Talks

Aleksej Drino

A scientific enthusiast, keen on fine arts, food, traveling and books, wannabe chef and a big cinema aficionado. He has both graduated and obtained his master degree from the University of Belgrade, in the field of human molecular genetics, and has hands-on experience in Next-Generation sequencing and genomics, as well as in CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genetic engineering of cells, tissues and animals. Tends to promote science and critical thinking whenever he can, he enjoys a good talk, and is bothered by the fact that insects have more genes than humans do.

Milosh B. Andonovski

He was born in August, 1989. He holds a master degree in Cultural studies and his field of research was the influence of cultural and psychological processes on an actor creating a character. He has worked as an assisstent director on three major plays at the Macedonian National Theater and has graduated at the Faculty for Dramatic Arts in Skopje in 2015, directing Patrick Marber's "Closer". Curently, works as a high school teacher at NOVA International Schools where he teaches four subjects: Theater, Filmmaking, Macedonian language and literature and Macedonian for beginners. He holds a bachelor degree in Comparative literature since 2010. He speaks English, Spanish, Romanian and is a beginner in French. Photo by: Lilika Strezoska

Ivan Kochovski

Ivan describes himself as a human rights and equality idealist. He works at the Macedonian Young Lawyers Association as an Asylum and Migration Lawyer, providing legal aid to the newly arriving asylum seekers and refugees. He holds a master’s degree in international human rights law from Tilburg University and a bachelor’s degree from University College Roosevelt. During his time abroad, he has worked at the Defense Counsel of the International tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. His research has focused on relationship between discriminatory nationality laws and the emergence of statelessness among minorities, as well as the effects international criminal trials have on the peace efforts in post-war countries.

Ana Jakimska

Jakimska is a film director based in Skopje, Macedonia. Currently, she is developing her debut feature film titled “Midnight Train”. The script for the film received awards at Trieste Film Festival in Italy and at Midpoint Scriptwriting Workshops in Prague, Czech Republic, and has also been supported by the Macedonian Film Agency. Ana is an MA candidate at the Department for Film and TV Directing at the Facilty of Dramatic Arts-Skopje, focusing on the use of color in film. She holds a BA degree in Comparative Literature. Ana sees film directing as working with stories and their people. She is also passionate about cats.

Sofija Paneva

Sofija is currently a senior in NOVA High School, pursuing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Her interest for science, especially the domain of biochemistry, molecular biology, and immunology has a long history, and it has been nurtured in Serbia's prominent Research Station Petnica, where she has conducted her individual research and presented her findings on an international youth science conference. Despite her enthusiasm for the natural sciences, she is very passionate about debate, drama, and public speaking. Her widely-recognized specialty are the biology, chemistry, and math puns, which she is always ready and willing to share with peers and professors alike. Close friends call her Sofija PUNeva.

Brendan Schultz

Born in the beautiful state of Hawaii, Brendan grew up in a military family, which has given him the opportunity to live in four U.S. states. Brendan became a youth activist from a young age when he started attending war protests. In politics, Brendan has worked on Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, the 2014 Connecticut State Democrats Gubernatorial campaign, and Betsy Ritter for State Senate in 2014. Additionally Brendan interned with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as a legislative assistant for research on campaign finance reform. He served on his local democratic committee and as president of his high school class. He is a current student at Nova high school as a YES Abroad student. Brendan hopes to become a professor of political science and go into politics.

Lis Aslanaj

One of the highest achieving pianists in the country despite his age, he currently studies at the Macedonian music school "illija Nikolovski Luj". He has won multiple national and international competitions for piano all over Europe. He spends most of his time looking for a new form of harmony to push music into its next level of evolution. He has been tutored by some of the best European piano teachers currently. Overly friendly and sarcastic most of the time, he loves meeting new people and being asked all kinds of silly questions and doesn't maintain eye contact for more than 8 seconds.

Leana THAQI

Leana is a musician, marketing manager, recreational triathlete, and animal lover, among other things. She holds a MA degree in Discourse and Argumentation Analysis from the University of Amsterdam, and is especially interested in the topic of Conflict Negotiations. She has recorded numerous songs with local bands, and enjoys performing covers live every now and then. After finishing a few half-marathons she decided to get into a triathlon (recreationally) and really became passionate about it. At the moment, she is the only female 140.6 IronMan finisher in Macedonia.

Dona Kosturanova

Dona Kosturanova is a member and executive director of the Youth Educational Forum, which also includes youth medium Radio YEF, a youth organization which operates on a national level in Macedonia. She is the vice president of the National Youth Council, which is an umbrella organization for 60 smaller organizations, made by the youth, for the youth. She is an advocate for youth participation, awareness, activism, debate, and improved quality of life.