Director Hello Europe
Kenny leads Hello Europe as the director, providing resources and leadership to the different accelerators around Europe as well as the European Migration Summit. He is based in Madrid, Spain. Before joining Hello Europe, Kenny led a number of initiatives within Ashoka, including Search and Selection in Spain, Start Empathy in the US and helped found Young Changemakers. He has also worked in strategic consulting as well as with faith-based organization. He has a degree in Humanities from the University of Alcala de Henares and a Masters in Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago.
Senior Lead Hello Europe
Rainer Höll is the co-founder of Hello Europe and provides senior leadership over the program development. Rainer is also a member of the leadership team of Ashoka Germany where he supports system-changing social entrepreneurs with their scaling strategies, finance models and impact measurement. Before coming to Ashoka in 2010, he worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Robert Bosch Foundation in the fields of internet regulation, international relations, demographic change, sustainability research and science journalism. As a student, he founded an organization that built alumni communities around 200 state schools in Germany to support students’ transition to higher education. Rainer studied Philosophy and Modern German Literature in Tübingen, Berlin and London and holds a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Leader Hello Belgium
Elena Arène is the Hello Europe leader for Belgium. Elena also leads Ashoka in Belgium. Before joining Ashoka, Elena worked within organizations in a broad array of sectors and contexts including communications and public affairs at Weber Shandwick, Volvo CE, Nutrition Third World (NTW), and as a diplomat for El Salvador in Sweden and Belgium. As a diplomat, she was responsible for all relations between Swedish and Nordic NGOs as well as EU and commercial affairs, bringing governments and Chambers of Commerce together with the business and investment community. With NGOs and Foundations, Elena helped in the implementation and management of projects and in the development of new fundraising strategies. As Development Manager for the NGO Nutrition Third World (NTW), she managed and fostered donor relationships. She holds a degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Leader Hello Sweden
Emma Lindgren is the leader of Hello Europe in Sweden. She also leads Ashoka for Sweden. Emma holds a Master’s Degree in International Business and Politics from the Copenhagen Business School. Her passion for driving social change has led her to engage in several initiatives focusing on sustainable development and social change. Prior to joining Ashoka, Emma was part of establishing a sustainability-consulting firm in Stockholm, where she spent most of her time managing a business network which gathered business leaders to learn and act around climate change. In 2014 she led Sweden’s largest sustainability initiative for youth, empowering over 10.000 high-school students to act as changemakers in their local communities. During her studies Emma co-founded a student driven consulting organization supporting NGO’s and social enterprises to improve their social impact. Besides Sweden and Denmark, she has lived and worked in the UK, France and Ecuador.
Simón Menéndez SadornilFollow
Leader Hello Spain
Simón Menéndez is the co-leader for Hello Europe in Spain. In Ashoka Spain, he is part of the leadership team for Education and Youth. Before joining Ashoka, Simón developed his career as a secondary school teacher and the co-founder of Asociación Hechos, an organization that works with youth in risk of social exclusion. With Hechos he created a network of homes and programs to support foreign unaccompanied minors that reached Spain from Africa. These programs, based on the process "feel-dream-empower-transform" were eventually extended to other groups of young people, especially supporting their integration into work and social contexts. Simón is a teacher at heart. He is licensed in Pedagogy, and also holds a specialist degree in Social Services Management and an MBA from IEDE Business School.
Leader Hello Italy
Alessandro Valera leads Hello Europe in Italy. Alessandro is also the country leader for Ashoka in Italy. Valera graduated from one of the United World Colleges in Canada and went on to study Politics at the University of Essex and specialised in Political Communication at the LSE. After graduating, he worked for five years in London in the field of Communication Research, particularly in the sector of education and young people, for IFF Research and EdComs. In 2010 he returned to Italy to become the Director of Policy and Participation for European Alternatives, a youth-led civic society organisation seeking greater democracy and equality in the European Union. He also founded his own communication consultancy company called Con-Senso. Since June 2014, he has been assigned the task to take to Italy the ground-breaking work that Ashoka Italia has carried out across the world.