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Youth Forum 2008

7-11 September 2008 - Vienna, Austria

Starting a revolution

The WorldSkills Youth Forum 2008 has now finished. It has been four hectic days with lots of constructive discussions about the future of the WorldSkills movement seen through the eyes of past Champions.

The YF ended with a very high-tech presentation given to the General Assembly on September 11, 2008, who couldn’t wait to get out of their seats to congratulate the 34 participants, rewarding their hard work with a standing ovation.

WorldSkills International would like to thank Skills Austria for hosting the second Youth Forum, it has been a fantastic experience.


In this section we will feature the delegates that will represent their country/region at the 2008 Youth Forum.

Candice Faranda (Australia)
Candice Faranda
Courtney Barton (Australia)
Courtney Barton
Holly Browne (Australia)
Holly Browne
Eugene Chow (Singapore)
Bernhard Muhlberger
Cornelia Imser (Austria)
Cornelia Imser
Louis-Philippe Major (Canada)
Louis-Philippe Major
Sarah Peach (Canada)
Sarah Peach
Esben Kirk Therkildsen (Denmark)
Esben Kirk Therkildsen
Johanna Obisike (Finland)
Johanna Obisike
Cedric Cotilleau (France)
Cedric Cotilleau
Sebastien Guittet (France)
Sebastien Guittet
Trudy Kwong (Hong Kong)
Trudy Kwong
Hong Kong
Heegyung Choi (Korea)
Heegyung Choi
Young Hoon Kim (Korea)
Young Hoon Kim
Christof Nipp (Liechtenstein)
Christof Nipp
Christof Willinger (Liechtenstein)
Christof Willinger
Jan Berkhof (Netherlands)
Jan Berkhof
John Tillema (Netherlands)
John Tillema
Luke Boustridge (New Zealand)
Luke Boustridgea
New Zealand
Eirik Høyme Rogn (Norway)
Eirik Høyme Rogn
Filipa Oliveira (Portugal)
Filipa Oliveira
Ethel Yee Ting Lim (Singapore)
Ethel Yee Ting Lim
Eugene Chow (Singapore)
Eugene Chow
María Puga (Spain)
María Puga
Pedro Sigüenza (Spain)
Pedro Sigüenza
Sofie Danielsson (Sweden)
Sofie Danielsson
Patrik Gillberg (Sweden)
Patrik Gillberg
Sascha Feuz (Switzerland)
Sascha Feuz
Mohammad Al-Shamsi (United Arab Emirates)
Mohammad Al-Shamsi
United Arab Emirates
Mohammed Ahli (United Arab Emirates)
Mohammed Ahli
United Arab Emirates
Harry Smith (United Kingdom)
Harry Smith
United Kingdom
Michael Westlake (United Kingdom)
Michael Westlake
United Kingdom



To provide the Youth Forum Delegates with meaningful and innovative input for each topic, we have engaged a group of experienced presenters that are all very familiar with what WorldSkills International stands for.

Topic A
Almost Famous

Angelie Kaag (Netherlands)

Angelie Kaag


In 2004 Angelie started as PR & Communication Manager with the new funded Dutch Skills organisation; Skills Netherlands. Lots of work had to be done from that point; the message about Skills competitions was not known at all in the Netherlands.

With a commercial background in marketing movies on film and dvd, Angelie started with a fresh look on how to interest young people in skills competitions and bring the message across.During the period until December 2007 Angelie has been involved in 3 national skills events (SkillsMasters) not only as a Communication and PR Manager but also as Event Manager. In 2007 SkillsMasters won the National Expo Award for best public event in the Netherlands.

Nowadays Angelie started as freelancer in marketing & communication consultancy, but is still very related with the skills movement on a national as well as on an international level.

Wendy Ell(Canada)

Wendy Ell


Having worked in the industry for 17 years, from all angles (client, agency and media), Wendy has had the opportunity to develop and partake in a wide range of marketing and media projects (ranging from local campaigns, to those developed for a national and international scale).

Her expertise lies in her ability to develop highly effective and efficient marketing plans, through a highly strategic approach, aiming to deliver rewarding results for her clients.  She has owned her own consultancy practice, worked for a national ad agency and been a manager of Marketing and Sales for a national television network. And now, as the Development Strategist at CanWest, her role is to recognize the changes in which the public is consuming the media and uncover unique and innovative ways to reach out to people, keeping in mind the needs and demands of the news room, readers and advertisers.

Topic B
Knowledge is Power

Pia Hegner (Denmark)

Pia Hegner


In 1997 Pia went as head of a Danish delegation of trade committees to take a look at WorldSkills to see if maybe Denmark should join. Denmark did, and in 1999 Pia was the team leader of the first ever Danish team of 6 Competitors in Montreal and was definitely smitten by the WorldSkills Virus. All kinds of treatment has had no effect, so now 10 years on, she is still head of the Danish team, now as a Technical delegate, and preparing for Calgary.

The Team Leader experience opened her eyes to the need for improving the teams’ and the Team Leaders’ conditions, and she has since Seoul 2001 been the Jury President of the Team Leaders and brought their views and opinions to the Technical Committee.

Pia is managing the European Voluntary Service, an EU-programme supporting young people who wants to volunteer 2-12 months in another European country.

Topic C
Connecting the dots

Jean-Marie Méan (Belgium)

Jean-Marie Méan


Jean-Marie holds a Master of Engineering (Belgium) and a Master of Business Administration (USA). He has spent 30 years in Industry on both sides of the Atlantic in Engineering, Manufacturing and Marketing management positions.

Following 5 years in a Belgian Competence Center (VET education) as trainer and manager, Jean-Marie joined skillsbelgium as Technical Delegate in 2000 and acted as Jury President for the last 3 competitions.

Over the last 3 years, he has also been involved in EuroSkills as Technical Delegate and Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Topic D
Talkin ’bout a Revolution

Mikaeli Costello (Australia)

Mikaeli Costello


In 2006, Mikaeli helped coordinate the first ever WorldSkills Youth Forum in Melbourne, Australia - bringing together 35 former Competitors from 16 WorldSkills Members to help provide feedback to the Executive Board about their vision for the future of WorldSkills.

Mikaeli is now putting part of this vision into practice with the launch of the WorldSkills Champions Exchange, an initiative designed to help former Competitors connect to the global skills economy by providing opportunities for 'Champions' to live, work and enhance their skills in another Member country/region.

Topic E
The lean, green WorldSkills machine

Tommy Hellström (Sweden)

Tommy Hellström


Tommy joined WSI as Official Delegate from Sweden in 1999. Since then Tommy has taken the position as Chair for the WSI Sustainability Task Force.

Tommy took the initiative to build up the Swedish national organisation – ‘Youth Skills Sweden’ - in cooperation with the Swedish Government and unions. Youth Skills Sweden is now the national hub for skills competitions and has arranged the Swedish nationals three times.

Tommy holds a position as Marketing Manager at ‘The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’.

Topic F
IT’s the Future

Anne-Marie Grigsby (USA)

Anne-Marie Grigsby


With a BS from the Ecole National De Commerce in International Business, and two Masters in Marketing and Technology and Management, Anne-Marie began her corporate career at Siemens/Nixdorf in Paris , working directly on improving the performance of the sales organisation.  Her 14-years at the Cisco San Jose corporate headquarters have focused increasingly on driving change management in various organisations. As the Manager, Field Operations for Global Field Operations, she has provided leadership and set strategy for key Cisco Services initiatives to enable process and system change for purchasing and managing services contracts globally.

As the Student Advocacy theater implementation Manager at Cisco Networking Academy, she now focuses on global, scalable and sustainable solutions to drive successful outcomes for students across the globe. Her multi-cultural background and extensive global experience is of great help in her new role at Cisco.

Bob Schoenherr (USA)

Bob Schoenherr


Bob Schoenherr, Global Competition Lead for the Cisco Networking Academy, has thirty years experience in education holding a Bachelors in Mass Communications and Elementary Education and  Masters Educational Technology. He has taught grades 3 through college as well as coaching high school basketball, tennis, track, and volleyball

Bob has also worked for Hughes Aircraft and Industrial Dynamics in the commercial use of laser and radiation technologies. He has mining and logging experience as well. He helped develop the first interactive multi-media training program for fireman in California and is a founding member of the California Technology Assistance Program (CTAP)

Bob now works for Aries Technology and spent the past ten years supporting the Cisco Networking Academy  He is the WorldSkills liaison, the content developer for Netspace Challenge and Pursuit, developer of academy competition toolkits, and technical lead for the student advocacy team. His diverse work and educational experiences allow him to understand the skills needed to compete in the job market.

Bob enjoys sailing, photography, hiking, baseball, and anything that involves an adventure and a form of technology.

Jarrad Langdon (Australia)

Jarrad Langdon


Jarrad has always had an interest in computers and design. When he was offered an apprenticeship at a local design firm he keenly embraced the opportunity presented to him.

After completing several TAFE courses Jarrad’s talents have resulted in success both locally and internationally. The pinnacle of this success was his gold medal in Website Design at the WorldSkills Competition in Helsinki, Finland in 2003.

Jarrad is now passing on his talents to future designers by teaching design skills at TAFE. He continues his involvement with WorldSkills as a national chief judge and mentor.


Once the topics for the Youth Forum were developed, we wanted to graphically demonstrate what each of the topics represents. Taking the WorldSkills International “hand” symbol, which symbolises the youth of all countries, reaching out for new skills, we have created six images that represent the key topic areas. Our goal is to create an atmosphere,that encourages the Youth Forum Delegates to think outside the box and to stimulate discussion and debate.

Topic A: Almost famous?

How can we make WorldSkills sexy?

fa·mous [fey-muhs] - adjective

  • How can the Competition be more media friendly and better engage the public visitors?

Audience: The fame seekers



Topic B: Knowledge is power.

Wish you knew then, what you know now? 

know-ledge /know-ledge [nol-ij] - noun

  • Pass on your experience and knowledge by changing the experience for future Champions.

Audience: Wise Old Owls



Topic C: Connecting the dots

So many Competitions, so little time. 

Con-nect-ing [kə-někt'-ing] - adjective

  • How to link all levels of Competition - from local to International, and everything in between.

Audience: Globetrotters



Topic D: Talkin ‘bout a revolution... 

Life beyond the Competition.

rev·o·lu·tion [rev-uh-loo-shuhn] - noun

  • How can youth stay involved with the WorldSkills movement, on all levels.

Audience: Leaders of the pack



Topic E: The lean, green WorldSkills machine. 

WorldSkills is going green.

green / [grin] - noun, verb

  • Help WorldSkills reduce wastage, use more recyclable goods, increase sustainability and leave a legacy.
Audience: Tree huggers


Topic F: IT's the future

Let's talk about tech, baby.

Fu-ture / [fyoo-cher] - noun

  • How do we use the WorldSkills International IT resources to promote and communicate more effectively within the WorldSkills Family and beyond? 

Audience: Networkers