The European Crowdfunding Network is being managed by its Executive Director with the help of the ECN Secretariat team. You can reach individual members of the team via email by sending your message to the person of choice by using their email address following the structure “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The ECN Secretariat:
Oliver Gajda (Executive Director)
Oliver co-initiated ECN in 2012 and went on to establish ECN as an international NGO in 2013 as Founding Executive Director and Chairman. The past decade, Oliver has worked with venture capital, microfinance, technology and social entrepreneurship in both commercial and non-profit settings in Europe and the USA. Oliver is an Advisory Board Member at Förderkreis Gründungs-Forschung e.V. (FGF). A former journalist, he started his career in the early 1990s in the publishing and business information industries. Oliver holds Master’s degrees from Solvay Business School and from the University of Hamburg and studied at SEESS (UCL) in London.
Luigi Della Sala (Head of Operations)
Luigi joined ECN in December 2016 as responsible for our current and future EU-funded projects. He is a qualified consultant with seven years of experience working on EU funding and project management obtained working for several stakeholders (industries, associations, SMEs, NGOs) on the overall project cycle, from identifying project opportunities to developing project ideas, from preparing project proposals to implementing and managing projects. Always looking for new challenges, he joined ECN as for his personal interest in crowdfunding as a tool for engaging citizens. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from LUISS University in Rome (Italy).
Francesca Passeri (Head of Advocacy)
Francesca has a solid background in regional development and European Affairs. She joined ECN in February 2016 and, having previously worked for the Emilia-Romagna Delegation to the EU, she has a strong interest in dissemination of knowledge about crowdfunding through regional and local authorities. She is responsible for advocacy and organization of events, and is currently coordinating the CF4ESIF working group, aimed at exploring synergies and possibilities for the integration of crowdfunding into European Structural and Investment Funds.
She holds a master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna, where she focused on researching the potential of crowdfunding for regional development from a European perspective.
Conny Weber (Senior Research Analyst)
Dr Conny Weber joined ECN in March 2016 and is responsible for our current and future European Commission projects. She has an extensive background in the field of innovation management and experience with EC projects’ management, due to her activities within the ISN – Innovation Service Network Group (since 2006). Her work and research topics are mainly related to innovative business models and alternative financing instruments, enhancing access to finance for entrepreneurs and SMEs. She holds a degree in information science from Saarland University (Germany). And a PhD in business studies from Karl-Franzens University Graz (Austria).
Anne Thiebauld (Membership Coordinator)
Anne joined ECN in January 2016 as Membership Coordinator providing support to general office operations, membership management and the organization of ECN events. She has been working for more than 15 years in various private and public-sector organizations, including the European Commission. Her professional experience encompasses public and media relations, web editorial guidance, marketing as well as conference and EU training organization. Anne holds a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and European Studies at the Universities of Louvain (BE) and Barcelona (ES).
Audrė Chudinskaitė (Communications Manager)
Audrė is responsible for internal and external communication activities of the network. She has broad experience in content creation for digital and print use, social media management, community management, graphic design and is always seeking for the latest trends in communications and marketing. Before joining ECN, she has worked in several European organizations as Communications and Projects Assistant. Audrė holds two bachelor’s degrees in Leather Art & Design (Kaunas University of Applied Sciences) and Art Pedagogics (Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences).
Professor Matthias Klaes (Senior Research Advisor)
Matthias Klaes leads on academic dimensions in ECN. He is Professor of Political Economy and Director of the Vinson Centre for Economics and Entrepreneurship at the University of Buckingham. A communications engineer and business economist by training he has been a close observer of the rise of digital finance in the UK and elsewhere since 2004. He is an internationally recognized authority and consultant on questions of market governance and policy including behavioral dimensions. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Leadership and Management, author of An Introduction to Behavioral Economics (Palgrave Macmillan, 3rd ed., with N. Wilkinson), and Honorary President of the Scottish Economic Society.
Giordano Dichter (Senior Business Advisor)
Giordano joined ECN in February 2018. He oversees the training and consulting activities of the network. Previously Giordano headed the EU|BIC Services team of the European EU|BIC Network (EBN), where he assured the seamless management of the EU|BIC Quality trademark, oversaw content development and was responsible for the acquisition and the delivery of technical assistance and training. His passion for innovation and entrepreneurship sprung during his collaboration with the EU|BIC Lazio, where he has directly coached companies and startups and witnessed innovation and entrepreneurship in practice. Giordano has been a field local economic development expert, for various agencies of the United Nations System (UNDP, ILO, UNOPS) in various emerging countries. He holds a university degree in economics acquired at the University of Siena.