Speakers and Moderators

"Communicating from the margins" means to support existing Catholic media (playing a marginal role in Lithuanian media market) to reach out to wider parts of society and to become an integral part in the public discourse of our society.

Diana Adomaitiené is project manager of the Lithuanian Catholic Media Expansion Programme, currently implemented by the Lithuanian Church Chronicle Foundation, with the support of Renovabis and CAMECO. Her substantial professional experience in media began at the local station Kaunas+ TV, where she hosted the show “Prestižas” (Prestige). After six months, Diana was recruited by the national station LNK, to present the daily morning show “Ryto ratas” (Morning circle), and later the prime time “Dar ne varkaras” (It’s not evening yet).

Diana’s radio experience includes hosting the daily live show “Kaunas šiandien” (Kaunas today) at KF, and the Radio Maria talk show “Pašauke mane ” (I was called), for which she received an award from the Lithuanian Church Chronicle Foundation, recognising her professional contribution to the work of Radio Maria. She publishes articles on the main Lithuanian internet portals, and was part of the communication team during the papal visit to the country, in 2018.

"Communicating from the margins" means to me making the voices of those living on the peripheries of society count by not only representing them (communicate from) but also involving them directly (communicate with).

Alfonso Apicella is Caritas Internationalis’ Global Campaigns Manager. He started working with Caritas in Turin, Italy, in 1999 mainly on development education and child labour. He honed his campaigning skills within Oxfam GB’s marketing division in the Midlands, UK during the implementation of domestic campaigns on fair trade and education for all, especially primary education for girls. He joined Caritas Internationalis in 2007, serving a network of more than 160 national agencies, with the task of designing and implementing global anti-poverty campaigns, with a focus on youth engagement.

His academic background is in international economics and linguistics (BSc) and social science research methods (MSc), with a particular interest in the intersection of faith-based social action and social change. He speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish and German.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me that without utopia there is no hope, so let us insist on using "The Word" to awaken solidarity, and promote justice and equity.

Lourdes Barrezueta is a social communicator, and a specialist in communication management and design and execution of communication strategies. She works with marginal urban, rural and indigenous populations, and has been a trainer for the Latin American Association of Radio Education (ALER), and the Deutsche Welle Akademie.

She has extensive experience in issues related to human rights, child labour, violence against women, and environment protection. As a social researcher, she has focused on systematizing project experinces & methodologies and audience studies.

Lourdes is currently the director of the project Strengthening the Economic Sustainability of Local Media in Peru, a joint initiative of TV Cultura, the Coordinadora National de Communicación (CNC, formerly Coordinadora Nacional de Radio) and CAMECO.

I believe marginalized people need to feel the presence of people who look at them as friends and brothers. They are eager to share their lives, stories and values with someone who is ready to listen to them and create with them a positive process of communication.

Noemi Bergamin is a Daughter of St. Paul. She was a missionary in Tanzania, where she experienced the kindness and wisdom of local people and their values.

In 1976, she was sent to Latin America, where she spent 32 years in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. She had the opportunity to collaborate with UNDA (now Signis) in mass media training sessions, and collaborated with local Church radios. From 1995 onward, she has been part of a team of Pauline sisters who coordinated, promoted and planned continental pastoral activities.

Since 2008, she lives in Rome and offers her expertise at the service of missionary sisters dealing with new demanding projects in need of donor agency support.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me: Give a voice to the voiceless.

Michel Beuret has been the Editorial Manager of Fondation Hirondelle since June 2018. After studying history and political science, the journalist began his career in print media in 1994 at the Nouveau Quotidien, which became Le Temps, and five years later as reporter and head of the international department for the magazine L'Hebdo. In 2010, Michel Beuret joined Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) as an international reporter and became their permanent correspondent in Paris.

Michel has covered some fifteen conflicts in Europe (former Yugoslavia), the Middle East (Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria), Africa (Sudan, Sierra Leone, DRC, Côte d'Ivoire, Libya, Mali), Afghanistan and Colombia. The status of displaced civilians, migrants or refugees is at the heart of his work. Michel’s travels in the Arab-Muslim but also Persian, Jewish and Christian areas testify to the importance of religion in the societies concerned and the significance of dialogue.

"Communicating from the margins" is a challenge to top down communication and allows a context to express itself facing any power communication game.

Fabrizio Colombo is an Italian Comboni Missionary. From 1999 to 2005, he was director of Audiovisual Service for Education (Save), a multimedia production center in Sarh (Chad). He created the country’s first digital recording studio, producing various recordings of African artists, including Chad’s first hip-hop artists. From 2000 to 2005, he was director of Radio Lotiko, a diocesan community radio for development in Sarh (Chad). Back in Italy, he took over responsibility for Nigrizia Multimedia (NIMEDIA), a multimedia production center in Verona for radio, video and music on African issues, and the African Film Festival of Verona, as artistic director.

From 2014 to 2018, he directed SIGNIS Services Rome, accompanying community media projects, especially in Africa. For more than ten years, he collaborated with the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), as member of the jury, as assistant director, and as director. Since 2008, he works at the Center for Research and Education in Communication (CREC) based in Lyon (France), training communicators in many countries in the world.

Mons. Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré is the bishop of Dori in the northeast of Burkina Faso and the current president of the Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger. Very active in the peace-building process in Burkina Faso, he is the legal representative of the interfaith dialogue association Union Fraternelle des croyants (UFC) of Dori.

“Communicating from and with the margins” means to me learning to listen, to look beyond my own horizon and to understand and appreciate the perspective of others.

Christoph Dietz is CAMECO’s expert for Latin America, and he has been CAMECO Deputy Executive Director since 2000. Until 2018, Christoph coordinated the Forum Media and Development (FoME). He developed the CAMECO library, which (with the support of the University of Leipzig) will be converted into an online depository in 2020.

Christoph sits on the advisory board of the Global Media Journal (German edition). Within the framework of the partnership between the Peruvian Church and the Archbishopric of Freiburg, he has published the "Peru News". He holds a doctorate in the use of medical drugs in rural Peru.

Jeremy Druker is the executive director of Transitions (TOL), one of Central and Eastern Europe's leading media development organizations, and editor in chief of TOL's flagship publication, Transitions Online. He is also founder/CEO of Press Start, the first global crowdfunding platform designed to support journalists in countries where the press cannot report freely. Jeremy is a former chairman of the board of the Fulbright Commission in the Czech Republic, and a member of the supervisory board of the Czech Journalism Prizes, the "Czech Pulitzers."

Jeremy has been an Ashoka Fellow since 2010. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he now lives in Prague, which he has called home for almost 25 years.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me making sure that all the cries for justice that arise wherever social injustice reigns are amplified.

Mambulu Ekutsu is the Francophone Africa Desk officer of CAMECO. A trained economist and professional communicator, from October 2014 until November 2018, he was in charge of the project sector at SIGNIS Services Rome (Vatican City), the technical and pastoral office of the World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS).

Previously, he was the economic editor of Afriradio, founded by the Nigrizia Foundation of the Comboni Missionaries. He is the founder of the African Summer School, a school training young people in business and intercultural knowledge with a special focus on Africa.

“Communicating from and with the margins” means to me to finally practice the step to grant access to education and the right to communication to everybody; from the people for the people through reaching local as well as global audiences and decision makers.

Chris Goertz is an international media consultant and filmmaker with fourteen years of experience in social political projects in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A trainer and educator specialising in participatory video projects, he employs extensive communication skills and experienced intercultural competence as a passionate team-leader and motivator.

Christian founded Minibus Media in 2004, and has since produced a wealth of documentary films and video-clips, and coordinated and realised various participatory video projects in Berlin and Africa. Amongst other productions, the documentary, “The Making of a President” was filmed in Malawi, in 2004. In Angola, in 2009, he coordinated and documented a photo-journalist team of the partner organisation Omunga, covering the parliamentary elections. Also in Angola, from 2009 to date, Christian has annually facilitated various participatory video projects on topics such as forced evictions, housing demolition, millennium development goals, participatory monitoring and evaluations, institutional video production, community journalism, capacity building through training of trainers, etc.

Nataša Govekar graduated from the University of Ljubljana in Slovene Language and Literature, as well as in Theology. She holds a PhD in Missiology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, with a dissertation on The communication of Faith through images. She deals with the relationship between art and faith, as well as the methods of spiritual communication through art and symbolic language.

In February 2016, Pope Francis nominated Nataša Govekar Director of the Theological-Pastoral Department of the Dicastery for Communication.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me following the example of the greatest communicator, Jesus Christ, in communicating the Good News.

Gintaras Grušas is the Archbishop of Vilnius (Lithuania) and the Apostolic Administrator of the Lithuanian Military Ordinariate, as well as the President of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference.

Prior to entering the seminary, he finished studies in Mathematics and Computer Science at UCLA (USA) and worked at IBM. In 2001 he received a doctorate in Canon law from the Pontifical St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome with a dissertation on Copyrights as ecclesiastical goods.

Within the LIthuanian Bishops Conference, Archbishop Grušas is the Chairman of the Commission for Social Communications. He was appointed a member of the Congregation for Clergy in 2014 and a member of the Dicastery for Communication in 2016.

Sofie Jannusch is CAMECO’s resident expert for Asia, Eastern Europe and the Pacific. She holds an MA in Journalism from the University of Eichstätt, and has worked as a journalist for a daily newspaper, and as a producer for radio and TV. In addition to the regional focus, Sofie specialises in M&E, organisational development, and strategic planning.

In 2018, she was elected as coordinator of the Forum Media and Development (FoME), a platform of 25 organisations active in media development assistance.

To me “Communication from and with the Margins” means that I try to include everyone and work with a participatory approach in order to induce social change.

Julia Krojer graduated from the Graphic School of Vienna, in photography and audiovisual media. A photograph she took for the series "School - A Way Out of Child Labor in Nigeria" was nominated for the Hörbiger Culture Award. Julia travelled to various countries in Africa and worked in the field of public relations for several international NGOs, during and following her studies of International Development, at the University of Vienna, Austria and Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.

She was seconded from Bread for the World as a peace worker to Sierra Leone, from 2011 until 2017. With the Civil Peace Service Network of the Mano River Region, Julia carried out numerous media projects, such as radio programs and films, and published articles in the field of peace journalism. Since 2015, Julia has been active for, working on various short film projects in West Africa.

We cannot keep quiet when the poor and marginalized people are suffering.

Mary John Mananzan is a Missionary Benedictine Sister, born in 1937 in the Philippines. At the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, she gained a summa cum laude doctorate degree in philosophy, and at the Wilhelms University in Münster, a degree in missiology. A noted theologian and author, Sister Mary John served as president of St Scholastica’s College, as prioress of the Manila priory of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters, and as national chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines. She founded and is director of Institute of Women's Studies in Manila.

Sister Mary John’s talk show on Filipino TV “NunSense makes sense”, hosts guests who address human rights violations. In her autobiography, NunSense – The spiritual journey of a feminist activist nun she reflects on her life and spiritual journey, her political awakening and decision to support labour protests, standing up for justice, truth and social transformation.

Jörg Nowak studied journalism at the Wilhelmsuniversität in Münster. He publishes articles and reports in media like Kontinente, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung etc. For the press department of missio he is in charge of media work, TV and campaigns.

Rita Panicker is the founder and director of Butterflies, a non-governmental organization in New Delhi, working to protect and empower street connected and vulnerable children since 1989. Rita Panicker earned her MSW from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Later she finished her studies with a Masters in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands.

She was a faculty member in the Women’s Studies Unit, at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and from 1988-1992, served as the Director of the Board of ChildHope and in 1990 was appointed Consultant to UNICEF New York and Nigeria. She has published several papers on child rights issues and also co-authored a study on children in conflict with law.

My involvement in the Church has two main pillars: communication and social justice. In the theme of the conference both aspects come together and express a vision which I also see as crucial for CAMECO.

Théo Péporté is president of CAMECO, former head of the press and communication office and spokesperson of the Catholic Church in Luxembourg, member of the Episcopal Council in Luxembourg, president of the Council of Christian Churches, member of CREC (Centre de Recherche et d’Education à la Communication), member and secretary of the Social Days of Luxembourg association.

Théo is member of SIGNIS Cinema Desk, and he forms part of SIGNIS and Ecumenical film juries in Venice, Berlin, Locarno, Chemnitz, Oberhausen, Yerevan and Cottbus. He is SIGNIS coordinator of the Ecumenical jury at the film festival of Cannes.

Donatas Ramonas has a background of over 15 years of experience in international business consultancy and training. He participated in training measures and seminars in Princeton, Chicago, London, Vienna, Stockholm and Oslo, at universities and consultancy companies.

In 2011, Donatas founded CRC Consulting, a management consultancy firm based in Vilnius, with clients from various sectors, providing professional guidance in fields such as Strategy Development, Post-merger Integration, Strategic Project and Program Management, and Development of Sales Competencies. Furthermore, Donatas also serves as a board member for several Lithuanian organisations.

“Communicating from and with the margins” means to me finding new, creative ways and technologies that let the power of stories speak for themselves, building connections and enabling participation.

Pia Schröder is a communications officer at Misereor, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation, and is responsible for online and social media. She holds a bachelor’s degree in German Studies, Communication and Media Studies from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf.

She completed her Master’s degree in Digital Media Communication at the RWTH Aachen University. In her final thesis, she examined the form and function of memes – focusing in particular on their use in the digital age. Before joining the communications team at Misereor, she worked in an agency for digital analytics and web intelligence on the marketing and optimisation of online products.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me contributing to ensure that everybody is enabled to raise her or his voice, has the right to speak and is valued and heard.

Petra Stammen is CAMECO’s Africa Desk project officer for all anglophone and lusophone African countries. She screens and monitors projects for various donors, supports partners in project and strategic planning processes, and provides advice and guidance in the execution of organisational assessments and evaluations.

Petra studied African Studies, Social Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Cologne/Germany, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London/UK. She worked as the executive director of a German-based NGO, before joining CAMECO in 2001.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me giving a voice to the voiceless and opening windows to the world.

Juliana Sfeir is the Brand Manager of SAT-7 Academy, and an executive producer of all the programmes tailored for the Sat 7 social media platforms, as well as those produced for the channel SAT-7 ARABIC and for the educational block on SAT-7 KIDS.

Together with her team, she won the prize for human rights in journalism granted by the Centre Libanais des droits de l’Homme (CLDH) in 2013, for submitting the public service announcements related to the social impact campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), “Inclusion of persons with disability” and “Female Head of Households”.

Her film on the right of Lebanese mothers to pass on their nationality to their children, “Rough Ragged Road”, was nominated at the Baghdad International Film Festival and was shown in private screenings during the Dubai International Film Festival in in 2011- 2012.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me being convinced that everybody's voice matters for holistic development, we need to be intentional and deliberate despite the challenges.

Margaret Bukirwa Sentamu holds an MA in Women and Gender Studies and has lectured at the University of Nairobi, and Uganda’s Management Institute (Kampala). She also worked with the Nation Media Group (Nairobi), Uganda’s Broadcasting Services, and the Inter Press Africa. Margaret is Executive Director of Uganda Media Women’s Association, UMWA, parent organization to Africa’s first women-focused radio station, 101.7 Mama FM, established 18 years ago, and The Other Voice publication, founded in 1997.

Enhancing communication rights of women, persons with disabilities and other minority groups in Uganda, she leads community-based initiatives and communication strategies to raise awareness on issues such as HIV and AIDS, gender-based violence, the disability rights movement, civil and political rights, and sexual and reproductive health issues. Active in the Gender Media Movement, she published several studies, produced training material and Uganda’s first Training Guide on Gender and Media. In 2017, Margaret founded the Annual Gender Media Awards in Africa.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means being able – in all aspects – to receive and share information and opinions with equality, respect and dignity.

Sara Speicher is Deputy General Secretary of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) with over 20 years experience in religious and non-profit communication and management, with an emphasis on strategic organisational and advocacy communication.

Over the last 15 years as an independent consultant, she has worked for leading international organisations such as the World Council of Churches, International Catholic Migration Commission, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, The Lutheran World Federation, Caritas Internationalis and World AIDS Campaign.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me offering relevant, diverse, checked and comprehensive information to all people, thus giving them the opportunity to build their own viewpoints and preparing to make decisions at local, regional, national and global levels.

Christoph Spurk is a lecturer and media researcher at the Institute of Applied Media Studies at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. He mainly conducts research on quality of journalism and communication in Africa, and on the influence of mass media on the democratisation process.

He works in advancing the methods of evaluation in media support, measuring results in communication efforts and mass media programmes, and supporting media development organisations in monitoring and evaluation. He has carried out research for and worked with Deutsche Welle Academy, Swiss Development Cooperation, Fondation Hirondelle, UNESCO, and many African universities. Recently, he started to apply multi-method research approaches in efforts to measure media’s impact in fragile contexts.

"Communicating from and with the margins" means to me looking for small things that can make a big difference and where many small things make an even bigger one if we manage to act together.

Michael Unland is Executive Director of CAMECO. Previously Michael was Senior Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Michael has worked as a journalist, online producer and, for more than 12 years, as international expert, consultant and manager in various media development and communication for development (C4D) projects in transition, post conflict and developing countries for UNDP, OSCE and German development organizations. His educational background is in journalism, modern history and communication science.