Anne Applebaum is an American-Polish journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who writes extensively on communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. She is a staff writer for The Atlantic and was a columnist for The Washington Post for fifteen years, as well as having served on The Washington Post’s editorial board, and written for and edited a number of other prominent publications. Two of her books, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 and Gulag: A History were National Book Award Finalists, and Gulag won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. Her most recent book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine won the 2018 Lionel Gerber Prize. Her next book, The Twilight of Democracy, will be published in July of 2020. She is also a Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and co-directs the London School of Economics’ Arena, a program on disinformation. Applebaum has lectured at many of the world’s most prestigious universities and held the Phillipe Roman Chair of History and International Relations at the London School of Economics from 2012 to 2013, as well as ran the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute in London from 2011-2015.
While Joshua Wong has been involved with activism for several years as a young teenager, he rose to international prominence for his involvement in Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement. Two months before Wong’s 21st birthday, he was sentenced to jail for 6-8 months, becoming one of Hong Kong’s first prisoners of conscience in the city’s history. His activism towards safeguarding Hong Kong’s democracy and civil liberties have inspired countless individuals around the world to stand up against authoritarianism. Joshua Wong was nominated for TIME Magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.
Rania Aziz is a Sudanese activist who helped organize professional and youth groups in the country against Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir’s dictatorship. She is part of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the outlawed umbrella group of unions currently leading protests. She also works on women issues and is currently assisting female leaders working on Sudan's transitional government.
Péter Krekó is a social psychologist and political scientist. He is the executive director of Political Capital since 2011. Currently he is a Europe’s Futures Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) and Erste Foundation, and an non-resident Associate Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Institute of Policy Research. During 2016-2017 Péter worked as a Fulbright Visiting Professor in the United States at the Central Eurasian Studies Department of Indiana University. He focuses on Russian 'soft power' policies and political populism and extremism in Europe. He defended his thesis on the social psychology of conspiracy theories at the ELTE University in 2014. He was the co-chair of the PREVENT working group at the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) between 2013 and 2016. He is the author of two books. The first is entitled The Hungarian Far Right, which was co-authored by Attila Juhász. The book was published by Ibidem Verlag in 2017 and it is being distributed by the Columbia University Press. His second book on fake news and conspiracy theories was published in Hungarian in 2018, becoming a social science best-seller. He is a regular commentator in the international media. He is the owner of Political Capital Institute.
Frances Hui is a journalism student and social activist based in Boston and Hong Kong. She focuses her reporting on Hong Kong-related topics, primarily feature stories about identity complexity and local cultures of Hong Kong. She went to the U.S. for her study in journalism and political science in 2016 but retains strong ties to her hometown. Her column "I am from Hong Kong, not China" was featured by international media outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC, and The Boston Globe. She helped launch international advocacy for Hong Kong before the anti-extradition movement and continued to gather forces of Hongkongers in Boston with more than 15 related rallies and events in raising awareness for the movement.
Mahmoud Farahmand is a Norwegian intelligence and security analyst originally from Iran. He came to Norway as a refugee in 1988. With a background as a Norwegian Army officer he has served in several conflict zones. He has studied Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in Egypt. He is a regional legislator for the Norwegian conservative party and a deputy member of the Norwegian parliament, where he chairs the party's Diversity Committee. He is currently employed as Senior Manager at BDO Security and Emergency Services in Norway.
Jenny Wang is a strategic advisor at the Human Rights Foundation, advising primarily on the Oslo Freedom Forum in Taiwan. She received her B.A. in Communications with a minor in Asian Studies at Rutgers University. Prior to joining the Human Rights Foundation, Jenny worked in the advertising industry for three years. She is currently a M.S. Candidate at the Center of Global Affairs at New York University, concentrating in Human Rights and International Law. Jenny is a grassroots organizer in the Taiwanese American community of Greater New York, and has been featured in international media news outlets such as Taipei Times, The News Lens, and NBC News.
Bobby Ghosh is a Bloomberg columnist and member of its Opinion editorial board. Ghosh was previously editor-in-chief of the Hindustan Times, India’s third-most circulated publication; managing editor of Quartz, the business news website; and world editor of TIME Magazine, where he oversaw all of the magazine’s international editions and reporters. He wrote for TIME for 16 years, covering events in Hong Kong, London, Baghdad, New York, and Washington, and worked as a CNN global affairs analyst from 2014 to 2016. Over the course of his career, Ghosh has covered a wide variety of subjects, including geopolitics, conflict, technology, sports, business, religion, and social trends. He writes on foreign affairs, with a special focus on the Middle East.
Alex Gladstein is Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. He has also served as Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum since its inception in 2009. In his work, Alex has connected hundreds of dissidents and civil society groups with business leaders, technologists, journalists, philanthropists, policymakers, and artists to promote free and open societies. Alex’s writing and views on human rights and technology have appeared in media outlets across the world including The Atlantic, BBC, CNN, Fast Company, The Guardian, Monocle, The New Republic, The New York Times, NowThis, NPR, Quartz, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, and WIRED. He has spoken at universities ranging from MIT to Stanford, presented at the European Parliament and U.S. Department of State, and participated in Singularity University events around the world, where he serves as faculty and lectures on bitcoin and the future of money. He currently lives in the San Francisco area.