Michiel Leenaars is the director of strategy at the NLnet Foundation, a public benefit organisation established in the 1980s when the first open internet connection to Europe was established. Michiel leads the NGI Zero programmes and was previously project lead for the Next Generation Internet 2025 report that helped establish the NGI initiative’s vision.
From 2014-2018 he was a member of the Dutch Education Council, which advises national authorities on education policy. He also worked for the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and Dutch National Computing Facilities Foundation (NCF) advising on e-infrastructure and e-science, and coordinating the national software engineering programme. Within the European policy body e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), he was lead editor of the first two of its e-Infrastructure Roadmaps.
From 2006-2010 he was a member of the strategic committee of the European domain name registry EURid, and from 2009-2018 was a board member and member of the board of supervisors of Accessibility.nl, the Dutch accessibility expertise centre and certification organisation.
Stichting NLnet is an independent philanthropic foundation with a strong focus on growing and cultivating digital commons. NLnet is officially recognised as a public benefit organisation. The history of NLnet goes back to 1982 when a group of Europeans led by former NLnet director and member of the Internet Hall of Fame Teus Hagen announced the European Unix Network (EUnet) which became the first public wide area network in Europe and the place where Internet was introduced to Europe. NLnet also pioneered the worlds first dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage. In 1997 all commercial activities were sold to its American counterpart UUnet (now Verizon). The articles of association for the NLnet Foundation state:
to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose. NLnet's core activity is to support individuals and organisations that contribute to digital commons (e.g. free and open source software and hardware, open data, open science, open education) through its renowned open call - working towards an information society we want to live in.
Dr Kristina Livitckaia is a postdoctoral researcher & R&D manager at the Information Technologies Institute/Centre for Research and Technologies Hellas (CERTH/ITI). Dr Livitckaia earned her PhD from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, an MSc in Computer Science (eHealth), Norway, MSc in Economics, and is certified as a Project Manager (Prince2). Kristina has experience working in academia, industry, and R&D facilities in several European countries for the past ten years, from project and product management to the execution of scientific work. Her research interests involve a multidisciplinary blend of emerging technologies (i.e. IoT, DLT, AI/ML) applied to emerging domains, including healthcare, safety, and social innovation.