Country Liaisons for Europe
Grażyna has a Masters degree in Pedagogy in Adult Education and Social Gerontology, University of Lodz. She co-founded HIPOKAMP, an Educational Centre for Intergenerational Integration, in 2011. She also initiated the Seniors’ Club, Young in Spirit and edits We, Young in Spirit, a social newspaper for seniors in Lodz. She is very involved in supporting active ageing in good health: engaging the public participation of seniors and senior councils; serving as Vice-President of the Commission for Social Dialogue for Demographic Policy and Cooperation between Generations at The City of Lodz Office; and initiating and coordinating national and international projects that popularize gerogogical and gerontological knowledge. Since 2008, she has been conducting practical courses for various groups of seniors in urban communities and small towns and villages. She is a Board member of the Lodz branch of the Polish Society of Gerontology and co-creator of Pro Age Consortium, a Gerontological and Gerontotechnology Education Lab.
Riina lives in the old city of Tallinn, capital of Estonia. She has a double Masters, one in Psychology, the other in Physical Education. She’s an on-going learner and has just added Memory Training for Seniors, a course she did through EURAG, to an impressive list of accomplishments, including co-vision management through the International Supervision and Coaching Institute, and several courses on monitoring and implementing HIV/AIDS projects. The culminating 10 years of her formal career were spent as chief specialist at the Estonian Institute for Health Development, specializing in HIV/STI prevention among high risk groups. In this capacity she participated in several European Union programs and was project manager for Bordernet, an 8-country coalition collaborating as a network to improve HIV / AIDS and STI prevention. Her languages – she has mastered Estonian, Russian, English and Finnish. She joined the European Union of Women (EUW) in 2000 and, since 2011, serves as second vice president of the EUW commission “Europe Alive”.
Valerie Wood Gaiger
Valerie lives in the tiny village of Myddfai. She is the founder of Learn with Grandma, a growing network with 43 Learn With Grandma (LwG) groups around the globe, including 20 in Africa. She started the not for profit in 2006, was seriously side tracked by ill health and the re-launched in 2013 with gusto after discovering the impact of social media. She uses Facebook to spread the message of inter-generational and e-learning around the globe. LwG encourages all inter-generational activities including recording local folk stories that will contribute to Grandma’s Digital Library. Val attended the Mobile Learning Week organized in Paris at UNESCO’s headquarters that focused on Skills for a Connected World. ” I love the Internet! Nothing can replace meeting people face-to-face but with modern technology I can connect – instantly – and work with people I will never meet!! It’s magic! “
Hans Kristjan Gudmundsson
Hans is a physicist and engineer with a doctoral degree in Solid State Physics (TechnD) from KTH, Stockholm, 1982. After research, teaching and administrative careers at KTH, the University of Iceland and the Iceland Technology Institute, IceTec, Hans Kristjan Gudmundsson served as a scientific counselor with EFTA, the European Free Trade Organisation, from 1992 to 1994 and at the Icelandic Mission to the EU in Brussels from 1995- 1999. He was member of the Nordic Science Policy Council 1996-1999, served as Rector of NorFA, the Nordic Academy for Advanced Study, in Oslo, Norway, from 1999-2003 and in 2004 as chairman of the NorFA Governing Board. The years 2004-2006 Gudmundsson held the vice chair off IGFA, the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research. In 2003-2008 he was general director of RANNIS, The Icelandic Centre for Research. He then served as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri, He has an extensive experience of international cooperation on the Nordic and European Arena on research, research training, science policy and administration. After retiring in 2012 he has been working on different projects cultivating his interests.
Siiri earned an MA in Health Care and Social Services, and is working as Head of Culture-Sensitive Memory Work for the Society for Memory Disorders Expertise in Finland. She is an Estonian who has lived and worked in Finland since 2010. Her background is in social work and she has worked as memory adviser for ethnic minority individuals in Finland. She has been working since 2015 in the development project ETNIMU in which she promotes the brain health of the elderly from different ethnic backgrounds and works to increase cultural-sensitive awareness among professionals. She is a member of the European Network on Intercultural Elderly Care (ENIEC). Currently she is developing a training program for interpreters in memory tests situations. www.muistiasiantuntijat.fi
Julia is already well known to Pass It On Network members as the co-leader with Lynda Smith of the SIG (Special Interest Group) on Entrepreneurship, recently returned from the U.S. to her home city of London and agreed to be our Liaison in the UK. She has spent the last 2 years at Stanford University as a Fellow at the Center on Longevity, working on The New Map of Life research with Professor Laura Carstensen and at the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute. Simultaneously, Julia worked as a Senior Fellow with Encore.org, and continues in this role from London, helping build global connections for Encore.org. She is launching the Encore Fellows program in the UK with Prof Andrew Scott (co-author of The 100 year Life).
Dr. Ana Krajnc
Els Messelis is a social worker, gerontologist and author from Ghent in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium. She is a true lifelong learner and teacher. She has served as Gerontologist in the department of Lifelong Learning at the Odisee Advanced Education institution in Brussels. She is also a self-employed Gerontologist working with Life stories of older adults. She counts her writing as one of her major achievements and since 34 years she generated much interest around the question of sexuality and older adults. In 2014 she created The Sex Suitcase to Breaking The Taboo. This is a psycho-educational tool for discussing sex and intimacy in old age and was presented at various conferences both in Europe and the USA. In 2019 she has written a chapter on Sexuality, Intimacy and Healthy Ageing published in a book entitled Heathy Ageing. Also in 2019 she co-authored with Michael Bauer on Sex and Intimacy Policy in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Flanders, Belgium.
Dr. Gulnara Minnigaleeva
Dr. Minnigaleeva received her PhD in Adult Education in 2004 from Moscow State University, and then studied non-profit management at the Humphrey Institute of Public Policy, University of Minnesota, as a Fulbright scholar. In 2006, during her internship in the Ageing and Life-Course Department at the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, she became involved in the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. Later, she used WHO’s recommendations to create a Senior Resource Center titled Wisdom Ripening as a non-profit organization in her hometown in Russia. It is 100% volunteer-led and 90% of volunteers are retired persons over age 60. Still a volunteer CEO for her organization, Dr. Minnigaleeva has received an award from the Russian Premier, Vladimir Putin, for her work encouraging civic engagement. Dr. Minnigaleeva is also teaching as an assistant professor in the Public Policy Department at the State University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. She is actively promoting age-friendly policies and research and has recently convened an International Federation of Ageing conference in Ufa, the capital of the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan.
Odile is an Italian entrepreneur, social entrepreneur and author. She is CEO of Learning Edge/ Talent Edge, a training and HR consulting company that she founded in 2000 after work experiences at McKinsey&Co. and IBM. Committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, gender balance in leadership and volunteering, Odile is also founder and president of the Milano affiliate of Points of Light called MilanoAltruista, the network of Points of Light affiliates in Italy called ItaliaAltruista, the Milano affiliate of Dress for Success, and Kaumatua. She is country leader for the 30% Club Italy and author of the book Il Talento delle Donne on women’s leadership. Odile holds a degree in economics from Bocconi University (Italy), an MBA from SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy), and a PhD in psychology from University College London (UK) and is a certified coach (CPCP) of the International Coach Academy. She is one of the 20 leaders in the inaugural cohort of Encore’s new Public Voices Fellows program.
Guy Robertson believes Positive Ageing is something to work at and to shape proactively. By facing up to the reality of our ageing and envisaging the sort of later life we would really like to achieve, we can begin to have more influence over our health and wellbeing as we age. He recently published The Ten Steps of Positive Aging. He serves on the management group for the Campaign to End Loneliness. He has worked in numerous roles within the field of ageing for over a quarter of a century. He shares research evidence and other helpful resources at https://positiveageing.org.uk/
CEO of the Golden Days Foundation, an organization helping the elderly in need. He previously served for 15 years as CEO of the National Foundation for the Elderly (NFE), which was founded in 2000. In October 2012, the NFE launched the Elderly Ombudsman program where Jan, as an Elderly Ombudsman, is in frequent contact with the Dutch Parliament, governmental organizations and the media as an advocate for senior rights and welfare.
Dana travels the world training memory trainers. Based in Prague, she is a specialist in organizing educational activities. She is also the very active secretary general of European Federation of Older People (EURAG), created in 1962, with 156 member associations in 33 European countries. She holds degrees from the Institute of Enlightenment, the Economics University and the Charles University in Prague. She has, over the past 30 years, initiated a wide variety of programs including the U3A movement in the Czech Republic (1986), reciprocal senior student exchanges with more than 42 exchanges within its first 10 years (1991) and founding the first intergenerational non-vocational “University of Free Time” (1993) in the Czech Republic. She founded the Czech Society for Memory Training and Brain Jogging in 1998 and later, the EURAG Memory Training Center in Prague in 2002 with the objective of making training opportunities available worldwide. She organized the first National Day of Memory Training as a part of Brain Awareness Week, the worldwide event launched in 2005 by the DANA Alliance of the Brain and which takes place in March every year. In 2008 it became the National Week of Memory Training and has been growing ever since. For more information, go to http://www.trenovanipameti.cz and http://aktivnistari.eu/en/.
Poul-Erik is a social entrepreneur, lecturer and author on the transition from work life to a new Third Age career. He has a PhD in adult education from Aarhus University, Denmark. In his third career he has exclusively focused on guidance and counseling of adults during the difficult transition from work life to an encore career. In 2012, he developed a workshop model that was awarded a prize by the European Commission for Social Entrepreneurship. He doesn’t hesitate to pack his bags, leave his hometown of Aarhus and travel to far places, like Singapore and Seoul, to check the groundswell of transition planning for longevity.
Aneta is dedicated to working for regional cooperation and European policy-making. Her university career started with Geography and her doctorate was gained in the Natural Sciences. Her life is an outstanding example of lifelong learning and application. Slovakia’s build up to access EU membership offered her a rich field to grow her many talents. She has worked in most countries across the European Union from Ireland and Denmark to Italy and Moldavia and her mastery of Czech, English and Russian in addition to her mother tongue has been invaluable. Today she is a freelance Senior Expert/Consultant in EU matters.
Dieter lives in Zurich, Switzerland. When he was sixteen years old, a trip aboard the Orient Express to Baghdad and back kindled the adventurous spirit which has led him through life ever since. After graduating from the EHL hotel school, he set off to San Francisco, where he successfully helped managing a renowned Italian restaurant in North Beach for ten years. There he enjoyed the multi-cultural environment and developed an affinity for coaching. Back in Zurich, he joined the executive ranks of American Express International and wrapped up that phase with a yearlong trip around the world that reinforced his belief in the power of adventure – to renew, restore, and provide novel experiences that lead to new perspectives. Dieter works with those who are looking for greater satisfaction in their post-career years. He helps them in a playful way to have their inner child come to life, thus finding a meaningful purpose in their golden years. Dieter ultimately supports his clients in fulfilling the dreams on their bucket list. To achieve and do all the fun things they have yet to complete in their lives. dreamplanliveit