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Dr. Mato Njavro
Dr. Mato NjavroDean, Zagreb School of Economics and Management
Dr. Mato Njavro (贺敢) is the Dean of Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM). Mato is also Professor at the ZSEM, the Luxembourg School of Business and a lecturer at the University of St.Gallen and at the Singapore Management University, where he teaches a course on Chinese Economy. From 2016 to 2020, Mato was based in Singapore where he was a Senior Research Fellow at the St.Gallen Institute of Management in Asia (SGI-HSG). Prior to joining the University of St. Gallen and Singapore Management University, Mato was a visiting research fellow at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences (IQSS). Mato’s research interests lie in the intersection of financial markets, public policy and economic development. He authored and co-authored several papers and cases, including the Harvard Business School case “Atlantic Grupa” about one of the largest M&A transactions in the CEE region. He is a founder and an academic director of the New Europe Business Forum, an interdisciplinary event which gathers leaders from various fields once a year in Croatia, to discuss and debate on topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, scientific innovation and economic policy. Mato has earned his bachelor and master degree in economics and finance from University Bocconi and a PhD in the field of finance from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., Mato worked for Lehman Brothers and Nomura investment banking divisions in London.
Dr. Zvonimir Stopić
Dr. Zvonimir Stopić
Dr. Zvonimir Stopić (左立明) completed his history and philosophy studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and now holds a Ph.D. in history of international relations, obtained at the Capital Normal University (CNU; 首都师范大学), Beijing, PR China. His research and interest revolve around the Sino-Yugoslavian relations, the “Third World”, diplomacy of the Cold War, contemporary international relations of China and South-East Europe area studies. Zvonimir currently works as an assistant professor at the CNU, an Assistant Director at the CNU’s Center for Study of Civilizations (文明区划研究中心), and is a lecturer at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM).
Dr. Ivica Bakota
Dr. Ivica Bakota
Dr. Ivica Bakota (白伊维) holds M.A. degree in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of Zagreb, completed Sinology B.A. course in Zagreb and Ljubljana, and earned Ph.D. degree in International Relations at the Peking University (北京大学). He worked at the East European Research Center at the Peking University, was non-resident fellow at China-CEE Institute (Budapest), currently he is assistant professor at the History Department of the Capital Normal University in Beijing (CNU; 首都师范大学) and researcher at the Center for Study of Civilizations (文明区划研究中心). He speaks and writes in Croatian, English and Chinese on the (history) of Chinese foreign relations, Sino-European relations, political and social transformations in the (post-)socialist world.

Advisory board

Kolinda Grabar Kitarović
Kolinda Grabar Kitarović4th and 1st female President of the Republic of Croatia (2015-2020)
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is the 4th and 1st female President of the Republic of Croatia (2015-2020). She had pushed many a glass ceiling, having served, among other, as the first female Assistant Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as Croatia’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States of America. Parallel to her diplomatic and political careers, she has vigorously pursued an academic career in government, international relations and security studies at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy, George Washington University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Zagreb. She is a recipient of the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award and a number of national and international awards, decorations, honorary doctorates and honorary citizenships. She has initiated and organized, as well as participated in, as key note speaker and/or panelist, in countless security, academic, specialized and other public events around the world and has written several articles and other pieces on national and international issues. She is an experienced politician and national and international diplomat, with experience and expertise in geopolitical studies, the Trans-Atlantic relationship, the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe, European and Eurasian studies, relations with Russia, inter-faith and inter-cultural relations, post-conflict building and reconciliation, gender issues, global security issues and many other aspects of international relations and security policies.
Siniša Krajnović
Siniša KrajnovićExecutive Vice President and Head of Digital Services in Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson
Sinisa is Executive Vice President and Head of Digital Services in Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson. He is responsible for Ericsson Digital Services business in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. Business Area Digital Services offers products, services, and end-to-end solutions to communication service providers and enterprises in areas such as 5G Core Networks, OSS/BSS, Cloud Infrastructure, IoT, and Digital Transformation. Since 2018 he lives and works in Beijing, China. Krajnovic is an experienced Board Member, including both Chairman of the Board role and Board Director role, on various Ericsson local companies and joint ventures boards, as well as on chamber of commerce and business school boards. Previously, Krajnovic served as Vice President and Head of Development Unit Networks in Ericsson, living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. He led more than 15,000 engineers in the global R&D organization that focuses on technology leadership of Ericsson’s hardware and software Radio Access Network products. Sinisa Krajnovic has a long and varied international management background in telecoms, as well as an extensive multicultural experience gained from living and working in Croatia, UK, Ireland, Japan, Hungary, Sweden, and China. Krajnovic is active in the academic world. He is Professor at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management in Croatia, and Program Director of the school’s General MBA Program. He is Professor at the Luxembourg School of Business in Luxembourg, and a member of its Advisory Council. Krajnovic is also Visiting Professor at the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in China. He was co-founder and first president of the Croatian branch of the Project Management Institute, the leading global project management association. Sinisa Krajnovic earned MSc and PhD degrees from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He completed several executive development programs, at Columbia University in the US, Cranfield University in the UK, University of Zagreb in Croatia, IMD Business School in Switzerland, and Indian School of Business in India.
Chor Pharn Lee
Chor Pharn LeePrincipal Strategist of the Centre for Strategic Futures, Singapore Prime Minister’s Office
Chor Pharn has extensive public service experience helming strategic and business development roles. In his current post as Principal Strategist of the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF), PMO Strategy Group, he supports and advises on CSF’s foresight research agenda, and translation into strategy at various government platforms. He has also served in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, overseeing strategic foresight and futures thinking to support economic policy analysis, and in a business development role at the China office of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. Chor Pharn has a Masters of Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. CSF’s mission is to position the Singapore government to navigate emerging strategic challenges and harness potential opportunities by: building capacities, mindsets, expertise and tools for strategic anticipation and risk management; developing insights into future trends, discontinuities and strategic surprises; and communicating insights to decision-makers for informed policy planning.
Lien Choong Luen
Lien Choong LuenGeneral manager at Gojek Singapore
Chong Luen, a general manager at Gojek Singapore. Prior to this, he spent several years at McKinsey and Co. working with major technology, healthcare and consumer companies across Greater China. Subsequently, as the South-East Asia head for the McKinsey Centre for Government, he served regional public sector clients; in particular, he worked with SPRING Singapore helping local SMEs accelerate their internationalization, productivity and digitization efforts. He maintained the focus on start-up innovation while at the Singapore National Research Foundation. Chong Luen started his career in the Singapore Armed Forces as a Special Forces officer. He served in East Timor as a UN Peace-keeper and also trained with the US Rangers, US Marines and various South-East Asian Special Forces. In the SAF, he led units up to battalion size and is currently serving as a reservist officer. He studied mathematics in UC Berkeley and Cambridge University under the SAF Overseas Scholarship, and also graduated as the top student in Strategic and Defence Studies from the University of Malaya. He holds an MBA with Distinction from the London Business School. Previously, Chong Luen served as the President of the Berkeley club of Singapore and is currently on the committee for the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore. A keen sportsman, he has summited Mount Everest and K2, skied to the North Pole, and run ultramarathons in the Amazon jungle and Gobi Desert, and served on the Singapore Sporting Culture Committee.
Dejan Kutnjak
Dejan KutnjakBusiness lead, Innovation driver, Digital marketing expert
Dejan is an experienced business lead, innovation driver and digital marketing expert. As part of the world’s largest advertising company WPP, he has worked with some of the biggest advertisers like adidas, Red bull, P&G, Uber and many more. Driven by passion about technology and innovation he has received many award-winning industry recognition. Since 2013, based in Singapore he’s challenging himself if fast–paced forward thinking Asia Pacific region.
Mirko Jurišić
Mirko JurišićHead of Monitoring, Surveillance and Controls, Asia at UBS
Mirko Jurisic is an experienced and trusted risk, audit, and controls leader within the financial services industry. In his current role with a top Swiss bank, Mirko leads a large Asia-Pacific team responsible for prevention and detection of the firm’s top non-financial risks. He is an inspiring and transformational people leader who thrives on challenging status quo, identifying and fixing organizational problems, and building resilient and sustainable teams. Recently, Mirko decided to embark on a new teaching journey with the Wealth Management Institute in Singapore and help develop a new generation of budding risk and compliance professionals. A proud father of three little Cro-Asians, Mirko enjoys spending time with family - whether it is working on school assignments, embarking on ambitious family-wide bread baking projects or trying to get kids to sleep in their beds through the night.
Marko Jusup
Marko JusupAssistant Professor at the Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Marko Jusup is an assistant professor at the Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. Previously, he held a similar position for two years at the Center of Mathematics for Social Creativity, Hokkaido University. He was also a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University. He got a PhD in Environmental Risk Management in March 2012 from Yokohama National University, an MBA degree in Finance and Banking from Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) in July 2008, as well as a BS degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Rijeka in November 2003. Marko's research career started in February 2004 at Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI), the largest Croatian national research institution. His interdisciplinary research interests cover mathematical biology and network science, including empirical work on the evolution of human cooperation and computational models of social dynamics. Over time, he contributed to multiple international scientific projects such as large Pan-European collaborations within the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development and Japan's Global Centers of Excellence. Marko actively supports creation of Free Content (e.g. Open Access, Open-source Software, etc.) and other projects improving human liberties.
Zlatko Mateša
Zlatko MatešaPresident of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Vice Dean and co-founder of ZSEM
Zlatko Mateša, Ph.D., completed his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb in 1974. He passed the bar exam in 1978 and earned his master's degree in the same field in 1990, again from the University of Zagreb. Mateša earned his Ph.D. at Beijing Sport University in 2009. Over the years, Mateša has held many distinguished positions in both the private and public sectors and the Croatian government. He was the Director of Legal Affairs and then Assistant General Director for managing organizations within the Croatian oil giant portfolio, INA. From 1992 to 1993, he was the Head of Croatia's Agency for Restructuring and Development. From 1993 to 1995, he was a Minister in the Croatian government, and in 1995 he became the Prime Minister of Croatia, a position he had held until 2000. From 2000 to 2004, he was a member of the Croatian Parliament. He served as a member of Parliament bodies: Member of the Croatian Parliament delegation to NATO and member of the Croatian Parliament Committee for Economy. He has also taken part in many projects which require a superior level of managerial skills, such as the founding of Croatia's national airline, Croatia Airlines, where he was also a board member, INA Rent a Car, he was a board member for Privredna Banka Zagreb and Croatia Osiguranje (1995), Croatia's electric utility, Hrvatska Elektroprivreda, and Croatian Radiotelevision (2000). Mateša has completed additional education at Harvard University through the Executive Education for Leaders in Development Program and at Henley Management College, where he completed specialized seminars. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, such as the Institute of Directors in London, the Strategic Management Society in the United States, and the Turnaround Management Association. Within Olympic Movement and Sports, he holds positions at European Olympic Committee (EOC), Executive Committee, a member from 2009; ANOC Association of National Olympic Committees, member of the International Relation Committee; and was a member of the ICMG Executive Board from 2009 to 2013. From 2002, Mateša holds the position of the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee. At the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, he is a Vice Dean and co-founder. Within the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Transformation, he is a lecturer for the Strategic Management course at the undergraduate and Strategy course at the graduate level. He is also a distinguished author of many books and articles. Some of his titles include Strategic Management, Sport Management, and An Introduction to Sport Law. Zlatko Mateša has been awarded several Croatian decorations and is Honorary Consul of Mongolia in the Republic of Croatia.
Leonardo Đinić
Leonardo ĐinićForeign policy strategist and geoeconomics advisor with a focus on disruptive technologies in Eurasia
Leonardo Đinić graduated from New York University (NYU) with an M.A. in international politics and business. His thesis on Hungarian populism and the economic shortcomings of European liberal democracies was recognized as the best in its department. In addition to his full-time role as an M&A specialist with the American I.T. firm Cognizant, Leo is a political and economic analyst frequently published by He is also a researcher for the Private Debt Project, a U.S. think tank that studies the impacts of rapidly growing global debt and a member of the Market Intelligence and Advisory board for the Croatian Geoeconomic Forum. His past work analyzes the US-China decoupling and its economic and financial effects on Europe. Đinić predicts that the 'European Rim' will become a swing region that China and the U.S. will fight over through various projects similar to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative.
Goran Đurđević
Goran ĐurđevićScholar, writer, educator and artist
Goran Đurđević is a Croatian-born archaeologist and ancient environmental historian who works as a lecturer at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). He is educated in Croatia (BA and MA degrees in Archaeology and History at the University of Zadar), India (PG Diploma in Comparative Mythology at the Mumbai University), China (Ph.D. degree in Archaeology at Capital Normal University in Beijing) and the USA (one semester as visiting graduate researcher at the UCLA). Research interests are in three main focuses: a) global antiquities and comparative archaeology, b) digital humanities, and c) environmental humanities. Currently, he (co-)leads the digital humanities project Mirror Studies (Link: He was awarded with the Ph.D. scholarship by the Government of People's Republic of China, an outstanding student scholarship by the Croatia Ministry of Science and Education, and is a double Winner of Rector's awards for academic years 2007/2008 and 2011/2012 at University of Zadar. He is also (co)author of four books in Croatian, then five edited volumes and 30 papers and book chapters published in Croatian, English, Spanish, Polish, Serbian, Russian and Chinese. Recently, he is the main character of three documentaries: “The Legend of Auspicious Mirror” (古镜奇缘), “Charming landscapes of Beijing” (Šarmantni krajolici Pekinga), and “China in the mirrors”.
Tomislav Piškor
Tomislav PiškorCommunication expert specialized in business and international affairs of SE Asia
Tomislav is experienced in Southeast Asian affairs, with a demonstrated history of working across Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Specialized in business and international affairs of Southeast Asia, he has worked in numerous countries across the Eurasian continent; Croatia, Poland, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Singapore. Tomislav is fluent in English, Polish, Croatian, while also learning Russian, Indonesian and French. As an international affairs and trade professional, he is facilitating several business connections between Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia.
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