The European Social Innovation Competition selects 12 Judges every year to sit on the Judging Panel. As a group, these Judges offer a wealth of experience and insights, covering social innovation and entrepreneurship as well as technical expertise addressing the year’s theme. Through their collective voice they review applications and determine which entrants are taken forward to later stages of the Competition, firstly as Semi-Finalists, then as Finalists, and ultimately as winners. The Judging Panel returns the following year to review applications for the Impact Prize.

The 2019 Judges

This year’s Judging Panel consists of a variety of geographic locations, sectors, and background experience…

Antonia Gawel, World Economic Forum (Switzerland)

Antonia Gawel is an expert on clean energy, environment and sustainability policy.

Currently heading the World Economic Forum’s Circular Economic Initiative, she has worked in Bhutan as an advisor on environment and clean energy programmes and at the International Energy Agency (IEA). She was responsible for IEA’s work on monitoring and evaluating clean energy policy and deployment progress as input to the Clean Energy Ministerial and G-20 processes, and was a lead author of IEA’s flagship energy technology publication, Energy Technology Perspectives 2012. She was formerly Deputy Director, Energy and Climate, at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Geneva, and has worked in energy and sustainability policy in the private and NGO sectors, including with SustainAbility and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Carolien Kernkamp, Finest Ventures Holding & Just Strategies Consultancy (Netherlands)

Carolien is Founder and Director of Finest Ventures Holding and Just Strategies Consultancy. These companies provide respectively impact finance and impact strategies for sustainable development. With a background in Sustainable Development, Crisis Management and Strategy Consulting, Carolien works with large corporations, social enterprises and non-governmental organizations on issues such as social inclusion, fair trade and ecosystem restoration. She sees the private sector as an important force for positive reform and has inspired many business leaders to take on the challenge with a clear vision and roadmap for implementation. Carolien has worked on the issue of plastic waste both in Africa and Europe and has extensive knowledge and practical experience related to collection and recycling networks and value chains. She is a strong advocate for new business models that support local economies and circular solutions. Carolien serves on the Board of several NGOs and is an Impact Hub Business Coach for start-ups with a focus on plastic waste.

Esra Tat, Zero Waste Europe (Belgium)

Esra leads the Zero Waste Cities programme that brings together civil society organisations, local authorities and businesses for a transition towards Zero Waste. Previously, with a background on project management and environment, Esra co-funded and co-directed a social enterprise promoting energy efficiency and co-housing programmes in France. She spent 6 years as a development coordinator in this field, working with policy makers and the general public. Later she worked as a programme manager, a facilitator and a mentor mostly with international networks in the field of sustainability and social innovation.

Esra has an expertise on network development, with a specific approach of open governance, decentralised organising and collective intelligence. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management.

Fabrizio Barbiero, City of Torino (Italy)

Fabrizio has a law degree, a Master Degree in General Management, and currently he is attending a Master in Public Procurement of Innovation. He  has been working for the last 15  years at the City of Torino, holding the following positions:

  • Manager of social innovation policy “TORINO SOCIAL INNOVATION”: programme to support social innovative start-ups (2012-2016).
  • Manager of Torino Social Factory,Torino Social Impact
  • Designer of Torino Center of Open Innovation, located in a public refurbished fabric,to promote open models to learn, generate innovative ideas and develop creative communities.
  • Co-designer and co-manager of INNOVATO, call for solutions reserved to public servants to trigger innovation (INNOVATO wins Place Marketing Award 2016 within the “endogenous marketing and facilitation of mobilisation” category).
  • Manager of services for SMEs “FaciliTO” ( FaciliTO is the winner of european entreprise promotion award 2012)
  • Manager of  several european projects such as My generation at work,  Boosting Social Innovation BoostInno , Urb-inclusion, Innovato-r (Urbact programme)
  • CROSS – Citizen Reinforcing Open Smart Synergies, Wegovnow, ( H2020 programme);  Cleantech incubation Europe, Alpine Social Innovation Strategy (Interreg Programme).   

Johannes Kisser, alchemia-nova (Austria)

Johannes has a degree in Chemical Engineering – dissertation on recovery of metals from plants. He started with environmental analysis for the Austrian Environmental Protection Agency, worked through waste management to end up working on circular economy solutions from 2006 onwards. He holds three lectureships on “Sustainable Product Design”, “Supply chain management” and “CSR management” at two Austrian Universities of Applied Science.

Johannes has worked at alchemia-nova since 2002, became Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He gave up this position in 2019 with founding two more daughter organisations and also to become Technical Director focusing more on innovations, knowledge sharing and consulting for ministries and companies. He is the developer and initiator of several national and international projects including several trans-disciplinary European projects about circular economy, where he is either working group leader or technical director – co-creating ideas and nurturing them to life, coordinating proposals and sharing these ideas with the world.


Ladeja Godina Košir, Circular Change (Slovenia)

MSc Ladeja Godina Košir is Founder and Executive Director of Circular Change. She was the finalist of The Circular Leadership Award 2018 (Davos WEF), recognised as the regional “engine of circular economy transition”. She is the co-author of the first Roadmap towards the Circular Economy in Slovenia.

Transdisciplinary approach and holistic view is what Ladeja is implementing as an entrepreneur, marketing-communications professional, speaker, moderator, lecturer, mentor and passionate connector. She is empowering a new narrative and circular culture, bridging creative industries and the circular economy. Ladeja is an active member of SDBP, AmCham and Managers Association, and chair of European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform in Brussels.

Luis Amado, B Lab (Portugal)

Luis is a proud father of 4 and a sustainable dreamer willing to contribute to a better world. He is currently B Lab Portugal’s Executive Director and Founder & Managing Partner of Less, Lda (efficiency – support for companies to do more with less resources). He has Board member experience at non profit organisations that are active in social inclusion.

Luis has worked at EDP Foundation supporting social business start-ups. He has more than 12 years experience in managing start-up projects in Energy and Life Sciences as well as experience in business development, management, consulting, social business and being on the board of a PSI-20 energy company. He is interested in sustainability, innovation, design; project structuring, development and management; science and technology management and commercialization. Luis’ qualifications include: Executive MBA AESE/IESE; INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme; Management Renewable Energies Programme, Portuguese Catholic University; Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage, Harvard Kennedy School; “Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialisation”, IC2 Institute, Texas University; PhD in Molecular Cytogenetics, Lisbon Technical University; and Graduation on Applied Chemistry/Biotechnology, Lisbon New University. 

Milena Glimbovski, Original Unverpackt (Germany)

Milena Glimbovski is founder and owner of Original Unverpackt. She studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and worked in communications before deciding to revolutionise sustainable food retail. Wanting to find a new solution to the old problem of packaging waste, a new idea was born – a supermarket free from disposable packaging. Original Unverpackt first opened its doors in September 2014.

In 2015 she founded Ein guter Plan – a publishing house focusing on books and calendars about mindfulness and healthier living. Her first book „Ohne Wenn und Abfall“ about Original Unverpackt and the zero waste lifestyle was published in October 2017 by Kiepenheuer&Witsch Verlag. In 2018 she was awarded entrepreneur of the year by the Berlin Senate.

Mircea Ilie, IKEA (Romania)

Since 2012 Mircea has been working as a Sustainability Leader at IKEA Romania, with responsibilities in energy and resource efficiency, waste management and prevention, education, employee engagement, sustainable products and services, community projects, development of partnerships with social entrepreneurs and their insertion as suppliers in the value chain.

In 2006 he co-founded ViitorPlus (FuturePlus) – Association for Sustainable Development, implementing since then sustainability projects: afforestation, energy efficiency and renewables, recycling, social entrepreneurship, education and awareness, environmental impact and ecological footprint reduction. Between 2011 and 2014, he served in the Representative Committee of the Environmental Coalition from Romania, a network of environmental NGOs. From 2007 to 2012 he acted in the Platform for Bucharest (which became the Platform for Sustainable Cities), an NGO network promoting sustainable urban development.

Mircea holds a Master’s degree in Systems Ecology and Sustainability (University of Bucharest) and one in Engineering (Computer Science, Polytechnic University of Bucharest).

Niall Dunne, Polymateria (UK)

Niall joined Polymateria as CEO in January 2018 from British Telecom where he was their CSO. Previously Niall led the creation and growth of sustainability practices at Accenture and Saatch & Saatchi. The World Economic Forum selected Niall as Young Global Leader in 2012. Dunne also sits on WEF’s Climate Change Global Agenda Council and was previously the vice chair of the Agenda Council on Sustainable Consumption. 

Dr. Sarah Miller, The Rediscovery Centre (Ireland)

Sarah is an environmental scientist and experienced social enterprise development manager.  She holds a PhD in Waste Management, a Masters in Business Administration and an Honours Degree in Biotechnology. With over 20 years professional experience, in the UK, Ireland and Australia, she has worked primarily with commercial business and social enterprise start-ups, ranging from large scale mechanical and biological waste treatment plants to community action projects.   

As CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, the National Centre for the Circular Economy, Sarah has overseen the development of a creative national movement connecting people, ideas and resources to support sustainable living. With a keen interest in research she is also involved in several national and EU environmental research projects.