Keynote Speakers


Vesna Leskošek

Vesna Leskošek is Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana. Her research focuses on social inequalities, poverty, welfare state and gender. 

Her current main research project explores poverty in old age and the accumulation of deprivation across the life course. She is also involved in several international research projects and networks. Her most recent publications are a co-authored book entitled Abortion and reproductive rights in Slovenia: A case of resistance (Routledge, 2024) and a book chapter “The politics of welfare – from rights to obligations: the case of Slovenia” (edited by Maja Gerovska Mitev, Springer, 2024).

Leskošek is the academic leader of the Gender Equality Plan Implementation Committee at the University of Ljubljana, a member of the EUTOPIA Inclusion Group and a member of the Gender and Diversity Working Group of the GUILD network of European Research-Intensive Universities.

She is also involved in various civil society groups and movements actively working on issues of social justice, human rights, and equality, believing that science is not an isolated bubble, but has an important role to play in working for a just world. 

Jelena Kleut

Jelena Kleut is Associate Professor at the Department of Media Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad. Her research focuses on the dynamics of audiences and journalism within the realm of new media and illiberal contexts.

In her current work, she explores topics such as digital news audiences and media capture. Among her recent publications is “Media Systems in Balkan Countries: Context and Dynamics of Changes” (Peter Lang, 2023), which she co-edited alongside Bogusława Dobek Ostrowska.

Jelena currently serves as a Chair for the ECREA Audience and Reception Studies Section (2022-2024). She coordinates the project “Media 2040: Empowering Youth Advocates for Press Freedom in the Western Balkans,” bringing together academics and students from six universities to shape a visionary outlook for the media landscape.

Jelena intertwines her scholarly work with activism, collaborating closely with journalists associations, non-profits, and student groups on issues related to, but not limited to, media freedoms. By merging academia and activism, she strives to foster a space where research and teaching converges with real-world efforts to uphold the principles of free and open society.