Konferensens huvudtalare är den klassisk skolade musikern och forskaren Robert Manchin, född i Budapest, Ungern. Han ägnat större delen av sitt liv till sociologisk forskning och undervisning på både europeiska och amerikanska universitet kring hur sociala faktorer påverkar välfärd, samhället, livskvalitet, urban och regional utveckling. Han har haft ett flertal chefspositioner inom The Gallup Organisation och är just nu Senior Research Fellow vid Pannon University.  Läs hans CV nedan.

Born in Budapest, where he attended the Bartok Conservatory of Music, the Liszt Academy of Music and the Marx University of Economics. Worked at the Hungarian Academy of Science as sociologist while playing in the State Philharmonic Orchestra.

He studied and wrote books on youth musical protest movements and the long-term effects of music education in public schools. He co-authored a number of books and published several articles in social science journals on social indicators, subjective well-being, quality of life, social stratification, urban and regional development, urban social policy and housing. Spent several years teaching and doing research in American universities. Returning to Hungary before the regime change he organized samizdat publications including publishing the minutes of the transition parliament before the first free elections.

Between 1990 and 2014 he fulfilled various top management positions at Gallup Organization in the US and in Europe leading a number of global research projects. As Chairman & Managing Director of The Gallup Organisation Europe he was responsible for the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency’s research on experiences and attitudes of Roma across the EU and carried out the first EU survey on discrimination and victimisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people..

Among on-going activities, Robert continues to develop two key programmes: The Balkan Monitor – based on pioneering surveys throughout the Western Balkans and the Soul of the City program that allows local authorities to measure and track a city’s cultural, political, economic and social well-being, thus help stakeholders foster socio-cultural development and multiculturalism and learn how to bring more satisfaction to urban dwellers, as well as, provide timely in-depth analysis of residents’ thoughts and perceptions

As a professor at the College of Europe, developed a course to understand European social trends using survey and other data. During the summers he organize local musical events in Croatia and in the winters makes every effort to be present in his village council meetings in Hungary where he was elected as the Vice Mayor.

In collaboration with the Pannon University as a senior research fellow, he is at present involved setting up an international Institute for Advanced Studies and creation of a Policy Lab to test and support social innovation interventions.