2013 Bonn Media Innovation - Strategy Thought Partners

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Beate Winkler

Beate is a Painter, Human Rights Defender and Adviser on intercultural developments especially for international organizations and private foundations like CIVIS Media Foundation. Before that she was an Adviser in “Bureau of European Policy Advisers” (BEPA) - the Think Tank of the President of the European Commission. She was appointed as the first female Director of an Agency of the EU - European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia – now the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. There, she set up the management structures, the concepts for the operations of the Centre, strategies for the Centre’s extended mandate and she also organized high-level conferences and established new forms of co-operation between scientists, politicians, the media, practitioners and between different cultures. For over 14 years she was the principle advisor to The Federal Government's Commissioner for Migration, Integration and Intercultural Dialogue. Beate was widely published at international, European and national level. Now Beate Winkler has reinvented herself and became a painter with first successful exhibitions.


Christian Mihr

Christian Mihr is a journalist, international media policy expert and human rights professional. He has been the Executive Director of Reporters without Borders Germany (RWB) since 2012. He's especially dealing with questions of cyber-censorship and online safety. He has been publishing & lecturing at several universities on international media regulation policies, access to information and journalism, media-systems in Eastern Europe and Latin America and the challenges of creating a European Public Sphere. Prior to joining RWB he worked for several years for n-ost Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe. At n-ost he was the senior editor of euro|topics and Head of Media Policy Projects. Furthermore he worked for several years as an editor and freelancer for various print- and online-media in Germany and Ecuador, as a journalism trainer for a German foundation in Russia and as the head of press and public relations department at one think tank for international development policy. He studied journalism with a specialization in Latin American Studies at the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt and the University of Santiago de Chile.


Christoph Dietz


Christoph Dietz has worked in media development since 1993. He is Deputy Executive Director of the CAMECO, a consultancy on non-profit-media in developing and transitional countries, based in Aachen, Germany, and is in charge of the South America desk. Christoph is one of the initiators of the German "Forum Media and Development" (FoME) and moderates the FoME mailing list. He leads the CAMECO resource centre focusing on media landscapes in developing countries, media development cooperation, community media and development communication. Between 1985 and 1993, he edited a solidarity journal on Peru. He holds a PhD in medicine.


Clark Parsons


Clark Parsons is the Managing Director of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. Since 2008 he has been leading (together with a co-MD) the international think-tank and educational institute dedicated to leadership in the creative industries (media, entertainment, journalism, advertising, marketing, design, etc.). Prior to his tenure at the Berlin School, Clark co-founded Vortel GmbH, an Internet telephony provider based in Berlin. After three years of operation, the company was sold to Inter.net Germany in 2008. Clark holds a B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism, where he was elected graduation speaker. He lives in Berlin-Zehlendorf with his wife Alexia, two children and a vinyl record collection that appears to be finally rising in value.


Dan Austin

Dan Austin is a veteran news-media executive with private, public and non-profit media-management experience in both U.S. and foreign markets. He currently chairs the Global Press Institute, a non-profit organization that trains women in the developing world as journalists and syndicates their work. From 2006 to 2011, he served as Director of the Voice of America, the U.S. government’s civilian international broadcasting arm with a global audience of 123 million, reached through 1,400 hours weekly of original radio, television and web-based programming in 43 languages. Previously, he was chairman and chief executive officer of the community-news publishing arm of Dow Jones & Co. and, earlier, was vice president and general manager of the Dow Jones flagship, The Wall Street Journal. Following Army service in the Vietnam war, Dan began his professional career as a staff reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s Dallas, Texas bureau and subsequently worked in a number of reporting, editing and news management positions at the Journal before moving to the paper’s business side. A native of Kansas with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, Dan and his wife, Gail, an international technology consultant, live in Short Hills, NJ. 


Helena Lersch


Helena Lersch studied Economics and Politics in Maastricht, Hong Kong and London with a focus on international trade. Prior to Google, she gained experience in European politics as well as in business strategy. At Google she is part of the policy Team located in Berlin. Her area of expertise is copyright in the age of digitization, creative industries and new business models in the TV/Music and Publishing industry.



Jane McElhone


A journalist, trainer and media development specialist, for the past eight years Jane McElhone has been working with the Open Society Foundations' International Media Program, supporting media and media development in a wide variety of countries around the world. Prior to joining OSF Jane worked in Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand and, for many years, as a producer, journalist and trainer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Jane is currently leading OSF's media work in Burma/Myanmar. She also recently completed a Master’s of Science in Migration, Mobility and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.


Joana Breidenbach


Joana Breidenbach holds a PhD in cultural anthropology and is the author of numerous publications on the cultural consequences of globalization, including: Dance of Cultures, published by Antje Kunstmann 1998, Rowohlt 2000, Maxikulti, Campus 2008, and Seeing Culture Everywhere, University of Washington Press 2009. Joana Breidenbach is a founder of betterplace.org and leads the betterplacelab. betterplace lab is a Think- and Do- Tank seeking to improve the social sector through the use of digital technologies, offering project managers, donors and social investors decisive knowledge and tools in order to increase the efficiency of their work.


Joerg Floeck

 Mr. Floeck spent most of his professional career with Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. In his last role as President, Global Sales & Customer Services he was responsible for all Sales and Customer Service activities in the global financial services business. He was a member of the Thomson Reuters Markets Executive Committee (ExCom) and co-Chairman of the Global Operating Committee (OpCo) at the time he left Thomson Reuters in 2012. Before the merger of Thomson and Reuters in 2008 Mr. Floeck served as Regional Managing Director – Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) in Reuters. He first joined Reuters in 1990 as Global Account Manager for Deutsche Bank and held various sales, marketing, business development and management positions within the company. He lived in Vienna, Milan, Palo Alto, Geneva and London. Prior to joining Reuters, Mr. Floeck worked for BHF-Bank in Frankfurt. Mr. Floeck has served as a Member of the Strategic Board of the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS), the International Business Advisory Council for Rome (IBAC Roma) and various Reuters Boards. He has been a delegate to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.


Marius Schwarz

Marius studied law, drama and business administration at the University of Munich and completed his education with a degree in Business Administration. From 1982 to 1985 he was in the tax department of Ernst & Young. Then from 1985-1998 he was at the Kirch Group, initially in production, then in April 1987 as Head of Production and Business Affairs. In April 1995 he was appointed Managing Director of Business Affairs organization and operation of the Kirch Group. As of June 1998, he was Managing Director of Finance at the private television station SAT.1. Since 2004, Marius Schwarz serves as Chief Financial Officer at Studio Babelsberg. Studio Babelsberg, founded in 1912, is the oldest large-scale studio complex in the world and one of Europe’s leading service providers for major motion pictures, independent films and television productions. The Babelsberg team specializes in international productions and provides exceptional services at all stages of production.



Markus Beckedahl


Markus Beckedahl (@netzpolitik) started netzpolitik.org ten years ago as an activist for digital rights. Netzpolitik.org has been grown to one of the biggest and most known blogs in Germany with around 30.000 readers per day. He co-founded Digitale Gesellschaft (@digiges)two years ago as a campaigning platform for digital rights. He is one of the hosts of re:publica (@republica), a conference on blogs and the digital society with 5000 participants in 2013. He is a co-founder and partner of newthinking GmbH, an agency specialized on open-source strategies in Berlin and a spokes-person for Creative Commons in Germany.



Nihar Kothari


Nihar Kothari is the Director and Executive Editor of the Patrika group of companies. He is currently in charge of editorial planning and readership development of the newspaper. Nihar holds a Masters Degree in Economics from University of Rajasthan and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois. Rajasthan Patrika (owned by Patrika Group) is one of the largest media houses in India owning newspapers, cable networks, electronic media, radio stations, outdoor media, event management, education, mobile publishing, web publishing, publication, yellow pages etc. The flagship activity is Rajasthan Patrika, one of the largest circulated Hindi dailies of India with several editions across the country. 


Stephanie Hankey


Stephanie Hankey is the Executive Director of Tactical Tech, an organization she co-founded ten years ago to help activists effectively use digital technologies for social change. Tactical Tech works practically to build the skills of activists, campaigners and journalists, helping them to navigate the potentials and perils of using technology for political engagement. Stephanie has worked to advance ‘information activism’ to defend online freedom of expression and access to information and to promote the artful and creative use of information for campaigning since 1998.