Dr. Anna Galovicova
Anka is an Ambassador of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Slovakia and Chairwoman and Executive Coordinator for the European Anti-Poverty Network. She is also President and Founder of the Slovak-Indian Friendship Society which launched the preparatory work for the Forum in Slovakia. The organization successfully implemented a pre-Parliament event “Beauty Hidden in Fairy Tales”, involving dozens of Slovak schools across the nation over the course of the year 2015 prior to the Salt Lake Parliament. Anka has been engaged in civil society interfaith activities for over two decades. Anka’s main focus in the preparatory work lies in programming.
Mário has long been committed to inspiring and empowering the next generation of young leaders, including through his work as Founder and Honorary President of the Euro-Atlantic Center. With Anka and Peter, he co-founded the Forum of the World’s Religions – Slovakia and coordinates the executive work on Slovakia’s candidacy to host the gathering of the global interfaith movement in 2017. Through the Forum of the World’s Religions, he is committed to building a new, more confident, diverse, wide open, multi-religious future for Slovakia. With a decade’s worth of government experience under his belt, Mário is now pursuing a new dimension of public service to his country and the international community. He has tremendously enjoyed this fascinating opportunity for personal spiritual growth, a journey filled with exploring new horizons and meeting great people.
As a national security professional, Mário focuses on foreign policy and national security challenges ranging from hard to soft power issues. He advised two Ministers and six State Secretaries of Defence on strategic issues facing Slovakia as a NATO member, including troop deployments, defence transformation, security sector reform and public outreach. He advises the Central European Strategy Council on flagship projects that include the GLOBSEC Bratislava Global Security Forum. He is also engaged in initiatives aimed at increasing the resilience of our societies against illiberal trends, radicalism and propaganda. Before joining the Ministry of Defence, he worked with the consulting company McGuireWoods LLP in Washington, DC.
Peter brings to the organizational team two decades of experience in professional congress organizing as partner in Guarant International. Being one of the largest event management companies in Central Europe, the firm has organized over 2,500 events. He is a member of the Bratislava Tourist Board and the Slovak Convention Bureau, which links the Parliament to the tourism industry. Despite having organized events larger than a typical Parliament of the World’s Religions, Peter has approached this project with both the enthusiasm and the humility that an initiative of this scale, ambition and depth warrants. Peter is also interested in the forum from a spiritual perspective.
Peter works as a mediator and entrepreneur. A trained economist, he sees the “real economy” as a basis on which the values of a modern state should be built. He shares the vision of the fair distribution of material wealth. His motto is to live in the present moment and be aware of one’s past in order to create one’s own future.
Mato is the past President of the Euro-Atlantic Center and a senior year student at the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations of Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica. Working in the EAC is highly motivating as it allows him to implement ideas and thoughts that he believes in with friends and colleagues. His motto is “Everything is possible, you just need to want it.” He believes that a Bratislava Forum of the Parliament of the World’s Religions will provide a great inspiration for the younger generation.
Dusan is an associate professor of oriental languages and literature at the Department of Comparative Religion of the Faculty of Arts at Comenius University in Bratislava. He holds a doctorate in Indian history from the University of Pune in India. He deals with the history and anthropology of religions in India specializing in Indo-Muslim communities. His lectures and courses are aimed primarily at Indian Hinduism and Islam. “Our small country can certainly benefit when so many different people visit from all over the world holding different views on things between Heaven and Earth. It will be another possibility to learn and discover something new. The Parliament of the World’s Religions can enrich us, and therefore I support it.”
Jozef’s background is mathematics, but since the early 1990s until retirement in 2013 he was active in diplomacy. He served as Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Bulgaria, Latvia and at the Holy See. He offers his experience to our team in promoting dialogue between religions.
Stanislava works as a reporter. She focuses on social and minority issues, with emphasis on poverty and civil society. She belongs to those who claim that intuition, feeling and intellect – religion, art and science – can and should be in consistency. She sees spirituality as the most fascinating aspect of humanity.
Lukas is a leader of the Buddhist community in Slovakia and the founder of a Buddhist stupa in Piestany. He has dedicated his life to the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Over more than 20 years, he received teachings from several lines of the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism. As Slovakia’s only Dzogchen student under the guidance of Master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, he is an authorized instructor of Santi Maha Sangha, a systematic course of Buddhism created by Master Norbu for Dzogchen students around the world.
Juraj is a student of International Relations at Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva in Switzerland. In addition to his studies he worked in many projects and has completed several internships in public and private institutions. He is also engaged in Geneva junior business association Junior Entreprise Geneve and member of the organizing team of the prestigious Geneva International student conference – Model of the United Nations. He believes that an open religious dialogue can help in solving the global problems. He is confident that a Bratislava Forum of the Parliament of the World’s Religions will be positive impetus for civil society in Slovakia.
Boris is the Vice-Rector for International Relations at the University of Economics in Bratislava. After his studies at Comenius University and the University of Economics in Bratislava, he completed postgraduate studies at the University of Zurich and the Humboldt University in Berlin. He is a member of several renowned international expert commissions on international cooperation and education. In his teaching and publishing activities he is devoted to the examination of selected aspects of diplomacy and international relations. In Boris’s view, university institutions have a shared ambition with the Parliament of the World’s Religions: the quest for multiplying the fruits of knowledge and culture, and disseminating them in society.
Ivan is a civil society activist, Secretary of the Slovak-Indian Friendship Society and a member of the Slovak Anti-Poverty Network. He works with the youth and is a yoga teacher.
Countess Irene Montjoye is a scholar in literature and cultural studies. An Austrian European of French, Irish, German and Polish origin, she lives in Vienna. Irene has lectured at several universities, including the University of Klagenfurt, International University and Webster University in Vienna. She is co-founder of the Society for Research of the 18th Century. In her lectures, research and publications, she mainly focuses on Austria’s bilateral cultural relations and on the perceptions of Austria in other countries. Her books include Oscar Wilde’s Father on Metternich’s Austria, Maria Theresa’s Turkish Daughter, and A Scot in Austria – Johanna Countess Purgstall. She prepared a series of lectures for the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the title Austria Has Performed Better than Its Reputation. She also focused on the theme of the image of the Prophet Muhammad in the literature of European countries. Irène is convinced that reasonable and commonly developed reforms are essential for preserving peace and preventing radicalization.
Zuzana is a PhD Researcher at the University of Surrey (UK). She is exploring the role of return migration and knowledge transfer following Slovakia’s accession to the European Union. As a Slovak – Canadian she sees ‘PWR Bratislava’ as a unique organizational and spiritual experience, in addition to a profound opportunity to make a personal and lasting contribution to the development of her birth country.
Daniel is a Slovak poet, novelist, essayist, visual artist and preacher of the free evangelical church Cirkev bratska (Church of the Brethren). His poetry, prose and essays were published at the turn of the 80s and 90s in publications including Slovenske pohlady (Slovak Views) and Tvorba T, later in Romboid and Mosty (Bridges). He collaborates with radio and television. He debuted in 1993 with the book Damian’s River – Fairy Tales of Love and Eternity. His other books include the fairy tale saga Čintet, a Sea at the End of the World, the book Minimyths, and the storybook On a Drawing that Came Alive. His poetry collections include Tehilim, Christ in Brussels, V, and Word before the Word – a Poetic Interpretation of Proglas. His published theological works comprise A Healthy Body in a Coma, Divine Tree of Evil, The Gospel According to Job, The Wind Blows Where It Wants, A Small Book on Relationships, and The Little Book of the Heart. He translated T. S. Eliot’s Cocktail Party and wrote a new version of a play on St. Dorothy which was staged by the Slovak National Theatre. He authored scripts for both theatre (Peak in the Fog) and film (We will Be Meeting in Dreams), which was among the five nominated scenarios for the Czech Lion prize. In parallel, Daniel is committed to fine arts. He has participated in book illustration festivals and exhibitions, displaying his works in Slovakia and abroad. He has recently launched a project of artistic masses, combining artistic installations and projections with improvised music and elements of ritual.
Martin is a member of the Slovak Parliament and chairs the Group of Friends of Tibet in the National Council of the Slovak Republic. He sees the Parliament of the World’s Religions as an opportunity to establish Slovakia firmly on the spiritual map of Europe.
Jitka is an entrepreneur in tourism and hospitality. Her incoming agency provides services to foreign tourists in Slovakia. She speaks English, German and French. She is a member of the Baha’i Community in Slovakia, co-leading with Ms Venus Jahanpour its Public Affairs Office. As a Baha’i, Jitka believes in unity in diversity and in the reality that “The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”.
Jozef is as an entrepreneur and lecturer in tourism and sports.
Robert directs the Congress (MICE) Tourism Department of the Slovak Tourist Board and heads the Slovak Convention Bureau. Robert believes that a Bratislava Forum of the Parliament of the World’s Religions would improve Slovakia’s development in the tourism and hospitality sector. It would also positively influence the image of Slovakia as a hospitable country and that of Bratislava as a major European capital.
Jarka is an organizer of ethnic and world music events and founder of the Bratislava agency SHIRAZ.SK (2009). After several years of organizing music and dance events that caught the attention of the general public, media and partners, including the Ministry of Culture, she participated in the establishment of the international Percussion Festival – World of the Drums and the civic association AMITY. In autumn 2014 she initiated the establishment of the common platform WORLD MUSIC FROM SLOVAKIA, whose aim is to support local talent, integrate Slovakia into the European music scene and engage Slovakia in the global world music community. The Forum of the World’s Religions is the continuation of Jarka’s mission in life to connect people regardless of their faith or culture. Music represents a common language that allows to look for the things that unite us and for the basic things we carry in ourselves. World music is an expression of love and respect to the roots, which are updated and interpreted for the contemporary listener.
Elisabeth is an Ambassador of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Austria. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the global interfaith gathering being held in Bratislava with side events in Austria. Such an event would highlight the unification of Europe and the ongoing process of mutual cultural enrichment between all its countries.