Meet Our Founders

Anna Zelno

Anna Zelno

Diversity & Innovation Strategist

Anna Zelno is CEO of intercultures Spain, co-founder of the Academy for Diversity and Innovation, and President of 4C Social Innovation NGO. She is an experienced diversity and innovation consultant who enjoys working seamlessly across various sectors like education, business, NGOs, and public institutions. Sustainable learning is the main objective of the instructional design of her training programs.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and Applied Cultural Studies, a Master’s Degree in Talent Management, and is a certified Global DISC™ Master Trainer. She speaks Polish, German, Spanish, and English fluently.

She has living and working experiences in Poland, Germany, and Spain and delivered training programs in many countries in Europe, Africa, and South America. She understands well the dynamic of these relationships, mutual perceptions, and bias.

Anna is an active member and ex-president of SIETAR Spain (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and a former board member of SIETAR Europe.

Part of her core principle is that building an inclusive society is possible if a business, private sector, academia, and civil society work together consciously and strategically. For her, innovation is about bringing uniqueness together and creating an inclusive environment, Anna always applies her distinctive vision of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to whatever walk of life she’s in.

Dr Barbara Covarrubias Venegas

Barbara Covarrubias

Workplace Experience Strategist

Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas is an international keynote speaker and award-winning entrepreneur. With a rich blend of academic rigor and practical expertise, Barbara stands at the forefront of pioneering New Ways of Working and Digital Leadership. Her journey as a Virtual Enthusiast is underpinned by a solid foundation in research, a fiery passion for speaking, and a proven track record as an author.

Barbara is deeply committed to exploring and shaping the future of work and learning, with a particular focus on Positive Leadership and cultivating vibrant organizational cultures. Since 2010, she has been an active figure in the global intercultural community. Her roles have spanned from being a groundbreaking researcher and seasoned professional to leading and participating in virtual teams across diverse cultural landscapes.

She is also the founder of #virtualspacehero, a boutique consultancy dedicated to guiding organizations through the complexities and challenges of remote work environments. The #virtualspacehero team leverages cutting-edge research, practical insights, and a wealth of experience to help organisations build resilient, effective, and connected virtual teams. #virtualspacehero provides the tools, strategies, and support necessary for thriving in today’s digital world.

As a facilitator, Barbara has been designing virtual learning journeys for the past years: her signature #virtualexchange project is the Global Case Study Challenge with more than 600 students from 22 countries across the globe. 

Antonio Liu Yang

Antonio Liu Yang 刘洋

China Intercultural Expert

For the past 10 years he has been developing consultancy projects between China and Spain for various fields, including in legal, academic, tourism, e-commerce and soccer sectors.

He was a board member of SIETAR Spain (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) for several years, executive secretary of the Association 4C (Spain) and co-founder of the Academy for Diversity and Innovation.

Antonio has delivered training programs on cross cultural communication for different companies between Spain and China. Also, he has lectured in various Spanish universities in Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia.

In 2013 he was awarded with the first place prize in Young Valencian Talent in the category of young entrepreneurs under 35 and recently, he was one of the creators and the visible face of the #NoSoyUnVIRUS campaign during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Antonio holds a Law Degree from the University of Valencia (Spain) and an MA degree in Management Skills from the same university.

He holds the following certifications:
IRC (Intercultural Readiness Check)
Face to face trainer by the Institute of Social Studies
MA Degree in Expert in Diversity Management by University Antonio de Nebrija (currently studying)

Thanks for your interest in the Academy for Diversity & Innovation!

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