x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Why Not?

This event occurred on
April 2, 2011
12:00am - 12:00am EEST
(UTC +3hrs)

The TEDx Thessaloniki team officially announces the next TEDx Thessaloniki event entitled "Why Not?", which is going to take place on Saturday, April 2nd 2011, at the Olympion, and focus on innovation and pushing the boundaries.
The first TEDxThessaloniki took place on May 9th 2010 in the historic Olympion venue in the centre of town and profiled four speakers in a packed auditorium. In April 2011, we will be increasing the size of the conference, with over twelve leading local and international thinkers and practitioners there to share their “Why Not?” captivating stories with the audience. We are proud to present at this time a few of the speakers to pique your interest:

Paul Lewis, Special Projects Editor at the Guardian and named Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards 2010 for his revolutionary use of social media in journalism. The award-winning journalist leads a team focusing on new ways of breaking news stories, using multimedia and crowdsourcing.
Rob Thompson, Principal Designer at Nokia and award-winning product designer, author and former Lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins, London.
Onic V. Palandjian, a seasoned Venture Capitalist with 19 years of professional experience in Europe and the USA, co-founder of Capital Connect Venture Capital fund and founding investor of Herco SA & Mavin SA.
Eileen Botsford Velissaropoulos, a New Media Public Artist, working on vast spectrum of on-site and on-line projects and commissions, who has exhibited internationally, both in a group and as a solo artist
Pre-registration is open at

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Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is Special Projects Editor at the Guardian. His award-winning brand of investigative journalism has become known for its innovative use of social media and crowd-sourcing. Lewis joined the newspaper in 2005 as a trainee, aged 24. He quickly established a career covering hard-hitting topics in the UK and abroad, where he reported in environments as varied as Antarctica, Vietnam, Dubai and Venezuela. He now runs a team of journalists tasked with finding new ways of conducting "mutualised" news-gathering through micro-blogging sites such as Twitter. In 2007, his investigations into fundamentalist Islam and illegal migration were commended by the Washington Post, where he was appointed to the annual Stern Fellowship. In 2009, Lewis won the Bevins prize for outstanding investigative journalism for revelations about the death of Ian Tomlinson, a newspaper seller who collapsed and died after being attacked by police at the G20 protests in London. He was named Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards 2010, one of the foremost accolades for UK journalists. Lewis studied at Harvard University, where he co-wrote a book on the trials of heads of state, and Cambridge University, where he served as President of the Students Union.

Rob Thompson

Rob Thompson is Principal Designer at Nokia, an award-winning designer and has been involved in the development of materials and products for a range of international companies. He is the author of Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals and the Manufacturing Guides. Formerly a Researcher and Lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins, London.

Eileen Botsford-Velissaropoulos

Eileen Botsford is a New Media Public Artist living between London and Athens and working internationally. She holds a BAhons in Public Art and Design from Chelsea College of Art & Design and an MFA in Theatre Design from The Slade School of Fine Art. Eileen works as a New Media Public Artist, on vast spectrum of on-site and on-line projects and commissions, and has exhibited on an international basis in group and solo exhibitions. Eileen has also won 2nd Best Experimental Video Award 05 at Strange Screen VI, Salonica Cinema Museum. Publications and interviews include Vogue Hellas , Gynaika Magazine, ‘Greek Modern Pioneers 06’ The British Council, Kathimerini Newspaper and various online publications. She is currently working towards her next project taking place in April 2011 at Vrisaki, Athens and her next exhibition taking place in the Fall of 2011 at the ArtVille Gallery Athens, Greece. In 2010 Eileen completed her latest LiveArt project and exhibition called Amalias36 and her Syros based LiveArt project called 'In Memory of' . In 2009, amongst other projects, Eileen also exhibited and represented Greece in the 2009 Florence Biennale.

Onic Palandjian

Onic V. Palandjian is a seasoned Venture Capitalist with 19 years of professional experience in Europe and the USA. He co-founded Capital Connect Venture Capital fund in 2003, which invests in clean-tech, medical devices, consumer goods, and IT companies. Onic has been spearheading the fund's clean-tech investment practice since the early days and became the founding investor of Herco SA & Mavin SA. Previously, he headed the international expansion of the leading mobile marketing company Velti Plc. Prior to that, he founded two sister technology companies which pioneered the concept of online address change; ihavemoved Ltd in London and ichziehum GmbH in Hamburg. The companies were acquired by Royal Mail Plc and Deutsche Post AG. In the early 1990s, he financed and operated shipping projects at Eagle Financial Partners LLC. As an advocate for entrepreneurs and socially-responsible growth, Onic is a featured speaker at entrepreneurial conferences and Universities. He studied in Boston and earned a BSc in Management from Bentley and a CSS in Business Administration from Harvard.

Eleni Dimopoulou

Eleni Dimopoulou has been a main member of "Peiramatiki Skini" Performance and Art Group since 1986. Around that time she started systematically getting involved with Theater Education and teaching Theatrical Expression at schools and cultural organisations. Since 1993 she has been the Head Theatre Consultant at Mantoulidis School, while from 2008 she has taught Performance and Acting at Andreas Voutsinas Drama School. For the last two years she has held the post of Director in the theatrical department Iris of the Paulos Melas Municipality.

Tim Bradshaw

Tim Bradshaw was appointed as the Financial Times' first digital media correspondent three years ago, after several years of writing news and features on technology, business and investing. As a reporter for the FT in London, he covers a wide range of media, technology and marketing stories for the newspaper and the FT TechHub. He writes about trends in the tech industry, media company news, government policy and new innovations from the UK and Europe, as well as social media topics from around the world. He loves his job because he gets to meet the people who make the products and services he enjoys using.

Nina-Maria Paschalidou

Nina-Maria Paschalidou is a filmaker, journalist and producer with extensive experience on documentaries focused on social strife, war and forgotten populations. For the past twelve years Nina has reported for “Vima” and “Kathimerini”, the two major newspapers in Greece. Since 2007 she has been a producer for “Exandas” Documentary Series, an Athens-based documentary group that has won many international awards. She has also produced and directed independent documentaries such as “Spirited Paths: the life of Human Rights Heroes”, and “Boxing Cuba”. She is also the author of Kanun: A child’s Play”, a documentary book on blood feud in Albania, and “From Chaos to Harmony: The Life of Mikis Theodorakis”, a film about the life of the Greek Composer. She is the founder of Forest Troop, an independent documentary and multimedia group and a co-owner of, a news blog created by prominent Greek journalists. She received her undergraduate degree at Boston University in Mass Communications and her graduate degree at Bentley University in Entrepreneurship. She has studied film at La Femis in Paris, and at NYU in New York. She is also a Fellow in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, in Washington D.C. The Prism GR2010 is her first exploration with multi-media storytelling and her attempt to document this critical moment in Greek history.

Lena Divani

Lena Divani was born in Volos in 1955 and apart from an author, she is the Associate Professor of Foreign Policy History at the Law School of Athens. She has published historical studies, a collection of short stories including the awarded "Why Don't You Talk About Me?", novels, books for children, as well as three theatrical plays. Her novel "The Women of Her Life" has been translated into Spanish, Turkish and Italian and has been transferred to television. She has collaborated with the Hellenic Culture Centre and served as Vice President of the National Book Centre of Greece. She is a founding member of the National Commission on Human Rights and a board member of ERT, Greece's National Broadcaster.

Nikos Katsaounis

Nikos Katsaounis is a filmmaker, producer and web-developer, based in New York City. Even though having studied philosophy and sociology, he considers himself primarily to be a documentary filmmaker. Lately he has been moving into the world of multimedia story-telling, and has produced and directed many webisodes, feature films, and animations. Since journalism and media have been going through radical transformations over the past few years and Greece is at an interesting historical turning point, The Prism GR2010 was a perfect opportunity to test his hypothesis that we are at time in history where storytelling and self-publishing have the power to change the world. He has won a few awards for his documentary work, most notably as a member of the NBC team that received an Emmy in 2004. In 2010 he founded N-Coded a media company that focuses on documentary multi-media production. This summer he will launch the Beta version of, a new multimedia storytelling tool that he has been working on for a couple of years.

Michael Zouloumidis

Mr. Zouloumidis took the bold decision to change from a career in the fashion industry in Bulgaria to a farming life in Greece. Through the work and research of Professor Michael Fitikas at the Aristotle University, he realised the potential of cultivating Spirulina - a dietary supplement with very high nutritional value - in the Northern Greek region of Therma, Nigrita, an area unique for this purpose due to its geothermal fields. He single-handedly created the Spirulina market in Greece and is the only producer of Spirulina in Europe, in the process winning the title of most innovative company in the country. His product, which is also certified organic, is the product which the European Space Agency uses for its research on astronaut dietary needs. Through the work of his company Alge SA, his product has been exported to astronaut bases abroad.

Gabriela Scheiner

Gabriela Scheiner is the founder and director of the non-governmental organisation Cultural Triangle of Prespes, which focuses on the border region between Greece, Albania and FYROM. CTP works on actions that strengthen the equal, qualitative development of the region and contribute to the mobilisation of the people of Prespes – concentrating on youth and women – making the borders a comparative advantage. Ms Scheiner has also been very active in the ecotourism field, leading several projects with the aim of promoting local, sustainable tourism, such as the establishment of the Ecotourism Society of Prespes and the TRANSNATURA collaboration of the Amindeo, Nestorio and Prespes regions.

Panagiotis Chrisovergis

Panagiotis Chrisovergis is a founding member of Alli Opsi, an NGO dedicated to creating a training camp for people with disabilities. Panagiotis is a National Wheelchair Basketball Team member and has also undertaken several initiatives related to disability issues, sports and volunteering.

Colin Falconer

Colin Falconer is Director of Innovation at the Foyer Federation where he has worked for the last ten years. The Foyer Federation creates positive solutions that enable 10,000 young people each year to overcome challenges and achieve education, employment, health, housing and personal development goals. The Foyer Federation work mainly through a UK network of learning and accommodation centres, known as Foyers, and have links with Foyer projects around the world. Colin has shaped many of the Federation's leading programmes, from its quality assurance framework for Foyers, to its new Open Talent vision that focuses on young people's ‘assets’ instead of deficits. Before working at the Federation, Colin helped manage the world’s first distance learning degree for ballet teachers, and set up advice and guidance systems for new approaches to e-learning. He is a published writer and graduate from the University of East Anglia.

Athanasios Konstandopoulos

Dr. Athanasios G. Konstandopoulos is the leader of an international research team that has developed the HYDROSOL process for renewable hydrogen production by solar thermochemical water splitting. This achievement has received worldwide recognition through the 2006 Descartes Prize for Research (the highest scientific award in the European Union), the 2006 International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) Inaugural Technical Achievement Award and the Global 100 Eco-tech Award at the 2005 Expo in Aichi, Japan. His extension of that work to include thermochemical splitting of carbon dioxide and its use for the synthesis of Solar Fuels, as alternative to carbon storage technology, has been recognized with a highly competitive 2010 European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant of € 1,750,000. Dr. Konstandopoulos has a hybrid background in Mechanical (Dipl. ME, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1985; MSc ME Michigan Tech, 1987) and Chemical Engineering (MSc, MPhil, PhD, Yale University, 1991). He is the Founder and Director of the Aerosol & Particle Technology (APT) Laboratory at CPERI/CERTH (Thessaloniki, Greece), since 1996 and in 2006 he was elected as Director of CPERI and member of the Board of Directors of CERTH.

Organizing team


Athens, Greece


Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Lazaros Boudakidis
    Production Manager
  • Katerina Biliouri
    PR Officer - Speakers coordinator
  • Revecca Pedi
    Communications Coordinator
  • Nancy Mallerou
    Speakers' Coach
  • Marios Spiroglou
    Film & Video Director
  • Georgios Gatos
    Marketing Director
  • Elena Papadopoulou
    Sponsors Liaison
  • Dimitra Themeli
    Visual Communication Designer
  • Maria Terkenli
    Public Space Designer
  • Stamatios Giannikis
  • Tania Akritidou
    Project Manager
  • Nick Papanotas
    Web Entrepreneur
  • Ioannis Karavas
    Social Media Enthusiast
  • Anargyros Chaliotis
    Website Editor
  • Avgi Vogiatzoglou
    Legal Advisor
  • Argyro Barata
    Music Producer
  • Christina Biliouri
    Product Designer
  • Mary Akrivopoulou