Founding Team

Despina Syrri

Founder of Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network of Schools

Despina Syrri served as Education Specialist at the UNICEF Refugee and Migrant response in Greece, Advisor to the Regional Cooperation Council Political department in Sarajevo and Senior Expert on the Roma Integration 2020 in Belgrade. She has been a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and director of research and international cooperation at the Immigration Policy Institute in Greece; worked amongst others with Reuters and Athens News, the Berlin Migration Netzwerk, Oxford Refugee Studies Centre and British Council on issues of post-conflict development, migration, refugees, borders and the integration of the Western Balkans to the European Union. She has cooperated with the OSCE/ODHIR, Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Syrri taught Political Science and Political Anthropology at the American College of Thessaloniki. She has published journal articles and book chapters in Greek, South Slavic and English, and authored research papers and documentaries.

Ljubisa Vrencev

Founder Symbiosis-School of Political studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network

Since 1997 Ljubisa Vrencev has worked with national and international NGOs on local development, communication and media, reconciliation and forced displacement in Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. He also worked with UNOPS, UNDP, Cooperazione Italiana and International Organization for Migration as consultant on development of sustainable return policies. He holds an MA in Local Development for the Balkans from Trento/Bolzano Universities. In 2015 he coordinated the Humanitarian Response Rapid Assessment of the refugee crisis in Greece on the Aegean islands in cooperation with SolidarityNow and the Norwegian Refugee Council. As Programme Coordinator of Arbeiter Samariter Bund since June 2016 he manages refugee response funded by DG HOME, DG ECHO and the German Foreign Ministry. He has been a lecturer on diversity and communication for migrant communities and authored papers on development and migration issues. He speaks fluently South Slavic languages, English, Italian and Greek.