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Keynote Speakers


Andy Bennett is Professor of Cultural Sociology and Director of the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He is an established expert in the fields of youth culture and popular music and has authored a number of books including Cultures of Popular Music (Open University Press, 2001) After Subculture (Palgrave, 2004). Among his areas of current research is an interest in how the internet and other forms of digital technology are influencing the nature of youth cultures and the forms of collective association they embody.


Dr Ellen Helsper is Lecturer in the Media and Communications Department of London School of Economics. She is also an Academic Advisor and Associate Lecturer at the Media and Communications Department of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile and a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute. Her main research interest is in the role of new media in everyday life of disadvantaged social groups. An important element of her current work is the development of a theoretical framework to understand the links between digital and social exclusion based on theories of social capital and social identity.


Siyka Kovacheva is Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Policy and Head of New Europe Centre at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Her interests lie in the field of youth transitions to parenthood and intergenerational relations, policy programmes and measures in support of the young unemployed, and social inclusion more broadly. She has been the national coordinator of more than 10 international comparative studies under the 5th and 6th FP of EC and other international foundations.


Mikko Lagerspetz is since 2006 Professor of Sociology at the Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland. Before that, he worked at Tallinn University, Estonia, as Professor and director of the Centre for Civil Society Study and Development. He has published more than 90 scientific publications mainly on civil society, cultural policies, minorities and social problems. In 2004, he received the Estonian Annual State Prize for Research in the Social Sciences. He continues to cooperate closely with social scientists in Estonia, especially in Tallinn University.


Steven Miles is Professor in Urban Culture at the University of Brighton, His main research interests are connected  to the role of consumption in young people's everyday lives and with the potential power of consumption as a source of identity for youth cultures in a rapidly changing world. His is author of several books on the topic including recent one:  Spaces for Consumption: Pleasure and Placelessness in the Post-Industrial City (Sage;