The Young Leaders of Central Europe 2021 Are Ľubica Karvašová and Jan Mencwel

Prague December 2

The Slovak diplomat Ľubica Karvašová and the Polish activist and expert on inequality of opportunities Jan Mencwel became the laureates of this year’s Aspen Central Europe Leadership Award 2021. These awards are bestowed by Aspen Institute Central Europe annually on young promising leaders for outstanding successes in the domain of responsible active citizenship and value-based leadership with a social impact.

“In these complicated times, the search for new leaders is truly very important,” stated Cordell Carter, Executive Director of Socrates Program Aspen Institute, in appreciation of their contribution. The solemn award ceremony was part of the Annual Conference The Shape of (Central) Europe 2021 which was organized by Aspen Institute Central Europe on 2 December 2021.

Ľubica Karvašová has worked as a Slovak diplomat for more than ten years. She is currently the first Sherpa (Advisor for EU-related issues) at the Office of the Prime Minister where she established the EU Department. She is an alumna of the Economic University in Bratislava and Sorbonne University in Paris. During the first Slovak Presidency of the EU Council, she became a member of the Permanent Mission to the EU in Brussels. She is a member of the Marshall Memorial Fellow in the German Marshall Fund, an alumna of various Visegrad programs and EU programs, including the Aspen Young Leaders Program. Her values include service to her country, full faith in democracy, freedom, and cooperation and efforts for positive change.

“We appreciate Ľubica as an active leader striving for responsible citizenship who deserves recognition for her contribution to Central European, specifically Slovak, politics,” stated President of Aspen CE Ivan Hodáč.

Leadership sometimes means that you have to do everything you can with the skills you have to contribute to the common good,” commented Ľubica Karvašová on her engagement.

The second laureate is Jan Mencwel, Polish writer, founder, and leader of Miasto Jest Nasze, a prominent Polish activist group dealing with ecology, equality and the affordability of cities. He studied cultural sciences at Warsaw University, has published a book and several articles. He participated in various campaigns focused on domestic and international problems, namely Chlebem I Sola which aimed to help migrants and Iniciatywa Wolna Białoruś defending civil society in Belarus.

“We appreciate Jan’s tireless efforts and exceptional contribution to innovative politics with a positive social impact in Poland,” stated Ivan Hodáč, President of Aspen CE, when granting the award to Jan Mencwel.

“We aim to make changes which seem to be impossible,” declared Jan Mencwel with reference to the activist work of Miasto Jest Nasze when closing the ceremony.

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