Our team

Ági Fernengel, Director

My tasks in the School of Public Life are professional leadership, co-ordination of educational activities, methodological development and the training of trainers. Furthermore, I create various trainings for groups dealing with social inequalities and working towards social change.

I am happy that I can help strengthening these great initiatives and people committed to social change can meet and work together at our events.

I studied Sociology and Anthropology at Eötvös Loránd University, then at Central European University I researched global inequalities, the changing educational system and the Hungarian state. As the co-founder of Deviszont Community Space, I started a pedagogical program of civic education for students attending professional secondary schools.

Udvarhelyi Éva Tessza, PhD, co-founder and member of the Board of Trustees of the School of Public Life

My most important task in the School of Public Life is the financial management of the organization. Besides, I also take part in organizing and implementing training programs, I offer support to civil organizations with their strategical planning, I co-ordinate participatory action researches and I edit books and publications. I love working here because I can contribute to a more democratic and happy Hungary with wonderful and diligent colleagues.

I studied Cultural Anthropology at Eötvös Loránd University, then I completed my PhD at the City University of New York. My doctoral thesis has also been published as a book in Hungarian: “Justice on the streets: Responses to the housing crisis in Hungary from above ad below”. In the past I worked as a youth worker and as an intercultural trainer at the Artemisszió Foundation. In 2009 I co-founded a grassroot housing advocacy group, called The City is for All. In 2016 I was selected as the 36th Hungarian Ashoka fellow for my work with Hungarian social movements.

Tessza's CV can be downloaded here.

Tessza's publications

Júlia Vujovits, Communication officer

My most important task is to manage the communication of the whole organization which includes managing the website, newsletter and our social media platforms. I am also responsible for campaigns and for visual design. I also do training in the School sometimes.

In my opinion, the School of Public Life is an essential initiative that supports democracy and active citizenship by sharing knowledge and experience. I like to work here because my tasks are creative and diverse, and I can be a member of a great community.

I studied Sociology and Gender Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, my research areas were Hungarian men's movements and feminist urban planning. Since 2013, I also have been working at the Foundation for Democratic Youth in the field of democratic education and development of debate culture.

Anna Dániel, Financial Assistant

 In the School of Public Life I am responsible for financial and administrative matters.

I participate in the School's work because I completely agree with its mission and principles. I enjoy working here, I like to make good use of my knowledge and I can learn techniques and topics that are important both for individuals as well as for our society as a whole.

As an economist my area was foreign relations. I worked as a civil servant for 42 years, and I am retired currently.

Sári Bite, Education Coordinator

 As the education coordinator, I take part in the operative organization of training programs, film clubs and events. I am responsible to provide the perfect conditions for the trainers and the students during our events.

I studied social work at Eötvös Loránd University and I also hold a degree in Social Policy. In the last couple of years I have worked on different areas of the social sphere both in Hungary and abroad. I had a job providing social service for homeless people in Budapest, I also worked in Spain in criminal reintegration, and I managed a project helping the integration of refugees.

To sum up, I have worked with people who find it difficult to stand up for their own interests due to the lack of knowledge and tools. The School of Public Life has an extremely important goal, because it aims to change this situation particularly.

Zóra Molnár, Participatory Action Research Coordinator

My task in the School of Public Life is to co-ordinate the ongoing participatory action research project called The History and Future of Our Fights. This includes keeping contact with the researchers, carrying out operative tasks and organizing public events and actions.

I like to work in the School of Public Life because with our help people who previously had no means to speak up and advocate for their interest can effectively protect their rights.

I studied Social Psychology at Eötvös Loránd University, then Public Administration at Central European University. During my research I mostly studied the psychological processes behind prejudiced behavior and the political acts aiming to decrease social inequalities. Since 2017, for two and a half years, I have worked as the community organizer of a disabled advocacy group called “Dwelling independently – living in community”.

Board members:

Diana Szántó

Founder of the School of Public Life Foundation, Diana Szántó is a cultural anthropologist and the professional leader, chair of the Artemisszio Foundation. She is a member of the Karl Polanyi Research Center for Global Social Studies, her research field is directed towards the civil society and international development in Western Africa. Diana is also interested regarding the issues of international migration, global education and intercultural relationships.


Zsófia Makádi

Chair of the School of Public Life Foundation's board, Zsófia Makádi has pursued her studies in the fields of economics and international communication. Currently working at the NIOK Foundation, since 2003 she filled in roles in finance, communication and funding while working several years at Artemisszio Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. Previously she has been teaching marketing and business communication. Her personal mission is to expand the opportunities for charitable action, and to call for the recognition of happiness induced by charity work. Currently she serves in advisory roles for civil organizations and communities of evangelic faith regarding funding and communication.


Borbála Ivány

She is the School of Public Life's board member, lawyer, working at The Hungarian Helsinki Committee. She deals with matters of discrimination and issues related to the authorities treatment of detainees. Borbála is a member of the working group against hate crimes. She is the founder of the Streetlawyer Association created by the City is for All. At the School of Public Life Borbála is involved in the planning of strategy.

Gyula Balog

He is the sole male, and member living in poverty of the School of Public Life's board. Gyula started his political activism 44 years ago, at the age of 12. Already at age 15 he held trainings, later he dove into the organizational and educational tasks of agitation and propaganda. Sadly, he lived through the regime change abusing alcohol, but since 94' he is abstinent. Since then, Gyula is responsible for various organizational tasks at the Alcoholics Anonymous and helped new groups to form. He is a member of the City is for All since day one. From 2015 on he is working on community building and training programmes, and coordinates awareness-raising events mainly for students.


The trainers of the School of Public Life:

Mariann Dósa, PhD - Gender roles and inequalities course:

The School of Public Life's co-founder, Mariann is a specialist in the field of social policies. She gained her PhD degree at Oxford University in the field of social policy, where she researched the impact of current Hungarian social policy's system on the citizenship of welfare recipients. Since 2009 she is a member of City is for All, a group working on eradicating housing poverty, and since 2011 she volunteers at the Women's Association for Women Against Violence. In parallel with her studies and volunteer activism Mariann does policy analysis and advisory works in the fields of poverty alleviating welfare services and gender inequalities

Gabriella Csoszó - Photography and activism course:

The course is ran by photographer, activist and art teacher Gabriella Csoszó. In her photography and art work she focuses on sensitive social issues, which approach is present when she teaches as well. Her work can be found on her website.


Tibor Fehér Dániel - Advocacy course:

Psychologist, trade union and housing advocacy activist at the Teachers' Democratic Trade Union and the City is for All. He is a university teacher and editor of the felszabter.blog.hu. Tibor is interested in the fields of social clinical psychology and communal-critical psychology.


Andrea Homoki - Organizing campaign and action course:

Andreas is an activist and community builder. As a community organizer - together with the Civil College Foundation - she helped the work of groups dealing with urban policy and public services in the two small-size cities of Gyál and Vecsés. Andrea is also a volunteer at the "Memorial Alive - my history" group. She has been coordinating the demonstration in the city of Székesfehérvár against the erection of the Bálint Hóman statue. Currently she is working as an educator in the Civil College Foundation programmes targeted towards community leaders, organizers.


Anna Kiss - Advocacy course:

Anna is a community organizer, she focuses on LMBTQ communities' advocacy issues. In the past seven years she has been a member of the LMBT Community in Szeged. Working as a community organizer for four years now, Anna also provides legal advice on LMBTQ and HIV/AIDS related issues. She is educating in the ‘Getting to Know LGBT People’ school program. Anna is regularly involved as a trainer when working with civil organizations, also she is regularly invited to hold classes at the University of Szeged and University of Debrecen.


Bálint Misetics - Civil disobedience course:

Bálint is a founding member of the City is for All homeless activist network, an activist and social policy expert. Balint has organized numerous acts of civil disobedience, making him the field's experienced educator. Bálint has edited the "Civil Disobedience and Nonviolent Resistance."


Zsófia Nagy - Campaign manager course:

Zsófia is a sociologist and cultural anthropologist, a faculty member at the ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences' Department of Social Psychology. She has been the "Pikó for mayor!" campaign's coordinator of communication.


Bernadett Sebály - How to organize a group courses:

Bernadett is an anthropologist and community organizer. For several years, working at the Civil College Foundation, she has been mentoring and training community organizers. Bernadett is the editor of the "Power's society or Society's power? The foundations of community organizing." She is a founding member of the City is for All homeless activist network, Bernadett currently pursuing her doctoral degree in the field of public policy at the Central European University.


Attila Szabó - Civil rights course:

Attila is a lawyer, working as a legal officer at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union's Political Freedoms Project. In the past two years he has been working on issues related to civil liberties, participation in elections, freedom of information, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, offering legal assistance for those turning to the Union.


Alexandra Szarka – Communication and media in advocacy course:

Szandra is an ex-social worker, now a community organizer, activist. As a member of City is for All and "From Huts to Homes" activist networks Alexandra has organized communication and community fundraising campaigns. She is the co-founder of the "But, however.. Community Space", which is a novel programme on civic education and critical pedagogy designed for vocational school students.


Márta Varga - Communication and media in advocacy course:

Márta is a social and media worker. Why is it important to talk about our issues with the public as well? How to communicate convincingly? How to deal with the reporter's unexpected question? I have been looking to answer such questions while working in the welfare and civil sector 20 years ago, until an unexpected opportunity made me switch sides, where as a radio news editor, editor-reporter I get to introduce several important initiatives to the public.


Panni Végh - Critical pedagogy course:

Panni is a cultural anthropologist and teacher, now working as a trainer at the Artemisszió Foundation, contributing mainly in the applied arts programmes.


Adrienn Zubek - Civil disobedience course:

Adrienn is an activist, trainer and advocacy leader. Networking, planning strategy Andrienn is working at the Polgár Foundation for Equal Chances, helping bottom-up Roma groups' advocacy efforts.