Meet our team

Annamaria Olsson

Founder and Vice Chair

Sweden

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Annamaria Olsson

Swedish journalist and writer, living in Berlin since 2008.

Has over 10 years of NGO experience from Sweden, where Annamaria was also Director at SECO, one of the biggest Swedish NGOs. Studied German literature at the Humboldt Universität Berlin and has a BA in Political/Philosophy and Gender Studies from Uppsala University. Attended to courses in Middle Eastern and Holocaust Studies. Wrote her final thesis on political action in Hannah Arendt’s ”The Human Condition” and published her first book in 2014.  She developed the concept of GSBTB in May 2012.

At GSBTB, Annamaria is responsible for relationship management and public speaking.

Antonina Stasiuk

Manager Open Hearts Space

Poland

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Antonina Stasiuk

Antonina, born and raised in Poland, has been living in Berlin for over a year.

Antonina holds a MA in Clinical Psychology and is currently working on a MA in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. In her academic work, her main area of interest is exploring the memory of Jewish history in Poland. In her professional work she has always been involved in projects related to community building. Contacting GSBTB, and asking if can help with the Open Hearts Space project seemed to be a natural step for her after arriving in Berlin.

She started off as a volunteer and is now the Manager of the Open Hearts Space.

Ben Osborn

Open Music Lab Co-Manager

United Kingdom

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Ben Osborn

Words and music-maker, educator and activist

Ben Osborn is a writer, songwriter, composer and sound designer from Oxford, UK, now based in Berlin, Germany. Coming from a poetic folk song tradition, his work draws also from electronica and classical music to create a space in which highly personal and deeply political stories can be told. He regularly collaborates with visual artists, dancers, theatre companies, filmmakers, podcasters, musicians and composers and has created works with institutions such as the Young Vic, Bristol Old Vic, National Theatre, National Portrait Gallery (UK), Folkteatern (Sweden), Literaturhaus Berlin, Kunsthaus Dortmund (Germany), Festival Lyric de Aix-En-Provence (France) and Teatro Orteuv (Mexico) among others, and has won several awards for his soundtracks, sound designs and songs. He gives writing and composition workshops in a variety of cultural and education institutions and is a visiting lecturer at Mountview University (UK).

Since 2017, Ben has been one of the directors of Give Something Back to Berlin’s Open Music Lab: an activist-led musical cooperative and collaborative learning space for refugees, migrants and others from marginalised communities. He previously worked for the HOPE not hate anti-racism campaign and the UCU trade union.

Bissan Awwad

Bundesfreiwilligendienst Intern

Syria

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Bissan Awwad

A student and a passionate health and women rights advocate

Bissan is from Syria and arrived in Germany in 2016. She first met the Give Something Back To Berlin team when they hosted an art workshop at Tempelhofer Hafen refugee camp. After joining the creative workshop at Tempelhofer Hafen, she became more involved at GSBTB, specifically, working with women and helping out at the Open Heart Space events. She also assisted with Arabic and English translations and contributed an article about feminism in music for the GSBTB blog. She is passionate about feminism, human rights, music, and psychology. She is currently studying at night school and hopes to bring her passion for medicine and women’s rights to a career in midwifery.

Currently, Bissan is supporting project activities and assisting in communications at GSBTB.

Gabriella D’Annunzio

Communications and Partnerships Manager & Open Music Lab Co-Manager

United Kingdom

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Gabriella D’Annunzio

Gaby is a social activist, community organiser and a mental health advocate.

She studied at The University of Edinburgh and has a Master of Arts in Psychology. She has always had a keen interest in social issues and people’s wellbeing. Over the last decade she has been finding ways to support people through difficulties, either by volunteering at refugee centers or by offering assistance to children with disabilities. With extensive experience in the creative industry, from art and design to music, she’s adopted a keen interest in using creative means to build a supportive network where one feels safe and has a sense of care from people around.

Gaby is the Communications and Partnerships Manager at GSBTB. At the same time, as the co-founder and co-manager of the Open Music Lab she hopes to offer a hub for music lovers to feel welcomed and help encourage each to reach their full potential.

Joe Marshall

Open Music School Project Manager

New Zealand

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Joe Marshall

Community advocate and music lover

Joe started volunteering as a teacher at the Open Music School in 2017 and enjoyed how the classes have their own special way of connecting people. He has great enthusiasm for the improvement of social and environmental conditions in local communities, and holds an M.Sc. in environmental planning with a focus on the value in communities of open spaces, such as urban garden initiatives. He sees similarities at the Open Music School: A project which can only evolve and grow with the participation and influence of those it serves.

Originally from Aotearoa (New Zealand), he has contributed as a researcher, facilitator and manager to many projects and inititavies in different parts of the world. A music fan and musician, Joe is also often tinkering with his own creative projects.

Contact Joe for all things regarding the Open Music School!

Lisa Hoffmann

Finance and Human Resources Manager

Germany

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Lisa Hoffmann

Living in Berlin since 2015, Lisa has previously done an MA in International Business Administration and Intercultural Management (with a focus on sustainability management).

Prior to working at GSBTB, Lisa worked at an international consumer rights organisation, where she gained valuable fundraising experience.

She is responsible for the financial management, accounting and controlling of operations at GSBTB.

Maya Tavor

Office Manager

Israel

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Maya Tavor

Maya has been living in Berlin since 2015. She has a B.A. in Behavioral Science and has previously worked as an administrative manager, logistics manager, and project manager in various companies and NGOs.

Maya is the Office Manager of GSBTB, and she also likes to bake cookies to keep the team’s morale high.

Ragıp Zık

Head of Communications and Partnerships

Turkey

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Ragıp Zık

Sociologist and civil society expert, living in Berlin since 2015.

Ragıp brings with him over 15 years’ experience in project management, communication, and international cooperation. Working for NGOs in Greece, Italy, and Turkey, Ragıp has coordinated multi-partner projects across the Euro-Mediterranean area, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. He is a member of the Council of Europe’s Pool of Trainers and occasionally serves as an educational consultant in human rights, democratic citizenship, and youth work. 

Ragıp blends his civil society practice with social research. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Freie Universität Berlin. His research on visual activism, social movements, and digital communication appeared in various academic and non-academic outlets and in various artistic formats.

At GSBTB, Ragıp is responsible for developing communication strategies and partnerships. 

Ricarda Bochat

Manager Open Kitchen

Germany

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Ricarda Bochat

Having done a Master in Fashion Marketing in the UK, Ricarda moved back to her native Germany in 2012. Here she briefly got involved with the cooking group before spending a year in Nepal and India, mainly doing earthquake relief work and teaching English to Tibetan monks. Upon returning in 2015, she took over the role of coordinating the GSBTB Open Kitchen project. Since November 2020 she has also taken on the coordination of the two language cafes.

She is now managing the Open Kitchen as well as the English Language Café on Tuesdays and the German Sprachcafé on Wednesdays.

Stavroula Valachea

Intern

Greece

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Stavroula Valachea

Political scientist and passionate human rights advocate

Stavroula is a political scientist with a strong interest in human rights. She studied International and European Economic Studies at Athens University of Economics and Business. Interested in the ways people can make a positive impact in the world, she hopes to contribute to the resolution of pressing social issues and to help people in need by working in non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Prior to joining GSBTB, she has worked as a researcher and her main areas of interest are human rights law, human rights violations, and the role of NGOs in community development.

Currently, Stavroula is assisting in communications and supporting project activities at GSBTB.

Tom Young

Programme Manager & Open Music School Founder

New Zealand

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Tom Young

Tom is originally from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and has lived in Berlin for 8 years. Amongst many other creative projects, he has spent the last 20 years recording albums and touring the world in many bands and with his solo act, Freddy Fudd Pucker. He continues to make music and visual art himself and sees the creative process as one of the most valuable tools we have to bring diverse groups of people together.