Lucía Solbes Castro is a Social Protection Specialist in the Europe and Central Asia Unit of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank Group. She joined the Bank in 2010 to participate in the Gender 2012 World Development Report and since then has worked on social safety nets programs and social protection delivery systems in countries across Latin America, Africa, and Europe. Lucía has experience in analytical and operational work with a focus on social assistance and integrated provision of social services. She holds a B.A. in mathematics from Universidad Complutense (Spain) and a M.S. in economics from the European University Institute (Italy).


Maximilian Ballwanz is senior manager and global employment industry lead at Accenture. He has more than 9 years of consulting experience with a focus on digital transformation projects for public employment agencies and social service providers. He is an expert in the development and operationalization of digital strategies, employee- and customer-centric requirements management and functional service design. Maximilian Ballwanz specializes in digital service portals and has extensive experience in leading project groups through an agile digital environment in complex organizational structures. He holds a diploma degree in business administration.


Georgia Chimbani is the Director of Adult and Community Services for Suffolk County Council, a local authority in the east of England.

Throughout her career, spanning over 25 years in social care organisations, she has been a strong advocate for practitioner led research and practice to deliver positive outcomes for people and communities. She is passionate about the promotion of equality, non-discriminatory practice, and empowerment of communities. Having qualified and worked as Social Worker in Zimbabwe, before relocating to the UK, Georgia is a strong believer in the concept of the world as a global village and strengthening international networks through advocacy and exchange of information.

Georgia is a member of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services [ADASS] and lead for the ADASS International Network.


Prof. Viktoria Stein is co-founder and co-CEO of VM Partners Integrating Health and Care and joint editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Integrated Care. She is also Assistant Professor for Population Health Management at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

Prof. Stein’s recognition as a leading expert in integrated care policy, design and implementation has led to her extensive work as a consultant and expert for international agencies like the World Health Organization, World Bank, the European Commission, and Accreditation Canada, providing input on so diverse topics as workforce development, integrated care design, evaluation and monitoring, or population health management and community involvement. A special focus throughout her career has been the creation of learning opportunities and environments, which foster knowledge generation and exchange.


Graduated in philosophy with studies in political science and business management. Since 2018 he is the co-founder and CEO of the iSocial Foundation for innovation in social action. Likewise, he is co-director of the Postgraduate course in public management of Social Services, of the Catalan Association of Municipalities; evaluator of the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies (CIMTI); advisor to the Nous Cims Foundation; and member of the board of the Oportunitas Foundation.

Previously, for ten years he was the General Director of the Third Social Sector Platform of Catalonia (2007-2018), following a long career in the international cooperation sector, where he was director of the NGO SETEM (1991-2007 ), Vice President of the Catalan Federation of NGOs for Development (1996-1998) and promoter of various fair trade and ethical finance initiatives, including Oikocredit-Catalonia (2000).


Steven Dhondt (Prof., PhD) has a doctoral degree in social sciences and is currently a senior researcher at TNO and a professor at the University of Leuven (Belgium). His main focus is on the impacts of the newest technologies on organisational and work practices. He coordinates at TNO the Smart Working research programme, developing insights on the impacts of robotics and digitization on organisational practices and social security systems.  Most of the research about the platform economy, the cobotisation of industry and other new developments in the Dutch economy is connected to the work of Steven and his team.

Smart Working means new practices in organisations and in society, building on smart systems, smart employees and smart social security systems and Steven sees it as his challenge to find this connection, with  social innovation is the only way forward to achieve this smart connection. Next to his research work, he also coordinated the European learning network on Workplace Innovation (EUWIN) for the European Commission (DG GROW) over the past four years, and is coordinating the multi-annual Belgian SBO Paradigms4.0, the H2020 Beyond4.0 and H2020 GI-NI projects. He is also connected as an advisor to the evaluation of the Swedish labour market support systems.


Sarah Kups is an economist in the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. She has worked on a number of policy areas including youth employment and social policy, social services and migration. Sarah holds a PhD in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.


As an economist, Ruth Paserman joined the European Commission in 1993. She has since worked in a number of services: Eurostat, DG Employment and Social Affairs, DG Competition, DG Enterprise and Industry. She was also a member of the cabinet of Vice-President Tajani, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Thyssen.

Since November 2020 she is Director for Funds Programming and Implementation in DG Employment, Social Affairs and inclusion, responsible for the legislation, policy development and coordination of the implementation of the funds managed by the DG (ESF+, EGF, Invest EU social window), as well as for the social economy and better regulation.


Occupational therapist since 2001, Psychotherapist since 2010, Resilience Programme Manager at Himaya, Lebanon ISS Branch since 2017, ISS Casework Coordinators Deputy Chair and Senior Associate for the ISS Artificial Intelligence/ML global project heading the domain Social Work experts’ team since 2020, Rose has more than 20 years of experience in the humanitarian field.


Dr Valentine has over 20 years of international experience at the World Health Organization (WHO) across multiple public health topics. She currently leads the programme for the multi-country WHO Special Initiative for Action on the Social Determinants of Health for Advancing Equity at WHO, which has started with forming a learning network with 9 countries across 3 regions.

In 2015 she launched the WHO Global Health in All Policies capacity-building programme, which supported workshops in a number of countries in all WHO regions, targeting government civil servants, health policymakers and educators and continued to lead WHO work on social determinants of health equity education and training. Most recently, her work on evidence reviews has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on health equity through social determinants. Between 2012 and 2017, she also led several WHO projects related to monitoring systems and the social determinants of health indicators. Between 2000 and 2007 she led the team developing the global metrics and survey questionnaires for health systems’ responsiveness and served in the Secretariat of the global Commission on Social Determinants of Health, where she co-led the work stream with policymakers. She has held the positions of Acting Coordinator/Head of the Equitable Health Systems and Policy Unit and of the Equity and Heath Unit.