The profiles of the 3rd GIWA winners.
arts and culture
Pianist / Composer
Pianist, composer, improviser and bandleader. Classically trained (Piano Soloist and Composition) she regularly employs improvisation in her practice. She makes jazz of the kind where improvisation is just the starting point and somewhere out there -or something deep inside- is the aim. Her interdisciplinary projects span an impressive range of styles - a borderless amalgamation of the global reality. Her genre-defying "open sound language" is often described as lyrical, inspired, complex, eclectic, intoxicating and highly original. As the Korean magazine Jazzspace wrote: “This music invites the listener to dream of eternity.”Her discography is released on New Zealand's foremost label, Rattle. All her albums received wide international acclaim and were included in numerous ‘Best of’ lists, with Transcendence cited as one of the most important Greek albums of the decade according to many Greek media.She regularly performs at major festivals in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Slovenia, Romania, Skopje, Greece (among others: Jazzfest Berlin-Berliner Festspiele, Madrid International Jazz, Enjoy Jazz, Bergamo Jazz, Bimhuis, Ars Musica, November Music, Onassis Stegi, NFM Wroclaw, Skopje Jazz, Athens Jazz, Handelsbeurs, Borusan Sanat, Stavros Niarchos FCC, Thessaloniki Concert Hall), but also in special projects like the site-specific concert "634 minutes inside the volcano". Her music for film has travelled to many festivals, museums and Biennales worldwide. In May '21 she was nominated for the Deutscher Jazzpreis-German Jazz Prize-in the category Piano/Keyboards International.She currently works with musicians such as: Maria Pia De Vito, Nik Bärtsch, Michele Rabbia, Daniele Rocatto, Amir Elsaffar, Sun Mi Hong. Several concerts of her were broadcasted by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, RTBF, ERT. In the fall '22 she was artist in residence at one of Europe's most important jazz festivals (Enjoy Jazz).
business and entrepreneurship
Founder & CEO
My name is Marina Arplia and I am the founder and CEO of Project Parenting. I studied Primary Education in the University of Patras, where I discovered AIESEC where I worked as a volunteer for 4 years. AIESEC for me was the best business school. I had the opportunity to volunteer in a lot of counties (Ghana, Lithuania, Moldova) and travel in 15 more, and I took more than 15 roles in the organization. With my last experience as Business development manager after my AIESEC experience, I entered the business world and worked in Google and GSK. It was a great achievement for me to enter these companies without any relevant study background. Then I quitted my job in GSK to follow my dream and do something with direct impact in the world. This is how I created Project Parenting the first e-learning platform for parents in Greece and with a very innovative business model in a global level. Project Parenting is the e-learning platform that parents who strive for ease of mind, accurate knowledge & advanced parenting skills, need. We support parents thrive as humans and caregivers, as we provide them with evidence-based solutions through educational material created by 130+ certified and experienced professionals on parenting and self-development, based on the latest and gentlest parenting methods. I started the startup 2 days before the first lock down in my country with no budget and 2 years later, we have more than 250K users and 2.5K customers. My next move is to go global and create the biggest hub of likeminded people who aim to support parents and create an online library where every parent in the world will have access to.
business and entrepreneurship
Stoumpou Myladie Polyxeni
Myladie Stoumbou is an experienced digital executive, leader and strategist. She specializes in building and transforming global and diverse high performance teams, as well as in assisting businesses to leverage opportunities from the 4th industrial revolution and current exponential technologies. She has worn many hats in her professional career – started as systems engineer and a programmer, developing into a digital technology and innovation evangelist and later into a regional executive. She has been working in multinational environments for many years – mainly in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe – and has a unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects, to navigate non-standard challenges and to solve complex problems. She is currently working as a regional director for Microsoft, and she goes beyond that. She supports digital entrepreneurship as a mentor for MIT Enterprise Forum in Greece, The People's Trust and Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub for EMEA. She is a women leadership advocate. Chair of Women in Business committee for Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, and a mentor for Women Leadership Programme in the European Innovation Council. She is an international keynote speaker addressing topics like leadership, future of work, diversity and inclusion, artificial intelligence and digital entrepreneurship. She has 2 TEDx talks and she is the author of many articles in LinkedΙn as well as many prestigious Greek and International sites.
Studies and professional experience I hold an Arch Diploma degree from the Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki, an M.Arch degree from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a PH. D from the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, UCL, London, in which I worked under the supervision of Prof Bill Hillier. I am currently Professor of Architectural Design in the School of Architecture of A.U.Th. I have written two books: Sakellaridou, R. (2019), Sea Voyage. Photography Erieta Attali, Berlin: Hatje Cantz. Sakellaridou, I. (2001), Mario Botta. Architectural Poetics, London: Thames & Hudson, (in english). Published in italian (2000) by Rizzoli. I practice architecture with emphasis on large scale complex projects, I write about architectural composition, I study creativity and teach design. I am founder of SPARCH SAKELLARIDOU/PAPANIKOLAOU ARCHITECTS which has evolved in the last years to RS SPARCH. RS SPARCH focuses on innovative architecture and urban design at different scales and has a strong interest in the poetics of space, the power of the concept, materiality, sustainability and light as the creative forces that enable architectural poetics to emerge into design.
education and psychology
Founder and CEO, Psychologist
Vivian Chiona is the founder of Expat Nest, which promotes the emotional well-being of expats by offering professional online counselling services. Our qualified counsellors are familiar with the mobile life and offer emotional support in several languages, including English, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese and Chinese (with more to follow). We serve adults, parents, couples and teens, with consultations taking place online and in the comfort of the client’s home or environment of choice. Expat Nest was awarded Best Online Expat Counselling Provider globally, as well as in the Benelux area and in the Netherlands, for 2022. Vivian is a psychologist with Master’s degrees in both Child & Adolescent Psychology and Health Psychology. A multilingual, bicultural expat with family all over the world, she feels most at home within the international community and is inspired by its diversity. Vivian has successfully consulted with thousands of clients and has delivered training on topics including transition, Third Culture Kids, dealing with stress, bereavement, expat loss and special educational needs. Prior to launching Expat Nest, she was the school counsellor of The British School in the Netherlands and a taskforce member of the International School Counselor Association. Passionate about both connecting with people all over the world and the role of education, Vivian was involved in the Pestalozzi Programme for education professionals of the Council of Europe, as a teacher trainer and as a moderator of the online Community of Practice; she also participated in expert groups for the Council of Europe. Vivian is also actively involved with Families in Global Transition (FIGT) and is one of the founders of the FIGT Affiliates in both Greece and Holland. Vivian was recognised as one of the 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World for 2020 for her positive contribution to society and as a “visionary woman serving humanity”.
environment and sustainability
Alpinist, EU Climate Pact Ambassador, Founder of AWomanCanBe.org
Vanessa Archontidou is a mother of two boys and a woman who literally “climbed high mountains”. She was a member of the first Greek women’s alpinist team, that climbed Mt Everest in the spring of 2019. As part of her mountaineering activity, she has traveled around the world scaling the 7 SUMMITS, the highest peaks of each of the 7 continents.Although for the past 17 years Marketing and Communication have been at the core of her business career, working as a Marketing Director for multinational companies, her personal development has been strongly influenced by her love of nature, meditation, mountaineering and traveling the world.Since 2004, she is a member of AOS (Athenian Mountaineering Association) and has completed the Climbing and Winter Mountaineering School. As a Mountain Leader, Vanessa occasionally leads ascents and hikes all over Greece.Through her experiences she has developed a deep respect towards nature as well as a concern for environmental sustainability. She is also a certified mindfulness teacher, specializing in outdoor meditation techniques that enhance concentration, empathy, positive psychology and empowerment.In July 2020, she founded AWomanCanBe.org an organization that promotes women as leaders and agents of change by supporting female inclusive initiatives that address the Global Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on Climate Action. Since the beginning of 2021, she has joined the cohort of EU Climate Pact ambassadors, organizing and implementing projects and campaigns aiming to raise awareness and help local communities to confront the climate crisis.
Managing Director / CEO notos Department Stores
I am Greek and Italian, I was born and raised in Greece and I lived in London for 14 years. I studied Financial Economics and I hold a Msc. in Management from the London School of Economics & Bocconi University in Milan. My thesis for LSE was on M&A in the Italian Luxury Goods industry. I speak four languages and I have lived in 3 European countries.After graduation I went to work for Alexander McQueen initially in the finance department and six months later, I was moved to the commercial department to become Sales Manager for Southern Europe where I was responsible for more than 56 wholesale accounts. Furthermore, I was showroom manager for our showrooms in Milan and Paris. The designer at the time was still alive and present in the office, being a creative inspiration to all of us. The team was small, and I had the opportunity to see everything that was happening in the business from the design studio to the actual shop floor.In 2005 I moved to Gucci Group, and I switched careers. I held the title of Worldwide Media Planning & Buying Manager for the entire Gucci Group. I was responsible for the advertising strategy of all the brands of the group (8 brands Gucci, YSL, Bottega Veneta, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, Bedat). Our budget was $210 million. My job included handling 5 media agencies around the world, negotiating the advertising rates and positioning as well as liaising with the creatives. In May 2010 I moved back to Greece as Buying & Business Development Director for attica Department stores where I remained for 9 years. During those years I introduced more than 150 brands on all categories, I helped redesign parts of the store to reflect international standards and elevate the image. I introduced concept Pop-Up stores, seasonal stores and worked with marketing on special initiatives. Finally, I opened 2 more attica stores in Thessaloniki as well as monobrand boutiques for Furla & A/X.Currently, and after a brief period of consulting, I am CEO to the notos Department Stores. In 2020 I was offered the CEO position with a plan to turn the stores around after 15 years of hibernation. We are currently working on a rebranding, on updating the brand offering to elevate its image, on a website redesign and finally we are focusing on an omnichannel communications strategy.2022 marked 20 years in the Fashion industry for me!
BSc in Business Administration from the University of Maryland. Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Advisory Board member of ACS Global. Seasoned, business professional with a unique blend of international finance and management expertise. Substantial experience in originating and managing transactions in the Maritime Industry. Since 1986, held managerial positions in Shipping, Banking and Advisory, with positive results in excess of $20B. Shipping Finance career with Athenian Sea Carriers and Head of Shipping Finance of 2 Greek private Banks, responsible for setting up and developing their shipping loan portfolios. Executive Director of Investments & Finance Ltd, a shipping investment banking advisory boutique in Piraeus since 2000. Advise Shipowners and Entrepreneurs on their Business Development strategies, advise Shipowners, Entrepreneurs, and Bank financiers in distress with financial restructuring transactions in excess of $5B of bankruptcies and complex workouts of public traded securities. Sourced and arranged over $16B complex bank debt financings, over $4B in public and private equity placements. Advisor/Jury Expert with the European Commission for Blue Economy, Governor of the Propeller Club Port of Piraeus and Chairwoman of the Scholarships and Donations Committee, WISTA Hellas member and former Executive Committee member of WISTA International. Promote gender diversity and inclusion in the maritime sector, support women of all ages in advancing their careers in the industry, thus eliminating gender-based inequality. Regular speaker and moderator in International Shipping Forums on Finance, Sustainability, ESG and Diversity. Clinical Lecturer on Shipping Finance at the Piraeus University MSc in Shipping Management and Mentor to the students of the program. Shipping Finance Lecturer at the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and a Trainer at DNVGL Training Academy. Advisory Board member of YES Shipping Forum and Board member of IforU.
Arvaniti - Minoto Afroditi
Group Director of Operations
Afroditi Arvaniti-Minoto Agile, inspirational leader, creating state of the art experience in the Hospitality industry. Managing Director in the hospitality industry with 20+ years of experience in leading management roles with International Luxury Hotel Chains as well as Hotel Investment Companies. A transformational leader with systemic view in developing business and creating high expectation value. Leading by example, creating added value for the organization and the generations to come. Afroditi has a Master Certificate in Hospitality Management (focus on Financial Management & Revenue Management) from Cornell University, USA. April 2022 – today Group Director of Operations – DOMES HOTELS & RESERVES all under Marriott Brands (Luxury Collection & Autograph Brand) October 2021 – March 2022 General Manager Task force preopening/opening project - First MILOS Luxury Hotel Opening July 2020 – October 2021 General Manager & Senior Advisor to the Board at Kalesma Mykonos Hotel SA August 2020 – today General Manager & Senior Advisor to the Board at Kalesma Mykonos Hotel SA From June 2020 - Senior Consultant-Associate Hospitality Strategy & Analytics – Deloitte Greece August 2019 – April 2020: Task Force Managing Director L+ R Properties, TITANIA HOTEL PROJECT July 2018 – July 2019: CEO & General Manager SLS Cardinal SA – Hospitality Investment and Management June 2010 –June 2018: General Manager NJV Athens Plaza Hotel – & Managing Director of Varnicos SA July 2006 - May 2010: STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS, DOSM of Astir Palace Complex Jan 2003 - July 2006: HILTON INTERNATIONAL , DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING HILTON ATHENS April 2002 – Dec 2002: ATHENS 2004 (Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games), Project Manager Hotels/Athens Head Office March 1998 – March 2002: ACCOR Sofitel Hotels Complex Director of Sales, Rhodes New Conference Centre Opening for 3,000 delegates 1992 – 1998: Director of Sales &Marketing, Horizon Travel
law and political sciences
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece on 13 June 1977. After finishing school (Pierce College/the American College of Greece, 1995) I worked at our family business while studying at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (Ptychion in Theatre Studies in 2002). I went abroad to pursue a Master in European Political & Administrative Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges in Belgium (2003). Although my original plan was to work at the Directorate General Education & Culture, I ended up declining a stage in this DG in order to continue my studies. I pursued a MA in Advanced International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria (2004). I was then awarded a scholarship by the Austrian state to pursue postgraduate studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna (2004-2007) and a doctoral degree in Politics at the University of Vienna (2005-2009). I conducted my postdoctoral research at the University of Vienna (2009-2011), Stanford University (2011), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2012) and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2013-2015). I then moved to the University of Salzburg, where I started working as an Assistant (2015-2017) and then Associate Professor of Comparative Politics (2018-2020). My son, Kosmas, was born in Salzburg on January 13, 2017. Since March 2020, I am Professor of Politics & Gender, Diversity & Equality at the Department of Political Science of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS). I am the founder of this chair – which is also the first professorship of Gender Studies at the PLUS and the State of Salzburg. My research and teaching focus on democracy, equality and diversity; I am interested in the causes and consequences of unequal political participation and representation and in particular in women’s political empowerment. My work appears in leading international peer-reviewed journals of Political Science, such Party Politics, European Union Politics, and Politics and Gender.
media and marketing communications
I am a partner and CEO at Hill & Knowlton Strategies Athens. H+K is one of the world’s leading global communications companies, partnering with clients across more than 80 offices globally in more than 40 markets. I lead a team of 22 people harnessing a spirit of unbridled creativity and innovation to help clients drive growth, manage risk, and defend and improve their reputations in today’s extraordinary environment. At the same time, I am founder of GOD – GO Digital, a specialized digital communications & marketing agency in Greece which offers digital strategy, influencer marketing, social media content creation and handling as well as branding and advertising. I am also very honored to hold the position of Vice President of Make a Wish Greece and I have been a volunteer at the organization for numerous years. Hill and Knowlton and GOD work pro – bono for Make a Wish Greece and provide the communication strategy and execution for all the Organization’s creative and communication needs. At the same time, I have been a volunteer cook for the NGO “Deipno Agapis”, cooking Saturday meals offered to homeless people living at the Athens center and Piraeus. Lastly, Hill and Knowlton offers pro bono work for the NGO “Theotokos” to help raise awareness of the organization’s multiple activities related to inclusion and diversity (programs for children with developmental delays, developmental intellectual disorders and autism spectrum disorders). Prior History I am a Harvard Graduate and hold a BA in Psychology /Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University and an MA in Education from Harvard University. I have also attended 2 summer programs at Harvard Business School and hold degrees in Influencing Consumer Behavior and New Media. I have graduated from Athens College, Psychiko. I am a proud mother of 2 great kids!
science and technology
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Academic Appointment: Dr. Alexandra Touroutoglou is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. She leads clinical trials to develop new treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the Director of Imaging Operations at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Translational Brain Mapping. She earned her PhD from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and completed postdoctoral training at the Harvard Medical School. Research: She has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health and is the author of highly cited articles in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, her team discovered a remarkable group of older adults called Super Agers who defy the inevitable and despite their age, continue to have youthful brains. The discovery of Super Agers laid the foundation for Dr. Touroutoglou and her colleagues to pursue clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease that reverse memory decline with brain stimulation. Her clinical trials use innovative techniques that investigate how brain shrinkage leads to symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and how brain stimulation can alleviate these symptoms in people who are at an early stage of the disease. Her goal is to intervene at an early stage so that people may have the best chance of being treated successfully. International Reputation: Dr. Touroutoglou is known internationally for her clinical research, having contributed to widely regarded textbooks in aging and dementia. Her findings have been featured by media outlets around the world, including the BBC, Harvard Gazette, Huffington Post, and The New York Times. In 2023, she was invited to talk about her work at the United Nations.
My name is Eleni Lykofridi and I am 28 years old. I am working as a Seafarer in Oil Tankers since I was 18 and I have obtained Captain Class A' license. My decision to be involved in the Shipping Industry was taken at a young age. The independence that this profession offers, the traveling, and the opportunity of meeting new countries and different nationalities were three of the main reasons that made me chose the seafarer's job. Besides all that, it was a challenge on its own as I was walking through a male-dominated path. Every closed door, every rejection, every underestimation gave me strength. I was determined to succeed as a professional and that is what I am trying to do until now. Shipping as an Industry gives you in addition, the unique feeling of broadening your horizons regarding knowledge matters. Knowledge is power and gives you fullness. That is why I have followed four Master Degrees, from Shipping Management to more generic as Business Administration. I love learning new things! I love giving myself new food for thought, new information, something valuable each day. Finally, born and raised in a small fish village on the sea coast, I never forget my roots. Each step and decision that leads me ahead, makes me look back twice. Gazing at the blue sea view, reminds me of my home, my reasons and my causes to continue doing this honorable job.
My name is Kalliopi Araouzou but everyone calls me Kelly. My whole life smells of chlorine and salt as for the last 27 years I have been in the pool and sea doing what I loved most. Until 2021 I was a professional swimmer. I made my dream come true in 2016, participating in the Olympic Games in Rio in the sport of open water. I served my sport and represented my country in European and World Championships winning 7 European and 3 World medals. At the same time I was able to and finished my studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Faculty of Primary Education. Soon I will start a master's program specializing in Dual Career in sports believing after so many years of being involved in sports that the hardest part of a champion is the moment when he decides to stop professional or amateur sports and does not know what he will do for the rest of his life his life. At the moment I am the Representative of Athletes at the Hellenic Swimming Federation and on the Athlete Commission at the Hellenic Olympic Committee. Αs for my institutional role, I am trying to help Greek athletes with simple or complex problems that they face in their everyday life.
young star award
Hi! I’m Alice and I’m 18 years old. I co-founded Pop2See Smart Class (with Konstantinos Mazarakis in July 2021), and I lead our business activities, while I also study Chemical Engineering at the University of Patras. I live by the idea that “people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” (Steve Jobs). My broken glasses inspired Pop2See, a project that started as a Team of Robotics and continues as a young startup. Our system helps blind students re-join the classes of schools and unis by developing autonomy and independence and upgrading their interaction with their teachers. In June 2022, we won the 1st prize at the National Competition for Young Scientists, awarded by the Ministry of Education, and represented Greece in the European Competition at Leiden. Having won 1st place in the Greek qualifiers, we represented Greece in the World Robot Olympiad (WRO 2022, Germany) and won the silver medal. I love acting and have participated in 10+ plays, including 4 where I co-acted with people with disabilities, supported by “Mahites”, an association that empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Furthermore, I have been a Girl Guide and a volunteer since I can remember myself. I have contributed to events such as the European Championship of Archery (2018), Hult Prize Greece (2018), Coca-Cola Youth Empowerment (2019), etc.
Τhe awards of Lifetime Achievement and International Recognition are excluded from the nomination, judging and public voting process.
Lifetime Achievement Award 2023
Greek Singer - Political and Cultural Activist
Maria Farantouri was born in Athens. She is well known all over the world as the ideal interpreter of the works of Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hadzidakis. She has played an important role in the movement for the revival of the Greek music and her voice became a symbol of resistance and hope as she took an active role in the struggle for democracy, in the women’s movement and in ecological activism.Her songs based on the poems of Nobel Prize winning poets, such as George Seferis and Odysseas Elytis, as well as several other great poets. Some of her major interpretations are Mikis Theodorakis works Canto General, set to poetry by Pablo Neruda, Romancero Gitano, set to poetry by F.F. Lorca which she performed with world famous guitarist, John Williams and the well known work by Mikis Theodorakis. The ballad of Mauthauzen which she performed with Israel Philharmonic conducted by the great conductor Zubin Mehta at the Herodes Atticus Odeon in 1991 for the Unesco Millennium, in Paris in 2000 as well, in Israel in 2014.Her international repertory includes songs by George and Ira Gershwin, Berthold Brecht, curt Weill, Lucio Dalla and the Turkish composer Zulfie Livanelli. Recent collaboration is with the great American saxophonist and jazzman, Charles Lloyd with whom she recorded the Athens Concert released by Manfred Eicher’s ECM 2011, and was awarded by the German critics the following year.Maria has given all over the world in the most famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in 1994 with Mikis Theodorakis, Lincoln Center, L Olympia, Salle Pleyel, Royal Albert Hall, Barbigan center, Berlin philharmonic and the Metropolitan museum NYC in 2013 with Charles Lloyd.Critics were enthusiastic. The Guardian wrote “She is unique, her voice is a gift from the Gods of Olympus”. Le Monde described her as the Joan Baez of the Mediterranean, the Daily Telegraph as a “people’s Callas”. The President of the France Republic, Francois Mitterrand mentioned in his book “The Bee and the Architect” for me Greece is Maria Farantouri. This is how imagined goddess Hera to be strong, pure and vigilant. I have never encountered any other artist that has given me such a strong sense of the divine. On September 23rd 2004, the President of Greek Democracy, Mr Constantine Stephanopoulos, recognized Mari Farantours contribution to the Greek culture and music awarding her the Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix. In 2014 she was awarded with the “Premier Tenco” of San Remo in Italy. On October 6th, 2017, she was awarded the International Award Liber Press in Gerona Spain.