Inštitut za ekonomsko demokracijo

Our team

The IED team consists of experts in employee ownership and participatory culture.

The Team

David Ellerman

Tej Gonza

Gregor Berkopec

President

Dr. Ellerman holds Masters in Economics and a Ph.D. in Boston University. Between 1992 and 2003 he worked at the World Bank on the topic of privatization in transitionary countries. He has been active in the field of economic democracy for the last 40 years. He is the co-founder of the Industrial Cooperative Association (USA), EOS d.o.o. (SLO) and the Institute for Economic Democracy (SLO), where he is currently the President. Ellerman is an author of many books on various subjects, and the co-author of the European ESOP model adopted by the European Employee Shareholding Federation.

CEO

Gonza finished his Master' degree on the topic of economic democracy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam in 2016. Currently a PhD candidate and Young Researcher at University of Ljubljana working on employee ownership. A co-author of the European ESOP model adopted by the European Federation for Employee Share Ownership in Brussels. He is a Co-Founder and the Director of IED.

Head of Legal Department

Berkopec graduated from Faculty of Law in Ljubljana in 2013. In 2015, after working in FMCG and NGO sectors, Gregor accepted a position in the legal department of an international advisory firm (Deloitte d.o.o.), where his primary focus were investments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, corporate management, data protection law and labour law. In 2017, he took the positions of Legal Officer at the biggest Slovene producer of electricity (Holding Slovenske elektrarne d.o.o.), where he primarily covered corporate governance, labour law matters, data protection and other general legal matters. Berkopec is one of the co-founders and head of legal department at IED.

David Ellerman

President

Dr. Ellerman holds Masters in Economics and a Ph.D. in Boston University. Between 1992 and 2003 he worked at the World Bank on the topic of privatization in transitionary countries. He has been active in the field of economic democracy for the last 40 years. He is the co-founder of the Industrial Cooperative Association (USA), EOS d.o.o. (SLO) and the Institute for Economic Democracy (SLO), where he is currently the President. Ellerman is an author of many books on various subjects, and the co-author of the European ESOP model adopted by the European Employee Shareholding Federation.

Tej Gonza

CEO

Gonza finished his Master' degree on the topic of economic democracy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam in 2016. Currently a PhD candidate and Young Researcher at University of Ljubljana working on employee ownership. A co-author of the European ESOP model adopted by the European Federation for Employee Share Ownership in Brussels. He is a Co-Founder and the Director of IED.

Gregor Berkopec

Head of Legal Department

Berkopec graduated from Faculty of Law in Ljubljana in 2013. In 2015, after working in FMCG and NGO sectors, Gregor accepted a position in the legal department of an international advisory firm (Deloitte d.o.o.), where his primary focus were investments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, corporate management, data protection law and labour law. In 2017, he took the positions of Legal Officer at the biggest Slovene producer of electricity (Holding Slovenske elektrarne d.o.o.), where he primarily covered corporate governance, labour law matters, data protection and other general legal matters. Berkopec is one of the co-founders and head of legal department at IED.

Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela

Leja Drofenik Štibelj

Sebastjan Pikl

Experts' Board and Research

Professor of Sociology of Work and Economic Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Between 1999 and 2001, she was a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She has been a member of the European Commission's expert networks in the field of gender equality and employment since 2004. She was vice-dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences between 2007 and 2011. Economic democracy is an important topic of her research and pedagogical work. From 2015 she is the head of the Doctoral Study at the University of Ljubljana. From 2021 she is the head of Centre for organisations and human resources research at the FSS UL. She is a co-founder of the IED and a member of the IED expert committee.

Head of Educational Department

In 2016 she finished her master’s degree at the Faculty of Social Science in Ljubljana. For the past fifteen years she is active in the field of employee ownership and author of several articles about employee ownership. Between 2014 and 2018 she was a member of the government’s project group for economic democracy. She began to be interested in employee ownership during her work in the Association of Employee Ownership in Slovenia (DEZAP), which has prepared numerous initiatives for the legal regulation of employee ownership in Slovenia and organized several seminars and international conferences.

Financial Administration and Legal Communication

Pikl is a founder and present director of NOVUM Institute, an institute for strategic and applicable research, active in the fields of policy analysis, political communications, and visual media. He is co-founder and one of the managers of Cooperative “Dobrote”, a social enterprise. In past years he has also served as an advisor in various communications projects, including the campaign for the former president of Republic of Slovenia Dr. Danilo Türk. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Economic Democracy, where his tasks include financial administration and political communication.

Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela

Experts' Board and Research

Professor of Sociology of Work and Economic Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Between 1999 and 2001, she was a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She has been a member of the European Commission's expert networks in the field of gender equality and employment since 2004. She was vice-dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences between 2007 and 2011. Economic democracy is an important topic of her research and pedagogical work. From 2015 she is the head of the Doctoral Study at the University of Ljubljana. From 2021 she is the head of Centre for organisations and human resources research at the FSS UL. She is a co-founder of the IED and a member of the IED expert committee.

Leja Drofenik Štibelj

Head of Educational Department

In 2016 she finished her master’s degree at the Faculty of Social Science in Ljubljana. For the past fifteen years she is active in the field of employee ownership and author of several articles about employee ownership. Between 2014 and 2018 she was a member of the government’s project group for economic democracy. She began to be interested in employee ownership during her work in the Association of Employee Ownership in Slovenia (DEZAP), which has prepared numerous initiatives for the legal regulation of employee ownership in Slovenia and organized several seminars and international conferences.

Sebastjan Pikl

Financial Administration and Legal Communication

Pikl is a founder and present director of NOVUM Institute, an institute for strategic and applicable research, active in the fields of policy analysis, political communications, and visual media. He is co-founder and one of the managers of Cooperative “Dobrote”, a social enterprise. In past years he has also served as an advisor in various communications projects, including the campaign for the former president of Republic of Slovenia Dr. Danilo Türk. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Economic Democracy, where his tasks include financial administration and political communication.

Elena Galevska

Tea Žgank

Marko Funkl

Head of marketing

Graduated from The School of Economics and Business in Ljubljana (major in marketing) and the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje (major in social work and social policy). Awarded a commendation and a scholarship for her exceptional GPAs. Worked as a comparative analyst at the Institute of Economic Research. Currently completing her master studies at the IMB program in Ljubljana. In 2020 Galevska becomes part of the Institute of Economic Democracy as she finds the employee ownership an ideal integration of the two fields. She works in the area of financial analysis and marketing.

Legal Department

Tea graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Maribor, where she is currently completing a master's. During her studies, she began to participate in many projects, such as On the Creative Path to Knowledge and the Student Innovative Project. Her curiosity lays in the fields of commercial law, information technology, and environmental protection, with a particular focus on achieving benefits both for the environment and business. That is where she sees the great potential of employee ownership. Currently, she is working as an in-house legal advisor with an IT company, where she advises in the field of corporate and labor law, data protection, and cybersecurity. In 2021, she joined the legal department of the IED.

Political Communication

Funkl started his political career as the president of the Student Club Association of Slovenia, where he tried to reform certain legal irregularities within the organisation. In 2010 he was one of the founders of the Gibanje za dostojno delo in socialno družbi, which is still active in the field of workers’ rights today. Today, Funkl is the major of Hrastnik Munincipality and one of the co-founders of the Institute for Economic Democracy.

Elena Galevska

Head of marketing

Graduated from The School of Economics and Business in Ljubljana (major in marketing) and the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje (major in social work and social policy). Awarded a commendation and a scholarship for her exceptional GPAs. Worked as a comparative analyst at the Institute of Economic Research. Currently completing her master studies at the IMB program in Ljubljana. In 2020 Galevska becomes part of the Institute of Economic Democracy as she finds the employee ownership an ideal integration of the two fields. She works in the area of financial analysis and marketing.

Tea Žgank

Legal Department

Tea graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Maribor, where she is currently completing a master's. During her studies, she began to participate in many projects, such as On the Creative Path to Knowledge and the Student Innovative Project. Her curiosity lays in the fields of commercial law, information technology, and environmental protection, with a particular focus on achieving benefits both for the environment and business. That is where she sees the great potential of employee ownership. Currently, she is working as an in-house legal advisor with an IT company, where she advises in the field of corporate and labor law, data protection, and cybersecurity. In 2021, she joined the legal department of the IED.

Marko Funkl

Political Communication

Funkl started his political career as the president of the Student Club Association of Slovenia, where he tried to reform certain legal irregularities within the organisation. In 2010 he was one of the founders of the Gibanje za dostojno delo in socialno družbi, which is still active in the field of workers’ rights today. Today, Funkl is the major of Hrastnik Munincipality and one of the co-founders of the Institute for Economic Democracy.

Erika Funa

Kosta Marco Juri

Research and education

She got her Master's degree in International Relations at Leiden University, focusing particularly on the question of institutional responsibility for the state of social and economic rights and poverty. She has done an internship at Oxfam Ireland, and a communications traineeship at the European Commission's Representation in Slovenia, and has spent time in Greece working in the NGO sector in non-formal education and promotion of international mobility. She joined IED's research department in 2021.

Researcher and designer

Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International and Diplomatic Studies from the University of Bologna. Currently completing an MSc in Political Economy of Europe at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Former member of the Italian National Collective of Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). Co-founder of the youth political organisation ‘L’Europa Futura’.

Erika Funa

Research and education

She got her Master's degree in International Relations at Leiden University, focusing particularly on the question of institutional responsibility for the state of social and economic rights and poverty. She has done an internship at Oxfam Ireland, and a communications traineeship at the European Commission's Representation in Slovenia, and has spent time in Greece working in the NGO sector in non-formal education and promotion of international mobility. She joined IED's research department in 2021.

Kosta Marco Juri

Researcher and designer

Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International and Diplomatic Studies from the University of Bologna. Currently completing an MSc in Political Economy of Europe at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Former member of the Italian National Collective of Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). Co-founder of the youth political organisation ‘L’Europa Futura’.

Experts Board

Prof. Dr. Noam Chomsky, častni član IED

Dr. Christopher Mackin, Ownership Associates Inc.

Matjaž Čemažar, Domel d.d.

Kyla Alterman, Ownership Associates Inc.

Ginny Vanderslice, Praxis Consulting Inc.

Mark Pleško, Cosylab d.d.

Aleš Dolenc, M-Sora d.d.

Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, FDV

Miha Lavtar, Optiweb d.o.o.

Mag. Aleksander Igličar, SEB

John Case, Employee-Owned America

Dr. David Erdal, Tullis Russell

Prof. Dr. Jože P. Damijan, SEB

Prof. Dr. Marko Jaklič, SEB

Dr. David P. Ellerman, IED

Prof. DDr. Rudi Rizman

Vladimir Kreačič

Bogdan Biščak