Preview of speakers at the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence: Nobel laureates, YouTubers, activists, scholars, local authorities, and more

Madrid, 24 October 2018. The 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace, to be held from 5 to 8 November, will gather leading figures in the development of a better world from a variety of standpoints and perspectives.

Participants include Nobel laureates like Ouided Bouchamaoui, city authorities like Ada Colau from Barcelona or Philippe Saurel from Montpellier, YouTubers like Esty Quesada, aka ‘Soy una pringada’, scholars like Doris Sommer from Harvard University, secretaries of state like Soledad Murillo, and activists like Beatrice Fihn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize). These and other speakers will share their experiences at the Forum, to be held in Matadero Madrid.

Below is a preview of the keynote speakers of the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace:

1- Ada Colau (Barcelona, 1974): Mayor of Barcelona since 2015. Before becoming a politician, Ada was a leading housing activist. With some of her colleagues, she founded Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH), a grassroots organisation that takes direct action to stop evictions and campaigns for housing rights.


2- Liv Torres (Noruega, 1961): Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo since 2016 and former Secretary General at Norwegian People’s Aid. As a researcher, Liv has focused on labour unions, labour markets, democratisation and development.


3- Ouied Bouchamaoui (Túnez, 1961): Member of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a group of four organisations that were central in the attempts to build a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011 and were awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.


4- Soledad Murillo (Madrid, 1956): Spanish Secretary of State for Equality since earlier in 2018. Between 2009 and 2013, Soledad was a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee).


5- Celestine Ketcha Epse Courtés (Camerún, 1964) : Mayor of Bangangté in Cameroon and President of the Network for Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA). Célestine works for equality by promoting education, particularly among women.


6- Beatrice Fihn (Suecia, 1982): Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.


7- Antoine Gebara (Líbano): Mayor of Jdeideh in Lebanon and Vice-President of EuroMed Rights (formerly, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network), an organisation comprising 80 human rights organisations, institutions and individuals based in 27 countries in Europe and the Mediterranean region.


8- Juan Mari Aburto Rique (Bilbao, 1961): Mayor of Bilbao since 2015. Juan Mari describes himself as ‘a man of faith’, ‘socially committed’ and with ‘a vocation for public service’, as well as a ‘loving family man’ (source: personal Facebook page).


9- Estíbaliz Quesada (conocida también como ‘Soy una pringada’) (Barakaldo, 1994): A young YouTuber who produces critical, countercultural contents.


10- Fabiana Goyeneche (Montevideo): Head of Social Development at Montevideo City Council. As a social activist, Fabiana participated in social movements at Mercosur level, supported forums for disabled youths and promoted initiatives in favour of gender equality and sexual diversity.


11- Chenta Tsai (conocido com Putochinomaricón) (Madrid, 1991): A young architect, musician and influencer that is extremely popular on the Internet. He sings pop songs charged with social claims.


12- Carlos Beristain (España): Human rights expert and member of the Colombia Truth Commission. Carlos has been a member of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a committee of lawyers and doctors set up to carry out a parallel investigation of the events that took place in the city of Iguala, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, on the night of 26-27 September 2014, when a group of 43 male students were kidnapped and went missing.


13- Alejandro Solalinde (México, 1945): Catholic priest and human rights activist. Alejandro is the coordinator of the South Pacific Human Mobility Ministry of the Mexican Bishopric.


14- Fernando Medina (Portugal, 1973): Mayor of Lisbon since 2015. In 2009, he became Secretary of State for Industry and Development, reforming Social Security and the Labour Code, updating minimum wage policies and coordinating the New Opportunities programme.


15- Joan Ribó Canut (Manresa, 1947): Mayor of Valencia since 2015.


16- Phillipe Saurel (Francia, 1957): Mayor of Montpellier since 2014.


17- Brittany Giroux Lane (Estados Unidos): Manager of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) local programme. Brittany’s role is to support local governments and civil society organisations in the development and implementation of ambitious action plans to attain sustainable development in cities.


18- Doris Somer (Estados Unidos, 1947): Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, where she is founder and Director of Cultural Agents: Arts and Humanities in Civic Engagement. She also specialises in vulnerable neighbourhoods.


19- Mary Jane Ortega (Filipinas): Mayor of the city of San Fernando in the Philippines from 1998 to 2007 and Secretary General of the League of Cities of the Philippines. Mary Jane is a member of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Executive Committee and the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA).


20- Johan Galtung (Noruega, 1930): Sociologist and mathematician. Johan was the main founder of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) – the first of its kind – in 1959. He is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award 1987 (known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) and the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values 1993, among many other accolades.


21- Federico Mayor Zaragoza (Barcelona, Spain, 1934): Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999, Spanish Minister of Education and Science in 1981-1982, and CDS deputy in the European Parliament (1987). Federico is the founder and President of Fundación Cultura de Paz (Foundation for a Culture of Peace).


22- Rebeca Grynspan (Costa Rica, 1955): Secretary General of SEGIB since 2014, former UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.