Our Authors

Jürgen Baetz

Jürgen Baetz is a Germany Correspondent for The Associated Press and closely follows development issues.


Chelsey Baker

Chelsey Baker is a mentor at Rockstar Youth. She's a leading UK entrepreneur, business mentor and media expert. Furthermore, she's the author of "The Pocket Mentor" and the creator of "Broadcasting Your Business", a pitch, press and publicity programme.


Mahesh Balasubramanian

Mahesh Balasubramanian is a software professional and an amateur photographer from Chennai, India. He has been taking pictures for more than nine years now and loves people and street photography.


Silvana Baldovino

Silvana Baldovino holds a degree in law from University of Lima/Peru. After her studies she worked in a special project on land grant and registry (PETT) in the public sector. She also worked for the National Commission on Andean, Amazon and Afro Peruvian Communities (CONAPA) as well as law firms.

Today she works for the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law and is involved in several initiatives committed to the preservation of biological diversity in Peru.


Ibrahim Bangura

Ibrahim Bangura is consultant for the EPES Mandala team and for other organisations with expertise in the broad field of Security Sector Reform. Together with Robin Poulton he studied at Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone; they were students in the same place, but in different centuries.


Shukria Barakzai

Shukria Barakzai represents Kabul Province as a Member of the House of the People, the lower house of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, and is a member of the Defence Committee. She was elected to Parliament for the first time in 2005 and has worked as a lawmaker ever since.

Shukria is also the founder of the weekly "Aina-e-Zan" newspaper (Women's Mirror) and Head of the Asian Women Organisation.

Under the regime of the Taliban and during the civil war, Shukria gave secret education classes to girls. Afterwards she became a member of the Constitution Commission.

Shukria holds a bachelor's degree in Archaeology and Geology from Kabul University.


Geraldine de Bastion

Geraldine de Bastion works as a lead consultant and project manager for newthinking communications in Berlin.

She previously worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit mbH (GIZ) as well as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in the areas of information and communications technology for development, knowledge management, education, business development, corporate social responsibility and public-private partnerships.

Geraldine's recent work has been focussing on citizen journalism and media development in Africa and open and decentralized technologies.


Kurt-Michael Baudach

Kurt-Michael Baudach is project manager at ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL's Service Agency Communities in One World.

He is involved in the projects "World Cup Brazil 2014 – Germany 2006/2011: Partners for Sustainable Urban Development" and "50 Municipal Climate Partnerships by 2015". The Service Agency is a competence centre for German municipalities interested in development issues and it acts as a partner for municipal development cooperation.

Kurt-Michael has been an advisor to development cooperation projects since 15 years, mainly on Latin American issues. He has working experience from Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil. Kurt-Michael holds a masters degree in geoecology.


Alice Bayer

Alice Bayer holds a Masters Degree in Development Studies from SOAS University in London, United Kingdom. Her thesis focussed on indigenous rights in Mexico.

She is currently the International Media Coordinator at the tribal rights organisation Survival International. There she is involved in campaigns for the protection of tribal people's land rights and against prejudice in the media.


Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz

Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz was Germany's State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2009 to 2013. 


Johann Benöhr

Johann Benöhr is a Senior Investigator at the Integrity & Anti-Corruption Department of the African Development Bank.

He holds a Law Degree from Johann Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt and an MBA from INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau and Singapore.

Prior to joining the African Development Bank he worked as Senior Director Business Intelligence & Financial Investigations at Kroll Associates in London and Munich.


Michael Berkowitz

Michael Berkowitz joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 to shape and oversee the new 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. Most recently, he was the deputy global head of Operational Risk Management at Deutsche Bank. Between 2005 and 2008 he had management roles for DB in Mumbai, India and New York.
Until 2005, Michael was Deputy Commissioner at the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in New York City. He worked on major planning initiatives, including the New York City Coastal Storm, Biological Terrorism and Transit Strike contingency plans. At OEM he led an initiative to create OEM’s Public-Private Emergency Planning Initiative and its Ready New York citizen preparedness campaign.


Thomas Berthold

Thomas Berthold is a political and cultural scientist. He works as a consultant for the Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees primarily responsible for intake conditions for unaccompanied and accompanied minor refugees.
Thomas Berthold works with a range of networks on refugee policy and the rights of the child, including the National Coalition Germany – Rights of the Child Network, Human Rights Forum, and Federal Guardianship Forum. He has published a number of articles and studies, and has given presentations at expert events and to the general public.


David Betge

David Betge is a political scientist and doctoral fellow at the German Heinrich Boell Foundation. His dissertation compares Indian and South African land redistribution efforts. In addition to his academic work, he has worked in civil and political education for more than five years now, focussing on racism, media literacy and global learning.


Hannes Bickel

Hannes Bickel holds a masterʹs degree in Political Science and is a skilled photographer. He completed the FIFA‐CIES Programme in Sports Management in 2010. Since 2005 Hannes has worked in the field of development through sport and gained experience through various projects linked to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

After his thesis on the integrative role of sport in the South African transformation process, he joined the GIZ's Youth Development through Football (YDF) project early in 2008. Until April 2011 Hannes was responsible for the development of regional YDF activities in South Africa and throughout nine African countries and the project's networking activities.

After joining the Business Unit Private Sector Cooperation at the GIZ's headquarters, Hannes currently works as an advisor to the BMZ in the newly formed Sector Programme on 'Sport for Development'.


Matt Birkinshaw

Matt Birkinshaw does social science research with a focus on urban development, infrastructure and politics in south Asia, and to a lesser extent, southern Africa. He is currently writing up a PhD at the London School of Economics on water governance in urban India. He has been involved in research on urbanisation and migration, technology and urban innovation, and urban displacement.


Bibi Bleekemolen

Bibi Bleekemolen does research and outreach at Fairphone. She joined Faiphone in 2011, to look for fairly mined cobalt in DR Congo, as her master’s thesis was about conflict minerals.


Manuela Boatcă

Manuela Boatcă is Professor of the Sociology of Global Inequalities and principal investigator of the Research Network desiguALdades.net at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests include world-systems analysis, gender and violence research, postcolonialism and decoloniality, with a regional focus on Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is author of From Neoevolutionism to World-Systems Analysis. The Romanian Theory of ‚Forms without Substance’ in Light of Modern Debates on Social Change, 2003 and co-editor of Decolonizing European Sociology. Transdisciplinary Approaches (with E. Gutiérrez-Rodríguez & S. Costa), 2010 and Globale, multiple und postkoloniale Modernen. Theoretische und vergleichende Perspektiven (with W. Spohn), 2010. The article is a revised fragment of chapter 6 in her recent book, Global Inequalities Beyond Occidentalism, Ashgate: Farnham, 2015

Readers of Digital Development Debates can order copies of the book with a 20% discount by entering the code C15JFK20 at the following link. This code expires on 31/05/2015.

Link to Ashgate's Website


Thilo Bode

Thilo Bode founded the German NGO foodwatch in 2002. In the 90s, he had been working with Greenpeace – he initially ran Greenpeace Germany before taking the helm of Greenpeace International.

Thilo has protested in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, against nuclear weapons testing, and was briefly imprisoned for his actions. In 2001, he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Federal Cross of Merit, for his dedication to environmental conservation.

Thilo studied political economics and holds a PhD from University of Regensburg on direct investment in developing countries. He then worked for the KfW development bank and the GTZ, before he moved into the private sector.


Luna Bolívar Manaut

Luna Bolívar Manaut is a Spanish journalist and editor at Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster. She works for DW's Spanish digital programme and is a producer for the Spanish broadcast news. Since 2008 she has also supported the DW-Akademie, the DW's department for journalistic training and development cooperation.

Luna is Europe correspondent for Periodismo Humano, a not-for-profit online magazine aimed at offering high quality journalism from a human rights perspective. She joined the project right after its formation in 2010.


Francesco Branca

Francesco Branca is the Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization (WHO). He has served as President of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies and was a senior scientist at the Italian Food and Nutrition Research Institute. He holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery with a specialization in Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and a PhD in Nutrition from Aberdeen University.


Michael Braungart

Michael Braungart studied Chemistry and Process Engineering in Konstanz and Darmstadt (Germany). In the 80s he was working for Greenpeace and helped to set up its chemistry department. In 1985 he received his doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Hannover. Braungart is founder and the Scientific Director of EPEA, Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency, which was founded in 1987; co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) in Charlottesville, Virginia and founder of the Hamburger Environmental Institute (HUI). For decades, Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart has pioneered the Cradle to Cradle design concept. He has worked with a number of organizations and companies across a range of industries, and has developed tools for designing eco-effective products, business systems and intelligent materials pooling. Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart holds the Academic Chair Cradle to Cradle for Innovation and Quality at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and is professor at several other universities in Germany (Leuphana University, Lüneburg; Munich University of Technology) and the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology; University of Twente).


Diala Brisly

Diala Brisly began as a cartoonist at the Syrian-based Spacetoon channel in 2001, where she received her first training and soon began as a layout artist for a variety of cartoon TV shows. Currently she works with the magazine “Zaiton & Zaitonah” as well as “Zawrak”. Her career has spanned over a number of different activities, including layout design, animation, concept art, painting, comic books, and character design.
Artistic participation in campaigns and political events has been a driving force for Diala, and several themes have consistently run through all her projects such as social justice, freedom, and human rights.
She started making murals in refugee centers in 2014, to support education and give positive messages to kids who have suffered through war, and still suffer after fleeing.


Michael Brzoska

Michael Brzoska is Director of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

He is Chair of the Council of the German Foundation for Peace Research and Principal Investigator in the CLISAP (Climate System Analysis and Prediction) excellence cluster of research at the University of Hamburg.

He has published widely on economic and political issues related to armed conflicts, arms production and trade, military spending, security policy and sanctions.

He holds a degree in economics and political science.


Alix Buck

23-year old Alix grew up in Ontario, Canada. She arrived in Cambodia in August of 2012 as a six-month volunteer, and is now Programs Officer.

She holds an undergraduate degree in International Development with a focus on environmental issues from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She has worked with children of all ages in a variety of sports, and has been lucky enough to travel extensively in Canada, the US, and throughout Latin America. Alix has been skateboarding since 2006.

Alix can be contacted at: alix@skateistan.org


Gisela Burckhardt

Gisela Burckhardt is a development expert and executive board of FEMNET e.V. Her latest book "Todschick. Edle Labels, billige Mode – unmenschlich produziert" was published by Heyne.

FEMNET is part of the German platform of the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) dedicated to awareness raising to improve working conditions in the garment industry worldwide. With the FairSchnitt project FEMNET works with students majoring in fashion-related areas, providing them early in their careers with information about the challenges facing the global garment industry.


Clementine Burnley

Clementine Burnley works as a senior project manager for Adelphi.

Her work focuses on natural resources governance and conflict early warning. Her area of expertise includes environmental security. As a private consultant, she has worked on several projects to derive indicators of environmental status from a combination of earth observation and ancillary data.

She is author of several peer-reviewed papers, as well as numerous reports.


Brenda Burrell

Brenda Burrell is a Zimbabwean information activist and co-founder of The Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe. For the last seven years, she has lead the Freedom Fone project, an open source software development initiative focusing on two-way communication with mobile phone users via IVR, SMS and voice mail. Brenda is motivated to bridge the gaps that separate people from the information they need to stay informed, engaged, productive and healthy. To this end, her work often integrates technology to amplify issues, encourage feedback and crowd source information.


Štěpánka Busuleanu

Štěpánka Busuleanu is a PhD Candidate at the "Civil Society and External Democracy Promotion in Post-Socialist Europe" Programme at the European Viadrina University of Frankfurt/Oder, Germany.

She holds degrees in Psychology and East West Studies from University of Regensburg, Germany and degrees in German and Russian from the Western Bohemian University of Pilsen, Czech Republic.

Štěpánka worked for several organizations and institutions in Central and Eastern Europe.