*Date TBC

Dear Friends, the Athena40 Forum and Gala planned for April 23rd, 2020 as well as all Athena40-related events are currently put on hold due to the global Coronavirus-related crisis.

These are unprecedented times and all of us are concerned over the spread of Coronavirus. We are following the UK Government's as well as WHO regulations and cancelling any gatherings.
In these challenging times, our thoughts and prayers go to everyone who has been affected and has lost loved ones and friends.  We wish to also recognise the extraordinary efforts of medical staff the world over.

Our conversations and efforts continue and the need to discuss and find new leadership models that include more women in decision making and in our economies will be even more urgent when this crisis is over.

Please stay safe. We brace for this crisis with solidarity, accountability and courage.

On behalf of the Global Thinkers Forum/Athena40 Board,

Elizabeth Filippouli

What is the Athena40 Forum & Gala?


Global Thinkers Forum will host the inaugural Athena40 Forum. The Athena40 Forum will bring together decision makers from all over the world for a day of conversations dedicated to the impact of women in making positive changes in our societies. The theme of the Forum is ‘Women Leading the Way’.


The Forum Day will be hosted at the British Library in London and in partnership with the Evening Standard, featuring internationally renowned speakers and influencers.

The Day will culminate in a glamorous and meaningful Gala Dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of the Athena40 women, drawing further attention to their work.


Leaders, intellectuals, luminaries, personalities, celebrities, philanthropists, friends and partners of Global Thinkers Forum and Athena40 from all over the world are expected to attend.

Selected Invited Speakers & High-Level Guests

Athena40 Forum Programming Themes

(Additional programming themes will be announced)


  • New Leadership Models for our Transforming World (Governance & Society)

  • Let’s Profit Ethically, Let’s Thrive with Purpose 

  • The XX Factor in Technology & Innovation (Tech for Good)

  • The Future of Wealth: Values-driven Investing (Social Impact)

  • Fashion vs. Sustainability (UN SDGs/ Society)

  • Information Crisis: Can Media Restore Trust? 

What is the format of the Conference?

The Athena40 Forum will run from 9am-4pm followed by the evening Athena40 Celebration Gala commencing at 6pm.  The day of conversations consists of keynote speeches, panel discussions, interviews with experts, and breakout sessions. Exchange of ideas and networking are highly important to successful outcomes of the Forum so opportunities to do so will be provided throughout the day.


Who is the Audience?


Executives and leaders in business, philanthropy, academia, science, civil society, government and the arts will attend the Athena40 Forum and Gala. These established leaders share an understanding of the importance and benefit of stepping outside their own spheres of influence to discuss important issues with leaders whom they would not normally engage. They are future-thinkers and visionaries with a shared mission to progress goals towards gender equality.


Agenda Forum - Date TBC*

(*Agenda is subject to change)


Registration and networking


Opening remarks from Global Thinkers Forum & the Evening Standard

Elizabeth Filippouli - Founder & CEO, Athena40 & Global Thinkers Forum

Doug Wills - Managing Editor, Evening Standard


A world in flux:

Exploring new Leadership models for our transforming world

Elif Shafak – Multi Award-Winning Author & Activist
Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE - Chancellor, Regents University London
Silvana Koch-Mehrin– President & Founder, Women Political Leaders
Adel Darwish – Political Journalist & Fleet Street veteran
June Sarpong OBE – BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity
Basma Alawee – Humanitarian, Writer & Activist
CHAIR: Elizabeth Filippouli – Founder & CEO, Athena40 & Global Thinkers Forum 

(15' Break)


Let’s profit ethically, let’s thrive with purpose

Panel discussion on Female Entrepreneurship for Social Impact

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan - President, The Royal Scientific Society

Lili Hall - CEO, KNOCK Inc

CHAIR: John O'Brien MBE - EMEA Managing Partner, Omnicom’s ‘ONE HUNDRED’


More Panellists TBC


The XX Factor in Technology & Innovation

Panel discussion on Pioneering Women in Technology produced by Unblocked Events

Eva Kaili - Head of the Greek SD Delegation in the European Parliament

Vicky Pryce - Economist, Author 'Women vs. Capitalism'

Dr Jane Thomason - CEO, Fintech Worldwide

Fang-Jui Chang - Consultant, Public Digital Innovation Space, Taiwan

CHAIR: Helen Disney - Founder, Unblocked Events

More Panellists TBC

Keynote Speech

Dame Stephanie 'Steve' Shirley - IT Entrepreneur & Philanthropist


Networking Lunch


The Future of Wealth: Values-driven Investing

Panel discussion on Philanthropy for Social Impact - Sponsored by UBS

Panellists TBC


Fashion vs. Sustainability

Panel Discussion - Sponsored by Adoreum

Livia Firth - Founder, Green Carpet Challenge (GCC)
Veronica Chou - Founder & CEO, Everybody & Everyone
Anya Hindmarch CBE - Fashion Accessories Designer & Founder, Anya Hindmarch
Dominic McVey - CEO, Hela Clothing

More Panellists TBC


Coffee Break


Information Crisis: Can Media restore trust?

Panel Discussion Produced by The Evening Standard

Mariane Pearl - Journalist & Author

Jung Chang - Author


More Panellists TBC


Closing Remarks & Announcements


The Venue

The British Library

96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and gives access to the world’s most comprehensive research collection. It provides information services to academic, business, research and scientific communities.

The collection of over 170 million items includes artefacts from every age of written civilisation. The Library keeps the nation’s archive of printed and digital publications, adding around three million new items to its collection every year.

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Global Thinkers Forum & Athena40

8 St. James's Square London SW1Y 4JU UK

Email: info@athena40.org

Web: athena40forum.com - athena40.org - globalthinkersforum.org

Tel: +44(0)8456347820

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