@ezio_manzini is a prominent expert in design for social innovation and sustainability. Ezio is Honorary Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Chair Professor at University of the Arts London, and currently guest Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai, and Jiangnan University, Wuxi. The author of Design When Everybody Designs, he will be hosting a workshop on services for the 99%, with applications on refugee care in Brussels.

@johncoate was an original member of the Farm community (Wikipedia), the largest and most successful hippy commune ever (still in existence, and doing great, though it is now a cooperative rather than a collective). Because of his experience at community organising, he was recruited into the WELL, Stewart Brand’s and Larry Brilliant’s groundbreaking virtual community – and so became the world’s first professional online community manager. He then went on to found and direct SF Gate, the world’s first big city news website. Later still, he moved on, becoming Development Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and on again. | @johncoate on twitter

@elami5 is an innovation specialist at the UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and the CIS in Istanbul. She works to bring social innovation to development one person and one experiment at a time. Her aspiration as she works with teams of national and local partners across the region is finding out new ways of tackling stubborn problems, test out fresh ideas and new perspectives in UNDP context | @elami5

Robert (Bob) Palmer is an independent consultant who works internationally on a wide range of cultural projects in the areas of cultural policy and strategy, organisational development, festivals and events, the creative economy and issues related to cultural rights and development of cities. He was formerly the Director of Culture and Cultural and National Heritage for the Council of Europe (2006-2013). Palmer was the Director of two European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) (Glasgow and Brussels), published a major report for the European Commission evaluating 40 ECoCs, and has advised many cities, including Leeuwarden (2018), Matera (2019), Plovdiv (2019) and the current shortlisted Dubrovnik and Galway (2020).
@marcomanka is currently Senior Research Fellow of the Director for Medical Applications at CERN, the European Nuclear Physics Organization, where he has experienced the complex ways of International Diplomacy, and the facilitating role of science and education. He is also a medical doctor has more than 10 years of research and clinical practice in Internal Medicine. Member in the OpenCare research team! | @markomanka
@zoescope is working on Digital Strategy & Wearables at Arduino and is a Co- Founder at WeMake, Milan’s Makerspace, currently based in Milan. She co-founded Openwear.org, the european pilot project around collaborative fashion and open source branding and Wefab.it, an initiative for the diffusion of open design and digital fabrication in Italy. She's been into media activism and political visual art for the past 10 years, working on precarity, social production, material and immaterial labor in creative and service industries | @zoescope
An engineer and designer born in Sweden to African parents, raised in Europe and Asia, @nadia El-Imam is now living and working in Brussels. She has a background in engineering and user experience design, and puts it to use where it matters most – building bridges between large organisations at the center and innovators at the edge. A polyglot and global citizen, she has experience working with with different kinds of corporate, public sector and civil society organisations. Proud co-founder and CEO of Edgeryders LBG. | @ladyniasan @kiravde van den Ende is one of the two masterminds behind Antiheroes, a Belgium based research enterprise and consultancy on failure. Kira is a communication designer. This means that she gets her thrills from finding ways to transmit complicated information: writing easy-to-read texts, making slightly childish drawings and creating live experiences such as events and workshops. Life has taken her from Brussels to Salamanca, Copenhagen, Bogotà, Havana and has now taken her back to Brussels. Lead coordinator of Living on the Edge 5 | @kiravde
Giulio Quaggiotto is about innovation in development. He managed the Jakarta Lab of the UN Global Pulse, a flagship innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General on big data for public policy. He also set up UNDP's first innovation practice with a focus on Eurasia, and worked at the World Bank. He is now with NESTA. | @gquaggiotto

Julia Reda is Member of the European Parliament for the European Pirate Party and co-chair of the European Green group. She cares about the transparency of software and a borderless Europe. | @senficon

A war refugee from Damascus, Orwa Isaac, 22, came to Belgium to do what he could not do in Syria: study, work as a barista, organize concerts and help develop concepts for restaurants and bars. He arrived in the Autumn of 2015 and Brussels feels like home already. Prepared to learn the language and wanting to continue his studies, he will take on any job. In his work, he would like to combine ideas from the West and the East. He wants to build a future in Belgium for himself and his family. “Hope and setting goals is the key to success.”| @orwa_isaac

@tom_markam is a pragmatic theorist of patterns, participation, and productivity. Shaped by his studies in Economics, Cognitive Science, and Philosophy of Science/Technology, Tom is devoted to helping humanity economize the world by opening up the design and use of social technology to common understanding. Currently drawing inspiration from “-omics” sciences and open-source software development, Tom is interested in building a culture of tool-making to get the most productive ideas from disparate fields into the hands of the masses.

Meredith Patterson is an American technologist, science fiction writer, and journalist. She has spoken at numerous industry conferences on a wide range of topics. She is also a blogger and software developer, and a leading figure in the biopunk movement.| @maradydd

@omar_shehabi is the founder of Palestine Works, a US-based nonprofit promoting Palestinian human development by creating high-impact knowledge transfer opportunities among Palestinian and foreign young professionals. By day, Omar serves as a legal consultant with the United Nations Relief & Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). He previously counseled the Palestinian leadership on final-status negotiations with Israel and other foreign relations. He is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Notre Dame Law School, and is an LL.M. candidate in international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem |

@costantino Bongiorno graduated in Mechanical Engineering and started working in the machine tools industry in Italy and abroad. In 2008 he began a collaboration with Arduino team as interaction designer and trainer in different institution like Supsi (CH), NABA and Domus Academy (IT), meanwhile organizing workshops and meetings around open source design. In 2013 he worked at the organisation of Maker Faire Rome helping Massimo Banzi and Officine Arduino curate the faire for more than 250 makers and 30.000 visitors. In June 2014 he launched WeMake, Milan’s Makerspace | @costantino
@melançon, computer scientist and mathematician, is a world renowned scientist in the field of visual analytics with a focus on Network Science. Until recently, he has been head of the bio-informatics and complex systems team at LaBRI, and was also head of a research team at INRIA (2006 – 2012). He has a decade long experience working in multi-disciplinary environment, and has been more particularly involved with collaborators from geography and social sciences | @guywhiz

@lakomaa, PhD, is the Director of the Institute for Economic and Business History Research (EHFF) and also affiliated researcher at the Department of Marketing and Strategy at Stockholm School of Economics. His research has focused on how organizations – public and private – respond to external change (new markets, new technology, new regulation). He has previously published om public sector reforms (Lakomaa 2008); on the use of data to improve services in the public sector (Lakomaa 2013) and the use of public sector information (Lakomaa & Kallberg 2013). His research has been published in leading journals such as Business History and QJAE | @erikLakomaa

@patrick_andrews spent over 10 years working as an international corporate lawyer for large companies in the UK, France, Canada and Russia. He left that world in 2002, setting off to see if there was a better system somewhere. Since then he has worked with cooperatives, fair trade companies, social enterprises and others looking for better ways of organising the bring out the best in people and serve all. Patrick currently serves on the board of Edgeryders LbG company. | @patrickandr

Iriedawta is a freelance storyteller, longtime Edgeryders member, originally from Yerevan and currently traveling between Armenia and Morocco. A freelancing journalist and mother, she has recently started work with a non-profit alliance focused on impacting the lives of thousands of Syrian-Armenians impacted by the ravaging war in Syria. Her session at Lote addresses just that.

Piotr Działak likes people and is concerned about world poverty and mitigating climate change. He builds an alternative way of living based on cooperation, and solidarity, not competition. He is a coordinating teacher at the International Teacher Training College in Denmark. He also works on developing teaching and learning programmes for teacher education in cooperation with One World University in Mozambique. He cooperates with different development and fundraising organisations and organises events concerning the big issues of our time | @piotrdzialak

@ilariadauria was on the team driving the City of Matera’s winning bid for European Capital of Culture in 2019. The bid itself, and the process of building it, is a case study on what happens when institutions act as platforms to support citizen driven initiatives. For those of us who are just coming into roles where the political landscape has a direct influence on our work, there is also much to be learned from the Matera experience | @iaichka

Marek Hudon holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Management Sciences and a Master in Philosophy. He is currently Professor at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB) and has initiated the European Microfinance Programme, a one-year Master's Degree co-organised by four European universities. He has conducted research in India, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

@gido_van_den_Ende | Born 1947, philosopher specialised in 21st century democracy and entrepreneur specialised in construction sector and wood trade. Spend large chunks of his life in Belgian and European volleyball and together with his wife had a macrobiotic restaurants in suburban Brussels in the early 80s. Widely renowned for his knowledge of displaced peoples worldwide. Very much involved in local politics. Father of four, grandfather of three and recently he and (still the same) wife added two Syrians to their household, so now Gido is also an expert in the gruelling bureaucratic processes of becoming a recognised refugee in Belgium. Enjoys bright colours, tidy rooms and his favourite animal is the owl.

@yara_al_adib | A hybrid design[er/ed] to create change by orchestrating social & business solutions… Besides my eclectic cultural background (Arab raised and Westerly educated), I acquire a mix of disciplines: communication design with service & social design. These disciplines allow me to design with empathy (HCD) keeping in mind both form and function. A mediator between the East & West both in terms of traditions and design perspective. I am currently working in Deloitte Digital Belgium as User Experience and Service Designer.
Jochem Casier is a visual artist and language professor, living and working mostly in Brussels. After a master in fine arts, he started dedicating his time mainly to photography and video projects. Right now he is developing his first feature documentary, depicting an in depth academic research in Colombia. | @jochem_casier

Kirsten Fiedler is a managing director at the European Digital Rights association working to defend rights and freedom in the digital environment. | @kirst3nf

@christine_pu was the editor of Engineers Without Borders’ 2015 Annual Failure Report (recently launched at reports.ewb.ca). The honest and constructive dialogue around failure is initially what drew her to EWB. In the process of compiling this year’s publication, she has grown to appreciate failure as a teacher and the organization as a culture driver in international development. She coordinated the first EWB HOPE chapter at the University of Toronto, and currently serves as the Director of Global Engineering at the McGill University Chapter. Christine is a Loran Scholar studying chemical engineering, with academic interests in biochemical and environmental applications in the renewable energy, green technology, and water treatment sectors.

@wvholst: By day Walter works as a legal consultant on IT-transactions. By night he volunteers for Vrijschrift, a Dutch member of EDRi. The focus of Vrijschrift is mainly on freedom of expression, free flow of information, copyright reform as well as data protection. Walter has a background in both information management as well as a law degree.

A professional in the furniture industry & economic analysis, Mousab fled Syria because of the war in which he lost everything. His brother was killed and his family got dispersed. He’s going for a new life in Belgium and for the time being lives with a Belgian family. He enjoys their warm hospitality. “Peace and love to everyone.” | @mousab_alshikh

Rand escaped from war and death in Syria. She’s been in Belgium for four months now, searching for a better life where she can achieve her dreams. She would like to complete her studies in music and sound engineering, which she had to interrupt due to the war. In Belgium, she returned to one of her favourite pastimes: designing jewellery. | @rand_abu_fakher

Thomas_Goorden runs a create production company from Antwerp, Belgium, called LEF. Together with his team, he’s taking a shot at making the world a better place, with projects centring around sustainability, cycling, immigration, children’s creative development, social inclusion and so on. Thomas started off as a physicist, expanded into improvisation theatre, coding, poetry and film directing and just kept expanding from there. He’ll be wearing his “facilitator” hat at LOTE and is secretly always hoping for one of those magical conversations. | @tgoorden

@hegazy is co-founder of TfC, an ambitious project that maps all formal and informal transportation in Cairo. He is passionate about people, technology, data and the complex systems that arise out of the interaction of the three.

Céline Bouton is passionate about social economics and has been working in different structures of that field in Belgium and abroad (Canada, Philippines, Thailand, France). She worked for 4 years on the ground in a microcredit start-up that provides micro loans and trainings to people with more ideas than financial means. She helped about 150 project holders to launch their company. Céline initiated the MakeSense community in Brussels, an international movement dedicated to helping social entrepreneurs solve their challenges and is the co-founder of SenseCube Brussels. Through active design-thinking, methodological workshops and networking events, she wants to promote innovation and others ways to produce, create or consume and set up the examples. She thinks we all are changemakers and we simply need to be connected to each other and to our local environment to act globally. | @celine_bouton