Welcome From Elizabeth H. Filippouli, Founder

Working Together for Youth and Women and the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2000, at a UN Summit, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were defined. The MDGs were the body’s flagship plan to eliminate poverty across the globe with a target date of 2015.

When 2015 came to a close and the world took a look at the progress that had been made, it was clear that although more than a billion people had been lifted out of poverty — many of the MDGs were not complete successes. In fact, some had failed outright.

One of the major MDG failures is the fact that the success of the goals was not experienced equally across the globe; this in itself is a major defeat. In 2015 the UNGA approved the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 global goals that would be part of the global development agenda 2015-2030.

In the same year (2015) we launched our international mentoring programmes ‘Telemachus’ for youth and ‘Athena’ for women as our pledge to actively support the economic empowerment of young people and women, through personal development, knowledge transfer and access to opportunities. These two programmes have been our active contribution towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020 we are celebrating our 5th Anniversary. Within 5 years I am enormously proud of the work that we have been accomplishing. I am also deeply grateful to our dedicated Board, our Partner organisations, our brilliant mentors and our generous Sponsors for making these programmes a reality.

Within 5 years our reach is in over 45 countries, 5,100 mentoring sessions have been conducted and more than 5,000 individuals have been directly and indirectly benefitted from our programmes. The case studies in this report are only a small sample of the tangible work achieved.

We are immensely passionate about our mentee’s achievements. Visionary young people and women of all ages, each of them working towards one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It brings tears of joy to my eyes when I hear the enthusiasm and passion with which our mentees speak about the learning journeys and watershed moments with our mentors.

I wish to invite you to partner with us, as impact can only be maximised through partnerships. In your country, your region, your industry, there are women and young people who can benefit hugely by being paired and mentored by an international expert. This is the way to transfer leadership skills, and knowledge.

So, let’s keep walking the talk, together!

My very best,

On behalf of the GTF Board,
Elizabeth Filippouli
Founder & CEO, Global Thinkers Forum & Athena40

Elizabeth H. Filippouli

Founder & CEO, Global Thinkers Forum & Athena40

Elizabeth H. Filippouli is a journalist, author and executive. Her early career in print and broadcast journalism at Greek and international media was prelude to now over a decade of activism and serial entrepreneurship.

She is Founder and CEO of Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) since 2011. GTF is an independent civil society agency incubated at the University of Oxford, now London-based and working through a global network of thought leaders to promote values-based decision making and supporting women and youth through programmes and initiatives in MENA, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

In 2018 Elizabeth launched Athena40, a family of diverse initiatives that advance female leadership by creating opportunities for women to be recognized for their work and connecting them with peers from around the world.

Elizabeth serves on the Global Advisory Board of the Prince’s Trust International. She is often invited as speaker on visionary leadership and women's issues. She has read Strategy and Innovation at Oxford’s Said Business School, Transnational Media and Globalisation at London City University (MA), and is completing the MS on Philosophy, Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh. Her first book ‘The Invisible Reality’ was published in Greece in 2004. In 2020 she co-authored together with Dr Marc J. Ventresca a work on ‘Kindness in Leadership in Times of Crisis’, the first of several publications that rethink the work of leaders.

Twitter: @ElizaFilippouli