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Bridge Builders 2015/16

We want to empower Hungary’s future leaders to inspire and build a Hungary that is proud of its achievements and knowledge. Bridge Builders is an executive, invitation-based, special mentoring programme for 10 talented, young professionals. All around the age of 30, who have already proven their leadership capabilities in the fields of culture, business, media, politics and NGOs, and who could be the future leaders of Hungary. The process lasts over the course of one year, with five weekends and one journey to Sweden.

Barna Borbás
Journalist for Heti Válasz and Vá
I am a journalist, now writing for Heti Válasz and Vá, and the co-founder of Igen Média. I am active in community organising as a volunteer; in 2011, I participated in launching media training for CTP Youth Business Programme (IÜP), and I continue to lead the professional module. For ten years, I have been a member of the Pasarét Scout Team leadership.
Gergely Böszörményi Nagy
Director General, Design Terminál
I first read in John Lukacs’s classic Budapest 1900 just what an important role start-up endeavours had in the golden era of the city’s history. Here at Design Terminal, we help one hundred creative companies enter the market every year in an effort to make their prospective success stories an integral part of Budapest’s unmistakable character over time.
Ádám Halmos
Co-owner and Managing Director of Libri-Shopline Publishing Group
I had been doing active social work as a youth leader and social worker since my teenage years, and then, from the late 90s, as I commenced anthropological and Slavic studies, I began to turn increasingly to the book trade. First, I worked as a bookstore clerk, and then as an editor. In 2004, I founded a publishing company. Currently, I am the co-owner and managing director of Libri-Shopline Publishing Group, and while the pleasure of making books constantly motivates me, I have become increasingly engaged in linking a business approach with a community-oriented mind-set.
Stefánia Kapronczay
TASZ (HCLU) Managing Director
I have a stack of degrees. Besides taking academic degrees in law and sociology in Hungary, I have also participated in fellowship training at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Stanford University in California, but the desire to act has always pulled me back to my home country. I have been working for TASZ (the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) in one form or another since 2005. TASZ is Hungary’s most active human rights organisation, and I became its director in July 2013. This year, I was elected co-Chair of the International Network of Civil Liberties Unions (INCLO), a network of the leading human rights organisations of ten countries. I consider Bridge Builders an important initiative, as lone warriors are seldom able to redeem the world.
Anna Niszkács
Sales and Marketing Director of Gerbeaud Gasztronomia Kft.
Our family-run business is not just a coffee house today. Gerbeaud House accommodates a bistro, the Michelin Star Onyx Restaurant, and we also have event rooms offering banquet facilities for weddings, conferences, corporate dinners, etc. We opened a venture in Tokyo, Japan in 2009, and we are to open new restaurants in Seoul, South Korea, and Buda (Budapest), Hungary late in 2014. Nevertheless, our philosophy is one and the same everywhere: the encounter of tradition and innovation.
Eliza Popper
Trainer and youth politician
I was the initiator and the first Chair of the National Youth Council until June 2014. Currently, I am a member of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Council on Youth, and of the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre. At the same time, I also work as a freelance trainer and facilitator, providing training for numerous youth organisations and international institutions, in the fields of intercultural communication, social integration, European citizenship, conflict management, organisational development, group dynamics, youth rights and participation, among others.
Richárd Rajnai
Owner of Kötéltechnika Kft., Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012
I am an economist and entrepreneur. Since my company, engaged in traditional industrial activities, has grown enough to offer my family and me the opportunity to live a peaceful and balanced life, I also have the possibility to engage in the merits of corporate social responsibility. At this point, I recognised that the citizens of this beautiful country do not evaluate their own and Hungary’s potential correctly. This recognition has prompted me to offer as many people willing and able to act as possible, positive momentum through sharing my own experience and approach with them in order to help change the unduly negative perception of our country and come closer to a more successful Hungary, abounding in energy and collective confidence. For me and my fellows with proper capabilities and qualifications, the programme is a perfect platform for taking giant steps forward to achieve these common objectives. I believe that self-confidence must be based on our own and common values.
Pál Dániel Rényi
Political journalist
I have worked in journalism for ten years, and for the last five of those have worked for Magyar Narancs as an investigative journalist. I have always been more interested in revealing the intentions behind political actions and shedding light on events behind the scenes than in issuing an opinion on them – I would rather like to leave the latter to the reader. I find it important feedback that public figures appreciate my work regardless of their political orientation, and many foreign colleagues ask for my help when in Hungary. I’m confident that advocates for future generations will, with the help of Bridge Budapest, more easily find a common voice, and be able to work together for a more liveable Hungary.
István Száraz
Founder of and
Budapest is my passion; therefore, it is not surprising that my enterprises are located here and partly linked to the values of the city. The bilingual website was conceived and started three years ago, promoting and offering an insider view of the capital under dynamic development. Encouraged by the success and relevance of, I launched, revealing the true values of the region, with the same approach and attitude in 2013. I founded news site in late 2013, recognising that nothing can stand in the way of the expansion of visual information, so that good stories can really come to life when accompanied by stunning imagery in the world of the online news services of the 21st century.
Marietta Le
Project Manager,
I live and work on the internet; no wonder "information and communication technologies for democracy" has been the main focus of my work. In 2012, I launched, a website that allows people to report local problems such as potholes and broken street lights in Budapest. Since then I have also contributed to free press, and other ICT for democracy projects at and K-Monitor, both Hungarian anti-corruption NGOs. If you ever need help or information about what I do, feel free to contact me.
Kristóf Gáncs
Communications Director, Hungarian Interchurch Aid
It has always really disturbed me when I saw good initiatives failing or just reaching too few people due to unprofessional communication and poor organization. Not to talk about it when it happened, but the other way round…

I studied PR-communication in Hungary and intercultural studies in Norway. I started to work for Hungarian Interchurch Aid in 2007. As the leader of a team, I had the chance to use the ‘arsenal’ available for the 21st century’s communicators to fight for goals that are worth getting up for without sleeping. We are building a community beyond oppositions, generations and sector borders, a community which is able to mobilize more and more resources for people in need or crisis by the power of collaboration.
Ákos Gergely Balogh
Editor-in-chief, Mandiner
I’ve been working in the media industry for 18 years: I'm an editor of Mandiner, an online news and opinion site. I have worked for two print magazines (Utolsó Figyelmeztetés and Reakció). I grew up in a village in the Western part of Hungary and now I live in Budapest with my wife and our sons and daughter. I've graduated in economics and I love almost everything that has anything to do with Hungary or the neighbouring countries: history, economy, literature or theatre.
Bence Tordai
College instructor
Since the age of 18, I have been working for real social change. As a former member of non-profit organisations, the founder of the parties LMP and later PM, and a leader of the latter party, and now as the executive vice-president of the party’s foundation, my goal has always been, and is to create a future friendly Hungary, that offers opportunity. I received a diploma in economics at Corvinus University, and I am currently a doctoral candidate in sociology, and I also owe a lot to the College for Advanced Studies in Social Theory. I work as a full-time college instructor at BKF (University of Applied Sciences, Budapest), and I am raising two young daughters with my partner.
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Zsófia Sápi
Booking Manager, Irie Maffia and Head of the Cseh Tamás Program Office
My husband says if everyone did what one did best, I would be laying all day in the sun, and telling everyone what I have been dreaming of.

I have an economist and foreign affairs specialist degree. I now study human ecology. I'm a great fan of animals and musicians, so I spend most of my time with them. I'm the booking manager of Irie Maffia and the head of Cseh Tamás Program Office which supports Hungarian music as part of the National Cultural Fund.
Dávid Vitézy
Urban Mobility and Public Transport Expert
I’m an urban mobility and public transport expert. Budapest and public transport system have been my two passions since I was a kid. The most important experience until now, has been establishing and for the first 4 years, leading the integrated transport authority (BKK - Centre for Budapest Transport) of Budapest. As its first CEO, I created a vision for the future of the Hungarian capital’s transportation system and implemented the new mobility governance framework. While delivering a new transport strategy with significant results in operations and major infrastructure projects we procured new buses, trams, trolleybuses, introducing a new bike-sharing system, a new passenger information scheme. My last assignment was submitting a concept to the Government aimed at providing efficient coordination and a better customer experience on Hungary's regional bus and rail services.
Mihály Bor
General Manager, Schneider Electric ESS
Our energy consultancy has come a long way in the past 10 years, growing from a small team to an office of over 100 employees. Being a general manager of the company has exposed me to the organisational challenges faced by rapidly growing international enterprises. As a leader, I have always tried to create interesting and attractive jobs with new challenges every day. 

Acceptance of cultures around us, our ability to communicate and cooperate with them, as well as consciously seeking challenges and inspiration in our work is crucial in becoming a confident and developing society.

Besides my daily work, I support the activity of NGOs, as well as building a greener capital and country – values which are essential in Hungary becoming a better place for the future.
András Léderer
Human Rights Activist
Humans and their rights have been in the focus of my activities for the past 15 years. As a liberal politician, I have fought for progressive human rights issues and I am proud of my role in the introduction of the civil partnership of same-sex couples in Hungary. After I left partisan politics in 2009, I moved to Tbilisi, a place I consider my second home, to work as a trainer for various political parties. In my spare time I learned a lot from human rights NGOs and social movements focusing on conflict resolution and reconciliation. As a result of this, I studied security studies and conflict resolution in Aberystwyth (BA) and London (MA). 

Currently I work in the refugee programme of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee where I focus on issues that concern some of the most excluded and abandoned people.
Tessza Udvarhelyi
Communication Officer, Artemisszió Foundation
She is a cultural anthropologist and has a PhD in environmental psychology from the City University of New York. Her first workplace was Artemisszió Foundation where she worked as an intercultural youth worker for a long time. Today, she is the communication officer of the NGO and she is also responsible for strategic development. Tessza became an activist for housing rights in 2005 when she joined Man on the Street. In 2009, she co-founded The City is for All, the only homeless advocacy organization in Hungary today. This group is her second family and she is very committed to its members and goals. Based on her experiences as a trainer and housing rights activist, she co-founded the School of Public Life in 2014 with Mariann Dósa. The organization offers political and citizenship education for socially disadvantaged groups and individuals, promotes participatory action research as a method for grassroots social change and ptovides strategic development services for social movement.
Henriett Eva Dinok, JD, PhD
Research Fellow, MTA TK JTI
I graduated from Law School, and following a short legal practice, I joined the Institute for Legal Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences in Budapest. Recently, I finished my PhD in Law. At the moment, I am enrolled in a one-year MA program in Political Science at CEU. Since 2005, I have been active in working with several Roma rights NGOs and community organizations. After all of my education, professional experiences, and a beneficiary of different Roma fellowships, I recognized the importance of equal access to quality education. For this reason, I ended up at the Chance for Children Foundation, whose mission became my mission: fighting for equal access to education for every child, which they all deserve.
Péter Bálint Pohl
Managing Director, Sauska Tokaj/Villány
I have always been passionate about nature and especially the countryside. This is why I decided to study winemaking. For me, wine has the greatest complexity and quality that can be produced from agriculture. The biggest task and challenge I have is to put Hungary on the world map of wine. In 2008, I began working at the winery and as of 2014, I became the general manager of the family run business.