Bara Ágnes left behind a truly vibrant life, when in December 2010 traveled to Thailand to find the clear source for practicing meditation that she started a few years back. She arrived in Bangkok without any plans, and a couple of days later her dream came true. She lived in the jungle, at a small Buddhist temple for nearly three years – where the first true inner journey of her life began. This was followed by the world of zen temples in South Korea, and Taiwan was the final destination from where she returned home from Asia.
“There I faced many of my fears – in a seemingly motionless, peaceful world. I experienced freedom – in a culture full of rules” – she says. She needed more courage to return to Southern culture, than to leave for the East. But since then she integrated her experience in her everyday life. She lives a simple, quiet life, and helps people to face their fears and difficulties according to her best knowledge.
Co-founder Let's Do It, Romania!
Anamaria Hâncu is Co-initiator and Board member of Let’s Do It, Romania!, the largest social movement in the country, a volunteer project that involved, in the 12 years, over 2.2 million volunteers who cleaned up Romania.
Anamaria is the Communication Manager of INNA, Antonia and Delia and has been part of the Global Records team for almost 10 years, during which she held the positions of Promotion Manager, Artist Manager and Label Manager. Global Records is one of the main record labels in Romania representing top artists such as INNA, Antonia, Carla’s Dreams, The Motans, Irina Rimes, Alina Eremia and others. In addition, he is the PR&CSR Manager of ALDA, global dance events company, creators of SAGA Festival.
Personal trainer Góg Anikó, the trainer of IWI International Fitness School. Regarding her studies in Hungarian and international institutes: Technogym Master Trainer, Polar Level III trainer, pre&postnatal instructor, functional trainer, ACE Health Coach. Former triathlon competitive athlete, mother of two little girls – and some people just call her “Krézi”.
Although she completed her studies in very different fields, and in her work she uses various sport methods, she doesn’t consider herself a polyhistor and doesn’t think she knows everything. But the most important conclusion that she could draw from all this experience is the value-generating power of sport. The impact of sport on the quality of our lives, its mechanism for personal development, and its role regarding our internal balance. Her goal is to help as many people as possible to find their own relationship with sport and with its advantages.
Anna Luca Keszei
She is from Budapest and at only 12 yrs old has a range of activities that even an adult could envy. A fifth-grade student at Gárdonyi Géza Primary School in Újbuda, she swims, plays the piano, attends religious education, and she’s also a member of the St. Bernát Scout troop. She was a student of the Mu Contemporary Dance Theater for seven yrs and has been attending the Children and Youth Art Workshop since kindergarten. A new challenge for her is wall climbing but she loves challenges. Since September she also goes to English courses. She reads, goes on trips, and concerts and she wants to be an actress when she grows up. Cycling became her passion 2 and a half yrs ago when she became a volunteer for the Budapest Bike Maffia. Each Tuesday and Thursday they make sandwiches and deliver them by bikes to homeless people and those in need. ”It doesn’t matter if it rains or snows, if it’s hot or cold, we must go, because people are waiting for us, and they’re counting on us” - Luca says.
Romanian language and literature teacher
She was born in Piatra Neamț, and since ’86 she has been living in the village of Suseni/Gyergyóújfalu, Harghita county. She comes from a family of simple but honest people who care about others around them. She dreamed of becoming a lawyer or a Romanian language and literature teacher. Therefore, after finishing her college studies in education, she worked as a preschool teacher at Elekes Vencel Primary School in Suseni. Since 2006, she has been a Romanian language and literature teacher at the same school.
Since 2017, she has been the director of Puskás Tivadar High School in Ditrău/Gyergyóditró, a school she is very proud of. Throughout her work, she has tried to be close to people, understand them, empathize with them, and build a team that has succeeded in saving the school from closure, helping students to become good professionals and find their place in the job market.
In 2022, she was awarded the Director of the Year in Romania, an award she is very proud of.
Csaba is a writer, playwright, translator from Târgu Mureș. Theatre critic Sándor L. István wrote about him: “Nowadays it’s unlikely that you’ll find a more successful and a more powerful Hungarian playwright than Székely Csaba. His theater premieres follow one another and we receive news regularly about his artistic successes. But his works of art are valuable not only theatrically, but also from a literary perspective. We are talking about an author who uses a crafted, diverse, enjoyable language, who also has a deep human knowledge.”
His first play, “Do you like bananas, comrades?” received the BBC award for best drama in 2009, and later the award of The Writers Guild of Great Britain. His best-known work, the Mine Trilogy speaks about the difficulties of Hungarian villages in Transylvania with a lot of humor and bitter irony. The trilogy was and is played on more than 15 stages. He also works as a screenwriter, he was one of the writers for the third season of HBO-series “Terápia”.
He was born in Bihor county, Beiuș, grew up in Oradea, and he graduated from the Technical University of Cluj Napoca. Since then he has worked as an architect in Oradea. He was 13-14 yrs old when he started to get familiar with the mountains. During a summer vacation in high school, he decided to climb the highest peak of the Făgăraș Mountains, and this activity instantly became his passion. First, he climbed the highest peaks of Transylvania, followed by the High Tatras, the Pyrenees and the Alps.
He started to plan a high mountain expedition inspired by the ambition of Erőss Zsolt. He managed to climb his first above 8000m peak in 2013, the highest point of Karakoram, Gasherbrum II. In eight years he climbed five above 8000m peaks – without supplemental oxygen and load bearers. He thinks that during these expeditions the biggest challenge is the altitude of the mountain, the oxygen-deficient environment, extreme weather conditions, and the terrain that tests physical strength.
He works as an expert within the Romanian Association for Space Technology and Industry and as a member of the Board of the Romanian Space Agency. In May 1981 Prunariu accomplished an eight-day space flight on board Soyuz-40 spacecraft and Saliut-6 space station.
He is one of the founding members and former president of the Association of Space Explorers, was also the President of the Romanian Space Agency, the Ambassador of Romania to the Russian Federation, the chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and representative of Romania in the International Relations Committee of the European Space Agency. He earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the University Politehnica of Bucharest and a Ph.D. in the field of space flight dynamics. An asteroid was named with his name, the asteroid “10707 Prunariu”.
Erzsébet Fanni Tóth
She was born in Pribeta, Slovakia, and studied at Selye János High School in Komárno. She was the first in the family to apply to university, and being a very ambitious person, she chose an excellent foreign institution. Thanks to a scholarship, she studied psychology and cultural anthropology at the Utrecht University’s international elite college in the Netherlands. Following that, she earned a master’s degree in sociology and social anthropology at CEU in Budapest, and then a doctoral degree in psychotherapy sciences in Vienna.
She is not a practicing psychologist/psychotherapist but a theoretical expert who uses the tools of psychology and psychotherapy to research and analyze social processes. Over the past 15 years, she has focused on the memory of social traumas, identity, forgetting, and silencing. She is interested in how shame and guilt are inherited and how we are shaped by the experiences and memories of our family members.
Gábor Gundel Takács
Journalist, TV presenter, sports commentator
“On paper” Gundel Takács Gábor is a TV Journalist, but he also has a considerable working history in radio and in written journalism. “But we are closest to the truth, if I summarize all this and say: I am a storyteller” – is what he’s telling about himself. He thinks that every sports broadcasting, TV quiz, discussion is basically the telling of a story. For this, one needs a big dose of curiosity regarding the world and the people living in it. And it’s necessary for them to speak bravely about what they notice and consider important.
“Yes, these days from time to time bravery is needed. Not only because some people might not like our opinion, but because many times we are afraid to face ourselves. But you can be brave, straightforward, curious – all of this doesn’t matter without credibility. »Truth and Dare« is our topic. This is enough for us to see that it’s no small task.”
Csipán Kristóf Csaba is 12 years old, and he’s been homeschooled since four years. When he was only 9 years old, he left the institutionalized education system, because – along with their parents – he felt that he’s losing himself, his personality and courage. Since then he has the possibility to choose what he wants to learn, what he’s truly interested in. He can make choices that will determine his future, and the right circumstances for that are created by his parents. Thanks to these circumstances, he could start his Facebook-page about book recommendations, KriStory, where Kristóf promotes his hobby: reading. He writes short reviews about books that others should read too in his opinion. „Personally I can feel the benefits of reading, and I would like others to experience this sensation too. I am sure that the world will be a better place if it’s inhabited by people who read” – Kristóf says.
He is a journalist, blogger, media trainer and radio host. Currently, he runs his blog, social media page and hosts a call-in daily radio show. He began his career at SOTI, an independent television station, and continued with Tele7 and ProTV. He was the editorial director of Ziarul Financiar and wrote a weekly column for Dilema. He anchored the news for Antena1, worked as head of marketing for Mediafax Group and produced TV shows for a few television stations. Lucian is a fan of free speech with a conscience. He thinks that the media should facilitate the free flow of ideas in a society, while also being concerned with fact-checking and the spread of fake news, as well as should aim to create more cohesive societies, while also cultivating diversity of opinions and respect for each participant in the debate. He believes in citizen media and he sees it as both competition and inspiration for veteran journalists like him. He’s also an avid road cyclist, clocking around 4k km every year.
Tilly Janos was born in Transylvania, Cechești/Csekefalva, in a family of gardeners. At ten years she started dreaming about becoming a fashion designer. She moved to Hungary in 2006, where in 2009 she founded her fashion brand called TildArt Ökodivat. Then she moved to London in 2012, with zero English knowledge and only 10 pounds in her pocket. She drove rickshaws for two years on the streets of London, which was quite a challenge, but her perseverance was efficient: in 2014 she opened her fashion workshop, the TildArt. Since then she developed it into an eco-luxury brand, that she was able to present internationally too.
A couple of years ago she became fascinated by costume designing and producing, and she started to work at West End. Her primary motivation is to sneak sustainability into the cinema and theatre world. Meanwhile, last year TildArt has grown up, and a new brand was born: the Tilly Janosi London, a combination of fashion and costumes in the name of sustainability.
From his early career, working in Syria, Tunisia, and Egypt, a Romanian photographer recognized his trade's significance. He faced a pivotal choice that would define his photography's path. "I could either follow everyone else or follow my conscience," he reflects. While sensing his images' impact, he also felt the subjects' suffering. This led him to operate differently.
He sought untold stories, delving deep into subjects beyond industry norms. He opted to illuminate those forgotten by society—Roma communities, prostitution, human trafficking, abandoned children, the elderly, obesity, Holocaust survivors, and post-communist era issues. His work balances corporate assignments, magazine shoots, and humanitarian concerns.
"While I work, I'm mindful of economic pressures as a family man," he explains. He refuses to waste subjects' time and experiences by being unprepared. Guided by these principles, he seizes every opportunity, striving for perfection both for their sake and his own.
Film Director, Festival Director TIFF
Born in 1972 in Cluj-Napoca, is a member of the European Film Academy and the founder and president of the Association for the Promotion of Romanian Film and its main event, the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF).
His directorial debut with the film Love Sick was selected in the Panorama section of the 2006 Berlinale and received awards at several international festivals. His short film Superman, Spiderman or Batman (2011) won multiple awards at festivals worldwide and was declared the Best European Short Film at the 2012 European Film Awards. His second feature film, Of Snails and Men, received the Special Jury Prize at the Warsaw IFF and was named Best Film in the “Punto de Encuentro” section at the Valladolid IFF. Why Me?, a political thriller based on a true story, also premiered at the Berlinale in 2015 and received awards at the Sofia, Miskolc, and Tarkovsky IFFs. His most recent film is Freedom, inspired by real events that took place in Sibiu in December 1989.