AEUB Caux Forum header 2018
Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business 2018


Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business 2018

Rt Hon Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG, KBE PC | United Kingdom

Politician, Diplomat, Author

Paddy Ashdown was born in New Delhi on 27 February 1941, the eldest of 7 children. At the age of 4, his family returned to Britain to buy a farm in Ulster. He was educated at Bedford School.

His early career began in 1959 as a UK Royal Marines Officer. After Special Forces Training in England, he commanded a Special Boat Section in the Far East. From 1967 to 1970 Paddy studied Chinese in Hong Kong and became a First Class interpretership in Mandarin.

In 1972 Paddy left the Royal Marines to join the UK Foreign Office. There he served the British Mission to the UN where he took part in the negotiation of several international treaties and agreements. In 1976 Paddy left the Foreign Office to stand as a Liberal candidate in the UK general election. After several years of canvassing he finally won the seat of Yeovil and entered the UK parliament in 1983. After serving his party in a number of roles he became Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party in 1988

Between 2002 and 2008 Paddy Ashdown served as International High Representative and European Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, working tirelessly to secure peace in the Balkans. In 2008 Paddy declined a position in the UK Government because he could not agree with the Governments policies, especially in respect of the erosion of our civil liberties.

The author of numerous articles on foreign affairs and politics, Paddy has also published nine books, including one on peace-keeping. He was recently commissioned to write his tenth book, "A German Tragedy," The story of the German Resistance to Hitler during the Second World War.

Paddy and his wife Jane live in a village in the South of England. They have two children, Kate and Simon, and four grandchildren, two of whom live in France.


Tatjana Perić | Bosnia and Herzegovina/Serbia

Adviser on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Tatjana Perić has been engaged professionally and academically in the field of human rights since 1994. In her extensive international experience, she advised various intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, and others. Tatjana was also active within civil society, including coordinating research of the award-winning European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest, Hungary. She studied human rights and religion (University of Essex, Columbia University, University of Geneva) and gender studies (University of Novi Sad). Since 2014 she works for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) at the OSCE’s Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, currently as Adviser on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, including intolerance against Christians and other religions.


Barbara Hintermann | Switzerland

Secretary General, Initiatives of Change Switzerland

Executive leader and manager with more than 20 years of international experience in humanitarian and corporate environments, Barbara Hintermann worked in spanning complex/volatile operational countries as well as in more mature/stable regional contexts.

She is a strong believer in people and their capacity to further develop competences and skills. She is   passionate about managing through people and making a difference. While driven by personal and organizational values but also institutional principles, she is permanently oriented towards tangible solutions.

She spent most of her career in the humanitarian field. In 1995, she joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in which she has assumed different positions in the Middle East and Africa in which she has led up to 500 staff towards a meaningful humanitarian action.  From 2002 to 2004, she was ICRC’s Deputy Head of Operations for the Balkans at the headquarters in Geneva. In 2004, she returned to the field and led ICRC’s operations at the country level first in Guinea-Conakry and then in Colombia. From 2008 to 2012, she was nominated Head of Operations for ICRC’s actions in Europe and North America. From 2012 to 2014, Barbara Hintermann took the position of the deputy HR Director and then HR Director, leading a large-scale HR transformation project. Since March 2015, Barbara Hintermann is the Secretary General of Initiatives of Change Switzerland.


Peter Sundin | Sweden

Caseworker/Lecturer, Crime Prevention Centre im Värmland

Peter Sundin is a former neo-Nazi that grew up in a racist family of Nazi traditions passed down since the 1940s. By the age of 14 he became a member of the National Youth (Nationell Ungdom), a Swedish neo-fascist and openly racist organization, and lived in this environment for over 10 years after which he reached a turning point that made him break ties with family, friends and values to re-invent his existence and identity. The transformation process took Peter 5 years, and his main support in this journey was a local policeman whom today is his colleague. Peter now works at the Crime Prevention Center in Värmland (Brottsförebyggande Centrum i Värmland), Sweden, on violent extremism prevention.


Dr. Emel Topçu | Turkey

Associate Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Hasan Kalyoncu University Gaziantep

A resident of Germany for fifteen years, Emel Topçu has specialised in topics such as Syrian refugees, volunteerism, adult education, human rights, women’s rights, minority – majority relationships, multi-culturalism and integration of migrants into European societies. She has published numerous articles, conducted research, training and consultancy both within and outside the EU. She has carried out this work with several organisations including the Council of Europe, Ministry of National Education, Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project, which aims to foster a more democratic society in Turkey by strengthening democratic citizenship and human rights education.

Currently she is researching into the impact of the influx of Syrian refugees on Turkey and the effect this has on communities and social cohesion.

Emel Topçu is also the General Manager of Migration, Education, Population and the Employment Research Centre and a Vice President of Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences.


Andrew Stallybrass | United Kingdom/Switzerland

Caux Historian

Andrew Stallybrass was born in Liverpool in 1948. For fifty years, he was part of the team carrying and planning the international conferences for Initiatives of Change (Moral Re-Armament) in Caux, Switzerland, for most of that time working with public relations for the Caux centre. He also worked on the production of conference reports and programmes, as well as writing weekly newsletters from Caux during the summer conferences. In 1980, he married Eliane Maillefer. From 1984 to 2014, they lived in Geneva, and Andrew now has dual nationality, British-Swiss. In 2014, they moved to live in Caux. Andrew was for many years Managing Director of Caux Books, the small international publishing house linked with Initiatives of Change. He is also an independent writer and journalist. He has been a lay preacher in the Geneva Reformed Church, and now the local Vaud Reformed Church parish. In Geneva, he was long active in the Geneva Inter-Faith Platform, serving as secretary and vice-president. He holds a post-graduate certificate of specialisation in theology from the University of Geneva. He is a passionate amateur historian, specializing in the history of Caux.


Simona Toroțcoi | Romania

Roma Activist

Simona Toroțcoi is a Roma from Romania, and currently a PhD student at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.  Coming from a minority ethnic group from Romania, she came across the struggles and every-day discrimination the Roma people face.

Small incidents from childhood made her accept her identity and later on, turn such situations into activist work. Since 2009, Simona has been an active member of Young Roma Maramures, where she has worked on Roma youth empowerment and strengthening Roma identity. Simona is a strong advocate for equality and justice, initiating and leading several protests and petitions as a way to fight injustices towards the Roma. Since 2013, she has become more involved in advocating at the European level with the support of European Roma Grassroots Organizations Network, taking part in European Parliament hearings and European Commission Roma related events.

Having a strong interest in education policies and youth Simona has conducted research on a variety of topics related with this such as: Roma students’ participation in the higher education sector, the field of study choices Roma students make and how this affects their employability, the geographical inequality in education and Roma youth employment prospects, and more recently Roma youth political participation in public life.


Oleksiy Matsuka | Ukraine


Oleksiy Matsuka is a journalist from Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, a city now under control of pro-Russian forces. In 2009 he founded the Donetsk Institute of Information, which works for peace and democratic values through news and analysis of conflict in East Ukraine. His exposure of corruption in the region led to threats, and his house and car were set on fire. He moved to Slovyansk, just outside the separatist region, where the Institute continues its work. In 2014 Reporters Without Borders named him as one of its 100 Information Heroes, and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression presented him with its International Press Freedom Award.


Christoph Spreng | Switzerland

Vice-President, Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe

Christoph Spreng was born and brought up in Berne, Switzerland. His early career was in engineering and electronics which eventually led to the production of documentary films and newspaper editing. In 1981 Chrisoph became a Member of Council with Initiatives of Change Switzerland, a role he continued in for 36 years. Christoph's involvement with Caux saw him branch out into many areas of the Foundation's work. He was Caux conference coordinator for 10 years from 1998 to 2008 and has represented IofC  at the Council of Europe. In 2008 Christoph was appointed Special Advisor for Intercultural Dialogue for the Conference of INGO's (International Non-Governmental Organisations) and coordinated the INGO Dialogue Hub, 'From Polarisation to Participation.' He is an INGO Expert for the Council of Europe. Christoph's activities outside Switzerland include developing Fellowships with students from Japan and Germany and Indian and Japanese industry. In 2009 he was a Convenor of the Middle East Peace Process Joint Venture. Christoph continues to play an active role in the work of IofC and Caux.


Nick Foster | United Kingdom

Caux Forum Director

Nick Foster has been Caux Forum Director since 2013. He studied arts and psychology education. He has lived around the world and worked in education and the NFP sector, and run his own manufacturing company in South Africa. He has also worked as a consultant to businesses on topics such as partnership development, staff retention and burnout. Nick has been involved with IofC for a long time, first through ‘Making Britain a Home’ and then through ‘Foundations For Freedom’ in Eastern Europe and Russia.