Leah Davcheva 

Leah Davcheva, PhD, is the founder and director of AHA moments – Centre for Interculturality, Solutions Focus, and Host Leadership. She is an international trainer, coach, researcher, and (co-) author of books, articles and learning materials.

Leah has contributed to and was instrumental in building up the foundations of intercultural education and intercultural communication training in Bulgaria. She has led a huge range of intercultural projects, both at home and internationally, and has published extensively on the topic. She is a member of SIETAR (Society for Intercultural education, Training and Research) and IALIC (International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication) and has presented at a range of their conferences and events.

Richard Fay

Dr Richard Fay is a lecturer in Education (TESOL and Intercultural Communication) in the Manchester institute of Education at the University of Manchester. He specializes in teaching, research and consultancy activities relating to intercultural communication, intercultural citizenship, narrative research, researcher education, researching multilingualism, and teaching world music (klezmer). At Manchester, he coordinates the MA in Intercultural Communication, the Intercultural Education pathway in the MA TESOL program, and also the Manchester Global Award. More widely, he is a co-investigator on the AHRC-funded, three-year “Researching Multilingually  at the Borders of language, the Body, Law and the State” project.

Rachel Linder

Rachel Lindner is Coordinator of Languages for International Business Studies at the University of Paderborn in Germany and Associate Lecturer of English Language Didactics at the Department for English and American Studies of the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany. Through her own experience of studying, living and working abroad, she is particularly interested in helping the people she works with communicate across borders linguistically and interculturally in both face-to-face and virtual contexts. Rachel has been involved in a range of programs designed to support different aspects of intercultural learning, including leading online intercultural exchanges between universities and schools, in-company training and teacher training for participation in intercultural projects. She has presented and published extensively in the field. She has co-developed an online resource for intercultural awareness in youth mobility, she is co-author of Jobline LMU (Job Applications in English) and Medilingua.lmu.de (English for Medical Students), online training for students applying and prepare themselves interculturally for internships abroad. In her work with the Council of Europe, Rachel is involved in the development of educational instruments for intercultural reflection.

Maria Marinova-Alkalay

Maria Marinova-Alkalay is a freelance trainer and consultant working in the fields of social inclusion, human rights and youth work.

Maria has been actively involved in the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe since 2013. She has designed and delivered trainings on human rights and tolerance for young people as well as on anti-discrimination for Romanian magistrates (judges, prosecutors and lawyers) and has a special focus on working with vulnerable social groups like ethnic minorities, LGBTIQ, sensory impaired people and children with special needs.

While at the National Agency for Youth in Action she was in charge of the development of the pool of trainers, preparing training programs, designing course curriculum and training sessions on active citizenship, volunteering, social inclusion, project management and soft skills.

Maria has extensive background in European project management and consultancy, having worked as external assessor, project manager and coordinator for national and European bodies in the fields of training and edication, access to justice and human rights. Her portfolio covers project funded by the previous Lifelong Learning sectoral programs, DAPHNE III, Erasmus+, Fundamental Rights, European Youth Foundation and national operational programs.

Yana Noel

Yana Noel has extensive experience in the field of international projects and education. While working for the British Council in Bulgaria she was involved in a range of diverse programs such as teacher training, teachers’ professional development, materials development, intercultural communication, setting up and support to professional networks, etc. While working for Habitat for Humanity in Bulgaria she was involved in fundraising, donor communication, and volunteer support. She worked for two consecutive editions of the International Short Film Festival where she was coordinator for visiting filmmakers and the international jury. On the team of AHA moments Yana works as coordinator of local and international events and trainer of young people.

Yana is an experienced translator and interpreter. She has translated various sets of training materials for non-governmental organizations and businesses, and personal development books.

She is an English language and literature graduate of Sofia University.

Natalie Zhivkova

Natalie is passionate about non-formal learning since the moment she had her first experience 18 years ago. Since then she has been volunteering and working in various projects (environmental, social, youth) in the non-governmental sector.

In 2002 she started her experience as a trainer and facilitator thus supporting the learning process and personal development of young adults. She is a freelance trainer and facilitator who has designed and delivered national and international trainings and seminars on various topics such as teamwork, effective communication, intercultural learning, volunteer management, mentoring, conflict transformation, project management, presentation and facilitation skills, training of trainers, organizational development, organized by municipalities, social institutions, schools and local and international NGOs and networks.

Natalie is a member of the pool of trainers of the European Youth Forum, the international movement SCI (Service Civil International) and SEEYN (South East European Youth Network).

Alexander Scheitza

Alexander Scheitza is a highly experienced trainer, consultant and psychologist with a core interest in intercultural competence, diversity management and team development. He is equally at ease in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors and has designed and delivered and facilitated programs in a range of settings since 1994. He maintains close contact with the academic world through his activities as a lecturer and tutor in Intercultural Communication at several German and international universities and considers this balance to be essential to ensure he is always aware of the latest thinking.

Alex is a creative facilitator who enjoys solving complex problems and leveraging the creative tension between theory and practice. His style is interactive, reflective and hands-on. He employs several facilitation techniques (e.g. Open Space Technology) but always focuses on gearing his approach to the needs of his group and the issues in question.