Katrina is a London-born, Brussels-based moderator with a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University. A former TV producer, she put together news packages for the BBC, Sky News, Channel 4, AP and Reuters, interviewing well-known figures from the arts, fashion and political arenas. Since 2007, Katrina has been moderating events covering diverse topics and policy areas, from R&I, social affairs, finance and digitisation, to agriculture, the environment, energy, fisheries and health. Alongside she has managed the development and roll out across Europe of multi-channel, multi-lingual communications campaigns targeting the public, and EU and national stakeholders from diverse sectors. Katrina speaks fluent French, rusty Russian and a dash of German alongside her native tongue.


Raf is a two term Christchurch City Councillor. As Chair of the Finance Committee, his main focus has been the Council’s financial position, as well as its post-earthquake strategic direction and risk management.

Raf spent 11 years trading global markets for investment banks in London. In 2002, he moved to New Zealand and has since been actively involved in governance and social enterprise. He has degrees in Economics and Political Science, and a Masters in International Law and Politics from the University of Canterbury.

He has spent many years examining the friction between the public and private space, and is especially interested in the reform of our monetary, welfare and tax systems, as well our political and constitutional arrangements.


Amalia Zepou is vice mayor for Civil Society and Innovation of the municipality of Athens since September 2014. In April 2013, she became the Advisor of Athens Mayor Mr Yorgos Kaminis for civil society networking. She created the digital platform “synAthina” which was further developed into an idea that won one of the five Mayors Challenge awards of 1 million euro from Bloomberg Philanthropies in September 2014.

Prior to the Municipality she was working as an independent documentary producer since 1998. She has a B.A. in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York in 1991.


Dietmar Gutschmidt is a graduated public administration officer responsible for the execution of the tasks of basic security for about 90,000 jobseekers (Hartz 4 – Fourth stage of the reform on the labour market). Since 2011, he has been managing the municipal job center of the City of Essen with approximately 1,100 employees.

For the people seeking advice this means: one-stop shop support. From the calculation of benefits through advice and placement in the work, debt counseling, psychosocial care and addiction counseling.

María José Sánchez Rubio

María José Sánchez Rubio has a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Social Work and Gerontology. She had a career as a civil servant from 1978 and was appointed counselor of Equality and Social Policies in June 2015, she was also the head of the former Department of Equality, Health and Social Policies since 2013. She has an extensive career in social services.


Juan Espadas Cejas is Mayor of Seville since June 2015. He was Minister for Housing and Territory Planning of the Regional Government of Andalusia from 2008 to 2010. As Minister he assumed the task of promoting the construction of social housing through a plan discussed with social and economic parties. He also developed the content of the right to housing included in the Statute of Autonomy of Andalusia, through the Law Regulating the Right to Housing, approved by the Andalusian Parliament in March 2010.


Luis Delgado Sancho is Acting Director of JRC Directorate B ‘Growth and Innovation’ and Head of the Circular Economy and Industrial Leadership Unit of the JRC. Luis holds a MEngSc degree in Agricultural Engineering specialising in rural engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and a MSc in Economics.

Luis joined the Commission in 1987 as an Administrator in DG AGRI, working in different common market organisation and on the implementation of rural development policies and of the structural funds. He was the deputy permanent representative of the Commission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome and he has been member of the cabinet of the Commissioner Oreja.

In the JRC he has been responsible for the activities of JRC Seville regarding techno-economic analysis on sustainable production and consumption, clean technologies, waste policy, product policy, sustainable use of resources and the interrelations between technological change, scientific developments, environment, the economy and policy approaches. He has been Head of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive.


David Brindle is the former public services editor of The Guardian. He specialises in social policy issues and has won awards for his coverage of health and social care and the voluntary sector. He is a regular conference chair and speaker. He has been a board member of a number of charities and social enterprises and is currently chair of Ambient Support, which provides services for older people and those with learning disabilities and mental health issues. He is a member of various advisory committees, including those of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the School for Social Care Research.


Christian Fillet was elected as Chair of the European Social Network (ESN) in 2015. Prior to that he was ESN Treasurer for six years and Vice-Chair for the previous four years. He is the Director of social and health services for the City of Bruges in Belgium and also member of the board of the Flemish Directors Association (VVOS). Christian specializes in non-profit management, accounting, and social law.


Alfonso Lara Montero is the Chief Executive Officer of the European Social Network (ESN), from social services organisations in national, regional and local authorities responsible for the design and delivery of public social services in 33 countries. Working closely with them, ESN promotes social inclusion and better life chances through the delivery of quality social services.

Alfonso has been leading ESN’s policy, practice, and research programme for the past five years, leading its thematic work on mental health, children’s services, integrated services and evidence-based social services. He has authored and co-authored several publications on social services, such as “Investing in children’s services’, “Integrated social services in Europe’, “Investing in the social services workforce’, and the “Toolkit for planning and evaluating social services”. Alfonso is a regular contributor to academic journals, newspapers, and specialist social services magazines. Alfonso holds a BA in modern languages from the University of Granada, an MA in European governance from the College of Europe, an MSc in public policy from University College London, and an MSc in executive management of international associations from Brussels Solvay Business School.