Hajo Funke: Chair on Politics and Culture at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Free University Berlin (until retiring in 2010). Main Research: Authoritarianism and Democracy. Right wing Extremism. Studies on Mideast. Studies on Political Culture of Post-Holocaust-Germany.
Funke reconstructed and analyzed the ideology of the right-wing oriented German political party the `Republicans,’ particularly in reference to its hatred of foreigners, its anti-Semitism, and its ultra-nationalism. He also analyzed the ideas and roots of ethnocentricity within German nationalism. Funke has written widely on the neo-Nazi networks and the effect on them of radical revisionism and social prejudices, especially anti-Semitism and a hatred of foreigners.
Funke gained his Ph. D. on the political sociology of work-conditions [summa cum laude].
Kamran Hashemi: Director of Risk Management at State Street Bank, with a long history of involvement in charitable organizations related to Iran and the Iranian community. Kamran was founding member and member of the Management Board of Iranian Community Centre (ICC) established in 1983 to provide legal advisory service to the growing population of asylum seekers in London, worked with charities devoted to education and technology in Iranian schools, and is a founding member of United4Iran-London.
Steven Loyst: Steven Loyst is a specialist in leading humanitarian responses and organizational transition in conflict, post-conflict, disaster-related and development contexts. Working with governments, the United Nations, the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organisations, Steven has directed country-level and regional offices, emergency operations and recovery efforts and provided consultancy services in Kosovo, North Africa, Pakistan, Indonesia, Niger and the Sahel Region, Iran, Russia and Serbia. He also lived in Iran for three years and his profound interest and commitment to the country continues to the present day.
Fred Andon Petrossians: Iranian journalist, researcher and blogger. He is the online editor in chief of Radio Farda, Iran editor of Harvard Global Voices, and co-founder of the award wining March 18 Movement to protect bloggers.
Petrossians has commented frequently on Iranian media and civil society in international media and delivered speeches on this topic in media and academic centers such as Yale University. He has also contributed to various digital projects such as Digiactive.
Petrossians has an MA in European Politics, Cultures and Organizations.
Bert Taken: Lecturer on Philosophy at Rietveld Academy. Taken is carrying out PhD research into the philosophical basis of art and design education. He is examining the foundation of art education and contributing to a national and international discussion on its future.
Bert Taken has visited Iran three times, twice for study with students and professors of the Rietveld. The travel resulted in a book of images and essays done by the group entitled Heartbeat Iran.
Annie van de Pas: Political scientist and historian who has conducted research and written about the Middle East and North Africa. She is experienced in political development cooperation and worked as a political advisor for a Dutch democracy support organization (see www.nimd.org, for her publication on the MENA region, Beyond Orthodox Approaches. Assessing possibilities democracy support in The Middle East and North Africa). At present she is project leader at the GroenLinks research office in Utrecht.