Speakers and moderators

Master of Ceremony

Ali Al-Jaberi

Ali Al-Jaberi is a professional moderator and studio presenter of high-level events. He is a former Europe correspondent for Associated Press Television News and university lecturer of Public Policy. Ali is multiple award-winning public speaker and works on virtually any topic in public policy. See www.promoderation.nl.

Welcome and opening remarks by the Forum Bureau representatives

Julie Martinaud

Julie Martinaud works on policy and projects related to migration and inclusion of migrants in SOLIDAR, that she joined in 2019. Previously she worked in a public administration in France, documenting violence against women and girls. In SOLIDAR she coordinates a working group of members working with migrants, including refugees, she implements ESF+ and Horizon 2020 projects and represents SOLIDAR in migration-related spaces, including the Bureau of the European Migration Forum since 2021.

Rudi Osman

Rudi Osman is a passionate advocate for human rights and a fervent promoter of justice and democracy. Having actively participated in the Syrian revolution during the Arab Spring, Rudi faced repeated arrests and tortures. However, this challenging experience strengthened his resilience and dedication to improving the living conditions of vulnerable people.
Forced to leave Syria, Rudi found refuge in France where he continued to work for justice while resuming his law studies at the University Paris 2 Assas. Throughout his journey, he had to overcome significant obstacles as a refugee, including the insufficient awareness of university staff and professors about the specific challenges faced by exiled students.
In response to these challenges, Rudi founded the Union of Exiled Students in 2018, an organization dedicated to providing administrative, academic, and psychological support to exiles wishing to resume their studies in France.
Recognized for his leadership and commitment, Rudi was honored as a laureate of the Obama Foundation's European Leaders 2022 program. Additionally, he is a jury member of the Fondation de France, an invited member of the MENS network office, and an elected member of the board of the European Migration Forum.

Inspirational story

Seppe Nobels

Seppe Nobels has been offering newcomers from different language backgrounds the opportunity for a new life since 2021. In his Antwerp Instroom Academy, a collaboration between Seppe and the nonprofit organization Gatam, refugees from around the world are retrained as chefs, sous-chefs, commis, or service staff. The knowledge gained by the now dozens of asylum seekers can also be immediately applied in the Instroom restaurant. With this Academy concept, Green Michelinstarred chef Seppe Nobels addresses two needs simultaneously. Firstly, a purely human one: the dishes prepared by the students are often the only memories they have left of their roots. It literally often involves recipes or culinary techniques they learned from their (grand)parents. However, due to war, persecution, or hunger distress, they can no longer return to their home country. The second need addressed by Instroom is purely economic. The Belgian hospitality sector is groaning under a shortage of skilled professionals. Fulfilling the culinary dreams of asylum seekers also simultaneously addresses a shortage in the industry. Additionally, all Instroom dishes are primarily prepared with local products and ingredients. So, it's sustainability two times. - Chef with a passion for sustainable cooking using local, organic vegetables within the season. - Chef at 'Restaurant Misverstand,' the restaurant from the TV series on VRT 1, where staff with a diagnosis of early-onset dementia work. - Chef at the restaurant 'Instroom Academy,' awarded a green Michelin star. - Author of various cookbooks, including the award-winning 'Een kookboek.' With this book, he became the first Belgian to win the golden cookbook of the BeNeLux. Projects of Seppe Nobels: INKA, sustainable student canteen, _The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Europe _ UNITED WE cook - live - dream - eat social, cultural and culinary responsible experience _Gasthuis, Mechelen, Europe_ Seppe Nobels Instroom academy | Antwerp Restaurant Misverstand | VRT 1 Gasthuis | Mechelen, Europa www.seppenobels.be

Faeiq Al-Mamoor

Nico Dockx

Nico Dockx (1974) works as a visual artist, curator, publisher and researcher with a fundamental interest in archives. His interventions, publications, texts, sounds, images, installations, performances and conversations —which are usually the result of collaborations with other artists— embody the relationship between perception and memory, which he interprets differently each time. His work has won him a DAAD grant in Berlin (2005), and various prizes like Le Prix Jeune Peinture Belge —the Emile & Stephy Langui prize (2009, together with Helena Sidiropoulos). Since 2000 he has exhibited his work at home and abroad and has published more than forty artist's books with his independent imprint Curious. He is co-founder of interdisciplinary projects such as Building Transmissions (2001–2009),  Extra Academy (2011—…), A Dog Republic (2012—2020), and la Galerie Imaginaire (2015—…, together with Sébastien Delire). He collaborates with Lightmachine agency in Ghent. Together with Louwrien Wijers, Egon Hanfstingl and many other collaborations, he has been working on his PhD project The New Conversations at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and which he obtained in 2014 at CAC Brétigny upon invitation of curator Pierre Bal Blanc. He also co-organized with Pascal Gielen the summer schools Mobile Autonomy (2015) and Making Public Domain (2017)/ Commonism/ Swamp School (2018) with accompanied books with Valiz Publishers Amsterdam. He has currently edited and designed a prospective catalogue with his archives reflecting on twenty-five years practice.

Keynote speeches

Ylva Johansson

Twitter: @YlvaJohansson
Ylva Johansson (born 13 February 1964) was appointed European Commissioner for Home Affairs in December 2019. From Sweden, she was Minister for Employment in the Swedish Government from 2014 to 2019, Minister for Welfare and Elderly Healthcare from 2004 to 2006 and Minister for Schools from 1994 to 1998. Ms. Johansson was educated at Lund University and the Stockholm Institute of Education. She is married with three children.

Oliver Röpke

Twitter: @EESC_President

Oliver Röpke was elected as the president of the EESC in April 2023. Member of EESC since 2009, Mr Röpke was the president of the EESC Workers' Group, a member of the EESC Bureau and rapporteur of many EESC resolutions and opinions on employment and social policy, single market and innovation. Mr Röpke headed the Brussels office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and took on several senior positions including as ÖGB representative to the EU institutions, the Executive Committee of the ETUC, and an advisory member of the ÖGB federal executive board. Mr Röpke has a legal background and holds a law degree from the University of Vienna.

Parallel Roundtables

Roundtable 1 - How to identify and support migrants and refugees with specific needs?

Gabriella Agatiello

Gabriela is the Head of Programmes and Policy at ICMC Europe and the SHARE Network. SHARE supports an inclusive network of EU-based communities and actors engaged in the welcoming and inclusion of newcomers in Europe. At SHARE she leads the organisations’ work on inclusion, safe pathways to protection and community sponsorship, bringing together a consortium of actors experienced in migrant and refugee inclusion across Europe, ensuring that the voices and experiences of grassroots stakeholders are present at the EU level. Before moving to Belgium, she worked in the area of mental health and migrant and refugee settlement and integration in Canada and in research and community development in Argentina. Gabriela holds a master’s degree in political science and social work and a post-graduate diploma in migration management.

Carmen Cosentino

Vice-Prefect. Currently entrusted with the special task of coordinating reception activities at the hotspot of Lampedusa. Until mid-2023 she worked for many years at the Department of Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Italian Ministry of Interior, covering various functions in the area of reception management. In this framework she also coordinated in 2022-2023 the elaboration of the Ministry’s handbook on vulnerable migrants.

Fatima Awil

Fatima is Somali and grew up in the United Kingdom. She has a background in human rights research, policy and advocacy with NGOs. Prior to joining Mental Health Europe, Fatima worked as the Advocacy and Policy Officer for End Female Genital Mutilation European Network and later as project Coordinator for Our Narratives Yet Xplained (ONYX) Hub. As well as being an intersectional feminist, Fatima is an experienced speaker and advocate, with over nine years of experience in advocacy and campaigning. She also co-founded Youth For Change in 2014, a global youth-led network, working in partnership with organisations and governments to tackle gender-based violence and create positive change for young people. Fatima holds a BA (Hons) in Law and Human Rights, and an LLM in International Law and International Relations. 

Marta D'agosto

Hands-on humanitarian with extensive experience in protection, coordination, emergency response and emergency-peace-development nexus in several contexts (Asia, Middle-East, Europe, Africa and  Americas) working with Refugee, IDP, Returnee and mixed migration settings. Working for UNHCR since 2010, currently Community-based Protection Officer in UNHCR Multi-Country Office for Italy, Holy See and San Marino, responsible for a portfolio ranging from gender-based violence, child protection, persons with specific needs, communication with communities and community engagement, health. In this framework, responsible for the strategy on persons with specific needs that includes the support provided to authorities to set-up a system for identification, referral and response.

Jennifer Zuppiroli

Jennifer Zuppiroli is advocacy and policy advisor on migrant and refugee children in Save the Children Spain and counts with 10 years’ experience in special needs of most vulnerable profiles in migration policies. She holds a Degree in International development and cooperation at Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna and a Master Degree in Migration Asylum and European relations at Universidad Autonoma in Madrid.

Sara de Hovre

Roundtable 2 - How can we change the narrative on migration in the age of polarisation and disinformation?

James Dennison

James Dennison is part-time Professor at the Migration Policy Centre of the European University Institute, where he leads the Observatory of Public Attitudes to Migration (OPAM) – the first observatory to collect and produce comprehensive, international data on public attitudes toward migration. His research interests include political attitudes, psychology and behaviour, the politics of migration and research methods. His work primarily covers Europe as well as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. James Dennison has published in numerous international academic journals, such as the Journal of European Public Policy, European Union Politics, Party Politics, The International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Political Quarterly, and Mediterranean PoliticsHe regularly advises European and international organisations on the politics of migration. He previously worked at the European Commission and the British Houses of Parliament.