Michel Barnier is the former European Union Chief Negotiator, heading the Task Force; between 2016 and 2021, for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom following the 2016 Brexit referendum.
He is married to Isabelle and a father of three children. He graduated from the ESCP European Business School in Paris. Michel Barnier engaged at an early age in the Gaullist party in his native Savoie and was elected at the age of 27 as Member of the French National Assembly, and then as President of the department. In that capacity he organized, together with the triple gold medalist Jean Claude Killy, the XVI Olympic Winter Games in 1992 in Albertville.
Michel Barnier has served as minister in several governments in France, as Minister of Environment (1993-1995), for European Affairs (1995-1997) and for Foreign Affairs (2004-2005). From 1999 to 2004, he was European Commissioner responsible for Regional policy and Institutional reform. In 2007, the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed him Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
In June 2009, Michel Barnier led the French campaign for the European elections and a few months later he was a second time appointed European Commissioner for Internal market and Services. It is in this capacity that he proposed and built the Banking Union. Michel Barnier has also been a special advisor to Jean-Claude Juncker over security and defense matters.
Michel Barnier has published a dozen of books including, Each One for All, the Ecological Challenge (1990/Stock), The Atlas of Major Risks (Plon / 1992) - Who will the feed the World (Acropole / 2007) - And more recently, My Brexit Secret Diary (Polity / 2021).
Lynda Gratton is an award-winning thought leader, Professor of Management Practice at London Business School, leads the Future of Work Research Consortium.Lynda Gratton is a Professor of Management Practice at London Business School where she directs ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Companies’, considered the world’s leading program on human resources. Lynda is the founder of the advisory practice HSM and since 2008 has led the Future of Work Research Consortium which has brought together executives from more than 100 companies. Over the last 20 years Lynda Gratton has written extensively about the interface between people and organizations. Her ten books cover the link between business and HR strategy (“Living Strategy”), the new ways of working (“The Democratic Enterprise”), the rise of complex collaboration (“Hot Spots” and “Glow”) and the impact of a changing world on employment and work (“The Shift” and co-authored “The 100-Year Life” and “The New Long Life” with Andrew Scott). In 2012, “The Shift” received the business book of the year award in Japan and has been translated into more than 15 languages. In 2015, “The Key” won the CMI Management Book of the Year. In 2016, “The 100 Year Life” was short listed for the FT Business Book of the Year award, and became one of the best-selling books in Japan. In 2020, Lynda and Andrew published “The New Long Life – a framework for flourishing in a changing world”. Lynda Gratton is a regular columnist for MIT Sloan Management Review and has written for a range of press including the Financial Times and the Sunday Times. Lynda Gratron’s latest book “Redesigning Work – how to transform your organization and make hybrid work for everyone” was released in March 2022. Lynda Gratton’s work has been acknowledged globally – she has won the Tata prize in India; in the US she has been named as the annual Fellow of NAHR and won the CCL prize; whilst in Australia she has won the AHRI prize; she has received the Best Teacher Award at London Business School. Lynda is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and chaired the WEF Council of Leadership. She has served on Prime Minister Abe’s “Council for designing the 100-year-life society” and is currently a member of the international advisory board of Equinor.
Luís Marques Mendes
Luís Marques Mendes is a lawyer and member of the Advisory Board of Abreu Advogados. Consultant at Abreu Advogados since 2012, he is also Chairman of the firm's Strategic Council and a member of the Angolan Desk Group. Before joining Abreu Advogados, he practiced law during the 1980s, a professional activity that he interrupted to hold, for two consecutive decades, political, parliamentary and governmental positions. In government, he was a member of four constitutional governments where he served as Secretary of State and Minister for thirteen years. On the parliamentary level, he was President of the Parliamentary Commission for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Portuguese Communities, where he acquired particular experience in the relationship with Portuguese-speaking African countries. On the political level, he was also President of the Social Democratic Party, a leadership position he held for about three years.
After leaving politics, and before joining Abreu Advogados, he was a director of several companies in the energy sector. Currently, out of active political life, he is a member of the Council of State appointed by the President of the Republic and a political commentator.
Paul Polman is a business leader, climate and equality campaigner, co-author of “Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take”, a Financial Times Business Book of the Year.Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), Paul Polman demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, marrying a long-term, multi-stakeholder model with excellent financial performance. During Paul Polman’s tenure, shareholders saw their returns increase by 290% while the company consistently ranked 1st in the world for sustainability. Today Paul Polman works across a range of organizations to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop. This includes his work to drive systems change with Systemiq and bold new industry coalitions, including in fashion and food. He leads the UN Global Compact, is an Ambassador for the Race to Zero, and works to develop our next generation of leaders, through the Oxford University Saïd Business School, INSEAD, One Young World and others. Paul Polman’s actively campaigns on a range of human rights issues, including promoting disability inclusion through the Valuable 500 and the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, which he set up with his wife Kim.