event contributors

ebbf international annual conferences are unique because of the role of participants, an elevated group of people who are designing the future of business, actively exploring the present and future role of their workplaces. Speakers and participants share an equal role in inspiring the thinking and shared learning that allows you to benefit from both a practical useful set of ideas that you can implement next week in your organization and elevated thinking that helps you re-think your role and that of your organization on a wider level.
“By far the most challenging, thought provoking, yet supportive and empowering event. The only place where diversity has an impact … from undergrads to CEOs everyone having meaningful conversations that lead to concrete actions. Unparalleled.” Ralph Blundell, past event attendee.

Below some of the first confirmed contributors ( we look forward to update the list soon, with the rest of the contributors)
Some of the people who will inspire your thinking and actions at this specific event:

Enrico Giraudi
Professional Counselor. Corporate Consultant. Author and Speaker.
With twenty years of experience in the world of brand communication and with assignments related to strategic planning, business development and innovation (Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWThompson), Enrico Giraudi is now involved in consulting in the field of organizational counseling and human resources, with particular reference to the themes of identity, change and innovation of organizational systems. Systemic, transpersonal and mindfullness disciplines represent a constant reference point for his work and his research. He is the author and speaker and will soon publish his book “Technologies of Intuition”Here a recent interview he offered to ebbf on the theme of the event
Mary Darling
Mary Darling loves to collaborate creatively in all things. She is the co-founder of WestWind Pictures, and has written, directed, produced or executive-produced a string of documentaries on topics ranging from art and religion to children and divorce. She also produced hundreds of hours of lifestyle programming including such hits as This Small Space and Designer Guys. Her television comedy, Little Mosque on the Prairie, is a good example of the kind of content she is interested in exploring “content that can stir hearts towards understanding while laughing”. That series has aired in over 100 countries. She has eight beautiful children doing their part to contribute to the advancement of civilization.
Jose Soto
José is the President of IS Corporation, founded in 1977 and Co Founder at OPTIMO Gestión Empresarial. It´s core business revolves around services and consulting in the areas of energy management, educational technology, document management services, cybersecurity and business applications. Jose makes explicit the foundational principles that make his company successful listing: Unity in diversity, Work as a means to serve others, Integrity and responsibility, Honesty and transparency, Justice and fairness amongst others.
Rhonda Gossen
Rhonda is Senior Policy Advisor, Political, Rohingya Crisis, Bangladesh Desk at Global Affairs Canada | Affaires mondiales Canada.

Over 30 years’ progressively responsible experience in international development, humanitarian and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction and peace operations programming primarily at the Canadian International Development Agency, UNHCR, Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia on human security and conflict; and consulting assignments with World Bank, UNDP & UNICEF.  She has been o Canadian diplomatic assignments in Asia and Africa, recently Pakistan and Afghanistan for the World Bank, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP assignments in Pakistan, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, South Sudan and Southern Africa.
She is also a r
egular contributor to Digital news media on OpenCanada.org


Laurent Burst

Laurent is a photographer and entrepreneur. He wants to understand how the world works since he can remember and has founded several companies. As photographer he works for publications such as Monocle, Wall Street Journal or GQ. His current ventures Herr Rizzi and Coffaina are reshaping the soft drink world in Switzerland and Berlin. He also is a founder of Republik and Project R where he was responsible for the business model and the purpose structure of the company.


Roya Akhavan
Dr. Roya Akhavan currently serves as Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communications, St. Cloud State University. In addition to research and publication in the field of international mass communication, Dr. Akhavan has maintained a research and teaching interest in peace studies. Her most recent work is a book entitled “Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach” (Calumet Editions: 2017). She is a frequent speaker at national and international forums on gender issues, social justice, and spirituality in the 21st century.
Dr. Akhavan’s organizational experience includes serving as Vice President for International Marketing at CVSC, a Chinese State-owned Company in Beijing. In addition to extensive international travel, Dr. Akhavan has lived and worked in four different cultures; Persian, American, Japanese, and Chinese.
Svenja Rüger
Svenja is a facilitator and designer of large scale collaborative sessions. Her passion lies in building resilient communities and facilitating collaborative processes to solve complex challenges on a systems level. She cares a lot about the challenges the world is currently facing and wants to support connecting the dots in order to create impactful, meaningful solutions. She promotes listening to understand, not listening to speak, and holds the space for what is trying to emerge.

She took on lead design and facilitation roles for international engagements with the World Economic Forum, LEGO Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, International Red Cross & Red Crescent, INSEAD Business School, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Berlin Civil Society Centre, and many others
She believes in servant leadership, and that facilitation is all about making it easy.


Silvia Ferlito

Silvia Ferlito is a Business Economist by education and has 15+ years of finance experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Her work in finance was always accompanied with her interest to deeper understand human behavior and change patterns. This led her to study and become a Stress & Mental Coach and Trainer, supporting people in finding their strengths, releasing stress and activating hidden resources.
In her work she can combine both backgrounds and introduce initiatives around mindset change, Capacity Building and trust based communication.
After her graduation Silvia spent one year in Australia and New Zealand and has since then traveled the globe. During a sabbatical she spend some time in South America and engaged in a humanitarian mission in Cochabamba Bolivia. Her high level of drive and energy leads her to find new projects to inspire and support people as well as find places to explore and learn from.


Gigi Alford
Ginous “Gigi” Alford leads the Sport and Human Rights strategy at UNI Global Union’s World Players Association. She also coordinates the Sport & Rights
Alliance, a global coalition of leading NGOs, sports organizations, and trade unions, which she represents on the interim governance committee of the new Geneva-based Centre for Sport and Human Rights. Previously, Ms. Alford
served in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights,
and Labor, where she facilitated the first Sporting Chance Forum. She also
worked stints as a sports reporter and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and San Diego Union-Tribune and in policy advocacy on human rights, governance, and development with Freedom House and the Baha’i International Community.
Gigi holds degrees from Oxford University, the University of Alabama, and
Loyola University in New Orleans, and is a former Knight Foundation Fellow.
Arlette George
A writer and educator with a background in theatre-making & directing.
Received a social innovation award in Edinburgh in 2013 to promote design principles and regeneration in a rural business. Moved out of London with family to Scotland in 2015.
Mottos: “Where there is love there is always time, and nothing is too much trouble.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha and “Yes, let’s!” – Keith Johnstone.
Curious about how pervasive business culture can be helped to get out of its narratives of conflict: what materialism reveals about the human side of a culture of conflict? Primary interest is to invite creativity and human dignity into forming basic patterns for prosperous behaviour.
David Menham
Currently owner/director of Education and Language Solutions Austria, supplying a unique blend of language training, translation services and text correction. 30 years experience as a qualified Teacher/Tutor/Lecturer in colleges , private training agencies and the school system in Austria and the UK.
Last six years spent working for the Vienna Education Board as a native English Teacher. Former Teacher Trainer for Helen Doron Early English Austria. Former Peace Studies Graduate at Bradford University.
Active member of EBBF, International Environment Forum, Meetup Austria, SERVAS Austria, Plastic Planet Verein Austria.
Randy Vaucrosson
Randy is a certified professional Co-Active coach (CPCC) from Coach Training Institute (CTI), and Associate certified coach (ACC) from International Coach Federation (ICF). He currently works at the Nancy Campbell Academy as a residential assistant.
He enjoys facilitating workshops with his wife.
Dan Makoski
is a design executive who leads innovation by design.
He is Chief Design Officer at Lloyds Banking Group, leading a multi-disciplinary human-centered team with the singular goal of helping Britain prosper through empathetic and courageous design.
He was Head of Design at the Fortune 1, started Project ARA at Google, designed the original Surface at Microsoft, led design research globally at Motorola, and was the first VP of Design at Capital One. Dan began his career at the world’s top design agencies, and even started his own at one point.
The common thread across his career is the belief that design is most powerful when it’s an expression of humble service, and innovation is most impactful when it fosters openness and inclusion.

Sahba Sobhani
Sahba Sobhani is a Global Programme Advisor-Private Sector in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS). In this capacity, he provides programme support and policy advice on private sector development issues and technical oversight for UNDP’s multi-stakeholder initiatives including the Business Call to Action Initiative, the Connecting Business Initiative and the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business. He designed the first in the world mobile money-enabled housing repair initiative for early recovery in Haiti and the successful setup of a national CSR Center in Egypt and a global center in Turkey.  He has been the principal author and content manager of all 5 major UNDP-led reports in the area of private sector in development, including Making Business for the Poor, 2008 Global Growing Inclusive Markets Report: Mr. Sobhani was the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. He has also worked in the private sector at Idealab in Palo Alto and Newscom Limited in Singapore. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy
Kate Cacciatore
Kate Cacciatore is a Sustainability practitioner with 15 years of experience working to inspire and transform the business community in the electronics and financial sectors. With a PhD in French Renaissance moral literature (focusing on a theory of divine inspiration) from UCL and training as a Medium at the College of Psychic Studies in London, Kate has been infusing her work on Sustainability with her underlying passion, which is to help individuals and organisations tap into Collective Intelligence in the service of Meaningful Work. Next on the horizon: continuing to support the evolutionary shift to “Teal” or self-managed organisations and finding new, inspired ways to catalyse a global movement to enable people to achieve greater Meaning in their lives.
Carlos Cordoba
He is the founder of OPTIMO Gestión Empresarial, A Costa Rican national, Psychologist by profession with a Masters in Business Administration, he held management positions in companies with national and international coverage. He is the founder and director of the company HUMANTECH, and is the International Tutor of training processes in human resources management by competencies for the ILO.
He is also an Associate Consultant of the Research and Training Center in Public Administration of the University of Costa Rica, and Associate Professor of the Master Programs and Degree in Human Resources of the Technological Institute of Costa Rica.
Moneshia Zu Eitz

Moneshia is co-founder of “toAccompany”, an organizational capacity development consulting practice focused on raising talent and well being from a material, social and spiritual perspective. Her method draws on leadership assessment and development, coaching and cultural integration experience impact on company performance based has 25 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and partnering at IBM and Philips. This human centered approach to growth and performance also draws from on the ground experience in India, Africa, Europe, Japan and the US . As part of bringing people and processes together in pro-bono she also worked in economic justice as part of IBMs Executive Service Corp in Taiwan, and Michael Porter’s Forestry sector team in Venezuela.

Moneshia completed her MBA at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania and is also an active mentor and is co leading the weAccompany program for ebbf. More at: www.toaccompany.com


Matthew Weinberg
Matthew Weinberg served as Research Director of the Bahá’í International Community, in Haifa, Israel, and led the initial work of the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity in contributing to international development discourse. He was a senior analyst with the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment, in Washington, DC, where he directed studies in the areas of environmental and technology policy. He currently serves as director of the Baha’i Internet Agency.


Nadja Schnetzler
Nadja is an innovation, implementation and collaboration expert. She co-founded BrainStore with her partner in 1997 and helped over 1’000 companies, organisations and individuals on five continents to develop and implement great ideas. In 2012, she founded Word and Deed where she focuses on supporting teams and groups in having meaningful conversations and reaching robust decisions.
She is also a co-founder of Republik and Project R, which have the purpose of building a new model for independent journalism in Switzerland and where Nadja helped shape the early team and its collaboration and co-creation processes between 2015 and 2018.
Carmel Khalilian
She is presently the director of Planning Vision a company that provides comprehensive town planning advice to property developers and private individuals, as well as concerned residents and community groups. The key aim is for all stakeholders to fully understand the interdependencies of urban planing, involving all affected parties and creating a truly holistic and effective resulting architectural framework.
She also directed two other creative companies promoting sustainable architecture and responsible events. She brings work experience over ten years across cities including London, Myanmar, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Gibraltar.
Ilona Surgaile
Born in Lithuania, part of Soviet Union at that time, emigrated to US in 1996, crossed the vast ocean of ambiguity and unknown – adapting to the new country, new culture, economic system, language barrier and healed the pain of leaving home country behind… Ilona always considered herself a world citizen and believe that there is one human race on earth; united in diversity, strong in one faith and aiming for the betterment of the world. Through her observations and experiences, she learned something very important: If we are clear on vision, united in efforts and embracing each other’s differences we can reach our personal, professional and organizational dreams. It is possible to transform every end into a new beginning. It is not easy, but it is worth living!

Executive Leadership Coach at Leading Visions, Inc., Ilona specializes in career & life transitions and cross-cultural complexity, effective communication supporting diversity and inclusiveness. Insightful and effective organizational and relationship systems coach, Ilona works with clients on mindfulness to be open and receptive to reality and its gifts permanently honing thinking and behavior patterns that impact business and personal relationships, creativity, and conscious decision making. She has assisted individuals, teams, and organizations in developing the knowledge and skills to create long-term, productive relationships and work satisfaction. Ilona has run various workshops for diverse audiences helping people to excel self and social awareness as well as cultural sensitivity in order to navigate effectively in this ever changing intergenerational and multicultural world.


Oonagh Vaucrosson
Oonagh has been a Virtues Project enthusiast since 2014. In addition to facilitating workshops to share the virtues with others, she works at the Nancy Campbell Academy in Stratford, Ontario. Her professional history is an eclectic mix. She has worked as a prosecutor and defence counsel in Bermuda, a dorm parent at the Townshend International School in the Czech Republic, assisted in creating national Standard of Service certification for the Bermuda tourism industry and a coordinator for community building activities.. She views her professional history as a collection of bountiful opportunities to better learn to connect with people and meet them where they are at and offer life tools to navigate the inevitable peaks and valleys that may perhaps reorient their frame of reference.
Anila Hussain
Driven by a strong business mindset since childhood, Anila, a national level gymnast, was raised in Karachi, the cosmopolitan fashion hub of the East. Her zest for knowledge led her to become a Montessori International Educator, settled in Geneva, Switzerland. Alongside her teaching role as a Montessori educator, Anila’s formative years were spent pursuing fashion styling consultancy in Switzerland.

This led her to create SHENANNZ an international brand of couture collection across fashion events and platforms such as Montreux Moda Switzerland, London Fashion week, House of iKons, Swiss Fashion week Manor, Vevey and Globus Geneva.

Anila is committed to emancipation and empowerment of impoverished women, by fostering their creativity to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families. Her dream is to spread the message of gender equality through entrepreneurship and education, across the world.