Parallel Sessions’ speakers


Future of work


Menno Bart

Menno Bart is Public Affairs Manager at the Adecco Group. He manages the Group’s relationship with global and European institutional stakeholders. Menno regularly contributes to discussions on the future of work, (youth) employability and skills, and a range of other labour market related topics.

Previously, Menno worked as a lobbyist in Brussels for the World Employment Confederation, the industry federation representing the HR services industry, and as a consultant for Russchen Consultants. Menno is a former diplomat for the Dutch government in Prague and on Aruba.


Alison Crabb

Head of Unit “Skills and Qualifications", European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion 

Alison Crabb, working in the European Commission since 1999, currently heads the Skills and Qualifications Unit in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Her team is working with Member States, social partners and other stakeholders to improve skills development and skills intelligence for better career choices, and to make skills and qualifications more visible and comparable. Her previous work in the Commission includes both policy and funds management in vocational education and training, adult learning, and school education. Most recently she was closely involved with developing the New Skills Agenda for Europe and the European Pillar of Social Rights. 


Peter Fredman

Peter Fredman is a second generation family business owner and Chairman of the Board at Fredman Group Oy. They are striving to make the perfect kitchen by turning professional kitchens into intelligent and sustainable working environments. The company must continuously renew itself, as technology and time changes their business landscape. Peter’s main passions are digitalization of small companies, entrepreneurship and leadership that is needed in times of transformation.


Henna Pursiainen

Henna Pursiainen is the CEO of Dare to Learn, the festival of rethinking learning. She is also the Vice President of the Finnish National Youth Council and her background is in social sciences, advocacy and NGOs. She is interested in revolutionizing learning and finding out what kind of impact learning can have not only on individuals but also on organizations and on societies as a whole.


Pekka Puustinen

Pekka Puustinen is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at OP Financial Group. Prior to joining OP, Puustinen worked at Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, most recently as CCO and Member of Executive Group. Before that, he acted as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. Puustinen holds a PhD in Economics and Business Administration. In 2015 he acted as a Visiting Professor at University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.


Moderator: Mika Saarinen

Mika Saarinen is Counsellor of Education and Head of Section at the Finnish National Agency for Education EDUFI, which is the national development body of education and training in Finland. He has worked for close to twenty years with both vocational education and training and higher education issues. He is experienced in European Union questions and has extensive knowledge in implementing the Erasmus-programme and its predecessors. His experience spans both national and international development work within the EU and globally concerning education, the world of work and skills & competences. Mika has a master’s degree within theoretical philosophy from the University of Helsinki, Finland and he also has done further studies in international politics and adult education.

Education and learning


Hans Renman

Hans Renman, Education & digitalisation strategist from Sweden. Hans Renman has worked as a principal and is an education and digitalisation entrepreneur. He is the former CEO of Apple Professional Development in Sweden and has been involved with school development and the digitalisation of Swedish schools. He has been working with digitalisation and innovation strategies at Vinnova, Sweden's Innovation Agency and at Swedish Association of Local Authorities.


Roosa Pajunen

Roosa Pajunen is the President of the Union of Upper Secondary School Students. The organisation is politically and religiously independent and works for the well-being of upper secondary school students, especially in questions regarding education and social policy.


Ulf-Daniel Ehlers 

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is a learning innovation expert, founder of, serial entrepreneur, and Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University in Karlsruhe in 2011. From 2011–2017 he held the position of Vice-President at the same university and has been responsible for Quality and Academic Affairs. He held positions as Associate Professor of University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning of University Augsburg (Germany) and Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Management and Technology of the University of Maryland University College (USA). He is author of more than 10 books and 150 scholarly articles with over 3000 academic citations. Ulf is a trained coach, facilitator and expert for mindful communication, and holds degrees in English Language, Social Sciences and Education Sciences from the University of Bielefeld, where he finished his Ph.D. with honours in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning in 2003.

Teemu Kokko

Ph.D. (Econ.), Adjunct professor Teemu Kokko is the President at HAAGA-HELIA – University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland. During his career he has lived and worked abroad a total of nine years (Moscow, Budapest & Oslo) and he is deeply involved in numerous international activities. He is an ad hoc columnist for two Finnish hospitality-industry magazines and a regular guest-speaker at seminars and conferences. He has also been a visiting lecturer at several universities and universities of applied science both abroad and in Finland. During his freetime Mr Kokko carries on with some academic work and his major research interests relate to offering development, service design, sales and customer strategies and general business development.


Gohar Hovhannisyan

Gohar Hovhannisyan is the Vice-President of the European Students’ Union. Her main focus is in the area of quality of higher education, with an emphasis given to quality assurance, learning and teaching and meaningful students’ participation in HE governance. She has extensive experience of student representation that started from the local level at the governing board of the Armenian State University of Economics and continued to National and European level. On the national level, she was leading the establishment of the national QA pool student-experts and currently is developing the one existing at ESU. Currently, she serves as an Executive Board member of EQAR, as well as represents ESU in the Advisory Group on Learning & Teaching of the Bologna Follow-up Group. 

Innovation and research boosting competitiveness


Karoli Hindriks

Karoli is the CEO &founder of Jobbatical, a company nominated by Forbes as one of Europe's 10 Most Exciting Technology SMEs For 2018. Jobbatical is a startup making immigration smart. They are changing lives and building high-performing teams by relocating exceptional people to impactful tech jobs around the world. In 2017 she was nominated as a speaker at the Fortune Magazine Most Powerful Women International Summit. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 EU-Startups named Karoli one of the 50 most influential women in the European startup and VC space. She founded her first company at the age of 16, officially becoming the youngest inventor of Estonia. She lead the launch of seven television channels in Northern Europe, incl. National Geographic Channels and MTV.


Juha Heikkilä

Since 2014 Juha Heikkilä has been the Head of the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence unit in the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, which develops the Commission policy and activities in Artificial Intelligence. The Commission has been funding a multidisciplinary programme on Cognitive Systems, Robotics and AI since 2004, focusing on smart robots and artificial systems, and in 2014 it set up a Public-Private Partnership in Robotics. Previously, Juha Heikkilä was involved in computational and corpus linguistic research at the University of Helsinki, and he has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge.


Timo Leskinen

Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Konecranes

Timo Leskinen is the Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Konecranes, he has been a member of the Group Executive Board since 2013. Prior to joining Konecranes he worked for Nokia and Fiskars.


Moderator: Maria Wetterstrand

Maria Wetterstrand is the CEO of Miltton Purpose. With a background in Swedish politics, as a member of Parliament and spokesperson for the Swedish Green Party, she has worked with sustainability and environmental issues for over 20 years. Since she left politics in 2011 she has focused mainly on sustainability in the business sector. 

Continuous learning now and in the future


Esko Kilpi

Esko Kilpi is the founder and principal of Esko Kilpi Company, a leading research and advisory firm laying the intellectual foundations of post-industrial, post-fossil work environments. In addition to his work as a management author, Esko Kilpi takes part in academic research and lectures on the topics of interactive value creation, ethical operating systems and intelligent technologies augmenting human capabilities. Esko Kilpi is frequently invited as a keynote speaker in management and technology conferences globally. He also advises both public sector organisations and leading global multinational companies. A large part of his work is based on sciences of complexity and theories of complex social systems.


Jane Hart 

Jane Hart is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT) and Director of the Centre for Modern Workplace Learning (C4MWL). Jane has been advising businesses for over 30 years and currently focuses on helping organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and the author of a number of books including Modern Workplace Learning 2019.


Moderator: Veera Heinonen 

Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Sitra

Veera has extensive experience from the world of media and government communications. Prior to Sitra, Veera was the spokesperson for the President of the Republic of Finland. Veera joined the President’s cabinet from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where she led the Department of Communications. Before joining the civil service, Veera worked as a journalist at Reuters news agency and Finland’s national broadcasting company Yle amongst others. At Sitra Veera gets to focus on communicating new ideas that will tackle the big challenges of our time.