“‘Emotional intelligence’ … can those words even go together?” Learning & business leaders in Europe are finding they do — and that this scientifically-grounded, measurable skillset may just be the difference that makes the difference today. 

Here are some of the insightful experts we’ll meet at the virtual conference: 

Growing Together?

The latest data on emotional intelligence in Europe – what are the implications in all sectors? Are we ready for the next stage? What capabilities will be required if we want to grow together… rather than growing apart?

Joshua Freedman

CEO, Six Seconds, Internationally Bestselling Author, At the Heart of Leadership

CEO and cofounder of Six Seconds, Josh supports the worldwide community for emotional intelligence, unlocking people’s capacity to connect. Freedman is an ICF Master Certified Coach and the bestselling author of At the Heart of Leadership plus four other books and seven psychometric assessments (in 22 languages and 127 countries). Blending neuroscience, business acumen, humour and practicality, he sees EQ as a simple and profoundly human exercise that we can all practice. 

Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to improve performance.  With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of workplace relationships to unlock enduring success.

Freedman is one of a handful of experts in the world with over 20 years of full-time experience implementing emotional intelligence.  He’s personally led EQ initiatives in a wide range of business and government organizations, including FedEx, Intel, Etihad Airways, Amazon, Microsoft, the UN, all branches of the US armed services, and many more (see case studies here).

Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers; Six Seconds methods & tools are used in 160 countriess.  He co-developed Six Seconds’ EQ Certification Training which he has delivered on five continents as master-trainer to thousands of professionals seeking practical tools for learning and teaching emotional intelligence, and has helped launch emotional intelligence programs and companies in over a dozen countries.

Paulina Olsson

Co-Founder, Peppy Pals

Paulina Olsson, 25, is a driven and ambitious, young entrepreneur with a MSc in International Business from Copenhagen Business School. Only at the age of 22 she was named Sweden’s Top 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs, and just recently, Paulina was appointed a scholarship by the Swedish King for her work and leadership at Peppy Pals.

Paulina Olsson

As a Co-Founder and CMO at Peppy Pals, she is devoted to changing the educational system for children to focus more on humanity and soft skills. Peppy Pals, founded by Rosie Linder in 2013, is a pioneer within the field of digital, play-based social and emotional learning for children as they are the first company in the world that has gamified EQ for children without using text or language. The Swedish start-up has developed a series of educational, award winning apps, books, movies and activities that nurture children’s ages 2-8 Social & Emotional Intelligence using story-telling and humor.

Paulina is also a founding partner of Six Seconds global event “EQ for UN Children’s Day”, where she works actively in promoting children’s rights worldwide. She lives by a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt; “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. To Paulina this means that those who are too afraid of dreaming, will never see change. So what’s her dream? For every child to grow up practicing empathy and kindness, and where EQ is a subject taught in school.

Tijl Koenderink

Founder of Novilo and Feniks Talent, board member of Leonardostichting Foundation

Testing highly talented as a child, after dropping out of high high school Tijl Koenderink started an IT company after high school, focusing on complex data analysis. He quickly realized his passion is education and talentdevelopment.

Tijl Koenderink

He is a founding board member of the Leonardostichting, a foundation aimed at setting up fulltime programs for the gifted and talented. He then started Novilo, which an educational training company in the Netherlands. Novilo trains 5,000 teachers per year about the importance of developing talents and mindset of their students, rather than focusing on passing a standardized test.

Tijl also started Feniks Talent, a care center that supports gifted dropouts. The program consists of psychotherapy, activities ranging from drone-building arts and drama. His most recent projects focus on creating a new type of public school in the Netherlands and Levanimo Educational Support, an international change facilitator for the education sector. He is the founder and executive board member of the School of Understanding, a school focussed on developing talents, positive life attitudes and well-being.

Tijl lives and works in the Amsterdam area of the Netherlands.

Raffaele Trapasso

Economist and OECD Manager and Coordinator of Higher Education Innovate Tool

Raffaele Trapasso is an economist and international civil servant concerned about skills policies, governance systems, higher education, and economic development. He currently works with the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities where he coordinates the Organisation’s work on Higher Education Innovate (www.heinnovate.eu).

Raffaele Trapasso

Trapasso published in peer-reviewed journals and, over the past decade, has co-authored several OECD reports focussing on skills policies, green economy, regional development, and open government, among others. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars. Before joining the OECD he had served as a policy advisor to national and local governments. Trapasso holds a Ph.D. in economic policy from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, and a degree in economics from the University Federico II of Naples.

A native of Catanzaro, Calabria, Raffaele is based in Paris, is married and father of two boys.                                                    

Growing Readiness

With rapid change and many disruptors, from AI to immigration to Brexit, how are human resources leaders growing the capabilities needed for organizations to work well in the next decade?

Francesco Mantovani

Europe Learning and Development Leader, P&G

EQ has a crucial role in Francesco’s work in Leadership development and in Transformation processes. Francesco leads the regional strategy and the delivery of learning and development assets for the European markets of P&G, touching 25K+ internal consumers.

Francesco Mantovani

As a member of the Global L&D team, with more than ten year of experience in learning, he is also involved in the ideation of corporate transformation programs (digital transformation, cultural transformation, learning transformation…) and in the Executive Coaching program. In addition, Francesco leads talent operations – talent acquisition and development – in France, Benelux, UK and Nordic countries. He is also a certified executive coach and trainer of leadership, transition and emotional intelligence programs.

Francesco is passionate of the Future: future of work, future of learning, future of mankind in general; for this reason, in 2013 he co-founded a small publishing house (futurefiction.org) focusing on speculative fiction from the best sci-fi authors around the world: coming from different countries, cultures and languages they describe the near future of humanity as it’s impacted by technologies and disruptive change.

Louise Neale

Learning & Development Specialist, at a Leading Corporation based in Europe Ltd

Louise’s career to date has been spent in the field of talent management with a particular focus on learning and development. In her current role as a Learning Development Specialist, Louise is responsible for the continuous development of her corporation’s employees and managers across Europe. Having spent most of her career in an international setting, Louise is particularly interested in how emotional intelligence is affected by culture and can help navigate some of the complexities one often phases in a global environment.

Paola Pinto

Trainer, Conference and Event Manager, L& D specialist, UN

Paola has a multiyear experience in the L&D field, with focus on people management, communication, group dynamics, and change. She facilitates workshops on various topics and has a passion for digital learning, and new technologies applied to the L&D field.

Paola Pinto

In addition to her work in the UN, she also studies on organizational design and development, and volunteers for associations dealing with positive change. She advocates for improving awareness and developing EQ in the workplace to improve performance, and to create a better working environment. Her lifelong exposure to literature has solicited her curiosity and has contributed to her understanding of interpersonal dynamics, and human behaviors.

Paul Cheetham

Senior HR Business Partner, tombola

I am a lover of puns and karaoke.  I really value community in all its guises – family, friends, work and in society.  With over 25 years generalist HR experience in utilities, professional services, higher education, manufacturing and currently in technology/online gaming, I have accumulated a lot of ‘people experiences’, grey hair and friends…plus some business and HR knowledge too!

Paul Cheetham

In the last couple of years I have discovered a passion for ‘giving joy’ through emotional intelligence, having become a 6Seconds practitioner and assessor in 2017.  Since then  I have been working within my organisation to embed emotional intelligence practice for our people to use, not just at work, but in their whole lives – this reflects the company’s approach to hiring the whole person (see this article on launching EQ in the tech sector). 

My experiences of introducing EI in a technology business have been both inspiring and challenging.  My hands-on work with people gave me the idea to create a scale, the Emotionally Quick Scale, which simply outlines how personal effectiveness can be impacted by how speedily they can identify their emotions.  I am currently planning how to introduce EQ into our leadership development programme, use it in hiring and further integrate its language and practice at tombola.                                                                                                                                                              

Growing Strengths

People around Europe are struggling to maintain equilibrium in all the chaos of the decade. How can we use coaching and other methods to grow our personal resilience to stay true to ourselves as so much change happens around us?

Nomeda Maraziene

CEO, Leadership Experts Group and a Six Seconds Preferred Partner

The main goal is to encourage everyone to strive to grow from good to better and to make a positive impact on others through example. Since 2013 the company lead by Nomeda has worked with the global leading nonprofit EQ organization Six Seconds as a Preferred Partner in Lithuania.

Nomeda Maraziene

Achieving the first impact with an EQ assessment (individual and team) and then providing the participants with the tools for improving self-awareness and self-management Nomeda works in business, education and public service (see this article about Nomeda’s work in the community, connecting teens with emotionally intelligent role models).

The longitudinal EQ projects for the communities of education institutions have lead to increased involvement of every single member, higher effectiveness, more encouraging and supporting microclimate and progress in academical results. The topics related to personal resilience, perfectionism and self management in VUCA world are the most actual in business world today and are always present throughout business organizations.

Lieve Demol

Independent Coach and a Six Seconds Preferred Partner

For the past 25 years Lieve has been training, mentoring and coaching.  Her expertise includes emotional intelligence, leadership training and self-development, interpersonal skills, dealing with diversity, personal effectiveness.

Lieve Demol

Lieve is an experienced corporate coach/facilitator and has over 25 years’ experience of working in an international environment.  Her drive for this work is to support people finding a (working) life of fullfilment and joyful growing by doing.

She likes to help people to develop their personal leadership capabilities, to cover their own qualities and to seek how they can match their talents and goals with the organisations where they are working.


Laurence Berlie

Director of Aequatio and Six Seconds’ SEI Program Manager for France

Laurence is the founder and director of a training firm, “Aequatio”, offering seminars on leadership, collaboration and emotional intelligence.

Laurence Berlie

Laurence lectures on leadership and management issues at top French business schools and international academic programs. Before that, she worked in international agencies (NGOs, consultancies and United Nations) on sustainable development issues, in several countries and managed the Masters in Strategic Management of Sustainable Development at Skema Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France.

She has lived and worked in France, the UK, the US, Tunisia, Spain, Chile, Mexico and has worked extensively with multicultural teams.



Krzysztof Lis

Executive Business Coach and Mentor, Managing Director & Founder Silver Fox Leadership – a Six Seconds Preferred Partner

As Coach & Mentor he works mainly in the field of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence specializing in building resilience, intrinsic motivation and optimism. Business practitioner with over 17 years’ experience in senior management positions in Poland and Europe in business and sales development, general management, business and financial advisory. Ex Head of Sales and Head of Business Development at Toshiba Europe GmbH, he also worked for Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young and Allied Irish Bank.

Katharine Roff

CEO of Act Positive, a behavioural change consultancy, and UK SEI Programme Manager for Six Seconds

Katharine’s work focusses on bridging the gap between thinking and doing. She creatively supports climate and culture transformation in diverse sectors using imaginative use of story to ignite meaning. She began her EQ training with Six Seconds in 2011, and now commits to their vision of a billion people practising EQ. Katharine is an EQ advanced practitioner, EQ assessor and trainer.

Lara Williams, special guest and facilitator for Panel 2

CoFounder and Director of Momentum4, and Six Seconds Preferred Partner in the UK

Lara is the co-founder of Momentum4 – A People Performance & Business Growth Consultancy that was born over 11 years ago.  Momentum4 is the first UK Preferred Partner with Six Seconds, ‘The Emotional Intelligence Network’, where Momentum4 now embed their tools and methodologies to help support them delivering transformational change.  Lara exudes energy and a passion to help support others pursue their goals and overcome challenges by ‘enabling choice and creating possibility’.

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