The Friday group is a Belgian policy think tank for young people from various backgrounds financed by the King Baudoin Foundation.
The Friday group is a Belgian policy think tank for young people from various backgrounds financed by the King Baudoin Foundation.
An Beazar (1980) is most of all a real entrepreneur. She graduated in physical engineering and in music. In 2010 she founded Enprove, an innovative company that helps organizations to reduce their energy consumption and CO2 by increasing their energy efficiency. The company is growing, and taking its first international steps. In 2012 An received the award “young promising entrepreneur” of Markant and Unizo. She’s a member of the board of Dendermonde’s hospital and is an innovation-expert for the Flemish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Agency. An is also an expert for the Flemish broadcasting company VRT.
Abdelkarim Bellafkih (1986) is an engineer (VUB – Free University of Brussels) and works for the Flemish administration. Having founded several associations, he is very active in the associative scene of Antwerp, and sits in numerous boards.
Cyrus Bohn (1992) is a consultant in the Real Estate & Construction department of Deloitte. In this context, he advises private and public organizations throughout Europe in the way they should structure and manage large Real Estate portfolios. Cyrus has a deep passion for everything concerning the built environment. Previously, he was active at UN-Habitat, the urbanism branch of the United Nations, in New York, where he collaborated in the negotiation of a resolution to ratify the ‘New Urban Agenda’. Moreover, Cyrus is alumni and former Vice-President of the MUN Society Belgium with which he won the world championship in diplomacy for students. He graduated as Civil Engineer: Architect from the KU Leuven.
Aline Buysschaert (1988) studied Economics at UCL and Development and Finance at Johns Hopkins University (Washington, D.C.) as a fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF). After internships at the European Commission as a Blue Book Trainee within DG MARKT, and with a social business incubator in South Africa, Aline is now financial analyst at Kois Invest, a social investment fund. She is also finalizing a certificate in economic and social ethics with the Hoover Chair at UCL.
Sophie Buysse studied law at Ghent University, and singin at the Royal Academy of Music in Brussels. In 2015, she founded the Dutch-speaking branch of Teach for Belgium, a non-profit which mobilizes young high potentials to teach in underprivileged neighborhoods. Currently, she works for TADA (ToekomstAtelierdelavenir). Sophie is a founding member and the former president of the Global Shapers Brussels, the youth branch of the World Economic Forum. She has been involved in several musical projects, such as the One Bird Orchestra or the Brussels Chamber Choir.
Morad Chahboun (1986) graduated from Solvay Business School in 2009. He is the Sales Manager of Alkemyka, a company specialized in the marketing of industrial goods. Breed in the popular areas of Brussels, he got involved quite early in different community organizations. He participated in the writing of "381 Jours", a theater play of Ras El Hanout ASBL/VZW about Civil Right Movement and he cofounded two organizations where he still hold executive positions : Talented Youth Network (TYN) ASBL aiming at empowering youth through increased self-confidence & Molengeek, an Innovation Ecosystem in the heart of Molenbeek aiming at bringing together Technology & people from inside and outside Molenbeek. He loves learning, jogging, laughing and above all his city, Brussels.
Sofie De Coker (1993) works as an innovation strategist at Mediafin, the publisher of the Belgian quality newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo. She is endlessly fascinated by the interaction between man, media and technology. As a marketer she specializes in customer experience, a discipline that combines data analysis and insights from behavioural psychology. Sofie also has extensive copywriting experience; her pen is her weapon of choice.
Paul Dermine (1989) is currently a PhD researcher in European Union Law at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). He studied Law and Political Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the College of Europe and New York University as a Hauser Global Scholar. Between 2013 and 2015, Paul has worked as an attorney in administrative and constitutional law at the Brussels Bar, with Stibbe LLP. Since 2015, he's entirely dedicated to academic research. His focus is on the institutional system of the European Union, the Law of the Economic and Monetary Union and the new governance of the Eurozone.
Stefanie Dens (1989) is trained in civil engineering-architecture and is fascinated by vernacular urbanism and building cultures. She believes in the power of a well-crafted and tailor-made design based on the reinterpretation of local knowledge and understanding of the (built) environment as a repository of spatial and cultural adaptation over time.
Research-by-design forms the basis for her practice and her academic work, located mainly in Europe, Asia and Africa, in urban contexts facing exponential growth, whilst prone to natural hazards and the consequences of climate change.
Adil El Madani lives in Brussels and works for the Belgian Federal State on SME and start-up policies. He leads several SME policy projects and has gained significant experience in policymaking by collaborating closely with several international institutions. Since 2017, he has been member of the expert group “Policy-relevant research on SMEs and entrepreneurship” of the European Commission. Before joining the Civil Service, Adil was a Risk Officer at Credendo, the Belgian export credit agency, where he familiarized with risk monitoring of all overseas commerce activity. He teaches at the EFP Training Center as a part-time lecturer of SME Management and works with Université Libre de Bruxelles on a state-funded research project related to collaborations among entrepreneurs. He also regularly intervenes on economic issues in the press. Adil holds a Master’s degree in Business Engineering from Solvay Brussels School and his areas of interest include: SME policy, entrepreneurship, policy making and the history of economic thought.
Arthur Ghins (1990) is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant in political theory at the University of Cambridge (UK). His research focuses on the history of liberalism in post-revolutionary France. Arthur is a research associate at the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS), and has worked as a volunteer teacher in politics for Oxford and Cambridge Summer Schools and the Paris-based refugee school Pierre Claver. He has been a visiting researcher at Sciences Po Paris and the Centre de Théorie Politique at ULB. Arthur holds graduate degrees in law, philosophy and political theory respectively from Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), KU Leuven (Belgium) and the London School of Economics.
Joseph Fattouch (1990) is an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Digital Agenda A. De Croo. He is in charge of the digital strategy of the Federal government, with a focus in Digital Skills and Digital Government. He is leading the development of the Belgian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Joseph worked for McKinsey & Company and Roland Berger in Europe and the Middle East. There he served multiple public, retail and basic material organizations with a focus on strategy, digitization and reorganization. Joseph also worked for UNICEF in Lebanon where he developed the strategy and priorities for their largest funding program globally. Joseph is a board member of the Samilia Foundation (fighting human trafficking) and was a teaching volunteer in South-Africa. Joseph holds a Master’s Degree in Management Engineering from the Solvay Brussels School where he was also a teaching assistant in Finance and Strategy.
Dorian Feron Keen to go beyond differences and cleavages, Dorian sees the Friday Group as a unique platform to make the constructive and innovative ideas of the Belgian youth resonate. Dorian has worked within the cabinet of a European commissioner and opened a seasonal catering shop, Dorian currently works at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He studied Law and Political Science at the University of Saint Louis (Brussels), the Free University of Brussels and Columbia Law School (as a Fulbright and BAEF scholar). As a student, Dorian was president of the MUN Society Belgium.
Nathalie François is a Manager for Paris-based consulting firm YCE partners, which specializes in social protection. She advises public and private clients on how to adapt to the legal, numerical and competitive transformations affecting their sector. Nathalie holds a master of laws from the Free University of Brussels, with a major in public and administrative law. She is an admitted member of the Brussels Bar, and has worked, between 2007 and 2016, for the law firm Stibbe, mainly on public infrastructure projects and legal drafting (she was involved in the implementation of the EU anti-discrimination directives). Nathalie has also been a teaching assistant at Free University of Brussels for 8 years. In 2017, she completed a Master of Business Administration at EM Lyon Business School. In that framework, she devised a tool to measure organizational agility.
Audrey Hanard (1985) is chairwoman of the Friday Grou and manager at Telos Impact, a consulting firm specialized in philanthropy and impact investing. She co-founded the start-up Spectralys Biotech, which offers protein analysis services to biopharmaceuticals companies, and has worked for more than 5 years as a consultant for McKinsey&Company, where she mainly advised clients from the governmental and pharmaceutical sectors, and explored public issues related to education and healthcare. She was active in the field of European affairs during the last Belgian presidency of the EU Council, successively within the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs (SOLVIT, Internal Market) and the Permanent Representation (Inter-institutional relations with the European Parliament). Audrey studied business engineering at Solvay Business School (ULB) and holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University (NY).
Laurent Hanseeuw (1985) currently runs a family business. He previously worked as an economist within the consultancy department of KPMG and Cushman&Wakefield. He also held a position within the Belgian think-tank Itinera Institute. He regularly intervenes on economic and societal issues in the Belgian press. For six years, he also taught political economy at the Free University of Brussels. He graduated from Solvay Business School (2008) and the College of Europe in Brugge (2009). He has been a member of the Friday Group since 2013.
Johan Heymans (1989) is passionate about human rights and criminal law. After his law studies at the University of Namur and the Catholic University of Leuven he travelled to New York to study at New York University (Fulbright and BAEF scholar) and to work at the International Center for Transitional Justice. Subsequently he briefly worked for the Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. Currently Johan is working as a lawyer at the law firm Van Steenbrugge Advocaten and has specialized in human rights and criminal law litigation. He also teaches at the University of Antwerp where he provides assistance to the courses ‘criminal procedure’ and ‘advanced criminal procedure’ and is actively involved as a human rights expert with the Human Rights League and several other organizations such as Fair Trials and the Human Rights Comity of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.
Maroussia Klep (1988) worked several years in international organisations before moving into documentary filmmaking and writing. After her Masters in International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris, she started her career as a reporter at the United Nations headquarters, then as a trainee at the cabinet of former European Commissioner for trade Karel De Gucht. She then worked as consultant on European public affairs at the agency Kreab Gavin Anderson, and later joined OECD in Paris as policy consultant on the circular economy and waste management policies. In 2016, she left OECD to found a production agency, Impact Storytelling, aimed at creating films and stories that may open up new narratives and inspire change towards greater solidarity and ecology.
Sammy Mahdi (1988) studied Political Sciences and Internal and European Law at the VUB. Upon graduation, he worked for Akkanto as a Public Affairs Consultant. After the 2014 national elections, he became parliamentary assistant for the CD&V. Two years later, he became columnist for De Morgen, and was elected president of the Young CD&V. Since the local elections of 2018, Sammy presides the CD&V section in Vilvoorde. Next to his professional activities, Sammy also teaches workshops on social commitment and non-violent communication in Flemish schools.
Sam Proesmans (1988) is a resident in internal medicine. Driven by a raging wanderlust from age 16, he grabbed his backpack and started to explore the world independently. During his travels, he soon realized how lucky he was to be born in an environment so rich with opportunities and possibilities. As a medical student he continued to travel and did multiple internships in Asia, Latin America and Africa. His recent 12,000 km trip from Belgium to Congo in a 6-seat aircraft - broadcasted on the national television channel Eén as the series Flying Doctors - was definitely a highlight. Seeing the dire poverty and total lack of opportunities for so many people on this planet have stricken him so strongly, that he soon decided his future would be to strive for universal healthcare and education. Being a Fulbright and B.A.E.F. scholar, he did a Master of Public Health at Columbia University in New York and is currently doing his fellowship in infectious diseases and tropical medicine in Antwerp. In the coming years he hopes to become a leading game-changer in the field of public health.
Julien Raone Fascinated by the transformation that structure the organization of human collectives and the life of his contemporaries, Julien Raone is an observer of modern societies and the changes to which they are subjected. As a curious mind, he jumps from one social world to another in order to understand their dynamics and conventions, politics and discourses, issues and practices. It is all about listening, observing, questioning, arguing, debating and writing. His research and teaching experiences are guided by an affinity for critical knowledge and the ambition of autonomy. Julien Raone also holds a Master's degree in Public Management from King's College London and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Louvain. He has published extensively and has taught in the fields of public management and public policy analysis, labor sciences and critical management studies.
Magali Caroline Van Coppenolle (1988) studied economics at Maastricht University and holds a joint MPP/ MPA from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and the London School of Economics. She started her career looking at the impact of regulatory frameworks on private sectors in China and Belgium. Fascinated by all aspects of financial governance and regulation, she led a research project for the Bank of England, on macro-prudential capital ratio, before taking on the challenge of applying such expertise in the aid and development world. Since 2014, Magali is working as a consultant on financial governance projects with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Somalia.
Margot Vanfleteren (1994) is a student Health Sciences at Maastricht University. She got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus in 1996 at age two. Living in Leuven(BE) she combines school with various projects in diabetes care and health care on global scale. Her main goal is to get patient voices be heard so treatments can be optimized. Therefor she participates at debates, speaks, focuses as entrepreneur on patient-centered care, is patient engagement manager at Healthbank and writes blogs on diabetes care. She won the Lions Young Ambassador Award of the 21st century for her work in diabetes care and is Young Leader in Diabetes at the International Diabetes Federation.
David Mendez Yépez (1990) is a singer and song-writer, economist, and former president of the Assemblée Générale des étudiants de Louvain (AGL) and the Fédération des Étudiants Francophones (FEF). As a student, he has been granted a scholarship from the European Commission to study economics and ethics in Belgium, the Netherlands and the US. He has worked for four years with the Belgian National Center for Cooperation and Development. He is now fully invested in his musical career, with his group Chicos y Mendez.
Youssef Kobo (1988) is politically active with CD&V. A social entrepreneur. Avid world traveler. Opinion maker, author, publicist and public speaker. Former advisor for the Brussels Secretary for Equal Opportunities and production company Panenka. Active in Belgian civil society on civil rights issues, discrimination and youth policy. Youssef Kobo predominantly writes about multiculturalism, Islam, the Middle East, migration and innovation.