Speakers’ profiles

María Ubarretxena, former Head of Department of Social Economy of the Basque Country Government and former president of the Upper Council of Cooperatives of the Basque Country, worker-owner in a cooperative company, is now the Mayor of Arrasate/Mondragón, home to the worldwide known Mondragón Corporation, a company and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque Country, Spain, which was founded  in 1956 and now employs over 75,000 people.

Dr. Cynthia L. Giagnocavo is Co-director of the Cátedra (Chair) of Agriculture, Cooperative Studies and Sustainable Development UAL-Coexphal, in the Faculty of Economics and Business Management at the University of Almería, Spain. She is currently involved in the internet of things in food and agriculture, digitization transition management and impact, and corresponding value chains. Her research focuses on the intersection of organisational, technical, social, economic and institutional innovation. Areas of study include agricultural and credit cooperatives, innovative business models and collective entrepreneurship and social enterprise. President of the Board of International Co-operative Alliance European Research, she was also a member of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-Agri) on Benchmarking of farm productivity and sustainability performance. She has participated in numerous European and international projects on entrepreneurship, the application of new technologies and digitization processes from a socio-economic perspective, policy and the diversity of business models.

Elena Badeanschi graduated in Foreign Languages & Literature at the University of Trento, following which she obtained a Master in Management & Development of Cooperative Enterprise in Eastern Europe. She further specialized in European Project Planning and Management, in the Evaluation of European project, and in developing participative methodology for the acquisition of cooperative entrepreneurship competences.  She has worked in the Federazione Trentina della Cooperazione (FTC) International Relations & Projects Office since 2005, and is now in charge of managing the International projects on behalf of the institution, especially focusing on the areas of cooperative entrepreneurship training and social issues.  In FTC she is also responsible for the validation of the cooperative competences process. 

Laura Ferri has a Law and a Human Resources Degree. She also holds a Master’s Degree in employment and labour market.  Her current work is two-fold: on the one hand, she is a Vocational Guidance teacher in Valencia (Spain); on the other hand she helps future teachers achieve their goals as part of the Secondary School Master’s Degree at UOC (Open University of Catalonia). Besides, she published “Entrepreneurship studies at the Spanish educational system from a critical point of view”, which recently received an Aracoop award from the Catalan Government.

Adoración Mozas MoralDoctor of Economic and Commercial Sciences from the University of Jaén, is currently President of CIRIEC Spain and Advisor to the Institute of Giennenses Studies. Throughout her research activity, she focused her work on the economy and the cooperative sector, in particular on olive growing and the use of ICTs in the social economy. Author of numerous scientific publications, she has always considered it essential that the university be totally linked to the world of companies and institutions. During her career, she has held numerous positions related to university management and the management of other scientific organizations, including the position of Vice-Rector of Students and Professional Integration.

Richard Hull is an accomplished academic researcher and research evaluator especially focused on work, organisations and the Social and Solidarity Economy. His core areas of expertise are: Innovation Studies, Social Enterprise, Critical Management Studies, Degrowth, Sustainable Transitions; Social, organisational, political and economic aspects of new ICTs, Social theory and philosophy. He has extensive experience in leadership and management of non-profit, social enterprise and co-operative firms and organisations, with excellent experience in fundraising and organisational change. Currently Lecturer & Director, MA Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Martin Strauss is a teacher and expert for virtual enterprises. He studied Business and Human Resource Education at the Georg-August-University in Goettingen and is now teaching at HLA Gernsbach vocational school in Baden-Wuerttemberg. He has shaped the implementation of several virtual enterprises and student companies in the school system. He is organizing the transatlantic exchange of virtual enterprises with New York City and Silicon Valley and has been awarded the BEO award in vocational schools for the work with student companies. In recent years he has focused on the launch and promotion of student cooperatives in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In his last project he supported a student cooperative in organizing the “International Youth Forum Green Leadership“ with speakers from the United Nations.

Andrea Dávila earned a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva.  She has been working at the International Labour Organization since 2010, with a focus on gender, LGBT, ethnic groups, people with disabilities and child and forced labour.  She currently focuses on the development of tools, training and support for the implementation of technical cooperation projects on Cooperatives.

Néstor GuerraMaster’s Degree in Telecommunications Engineering & Executive MBA, defines himself as a business designer, entrepreneur and business school professor, and makes use of his highly creative communication skills in his work as a speaker and innovation consultant.  He specialises in Lean Startup approach, Customer Development Methodologies, Business Model Design, Design Thinking among others.

Aday Guerra is a Computer Engineer with studies in Telecommunications Engineering and a Master in Artificial Intelligence Research. He has always been interested in team management and agile software development methodologies. Founder partner of two software Startups, he has become a well known trainer in business model canvas, agile methodologies, lean startup and customer development.

Prof. Dana T. Redford is an internationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship and public policy. He has worked with the US Department of Commerce, the European Commission, the OECD, the UN and various European and African governments. In 2010, the OECD recognized his course at the Portuguese Catholic University as one of eight best practices. He is co-founder of the SG4Africa initiative on savings groups in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, he is the International Coordinator of the largest policy experimentation project on experiential entrepreneurship education in primary and secondary schools in the EU. He was previously Faculty Coordinator and Guest Lecturer at the Haas School of Business Center for Executive Education at UC-Berkeley. Latest books: the Entrepreneurial University Handbook (2014) and Developing Africa’s Financial Services – The Importance of High-Impact Entrepreneurship (2017).

Joao J. Pinto Ferreira holds a Master, a PhD and an Habilitation degree, the latter in Industrial Engineering and Management. Founder and Director of the Master of Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (www.fe.up.pt/miete). Co-Founder and Editor of the Journal of Innovation Management (open-jim.org). Author of almost 200 research papers, he teaches Entrepreneurship and Information Systems at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (www.fe.up.pt).

Cristina Soutinho, Educational Advisor, is a secondary school foreign languages teacher and certified teacher trainer in didactics and entrepreneurship education.  She supervised student internships at schools for initial teacher-training programmes from the University of Minho. She has worked with children, youth, teachers and school leaders on several projects in capacity building, coaching and educational leadership. At the Northern Regional Directorate of Education in Portugal, she participated in several regional, national and international projects on school reform, local and regional development, and entrepreneurship. Cristina has co-authored articles and book chapters focusing on the topics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education. She holds a degree in Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Porto.

Javier Vallina is an Entrepreneurship Education Program Tutor at Valnalón.  He has a Degree in Education, and Graduated in Teaching. Since 2007 he has worked at Ciudad Tecnológica Valnalón within the department of Entrepreneurship Education as responsible technician for educational projects for the promotion of the entrepreneurial mindset on the different levels of the educational system. Mainly linked to the EJE  (European Youth Enterprise) project for the creation of mini co-operatives and to the JES (Young Social Entrepreneurs) social entrepreneurship, both aimed at Secondary Education, he also participates in projects for Primary Education, Upper Secondary and Vocational Training as well as in European projects.

Minna Hämäläinen, M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus.Adm.), is working as a junior researcher and project manager at Lappeenranta University of Technology. She is a member of LUT Entrepreneurship Research Group.  Her main research interests are entrepreneurship education and especially the management’s role in entrepreneurship education. She has been working many years in the field of continuing  education for teachers and has been involved in many national and international entrepreneurship education projects, related to entrepreneurial learning, developing measurement tools for entrepreneurship education and developing regional entrepreneurship education strategies, among others.

Sarah Alldred is an expert in Project Management, research, conflict resolution and co-operatives.  She has an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford.  Her experience as Project Manager at Co-operatives UK led her to her current organisation, Co-operative College UK, where she has been in charge of the International programmes and Projects Development for the last six years.  She has been -and still is- an active member for Peace, Education, Campaigning and Networking groups.

Ilana Gotz has been at Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises) since 2010, working primarily on the World Co-operative Monitor, international training initiatives and networks, and Stories.coop. A native of Los Angeles (USA), she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from UCLA (USA) and a Master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago (USA), with a concentration in Community Development and Organizing. Before coming to Euricse she worked for years in the non-profit sector in roles pertaining to project management, community organizing and public health.

José Carlos Ceballos is ECOOPE’s Project Manager and member of CISE’s International Department. Expert in cooperation and social movements with more than fifteen years of experience in the sector, his last destination before joining CISE’s team was in Palestine, where for three years he managed international projects and worked with rural women co-operatives. During six years he was the president of the Cantabrian NGOs platform and member of the CONGDE’s national steering board.