Unlocking Europe's potential with the brightest minds

Thu. November 9, 6:00PM

Unlocking Europe's potential with the brightest minds

Join the European Young Leaders (EYL40) and be at the forefront of the conversations shaping the future of Europe

This one-hour exclusive session following Friends of Europe’s State of Europe high-level roundtable* offers a unique opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions on what we may expect from a Renewed Social Contract in Europe by 2030.
- Should we rethink the roles and responsibilities of the private, public, and civil society sectors in our European societies?
- How do we as individuals and societies navigate the crises of war, climate, and cost-of-living impacting our continent?
- What is the role of citizens in a 21st century Europe?

In the face of the multitude of crises plaguing Europe, should we rethink the systems we operate in – and is the notion of a Renewed Social Contract, brought forward by Friends of Europe in 2019, a viable avenue for collective changemaking?

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home the tragic disconnect between self-interest and the common interest, and the huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks. To close those gaps, and to make the New Social Contract possible, we need to ensure that power, wealth, and opportunities are shared more broadly and fairly and is based on equal rights and opportunities for all.” - António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General (2020)

This is your chance to be at the forefront of conversations shaping the future of Europe.

*Organised by Friends of Europe, a leading Brussels-based think tank, State of Europe is a unique forum for today’s top leaders from the worlds of politics, business and civil society, from Europe and beyond, to connect, debate and develop ideas on key policy areas that will define Europe’s future. Recommendations sourced from the interactive and fast-paced brainstorms shape and influence EU policy thinking and inform Friends of Europe’s journey towards a Renewed Social Contract for Europe.


Bella Lack is a prominent British environmental activist and a leading voice in the fight for biodiversity and the preservation of the natural world. Lack launched the ‘In Your Palm’ campaign at the age of 12, advocating for the protection of orangutans and their habitat. Her activism extends to championing causes such as the welfare of Asian elephants and the prevention of cruelty to animals. Through social media, blogging and thought-provoking articles, Lack educates her generation on becoming responsible stewards of wildlife and offers practical solutions for a more sustainable future. She is also involved in filmmaking and played the leading role in the documentary ‘Animal’ by Cyril Dion, in which she explores innovative solutions to combat the ongoing mass extinction crisis.


Malcolm Byrne is an Irish politician for the centrist Fianna Fáil party (ALDE) and served in local government before entering parliament. He is his party's spokesperson on further and higher education, research, innovation and science. He speaks and writes regularly on regulating technology as well as the importance of the arts, sport and community volunteerism. He served on the Senate Brexit Committee. From Gorey, County Wexford in southeast Ireland, he is a graduate in law, in arbitration and in governance. Previously, Malcolm worked as the head of communications and public affairs at the Higher Education Authority, the statutory agency in Ireland that allocates public funding to higher education and advises the government on higher education and research policy. Having worked for various lobbying and representative organisations throughout his career, Byrne was also the first commercial manager at myhome.ie, Ireland's most successful property website. Outside of his professional career, he has completed 37 marathons (including another Dublin marathon last week).


Nicolas Brien

Nicolas Brien is the Chairman of the Management Board of EuraTechnologies, Europe’s largest and oldest incubator, and President of the European Startup Network, an industry group which represents start-ups in Brussels. An avid supporter of Europe’s digital sovereignty and named among the most influential people in the digital sector in Europe, Brien promotes greater investment in local start-ups across Europe. He sits on the board of a number of other companies and foundations, including Tilder and France Alzheimer, and regularly contributes to the global conversation on tech policies through op-eds in global media. He is the former chief executive officer of the largest start-up organisation in Europe, France Digitale. Prior to entering the tech sector, Brien was the research director at Kantar-TNS Sofres and a senior advisor to the French government’s spokesperson.
Thu. November 9, 6:00PM
Thu. November 9, 7:30PM
TheMerode Talks
Guest allowed?
Yes, 1 per member


Place Poelaert, 6
1000 Brussels
Parking Poelaert, Place Poelaert 1000 Brussels

Detailed program

Thu. November 9, 6:00PM
Thu. November 9, 6:30PM
Thu. November 9, 7:30PM