12 October '23 10:00-14:00

Nordic-Baltic diversity & entrepreneurship conference

We are excited to announce that the Diversity-focused event is becoming a regular annual event. In the first event we looked into leadership, in the second we looked into innovation. Now we will be focusing on entrepreneurship. Diversity is a critical component of being successful. This event is a dynamic exploration of the synergy between diversity and entrepreneurship in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Distinguished by keynote addresses, panels, and networking opportunities, the conference boasts experts in diversity and entrepreneurship. The conference unfurls in four pivotal blocks:

  • International Entrepreneurs: Embracing cross-border narratives, this block illuminates the journeys and challenges of international entrepreneurs, emphasizing the catalyst of cultural diversity for innovation and growth.
  • Gender Gap: Addressing gender imbalances, this segment highlights women leaders, strategies to dismantle biases, and avenues to empower women in business.
  • Accessibility: Envisioning inclusive business, this block examines how to cater to the needs of disabled customers and potential employees, touching on design, technology, marketing, and policy.
  • LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Advocating LGBTQ+ participation, this section discusses creating LGBTQ+ inclusive workspaces, networks, and entrepreneurship.

Cultivating Diversity, Fueling Entrepreneurship: Your Pathway to Inclusive Success!

The Nordic-Baltic Diversity and Entrepreneurship Conference organized by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania is an opportunity for entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to come together and explore the importance of diversity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. By showcasing
successful examples and discussing best practices, the event aims to inspire
and equip participants with the tools to create more diverse and inclusive
businesses in Nordic and Baltic countries.


Member of Parliament / Chair of Human Rights Committee
Liberal politician, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, Chair of the Human Rights Committee and LGBT+ human rights activist. His political agenda is focused on human rights, including legal recognition of same-sex relationships through the legislation on registered partnerships (civil unions).
Monika Navickienė
Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania
Ms Monika Navickienė is the Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania. Since 2016, she has been a member of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. As a minister, she actively contributes to the work of developing a modern welfare model in Lithuania with a key focus on employment policy, integration of vulnerable groups, availability of services according to individual needs and increasing the coverage and adequacy of social benefits.
Per-Arne Hjelmborn
Director-General for Trade, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Per-Arne Hjelmborn is since September 2019 Director-General for Trade at The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. Before taking that position, he was the Swedish Ambassador to Brazil. Per-Arne Hjelmborn has also served as Sweden’s Ambassador to Malaysia, as well as being Head of the Department for the EU Internal Market and the Promotion of Sweden and Swedish Trade at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Per-Arne Hjelmborn has also been posted at the Swedish embassies in China, Spain and Chile. He has a Master of Science in Business and Economics and a Master in International Management from Stockholm School of Economics.
Katarina Matson
Inclusion & Diversity Consultant at Let's Tango AB
Katarina runs Let's Tango AB and is a leadership consultant with a focus on inclusion, diversity and equality with many years of experience from senior positions in communications and HR in the automotive industry. Today, she works with training leaders and organizations that want to build an inclusive and diverse work environment, increase awareness of what DE&I means in practice and how it contributes to creating business benefits and increasing profitability.
Raman Ramalingam
Startup Talent & Organisation Designer at TalentX
Raman is specializing in startup and scale-up talent, organisational design and people ops. Raman has previously been the Head of Talent of two of the largest startup ecosystems of Nordics supporting 500+ portfolio startups over 10+ years. Today he's running his own firm focussing in startup recruitment, talent management and organizational design supporting startups from 14+ VCs in 7+ countries.
CEO & co-founder at Katalista Ventures
Greta Monstavice is a co-founder and CEO of Katalista Ventures, the first triple top line startup accelerator in the Baltics. Greta has a broad background working with startups and startup accelerators in Spain, the UK and Baltics. She’s a board member of multiple startup ecosystem organisations and has also been a part of international juries in startup contests, including F10, TechChill Startup Battle, Climate KIC, EIT Manufacturing Boost Up. Greta often participates in various sustainability and startup-related panels and podcasts. She has experience in sustainability and innovation consulting, having consulted some of the biggest players in banking, IT, sports, real estate and other industries in the Baltics. Greta is a member of Stockholm Resilience Center alumni as well as a global community by the United Nations - UNLEASH.
Programs Coordinator + Talent Together Project Manager at Refugee Council of Lithuania
Akhtar Mohammad Akhgar has a work background of more than 12 years with several International NGOs in different capacities program/project manager, head of office. He did his first master studies in the development management at Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines, Manila City. He is on way to finish his second master at Vilnius Geeiminas Technical University in the faculty of Business Management, department of Entrepreneurship and Digital Business.
Helen Talalaev
Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Estonian Human Rights Centre
Helen Talalaev works as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Estonian Human Rights Centre, inspiring organizations and bringing people together to build diverse environments where everyone is included, welcome and engaged. Previously she has worked at the Estonian LGBT Association, the Office of Equality Commissioner and at the Network of Non-Profit Organizations. She has a Master's degree in Gender Studies from the Central European University.
Vita June
Digital accessibility strategy at JUNE / KARLOVE
Making digital world more inclusive one accessible digital platform at a time. Vita's team helps businesses tap into new growth opportunities, make tangible social impact, and comply with the EU digital accessibility regulations by making their digital platforms accessible to people with disabilities.
Andžejus Ravanas
Digital accessibility expert/ Quality control of UI/UX for blind users at JUNE / KARLOVE
Making digital world more inclusive one accessible digital platform at a time. Andžejus Ravanas' team and himself help businesses tap into new growth opportunities, make a tangible social impact, and comply with the EU digital accessibility regulations by making their digital platforms accessible to people with disabilities.
Maryna Saprykina
Founder of U&We Hub, CEO for CSR Ukraine
Founder of U&We Hub, CEO for CSR Ukraine, Winner of the Nordic Business Forum Speaker Contest 2023. Maryna has been working on sustainability for 15+ years. She was the founder of the Girls in STEM Program under which 100 Girls in STEM Chapters were established in school all over Ukraine. She is an author of the 5-component war-time sustainability model, as well as Family-Friendly Ranking in Ukraine. Last year she founded U&We Hub which trained more than 700 Ukrainian women on how to start and restart their businesses.
Monika Antanaitytė
Legal Counsel at National LGBTI Organization LGL
With 10 years of experience in the human rights sector, Monika Antanaitytė has delivered more than 100 hours of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and human rights training to public, non-govermental, and private stakeholders. She joined LGBTIQ rights activism and advocacy in 2019 and contributed to Baltic Pride 2022, the most successful Pride event in Lithuania to date.
Agnė Camara
Head of International House Vilnius
Agnė is an accomplished migration specialist, currently serving as the head of International House Vilnius. This center focuses on aiding newcomers with their relocation and integration. Agnė is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment in Vilnius, ensuring that it becomes a convenient and welcoming home for all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds.
Julija Markeliūnė
DEI partner at Telia
Julija has been working in Telia for 8 years and currently, she is leading the diversity, equity, and inclusion topic. She truly believes that it is our differences that drive and unite the world, not our similarities. And her mission is to make others believe in that too.
Evaldas Marcinkus
Head of IT Department, D&I ambassador at SEB
Accomplished IT manager with a global leadership track record in software development, leading IT department of 100+ software developers at SEB bank. With over 16 years of professional experience in Nordic organisations, Evaldas holds an Executive MBA degree from the Baltic Management Institute. Together with like-minded banking professionals he established a SEB Group-level community committed to promoting LGBTQIA+ initiatives within the SEB organisation. Evaldas is dedicated to developing an inclusive culture, fostering inclusive communication, and bringing a professional perspective on Human Rights matters.
Andzelika Rusteikienė
CEO at Junior Achievement Lithuania
Andzelika Rusteikiene currently leads Junior Achievement Lithuania, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. Over 30000 students finish the programs on the annual basis supported by 500+ teachers and mentors across Lithuania. Andzelika has been working with enterprises for over a decade and promotes social entrepreneurship, sustainable and ethical business development. She is a board member of business ethics initiative “Clean wave”, social entrepreneurship association in Lithuania as well as ambassador of OECD better entrepreneurship policy tool.
Mantas Mackevičius
Clothes Designer and Manufacturer at Tavomada.lt
Mantas Mackevičius is a clothes designer. He designs clothes not only for people, but for cats and dogs also. His clothes are fully customizable.
Evelina Paulavičienė
Relocation expert at Relokon
Evelina Paulavičienė is a recognized expert and the managing partner at Relokon. With an extensive background of over 5 years in the relocation industry, she has established herself as an authority on immigration matters. Evelina's exceptional expertise in immigration, housing, local infrastructure enables her to efficiently relocate individuals from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, ensuring a seamless and compliant process. Her professionalism and commitment to client needs make her a trusted partner in the field of global relocation.
Irma Kunickė
Counsel at SORAINEN
Irma Kunickė is a counsel at Sorainen Law Firm. Irma is an expert in data protection, cyber security and information technology law areas and is the head of the life sciences and healthcare sector group in Lithuania. She assists companies involved in retail and wholesale, financial and consumer product manufacturing, and advises sector clients on regulatory issues. Irma was voluntarily studying business management at ISM University of Management and Economics, Lithuania, and in 2023 dedicated her master’s thesis to the topic “Assumptions and barriers for the introduction of gender quotas on the boards of Lithuanian companies”.
Eglė Staniulionė
Head of BITĖ Lietuva People's Embassy
Eglė is the head of BITĖ Lietuva People's Embassy. HR expert with 16 years of experience. She pays special attention to fostering the company's culture and values, talent retention, and attraction.
Ayman Arandi
Managing Director at Iris Solutions
Ayman is a social entrepreneur in the EdTech space. He founded Iris Solutions, the Middle East's leading provider of sensory edtech solutions. His work has been recognised by MIT, Google for Entrepreneurs, and the World Economic Forum. Throughout his career, he led social entrepreneurship programmes across Asia, Europe, and Africa. Ayman has a BSc in computer engineering and an MBA from LSE. And he lectures Entrepreneurship at Vilnius Business School.
Odilija Guntoriūtė
Managing Director at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania
Odilija Guntoriūtė is the Managing Director of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Her interest in migration and integration started when she was studying International Relations at the University of Birmingham, UK. After her project in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the International Development Department she wanted to have hands-on experience with migration, thus she went to volunteer to Lesbos island in Greece during refugee crisis in 2015.


9:30 Registration and coffee

10:00 Opening remarks

Ayman Arandi / Moderator;
Monika Navickienė / Minister of Ministry of Social Security and Labour;
Tomas Vytautas Raškevičius / Member of Lithuanian Republic Parlament, Chairman of Human Rights Committee;
Per-Arne Hjelmborn / Director - General for Trade, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

10:35 KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Challenging the DEI Backlash - From a Swedish Perspective

Katarina Matson / Let's Tango AB


10:50 Empowering Diverse Entrepreneurs: Unmasking the Invisible Psychological Obstacles

Raman Ramalingam / TalentX

11:05 Panel Discussion: Empowering Business Founders from Diverse Backgrounds

Moderator: Odilija Guntoriūte / Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania
Akhtar Akhgar / Refugee Council;
Agnė Camara / International House Vilnius;
Evelina Paulavičienė / ReloKon


11:35 Resilience Rising: Women's Economic Empowerment Amidst the Chaos of War

Maryna Saprykina / Ukrainian Women Entrepreneurship HUB

11:50 Break

12:20 Panel Discussion: Women in Leadership: Promoting Gender Diversity at the Top

Moderator:  Greta Monstavičė / Katalista ventures;
Andželika Rustelkienė / Lietuvos Junior Achievement; 
Irma Kunickė / Sorainen


12:50 Accessible Digital Landscape: Breaking Barriers

Vita June and Andžejus Ravanas / June-Karlove Agency

13:10 Embracing Uniqueness - the Superpower of Neurodiversity

Julija Markeliūnė / Telia


13:25 Creating an Open and Caring Work Environment for LGBTQ+ People - Why and How?

Helen Talalaev / Estonian Diversity Charter

13:40 Panel Discussion: Fostering Inclusive Corporate Culture for LGBTQ+ people

Moderator: Monika Antanaityte / LGL association;
Mantas Mackevičius / Tavomada.lt;
Eglė Staniulionė / Bitė;
Evaldas Marcinkus / SEB

14:10 Moderator closing remarks

14:15 Networking and snacks


Date and venue:

12 October, at Danske Campus (Saltoniškių g. 7b, Vilnius, Lithuania) 



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