Emmanouil (Manolis) Dermitzakis is currently a Professor of Genetics in the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development of the University of Geneva Medical School. He is a member of the executive board of the Institute of Genetics and Genomics in Geneva (iGE3), a member of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and adjunct faculty member of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. He obtained his B.Sc. in 1995 and M.Sc. in 1997 in Biology from the University of Crete (Greece) and his PhD in 2001 from the Pennsylvania State University in the USA, studying the evolutionary biology and population genetics of regulatory DNA in mammals and Drosophila. His post-doctoral work was at the University of Geneva Medical School, focusing on comparative genome analysis and the functional characterization of conserved non-genic elements. He, previously, was an Investigator and Senior Investigator at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge from 2004 to 2009. He was elected an EMBO member in 2014 and has also been named Highly Cited Researcher by ISI in 2014 and 2015. He currently serves as the president of the Executive Board of the World Hellenic Biomedical Association (2014-2015). His current research focuses on the genetic and molecular basis of human disease. He has had leading roles in big international projects such as ENCODE (ENCyclopedia Of Dna Elements), Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium, International HapMap project, 1000genome and GTEx. He has served as an editor for the journals Science, PLoS Genetics and eLife.
Dimitris Mystakidis is a famous Greek folk (rembetiko) guitar player.
He is professionally engaged in music since 1986.
Throughout these years he has worked with the majority of Greek artists (composers, musicians and vocalists), while the most long-standing collaborations was with the composer and vocalist Nikos Papazoglou and his band “Loxi Falagga” (Oblique Phalanx), and the composer, songwriter and vocalist Thanasis Papakonstantinou.
Since 2001 he is a professor in the Department of Folk And Traditional Music at Epirus School of Arts, teaching folk guitar, lute and ensembles.
In December 2006, he released his first solo album, “16 Rembetika tragoudia me kithara” (16 Rembetiko songs for Guitar), in which for the first time in Greek music history rembetiko songs were arranged exclusively for folk guitar. His zeal to approach rembetiko repertoire to all its depth and width, led him to release, along with other three fellow professors, his second album “Apsilies” (2009) with rembetiko songs from pre-war and Smyrna (Ismir) period and his third album “Psithirizontas to rembetiko” (Whispering Rembetiko) in 2013, which includes rembetiko songs arranged for folk guitar and yayli tanbour.
His new album “Esperanto” has just been released, including songs from the post-war repertoir. This is his second solo album exclusively performed with folk guitar.
Dr. Dimitris Xygalatas is an experimental anthropologist who specializes in the study of ritual behaviour. His research focuses on the application of scientific methods and technologies in ethnographic field research. He has conducted several years of fieldwork in Southern Europe and Mauritius.
He has held positions at the universities of Princeton, Aarhus, and Masaryk, where he served as Director of the Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion (LEVYNA). He currently holds a joint position between Aarhus University and the University of Connecticut, where he is directing the Experimental Anthropology Lab.
His research has been published in top journals across various disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, biology, and general science.
George Pittas was born in Athens in 1954. He is a furniture and interior designer who has also become a writer in the past few years. Between 1977 and 1980 he studied political economy and sociology at the University Paris 8 (Vincennes). A founding member of the “Neo Katoikein” team since 1980, which played a leading role in the area of design, production and marketing of design furniture for two decades.
Since 1995, he has been the owner of the model hotel unit Lefkes Village situated at the Lefkes Village on the mountains of the island of Paros. He was a Board member of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) and was active in issues regarding culture and
Since 2010, he has been a member of the HCH board, and as head of the “Greek Breakfast” program (an HCH program that connects hotel businesses with the primary sector) he travels all over Greece to bring out the most characteristic flavors and products of each region, highlighting the importance of gastronomy in shaping the tourism identity of each location.
He is the author of the books: Signs of the Aegean (2007), Paros, travel in space and time (2008), Athenian tavern (2009), Festivals in the Aegean (2011), Cafes of Greece (2013), The Treasures of Greek Gastronomy (2014). In 2015, he created the website www.greekgastronomyguide.gr, a useful tool for the restless travelers who want to get in touch with the entire Greek Gastronomy.
Judit Neurink (1957) is a journalist and author from the Netherlands, a specialist on the Middle East who has been living and working in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for the past eight years. She set up a media centre there to train journalists and teach politicians and police how to work with the media. Since leaving the centre, she works for Dutch and Belgian newspapers, radio and TV as well as international media. She has written six books, all of them connected to the Middle East, amongst them a novel about the Jews of Kurdistan, and the most recent ones focusing on the Islamic group ISIS. Her latest, ‘The women of the Caliphate’ gives a picture of women’s lives inside ISIS held territory, both victims and women who married into or were recruited by ISIS. She lives with her two Siamese cats in the capital of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil.
©Photo by Adam Mirani
‘’String Demons’’ started their World adventure from Athens, as a worthy rival to the top international bands of their genre.
Through their classical instruments, two siblings from Greece, Constantinos and Lydia Boudounis, set the stage on fire in all their shows and offer a unique musical experience capturing the audience’s attention and gaining huge fans wherever they perform.
Classical music meets Heavy Metal, traditional and folk music meet Rock in an unpredictable performance that excites the audience featuring compositions from Iron Maiden, Queen, Chatzidakis, Bach, Vivaldi, Theodorakis, Tsitsanis etc. that we’ve listened to a thousand times before but never by the “String Demons”. Drums, other percussion and electric instruments fight against classical instruments creating a vivid impact and producing a unique Dionysian atmosphere strongly influenced by Christian hymns and Byzantine rhythms.
The cellist Constantinos Boudounis and the violinist Lydia Boudounis, a.k.a. “String Demons”, began working together in March 2014 after a long period of studying, competition awards, music recordings and concerts in several music halls and stages throughout Greece (Megaron - The Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Parnassos Literary Society, Municipal Theaters etc.) and abroad (USA, France, Austria, United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey).
Studying under Renato Ripo and Dimitri Semsi, respectively, they both got their diplomas with top marks and the “A” award, while having also attended seminars and master classes under Misha Maisky, Sergei Kravtsenko, Natalia Gutman, Raphael Oleg and Antonio Meneses. They have both been honored with awards and medals in competitions and have performed as solo artists in CD's such as “Evangelos Boudounis: 100 Guitars at the Herodeon”, “Historia de un Amor”, “Live at the Megaron”, “The Athens Concert Hall”. Also, they have many times recorded their concerts for EBU and the Greek Radio.
Since 2004, they have been members of the large guitar soloists ensemble of Evangelos Boudounis “100 guitars”, and since 2014 they have been performing live on stages such as the Megaron Concert Hall, the Badminton Theater, the unique Odeon of Herodes Atticus and other places accompanied by this impressive ensemble of 100 guitars.
Founder of several Montessori Schools and Partnership for Change, a Norwegian NGO investing in women and youth to become change leaders of their societies. She is an impact investor and serves at the board of a number of organizations promoting social innovation, developing sustainable business in challenged countries, and meeting climate challenges. She serves at the board of private companies, as well as major NGOs and foundations, both nationally and globally.
With an MsC from the Norwegian School of Economics and an MBA from UC Berkeley, a background from McKinsey & Co and Venture Capital, she has focused entirely on social business and venture philanthropy for the past 25 years. Ingrid has established a number of successful social enterprises. She was one of the a co-founders of the Montessori School system in Norway. The Montessori School she founded in 1991, with ages 3-16, this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, offering an example of what 21st century education can look like. The focus being on actively responding to the great challenges of our time, while at the same time preparing the students for the requirements of the future. A new school building for junior high school level is being built to become a ”powerhouse” – a concept where the building is producing more energy than is used (CO2 negative). The curriculum actively involves the new SDGs, as well as the climate challenges, and the school community involves in the refugee challenges of today.