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Next 100 redefiners 2024

Elizabeth Mware
Nationality: Kenya
Residence: Sweden

I am a Research Analyst with a comprehensive educational foundation in economics and quantitative analysis. My career journey has been characterized by a strong engagement with data-driven solutions to issues. My training in data analysis tools and data visualization platforms equips me with the technical expertise to dissect an interpret the multifaceted nature of climate change and energy transition challenges. My Research Trainee tenure at GARI honed my ability to extract meaningful insights on the state of green energy transition among the visegrad countries, such experience places me at a position to contribute valuably to this dynamic initiative. Beyond my technical skills, my leadership roles in organizations such as AIESEC have instilled in me a profound appreciation for interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement.  Having the experience of spearheading initiatives  that fostered organizational growth and community impact. This background aligns seamlessly with the symposium's emphasis on stakeholder engagement, local ownership, and the development of practical solutions for a just transition.

Next 100 Challenges

Working as a Research Trainee at the Global Arena Research Institute (GARI) has been a pivotal experience that has greatly enriched my understanding and commitment to the green energy transition. My work led me to identify key trends and patterns that underscore the importance of a just transition—a transition that not only addresses the environmental imperatives of reducing carbon emissions but also ensures socio-economic fairness and equity. Through my research, I have come to appreciate the complexities of implementing green energy solutions that are accessible and beneficial to all segments of society, particularly those that are most vulnerable to the socio-economic disruptions that such transitions can entail. The core issue around the challenge of ensuring a "just transition" in the green energy transition is balancing the need to address climate change with the imperative to ensure socio-economic equity and fairness. This involves community engagement in the transition process for it fosters a sense of ownership and participation among the local population. Having their voices heard and their concerns addressed in the transition planning and implementation. One way to address this challenge would be fostering active engagement and participation of all stakeholders in the planning and implementation of the transition. This can be through platforms for dialogue, collaboration and co-creation of solutions. Enhancing public awareness and education on the importance of a just transition and the benefits of renewable energy is another way.

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Faruk Bašić
Nationality: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Residence: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Drawing from my successful academic journey and diverse international experiences, including participation in prestigious Erasmus programs in Spain and Hungary, as well as a prestigious summer school in Austria, I would bring a wealth of cross-cultural understanding and global perspective to the ReDefine Next 100 Symposium. Back home in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I've consistently excelled academically, earning the Faculty of Law Dean's Honors Awards for my outstanding performance. Moreover, my proactive involvement in extracurricular initiatives, such as organizing projects with Deloitte and founding and presiding over the university's book club, emphasizes my leadership abilities and commitment to driving positive change. Currently, as a research trainee at the Global Arena Research Institute, I am deeply immersed in cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary collaboration, further refining my analytical skills and expertise in addressing complex challenges. My role has not only provided me with invaluable insights into global issues but has also equipped me with the necessary tools to navigate diverse perspectives and conduct meaningful dialogue. With a passion for continuous learning and a knack for effective communication, both verbal and written, I am well-prepared to contribute to the ReDefine Next 100 initiative. I am eager to leverage my skills and experiences to tackle pressing global challenges in the Visegrad region and beyond.

Next 100 Challenges

1. My personal connection to the challenge of corruption stems from my upbringing in Bosnia, a country plagued by widespread corruption and a lack of faith in institutions. Growing up in this environment has made me acutely aware of the detrimental effects of corruption on society and the erosion of trust in governance. This personal experience fuels my commitment to tackling corruption and promoting transparency and accountability in governance. 2. In my view, the core issue around the challenge of corruption is deeply rooted in psychology. Corruption thrives in environments where it is normalized and becomes a habitual behavior. Moreover, societal attitudes and beliefs play a significant role in perpetuating corrupt practices. Therefore, addressing corruption requires a psychological and habit-based approach, coupled with social constructivism principles. By envisioning government or its bodies as human-like organisms subject to change and socialization, we can cultivate a culture of non-corruption and enhance the rule of law. 3. To approach the challenge of corruption, we must adopt a multilayered strategy that addresses its psychological underpinnings and societal norms. Firstly, education and awareness campaigns can play a crucial role in challenging existing beliefs and building a culture of integrity and accountability. Secondly, implementing transparent and accountable governance mechanisms, coupled with effective enforcement of anti-corruption laws, can help deter corrupt practices and rebuild trust in institutions. Additionally, promoting ethical leadership and empowering civil society to hold government officials accountable are vital components of combating corruption. My contribution to solving this challenge lies in offering a nuanced approach informed by domestic insight and leveraging social constructivism principles for bringing change.

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Fan Yin
Nationality: Taiwan
Residence: Germany, Heidelberg

Coming from Taiwan and studying in Germany, my academic journey spans Sociology, Economics, and political conflict research (5 years of experience at HIIK). An internship in Prague was a pivotal experience, allowing me to apply research skills in a multicultural setting, blending economic theories with geopolitical application. This deepened my understanding of intercultural communication's role in addressing global challenges. This interdisciplinary approach has honed my analytical My unique background equips me with a diverse skill set. Now, immersed in Economics, I possess a comprehensive toolkit to address complex economic issues with econometrics and programming languages including STATA, python, and R. Currently, I am working as a research assistant at the renowned European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, Germany, with our research focusing on the redistribution of income under climate change. My transcultural background is also a valuable asset in the globalised world. My journey from sociology to economics, enriched by experiences in political conflict research and interning in Prague, has shaped a well-rounded professional. I am excited to embark on my Ph.D. at Humboldt University, where I aim to deepen my understanding of economic complexities while leveraging my interdisciplinary and intercultural training. I am thrilled to join the N100 Symposium as a ReDefiner to meet with other young talents and discuss the challenges we are facing.

Next 100 Challenges

My present work concentrates on probabilistic beliefs and their application in economics, which is part of the larger field of behavioral economics. This approach studies deviations from rationality and perfect information, a perspective much closer to real life and the real world. The applications of this approach are ubiquitous, impacting areas such as policy making, business solutions, education, and virtually every other sphere of life. In a world driven by irrationality, consumerism, and inequality, it is essential to return to the roots and gain a more nuanced understanding of how people think. This is where the intersection of neuroscience and economics becomes crucial. Neuroscience has the potential to shed light on the underlying mechanisms of decision-making processes. It provides invaluable insights into how people perceive, process, and react to information, which is fundamental to understanding economic behavior. By integrating findings from neuroscience with economic theories, we can develop more accurate models of human behavior that reflect the complexity and richness of real-world interactions. The implications of this interdisciplinary approach are profound. For example, understanding the neural correlates of decision-making could help policymakers design more effective interventions that nudge individuals towards more sustainable choices. Businesses could use these insights to develop solutions that better meet consumers' needs and preferences. Moreover, research into the neural basis of inequality could shed light on the psychological effects of income disparity and inform policies aimed at reducing social inequality. My current work in behavioral economics can help address many of the challenges we face. By integrating these fields, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of human behavior, enabling us to develop more effective strategies for addressing societal challenges and enhancing human well-being.

Ali Musab
Nationality: Swedish, Indian
Residence: Germany, Berlin

Problem: European energy issues exacerbated by Ukraine/Russian war with growing prices for the current energy consumption and even for the future, the heavy demand of compute power in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) Industry needs cheaper energy. Solution: Strengthen the Space based solar power supply chains and related domains through offering all the tiers an LLM (Large Language Model) that can be used for speeding up the processes like never before. Bringing AI & Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to the Space & Aerospace sector will create multiple network effects both in terms of technology, business models and innovation through collaboration with world wide suppliers. Distributed Ledger can provide transparency & immutability along with robustness to failures w.r.t data access and storage. Expected outcome: Bringing LLM + AI & DLT to the supply chain will disintermediate the human-in-the-loop factor to a very large extent. The Suppliers will be able to do a self-check on their product & quality of service along with connecting to the other suppliers in this domain with more reliability and security through zero-trust mechanisms that DLT provides. The Transformer-LLM system can also analyze and help designing novel Electronic/Mechanical designs, analyze existing design and documents to give recommendations and feedback for further improving the Suppliers Manufacturing, Design & Testing strategies.

Next 100 Challenges

Relevance to ReDefine-2024: Be a catalyst and Strengthen the NATO Supply Chains with highly cybersecure ecosystem. Proof: On 9 June 2021, NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) hosted an informal workshop on 5G Supply Chains (SC) and Network Security. After a year of study, NATO concluded that a multinational effort was urgently needed, to secure the supply chain and network security of both commercial and military 5G networks. This conclusion was based on well-documented vulnerabilities and risks that existed throughout the entire lifecycle of commercial and private 5G networks and systems. The NATO Allies and their industry partners, known as the NATO DIB, rely on these networks for command and communication activities. In multiple industry supply chains, cyberattacks have been identified as, and remain, one of the greatest cybersecurity problems in 2023. The cyber threat risks to industry have been so disruptive and challenging that Verizon coined a new term for the threat: “SUPPLY CHAINPOCALYPSE”. The digital and cyber–Supply Chainpocalypse threat is one of the major problems that JELLY SPACE shall focus on. JS has been researching and working to develop a platform to be part of the solution to the “Supply Chainpocalypse”. The JS shall offer NATO a Secure/Quantum Safe Rapid Acquisition and Peer-to-Peer Information Sharing Platform and System for critical portions of the NATO’s Defense Industrial Base.

Anna Pająk
Nationality: Polish (Poland)
Residence: Poland, Gdańsk

I cannot resist exploring new areas and expanding my horizons. I have always liked to challenge myself- during my school years, with competitions from different subjects, now I participate in interdisciplinary projects that aim to find various applications for new technologies. Cooperation with newly met people is something that I perceive as highly motivating and educating - it allows me to rapidly learn alternative ways of thinking and different communication styles. It also supports knowledge sharing and generating valuable ideas. I appreciate international experiences - those, additionally, increase my cultural awareness and usually bring much fun! For several recent years, I have sought opportunities to engage with others, preferably also internationally: I participated in two Erasmus+ programs ("Where I live?" with the Czech Republic and "Stalag IB Hohenstein" with France and Germany), in the International Class Afloat lasting 2-months on the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, I also participated in the Seeds For the Future program by Huawei, and in Innov4Mobility Winter School in Portugal. Moreover, I enjoy volunteering :) For several months I was a volunteer in Caritas Community Center and in a school for disabled people in my city. I was also a Social Youth Instructor in a unit of the Polish Red Cross for about 5 years. Recently I volunteered at the Women in Tech Summit, and at the Euroskills (international competition) in my current city of living - Gdańsk.

Next 100 Challenges

My academic pursuit in Data Engineering and, currently, Informatics, coupled with my initial work experience, has exposed me to the practical applications of cutting-edge technologies in real-world scenarios. During my studies, I became acquainted with the principles of computer systems design, application development, programming, and the pivotal role of advanced data processing and Machine Learning technologies. On the other side, I learned about the basics of management and economy. My professional endeavors in Business and System Analysis further deepened my understanding of IT projects dynamics. This experience honed my abilities in identifying business needs and requirements and selecting suitable technologies to meet those. I also practiced communication and cooperation with stakeholders. Living in a society committed to addressing pressing environmental and social challenges, I strongly believe in the power of technology to drive positive change - by the Digital Transition. I am inspired to explore how emerging technologies can contribute to the conversion from a linear to a circular economy. I would eagerly design digital solutions that will embrace the transformation by e.g. using IoT platforms to identify the hotspots of circular economy potential and align this to business strategy with the use of predictive analytics. The core challenge here is that we already have the tools to proceed with the transition. We just lack the interdisciplinary people who would be able to match the technologies with the key areas where those can be applied to go circular. We also have to face the fact that some people identify technologies with buzzwords, which is not true! In the XXI century, technology can be at least a great support (if not a solution on its own)! Here are some of my other ideas: - Iot platforms to understand the flow of resources and wastages, - apps and ecommerce platforms to build a circular product systems and build a community around the product.

Jakub Jezierski
Nationality: Polish (Poland)
Residence: UK, Bristol 

I am driven and committed in everything I put my mind to. At university, I have co-created a policy-focused student society 'European Horizons', through which I organised a series of events on EU climate policy. I was also an active member of the Polish society, integrating my cohort of fellow Polish students and cultivating our shared sense of national identity and awareness. In the field of climate and energy, I am an alumnus of the Energy Academy organised by the Leslaw A. Paga Foundation, a 3-month immersive education program for the top 25 Polish energy policy adepts chosen from a pool of 500+ applicants. Professionally, I have very good research and analysis skills, having contributed to publications on topics such as the EU Just Transition Fund or the REPowerEU policy package at my current and previous jobs. I also successfully co-organised and moderated 4 workshops on local energy transition for approx. 70 municipality officials, which is a testament to my team work and rhetorical skills in a professional setting. Aside from energy and climate-related topics, I am also active in civil society, having participated in the 2022 Humanity in Action Fellowship on human rights violations in Poland. The issues I find particularly important in this area are LGBT+ rights and addressing economic inequalities persistent in Poland, especially in post-industrial towns I also work with at Forum Energii.

Next 100 Challenges

The energy transition that needs to happen to mitigate the climate crisis requires progressive and gradual decarbonisation of all sectors of production, including power and heat generation, industry, agriculture, transport, etc. To achieve this monumental task, a dual policy approach should be implemented, consisting of both top-down supranational and national climate regulation and bottom-up, decentralised decarbonisation of local communities. The former, be it legislation adopted at the EU or state level, should contain strong and binding targets and guidelines on achieving decarbonisation and also provide financial frameworks to sustain the expected sectoral changes (or suggest roadmaps on how to obtain necessary financing). Without a clear and resolute regulatory push from top decision makers, there would be no organised vision for a comprehensive decarbonisation of our current economy. The latter, focused on decentralisation and local communities, should push small communities to phase out fossil fuels in heating and power generation and shift to local RES plants (solar or wind) and solutions like energy storage and zero-emission transport. A useful legal tool to achieve this is the encouragement of the creation of energy communities and RES priority areas, which are already being promoted by EU policy mechanisms such as REPowerEU. However, the key to the success of these approaches is to generate solid public support and gain public trust through socially just policies. The primary rule should be that people already experiencing energy poverty should be protected from the negative consequences of energy transition through thought-out state support mechanisms. Furthermore, vulnerable groups such as miners and power plant workers should undergo re-skilling or be otherwise cared for by the state to ensure that no one is left behind in the transition process. Lastly, the younger generation needs to be fully engaged in the process as equal stakeholders.

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Dr. Edyta Mazur
Nationality: Polish (Poland)
Residence: Poland, Tarnów

I am a biotechnologist (analytical and applied biotechnology). I gained my qualifications at The University of Agriculture in Kraków and Universität für Bodenkultur in Vienna. In 2022, I received my PhD in natural science. My research focuses on the taxonomy and biodiversity of lichens, addressing the complex classification and diversity of these fascinating organisms. My specialization topic is lecanoroid lichens from tropical, urban and rural areas. Through meticulous study and analysis, I aim to unravel the taxonomic complexities within lichen communities and elucidate their biodiversity patterns. This research not only contributes to the broader field of biodiversity science but also provides valuable insights into the ecological roles and conservation needs of lichens. Becoming as a ReDefine presents an invaluable opportunity for me to expand my knowledge, exchange ideas, and collaborate with experts and peers in the field of biodiversity. I hope to learn about the latest research findings, innovative strategies, and emerging trends. Additionally, I aim to gain insights into effective advocacy techniques and successful conservation initiatives that I can apply to my work. By becoming a ReDefine symposium will gain a dedicated participant who is eager to learn, share, and collaborate for the betterment of our planet's ecosystems. I am ready to contribute to ReDefine’s objectives and contribute to the collective efforts to address biodiversity conservation challenges.

Next 100 Challenges

My greatest accomplishment lies in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for biodiversity conservation among diverse audiences. Through my efforts in research, education, and outreach, I have had the privilege of inspiring individuals to recognize the beauty and importance of the natural world. The core issue around biodiversity lies in the unsustainable exploitation and degradation of natural habitats driven by human activities. Deforestation, pollution, and climate change are among the primary drivers of biodiversity loss. These factors disrupt delicate ecosystems, leading to the decline and extinction of species at an unprecedented rate. Furthermore, biodiversity loss exacerbates other global challenges, such as climate change, food security, and public health. At its core, the issue stems from a disconnect between human actions and their consequences on the natural world, as well as a failure to recognize the intrinsic value of biodiversity beyond its instrumental benefits to humanity. Addressing biodiversity loss requires a multifaceted approach that integrates conservation efforts with sustainable development goals. Firstly, we must prioritize the protection and restoration of natural habitats, including forests, wetlands. This can be achieved through the expansion of protected areas, sustainable land management practices, and the implementation of ecosystem-based approaches to conservation. Additionally, we need to address the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss by promoting sustainable resource management. Education and awareness-raising are also crucial in fostering a deeper appreciation for biodiversity and promoting sustainable behaviors. Fostering partnerships and collaboration among governments, NGOs, businesses, and local communities is essential for achieving meaningful conservation outcomes. This includes investing in scientific research, technology, and innovation to develop effective conservation strategies and monitoring tools.

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Róbert Bednár
Nationality: Slovak
Residence: Slovakia, Poprad

As I have written in my previous answer, I was an active participant in Visegrad-themed conferences or I co-organized youth events/conferences Mobilising Visegrad 4 Youth. In the meantime, I also attended the prestigious Global Affairs Academy by the U.S. Embassy in Prague. Last year I worked on the most watched Slovak TV station Markiza in a programme called ""Na telo s Michalom Kovačičom"" (On the body with Michal Kovačič). As a personal assistant to Michal Kovačič, I had the great pleasure of experiencing the work on the most watched political program in Slovakia. Academically, my biggest achievement was my appointment to the program board of the study department of International Relations and European Studies. Nowadays I´m starting to work at the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic.

Next 100 Challenges

I chose three topics because I believe they are intertwined. Digital Transition; (De)Globalisation, Supply Chains, Transportation and Trust Deficit. If we want to discuss one, we need to speak about the other. In Slovakia, we have a huge problem with digitalization, transparency, and fear of globalization. We can see this on an everyday basis - it shows in the results of our elections. I want to tackle these challenges because I think by ""cutting this Gordian knot"" we could reshape our current policies immensely. Core issues of those challenges can be seen in the everyday world around us. The lack of digitalization and almost non-existent IT education is seriously harming our goal to bridge the digital gap. While a small group of people know how to use even the most cutting-edge technologies, wide groups of the population are left behind. This brings me to the second one - Trust Deficit. People surfing the internet without proper knowledge are susceptible to a wide variety of propaganda and fake news. This is connected to widespread corruption which creates distrust in the government and helps populist and extremist forces to rise. The third challenge is the outcome of the previous two. How can we discuss globalization if we don´t even trust our own government? A trustworthy government with an educated population should be prepared for a global digital future. I know that all this can be done by teaching and spreading knowledge. People need to hear answers from professionals and they need to know where they can ask the questions which bother them. By providing education we can also strengthen other positions of these people such as views on climate change or biodiversity. My main goal is to connect people with reach in public, with people who are knowledgeable in challenged topics. Thus creating a web of ""fun and learning"". If this project is done properly it could benefit the whole region as it might connect experts and people across the border.

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Binta Koffa
Nationality: Canadian, Liberian
Residence: Canada, Toronto

As a prospective ReDefiner, my passion lies in championing inclusive sustainable development and leveraging nature-based local solutions to mitigate climate change, thereby contributing to global efforts in combating this issue. With an academic background in Public Policy and Economic Development coupled with practical experience in International Development and Policy Planning, I am equipped with the knowledge and skills to drive meaningful change in the area of Climate Change and Clean Energy Transition. Through ongoing initiatives at Civic Village International, I'm leading projects integrating indigenous knowledge and ecosystem-based approaches, such as implementing biodigesters to generate energy from organic waste in Liberia to mitigate carbon emissions and promote local economic development in Liberia, West Africa. My advocacy focuses on amplifying marginalized voices and advocating for inclusive decision-making processes in climate action, ensuring no one is left behind. As a ReDefiner hopeful, I have been committed to advancing Climate change and Green Energy Transition to realize the vision of inclusive sustainable development on a global scale through my current work. By leveraging interdisciplinary approaches, fostering collaboration across sectors, and promoting community-led initiatives, I aim to contribute to transformative change that not only addresses the urgent challenges of climate change but also fosters resilience, equity, and well-being for all.

Next 100 Challenges

My connection to the challenge of energy access and sustainability stems from experiences in both Canada and West Africa, particularly Liberia. In Canada, the pressing issue of overreliance on fossil fuels necessitates a transition towards more sustainable and affordable energy generation. Witnessing firsthand the impacts of climate change such as frequent forest fires that have destroyed communities and displaced families, and extreme heat underscores the urgent need for cleaner energy sources. Conversely, in Liberia, where over 80 percent lack reliable energy, resorting to wood fuel contributes to deforestation and environmental degradation. This highlights the interconnectedness of energy access, environmental preservation, and climate change mitigation. The core issues around this challenge revolve around the overreliance on fossil fuels and the lack of access to clean and affordable energy. Inadequate access to reliable energy perpetuates poverty in regions like Liberia, while reliance on unsustainable energy sources exacerbates environmental degradation and contributes to global climate change. Additionally, the improper disposal of human waste contributes to pollution and health hazards. Thus, the core issues include breaking the cycle of energy poverty, addressing environmental degradation, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. To address this multifaceted challenge comprehensively, there should be a transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and bioenergy. Alongside traditional renewable energy sources, innovative solutions like harnessing wastewater to generate clean, renewable, and affordable energy. This can generate bioelectricity and fuel, providing a sustainable energy source while simultaneously addressing sanitation challenges. This creates the opportunity for community engagement and policy interventions that are essential for promoting sustainable energy practices and protecting natural resources.

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