CBC 2017 aims to generate a nexus of ideas that will combine the knowledge, creativity and experience of students, the business community, politicians, security experts and academics from the United Kingdom, the Baltic states and beyond to tackle the new kinds of threats arising from increasingly sophisticated cyberwarfare, the new wave of populism, and the changing dynamics around NATO.
Cambridge University students from the Baltic states launched the first Cambridge Baltic Conference in 2013 to facilitate discussion on how the Baltic perspective could be valuable to the wider world. For this year’s anniversary, the CBC takes on the challenging and deeply interrelated topics of Security, Cyberwarfare and Populism in relation to current, global events.
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Arnoldas Pranckevičius is the Head of European Commission Representation in Lithuania. Before joining the Commission in October 2016, he spent 11 years at the European Parliament, serving as diplomatic adviser to EP Presidents Martin Schulz and Jerzy Buzek, advising them on Russia, Eastern Partnership, Western Balkans and Asia, coordinating the work of Cox-Kwasniewski mission in Ukraine, working in the Committee for Foreign Affairs and with the Interparliamentary delegations. In 2004-2006 served as Lithuania's President Adamkus’ domestic policy adviser. Holds EU affairs MA from Sciences Po Paris and International relations BA from Colgate University, USA.
Vytis Jurkonis is a project director at Freedom House and leads its Vilnius office. He lectures at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University. He is an expert of Belarus related issues, Eastern Partnership region and Russia as well as Lithuanian foreign policy.
Having previously worked both as a Minister of Justice of Latvia and a Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Egils Levits is currently a Judge of the European Court of Justice and his contribution to democracy and civil society stretches back to helping bring about the declaration of the restoration of independence of Latvia in 1990. Recently he has been a vocal spokesperson against the threat of populism in various conferences and articles.
Dr Simona Guerra is Associate Professor in Politics and Acting Head of School, History Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester. She is currently a LSEE (Research on Southeastern Europe) Visiting Fellow at the LSE. Her main research interest is in attitudes towards the European Union, which was the focus of her first monograph Central and Eastern European Attitudes in the Face of Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Simona has recently published a co-edited book (with Manuela Caiani), "Euroscepticism, Democracy and the Media. Communicating Europe, Contesting Europe" (Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology, 2017) and she is working on her second monograph on Religion and Euroscepticism in Post-Communist Europe (Routledge).
Tomas Jermalavičius is the Head of Studies at ICDS — a security, defence and foreign policy think-tank based in Tallinn. In addition to his duties as the overall research coordinator of the ICDS, he leads research project teams and conducts policy analysis focused on various aspects of defence policy and strategy, regional defence cooperation, defence innovation and reforms as well as national resilience. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the Baltic Defence College, and a member of ARES Group.
Dr Pete Duncan is Senior Lecturer in Russian Politics and Society at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), where he has taught since 1988. His doctorate is from Glasgow University. He has lectured in Soviet and Comparative Communist Politics at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and been a Research Associate on the Soviet Foreign Policy Programme at Chatham House. In 2009-2010 he was a Leverhulme Research Fellow. He has written, co-written and edited or co-edited six books on Russian and European politics, foreign policy and political thought, including Russian Messianism: Third Rome, Revolution, Communism and After, London and New York: Routledge, 2000; as well as numerous academic journal articles and book chapters.
Viktorija Mickutė is a Lithuanian journalist with more than 6 years of professional experience in national and international media organizations. Viktorija is currently working at Al Jazeera Media Network in Doha, Qatar, where she produces virtual reality documentaries. Previously, she hosted a social media live show at Lithuanian National Television in Vilnius, Lithuania. With the background in political sciences, she also worked as an international news editor and reporter. She has covered many international events and crises, such as Brussels terror attacks in 2016, Syrian refugee crisis in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border, the NATO meeting in Brussels in 2017 etc. Having worked in different positions in the journalism world, Viktorija stays the most passionate about human rights, women's issues, conflicts' impact on people's lives, and minorities. In her work, she is also driven by visual technology and new innovative ways of storytelling it enables.
Mykolas Markauskas is the director of Liberty TV (Laisvės TV), a new type of fully crowd-funded television operating in Lithuanian and Russian languages, operating the most popular Lithuanian media YouTube channel.
Peter Woolsey is the CEO of the Euro-Baltic Software Alliance group that acted as an early catalyst and subcontractor for leading Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian IT firms. Peter is an active alumnus of INSEAD. He has been instrumental in arranging for scholarships to INSEAD to be made available for Baltic students who meet INSEAD's demanding requirements. Together with INSEAD he helped launch the Estonian start-up organisation, Ajujaht, and more recently has assisted Baltic start-ups launch in the UK, including Transferwise and the Estonian E-residency system for UK exporters to EU markets. He is now assisting the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme to relaunch in Estonia: it is already established in Lithuania and Latvia. He plans to attempt to water ski - mono ski - the English channel next year to raise funds to help fund the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in the Baltic Republics.
Donara Barojan is an Assitant Director at the DFR Lab, an Atlantic Council program hosted at the NATO StratCom Center of Excellence. At the DFR Lab, Donara analyses online disinformation campaigns in the US and Europe and develops tools to monitor and counter disinformation online. Her research was featured by numerous media outlets, including the Economist, The Hill, ProPublica and Business Insider. Donara holds a BSc in International Relations from London School of Economics.
Kieren Lovell is the Head of Computer Emergency Response Team at the University of Cambridge. As well as leading one of the world’s leading universities in incident response, he is also an instructor of Information Security and Information Handling at the University.
Prior to this role, Kieren has spent the last fourteen years at the forefront of Information Security within the Navy, working on submarines, mine warfare and patrol vessels for the Royal Navy (UK), and was a Communication and Information Security instructor for the Royal Norwegian Navy. During his tenure the Royal Norwegian Navy, he was awarded the rank of Kapteinloytant (LT CDR) and was the Chief Communications Officer (CISO) for the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (COMSNMG1). He was also a Battlewatch captain during operations to mitigate the Pirate Threat in the Gulf of Aden for nine months.
Maarja Naagel is a researcher at the Law Branch of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Her research area is public international law, including the law of armed conflict, and how it applies in cyberspace. In addition to her research efforts, she also participates in international cyber exercises and provides training on international law. Before joining the Centre, she served as legal advisor at the Estonian Ministry of Defence. Ms Naagel received a master’s degree at the University of Tartu and studied at the Baltic Defence College Civil Servants’ Course. Before entering the realm of national defence and international security, she worked in cultural administration (PÖFF | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival) and legal translation (the European Court of Justice).
Ēriks is a board member of PwC Information Technology Services. He is a professional with 20 years’ experience in the IT, cyber security, business strategy and data analytics. Ēriks is one of the founding members of Cyber Defence Unit of National Guard of Latvia since 2013. This team consists of expert volunteers from the public and private sector to provide support to the national Computer Emergency Response Team and the National Armed Forces units in preventing ICT security incidents and managing consequences in crisis situations. He has participated in defining its strategy, participated in numerous cyber exercises as well as coordinated efforts on improving cooperation with critical infrastructure organizations in the cyber defence area.
More speakers to be announced soon.
Cambridge Baltic Conference 2017 is jointly organised by:
The three aforementioned student societies have been established in 2011, 2013 and 2008 respectively. Their membership now exceeds one hundred exceptionally bright and active full-time students from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The members of the societies are working towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various disciplines. Together we build a friendly environment for sharing ideas and experience.
Although relatively new, CULS, CUEST and CULA have already proven solid organisation, clear vision and long term goals. Our successful past and present projects have included the Lithuanian Students Forum, Lithuanian Ideas Forum 2011, interactive conference LINK2012, Cambridge Baltic Conference 2013, Cambridge Baltic Conference 2014, Cambridge Baltic Conference 2015, student mentorship project Academic Buddy, guest lectures by Prof Leonidas Donskis, Prof Ene Ergma, Prof Mart Ustav, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Urmas Paet MEP, and classical music concerts by Algirdas Galdikas, Maksim Štšura, Rimantas Vingras and The Mixed Choir of the European Capital of Culture. These events attracted hundreds of people and were extensively featured in the media.