Introducing our speakers


Who are Europe´s visionaries, experts, thinkers & doers?

We look forwards to welcoming high-ranking experts from business, civil-society and academics to our Transcultural Leadership Summit.

Alexander Kritikos
Research Director at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Alexander Kritikos is Research Director at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Professor for Industrial and Institutional Economics at the University of Potsdam, and Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn as well as of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg. His research interests are Entrepreneurship Re-search and Innovation, Behavioral Economics, as well as the Design of Institutions at the European level.

He studied Economics and Political Sciences at the University of Munich where he received in 1989 his degree as Diplom-Volkswirt. After a scholarship with the doctorate programme for for Applied Microeconomics of the Free University of Berlin he received his doctoral degree in Economics at the Humboldt-University of Berlin in 1996 to be followed by his habili-tation in Economics at the European University Viadrina in 2003.

His research articles were published by Economics Letters, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Business Venturing, Research Policy und Small Business Economics. He also wrote OpEds, published by the European issues of Süddeutsche Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Cicero, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Focus, and Harvard Business Review.

At the Transcultural Leadership Summit, Alexander Kritikos will give an introductory keynote on “Europe – Facts & Figures”.

Dr. Franz Fischler
President of the European Forum Alpbach

Franz Fischler, who was born Austria, obtained his doctorate in agriculture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna in 1978. Between 1989 and 1994, during his time as Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Austria, he played an important role in the negotiations for Austria’s accession to the European Union.

As a Member of the European Commission, Fischler was responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development from 1995 until 1999, and in addition to that, for Fisheries between 1999 and 2004. After his work for the European Commission, he shared his expertise with several governments and works now as chairman of various organisations, such as European Forum Alpbach, IAS or Pro Scientia.

Dr Franz Fischler will give a keynote on “Europe - its role in global value creation”.

Dr. Sabine Klauke
Head of Engineering within Airbus Defence and Space and member of the division’s Executive Committee

Prior to her position as Head of Engineering, she served as Head of Programmes Customer Services: a responsibility that she had previously taken more specifically for the A330/A340 programmes since 2015. Dr Klauke joined Airbus in 2002, where she has developed her professional career by holding numerous management and executive positions linked to Manufacturing Engineering, Production, Product Development Programs, Development Processes and Change and Innovation Projects within the Airbus Commercial Aircraft division.

From 1998 to 2002 Dr Klauke worked at DELMIA, a brand of the French software company Dassault Systèmes, where she carried the digital manufacturing software deployment and the implementation of consulting and services department with customers in the automotive and the aerospace industries.

Sabine Klauke is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Technology (TU) in Dresden and the École Nationale Supérieure d’Ingénieurs en Mécanique Énergétique (ENSI) de Valenciennes. She also holds a PhD from the TU of Dresden.

At the Transcultural Leadership Summit, Dr Klauke will share her experience on “Transcultural Leadership in practice – Insights from a European Company”.

Prof. Dr. David Engels
Research Professor at the Instytut Zachodni in Poznán, Poland

David Engels (*1979), born in Belgium, studied History, Philosophy and Economics at the RWTH-Aachen where he completed his PhD in 2005 thanks to a scholarship of the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”. In addition to that, he worked as assistant professor at the RWTH-Achen.

In 2008, he took over the Chair of Roman History at the “Université libre de Bruxelles” and, at the same time, worked as director of the publication house “Latomus”. Since 2018, he has been President of the Oswald Spengler Society and Senior Analyst at the “Instytut Zachodni” in Poznań. Engels is specialised in the field of Classical Antiquity, Comparative and Global His-tory as well as the Philosophy of History.

His book publications include: D. Engels, Le déclin. La crise de l'Union européenne et la chute de la République romaine. Quelques analogies, Paris 2013 (also transl. in German, Hungarian, Croatian and Dutch). – D. Engels (ed.), Von Platon bis Fukuyama. Biologistische und zyklische Konzepte in der Geschichtsphilosophie der Antike und des Abendlandes, Brussels 2015. – D. Engels et al. (eds.), Der lange Schatten Oswald Spenglers. Einhundert Jahre Untergang des Abendlandes, Berlin 2018. - D. Engels (ed.), Renovatio Europae. Plädoyer für einen hesperia-listischen Neubau Europas, Berlin 2019. – D. Engels, Que faire? Vivre avec le déclin de l’Europe, Groningen 2019.

Prof. Dr. David Engels will give a keynote on “What is Europe?”.

Hannah White
Writer and Researcher

Hannah White has a PhD in social policy from the University of Bristol and over 15 years of experience campaigning against, and writing about inequality, racism, and the migrant experience.

In 2017, a few months after Article 50 was triggered, she started her blog “Outsider – Journey through a changing Europe”. It is a journey towards greater understanding of Europe, told through the words and pictures of the people who live there. As a keen amateur cyclist she travels by bike, in order to explore the question ‘What is Europe?’ from the perspective of those she meets, often by chance, along the way.

Ms White first set off from Roscoff and crossed France to Switzerland in June 2017. Since then she has cycled from Rome to Athens, Belfast to Dublin, Strasbourg to Cologne and most recently Paris to London. Next year she plans to cycle across Romania. As she explains, she wanted to know more about the EU, and given the hardening of divisions, to explore and write about common experience across Europe in order to emphasise our shared humanity. In her photography she does this by capturing the interaction between the subject, the camera and herself at the moment of their meeting.

Dr Hannah White will share her experience at the panel discussion “Distinct identities, shared values or a community of practice?”

Constantin Chiriac
Actor, General Director of the National Theater "Radu Stanca" Sibiu and President of FITS

Mr Chiriac studied Acting in Bucharest and holds cultural management diplomas from the USA Information Agency, from the UK University of Hull, as well as from the Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond.

Beside his functions as President of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival and General Manager of the “Radu Stanca” National Theatre in Sibiu, he is President of the Sibiu Performing Arts Mar-ket. He played a decisive role in obtaining the title of Sibiu - European Capital of Culture 2007 and in the project’s undeniable success. Moreover, he was a member of the Panel for the selection and monitoring of European Capitals of Culture (2009-2012). Constantin Chiriac has played in more than 40 performances, collaborating with important directors, such as Iulian Vișa, Andriy Zholdak and Kushida Kazuyoshi. In addition, he has also held one-man-shows and poetry recitals in over 50 countries and performed in various films.

He is a professor at the “Lucia Blaga” University of Sibiu and was granted the title of Doctor Ho-noris Causa by Leeds Metropolitan University (2008) and by West University of Timișoara (2018). His work has been acknowledged through countless awards and distinctions, including amongst others the 2014 Aspen Institute Award for Contribution to Romanian Cultural Patrimony. He is an Officer of the Order of the Belgian Crown (2011), was made a Knight of the National Order of Merit (2000) and an Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit from the Grand Duke of Luxembourg (2017). In 2018, he was awared The Royal Decoration of the Cross of the Romanian Royal House, for the Radu Stanca National Theatre Sibiu, the Honorary Citizenship of Sibiu and the Honorary Citizenship of Râmnicu Vâlcea. In 2019, Constantin Chiriac became honorary member of the Academy of Romanian Scientists.

Mr Chiriac will share his experience with us as a panellist on the topic of “Europe -Creating trans-culturality through (liberal) arts?”.

Valerio Vincenzo
Photographer and Artist of “BORDERLINE – Frontiers of Peace”

Valerio Vincenzo was born in Naples, Italy in 1973. He lives and works in the Netherlands as well as in Paris and Milan. Before becoming a photographer in 2004, he worked as a strategy consultant in France and then as administrator for the French NGO Action Against Hunger in Indonesia. Today, he closely works together with the International press and furthermore heads a number of art projects. He is a member of the French creative platform Hans Lucas and he is represented by DeBeeldunie in the Netherlands.

The Borderline project, that has been started in 2007, was awarded the 2nd prize of the 2016 Canon Silver Camera in the Netherlands and the 2013 Prix Louise Weiss of European journalism, first time that such an award was granted to a photo project. It was shown at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in 2015 as well as at the Street Art Museum in St. Petersburg in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, the Borderline project was exhibited in various cities, including Strasbourg, Clermont-Ferrand, Amiens, Sarajevo and Zagreb. In 2019, the exhibition was shown for six months at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

We are very happy to exhibit this renowned project BORDERLINE - Frontiers of Peace in November for one month at Zeppelin University and that Valerio Vincenzo will, in addition to that, share his experience with us in the panel discussion “Europe – Creating transculturality through (liberal) arts?”.

Dr. Albert X. Kirchmann
Chief Executive advisor

The former CEO of Misubishi-FUSO Truck & Bus Asia and former CFO of Daimler-Trucks global started his career as management assistant at Daimler Benz in 1984, after obtaining his doctorate at the University of Karlsruhe in Industrial Science.  

By having more than 30 years of experience in leading management positions, Dr. Kirchmann may well be called a true expert for finance, controlling, business development and growth in the worldwide automotive industry.  

On top of his regular work at Daimler, he became Chief Representative Officer for Daimler Japan and Vice President of the German Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Nowadays  
Dr. Kirchmann is a member of the Board of Directors Mitsubishi-Bank Germany and has been working as Chief Executive Advisor since 2017.  

Dr. Albert X. Kirchmann will lead the workshop on “Challenges in the European automotive industry” together with Ms Claudia Schickel and Mr Frithjof Punke. 

Frithjof Punke
Senior Executive Advisor

After completing his studies in economics, Mr Punke worked between 1975 and 1994 in several functions in the areas of Organisation, Organisational Development, Vocational and Advanced Training at Daimler. Until 2001 he was Head of HR, Controlling and Strategy at Daimler AG Plant Gaggenau.

Mr Punke was a member of the Daimler Truck Board and Member of Board Mercedes-Benz do Brazil for several years and has extensive expertise in the automotive industry in the areas of Human Resource, Leadership in an intercultural environment, Conflict Management, Change Processes and Transformation and Development of Organisations, Operations and People. Since 2017 he holds the position of Vice President of PfalzMetall and works as Senior Executive Advisor.

At the Transcultural Leadership Summit, Mr Frithjof Punke will share his expertise with us in the workshop “Challenges of the European automotive industry”, together with Dr Albert X. Kirchmann and Ms Claudia Schickel.

Claudia Schickel
Head of Project Management Office@MAN Truck & Bus SE

Mrs Schickel started her career as international trainee at Mercedes-Benz in 1996, after fin-ishing her studies of “Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering” at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She then became an expert in International Project Management and Project Controlling with more than 20 years of work experience in different Management po-sitions in the automotive and solar industry in Germany (10 years), Spain (2 years), Switzerland (5 years) and England (5 years).

For the last 3 years Mrs Schickel has been working as Head of Project Management Office for serial development projects with MAN Truck & Bus in Munich. Within this position she is also working across TRATON brands located in Sweden and Brazil.

At the Transcultural Leadership Summit, Mrs Claudia Schickel will hold the workshop “Challenges of the European automotive industry”, in cooperation with Dr Albert X. Kirchmann and Mr Frithjof Punke.

Julian Caletti
Young Professional at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Working for UNITAR, Mr Julian Caletti is an aspiring international civil servant from Germany who is based in Geneva since 2013. Prior to his current post, he worked for three years at the Information Service of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

Mr Caletti holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the Graduate Institute Geneva and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University College Maastricht. He spent a total of four years working, studying and travelling in Latin America and China and is fluent in German, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.

At this year’s summit Mr Caletti will hold a workshop on “Europe in the world – a geopolitical approach”. His main focus will be the current changes in the geopolitical power balance between Europe and China.

Ann Cathrin Riedel
Consultant, Speaker and Chairwoman of LOAD e.V.

Ann Cathrin Riedel is chairwoman of LOAD e.V. - an association for liberal Internet policy. With her agency UP DIGITAL MEDIA she develops strategies for digital political communication. She was a lecturer at the HS Fresenius in Düsseldorf and was included in the list of 65 "Faces of the Future" under the 35th place by the magazine "Politik & Kommunikation".

She is a member of the working groups "Ethics in Digitalization" and "Algorithm Monitoring" of Initiative D21. In her functions she publishes and speaks regularly about ethics and civil rights, freedom of expression and communication in the digital space, as well as digital sovereignty.

Ms Riedel will give a keynote on “A vision for Europe”.

Fotocredits: Hendrik Wieduwilt
Dr. Diana Beech
Policy Adviser to the Right Honourable Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Dr Diana Beech is Policy Adviser to the Rt. Hon. Jo Johnson MP, UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. She also served the previous two UK Universities Ministers, Sam Gyimah MP and Chris Skidmore MP.

Prior to this, Diana was the first Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) – the UK’s only independent think tank exclusively devoted to higher education. During her time at HEPI, Diana published several policy reports on topics as wide ranging as the Teaching Excellence Framework, future demand for higher education, free speech on campus, and widening access and participation.

As a former academic, Diana is keen to improve the research career path and employment conditions for researchers and has served as an Independent Adviser to the European Commission to improve the open, transparent and merit-based recruitment of researchers across Europe. She was also a founding member of the European Commission’s ‘Voice of the Researchers’ network, giving researchers a seat at the European policy-making table. Diana holds a PhD in German Studies from the University of Cambridge and has been a post-doctoral researcher at universities in Canada, Germany and the UK.

At the Transcultural Leadership Summit, Dr Beech will give a keynote on “The future of European education”.