Keynote speakers

Robbert Huijsman

Robbert Huijsman is professor in Management and Organisation of Elderly care at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and senior manager Innovation with health insurer Silver Cross (Achmea). Trained as a macro-economist and with a PhD in social sciences (simulation model for care for the elderly), his present research interest are focused on organisation, co-ordination and vertical integration in care, cure and social services (organisational concepts like franchising and lean management,  performance management, outcomes and value-based procurement).

Other themes are the relationships between professionals and management and effective policy making to support critical care path ways which break through the traditional boundaries between professionals, organisations, systems and financing schemes. He is the author of many articles (appr. 100 in peer reviewed international journals) and books (appr. 15) on these subjects.

In his work at Achmea he leads a group of 20 project leaders, making the transfer from theory to practice, by developing, testing and helping to implement new solutions in chronic care, elderly care, also using e-health, and concepts of self and case management.


Casey Gwinn

Casey Gwinn, Esq. serves as the President of Alliance for HOPE International. Programs of the Alliance include: Family Justice Center Alliance, Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Camp HOPE America, Justice Legal Network and VOICES Survivors Advocacy Network. Casey has been recognized by The American Lawyer magazine as one of the top 45 public lawyers in America and he is an honors graduate of Stanford University and UCLA School of Law.

Casey served for eight years as the elected City Attorney of San Diego from 1996 to 2004. Prior to entering elected office, Casey founded City Attorney’s Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Unit, leading the Unit from 1986 to 1996 – prosecuting both misdemeanor and felony cases. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges honored his specialized prosecution unit as the model prosecution unit in the nation in 1993. In 2002, Casey saw his vision of a comprehensive, “one stop shop” for services to victims of family violence become a reality in San Diego as he led the effort to open the nationally acclaimed San Diego Family Justice Center. In October 2003, President George W. Bush announced a national initiative to begin creating Family Justice Centers across the country and asked Casey to provide leadership to the effort. Casey currently oversees a national technical assistance team that supports all existing and developing Family Justice Centers in the United States and around the world and speaks in communities across the United States.

Casey has served on the U.S. Attorney General’s National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. He chaired the California Attorney General’s Task Force on Domestic Violence. He also served on the congressionally created Department of Defense task force, studying the handling of family violence throughout the Department of Defense.

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Introductory speeches

Ahmed Aboutaleb

Ahmed Aboutaleb was born in Beni Sidel (Morocco) on 29 August 1961.

After completing his secondary education, he attended an institute of technology, graduating in telecommunications in 1987.

He worked as a presenter for an educational television station (RVU), as a programme maker at Radio Stad Amsterdam and Radio Noord-Holland, and as a reporter for Veronica Radio, NOS Radio and RTL4 news.

From 1991 to 1994 he was a press officer at the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Cultural Affairs. Up to 1997 he was head of information at the Social and Economic Council (SER) and until 1998 manager of the Communications and Publications Sector at Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In 1998 he became director of the FORUM Institute for Multicultural Development and in 2002 of the Social, Economic and Cultural Development Sector of the municipality of Amsterdam. In 2004 he was appointed to Amsterdam's municipal executive as alderman for Work and Income, Education, Youth, Diversity and Urban Policy. 

Mr Aboutaleb was also a member of the Supervisory Board of the Mondriaan Education Group in The Hague, and of the Education Council. He helped to set up the Dutch Coalition for Peace in the Middle East and has been a member of the urban policy review committee, and of the board of Babylon, a centre for multicultural studies at the University of Tilburg.

On 22 February 2007 Mr Aboutaleb was appointed State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment in the fourth Balkenende government.

Ahmed Aboutaleb was installed as Mayor of Rotterdam on 5 January 2009. In September 2014, he was reappointed for six years.

Sylvie Carrega

Sylvie Carrega is the    President of ELISAN – European Local Inclusion and Social Action Network- with consultative Status at the Council of Europe. The network  was  set up with the support of  the Committee of the Regions in 2008.
She  has been elected   Deputy Mayor of the City of Marseille and is  in charge of Social Policies, Policy centers and housing.
Moreover she is  Vice-President of the CCAS of Marseille. The “Le Centre communal d'action sociale » of  Marseille is a public Authority carrying out services to fight against poverty or social vulnerability affecting families older people, unemployed and persons with disabilities. The citizens of the municipality of Marseille receive advices about  their social rights and/or are  guided to local partners to be empowered and assisted.

She is also Regional Councillor of the Department of Les Bouches du Rhone and in charge of housing and the fight against discriminations.
She is first vice president of the UNCCAS “Union Nationale des Centres Communaux d’Action Socaile” . Founded in 1926 the UNCCAS is gathering in a Federation  French municipal centers. Its aim is to coordinate and guide the social actions of the CCAS at local Regional national and European Level. She is Président of the UDCCAS “Union Départementale des CCAS”.

“I am deeply committed to work in team at local, national and European level for answering citizens social needs”  quoted Sylvie Carrega

Anne Marie Chavanon


President of the Committee on “Democracy, Social cohesion and global challenges” of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, gathering over 210 international NGOs since 2011. She previously chaired a committee on Sustainable territorial development at the Council of Europe

Council member of IFHP (International Federation for Housing and Planning) Executive Manager of its French Chapter COFHUAT. She is a member of various scientific councils, notably dealing with water and smart cities issues

Prior to these functions, she served as a counselor of French ministers in charge of Economy and Finance, urban development, housing, infrastructure and transport. She worked in the French Senate, at the Paris Ile of France Region, with French municipalities’ networks.

To date, her main expertise and advocacy goes to governance, participatory democracy, social cohesion including elderly care, and sustainable development issues. She operates on such topics with Council of Europe partners (ministers, parliamentarians, local authorities and NGOs), as well as in EU and Council of Europe member states, and associated countries. She served four times as a member of the Jury of the European Landscape Convention Award and got involved twice in the International Urban Innovation Award of Guangzhou

Horst Kraemer

Horst Krämer is a Programme Officer at the European Commission's Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). His portfolio covers research and innovation projects as well as Horizon 2020 topic coordination in ICT for Ageing and Digital Social Platforms. Mr Krämer is a member of the DG's network on Social Sciences and Humanities and the "Innovation Radar" task force. He is the Commission's correspondent for the Joint Programming Initiative "More Years, Better Lives", a collaboration network for the alignment of national research programmes on demographic change. In the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, he follows the Action Group on Age-friendly Environments. Before joining the Commission, Mr Krämer worked as an editor, project manager and account manager in the field of public affairs, digital communication and e-Government. He holds a Masters Degrees from the Universities of Bath (Contemporary European Studies) and the University of Frankfurt (Cultural Anthropology, Business and Linguistics).

Manuela Lanzarin

The Hon Lanzarin is  currently Regional Minister of Social Services and Regional Councilor of the Veneto Region since 2015. The Veneto Region has 4,936 million inhabitants   and is divided in 7 provinces. The  Region provides health and social services through 22 Local Social and Health Units and 2 hospital trusts.

 As such she is responsible for the planning social services and  policies in favor of minors, families, youth, elderly, persons with disabilities and immigrants. She is also in charge of the relations with  the non profit and volunteer sectors. She is President of the ENSA – European Network of Social Authorities and member of ELISAN, European Local Social Inclusion Network with consultative status at the Council of Europe

She worked as  Mayor,  Deputy Mayor and Regional Minister for culture, education and Institutional affairs in the Province of Vicenza. She has been board member  of ANCI Regional association of Veneto municipalities  for five years.  She has been president of a surveillance committee  of ETRA spa a multi utility managing water services for 75 municipalities of Padua and Vicenza.  From 2005 to 2013 she has been member of the Italian House of Representatives in the  XIII Committee of Public works, Transports and Civil Protection. In addition she has been appointed Vice president of the Conference of Mayors of the Local Social and Health Unit n3,  Bassano del Grappa. 

Moreover her experience includes years of international work in the  private sector with companies such as Schneider, Lanzarin ceramiche and Unionceramiche.



Menno Kok

EIT Health is one of the largest healthcare initiatives worldwide. Its goal is to improve the sustainability of healthcare systems, promote healthy living and active ageing and enhance the overall wellbeing of people across Europe. EIT Health is leveraging the expertise of more than 140 leading organizations spanning key areas of healthcare including pharma, med tech, ICT, imaging and diagnostics, and consumer products. EIT Health benefits from some of the world’s leading academic and research organizations, as well as healthcare providers, public authorities and municipalities. EIT Health will purposefully invest in Europe’s brightest entrepreneurial and creative minds to foster the development and commercialization of smart products and service solutions in the health sector, addressing the challenges resulting from demographic change and ageing societies. Menno Kok is director of the co-location center of EIT Health in Rotterdam, which serves research institutes and companies in Belgium and The Netherlands.

For more information:
EIT Health:

EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands:

Irene Kounenaki

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Postagraduate Studies (Msc) in Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Since 2011, Vice Mayor of Municipality of Pallini,Attica, Greece, Responsible for social services,solidarity, volunteerism and life long learning.President of the Committee of Local Equality, Municipality of Pallini.
Started her professional career in 1989 in the Greek Productivity Center  responsible for social and economic research . Since then has managed important positions of responsibility in public and private sector.

In the private sector experience as a consultant in applied  human resource policies related to  recruitment, personal development and designing in- house educational programmes as well as life long learning programmes for unemployed.

In the public sector long experience in social policy and the application of European Strategy for Social Protection in Greece.

Certified trainer of the trainers and member of the teaching staff of the Public Administration Center.



Ignacio Socias

Ignacio Socias is Director of International Relations of the International Federation for Family Development, an umbrella organization for more than 200 Family Enrichment Centers that operates in 66 countries, benefit over 90,000 people annually and has been granted reclassification of the consultative status at ECOSOC from special to general, a situation granted to only 3% of the organizations working with the UN.

He is also Director of International Relations of The Family Watch, a think tank committed to researching the family and finding solutions to the problems it faces. The Institute uses inter-disciplinary research to analyze the social context families find themselves in today. Findings are presented in the form of reports, proposals and initiatives that aim to deepen society’s knowledge of the family and encourage its fair treatment based on the functions it performs in society. Welfare

Onno de Zwart

Onno de Zwart is director of Welfare, Care and Youthcare at the City of Rotterdam. He studied history at Erasmus University and the University of Essex and completed a PhD thesis on risk perception of infectious diseases. He has been working for over 20 years for the city of Rotterdam in different roles in infectious diseases control, public health, welfare, care and youth care. During the last years a program director for the decentralisation of forms of long term care and of youth care to the local level. Since 2015 he is working in his current position as director of Welfare, Care and Youth Care.

Jordi Garcés Ferrer

Jordi Garcés Ferrer is Full Professor of the University of Valencia and former visiting Professor Prince of Asturias of the Georgetown University in Washington DC (EEUU). He is Director of the Research Institute for Welfare Policies – Polibienestar – of the University of Valencia. He has been visiting professor in the University of Innsbruck (Austria), Erasmus University of Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Washington University, Oxford University and Cambridge University. His research focuses since more than 30 years in improving the quality of life of citizens and the sustainability of welfare systems through innovative public policies.




Elisa Valía Cotanda

Elisa Valía Cotanda is Master in European Studies. She is currently developing her research activity at the Research Institute for Welfare Policies – Polibienestar – of the University of Valencia and focusing on the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies and innovative strategic planning in different fields such as active and healthy aging, sustainability of health and social care systems  and integrated care.





Otto Trienekens

Otto Trienekens (1970) studied architecture in Delft and Sevilla, Spain. In 1998 he was co-founder of Vertex Architecture & Urbanism. The office works on various kinds of transformation commissions, as well in the field of buildings as on the urban scale. Besides that he has been guest teacher in Delft Technical University, and lecturer in various other universities. In 2008 he was in co-founder of Veldacademie - quite literary - an academy in the field. Veldacademie functions as local knowledge centre of the community. The institute surveys, visualises and simulates interventions and developments that influence the global transformation of districts. Since 2013 he is chairman of Stichting Handelscompagnie Sluisjesdijk.






Martine Conin


Martine Conin is the Director of FuturAge, consortium about ageing wich Universities, local autorities, one hospital, a  group of start up and pension funds. She has participated at the conception of the new french law for the adaptation of society for to aging.

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Chair of the conference first day - Hélène Oppatja


Hélène Oppatja (1966) studied contemporary history at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She held her own company in Alphen aan den Rijn for fifteen years. During this period she represented the social democratic PvdA in the city council of her hometown as spokesperson on social affairs, public health, education and housing. Simultaneously she was a member of the supervisory board of the Rabobank Rijnstreek, boardmember of  'Het Schoutenhuis' providing daytime activities to mentally handicapped persons and founder of social restaurant 'Schuif Aan'. In 2011 she became alderwoman for social affairs, culture, housing and public health and from 2014 on she worked as an independent consultant at VNG (Dutch association of Local Councils). Hélène Oppatja is currently working as city manager/managing director for the municipality of Wassenaar, member of the supervisory board of FermWerk (an organization for sheltered employment) and boardmember of the national social democratic party PvdA.


Moderator of the panel meeting

Winfried Houtman

Winfried Houtman is Director of the department Social Development of the City of Rotterdam.

Working group speakers

Stefaan van Mulders 


Stefaan van Mulders is Administrator-general of the Flemish Agency for Youth Welfare – an internal autonomous agency within the policy area Welfare, Public Health and Family


The agency provides professional and adequate care and support for our youth (and their families). We do so by accrediting and subsidizing private organisations, by organizing public institutions for special youth assistance, by organizing the gateway to special and intensive care and by organising the teams who assist the judges in the youth courts and the committees for youth care.


Stefaan Van Mulders obtained his master degree at the faculty of law at the University of Leuven in 1977. He joined the public administration in 1979 and entered the services of the Flemish Ministry in 1983 as a legal advisor, specialized in the fields culture, sports and other matters of administrative law. In 1995 he was appointed head of the division responsible for budgeting, monitoring and legal matters of the department of Welfare, Public Health and Culture.

In 1997 he became head of the division of the administration of Foreign Affairs that is responsible for international relations outside Europe, including the bilateral relations with South Africa and development cooperation.

In 2004 he returned to the department of Welfare, Public Health and Culture as acting director-general for the administration of Welfare and Family affairs and in august 2006 he was appointed as the administrator-general of the agency for Youth Welfare. In 2011 he was elected ‘Public manager of the year’.


Kerstin Seipel

Coordinator of ENSA elderly working group
Member of Elisan Steering Committee
Developer and physiotherapist
“It´s the requirements that should govern, not what abilities you are equipped with or what year you were born. Society must be accessible to all, regardless of ability or function.”
Kerstin works as development manager and physiotherapist, both practical and visionary with strategies for an age friendly environment, injuryprevention measures, research and projects for the elderly in the municipality of Nacka. She also works in several international networks, among others ENSA - European Network of Social Authorities, where she is the coordinator of the thematic elderly working group. She is also a member of Elisan steering committee. Kerstin has also been the coordinator of the EU project "Innocare - modern technological solutions in the home for people over 65 years."
Kerstin has developed and produced "Safe Elderly - Safe and secure special housing," a method for injuryprevention, especially fallprevention, for the elderly which is developed within the WHO Safe community movement. Currently she is doing research of the performance of the method at Umea University.

In addition to this, she runs “OPEN” – Own Power and ENergy – fallpreventive training and other efforts to reduce the risk of falling for elderly people living at home.
Kerstin thinks the arts are important as a form of expression and as a resource of influence. She previously worked as a dancer in international dance companies. Now she mainly dances for her own wellbeing.”

Miljana Dejanovic

In her previous life, Miljana Dejanovic studied french language and  litterature before she started to be passionned by European Union issues. She devotes few years to european studies at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle and at the University of Cergy Pontoise. Since 2013, she works as european manager at the Departemental Council of Val-de-Marne at the Departement of sevices for elderly and disabled people. She strongly believes in full inclusion of elderly and disabled people in society and she strives for it. She thinks that full inclusion in society of this public has to be considered as a human right and that can be achieved even if there is a long way to go to it.

Also, she discovered recently the passion to exchange with students of social and eurpoean affaires about european and disability issues. That kind of experience took place in February 2016 with the students of social affaires of University UPEC.

Antonella Pinzauti

Antonella Pinzauti is currently  the Director  of the Social Services’ Section - Health and social  affairs - of the Veneto Region. She is also the ENSA, European Network for Social Authorities,  General Coordinator.

Antonella Pinzauti  developed her academic career in Political Sciences at  the university of Padua combining it   with an involvement in the social and volunteer fields and  in legal rights. In addition she specifically collaborated with the university of Padua with a chair on Regional law and the role of Local Authorities. Among her professional experiences in the social and health field, she was appointed director of SEEP (Services for children, adolescents and  family) of Padua and  member of the Regional  Coordination Commission for services to children. From 1997 she has been in charge  of the social integration services of the Veneto Region. Than for 16 years she worked as director of  social services of two Local Social and Health Units in the area of Vicenza.

She presently, in addition to her above mentioned assignments, serves as auditor for quality assessment of  the social and health regional policy sectors  and, moreover,  is the  evaluator for the  institutional accreditation for integrated social and health services. Since 2001 she is administrative inspector of public works for the Veneto Region.

She is the author of several articles and essays in specialized magazines and her publications  include “Il volontariato e le sue leggi” about volunteering and its legal aspects.

Rudy de Cock

Rudy De Cock is policy Officer at the Flemish Agency Kind en Gezin (Flanders) since 1996. Works on child poverty, social inclusion and equity in the field of child care, family support and family policies.

Sikko Bakker

Sikko Bakker is the Director of B&A The Hague.

Sikko started as a high professional nurse and worked in several sectors: hospitals, psychiatric sector, ambulant services and eldery nursing homes. After several management jobs and educations he ended as a director in the social domain and worked at mental handicapped transitions (Middin), safety issues (G4S). He likes to innovate with passion and does not avoid contact and discussion with people in vulnerable situations.

The management style is focused on complex restructuring management activities where solutions and results are managed through organizing network administrations. Self-organizing units, professionals and organizations is the key for disciplined and future prove business.

Digital playgrounds for innovative products in care are more and more exponential shifts where organizations in care must be aware of the future impact. The skills of Sikko are active in the care organizations and public/profit organizations to implement, organize and motivate people for challenge this change opportunity.


Jan Michiel Meeuwsen

Born on the island of Curacao, Jan Michiel arrived in the Netherlands at the age of 11. He studied Modern Dutch literature at the university in Nijmegen and was qualified as a teacher in Dutch and English.

After a long career at TNO, the largest research and technology organisation of The Netherlands, Jan Michiel started his own business Novum Momentum working as an innovation broker and consultant. Presently he is working on assignments in Turkey and the Netherlands. Jan Michiel chairs the board of commisioners at MOB (Maatschappelijk Ondersteunings Bureau), the largest intercultural care institute in The Netherlands, based in Rotterdam. He is the founder of RELIANT, a start up in the field of health care.


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