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 2020 Judges

Please find profiles of the European Social Innovation Competition 2020  below.

Anita Hrast  - IRDO - Inštitut za razvoj družbene odgovornosti (Slovenia)

Anita Hrast is founder and general manager of IRDO – Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility (www.irdo.si) and co-founder of Slovene award for Social Responsibility Horus (www.horus.si). As a researcher and development manager she is publishing texts from the social responsibility and marketing at international scientific and expert conferences. She works in communication, marketing, social responsibility, social impact measurement and develops new methods, projects, products and services for different clients (companies, NGO’s, government). She links many Slovene and international organizations, experts, with purpose to develop and implement social responsibility in theory and practice.

Anna Fiscale, Progetto Quid (Italy)

Anna Fiscale founded Quid in 2013, at the age of 25. She studied in Verona Economy and Management and have a double degree in International Relations Management at the Bocconi University in Milan, and a Master in Political Science (Science-Po Paris). She also worked in the International Cooperation in India and Haiti, with a focus on the women empowerment. Shortly after the foundation of Progetto Quid, Anna and her company were internationally recognized: in 2014 Quid won the 1st prize at the European Social Innovation Competition, in 2017 it won the Women for Results UN Momentum for Change Award and in 2018 Anna won the European Women Innovator Prize. Today Quid employs 140 workers, mostly women with a fragile background and produces more than 100.000 clothes every year.

Bert Van Son, MUD Jeans (The Netherlands)

Bert van Son is founder and CEO of MUD Jeans, a fast growing sustainable jeans company from the Netherlands. The company allows customers to shop guilt free and do good for the environment, while looking fashionable and modern. As a 23 year old he moved to China his 30 years experience in the fashion industry has made Bert van Son see the impact fast fashion has on the environment and made him believe that there is an alternative way. In 2012 he started the idea “Lease A Jeans”, a concept that makes it possible for customers to use jeans and give them back after use. From ownership to performance. Allowing customers to regularly renew their wardrobe, while MUD Jeans makes sure the materials will be recycled after use. Bert van Son knows about the challenges in today’s (fast) fashion industry and how he and his team try to implement the circle economy in the fashion industry.

Winners of the: Circle challenge 2012 / The Change in Business award 2013 / The Edie’s sustainable leader award 2015 (UK).
Nominated for: The Koning Willem 1 Plaquettte 2018 / finalist (2nd) of the Circular Award Business 2020 (NL).
One of the first B-Corp’s in the EU in 2013 and Best of the world B-Corp Environment 2018.

Carrie Ann Moran, NCBI (Ireland)

Carrie Ann is an award-winning Irish social entrepreneur, recognised nationally as a leading voice on circular fashion. For almost 15 years, Carrie Ann has pushed sustainable fashion in Ireland, gaining recognition for her industry perspective and her pragmatic approach to embedding sustainability and circularity themes into the mainstream. She holds an honours degree in Law, Dip in Fashion, Post Grad Environmental Management and an MSc in Environmental Sustainability. As Sustainability Manager for leading Irish charity NCBI, Carrie Ann is responsible for end of life and cradle-to cradle strategies for 1,850 tonnes of donated clothing across 120 stores nationwide and internal sustainability practices within NCBI, implementing programmes to reduce carbon footprint, energy consumption and waste. She is also the country coordinator for Fashion Revolution Ireland annual campaign and recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee of the Irish Government for the implementation on Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy. In her previous role as Head of Fashion at the Rediscovery Centre, Ireland’s National Centre for the Circular Economy, she established the Rediscover Fashion programme. This was the first programme of its kind in Ireland, combining high-end fashion design with environmental mindfulness whilst upskilling local communities to re-enter the workforce. Carrie Ann’s expertise span numerous fields from lecturing, fashion design, environmental management, sustainability and labour rights. She is committed to bringing awareness of the environmental impacts and ethics within the fashion industry and works towards circularity and transparency.

Federica Massa Saluzzo, EADA business school (Spain)

Federica received her bachelor degree in Business Administration from Bocconi University, her Ph.D in Strategic Management from IESE Business School, and post-doc from the University of Bologna. She joined EADA business school in 2016 where she teaches strategic management and sustainability. Her research examines under what conditions social value is created and shared among organizations and their stakeholders. Her industry focus is the fashion industry. In the last 10 years she has been actively promoting a deeper understanding of sustainable fashion among multiple actors and through multiple means: events, challenges, talks, and courses. She has engaged top managers from luxury fashion brands, NGOs, public institutions, Master students of the top business schools around Europe in her attempt to make our decision makers more responsible and aware of the distortions of the fashion industry. Federica is also board member of the Asociacion Moda Sostenbile Barcelona, a Spanish association comprising designers, suppliers, experts, workshops, boutiques, journalists, and citizens devoted to sustainable fashion and organizer of the RE-Barcelona, the first international event on sustainable fashion organized in South Europe.

Fredrik Timour, Swedish Fashion Council (Sweden)

Fredrik Timour has a broad, deep and holistic perspective to digital fashion.
He works for the Swedish Fashion Council setting up a new innovation center for fashion and is part of the national platform for sustainable fashion.

Fredrik is the founder of Neue, a platform for digital fashion development including both hardware, software and cloud services, for fashion brands and end user applications.
He has been running courses in fashion tech at Fashion Institute of Technology – NYC, London College of Fashion – London, IFA – Paris, Beckmans – Stockholm. Furthermore, he has been working directly with clients like Fusalp, POC, IKEA, BACK, Snickers Workwear, SAS, IBM developing new business models and concepts for digital fashion.

Jaan Aps, Stories for Impact (Estonia)

Jaan has been among key persons developing the practices of societal impact analysis and social entrepreneurship in the Baltic region since 2006. Currently, his social business Stories For Impact provides practical solutions for social and environmental impact management in Estonia and internationally. He also teaches at an international MA Programme of Social Entrepreneurship at Tallinn University. Jaan is a popular public speaker and trainer who has stood in front of thousands of people in Estonia and internationally on three continents. Jaan was a co-founder and chairman of the Estonian Social Enterprise Network (in 2012-2019). His previous role was about helping to scale up high-impact initiatives in the Good Deed Foundation, the first venture philanthropy organisation in the Baltics. The Network of the Estonian Nonprofit Organizations elected him as a „Mission person of the year“ in 2013. He holds an MA degree in Economics. As a hobby, Jaan has written two novels (fiction), both of which received national recognition awards (2004, 2006).

John Pitsakis, 3QUARTERS (Greece)

John Pitsakis is a co-founder of the sustainable fashion brand 3QUARTERS.

Born and raised in Greece, he moved to London in 2002. In 2015 he co-founded 3QUARTERS with his sister Garyfalia and now spends his time between London and Athens.

3QUARTERS is one of the first sustainable fashion brands in Greece and very quickly established itself as an innovator in the field of up-cycling with wide media coverage. All materials are sourced locally, all products are handmade individually and there is a strict zero-waste policy. It already has an international presence and is regularly being invited to sustainable fashion events.

In March 2019, 3QUARTERS was awarded a Common Objective Leadership Award, as one of the brands that have ‘the courage to do the right thing – and doing it well. The CO leadership awards put the spotlight on businesses with great products or services – that maximize benefits to people, and minimize the impact on the environment.’

John also works as a web designer and photographer. He has traveled extensively, is a member of Fashion Revolution Greece and has participated in panels and conferences on sustainable fashion for a number of years.

Jonas Eder-Hansen, Global Fashion Agenda Denmark

Jonas Eder-Hansen is Public Affairs Director at Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), the foremost leadership forum for industry collaboration on sustainability in fashion. As Public Affairs Director, he leads government affairs, policy and related stakeholder engagement, and the creation of impactful industry commitments on both a regional and international level.
Jonas spearheaded GFA’s 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, which called upon the fashion industry to take urgent action on circularity. The commitment was signed by 12.5% of the global fashion industry. Jonas also actively works with policymakers to align regulation and policy agendas with fashion industry interests.
Furthermore, he shapes the content for Copenhagen Fashion Summit – the world’s largest event on sustainability in fashion. The Summit provides a forum for a vast range of stakeholders, from CEOs to politicians to manufacturers from across the globe, to convene and collaborate. With a long career in sustainability, he is regularly interviewed by media to provide his expert insights on the key issues.
Jonas was formerly Development Director for Danish Fashion Institute. Prior to that, he was Research Director at the CBS Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility where he was a major driving force in the establishment and development of the now internationally acclaimed research centre.

Pavlína Louženská, Consultant (Czech Republic)

Pavlína is a Marketing and Business Consultant with focus on technology and fashion. She a Lead Mentor in Google, as well as in various European accelerators. She founded #HolkyzMarketingu, a female empowerment community which currently unites 20 000+ women. She is a Transparency International Board member. Alumni to Aspen Institute Young Leaders Program, YTILI and CGYPP fellowships.

Pirjo Kääriäinen, Aalto University (Finland)

Pirjo Kääriäinen is a design professional and facilitator, working in the intersection of design and material sciences. She has been developing interdisciplinary CHEMARTS collaboration between chemical engineering and design at the Aalto University since 2011, focusing especially on the research of bio-based materials. She is involved in a development of a new sustainable production and recycling methods for cellulosic textile fibres, and part of a team exploring textile production through biotechnology.

Before her career in academia, she worked for Scandinavian textile industry as a designer and design manager, and gained experience also as an entrepreneur and consultant for creative industries. She is constantly looking for new ways to combine design with science, technology and business.

Sebastian Thies, NAT-2 (Germany)

Sebastian Thies, 6th generation footwear professional since 1856, is the Founder x Designer of high-end sneaker brand nat-2™. Sustainability is key since more than 160 years in the family tradition.
Sebastian is also a Creative Director at various other Projects and has worked with companies such as MCM, Wu-Tang, Sony, Paramount, Activision, Ritter Sport, Atelier PMP, Hasbro, Gabor, HBC, nowadays, Studio100 Sebastian has served clients and international retailers and his designs have been showcased and included to design collections in international re-known exhibitions and museums. 

nat-2™ is a highly progressive brand challenging the big players in the business by being a step ahead and truly high fashion, while still being leisure`n down to earth. The roots of the brand lie in the early 90ies graffiti, street- and boardsport culture, admiring the innovative power of the techy, cool 80ies. nat-2 is about passion and style and therefore the brand is not stuck with cliches, following its own path and ideas. Sebastian has already won several international awards such as the Red Dot Design Award, German Brand Award, Innovation x Design Award, IspoBrandnew Award, was nominated twice for Germany’s Designpreis and appointed as Kultur- x Kreativpilot by the Federal Republic of Germany.
Born in Munich, he has lived in the US, part time in Paris and all over Germany and Austria. His roots lie in the early early street art movement, 80ies snowboarding, design and high fashion.
The London Designmuseum has quoted nat-2™ as “one of the 50 shoes that changed the world” in its books.

The 2019 Judges

The 2019 panel will return this year to judge the Impact Prize. Their profiles can be found below.

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). www.torinosocialinnovation.it
  • 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.