Descriptions of discussion panels.

CULTURAL PANEL – “The role of culture in increasingly polarised society”


Mr Edwin Bendyk is a polish journalist and writer. He is a regular publicist and the head of science section in a Polityka weekly. Mr Bendyk has published four books e.g. „Antymatrix. Człowiek w labiryncie sieci” (W.A.B, 2004), „Bunt Sieci” (Polityka, 2012). At the Department of Sociology at the University of Warsaw he lectures on digital and at Collegium Civitas, he leads the Research Centre on the Future. In the Centre for Social Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Graduate School for Social Research) Mr Bendyk runs a seminar on new media. He is the editor-in-chief of the scientific magazine ‘Culture and development’. Mr Edwin Bendyk is a member of the Polish PEN Club and a member of the European Council on Foreign Research.


Mr Jan Klata is a theatre director and playwright, born in 1973. He is one of the most famous Polish theatre artists in recent years. He has produced over 30 shows in theatres in Wrocław, Gdańsk, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Warsaw as well as Graz, Düsseldorf, Bochum and Berlin. He is the prize winner of the Passport of Polityka and the Konrad Swinarski Award. Mr Klata is also a columnist in a Tygodnik Powszechny weekly.


Mr Michal Urbaniak is one of the biggest jazz stars and violinist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, developer of young talents. Since 1973 has lived in New York. Michal Urbaniak became a world-famous jazz star after he recorded the “TUTU” album with the biggest – Miles Davis. Many times he has received and given many invitations to co-perform with such famous jazz masters like: Quincy Jones, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Garrett, Marcus Miller and many more. He is a creator, leader, composer and arranger of his own projects: “Jazz Legends”, “Fusion”, “Urbanator”, “UrbSymphony”. Michal Urbaniak has performed several times at Carnegie Hall and at many famous world and NY jazz clubs like Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Sweet Basil. He has received awards, has been a winner of numerous foreign plebiscites and in 1992 his name appeared in first place in the prestigious “Down Beat” jazz magazine in 5 categories among the biggest jazz stars. He has recorded over 60 albums.


Mr Jakub Żulczyk is a Polish writer and journalist. He was born in 1983 and is a journalism graduate of the Jagiellonian University. As the columnist, he has been co-operating with the leading magazines such as Tygodnik Powszechny, Machina, Lampa and Wprost. Mr Żulczyk is a renowned writer an author of Ślepnąc od Światłem (2014, for which he was nominated for Paszporty Polityki literary awards), Wzgórze Psów (2017) and many more. Recently, he wrote the script for highly acclaimed Canal + TV series Belfer.


Ms Joanna Rajkowska is a versatile artist working across diverse media; she creates sculptures, photography, drawings, objects, and installation pieces in London and Nowogród, Poland. In 2007 she was also awarded the prestigious Passport Award given by the Polityka weekly for “remarkable projects realized in the public space, for lending a hand to the human being wandering about the city’. Ms Rajkowska is best known for her work in public space, where she uses real-life situations, energies and materials to construct sites, installations and ephemeral actions. Her work engages critically with the legacy, politics and aesthetics of Land art and employs unfamiliarity as a political tool. De-familiarizing, de-humanizing and relating are her operating devices. She is interested in the limitations of and the limiting of human activities, multiplicity of agencies and human and non-human relations. Her most famous work is called “Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue”, a 15-meter-tall artificial palm tree installed on Warsaw’s Jerusalem Avenue.


ECONOMY PANEL – “The New Silk Road: Tangible opportunity or exaggerated bubble”


Mr Sławomir Majman, in 2008-2016, served as Head of the Polish Agency for Information and Foreign Investments. During his time in the office, Mr Majman founded a China competence centre within Agency, dealing with two-way traffic in business and investments between China and the wider region and has been in charge of Investment Secretariat of 16 CEE countries and China.
Previously, Mr Majman advised the Polish Prime Minister, was CEO of the Warsaw Exhibition Board, headed the Hong Kong Trade Development Council regional office and ‒ for 11 years ‒ chaired the Managers Association in Poland. He was Poland’s Commissioner General for the World Expos in Shanghai.

Mr. Jacek Rostowski is a Polish and British economist who received Master degrees in Economics and Economics and History from both the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and University College London (SSEES). Mr. Rostowski joined the Cabinet of Premier Donald Tusk in 2007 as Minister of Finance of the Republic of Poland and served until 2013. In November 2012, the Financial Times cited Mr. Rostowski as the third best Finance Minister in Europe. Moreover, in 2013, Mr. Rostowski held the position of Deputy Prime Minister and was a member of the Sejm (2011-15).

Mr. Rostowski was Professor of Economics at Central European University in Budapest (1995-2015) and has published around 40 academic papers on, inter alia, monetary policy and the financial sector and the transformation of post-communist economies. He is now Visiting Professor at CEU and Sciences Po in Paris, as well as a member of the Aspen European Strategy Group.

Since 2015 Mr Marek Wejtko has been the Head of the Asia-Pacific Department in the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Economic Development. During the visit of Xi JinPing in Poland in June 2016 concerning the construction of The New Silk Road, Mr Wejtko negotiated 5 out of 20 economic agreements, which were later signed by Minister Morawiecki and Deputy Minister Radosław Domagalski. Additionally, in years 2010-2015 Mr Wejtko held the position of the General Director of the Warsaw Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan and was both General Adviser in the Ministry of Development and the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Economy. Also, Mr Wejtko took part in UN international missions.


Since 2017 Mr Bartłomiej Pawlak has been a member of the management board of Polish Development Fund for Financing and Development. Previously, Mr Pawlak was also the member of the board of BGK Real Estate and, as the Chairman of BOŚ Eko Profit S.A., created tools for the comprehensive investment support, basing on one-stop-shop rules. Additionally, Mr Pawlak was associated with PKO BP SA Group, where he was responsible, inter alia, for restructuring and creating new operational management model, and with PGNiG SA, where he implemented a strategy in the area of consolidation of foreign trade and upstream activities.

Mr Pawlak held also a position of a manager in such international consulting companies as Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young, where he was responsible, among others, for services for Polish entrepreneurs.


Dr Yu Jie is is the Head of China Foresight at LSE IDEAS and teaches at LSE. Her research focuses on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy. She speaks frequently at public institutions and corporates; appears regularly at major media outlets such as the BBC, the Financial Times, the Independent and the Washington Post. She also briefs China’s foreign affairs to senior policy practitioners from the European External Action Services, Silk Road Fund in Beijing and the UK Cabinet Office. Yu Jie served as an expert witness at House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.


DOMESTIC AFFAIRS PANEL: “Migration: a demographic opportunity or a threat to internal security?”


Roman Imielski is the National Editor of “Gazeta Wyborcza” – the leading Polish quality newspaper. Former Foreign Editor and Editor-in Chief of Wyborcza.pl, specialized in European Union issues and transatlantic relations. Author of many pieces about Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian and American issues. Commentator of Polish political affairs in TV and radio stations. Working for “Gazeta Wyborcza” since 1995, in the beginning at the local branch in Katowice. Historian, graduate of University of Silesia.

Mr Paweł Kowal is assistant professor in Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, political scientist, historian, columnist, expert on eastern policy, co-founder of the Museum of the Warsaw Rising in Warsaw. 2009-2014 – member of the European Parliament, Chairman of UE delegation to EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Commission and of Foreign Affairs Committee. He was a member of National Security Council, 2007-2009 – member of Parliament (Sejm), 2006-2007 – Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Author of numerous publications on the transformation processes in Central Europe. He is a member of the editorial board of the bi-monthly “New Eastern Europe” and member of the board of Platform of European Memory and Conscience and the Board of the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański’s College of Eastern Europe (Kolegium Europy Wschodniej) in Wroclaw.
Kateryna Kruk is Ukrainian civil activist and political scientist. Kateryna actively participated in Euromaidan protests and helped put together communications of Ukrainian government during early stages of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. She is the co-founder of Global Ukrainians network and the recipient of Atlantic Council’s Freedom Award. Alumna of Wroclaw University, Central European University and College of Europe, she holds a double master’s degree in political science and European Interdisciplinary Studies.


Marta Jaroszewicz PhD – Senior Fellow at the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw (OSW). University of Warsaw graduate, she began her career in OSW working as migration expert and analyst in the Security Department of the Centre. Between 2008 and 2010 she served as project coordinator of International Organization for Migration in Ukraine. Her area of expertise includes migration, visa policy and Eastern Partnership, amongst others.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PANEL – “Can the Visegrad Group and the European Union work together, yet independently?”

Panel organised in cooperation with VISEGRAD INSIGHT.


Stanisław Pietrzak co-ordinates the work of the analysis department at CEC. He informs clients on day-to-day political developments and helps design long-term strategies. Stanisław is a graduate of the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. He gained his experience at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several NGOs.

Edit Zgut earned a degree in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Prior to joining Political Capital she worked as a foreign policy journalist and editor at Heti Válasz, a Hungarian political weekly. Her main areas of interest are European integration, cooperation between the Visegrád countries, and the analysis of illiberal tendencies in the region. She is a political commentator frequently appearing on domestic and international media. Edit is also a guest lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University.


Magdaléna Vášáryová is Slovak diplomat and politician, former member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (2006 – 2016) and former actress. Chairwoman of the oldest Slovak women’s association „Živena“ and chairwoman of the Institute for cultural policies. Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Poland (2000 – 2005), between 1990 – 1993 Czechoslovak Ambassador to Austria. In the past, she served as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Founder and in years 1993 – 2000 the director of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association – SFPA (honorary chair today).


Marketa Sterbova earned a Faculty of Law at the Charles University in Prague in 1999. She is currently working at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London in the Political Section. Prior to joining the Embassy, Marketa Sterbova worked as a Head of Unit for EU Institutional and External Relations Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the the Czech Republic and was a Legal Adviser at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU in Brussels.


Wojciech Przybylski is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight – a magazine on Central Europe and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Previously editor-in-chief of Eurozine – magazine representing a network of European cultural journals with the office in Vienna, and a Polish quarterly the Res Publica Nowa. Project leader of ‘New Europe 100’ project – a network bringing forward a community of successful innovators from CEE across the fields of business, research media, NGO and public administration run jointly by Res Publica, Financial Times and is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight – a magazine on Central Europe and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Previously editor-in-chief of Eurozine – magazine representing a network of European cultural journals with the office in Vienna, and a Polish quarterly the Res Publica Nowa. Project leader of ‘New Europe 100’ project – a network bringing forward a community of successful innovators from CEE across the fields of business, research media, NGO and public administration run jointly by Res Publica, Financial Times and Google.