Dr. Kirsten Witte is the Program Director of the Liveable Communities Programme at Bertelsmann Stiftung. Kristen has worked at Bertelsmann Stiftung since 2001 as Project Lead of the Social Security Project, and as Executive Board Consultant. She holds a PhD in Economics from the The University of Münster, Germany.


Mathias has been the head of social services of the Belgian city of Mechelen since 2012. His departement is responsible to support people of Mechelen in fighting poverty, from helping them find the right services to getting a job. They focus on improving integrated care and exercise a hands-on approach pursuing innovative and collaborative approaches with other stakeholders and service providers.


Ana Rădulescu is CEO of the Centre for Training and Evaluation in Social Work (CFCECAS) and Associate Professor at Bucharest University, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work. She is also the European President of the International Federation of Social Workers. A social worker by training, Ana strives to strengthen the support and integration of socially excluded people and their resilience in the management of life risks.


Anja Gargulla and Lena Schultz represent our German host of this year´s conference. Lena is the head of the Ministry´s unit in charge of benefits for asylum seekers. She has been with the Hamburg Ministry of Labour, Social and Family Affairs and Integration since 2006, working in various units dealing with social legislation. Anja joined the Ministry in 2018 after 10 year of international and European co-operation for the Senate of Hamburg.


Jose is Head of the Social Welfare Departament of the Barcelona Provincial Council which is an intermediate local authority providing supra-municipal services, such as the Telecare Local Service, or a wide range of services and projects related to care, social inclusion and attention to vulnerable people. He is also a professor of Social Services Management on the Master’s degree in Public Policies of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.


Helle has 12 years of experience as director of welfare services in municipalities in the Copenhagen Area. She operates political committees and boards as well as providing strategic policy development advice for the mayor. Her projects to date have focused on health, workfare, social services and welfare services for adults and elderly people.


Graham Owen, who sits on ESN’s Board, is a Director of Social Services in the municipality of Trosa, Sweden. He is chairman of the Association of Directors of Social Services regional committee in Sörmland and a member of the national board. Graham is also chairman of the board of the regional research and development unit in Sörmland. He has over 30 years of experience working in public social services in the UK and Sweden.


Carla Plasberg is part of the policy team in Scottish Government that focuses on adult social care support. Although trained as a biochemist, she was more passionate about public policy and working together with people than she was about test tubes. Carla has worked in the Scottish Government since 2015 and has been focusing on co-developing a reform programme for adult social care for the last 2 years.