Oral Historian & Writer
Alessandro Portelli, an Italian scholar, is renowned for his work in American literature, culture, oral history, and musicology. He founded Circolo Gianni Bosio, dedicated to studying and promoting people's cultures, folk music, and oral history. As a professor of Anglo-American literature at the University of Rome La Sapienza, he is best known in the U.S. for his comparative oral history work on industrial conflicts in Harlan County, Kentucky, and Terni, Italy.
Portelli held positions at various global universities, including Columbia, Princeton, Manchester, Aberdeen, and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Notably, he served as Rome's Mayor's advisor on historical memory from 2004 to 2008 and was a member of Rome's city council for 2005-2006.
Founder & COO of JOKR
Aspa Lekka is the founder of JOKR, a quick commerce company that became one of the fastest unicorns in history. Before that, she was part of the leadership team at Delivery Hero Group, a German multinational food delivery company operating in 50+ countries, where she joined the team at series B and helped scale to IPO. She also spent a year at Softbank's operating group. Her experience spans multiple continents, including Southeast Asia, Europe, the US and Latin America, giving her a truly global perspective. Aspa holds a degree in Mathematics, a PhD from the University of Ioannina, Greece, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She also was a professional handball athlete and a member of the Greek national team from 2007 until 2014.
Co-founders of Vamvakou Revival
Eleni Mami & Haris Vasilakos are both co-founders of the Vamvakou Revival, which was established in August 2018 with vital support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Their team’s mission is to breathe new life into the village of Vamvakou by fostering sustainable development. They seek to attract residents by creating jobs and improving living standards. Key pillars include tourism, innovation, agri-food, culture, and entrepreneurship.
The goal is to transform Vamvakou into a vibrant community, serving as a pioneering model not only in Greece but also internationally.
Eleni Mami, co-founder and Communication & Marketing Director, is a holder of a BA in Marketing and Communication and an MSc in Services Management from Athens University of Economics and Business.
Haris Vasilakos, co-founder and Events & Programming Manager, is a holder of a BA in Classical Studies from the University of Athens, a postgraduate student in Public Administration, and the writer of three books.
Managing Director of IEEE SA
Dr. Konstantinos Karachalios, Managing Director of IEEE Standards Association and an influential figure in global standards development and intellectual property, has led efforts to expand IEEE's presence in strategic emerging technology fields. Under his guidance, IEEE has become a focal point for debates on crucial issues such as a trustworthy and inclusive Internet, emphasizing ethical considerations and the rights of minors.
Previously, Karachalios played a key role in French-German nuclear reactor research cooperation and held significant positions at the European Patent Office, including establishing the patent academy and contributing to technical assistance for developing countries. With a Ph.D. in energy engineering and a background in mechanical engineering, he was appointed G20 Professor in 2022, contributing to the Science of Governance through the Indonesian Academy of Sciences.
Myrto Alikaki, born in Paris in 1972, is a highly accomplished figure in the realms of theater, cinema, and television. Graduating from the "Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun" in 1993, she has since collaborated with notable directors in both classical and contemporary theater productions. Her cinematic performances have earned her acclaim, including the First Prize for Female Role at Thessaloniki’s Film Festival in 1998 for "Black Out" and recognition at Cyprus’ International Film Festival for "The Tree and the Swing." Myrto has also graced television screens in series like "Anastasia" and "Throne Room." In recent years, she has shared her expertise by teaching acting in drama schools and working as a narrator, showcasing her multifaceted contributions to the arts.
Nektarios Tavernarakis, Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the University of Crete, is a distinguished figure in the scientific community. Additionally serving as Chairman of the Board at the Foundation for Research and Technology and Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, his leadership extends to the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory. A member of prestigious scientific organizations, including EMBO and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Tavernarakis has made significant contributions to molecular biology, particularly in necrotic cell death, neurodegeneration, cellular metabolism, and aging.
With a strong academic background, including a PhD from the University of Crete, he has earned numerous awards, including ERC grants, the EMBO Young Investigator award, and recognition from foundations and academies, highlighting his outstanding contributions to biomedical research.
Photographer & Producer
Sever Zolak, born in 1986 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a renowned photographer and producer with a career in fashion and commercial photography. His passion for photography ignited during his early years and starting with analog cameras his work gained recognition with publications in Svet magazine. After studying in Novi Sad and honing his skills in New York, he collaborated with global fashion houses, appearing in the British and Russian Vogue.
A versatile creative, he excels in portraits and socially engaged projects. His collaborative projects with the Civil Rights Defenders and the 2015 Pride event showcase his diverse portfolio. Notable works include the Beo Design Collective exhibition in Paris and the "We Exist!" exhibition in Belgrade (2015),.
His profound experiences and memories have influenced his distinctive photographic style, making his work a testament to the power of dreams, intuition, and following one's heart.
Stamatios Krimigis, Vice-President of the Academy of Athens, is a distinguished physicist renowned for his work on NASA space missions, including Voyagers 1 & 2. Holding a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, he has been associated with Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory since 1968. Honored with numerous awards, including recognition from the US Senate in 2018, an asteroid was named 8323 Krimigis in his honor.
His extensive research, comprising over 640 papers, spans solar, heliospheric, planetary, and interstellar studies. Author of two Greek books, he served as President of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress of Space Sciences (COSPAR Athens2022), hosting 2,700 scientists globally.
Professor at University of Haifa-Oranim | Founder & CEO of TiME
Prof. Uri Shanas, with a Ph.D. in Zoology from Tel Aviv University, is a distinguished figure in academia and environmental conservation. Having published over 60 papers, he served as the head of the Department of Biology and Environment at the University of Haifa, Oranim campus. His postdoc at Columbia University and academic stints in New Zealand and the U.S. showcase his international involvement. Beyond academia, Shanas is deeply committed to nature conservation in Israel, co-founding the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and contributing to the Society for Protection of Nature and the National Park and Reserve Authority. He has played key roles in UNESCO committees and chaired the expert committee of the Israeli Green Movement Party.
In 2016, he established This is My Earth (TiME), a global organization protecting biodiversity hotspots. Currently, as TiME's active chair, Shanas continues to lead conservation efforts and educational programs worldwide.
Lecturer in Statistics & Machine Learning
Xenia Miscouridou, a lecturer in Statistics and Machine Learning at Imperial College London, was recognized for her contributions, she was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Europe in the Science and Healthcare sector.
With a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and research experiences at NYU, the Alan Turing Institute, and Google Zurich, she is a prominent figure in cross-disciplinary research at the I-X Centre. Formerly a Machine Learning Scientist at Investments AI in AIG, she conducted postdoctoral research at Oxford and Imperial College London.
Her work, combining Statistics and Machine Learning, addresses impactful questions in social science, network science, and public health.