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and holds an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University.
Professor Dr. Keith Banting
- Daria Bahtina is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. In the past 15 years she has been exploring dynamics between distinct communities that make up Estonian society: from intercultural comparison of analogous social actions (BA & MA, Tartu University, EE) to alternative modes of multilingual communication (PhD, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, NL), from interactional strategies in diverse contexts to group boundary maintenance (two postdoc projects, Helsinki University, FI).
Her current project is focused on the interplay of stable and adaptable aspects of social identity as manifested in interaction. Daria applies both experimental and naturalistic methods to investigate how language is employed to display, monitor and assess ethnic and cultural identities. She takes a usage-based approach to language and identity to describe recurrent patterns across a number of contexts and to provide insights from multiple perspectives, including sociolinguistics, interactional psycholinguistics, and conversation analysis.
Dr. Daria Bahtina
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Marek Tamm is the Professor of Cultural History and senior research fellow at the School of Humanities in Tallinn University. He is also Head of Tallinn University Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies and of Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts. Graduated in history and semiotics at the University of Tartu (1998), he earned his master degree in medieval studies from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1999) and his doctorate degree in medieval history from Tallinn University (2009). Author of five books, of some seventy scholarly articles published in Estonian, English and French, and editor of dozen collections of articles.
Professor Dr. Marek Tamm
- Piret Kärtner is the head of the Language Policy Department of the Ministry of Education and Research. She is responsible for the development and protection of the Estonian language, language legislation, promoting multilingualism and catering for teaching and learning Estonian abroad. Piret’s background is in teaching English and teacher training. Prior to joining the Language Policy Department, she worked at the English Department of the University of Tartu, Tartu Vocational Centre and M. Härma Gymnasium. She has been a teacher trainer for more than 20 years, reviewed multiple textbooks and written articles on.
Head of the Language Policy Department
- Since October 2013, Vilma Bačkiūtė has been working for the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science. Until August 2015, her key responsibilities included language education policy issues. Recently, she heads the Teacher Activity Division. She has extensive experience and professional interest in both areas, language education and teacher education.
In 2002 – 2012, she worked as a partnerships and projects manager for the British Council in Lithuania. Vilma coordinated and implemented a number of national and international programmes and projects in the area of language education and creative industries. To mention a few, Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards, Creative Cities, Language Rich Europe, and a number of others.
In 2013, she coordinated the programme for general education on leadership in education within the Lithuanian Presidency 2013 of the Council of the EU.
In addition, she was part of the EC thematic work group of ‘Languages in Education and Training’, was part of the Governing Board at the European Centre of Modern Languages and actively participates in European and national networks working in multilingual education and language education areas.
Head of Teacher Activity Division, Ministry of Education and Science
- Veiko Spolītis is a member of the Latvian Parliament – Saeima. He acquired his degree in social studies at the University of Tartu in 1996. He is currently an associate fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. Previously, he worked as a counselor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, where he was responsible for strategic communications, planning and education. He was also a Parliamentary secretary at the Latvian Ministry of Defense and a country director for the Civic Education Project in Latvia.
Member of Parliament
- Matthias Colloseus studied Catholic Theology and Economics in Germany and Brazil. He has worked in international cooperation, politics, and a project on culturally sensitive youth work. In 2015–2017 he worked in the Department of Migration and Integration at the German Caritas Association. Since 2017 he has been with the umbrella organization of catholic daycare centres in Germany where he heads a project on multicultural education and democratization funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs and Youth.
German Caritas Association
- Yves Breem is a policy analyst at the OECD. He is specialised in migration and integration analysis and measurement with 15 years of experience. Prior to joining the OECD, he worked in both demographic research institutes and French public administration.
OECD International Migration Division Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs
- Tiit Tammaru is Professor of Urban and Population Geography and Head of the Centre for Migration and Urban Research at the Department of Geography at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He is a leading scholar on socio-economic and ethnic segregation, urban and neighbourhood change, migration, residential mobility and housing. He is especially interested in understanding the spatial dimensions of urban poverty and migration, and associated spatial and social policy.
Professor Dr. Tiit Tammaru
University of Tartu
- Eva K. Ponomarjov is an entrepreneur, brand & innovation strategist, impact speaker & change creator. More than 10+ years of international sales and marketing experience. Driven and multicultural. Creative by nature, mindful in actions. Passionate about unlocking human potential and empowering youth. Inspired by wise people, wild nature and world travel.
Founder & Creative Director of Brave World Conference, where brave people meet smart solutions. Founder & CEO of Superheroes, a growth mindset driven entrepreneurship & leadership accelerator for 13-17-year-old girls to unlock their potential. During 4 months of program girls get to test their superpowers, boost their life skills, grow their sisterhood and be inspired by diverse role models. In short, it’s where grit and sisterhood meet. Awarded “Most Inspirational Organisation in 2017” by the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations and “Entrepreneurship Promoter of 2018” by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Superheroes both season’s winner projects I’m not Cuckoo (2017) and RePla (2018) awarded with “Lapse suur tegu” (A child’s big achievement”) by the president of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. Superheroes is shortlisted in Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2018. Superheroes is expanding internationally in 2018.
Eva K. Ponomarjov
Founder & CEO of “Superheroes”
- Ronni Abergel is founder of the Human Library Organization, where instead of books, real people with real stories are on loan to readers. Born and raised in Denmark, with stints living in Egypt and the U.S., Ronni first got involved in non-violence activism after a friend was stabbed in Copenhagen. After co-founding the Stop The Violence Movement, an NGO that achieved national recognition for its work with young people, he established The Human Library Organization to help further implementation of the concept and methodology behind Stop The Violence. Ronni is currently focusing on an expansion project to establish ten new Human Library Book Depots across Denmark. He’s also working on developing an app to bring HLO’s books online, and the organization is currently helping to introduce the Human Library concept into South Africa, Tunisia, Botswana, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ecuador, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Mongolia and Israel.
Human Library Organization
- Petr Potchinchtchikov acquired a degree in cultural producing at the Humanistic University of Applied Sciences. He has worked as the executive director at the Finnish Association of Russian-speaking Organizations and as a diversity advisor at the Yhdenvertaisen kulttuurin puolesta ry. He holds a postion of trust at the Espoon Esittävän Taiteen koulu (chairman of board) and the Art Promotion Center Finland (Uusimaa committee). Petr is one of the Yle Russian news/Yle Novosti freelance reporters.
Art Promotion Center Finland
- Triin Ulla is a lecturer of school pedagogy at Tallinn University and is also studying political science (Masters) there. Triin has worked as a teacher of social sciences in one of the language immersion schools in Tallinn. Further, she has been running a programme at the Archimedes Foundation called “Noortekohtumised” (youth meetings) for four years, which brings together 1700 Estonian- and Russian-speaking youngsters for a non-formal education.
Noorteagentuur (The Youth Agency)
- Olga Proskurova is a Baltic Media Accelerator regional coordinator and an international associate for Aktis Strategy. She was the editor-in-chief of LTV Russian language content (2014–2016), the editor-in-chief of News Media Group (2009-2010), TV news presenter and reporter. 20 years now, Olga has been working in various communication sectors, including TV journalism, online journalism, documentary filmmaking, advertising, public relations, media literacy. Olga was a lecturer of journalism at University of Latvia in 2007–2012. In 2017 she was lecturing at Tallinn University. In 2018 in cooperation with Baltic Centre for Media Excellence Olga organised the First Forum for Baltic Russian-language Journalists in Riga.
Aktis Strategy, Baltic Media Accelerator
- Olesja Lagašina is the editor-in-chief of the Rus.Postimees.ee web portal. She has been the head of the Russian Postimees editorial office since 2015, and of the online version since 2010. Olesja has previously worked at a web portal Delfi, hosted an analytical programme at ETV+, and was a journalist and an editor-in-chief of “День за Днем” [den za dnem]. Olesja acquired her PhD in Russian philology in 2009. She gave lectures on journalism at Tallinn University for several years.
- Didzis Melbiksis has worked for UNHCR for the last four years and is currently organisation’s spokesperson for Estonia and Latvia. He has previously worked as a journalist mostly for the radio, but also for web and print in Latvian, English and Swedish languages. His radio show “Uncomfortable Questions” received national award in Latvia for developing media journalism. His academic background is human rights studies, and he has been a strong advocate of democracy, human rights, rule of law and press freedom for the last decade.
- Victoria Preston has provided strategic communications advice to corporate and government clients for over three decades and has undertaken assignments in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Russia, China, Japan and the Americas. She is an Associate Fellow at King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) at King’s College London, which she helped launch in 2016. She is an occasional contributor to the NATO Stratcom Centre of Excellence in Latvia and to the British military. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
King’s College London
- Dr Igor Merheim-Eyre is a Programme Officer within the Beacon Project of the International Republican Institute, which seeks to address the societal fissures and gaps in democratic governance exploited by domestic and foreign actors through disinformation. Igor is also a research fellow at the Global Europe Centre (University of Kent), and publishes regularly on issues of wider European security. He is also Vice-President of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association.
International Republican Institute
- Tereza Freidingerová is a social geographer and analyst specializing in international migration issues, predominantly in media framing of migration topics and in research of the Vietnamese Diaspora in Czechia. In her work, she focuses on both research and academic work as well as awareness raising activities. She works as an analyst and EC funded project coordinator in the People in Need Czech Republic and as a research fellow at the Faculty of Social Science, Charles University. She teaches courses about media and migration (for student of journalism mainly) and about migration in South East Asia. In her research work, she has been interested in study of the Vietnamese in Czechia and elsewhere for overt than 10 years and has helped municipalities with larger numbers of Vietnamese inhabitants to implement targeted integration policies. In recent years, she has also focused on support and empowerment of second generation Vietnamese in their grass root activities.
Tereza Freidingerová, Ph.D
People in Need