In these first short months of 2021, there have already been several additions to the Euclid Network (EN) team, including two project officers and two trainees. We are happy to introduce each new team member with a brief profile, an overview of their work at EN and some insights into their professional and academic backgrounds. All of them are motivated by the same interest of contributing to positive change in the world and are already enjoying the collaborative atmosphere within the EN team. For more insights, you can click on their pictures to view their LinkedIn profiles!

First, we introduce Elena Mertel, one of EN’s two new Project Officers. Elena is primarily working on the MedUP! project which aims to promote social entrepreneurship in the southern Mediterranean region. As part of a consortium led by Oxfam Italy, Euclid Network utilises networking activities and peer exchanges to deliver the project’s objectives. While mobility opportunities have been impacted by Covid-19, MedUP! continues its work and the consortium hopes to resume exchanges in the second half of 2021.

From her own experience, Elena appreciates the transformative potential of exchange programmes having participated in several whilst at school and university. She stresses, however, her interest in ensuring exchange programmes are sustainable and that the benefits of experiences abroad are maintained with long-lasting impacts. Elena has also studied abroad at the University of Groningen, attaining a Master’s Degree in International Relations. Having focussed academically and professionally on international development, Elena has cultivated a growing interest in social innovation and entrepreneurship, previously working in Germany on an incubator project at GIZ. She is excited to be part of the EN team and seeks to make the most of The Hague’s social enterprise ecosystem and beyond. Throughout her future career, she aims to have as large an impact as possible, both with EN as well as through her volunteer-engagement for an NGO that empowers young women in Ethiopia through tertiary education.

EN’s next Project Officer is Enrico Sabatini. His passion for social enterprises and innovation arose from his experience working for an NGO on the ground in Iquitos, Peru. Working as a community trainer and facilitator, he got to see a first-hand illustration of the issues of classic models of international development. Enrico brings his interest in the social and environmental dimensions of international cooperation into his new role at EN, where he is working on several social innovation and social entrepreneurship projects. More details about the projects Enrico is working on will be released soon, so stay up-to-date by following all the developments on the EN website.

In addition to his experience in Peru, Enrico has also worked in Denmark – in the smart city sector – and in Italy, where he is originally from. Enrico exemplifies the lifelong learner, after his first Master’s in International Relations, he completed a post-graduate course in Smart Cities and Communities, as well as another Master’s in Economics, Management and Social Innovation in 2020. In his previous work, Enrico has designed and managed projects, working with EU and national funding instruments, notably Erasmus+. Enrico seeks to work at a high level to maximise his impact and wishes to pursue a career in the social economy sector. While having worked abroad before, Enrico has not spent much time in the Netherlands but is looking forward to his upcoming relocation to The Hague.

Enrico is not the only new Italian to join the EN team with Ambra Cortese coming on-board as one of our EU Policy and Communications Trainees. Ambra has been heavily involved in the launch of EN’s Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise Campaign (WISE) and is contributing to providing feedback on the European Action Plan for Social Economy. In addition, she is working with the rest of the Communications Team to manage EN’s social media presence and to support the development of EN’s Knowledge Centre. Ambra is bringing her experience of working on a European Citizens’ Initiative focussing on securing full voting rights for mobile European citizens.

This EN traineeship is Ambra’s second traineeship focussing on communications, advocacy and EU affairs. Ambra has many experiences of living abroad in Europe including in Spain, France, Belgium and the UK. In addition to her Bachelor’s Degree in Languages, Ambra has a Master’s in International European Policies affording her a thorough grounding in European affairs. She is also driven by a desire to make the world a better place and improve others’ lives. After six months in Brussels, Ambra has recently relocated to Manchester.

Finally, we introduce Toby Gazeley who also joins the team as an EU Policy and Communications Trainee. Toby has been supporting the launch of the WISE Campaign focussing on media relations and is contributing to the R.E.S.E.T. project. He is also working with other members of the Communications Team to promote EN’s Knowledge Centre and on material for the upcoming EN newsletter. Toby is particularly excited to work on European projects and policy as he hopes to pursue a career in European public affairs, working towards a more social Europe.

Toby joins the team after completing a Schuman Traineeship with the European Parliament’s Secretariat for the Committee on Culture and Education where he worked closely on their forthcoming report on the European Education Area. He has a particular interest in mobility programmes and their potential to change individuals’ understandings of their citizenship and their imaginations of the communities they belong to. Toby has explored these concepts throughout his academic work, most recently in his Master’s in European Policy from the University of Amsterdam. Toby’s academic interest stems from his own Erasmus experience in Spain in 2017 and his recent European Solidarity Corps project in Romania in 2020. He is excited to see how mobility opportunities in the social enterprise sector may mirror the benefits already observed in the fields of culture and education. Originally from the UK, Toby has joint British-Irish nationality and currently splits his time between Brussels and Amsterdam.

Want to join Euclid Network?

If you would like to find out more about how you can become a member of the Euclid Network please contact the team!

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