Meet the Speakers


Ahmed Bastawy

Ahmed Bastawy is a mechanical engineer who became a social engineer! He believes that grassroots initiatives are the keys to scaling up social impact. He founded a couple of training initiatives and companies after being involved in different national and international organizations. He currently runs icealex innovation hub that supports startups and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Alexandria, in addition to founding and being the international business development manager at iceHubs Global CIC (a UK based social enterprise) that focuses on transforming sustainability challenges into green businesses. Recently, Ahmed has co-authored a hands-on book (both in English & Arabic) entitled “Social Innovation Handbook for Practitioners: Innovating Ideas for the Labor Market in Egypt”. He is actively participating at the Global Innovation Gathering, Afrilabs network, Fablab networks and many other local & international conferences and events. He’s been a lead trainer, facilitator and programs architect on different topics in Africa and Europe. In addition to mentoring and coaching different startups and enterprises, Ahmed also consults government organizations in Africa and Europe on designing & implementing programs focusing on youth empowerment, social innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development. Going through a long journey he started, from being part of Charity-based NGOs to development, from sustainable development to entrepreneurship, and all the way to social innovation & social entrepreneurship he settled where he found his passion.

Carolina Olson

Carolina is a space expert, gamer, facilitator, maker and all around representative of what we believe are the amazing developments that have and will change the world. By connecting people and society and technology, she has been able to turn her passions into her job. Community managing allows her to keep learning and still works hard to create opportunities for myself and others here and internationally. Working with startups and entrepreneurs has fuelled a great interest in involving herself with new business ideas and acts as a mentor for inclusion and diversity. She really believes in the strength of conviction and the power of ideas and she spends her time enabling others, through Makerspace Linköping, the co-working space East Sweden Game and the initiative Social Impact Gateway among other things.

Claudia Gross

Dr. Claudia Gross is an Organizational Development Consultant, Management Trainer, Transformation Catalyst, Social Processes Facilitator and Host. She has a vast working experience in Germany, the Maghreb, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. She trains and offers consultancy regarding a wide variety of topics within the areas of Organizational Design and Development, Change Management Processes, Leadership Development, Human Sources Management and development of individuals and teams. She facilitates strategic planning workshops, team building retreats and multistakeholder processes and events. For more information, kindly check her website . Claudia is both the founder of human-centered Organizational Governance ( promoting life at work, and the initiator of speakGreen which is offering a new emerging vocabulary that is providing a generative, constructive language for the future (

Khalil El-Masry

Khalil El-Masry, Information Technology & Networking Consultant. He is the founder of "Madad for Information Technology" company providing IT support to the civic society, and one of the co-founders of "Selmiyah" (Peacefully) movement promoting culture of peace in Egypt. Khalil is also a member of different peace building and intercultural exchange networks such as UN Alliance of Civilization Alumni. He worked as a consultant in many projects, and facilitated many workshops promoting culture of peace, citizenship, civic engagement, and peaceful conflict transformation.

Victoria Wenzelmann

Victoria Wenzelmann holds M.A. degrees in Cultural Anthropology and African Studies and is a Co-founder and Executive Director of GIG Global Innovation Gathering. From 2008 till 2012, she managed a medium-sized metal production business and afterwards used her experience to become a Systemic Organizational Consultant and Agile Coach. She consults start-ups, established businesses and international organizations. Her work focuses on digital product development, agile product management and systemic organizational design for co-located and remote teams and organizations - among others, in Germany, South Sudan, El Salvador, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Victoria regularly gives workshops on team development, leadership and new forms of work, like Holacracy and Teal Organizations. She also coaches individuals based on systemic and Gestalt approaches, as well as Theory U. In 2013, she co-organized AfricaHackTrip, a journey of nine European developers and designers to East Africa to connect local tech ecosystems.

Paulina Raduchowska

Paulina Raduchowska (Polish), has been living in Alexandria and working for the Anna Lindh Foundation since 2012. She strongly believes in the mission of the ALF, which promotes dialogue between cultures across the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to her work in project management, she is a certified Astanga Vinyasa and Air Yoga teacher (TTC200hrs from Mysore India). An apt traveler, world cuisine enthusiast and propagator of a healthy, active lifestyle, she believes in the importance of a peaceful and respectful co-existence of peoples of all cultures, in close connection with Nature.

Abdalla Daif

Abdalla is a writer, theatre director and cultural manager based in Alexandria. He has been working in performing arts since 1997. His artwork is challenging the concept of authority, through enhancing the artistic practices as a method of deep democracy and social transformation. Encouraging audiences to discover, imagine and co-create possible new scenarios of social life. His work seeks to bring contemporary artistic practices closer to people who are usually removed from cultural and social participation, in order to enable them to re-think their lives and their shared future in creative and critical ways. His artwork allows contemporary artists to work on the streets and other public spaces like cafes and market places‚ establishing and developing a new generation of artistic spaces that are both financially and intellectually sustainable. He was involved in the organization of the first independent theatre festival and has also worked as a researcher at Egypt‘s National Centre for Theatre, Music and Folklore. Since 2004, he works as Program Manager at the Gudran Association for Art and Development. He has worked with communities and in Egypt, Italy, France, Malta and Cyprus.

Maryam Sherif

Maryam Sherif is an engineer who graduated from Alexandria Faculty of Engineering. After graduation she decided to shift to the humanitarian field and started her career at UNHCR. Currently she is a registration assistant at UNHCR. Since high school she was engaged in voluntarily work with many youth initiatives and organizations being a member at Alpha Leo Club Of Alexandria and AIESEC Alexandria. She was also an organizer at TEDx and UNEP. Currently Maryam is global shaper being the vice curator of Global Shapers Alexandria.

Ahmed Esmat

A serial media entrepreneur, winner of the Media Creativity prize, Arab Thoughts Foundation, the co-founder of "Alex Agenda" magazine, the first local bi-lingual cultural magazine in Alexandria, Egypt; which covers the cultural and art events happening in Alexandria, with a special attention to youth initiatives, social media, entrepreneurship and offering its audience a wide range of topics to attach them with their city. In 2012 he co-founded "Amwague Sakandarya" Newspaper which was concerned with the deep local issues of the Alexandrian community. In addition, he had published various articles in different newspapers and websites about media and entrepreneurship. Ahmed launched the Alexandria Media Forum in 2013, a regional Platform to enhance the local media scene and to support citizenship journalism and the use of the new tools in the media field. Alex Media Forum offered an opportunity to the young journalists in the Arab Region to exchange ideas in media field. In April 2017, AMF will witness its 5th version. He is a board member in various national and international cultural and media institutions. He’s a certified media trainer; he trained people of different backgrounds in Egypt, Arab Countries and Europe. Ahmed is involved in the entrepreneurship scene and mentored tens of media projects and startups all over the Arab region. He focuses on delivering a mixture between the academic and practical media experience to the Egyptian students through lecturing in different Universities.

Daria Ofman

Daria Ofman works as facilitator, trainer and researcher on leadership development, group dynamics and creative organizations. She designs learning programs, workshops, retreats and experimentation labs on a diverse range of societal issues, in the Netherlands, Egypt and around the world. For years she worked as a strategic advisor for the public sector in the Netherlands, where she did projects for the Dutch parliament, various ministries and larger educational institutions on dialogue and co-creation processes, research, strategic policy assessments and facilitating think-tank sessions. She has a bachelors in political science and a masters in international law. In 2011 she co-founded Sunryse, a leadership foundation that acts as a leadership lab that develops content and facilitation tools, organizes workshops and lectures on leadership. In the past years she worked in Greece, England, Scotland, Portugal, Egypt, Qatar and the Netherlands. Her work focusses on the direct empowerment of committed individuals, entrepreneurs and companies, supporting the development of their awareness, agency and effectiveness. Through strategic facilitation and an experiential learning methodology, she uses theory, conceptual frameworks, reflection and play. In her work she always aims at facilitating the transition from fear to love in which people can live from a place of freedom while awakening a sense of responsibility to their society and values they choose to live by. Since 2014 she is the owner of Shift Works, a Dutch company specialized in facilitation and training. In Egypt she is currently connected to the Middle East Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (MCSBE), mainly working with entrepreneurs and start-up companies to make the leap into the unknown and find their feet to grow.