Meet our founders
Impact & Innovation, Co-founder & Managing Partner
Bistra Kumbaroska, North Macedonia
A community innovator, entrepreneur and a poet, Bistra spends her time witnessing and supporting courageous steps made by humans, combining innovative tools for business and impact. In 2008, she became one of the core drivers of a movement in Macedonia that resulted with today's most popular youth portal in CEE Region, Mladi Info. Her passion for entrepreneurship took her on a journey through Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa, and South-East Asia, supporting the creation of meaningful jobs. At the moment she lives in Vienna, Austria. She has been involved in the creation and scaling of more than 5 networks and entities across different industries in CEE and has organized, facilitated and shared her experience at more than 117 international events and conferences so far. Currently, Bistra is based in Vienna.
& Content, Co-founder
Christina Forster, Austria
Christina believes that every business, brand or product has a story to tell. And a good one, too. Her own story started in the field of journalism but already in 2005 she moved from print to online. However, it was only during her 8 years in London when she discovered how Content Marketing, Storytelling and Responsible Communication can enable sustainable success for a business - something that became her biggest passion. Since then Christina is helping clients - ranging from big corporations to small social enterprises - to tell their impact by creating human-centred communication strategies for internal and external use. Throughout her career Christina has worked in the fashion, sports, music but also media and IT industry with companies such as Red Bull, Nivea, Labello, Boden or Cisco Austria. She acts as a cofounder to Heartbeats Innovation & Communication and is also an expert for Digital Marketing in the Impact Hub Vienna. Christina is currently based in Vienna.
Meet our team and experts
Impact Measurement &
Ivana Petrisková, Slovakia
Ivana is a strong believer in the power of civil society. With her background and education in European studies and international affairs, for the last 7+ years she has been working with organizations from different parts of the world (Central-Eastern Europe, Canada, South-East Africa and South-East Asia) mainly in volunteering management, youth activism, social entrepreneurship, and innovation. Ivana is an experienced project manager with a good knowledge of organizational innovation, strategy building and crisis management. Ivana's focus of work in Heartbeats InCo will be impact measurement and communication.
Change Management & Social Entrepreneurship
Peter Ptashko, UK
Peter is a social entrepreneur, funder and supporter of social entrepreneurs and currently an independent entrepreneurship change management consultant working with a range of clients across the Public and Private sectors. He has over 10 years of experience working in the field of Social Enterprise globally, having launched his first venture back in 2005. He is the former Director of the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN), leading its 60 members in over 70 countries to better support social entrepreneurs around the world. He launched Cambio: House of Social Change in 2019 as a response to the growing need for mainstream and tailored support to social entrepreneurs in the UK, and beyond.
Nicci Stewart, South Africa
Nicci started her career in the communications field. During this time, she gained experience in various sectors such as advertising, public relations, and stakeholder communications. In 2015, she shifted her focus to the entrepreneurial space. Her primary objective is to grow the entrepreneurial eco-system to support the development and growth of businesses - specially businesses that have a social and impact focus. Nicci is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10 000 Women programme for female entrepreneurs, a speaker at local and international events and founder of The Why Effect.
Facilitation & Business Development
Sartaj Anand, India
Sartaj is a proven entrepreneur and thought leader with a decade of experience spanning management consulting, social impact and media. He has an unreasonable dream to positively impact 1 Billion human lives within his lifetime and enables individuals and organizations to create exponential socio-economic impact globally. Some of the networks he belongs to include TED, World Economic Forum, United Nations, Ashoka, Sandbox and Social Good. Sartaj has travelled, worked and co-created in more than 70 countries so far. Sartaj is also co-founder of egomonk
Change Management & OD
Adrijana Taveska, North Macedonia
Andrijana is a dedicated Human Resources (HR), Organisational Development (OD) and Business Development (BD) professional with 10+ years’ experience in strategic planning and brain-adaptive leadership in the profit and non-profit sector in Australia and N. Macedonia. Educated in Australia and Greece, Andrijana provides outstanding support to talented leaders and professionals with a strong focus on social impact and “doing good”. She is on a continuous quest for generous learning opportunities in the field of OD and Change Management.
Partnership building & Facilitation.
Hayley Lapalme, Canada
Hayley is a dynamic facilitator and systems thinker based in Toronto. Coming from a broad interdisciplinary background, Hayley is a reflexive leader who sees connections and builds strong partnerships. Her talents in writing, community development, and intercultural communication have lead her to produce the “100 Mile Dinner Party” radio documentary for the CBC and support the development of an urban farming business in Toronto. In 2010, Hayley joined the team at My Sustainable Canada and developed a methodology to assess and expand institutional procurement of local food in Ontario. Hayley is a dedicated mentor with the Challenge: Future community of global youth social entrepreneurs and an avid canoeist.
Innovation & Capacity building
Jose Antonio Morales, Peru/Slovenia
Jose is originally from Peru but has been living in Slovenia for over 15 years. His professional career kicked off in IT but already for the past 20+ years Jose has been working with corporate teams, SMEs and young entrepreneurs, bringing new perspectives, challenging the status quo and sparking innovation. Back in the day, Jose co-founded one of the first international Web communities in Latin America, Exchange Latino, in partnership with Microsoft Peru. While in Slovenia Jose was recognised by Microsoft Corp as one of the 18 Global Partner Area Leads. Today, he is founder of initiatives such as Fear & Fail Global, Aurora Co-working, Lincoln Island Initiatives, Vision of Present and The Glue.