Special Report:

New Europe 100 — changemakers in central and eastern Europe

The challengers were selected by Res Publica, Google, Visegrad Fund and the Financial Times

The 2016 New Europe 100 is the third annual list of central and eastern Europe’s brightest and best people — plus the organisations who are changing the region’s societies, politics or business environments and displaying innovation, entrepreneurialism and fresh approaches to prevailing problems.

The aim is to raise the profile of world-leading changemakers in emerging Europe and to build connections among those in the vanguard.

The challengers were selected by Res Publica, the Warsaw-based journal; Google; the state-supported Visegrad Fund promoting integration within central Europe; and the Financial Times.

Representatives from these bodies analysed nominations from national institutions, think tanks and the public before selecting a final list of 100 split into the four categories below. 

For the complete list and a description of their achievements visit ne100.org

Join the debate #ne100 and @neweurope100 

Society and Politics

29 challengers 

Europe’s migrant crisis, which has involved 1m migrants crossing through eastern Europe, has caused social and political and social turbulence in the region. Many government officials and social activists have seized the moment to push new initiatives. Officials in Armenia, Estonia and Romania are cutting red tape with e-government programmes, and a Hungarian entrepreneur has set up free online education courses for refugees, while a Polish-Romanian group of ethical hackers is working to protect systems from online threat. 

Business

54 challengers 

As central and eastern Europe recasts itself as a region for technology and innovation rather than manufacturing and primary industry, young entrepreneurs are tapping strong economic growth in their countries and attracting foreign investment. New businesses include self-driving car software developed in Hungary, the world’s first drone consultancy, based in Warsaw, a Romanian levitating hoverboard and an array of fintech start-ups changing the way consumers manage their money. 

Media and Culture

7 challengers 

Independent news websites, investigative journalism portals and community magazines have risen in prominence in recent years as the media environment turns more restrictive and mainstream channels are divided between state-controlled groups or wealthy oligarchs. Others are exploring virtual reality applications or new architectural approaches. In Prague, the Václav Havel Library commemorates one of the region’s most celebrated sons. 

Science

10 challengers 

An ‘iKnife’ scalpel that can tell surgeons if tissue is cancerous and a low-cost procedure for rapidly determining blood types are among inventions by scientists in central and eastern Europe. Tapping a large population of graduates and engineers from the region’s many universities, this year’s list features a number of satellite and space technology companies, alongside a Polish T-shirt with a built in ECG scanner to measure heart abnormality.

This list has been amended to reflect the fact that Ivo Boscarol is Slovenian, not Czech.

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