Cvjetana Plavša-Matić, BSc.Ec. is the Director of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development (NFCSD) in Croatia since 2003. The NFCSD is a public foundation which promotes and develops civil society Croatia,  Since 2012, NFCSD has been the Implementing Body for the management of the European Social Fund for CSOs in Croatia, dispersing more than 150 million EUR to CSOs since 2017, as well as their grant scheme of 10 million EUR per year.

Prior to her current position, Cvjetana was Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs from 1998 till 2003 (as Government official), where she was responsible for the grant scheme which distributed 20 million euro over 5 years. From 1993-1998 she was Head of Department for PR and Humanitarian Assistance in the Government Office for Victims of War and from 1984-1993 she was a local community organiser in Zagreb.

She was Team Leader in the EC Service Contract of the CARDS 2002 Project “Social Service Delivery by CSOs in Croatia” and she is now Team Leader on INTERREG Central Europe Project 3P4SSE (Public-Private Partnership for Social and Solidarity Economy).

She is member of various national and international bodies and she is author and co-author of numerous books and articles published in a number of Croatian and international publications.




Alex Mileman is passionate about supporting local public services delivery the greatest possible outcomes for people from their available resources.  With 15+ years of experience leading purposeful transformation and performance improvement, Alex approaches every engagement seeking to establish a culture of explicit human focus informed by data and insight.  Alex loves encouraging the adoption of a right-first-time mindset to operations and change, underpinned with a people-first, technology enabled philosophy. This helps achieve greater agility, faster decision making and better outcomes.  Alex has a breadth of experience both from Consulting as well as leadership positions in public sector and FTSE30 private organisations.  Alex is certified in Lean Six Sigma, Process Management, Major Programme Transformation, and Technology Delivery Methods.



Dr. Clenton Farquharson CBE is a passionate advocate for inclusive, equitable, and high-quality healthcare. As a disabled individual with extensive personal experiences in health and social care, he champions the rights of marginalised communities.

Chairing the Think Local Act Personal partnership board and serving as a trustee of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), Clenton influences policy and strategy at the highest levels of health and social care governance. He is an essential member of the NHS Assembly and NHS Quality Board, ensuring the voices of the overlooked are heard.

Through the Coalition for Personalised Care, Clenton advocates for choice, autonomy, and dignity. His expertise as a consultant, facilitator, and speaker inspires audiences to drive change. He bravely serves on commissions addressing COVID-19’s impact on marginalised communities and the visionary Reimagining Care and Support Commission.

As a trustee for Disability Rights UK and the Race Equality Foundation, he tirelessly works to dismantle barriers and promote equity. Clenton’s dedication to reshaping health and social care, fighting ableism and racism, and supporting community engagement make him a true catalyst for change.

Amidst his commitments, Clenton finds solace in supporting Birmingham City Football Club. His unwavering spirit continues to champion inclusivity, ensuring quality and equity remain at the forefront of the agenda



In addition to project preparation and implementation, Zorana is responsible for co-creating the Social Policy of the City of Zagreb, which places the city high on the scale of cities with a modern and proactive approach in fighting against poverty.

In the past ten years she participated in a series of seminars and education that enriched her knowledge and skills, conferences and educations regarding the topic of preparation and implementation of projects funded from EU funds, project management, business analysis, etc. Her regular work consists of planning and implementing projects financed from European Union funds as well as national funds, with the aim of providing social services mostly to socially vulnerable and excluded persons. She coordinated projects applied on various EU calls and tenders on which the City of Zagreb was applicant or partner: ESF Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources 2014–2020, Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020, Europe for Citizens (2014-2020), INTERREG Danube Transnational Programme, HORIZON 2020, REC Programme, Erasmus +, etc. She has also worked as a  Croatian sign language interpreter for more than 25 years.



Melissa Zumaeta-Aurazo is a Senior Social Protection Consultant at the World Bank. She has extensive experience in supporting the design and implementation of social protection interventions in developing countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa and is a core member of the Case Compass initiative at the World Bank. She holds a B.A. in Economics from University of Pacific (Peru) and a MSc. in Public Policy from Harvard University


Karolin is an Analyst in the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the Organisation for Economic cooperation and Development. She is working in the team that analyses the demand for long-term care in the context of ageing populations and increasing prevalence of long-term conditions such as dementia. Before joining this team, she conducted analysis on labour markets with respect to future skills supply and demand, adult learning, and measuring the actual skills of adults. She also has many years of experience working on social protection topics and holds a Master’s degree from Maastricht University (NL).


After graduating with a Master of Science degree in European Studies from Maastricht University (NL), Florian Sanden started working for EU-level NGOs in 2016. By doing advocacy work in the field of social policy for BAGFW e.V., a German association of social service providers and youth and education policy for AKSB e.V., an association of providers of non-formal youth and adult education, Florian developed a passion for disability rights. After discovering he is on the autistic spectrum and also bipolar he started working as policy coordinator at the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) which he also entered as individual member. Alongside his work Florian Sanden contributes to the activities of ADHD, ASC & LD Belgium, a small entirely volunteer-based organisation focused on self-help and peer support of neurodivergent people.


Elena Weber currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Istituto Regionale Rittmeyer per i Ciechi in Italy – the regional public body offering services to people of every age with visual impairments and empowering people with disabilities. Their approach is towards a person-centred scheme of activities.

She has also served as President of Enviter – European Network for Vision Impairment Training Education and Research: Vice-President of AGE Platform Europe; and President of the European Network for Inclusion Beyond Borders. Elena holds two Masters degrees in Economics and Organizational Sciences and European Studies, and a degree in Public Relations.


Christian Morabito is an international researcher and expert with more than 15 years of experience in the field of inequalities and early childhood care and education policies. During his career, he has worked with the United Nations (UNDP, UNESCO and UNICEF), OECD, and the European Commission, in managing and evaluating social policies’ reforms, policies and programmes. He holds a PhD in Social Welfare Studies from Ghent University.


Adelina Comas-Herera has a background in Economics and is currently Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the Global Observatory of Long-Term Care. During the Covid-19 pandemic she led the development of the website which helped share evidence and data on how the pandemic was affecting people who use and provide long-term care internationally.

She is currently working on a project looking at the lessons the social care sector in England can learn from the COVID-19 experience of other countries, and on STRiDE England, a project that aims to generate evidence to strengthen the response to dementia and reduce inequalities in access to care, treatment and support.