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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.