Here you can find all important information about the speakers we host.
Member of the European Commission in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics holds degrees in law from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Budapest's ELTE University and a PhD in political sciences. In 1999 he became an Associate professor at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, ELTE. Between 1997–2000, he assumed the position of the Secretary-General of the Hungarian Political Science Association and he was also Head of the Department of the Prime-Minister's Office until 2002.
President, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Since 2000 Christoph Leitl has been the president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna. Born and raised in Linz, he has been the founding chairman of the European Youth (Europajugend) in Linz in 1966. In the studies of Economic and Social Sciences at the Johannes Kepler University Linz he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1973. From 1990 to 2000 Christoph Leitl was member of the government of the Federal State of Upper Austria where his agendas were Economy, Finance and European Affairs and from 1995 to 2000 he was deputy governor and treasurer of the Federal State of Upper Austria as well as member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), SME Division.
Ambassador Ms. Wesner graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a B.A. degree in Biology. She moved to Austin, Texas to join Trilogy Software in the early days of Austin’s technology boom. In 1997, she founded HireTECH, a recruiting and consulting company focused on high tech start-ups, also serving as President and CEO. In 2000, she founded her second company, Recruiting Labs, a web-based recruiting venture.
Director and General Manager of MCI Management Center Innsbruck
Prof. Dr. Andreas Altmann was born in 1963 in Austria. He studied Business Administration and Economics at the Universities of Linz and Innsbruck and International Relations at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna.
President of the national network of directors for the French universities career centers Anne Aubert has a PhD in Neurosciences (1990) obtained after a Master in Respiratory physiology (1986) and a bachelor in Marine Biology. After 6 years as research associate, first at Tulane University in the dpts of Pharmacology and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (from mai 1990 to August 1994), and then at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston (USA) in the dpt of Otolaryngology, she had the opportunity to join in 1996 the newly created University of La Rochelle as a lecturer and researcher in Animal Physiology and Neurosciences
Head of the unit of Hydraulic Engineering at the University of Innsbruck, Partner in the Airborne Hydromapping GmbH (AHM)
Since 2007 Prof. Dr. Markus Aufleger is full professor and head of the unit of Hydraulic Engineering at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. He has got his doctorate and his postdoctoral lecture qualification from the Technische Universität München in Germany. Markus Aufleger has been manager of the Laboratory of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering of the Technische Universität München from 2000 to 2007.
Professor of Computer Science, University of Lübeck; founder and Head of IP Management, gestigon GmbH Erhardt Barth research interests are in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. At the Institute for Neuro- and Bioinformatics he leads the research on human and machine vision.
Rector of the University of Applied Arts Vienna Dr. Gerlad Bast is Rector of the University of Applied Arts Vienna (since 2000), deputy chairman of the Federation of Austrian Universities, spokesman of the rectors of the Austrian Universities of Art, and vice-president and member of the presidium of the Conference of Austrian Universities.
Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Petra Biberhofer works as a teaching and research associate at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Socioeconomics since 2012. She studied political science and communications at the University of Vienna and Uppsala University (Sweden). In her current work at the RCE Vienna she engages in the international community of 130 Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development representing regional networks certified by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).
Head of Unit at the European Commission Denis Crowley has worked in the European Commission since 1997 after an earlier career in the Irish public service. His work in the Commission has been on social policy and more recently education and training, areas where freedom of movement has been an important issue.
Professor and Director of Center for research on region building, Karlstad University Margareta Dahlström is Professor in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Sweden. She holds a post as Professor in Innovation and Regional Development that is co-funded by Karlstad University and the regional authority Region Värmland.
Author of the book ‘Entrepreneurship at Universities’
Formerly a Senior Manager with Deloitte Australia’s Technology Commercialisation Group and Strategy & Business Development Manager for one of Australia’s fastest growing start-ups, Todd has ‘switched sides’ to work within academia.
Head of Enterprise for the Meath County Council Joe English has enjoyed a long career in both the public and private sectors, frequently crossing the boundaries between building businesses and supporting entrepreneurial talent in his native Ireland. A software engineer by profession he began his career designing, delivering and managing complex process control systems across the globe for heavy engineering customers of the Swiss/Swedish giant ABB.
CEO of INiTS Universitäres Gründerservice Wien GmbH
INiTS was founded in 2002 is one of the major players in the dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in Vienna and has supported many successful startups getting started. Thus, INiTS has been ranked best business incubator in German-speaking countries, 3rd best in Europe and 7th best worldwide by UBI Index in Nov. 2015.
General Manager Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences Stefan Fitz-Rankl, born 1973, studied Business Administration and Business Education at the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna and at Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Montpellier (Montpellier Business School). His professional career first led him to the United States and Germany as an Assistant to the HR Director of Akzo Nobel.
Chairperson of ESU Since he began his university education as medical student at the University of Cantabria (Santander, Spain) he has been involved in different levels of student representation at national and university level. He has also been Erasmus student at the Università Degli Studi di Bari.
Volkswagen AG, Head of Dual Studies Group
Born 1965 in Kleve / Germany, Prof. Goetzen is Head of Dual Studies of Volkswagen Group transferring the idea of dual studies to Group locations worldwide. During her whole career she has combined various theoretical and practical phases within the business field, later on with a strong focus on Personnel Management.
Head of Degree Program “Sustainable Foodmanagement” at Joanneum University of Applied Sciences Johannes Haas studied Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the Technical University Graz and graduated in 1981. Throughout his career in academics, research, administration and consulting he focused on the development of sustainable technologies and organizational initiatives, integrated biomass systems, energy consulting and cleaner production being the dominant fields of expertise.
Dean of the Audi Hungaria Faculty of Automobile Engineering of the University of Győr in Hungary Born in 1958 in Budapest made his MSc in mechanical engineering at the TU Budapest. With his diploma thesis, an own developed racing engine, he became Hungarian motor racing champion. After his studies he worked in combustion engine research and education and ran an own company for racing engine development.
CEO of Best of Both Worlds, Hassek-Eder KG Elisabeth Hassek-Eder studied International Business Administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She has a professional background both in consumer goods marketing and in academia, having held positions as brand manager in the FMCG industry.
Director of Employability and Careers
Keith Herrmann is Director of Employability and Careers at the University of Surrey which is ranked 4th in the UK on the 2016 Guardian University League Table. At Surrey he is responsible for leading on employability, careers and the university’s renowned student placement programme.
Senior Vice President for Health, Safety, Security, Environment (HSSE) & Sustainability at OMV Aktiengesellschaft Michaela Huber has been with the company since 2008 and was Senior Vice President of OMV Corporate Communications from 2011, taking on additional responsibility for the sustainability agenda in 2012. Before joining OMV, Michaela Huber was the spokesperson for the Austrian ministries of Interior and Defense, studied communication science at Salzburg University.
Rector of Graz University of Technology
Harald Kainz was born in 1958. After completing his studies in civil engineering and engineering management in construction at Graz University of Technology, in 1982 he was employed at the former Institute of Residential and Industrial Water Management, and Groundwater and Agricultural Hydraulic Engineering.
Managing Director of WIFI Austria and WIFI International, Head of the Education and Training Policies Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Prof. Dr. Michael Landertshammer, born on 4th February 1954 in Krems, Austria, started his career as a Doctor in law in 1977. With only 23 years of age, he became a leading manager at the Vienna Economic Chamber in the field of Crafts and Trades.
Board Member of European University Association, University of Bergamo Professor Stefano Paleari was born in Milan on 24 January 1965. Between October 2009 and November 2015 he was Rector of the University of Bergamo. During his rectorship, he has been a member of the Council and General Secretary of the CRUI (the Conference of Italian University Rectors). In April 2013, he was elected as member of the Board of the European University Association.
Head of the Centre for Educational Management and Higher Education Development at Danube University Krems and academic director of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme “Research and Innovation in Higher Education MSc” Dr. Pausits led a number of international projects to improve university management and structures.
Professor at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and Head of the Innovation and Development department of the Kaunas Clinics
Prof. Pavalkis graduate of Medicine at the Kaunas Institute of Medicine, from 1984-1986 he held postgraduate training at Proctology Scientific Research Institute in Moscow, and from 1993-1994 he served as an assistant in surgery at St. Mark’s Hospital, London, UK. From 1995-2005 Prof. Pavalkis was Director for surgery at the largest centre of its kind in Lithuania, the University Hospital – Kaunas Clinics.
Vice President, JADE - European Confederation of Junior Enterprises Kassandra Petersen is Vice President and Head of Public Affairs of JADE, a pan-European organization fostering youth and especially student entrepreneurship. She is responsible for JADE’s external presence, promoting the Junior Enterprise-concept as a best practice to tackle skill mismatch and youth unemployment by bridging the gap between academia and practice, helping to create a solid business environment for more than 250 Junior Enterprises in Europe.
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy Director General
Born in 1973, Elmar Pichl studied law at the University of Graz (Diploma: Mag. iur). After occupations as assistant at the University of Graz / Institute for Austrian, European and Comparative Public Law, Political Science and Administration Law (1997-1999) and as Head of Office for World University Service Austria in Tetovo (FYROM) / Prishtina (Kosova), in 2000 he began to work in Vienna in the headquarter of the Austrian People’s Party (last: Political Director).
External Affairs Director at GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH
Dr. Ronald Pichler is External Affairs Director at GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH. He was previously Head of Corporat Public Affairs Counselor and the CEO of OMV Aktiengesellschaft and Head of Public Affairs at the Austrian Post AG.
José is an acknowledged Innovation Expert (as witnessed by his time with INSEAD), and an experienced provider of innovation training to start-up and existing businesses. In his role of Chief Executive of Mindshare he is also co- author of the original IIME (Introducing Innovation in Micro Enterprises) innovation materials and also contributed to a number of other EC projects.
Member of the European Parliament Dr. Paul Ruebig, born in Wels (Upper Austria), has been member of the European Parliament since 1996 and belongs to the European People's Party (EPP). He is member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Budgets.
Director of Entrepreneurship Lab, Assistant Professor Uppsala University, Department of Business Studies Mikael Scherdin is a double-career performer: he is running academic studies as well as practicing entrepreneurship with own start-ups in several business sectors (IT, Art and Design, Content Production and Social Entrepreneurship). He has always worked in the gaps, between fields where the interesting things are happening.
Head of the New Design University St.Pölten During the last 14 years as rector oft he academy of fine arts Vienna (2002-2011) and as head of the New Design University St.Pölten (since 2011) he engaged into the future development of universities. He is a Honorary Professor for Aesthetics and Artistic Knowledge at the Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen.
Senior Scientist at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Dominik Schmitz is Senior Scientist at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. He works at the Centre for global Change and Sustainability. Beside his 50% position at the university he is partner and business developer for the solar energy start-up Swimsol.
Head of Educational and Academic Cooperation at Audi Hungaria in Győr Olívia Schubert studied at University of Janus Pannonius in Pécs and at University of Pázmány Péter in Budapest. She also broadened her knowledge at University of Köln, where she learned German language and literature. She specialized in science of politics, eastern law/ jurisprudence and history of eastern Europe.
Dean of the WU Executive Academy, the business school of WU Vienna.
The WU EA executive education portfolio includes MBA and Master of Laws programs, university certificate programs, corporate programs and open programs. In recent years, the WU EA has become one of the leading executive education providers in the heart of Europe.
Chair of the research group Networks and Strategic Optimization at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering of Maastricht University
Frank Thuijsman is associate professor in Mathematics and chair of the research group Networks and Strategic Optimization at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering of Maastricht University. His research focuses on Dynamic Game Theory, i.e. on dynamic models of decision making for problems involving multiple parties. He has had visiting positions at the University of California at Los Angeles and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Project Manager at Innsbruck University and Initiator Skinnovation
Kathrin Treutinger is a doctoral candidate at the RWTH Aachen and research assistant at Innsbruck University. Within her academic work she conducts research in the field of entrepreneurship education and teaches entrepreneurship at university. Being passionate about entrepreneurship, Kathrin became an entrepreneur herself and co-founded the NGO AMPION in 2014.
Moderator – Trainer – Author
With a life time passion for the stage and the reaction of her audience, Nika has uniquely developed the art and science of “Kommu-nika-tion”. The resulting portfolio of skills is focused on the singular goal of empowering clients and their productivity, often with dramatic results. After her first years on stage she hosted her own daily TV show. Between 1997 and 2004 she produced and presented programmes for several TV-Stations in Austria and Germany.
Head of the Centre for Certificated Further Education at the FHWien University of Applied Sciences of WKW
In this role Natalie Völk is responsible for managing and further developing the MSc- and MBA-program portfolio at the FHWien University of Applied Sciences with currently 8 Master programs in the field of management and communication.
Prof (FH) Mag. Eva WERNER, hon.prof., Rector of IMC University of Applied Sciences, Krems, Austria.
Professor (FH) Eva Werner holds a degree from the University of Vienna in languages (1975), studied also in France (Sorbonne in Paris, 1974) and Canada (University of Concordia, 1982). Her professional experiences in the Higher Education sector comprise (since 1979) among others,
Project Manager of the Federal Programme “Knowledge Transfer Centres and Exploitation of IPR” Knowledge Transfer Centre WEST at JKU
Since 2014 Birgit Wimmer-Wurm is Project Manager of the Federal Programme “Knowledge Transfer Centres and Exploitation of IPR” Knowledge Transfer Centre WEST at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. She co-created the project ‘Ideengarten’ an Idea Bootcamp held 2015 in Linz which was in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck, Vienna and Graz. She is lecturer at the children’s university Upper Austria to foster entrepreneurial spirit with the course ‘Your own commercial store’.
Head of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Director of the Clinical Trials Coordination Centre (KKS) Michael Wolzt graduated from Vienna University and received his MD in 1991. He is Professor of Medicine and senior consultant at the Vienna General Hospital. His career spans specialist training in internal medicine, cardiology, and diabetes & metabolism at the Vienna General Hospital, and post-graduate training at the University College London, UK.