Meet the Summit Speakers
Publisher - Beirut, Lebanon
Ibrahim Nehme is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Outpost magazine. Published from Beirut, The Outpost is a magazine of possibilities that aims present a better narrative about the Arab world. It won Magazine of the Year at the Magpile Awards and the Subscribers’ Choice at the Stack Awards. The Guardian referred to it as ‘a successor to the Economist‘, Buzzfeed named it as one of fifteen small printed magazines you need to read, and it was selected on Monocle Radio as one of the top three magazines of 2015.
Publisher, The Cooperation - Amst
(1968) director / publisher of De Cooperatie, a newly created collective for freelance journalists. Teun is de former publisher/director of weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, he speaks regularly on politics, culture and media, and is seen as transverse but original and inspiring thinker. Gautier was at a young age director of a division of Reed Elsevier and its 29th member of the Dutch management. He said goodbye to launch a number of companies, made several (interim) assignments, including at De Telegraaf, Free Press Unlimited and Het Concertgebouw and landed in 2009 his great love De Groene Amsterdammer. He was also president of a political party in Amsterdam. Since coming to De Groene Amsterdammer the business grows fast. Gautier initiated the acquisition of Literary Magazine Guide, the company moved and sorted out the debts. De Groene Amsterdammer is now considered thriving outsider in the turbulent world of publishing and co-founder of the correspondent, the new journalistic platform from Rob Wijnberg. Following an in-depth research into new business models, he started De Cooperatie.
The Guardian & Ethical Journalism Network
Chris Elliott is the former Readers’ editor of the Guardian, London, and was also Managing Editor for ten years, having joined the Guardian’s news desk in 1995. He began his career in local newspapers before moving to the Sunday Telegraph, where he was the home affairs correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph, chief reporter for the Sunday Correspondent and also worked for The Times. He has also served on the boards of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Society of Editors and the International News Safety Institute. He is now an editorial standards adviser for IMPRESS and a member of the Ethical Journalism Network as well as chair of Concern Worldwide (UK).
Filmmaker - Tehran, Iran
Gelareh Kiazand is a filmmaker and shooter mainly focusing on issues and stories in the Middle East. She had lived in Iran for six years working as a still photographer, and shooting video for both fiction stories and feature documentaries, later becoming one of the first women to shoot a feature film. Her work later took her to Afghanistan, where she worked as a creative director while producing a few stories for VICE and shooting 2nd Camera for Hollywood films such as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Her interest has always lied in bringing the art of cinema to documentary filmmaking (and vice versa) while reflecting on certain cultural losses in the Middle East. Gelareh was born in Iran and finished her studies in London and Toronto after growing up in the UAE.
Managing Editor, Refugeesdeeply
Preethi Nallu is the managing editor of Refugees Deeply and a multimedia storyteller. Born in Iran and raised in India, she has reported on global displacement in a variety of contexts, from Myanmar’s ethnic minorities to the protracted Palestinian refugee crisis and more recently, the Mediterranean crossings. Before joining Refugees Deeply, she reported for mainstream media outlets and global think-tanks and led multimedia campaigns for the UN and humanitarian agencies.
Director, GFMD - Brussels
Ayman Mhanna (Lebanon) is the Director of the Brussels-based Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) since January 2016. For the last five years, Ayman has also been leading the Beirut-based Samir Kassir Foundation, a prominent press freedom organization in the Middle East. He previously served as Senior Program Officer for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and a Lecturer at Beirut’s Saint Joseph University. He holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris.
Freelance Journalist - Middle East
Iason Athanasiadis is a journalist and videographer covering the East Mediterranean and Middle East. Over twenty years in a region in flux, whose physical and mental walls are in the process of collapsing, he seeks to inform his journalism through speaking Arabic, Greek, Farsi and Turkish, and living in cities such as Athens, Istanbul, Tunis, Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, Kabul and Tripoli, Libya.
Editor, MacroPolis- Athens
Nick Malkoutzis and a group of colleagues launched MacroPolis, a website providing political and economic analysis about Greece, in September 2013. He is also a columnist at Greece’s only English language newspaper, Kathimerini English Edition, which is published in partnership with the International New York Times. From Athens, Nick has been a contributor to Businessweek, The Guardian and Die Zeit. He has commented on Greek current affairs for a range of international media, including BBC News, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg TV and NPR. Nick has written several policy papers about Greece for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Germany. In 2015, Nick was awarded the Ernest Udina Prize for European journalism by the Association of European Journalists of Catalonia (APEC)
Arab Reporters Investigative Jour
Hamoud Almahmoud : Managing Editor at Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ). in 2014 established ARIJ’s MENA Research & Data Desk as part of a “follow the money” investigation project in cooperation between ARIJ and OCCRP- Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (Sarajevo based center). Almahmoud started Working with ARIJ as an investigative reporter in Syria from 2006, he advanced as an ARIJ coach, supervising new investigative reporters from Syria. He has a Master’s Degree in Media and Communications, and has received many fellowships and advanced training opportunities at BBC, Reuters, IREX, IMF, Swedish TV and OCCRP. He won a regional prizes in investigative journalism in 2008 and 2015. He also serves as a speaker and trainer at many regional and global investigative journalism conferences. Previously, he edited Al Iqtisadi leading business magazine and Aliqtisadi.com portal (Syria). He was lecturer at Damascus University ‘s Faculty of Media, Radio and TV Department, teaching Investigative Journalism. (2013-2014). He was an economic expert at Carnegie Middle East Center (CMEC) and UN ESCWA–Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in 2013.
Journalist, Platform24 - Istanbul
Yavuz Baydar has been a journalist for 35 years. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Currently, he writes opinion columns, in Turkish, Ozgur Dusunce and Haberdar, on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El Pais, The Arab Weekly, – and Al Jazeera website. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history.
Enrico De Angelis
Enrico De Angelis: Enrico De Angelis has a PhD in Political Communication (University of Salerno). He mainly works on new media and public sphere in Syria and Egypt, but also on grassroots media, political communication, and journalism in the MENA region. He did a post-doc at Cedej, Cairo, between 2012 and 2014 analysing the networked public sphere in Egypt. He is one of the co-founders of the Syrian web aggregator SyriaUntold. He currently works as a media analyst for Free Press Unlimited and did several consultancies for organizations such as Unesco, International Media Support, Hivos and Canal France International. He has held teaching positions at the American University of Cairo, Roberto Ruffilli Faculty and the Political Science Faculty at University of Bologna. He published a monograph on media and conflict and several articles on media in the MENA region. He is particularly interested in critical approaches to internet studies and the networked public sphere in the Arab world. He has lived in Cairo since September 2011.
Co-founder, Mada Masr - Cairo
Maha ElNabawi is a writer and a co-founder of independent Egyptian media company, Mada Masr, where she performs a hybrid role between being a publisher, music journalism, and concert events. With several years of publishing experience in New York City, Maha worked with indie pop culture magazines the likes of Tokion, Inked, and Surface working on business development, integrated marketing and event activations. Upon returning to Egypt, and driven by a vehemence for music, she began documenting the alternative cultural landscape with much of her written work published in The Guardian UK, The Wire UK, Spex, Playboy, The National, and Beehype. This year, Maha will publish her first collective book as part of the Goethe Institute project, titled Ten Cities, a sociological and cultural study through the lens of dance music and club culture.
Editor, Mada Masr - Cairo
Lina Attalah is co-founder and editor of Mada Masr, a bilingual news website based in Cairo and one of its independent voices. She worked in journalism for over a decade, covering mostly Egypt, but also significant moments in places like Sudan, Syria and Iran among others. She was previously the editor of Egypt Independent, another once-leading voice in local media. Besides journalism, she has been part of different research-based art and educational projects around intellectual history, technology and mobility.
Media Entrepreneur - Tehran
Alireza Jozi is the Co-founder of TechRasa, the Iranian tech and startup news analysis, the goal of TechRasa is to promote the Iranian startup ecosystem to the world and to help Iranian startup get more international reach, addition to that TechRasa also supports and investor and entrepreneurs that want to reach out to Iran. He has a passion to bridge startup ecosystems together. With this passion and goal, TechRasa means to expand its reach to the Middle-East and cover more than Iran, and to be a motive to connect entrepreneurs, startups and investors from all around the region together.
Journalist - Athens
Thodoris Georgakopoulos: is a writer and has worked as a journalist, editor and digital media consultant. Main interests are long form non-fiction writing, literature and the development of new digital media products. He is the editorial director at Dianeosis, a research institute based in Athens, Greece and the author of four books.
Filmmaker- Izmir, Turkey
Valantis Stamelos is a director, writer, and producer originally from New York City. Having produced several years for MTV Networks, Nickelodeon Television, and multiple films within the NY indie film scene, he has since moved abroad producing documentary films and commercial work from the city of Izmir, Turkey. In 2011, he produced and directed the documentary film ‘Hello Anatolia’, which received acclaim in both the US and Europe. The film was featured by the American College of Greece and the Sismanoglio Megaro Consul General of Greece in Istanbul. Stamelos was selected for his work as one of the representatives of the Greek diaspora in the ‘Greeks Gone West’ campaign by the US Embassy of Greece and Kathimerini Newspaper. Stamelos is currently finishing his second feature film documentary ‘Journey Through Smyrna’, which features the story of developing the first-ever musical concert of Smyrneika to take place on the famous waterfront of Izmir (Smyrna Quay). Valantis Stamelos is a graduate of S.I. Newhouse School Syracuse University, and has recently been selected as the instructor for the American College of Izmir’s International Baccalaureate film program beginning Fall 2016.
Journalist, 7iber - Amman
Doa Ali is a multimedia journalist from Palestine. She is currently the managing editor of the online magazine, 7iber.com, based in Amman. After studying Journalism and Political Sciences in Ramallah in 2012, she worked as a media officer for a children’s rights NGO,T then as a reporter and editor for a news outlet and a local newspaper in Ramallah. After moving to Amman to study New Media, she started working as a reporter and assistant editor with 7iber, before becoming managing editor in 2014. 7iber is a magazine that seeks to promote an open society through in-depth journalism, critical analysis and public conversation.
Journalist, La Stampa - Milan
Marta Ottaviani is an Italian journalist, currently based in Milan, after eight years in Istanbul, but coming back very often. Focused on Turkey and Greece, she covered the main politic and financial events in both of countries for several Italian media, including La Stampa and Avvenire newspaper. She wrote two books on Turkey, Cose da Turchi and Mille e una Turchia. The third one is coming out next fall.
Co-founder, Athens Live
Sotiris Sideris studied journalism in Athens and holds a MA in New Media and Digital Culture from the University of Amsterdam. He has produced content for various media outlets, ranging from a tech startup to a leading national newspaper. In 2015 Sotiris co-founded AthensLive, where he works as a community manager and as a video producer.
Michael Irving Jensen is head of the MENA department at International Media Support. He has worked with media development in the region since 2009. He holds a PhD in Middle Eastern studies and has for years been attached to University of Copenhagen. He has also been engaged in arts and culture in the MENA region while working at the Danish Center for culture and development.
Laura Silvia Battaglia
Freelance Journalist, Italy-Yemen
Laura Silvia Battaglia is a freelance journalist living between Italy and Sanaa (Yemen). She contributes from Sanaa for the American-Libanese video-news agency Transterra Media, the Turkish news agency TRTWorld, RSI radio and TV Switzerland, and also for the US and UK publications The Fair Observer, Guernica Magazine, Al-araby. For the Italian media she contributes to the dailies Avvenire and La Stampa, to the radio networks Radio Tre Mondo, Radio Popolare and Radio In Blu, to the TV news programmesAgenda del mondo (Rai 3 News) and Rainews 24, to the magazines D Repubblica delle Donne, Panorama, Donna Moderna, Left, Pagina99, Jesus, Credere, Il Reportage, Longitude#33, to the news websites Terrasanta.net and Eastmagazine.eu, and the online daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.
She began her journalistic career at the daily La Sicilia in Catania in 1998. She has focused on reporting from conflict zones since 2007, including Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and the Syrian border.
Media Entrepreneur – Athens
Nikos Kakavoulis is an internet entrepreneur. Today he is the founder of Manual.gr and chief executive of The Greek Fund, a digital media company focused on tourism and lifestyle media. Before that he was the founder and CEO of Daily Secret, publisher of daily email newsletters about city life in 20 countries. Prior to that he was a senior executive for Liberis Publications and Head of Digital for Conde Nast’s Greece Portfolio.
Director, Aegean Summit
Spyros Ladeas is the founder of Aegean Summit. He grew up in Pennsylvania, studied at Boston College and worked in marketing and communications roles in New York, before moving to Europe a few years ago. He now lives between London and Athens. He has a strong interest in media, cities, innovation, cosmopolitanism, international relations and the Mediterranean. He is very grateful to the speakers, participants and supporters that have helped create this community-oriented forum and looks forward to curating and creating collaborations out of this network.