Conference Bios


Mai Ali, is a Sudanese human rights defender, activist, and nonviolence trainer, affiliated with several NGOs and nonviolent social movements in Sudan. She remains deeply committed for change and the people in Sudan. After facing human rights violations in Khartoum in 2010, Mai Ali currently works in Germany with the NGO ‘act for transformation’.

Yahia Ramadan, is from Cairo, Egypt where he studied his B.Sc. degree in Applied Arts. He has worked to promote democracy, human rights, and women running for elections. Yahia is the founder and official spokesman of the Nubian Democratic Youth Union, which is an independent youth organisation defending the rights of the Nubian people and minority groups in Egypt.

Judith Chiyangwa, is a human rights activist involved in projects that aims to promote democracy, freedom for oppressed groups, and leadership for young people in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, women’s rights are very central in Judith’s work and she has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Gender Development from the Women’s University of Africa.

Rima Marrouch, currently lives in exile in Lebanon but grew up in Syria and is part polish. She has a MA in journalism and Near Easter Studies from New York University. As a journalist and researcher, Rima has worked to protect journalists in the Arab World and currently works for The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Middle East and North Africa Program. Additionally, she is a researcher at the Gulf Centre for Human Rights.

Rodrigo Diamanti, is the President of "Un Mundo Sin Mordaza - A World Without Censorship", a network that promotes freedom of speech mostly at the American Continent. He is also founding of Futuro Presente Foundation and director of Liderazgo y Visión, both NGOs that have set up national programs for Youth Leadership in Venezuela.In 2007, Rodrigo obtained a Bachelor in Economics from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Caracas, Venezuela). In 2009, he graduated with a Masters in Political Studies from the FIIAPP-Complutense University (Madrid, Spain). Rodrigo is a founding member of the Venezuela Student Movement of 2007 and his action is focused on creating a conscience of leadership in Venezuela.

Mikita is an active advocator for freedom and social change in Belarus. He has been involved both in social organizations and in the governmental system; recently, he worked as a coordinator for “Revolution through Social Networks”. He is currently finishing a degree in European Studies, having already completed a degree in political science.

Kudakwashe Chakabva, holds a national diploma in Library and Information Science and is currently finishing a bachelor degree in Media Studies; also, he is studying youth leadership. Kudakwashe is press secretary in ZINASU (Zimbabwe National Student Union) and has been involved very actively in the organization for the past few years.

Srđa Popović, is an experienced party & nonviolent movement leader with excellent skills in leadership, propaganda, motivation and knowledge transfer. As a student leader, founder of OTPOR! («Resistance!») movement that finished with Milosevic era, and a proactive member of Democratic Party of Zoran Djindjic, his expertize unites both partisan and NGO sector skills and knowledge.

Slobodan Đinović, is the CEO of the telecommunications company Orion Telekom. He was also one of the leading members of the Otpor! Movement and has worked closely together with Popović.

Sebit Ernest, holds a bachelor of Veterinary Science. He is currently employed as South Sudan Coordinator at the Institute for Development of Civil Society. He is also a member of a number of human rights and youth organizations, including the Youth Group for Human Rights and the Sudanese Association for Youth Development.



Christian Friis Bach, Denmarks Minister of Development and Cooperation. After being elected to Parliament the 15th of September 2011 for the Social Liberal Party, Christian Friis Bach was announced as Denmark’s new Minister of Development and Cooperation 3rd of October 2011. Christian Friis Bach has a Ph.D in Internation Economics, Royal Danish Agricultural University, Copenhagen. Prior to the election Christian Friis Bach worked as a Special Advisor for EU Commisioner Connie Hedegaard and as CEO of Veiw World ApS. Previously he has been the International Director of DanChurchAid 2005 - 2010, served on several Boards and Commisions such as, The Danish Africa Commision, Danish United Nations Association, Chairman of Mellem Folkeligt Samvirke (MS Action Aid) 1997 – 2001. He has also been an Assistant Professor in Development Economics, Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen.

Steve Crawshaw, Chief of Staff for the Secretary General, Amnesty International. From 2002 to 2010 he worked for Human Rights Watch, first as UK director and then as United Nations advocacy director. He was a journalist for many years, first with Granada Television in the UK and then joining the Independent at launch in 1986. He reported for the Independent on the east European revolutions, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Balkan wars. Other stories included interviewing Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and witnessing the fall of Serb leader Slobodan Milošević. He is the author of Goodbye to the USSR (Bloomsbury, 1992) and of Easier Fatherland: Germany and the Twenty-First Century (Continuum, 2004).

Dr. Massoumeh Torfeh, is a Research Associate at the Centre for Media and Film Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She has written extensively on the politics of Iran and Central Asia. She is a former senior producer in BBC World Service and specializes on the politics and media of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Her PhD in Political Science is from the London School of Economics and Political Science and on “The Causes of the Failure of Democracy in Iran”. She has worked as a spokesperson for the UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan and as a public information consultant in the office of President Karzai of Afghanistan.
Massoumeh has also been organizing a series of conferences for the Center for Media and Film Studies about the state of the media in her area of expertise.

Dr. Erica Chenoweth, is Advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. She is also assistant professor at Stanford University and Wesleyan University. She is an authority on terrorism, nonviolent resistance and counterterrorism.

She is co-editor of Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict, which will be published in 2010 by MIT Press. Chenoweth’s research interests include terrorism, the outcomes of nonviolent and violent protest, and the consequences of political violence and repression on democratization. Chenoweth’s doctoral dissertation investigated the reasons for the use of violence by non-state actors in democracies despite the availability of legal methods for dissent. In a project she has recently completed with Maria Stephan, she has researched the conditions under which nonviolent resistance methods have been more effective than violent methods in achieving strategic goals such as regime change, expelling foreign occupiers, or achieving self-determination.


Moderators and Presenters

Anders Jericow, Danish Journalist and Chronicle Editor at the newspaper Politiken. He is chairman of the board of Danish PEN and Humanity in Action Denmark. He has been involved in the work of a number of organizations that focus on the Arab region and on international relations in general. Also, he is committed to the furthering of human rights.

Lotte Folke Kaarsholm, International Editor at the newspaper Information. She has a background in literature and the arts, and has worked as editor, translator, writer, teacher, publisher and film director.

Morten Østervang, Director of Humanity in Action Denmark. Morten has a back ground in the field of human rights, advocacy and development communication. Morten has a degree in international journalism and is currently completing an MA in African Studies. Prior to joining Humanity in Action, Morten worked with civil society organizations in Uganda (through MS Action Aid) and with DANIDA.

Rasmus Grue, Executive Director of Danish Red Cross Youth. He is also a board member of Humanity in Action Denmark. Rasmus Grue has previously worked as Head of Mission at the Royal Danish Representative Office in Ramalah and Head of Section at the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Workshop Facilitators

Gitte Young, Web Editor of the website at KVINFO, the Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Ethnicity. Gitte is a journalist - educated from the Danish School of Journalism with courses in Religion, Arabic. Has practical journalistic experience from previous work in the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, National and local media and magazines, dealing with politics, religion, social affairs, education, immigrants, health and of course gender, equality and women’s affairs.

Petter Åttingsberg, Manager in International Media Support. Petter is a journalist with a long background in the Swedish and Danish Public Service. Fore the last four years he was head of (news), and the front page in DR, before he started as program Manager in IMS (International Media Support), where he is responsible for online projects in the MENA- region.

Susanne Branner Jespersen, works as an independent consultant besides lecturing at the University of Copenhagen. Susanne is an anthropologist with regional specialization in Africa and a long background in capacity building and conflict resolution. Until recently, she served as a project manager at Action Aid Denmark on the global educational initiative Global Change, offering participants tools and methods in creating advocacy campaigns on global problems. 

Ulla Gade Bisgaard, Administrator at the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy. Ulla has worked for UNICEF and various other organizations. From 2007-2010, she was Director of Humanity in Action Denmark and head of secretariat at the Danish center-left think tank CEVEA. Ulla holds an MA in International Relations and Sociology from Aalborg University. 

Rasmus S. Søndergaard, Senior Fellow in Humanity in Action. Student of History at the University of Copenhagen with a specialisation in US foreign relations. He works as a student assistant at the Centre for Advanced Security Studies at Copenhagen University.

Contributors to the Anthology

Aisha Fukushima, is an educator, singer and self-proclaimed 'RAPtivist' (rap activist). Aisha graduated from Whitman College in 2009 with an honors degree in Rhetoric and Film Studies and minors in French and Gender Studies. Upon graduating, Aisha travelled the world with the support of the Watson Foundation and created an international 'RAPtivism' (rap activism) project. Having lived in countries as diverse as France, Japan, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, the UK, India, Denmark and The Netherlands, Aisha is constantly working to expand her knowledge of the intersections between music and social justice around the globe.
Aisha has been writing, speaking and performing for over ten years. She has also established several community-based youth programs including the 'Turn Off The Stereotypes' project and the Whitman Institute of Summer Enrichment (WISE).

Dorothea Schmidt, is a senior employment specialist at the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Her current work in Egypt includes advisory work for countries in North Africa on the implementation of Labour Market Information Systems and on analysis of labour market indicators. Before working for the ILO she was research assistant at the University of Freiburg, Faculty of Economics (Department of Mathematical Economics), while writing her PhD thesis.
Her particular areas of interest continue to be agriculture, pro-poor growth and youth- and gender issues.

Dahlia Hassanien, is a researcher at the Internation Labour Organisation (ILO). She is a PhD student of Gender and Women’s Studies at Monash University, Australia. She is currently working at the ILO as a researcher on gender and youth employment issues in the North African region.
She was previously a Senior Research and Policy Officer for Australia’s Department of Justice; and prior a Research Assistant at the Population Council’s Poverty, Gender and Youth Program for West Asia and North Africa.
Her research interests include women’s employment, work/family balance and decent employment issues in the Middle East

Anders Nierp, is a Masters student in agricultural development with a background in anthropology. His fieldworks in Myanmar and its border areas have targeted the complexity of the ethnic conflict, the situation of the refugees and the role of humanitarian aid in Myanmar. He has been volunteering as a journalist for asylum magazines in Denmark, worked as a teacher in refugee camps in Palestine and the Myanmar border, and as a trainer in rural entrepreneurship in Myanmar. He is currently working as a project coordinator for the environmental association Citybee in Copenhagen.