Scientific Committee

Scientific Committee

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He is a Syrian internationalist whom born in Deirezzor and lives in Damascus. He is graduated from AlFurat university, got English literature degree in 2011. He has been teaching since then. He is currently a lecturer at AlFurat university, teaching applied linguistics and translation methods. He strongly believes in a positive change in one's life. He is filled with enthusiasm and acceptance for new things in every day’s life. He has incredible passion for learning English more day by day. He is extremely optimistic and extrovert. Time is one of his indispensable elements which he sees its importance in both of his personal development and career. He currently lives in Damascus, Syria.

Ahmed Alsayadi

Associate Professor of English Language, Education Department, Alfurat University, Syria

Masa Avramovic

Pedagogue, Founder of C31, Sweden

Jorge lives in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is the Coordinator of the undergraduate program of Pedagogy at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional del Estado de Chihuahua (UPNECH). Has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education and a Masters in Community Education, also has the training in Social Therapy by the East Side Institute of New York. He has more than 20 years of experience working with NGO’s. He is a founding member of the Fred Newman Center for Social Therapy in Ciudad Juárez where the practice of Social Therapy is taking place with different groups, such as students, teachers, young people, parents and NGO members in order to build community in different ways of also developing personal growth. In 2017 Performing Communities the Esperanza Coalition was born on the US-Mexico Border. With the collaboration with the Institute of Improvisation and Social Action (ImprovISA) based in El Paso Texas, Jorge participated in this process as a founding member. .

Jorge Burciaga-Montoya

Professor of Pedagogy and Community Development, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional del Estado de Chihuahua (UPNECH) Campus Juárez, Mexico

Coordinator of the Educational Project "Education for Sustainability" Hellenic Ministry of Education – 3rd Regional Centre for Educational Planning-Regional, Directorate of Education of Central Macedonia. Ph.D. St. Kliment Ohridski University Sofia Bulgaria, Faculty of Education Master, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Theology Bachelor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Theology Associated Education Staff in the Postgraduate Educational Programme " "Education Sciences", Subject area EPA66K: Vocational Education and Training, Open University of Cyprus. Teaching as an Academic Scholar the "Lifelong Learning and Adult Education" course, University of Western Macedonia - Pedagogy Department for pre-school teachers of Florina. Teaching as associated Education Staff for graduates and post graduates students the Religion Pedagogy course, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Theology.

Athanasios E. Charisis

Coordinator of the Educational Project “Education for Sustainability”, Hellenic Ministry of Education, Greece

Vincenzo D'Andrea, Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science, University of Trento, Italy. Vincenzo D’Andrea, Associate professor at the University of Trento, is a computer scientist teaching Participatory Design, and Information Systems courses. He holds a PhD in Information Engineering from the University of Parma, Italy. His main research interest is Participatory Design of ICT, an approach questioning the separation of roles and the power structures of design processes. Among other techniques, playful activities and theater-based practices play a relevant role in the work done with participants. His research interests include interdisciplinary work together with social scientists, focusing on the relationship between Information Technology, innovation, and social aspects of organizations. He is a member of the steering committee of the Participatory Design Conference. Vincenzo D'Andrea is also the Scientific Director of Trento Doctoral Training Center, an innovative side program in UniTN ICT Doctoral School, supported by the EIT Digital EU Program. He has been the coordinator of several research projects.

Vincenzo D’Andrea

Associate Professor of Participatory Design, University of Trento, Italy

Rosina Eleni Filippidou, started as a professional dancer and dance teacher. Then acquired her BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MSc in Psychological Research Methods from The Open University and a PGdip in Drama and Movement therapy from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. She is also a certified EMDR therapist. As a psychotherapist, she has worked in private therapeutic centers, psychiatric hospitals, centers for rehabilitation of people with learning difficulties and shelters for children and adolescents at risk. The last two years she worked as a psychologist at the psychiatric ward of the General Hospital of Thessaloniki Ippokrateio. She has participated with oral presentations and workshops, in numerous European and National conferences and has published articles referring to the importances of arts in therapy. She now holds two private offices as psychotherapist, in Athens and Thessaloniki (Greece). She is the manager and scientific coordinator of the Institute for Therapy and Education Through Arts EPINEIO, that holds a three year dramatherapy educational course in Thessaloniki.

Rosina Eleni Filippidou

Psychologist, Dramatherapist, Founder of Epineio, Institute for Therapy and Training through Arts, Greece

Ellen Foyn Bruun is Associate Professor of Drama and Theatre at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU. She has a professional background as stage director, playwright/dramaturge and drama educator from various contexts. Ellen likes to teach and conduct research through a combination of practice and theory. At NTNU she teaches theatre production, applied theatre and dramatherapy. Her research centers on drama- and theatre-based action methods, their applications and impact. She is a trained dramatherapist and an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework who has published articles and book chapters in English, German and Norwegian. For several years she has participated actively in Nordic and international networks where arts and health are focus, within dramatherapy and voicework. Some recurring questions she asks are: How do we stage ourselves? What kind of powers are at stake? How do we facilitate and organize arts processes that create new meaning, good health and have societal relevance?

Ellen Foyn Bruun

Associate Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Chair of the Theatre Studies Dept. at Western Galilee academic college in the multicultural town of Akko, Israel also lecturer and acting and improvisation instructor at Tel Aviv University Theatre arts dept. I am particularly concerned with "Inter/ multi - cultural dialogue in the dramatic space" and the way in which this practice impacts people and can change attitudes and the ability to contain and empathize with other people’s lives, beliefs and histories. I have been fortunate to have acquired international experience and expertise in the application of theatre practices and performance for empowering human rights issues, dialogue in conflicted communities, relations in the work place, prisoner, sex workers and substance user rehabilitation.

Peter Harris

Professor of Theatre at Tel Aviv University and Chair of the Theatre Studies Dept. at Western Galilee academic college, Tel Aviv, Israel

Sanjay Kumar (New Delhi, India) is a practitioner of activist theatre. As the founding President of pandies' theatre and the director/chief facilitator of its productions and workshops from 1993 onwards, he has been creating performances with and for the marginalized in India for over 20 years. He has directed over 40 plays for the proscenium, many kinds of activist plays in communities over the country and worked in close conjunction with many groups and communities enabling the young of these to create their own problems around their own problems and visions. He is a resident of the Rockefeller Bellagio Residency (Italy, 2010) for work on platform children, a participant of the US government prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (Social Change through Arts, 2011) and alumni of the International Class for Social Therapy, East Side Institute for Long and Short Term Psychotherapy (New York, 2012). He is an Associate professor at the Hansraj College, University of Delhi. His doctoral thesis (JNU, 2014) is a PaR on applied activist theatre. He has published and presented in national and international journals and conferences and conducted workshops on theatre with the marginalized/ theatre as therapy all over the world..

Sanjay Kumar

Associate Professor of Theatre at Hansraj College, University of Delhi, Founder of Pandies Theatre, India

Andres Marquez-Lara is the Founder and Passion Catalyst at Promethean Community LLC, a social enterprise that helps organizations create synergies for success. They work with teams that want to improve their efficiency in tackling social and environmental impact projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. With a dynamic, inclusive methodology that blends approaches from design thinking, improv theater, and systems thinking, their interactive workshops help groups connect, collaborate, create and complete their projects. 
Andres holds teaching positions at both Georgetown University and George Washington University where he teaches on leadership, innovation and facilitation. He has collaborated with multiple national and international organizations that include the Inter-American Development Bank, Pan-American Health Organization, Open Government Partnership, and others.
In 2014, he was named one of the emerging social innovators of the year in North America by Ashoka and American Express. He earned a BA in psychology from Duke University, and a graduate degree in clinical community psychology from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela.

Andres Marquez Lara

Lecturer of Transformative Leadership, Georgetown University, Psychologist, Founder and Passion Catalyst at Promethean Community LLC, Washington, USA

Carrie Lobman (New York, USA) MEd is associate professor and chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, the director of the revolutionary conversations series at the East Side Institute and a member of the All Stars Project Board of Directors. Carrie was born into a family of revolutionaries and community activists and has over the decades combined that passion with her equally strong commitment to the power of play and performance for human development. She is a self-proclaimed play revolutionary and performance activist. As an educational researcher she has examined the relationship between play, performance, learning and development for people of all ages and the importance of outside of school programs for providing young people with developmental experiences. She is a trained social therapist and a core faculty member in the Institute’s international training programs.

Carrie Lobman

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, New York, USA

Kostas Magos has a degree on Teacher Education from the University of Athens and a Ph.D on Intercultural Education from the same University.  He has worked as a primary school teacher and as a researcher in many intercultural projects for minority and Roma children. Since 2007 he is a lecturer and since 2013  an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the University of Thessaly on the field of intercultural education. His scientific interests include the theory and practice of intercultural education, the education of immigrant, minority and Roma children, the use of action research and narrative inquiry in teacher education and school practices. He has participated in many European projects concerning  best practices for the education of minority and immigrant children, European educational actions against racism and xenophobia and European teacher training seminars in intercultural education. He is the writer of many articles concerning issues of intercultural education theory and practice. During his free time he likes to write books for children. Until today 20 children books written by Kostas are already published.

Kostas Magos

Associate Professor of Preschool Education, University of Thessaly, Greece

Vasiliki Mitropoulou-Murcia (Thessaloniki, Greece) is Associate Professor of Pedagogy and Teaching (with emphasis on ICT) in the Faculty of Theology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She studied Italian Literature and Theology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she continued her postgraduate studies and her doctoral dissertation. She teaches Introduction to Pedagogy, Didactics of Religion, Practice in the "Teaching of religious education," Modern Educational issues, Modern Teaching Design Trends in Religious Education, Religious Education and New Technologies, Teaching Religion with ICT, Learning Theories in technological environments, Teaching methodology by integrating ICT into learning environments. She is trainer in seminars for school teachers of Religion and clergymen and chairman of Hellenic Educational Society – Branch of Macedonia. Coordinator of the Erasmus Intensive Programme (IP) with title: The contribution of Religious Education to a Europe of Diversity» held in Thessaloniki from 21-31/05/2012. Coordinator of a teachers’ group for the digital enrichment the e-books for Religion (Primary and Secondary Education).

Vasiliki Mitropoulou-Murcia

Associate Professor of Pedagogy and Teaching, Faculty of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Yuji Moro (Tsukuba, Japan) teaches Psychology at University of Tsukuba. He started his academic career as a developmental psycholinguist at the National Language Research Institute, Japan, studying the developing process of words and its usage in children’s writings. This very boring work made him deviate from positivistic “scientific” psychology and project himself into reforming psychology. He organized a group of young psychologists that pursued alternative psychology, non-individualistic, non-ahistorical, and non-positivistic psychology. Moro has been a long follower of Newman/Holzman’s appreciation of Vygotsky’s psychology. Recently he founded Japan All Stars, aiming to build a think tank for developmental activists serving poor young people in Tokyo.

Yuji Moro

Professor of Psychology, Tsukuba University, Tokyo, Japan

Ο Φίλιππος Μπρέντας από την Θεσσαλονίκη, με σπουδές στο Τμήμα Νηπιαγωγών της Παιδαγωγικής Σχολής της Φλώρινας του Πανεπιστημίου Δυτικής Μακεδονίας και κάτοχος μεταπτυχιακού διπλώματος του προγράμματος Επιστημών της Αγωγής «Πολιτισμικές Σπουδές: Σημειωτική και Επικοινωνία» του Πανεπιστημίου Δυτικής Μακεδονίας, εργάζεται ως παιδαγωγός στο Παιδικό Κέντρο του ΑΠΘ. Αγαπά να βρίσκεται στον μαγικό κόσμο των παιδιών, να δανείζεται λίγο από τον ενθουσιασμό τους κι έπειτα να στέκεται πλάι τους για να ανακαλύψει ό, τι τους κινεί την περιέργεια. Με εργαλεία του τη βιωματική και την ανακαλυπτική μάθηση, καθώς και τη μέθοδο Project, προσπαθεί να δημιουργήσει εκείνες τις συνθήκες μάθησης, που θα επιτρέψουν στα παιδιά να μάθουν, αξιοποιώντας όλα τα ερεθίσματα που δέχονται από την καθημερινή τους ζωή εντάσσοντάς τα στο πλαίσιο του παιχνιδιού. Όνειρό του είναι η διαμόρφωση μιας νέας μορφής εκπαίδευση για ένα παιδί που θα ξέρει να ηγείται του εαυτού του, ενώ ταυτόχρονα θα τοποθετεί τον εαυτό του πλάι στον κοινωνικό του περίγυρο, στη φύση και στα ζώα. Στα ενδιαφέροντά του εντάσσονται ζητήματα εκπαίδευσης μεταναστών, κουλτούρας, φύλου, καθώς και περιβαλλοντικής συνείδησης.

Filippos Mprentas

Kindergarden teacher, Aristotle University Children Centre, Greece

Tamara Nikolić (Belgrade, Serbia) is Assistant Professor at the Department for Pedagogy and Andragogy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade and a reasearcher at the Institute for Pedagogy and Andragogy. She holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Belgrade and M.A. in Human Relations from the University of Nottingham. Being East Side Institute’s Associate keeps deepening her interest in the intersections of play and performance, adult learning and community building, which she continues to pursue theoretically and practically. Her recent research involves topics such are leisure education, creative learning environments, drama and theatre in education, and the role of improvisation in educational settings. As an educational professional, she teaches adult education related to leisure, communication and media, play, creativity and drama. As a freelancer, she delivers trainings for trainers, mentors and other professionals in the field of education, engages in supervision and counselling for educators and designs and facilitates workshops. As a lifelong learner, she is currently working her way towards M.A. in Applied Theatre at Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. She co-authored the publication "Let's Play - A Manual for Drama Process".

Tamara Nikolic

Associate Professor of Adult Education, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Dr. Dora Psaltopoulou-Kamini is an Assistant Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.Th-GR). She is a certified music therapist CMT (AMTA), holds a Ph.D (A.U.Th-GR) and an MA (NYU, NY-USA). She has completed her psychoanalytic training in Freudian, Lacanian approach. She is a visitor Lecturer at the master level programs at the University of Macedonia (Music Therapy), at the University of Nicosia, at the University of Thessaly, at TEI of Larissa. She is a research assistant at the Adolescent Unit of the 3rd Psychiatric Clinic (University Hospital AHEPA). She has published in Greek two academic e-books (Music Therapy: The Third Way and Communication in Music Therapy-Paideia. The Co.M.P.A.S.S Approach) at Kallipos (repository.Kallipos.gr). Her music therapy life journey has been published in 2017 at ‘Lives of Music Therapists’ (Vol. I, Barcelona Publishers).

Dora Psaltopoulou

Assistant Professor of Music Studies, Music Therapist, Aristotle University, Fine Arts Department, Visitor Lecturer: University of Macedonia, University of Nicosia, University of Thessaly, TEI Larissa, Research Assistant University Hospital of AHEPA, Greece

Athanasios Stogiannidis (Kavala, Greece) studied Theology and specialized in Pedagogy acquiring the Master’s Degree. The title of his postgraduate work was «interpersonal communication within the so-called postmodern era and the Orthodox Christian education». He carried out an independent scientific research for three years at the Institute of Religious Education in the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn). He then acquired his second Doctor’s degree, by the Faculty of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the scientific field of Didactics on Religious Education. He served as an appointed teacher of Religious Education in schools of Secondary Education in Greece until he was appointed as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has a diploma of piano and three other degrees regarding the theory of music. He speaks two languages, English and German. He is married to Athanasia Papaefthymiou and they have a daughter, Amalia.

Athanasios Stogiannidis

Faculty of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


Regular Professor at the Pedagogical Department of the University of Western Macedonia, with specialization in movement/kinetic activities in pre-school education. She is an author of two books, has 52 publications and more than 70 participations in conferences. She has been a Deputy Mayor, in various departments (education, culture, finance, environment), of the Municipality of Kalamaria since 1999. She has also been President and Vice President of the Hellenic Refugee Archives at the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Kalamaria from 2004 to 2014.

Aggeliki Tsapakidou

Professor of Psychomotor Education, University of Western Macedonia, Greece

Ifigeneia Vamvakidou is from Avdira of Ksanthi. Her studies took place at the School of Philosophy of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and she got her Doctorate at the Pegagogical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is a professor of Modern Greek History and Civilization. She has published 5 books for the local history of Thrace and case studies from Western Macedonia, focusing in national historical sources and the analysis of memorial residues of Civilization Material. She has edited 15 books of History and Civilization exploring historical and cultural research. She has published in conference proceedings and scientific journal approximately 250 articles about the following topics: History and Civilization, Methodology, Digital History and Social Historiography. She has participated in research programs to distinguish the national cultural heritage in the field of modern and postmodern historical narrative aiming at the historical and visual literacy at an intercultural and international level.

Ifigeneia Vamvakidou

Professor of Modern Greek History and Culture, University of Western Macedonia, Greece

Magda Zenon is a human rights activist whose perspective has been influenced by having lived in apartheid South Africa, Greece, and now Cyprus. She is an active member of civil society with a focus on the implementation of UNSCRes 1325 and the integration of a gender perspective in peace processes, both locally and globally. She has worked with women’s and youth groups and has helped found and been active in a number of local CSO’s including Hands Across the Divide, the Gender Advisory Team and the Cyprus Women’s Lobby that is a member of the European Women’s Lobby. She has also helped co-ordinate a number of multicultural youth peace camps in Cyprus and Turkey with themes that focussed on youth and conflict resolution. Finally, Magda has a passion for story-telling and has for over 5 years hosted conversations about peacebuilding with inspiring women from around the globe on her internet-based women’s forum called kaleid’HER’scope.

Magda Zenon

Journalist, Peace and Human Rights Activist, Founding Member of Hands Across the Divide, Cyprus