Louis Schweitzer chairs the committee in charge of assessing the French strategy to fight poverty.

Prior to holding the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault between 1992 and 2005, he served for five years as the Chief of Staff of Laurent Fabius, Minister of Budget (1981), Minister for Industry and Research (1983), and Prime Minister (1984 – 1986), following his role as a civil servant in the Budget Department

Mr. Schweitzer was born in July 1942 in Geneva (Switzerland). He married Agnès, a lawyer, in 1972 and they have two daughters.


Simon is Senior Fellow, Social Care, at The King’s Fund, an independent organisation working to improve health and care in England. Prior to joining The King’s Fund in 2017, Simon spent almost 10 years as Director of Policy at the older people’s charity Independent Age, researching issues including care home quality, unmet needs for care, social care funding and the social care workforce.

Simon has wide experience in policy, communications and journalism, including as Director of Communications at Citizens Advice. He has also worked for ActionAid, in the commercial sector for Guinness and in BBC local radio. He is a trustee of the charity ActionSpace which supports artists with learning disabilities. He is active on Twitter as @blimeysimon.


Since May 2021, Dorothy Adams has been working with the OECD to pursue projects focused on better use of data and evidence to improve policy and programme design.

Dorothy served as CEO at the New Zealand Social Wellbeing Agency between 2020 and 2021, and before that, as the Acting CEO at the Social Investment Agency, which she led from its inception in July 2015. Before that, she was a General Manager in the Ministry of Social Development, where she was responsible for their data, analytics and evidence hub.

Between 1998-2008, Ms. Adams worked in local government specialising in policy and governance. Ms. Adams has a Master of Public Administration from Monash University and an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington. She is an Enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Wellington.


Dr. Sinead Kane is a keynote speaker on the topics of: resilience, mindset and teamwork. Sinead only has 5% vision and is registered as legally blind. She has spoken for many companies nationally and internationally. She has two PhDs, is a qualified lawyer and lectures on the topics of disability law and policy. She is also an athlete who has competed and represented Ireland at ultra-distances, as well as being a double Guinness World Record holder. In January 2017, Sinead achieved the Guinness World Record for the first blind person to run 7 marathons on 7 continents within 7 days, going on achieve the Guinness World Record for furthest distance for a female on a treadmill in 12 hours in February 2018. Sinead also is the first Irish female to compete in the World Marathon Challenge.


Antonio López Peláez is a professor at the largest Spanish public university. He has also been a visiting scholar at the School of Social Welfare (University of California, Berkeley, USA), Universidad Americana (Managua, Nicaragua), and at the School of Social Work (Western Michigan University, USA). Antonio has a broad range of research interests including analysis of social problems of interculturality, methods of social intervention, and the intersections between new technologies and digital social work (e-social work). He has most recently engaged on the area of E-social work through his work with social services directors association and this will be the main focus of his presentation at ESSC 2022, where he will analyse digitalisation trends and their impact on public social services.


Cornelia C. Walther worked for nearly two decades with UNICEF and the World Food Programme in large scale emergencies in West Africa, Asia and Latin America. As lecturer, coach and researcher, Cornelia collaborates with various universities; including the Center for humanitarian leadership at Deakins (Australia), the Fachhochschule Muenster (Germany), the University of Palermo (Argentina) and Aix-Marseille (France). At our conference, Cornelia will introduce the approach she initiated in Haiti -POZE (Purpose – Optimization – Zenith – Exposure) and how she works on social transformation from the inside out, offering individuals tools to identify and pursue their aspirations.


Recent books include ‘Development, humanitarian action and social welfare’; ‘Humanitarian work, social change and human behavior’; ‘Connection in times of Covid’ and ‘Technology, Behavior and Social Change’ (Springer). Website https://www.poze.cc.


Jane Dudman is a freelance journalist, event chair & consultant. She is the former public leadership editor of the Guardian, where she worked for 14 years until December 2020. Jane is a senior commentator on UK and global public services, with expertise in central and local government and social housing. She is an experienced chair of UK and global events.


Dr Peter Tschentscher has been the First Mayor and President of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg since 2018. He was the Finance Senator from 2011 until 2018 and before that a member of the Hamburg legislative assembly (Bürgerschaft) representing the Social Democratic Party (SPD) since 2008. In addition to his political activity, the qualified medical doctor continued to practice until his appointment as Finance Senator. In one of his first interviews after his election to First Mayor, Peter Tschentscher described his political style as analytical in “Die Zeit” weekly newspaper and referred to his experience as a doctor: “I stick to my medical morals – First examine and describe the findings, then make the diagnosis and finally specify treatment. This must be carried out carefully because things that look similar can have very different causes. The same thing applies in politics.”


Melanie Leonhard has been the Senator for Labour, Social Affairs, Family and Integration in Hamburg since 2015. The Doctor of History has been politically active for many years and was elected to the Hamburg legislative assembly (Bürgerschaft) for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 2011, where she has chiefly made a name for herself as a social expert. She has also been chairwoman of the SPD Hamburg since 2018. Her special areas of interest are the subjects of equality of opportunity and social participation in all areas of life. As a result, Melanie Leonhard and the over 800 employees of the Hamburg social services authorities work on a broad range of social topics and set the framework for early childhood education, supporting young people and families, helping people with disabilities, providing assistance to the homeless and victim protection among other things. Her tasks also include establishing the Hamburg employment market policy, promoting integration and strengthening the commitment of citizens.


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.