About us

The Friday group is a Belgian policy think tank for young people from various backgrounds financed by the King Baudoin Foundation.

The Friday group is a Belgian policy think tank for young people from various backgrounds financed by the King Baudoin Foundation.

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An Beazar

An Beazar (1980) is most of all a real entrepreneur. She graduated in physical engineering and in music. In 2010 she founded Enprove, an innovative company that helps organizations to reduce their energy consumption and CO2 by increasing their energy efficiency. The company is growing, and taking its first international steps. In 2012 An received the award “young promising entrepreneur” of Markant and Unizo. She’s a member of the board of Dendermonde’s hospital and is an innovation-expert for the Flemish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Agency. An is also an expert for the Flemish broadcasting company VRT.

Abdelkarim Bellafkih

Abdelkarim Bellafkih (1986) is an engineer (VUB – Free University of Brussels) and works for the Flemish administration. Having founded several associations, he is very active in the associative scene of Antwerp, and sits in numerous boards.

Cyrus Bohn

Cyrus Bohn (1992) is a consultant in the Real Estate & Construction department of Deloitte. In this context, he advises private and public organizations throughout Europe in the way they should structure and manage large Real Estate portfolios. Cyrus has a deep passion for everything concerning the built environment. Previously, he was active at UN-Habitat, the urbanism branch of the United Nations, in New York, where he collaborated in the negotiation of a resolution to ratify the ‘New Urban Agenda’. Moreover, Cyrus is alumni and former Vice-President of the MUN Society Belgium with which he won the world championship in diplomacy for students. He graduated as Civil Engineer: Architect from the KU Leuven.

Sophie Buysse

Sophie Buysse studied law at Ghent University, and singin at the Royal Academy of Music in Brussels. In 2015, she founded the Dutch-speaking branch of Teach for Belgium, a non-profit which mobilizes young high potentials to teach in underprivileged neighborhoods. Currently, she works for TADA (ToekomstAtelierdelavenir). Sophie is a founding member and the former president of the Global Shapers Brussels, the youth branch of the World Economic Forum. She has been involved in several musical projects, such as the One Bird Orchestra or the Brussels Chamber Choir.

Morad Chahboun

Morad Chahboun (1986) graduated from Solvay Business School in 2009. He is the Sales Manager of Alkemyka, a company specialized in the marketing of industrial goods. Breed in the popular areas of Brussels, he got involved quite early in different community organizations. He participated in the writing of "381 Jours", a theater play of Ras El Hanout ASBL/VZW about Civil Right Movement and he cofounded two organizations where he still hold executive positions : Talented Youth Network (TYN) ASBL aiming at empowering youth through increased self-confidence & Molengeek, an Innovation Ecosystem in the heart of Molenbeek aiming at bringing together Technology & people from inside and outside Molenbeek. He loves learning, jogging, laughing and above all his city, Brussels.

Nathan Daems

Nathan Daems (1986) is a multi-instrumental musicien. He founded Ragini Trio, Collective N Trance and Black Flower with which he travels the world. Nathan has also written music for films and documentaries and has wan several music prizes.

Paul Dermine

Paul Dermine (1989) is currently a PhD researcher in European Union Law at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). He studied Law and Political Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the College of Europe and New York University as a Hauser Global Scholar. Between 2013 and 2015, Paul has worked as an attorney in administrative and constitutional law at the Brussels Bar, with Stibbe LLP. Since 2015, he's entirely dedicated to academic research. His focus is on the institutional system of the European Union, the Law of the Economic and Monetary Union and the new governance of the Eurozone.

Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye

Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye (1983) is a lecturer assistant Professor at Imperial College London, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, and a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard IQSS. He recently received his Ph.D. in computational privacy from MIT. His research aims at understanding how the unicity of human behavior impacts the privacy of individuals--through re-identification or inference--in large-scale metadata datasets such as mobile phone, credit cards, or browsing data. Yves-Alexandre was recently named an Innovator under 35 for Belgium (TR35). His research has been published in Science and Nature SRep. and covered by the BBC, CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Le Monde, Die Spiegel, Die Zeit, El Pais as well as in his TEDx talks. His work on the shortcomings of anonymization has appeared in reports of the World Economic Forum, United Nations, OECD, FTC, and the European Commission. Before coming to MIT, he was a researcher at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Yves-Alexandre worked for the Boston Consulting Group and acted as an expert for both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations. He is a member of the OECD Advisory Group on Health Data Governance. Over a period of 6 years, he obtained an M.Sc. from Louvain in Applied Mathematics, a M.Sc. (Centralien) from Ecole Centrale Paris, a M.Sc. from KULeuven in Mathematical Engineering as well as his B.Sc. in engineering at Louvain.

Nathalie François

Nathalie François is a Manager for Paris-based consulting firm YCE partners, which specializes in social protection. She advises public and private clients on how to adapt to the legal, numerical and competitive transformations affecting their sector. Nathalie holds a master of laws from the Free University of Brussels, with a major in public and administrative law. She is an admitted member of the Brussels Bar, and has worked, between 2007 and 2016, for the law firm Stibbe, mainly on public infrastructure projects and legal drafting (she was involved in the implementation of the EU anti-discrimination directives). Nathalie has also been a teaching assistant at Free University of Brussels for 8 years. In 2017, she completed a Master of Business Administration at EM Lyon Business School. In that framework, she devised a tool to measure organizational agility.

Michael Dirkx

Michael Dirkx (1988) loves new experiences and discoveries. He studied law at the KULeuven and Duke University (North Carolina), after which he worked as a lawyer at Van Bael & Bellis in Brussels. He advised businesses on takeovers, disputes and complex legal questions. Concurrently he was a teaching assistant insolvency and international business law with Prof. Dr. Storme, and obtained a Manama in corporate finance. In 2016 he succeeded in an MBA at INSEAD in Singapore and Fontainebleau and since works at McKinsey in Brussels. He primarily advises on strategic questions (growth plans, M&A) in regulated industries. He is passionate about the efficiency of our Belgian legal and fiscal apparatus, and loves being enriched through (political) discussions.

Arthur Ghins

Arthur Ghins (1990) is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant in political theory at the University of Cambridge (UK). His research focuses on the history of liberalism in post-revolutionary France. Arthur is a research associate at the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS), and has worked as a volunteer teacher in politics for Oxford and Cambridge Summer Schools and the Paris-based refugee school Pierre Claver. He has been a visiting researcher at Sciences Po Paris and the Centre de Théorie Politique at ULB. Arthur holds graduate degrees in law, philosophy and political theory respectively from Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), KU Leuven (Belgium) and the London School of Economics.

Joseph Fattouch

Joseph Fattouch (1990) is an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Digital Agenda A. De Croo. He is in charge of the digital strategy of the Federal government, with a focus in Digital Skills and Digital Government. He is leading the development of the Belgian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Joseph worked for McKinsey & Company and Roland Berger in Europe and the Middle East. There he served multiple public, retail and basic material organizations with a focus on strategy, digitization and reorganization. Joseph also worked for UNICEF in Lebanon where he developed the strategy and priorities for their largest funding program globally. Joseph is a board member of the Samilia Foundation (fighting human trafficking) and was a teaching volunteer in South-Africa. Joseph holds a Master’s Degree in Management Engineering from the Solvay Brussels School where he was also a teaching assistant in Finance and Strategy.

Audrey Hanard

Audrey Hanard (1985) is chairwoman of the Friday Grou and manager at Telos Impact, a consulting firm specialized in philanthropy and impact investing. She co-founded the start-up Spectralys Biotech, which offers protein analysis services to biopharmaceuticals companies, and has worked for more than 5 years as a consultant for McKinsey&Company, where she mainly advised clients from the governmental and pharmaceutical sectors, and explored public issues related to education and healthcare. She was active in the field of European affairs during the last Belgian presidency of the EU Council, successively within the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs (SOLVIT, Internal Market) and the Permanent Representation (Inter-institutional relations with the European Parliament). Audrey studied business engineering at Solvay Business School (ULB) and holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University (NY).

Johan Heymans

Johan Heymans (1989) is passionate about human rights and criminal law. After his law studies at the University of Namur and the Catholic University of Leuven he travelled to New York to study at New York University (Fulbright and BAEF scholar) and to work at the International Center for Transitional Justice. Subsequently he briefly worked for the Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. Currently Johan is working as a lawyer at the law firm Van Steenbrugge Advocaten and has specialized in human rights and criminal law litigation. He also teaches at the University of Antwerp where he provides assistance to the courses ‘criminal procedure’ and ‘advanced criminal procedure’ and is actively involved as a human rights expert with the Human Rights League and several other organizations such as Fair Trials and the Human Rights Comity of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.

Maroussia Klep

Maroussia Klep (1988) founded Impact Storytelling in 2016, a production agency and strategic communication consultancy aimed at opening up alternative narratives and triggering societal progress. She graduated from Sciences Po Paris in International Affairs and started her career as a development reporter at the UN in New York and as trainee at the cabinet of European Commissioner for trade, Karel De Gucht. She then worked as a European affairs consultant at the company Kreab Gavin Anderson and later joined OECD as environmental policy analyst with a focus on promoting the circular economy. In the last years, Maroussia has directed and produced a dozen videos and documentaries on issues such as immigration and refugees, women empowerment in developing countries, ecological transition, integration in Brussels and education.

Laurent Hanseeuw

Laurent Hanseeuw (1985) currently runs a family business. He previously worked as an economist within the consultancy department of KPMG and Cushman&Wakefield. He also held a position within the Belgian think-tank Itinera Institute. He regularly intervenes on economic and societal issues in the Belgian press. For six years, he also taught political economy at the Free University of Brussels. He graduated from Solvay Business School (2008) and the College of Europe in Brugge (2009). He has been a member of the Friday Group since 2013.

Sam Proesmans

Sam Proesmans (1988) is a resident in internal medicine. Driven by a raging wanderlust from age 16, he grabbed his backpack and started to explore the world independently. During his travels, he soon realized how lucky he was to be born in an environment so rich with opportunities and possibilities. As a medical student he continued to travel and did multiple internships in Asia, Latin America and Africa. His recent 12,000 km trip from Belgium to Congo in a 6-seat aircraft - broadcasted on the national television channel Eén as the series Flying Doctors - was definitely a highlight. Seeing the dire poverty and total lack of opportunities for so many people on this planet have stricken him so strongly, that he soon decided his future would be to strive for universal healthcare and education. Being a Fulbright and B.A.E.F. scholar, he did a Master of Public Health at Columbia University in New York and is currently doing his fellowship in infectious diseases and tropical medicine in Antwerp. In the coming years he hopes to become a leading game-changer in the field of public health.

Julien Raone

Julien Raone Fascinated by the transformation that structure the organization of human collectives and the life of his contemporaries, Julien Raone is an observer of modern societies and the changes to which they are subjected. As a curious mind, he jumps from one social world to another in order to understand their dynamics and conventions, politics and discourses, issues and practices. It is all about listening, observing, questioning, arguing, debating and writing. His research and teaching experiences are guided by an affinity for critical knowledge and the ambition of autonomy. Julien Raone also holds a Master's degree in Public Management from King's College London and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Louvain. He has published extensively and has taught in the fields of public management and public policy analysis, labor sciences and critical management studies.

Brieuc Van Damme

Brieuc Van Damme is an economist and the founding manager of consulting firm Baere Craft. He has been the deputy chief of cabinet of Social Policy and Public Health Minister Maggie De Block. He also advised deputy prime minister Alexander De Croo on health and social issues. Brieuc was a member of the General Council of INAMI and the executive board of the Federal Expertise Center on Healthcare (KCE). In 2013, Brieuc co-founded the Friday Group, a political platform for young professionals supported by the King Baudouin Foundation, which he chaired until 2017. He worked as a researcher for the think-tank Itinera, and taught an economics class at Ghent and Antwerp University. He has published numerous policy papers, and authored the book ‘The Grey Gold’ (Roularta, 2010). Through op-eds, interviews and conferences, he regularly intervenes in the public debate. He commutes between the capital of the Arctic, Tromso (NO), and Europe’s powerhouse Brussels (BE).

Magali Caroline Van Coppenolle

Magali Caroline Van Coppenolle (1988) studied economics at Maastricht University and holds a joint MPP/ MPA from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and the London School of Economics. She started her career looking at the impact of regulatory frameworks on private sectors in China and Belgium. Fascinated by all aspects of financial governance and regulation, she led a research project for the Bank of England, on macro-prudential capital ratio, before taking on the challenge of applying such expertise in the aid and development world. Since 2014, Magali is working as a consultant on financial governance projects with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Somalia.

Margot Vanfleteren

Margot Vanfleteren (1994) is a student Health Sciences at Maastricht University. She got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus in 1996 at age two. Living in Leuven(BE) she combines school with various projects in diabetes care and health care on global scale. Her main goal is to get patient voices be heard so treatments can be optimized. Therefor she participates at debates, speaks, focuses as entrepreneur on patient-centered care, is patient engagement manager at Healthbank and writes blogs on diabetes care. She won the Lions Young Ambassador Award of the 21st century for her work in diabetes care and is Young Leader in Diabetes at the International Diabetes Federation.

Youssef Kobo

Youssef Kobo (1988) is politically active with CD&V. A social entrepreneur. Avid world traveler. Opinion maker, author, publicist and public speaker. Former advisor for the Brussels Secretary for Equal Opportunities and production company Panenka. Active in Belgian civil society on civil rights issues, discrimination and youth policy. Youssef Kobo predominantly writes about multiculturalism, Islam, the Middle East, migration and innovation.