Argyro Barata

Short CV

Argyro has an extensive experience of 18 years in the production of cultural projects with national reach for tourist destinations, important Greek festivals and international organizations. She curates Thessaloniki Cultural Management Academy, a post-graduate program by Goethe Institut for cultural managers aiming at capacity building to inspire innovative processes in the cultural sector, which stimulates exchange and collaboration in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe. Also, she curates Reworks Agora, the international forum of ideas of Reworks Festival funded by Creative Europe program. It is a cross-thematic conference that explores the future advancements from the intersection of culture, technology and entrepreneurship in collaboration with other 8 major European music festivals. In 2014 she founded FEAST Greece, an offline civic crowdfunding platform that brings creative ideas to life. The project was part of the Greek delegation at the 2016 SXSW festival with the support of the US Embassy and the Hellenic Initiative. She is a member of Bosch Alumni Center and CitizensLab, a European network of 55 organizations that prototypes and tests innovative solutions for social challenges. Additionally, shaping a new urban mentality to amplify active citizenship through cultural participatory practices motivated her to support the Thessaloniki Resilient City, TEDx Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki Allios programs.

Argyro is our hostess!


Anna Athanasopoulou

Head of Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries (BE)

European Commission

Short CV

Anna Athanasopoulou is Head of Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries at the European Commission. An EU official since 2002, she held various posts relating to culture, media and creative industries, and external relations. She has served as Deputy Head of Creative Europe, Assistant to the Deputy Director-General at DG Education and Culture and Member of Cabinet of European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and she also worked at the EU Council Office in Geneva. Before joining the EU civil service, Anna worked as Adviser to two Ministers of Culture in Greece and Director of Programme Planning for the 2004 Cultural Olympiad. In parallel she lectured on History of Art and Cultural Management. Anna studied Archaeology and History of Art (Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki) and specialised in History of Art (Master of Arts, George Washington University; Ph.D, Courtauld Institute of Art).

Presentation: Design and the renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy

at 12.30 – 12.45

Design creates value for Europe in economic and social terms. EU actions supporting design recognize this dual dimension, which is one of the characteristics of the European approach to cultural and creative sectors. The intervention will outline key actions supporting design at European level and sketch out the policy vision in the context of the renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy, adopted in September 2017.

Michael Thomson (6)

Michael Thomson


Design Connect (UK)

Short CV

Trained in 3D design in Northern Ireland and Germany, Michael Thomson established Design Connect in London in 1995. As an independent design strategist and facilitator, Michael helps teams, businesses and organisations around the world evolve their visions and strategies for growth.

Michael works internationally with leading design companies, governments, public sector organisations and global manufacturing businesses including Dyson, ECCO shoes, Tupperware Corporation and Samsung C+T in South Korea.

As President of the Bureau of European Design Associations, (2007-2009) Michael initiated and led, with the BEDA Board, the high-level lobbying process that persuaded the European Commission to include design in its Innovation Strategy in 2010 and subsequently authored the report, ‘Design for Growth and Prosperity’ for the Commission’s European Design Leadership Board.

A former Board member of the World Design Organisation, Michael created and directed ‘Shaping the Global Design Agenda’, the first ever international conference on national design policy held as a part of Torino World Design Capital 2008.

Presentation: Design-led Staretgy Thinking for Growth

at 12.45 – 13.00

You can find Mr. Thomson’s presentation here

Dimitris Kaboukos

Dimitris Kaboukos

Marketing Coordinator

Hellenic Design Centre

Short CV

Dimitris Kaboukos is the marketing coordinator of Hellenic Design Centre and he is in charge of creating, implementing and overseeing the communication program of the centre in order to effectively describe and promote the organization and its products. He has studied Business Administration and has been a member of the European Programmes Department of KEPA since 2013, responsible for the drafting of proposals and the implementation of projects, with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation programmes. He is also experienced in auditing state-supported private-sector projects, having been entrusted with the management, monitoring, audit and certification of more than 200 investment plans.

Presentation: Hellenic Design Centre, your innovation partner just landed

at 13.00 – 13.15

You can find Mr. Kaboukos’ presentation here

didaskalou photo

Alex Didaskalou

Ingenno Design, Berlin

General Director, Co-Founder

Short CV

Alex Didaskalou is an awarded designer combining a scientific background with engineering skills and holds an Industrial Design Diplom of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig and a Master of Arts in Design Products from the Royal College of Art London. Alex is the CEO and founder of Ingenno Design based in Berlin, offering multidisciplinary strategic and creative services for both physical and digital products, systems & applications. Ingenno Design and Designlab (its sister company in Athens) have a long and wide track record of successfully completed international projects. Alex is also an accomplished public speaker, researcher, startup mentor and lecturer about design & development related subjects like innovation management, new product development, brand & dissemination strategy, design engineering & development and User Experience & User Interface (UX/UI) design. Alex has also been leading project teams participating in European funded design research and when not directing design projects for commercial clients, is also teaching ideation and implementation design methods in Berlin and in Athens. He speaks english, german, italian, spanish and greek and has also completed theoretical musical studies at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki.

Presentation: The evolution from Design to Service Design Thinking and the human-centric design process.

at 13.15 – 13.30

What is design? What is NOT service design? How does a designer think? What are the early stages of the design process? How does design add value to a product or a service and why is it important? A short but concise journey about the added value of design led innovation and around the main beneficiary.

You can find Mr. Didaskalou’s presentation here

Deborah Dawton photo

Deborah Dawton

Design Business Association


Short CV

As Chief Executive of the UK Design Business Association, Deborah works with the industry to champion the tangible and measurable impact of design in business and the public sector nationally and internationally. Her passion for design as a strategic tool that boardrooms have been slow to realise and experience of the UK’s diverse and competitive design sector lead to a role on the advisory board of the Creative Industries Federation. She also sits on the board of the Bureau of European Design Associations whose job it is to champion design at a European level and into the European Commission. She speaks extensively and writes things down less frequently preferring to draw a picture!

Presentation: Only one business can be the cheapest!

at 13.30 – 13.45

A wise man once told me that only one business can be the cheapest, the others have to differentiate themselves by design. What can that differentiation bring a business, and how do you bring business success to your brand?

Demetrios Fakinos


European Design Festival

Short CV

Demetrios Fakinos studied Business Administration (BA Hons) at the University of Piraeus and Human Resources Management (MSc) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. His professional career has granted him a central, critical role in the advancement and promotion of design initially in Greece and currently on an international level. In 1998 he published +DESIGN magazine and in 2002 he initiated EBGE (Greek Graphic Design Awards). He organises (or co-organises) four annual conferences that cover the fields of communication design (DesignAthens), architecture and interior design (ESO), digital design (Digitized) and product/industrial design. He curates the Design Ypo Stegi cycle of events at the Onasis Cultural Centre. He directs the European Design Awards and the accompanying festival since 2007 and he’s a member of the Advisory Board of the Porto Design Biennale.

Demetrios Fakinos is going to moderate

the Fishbowl Conversation

at 14.40 – 15.15

Päivi Tahkokallio


Vice-President (FI)

Short CV

“Päivi Tahkokallio is Founder and CEO of Tahkokallio Design+, a design thinking and strategic design agency in Lapland, Finland. She is President-elect of BEDA, The Bureau of European Design Association and Vice President of Ornamo Art and Design Finland. She is the first Chair of Design Committee of Lapland Chamber of Commerce, and a Fellow of RSA, UK.

Päivi, with her international track record on strategic and social design has been called the mother of Arctic Design, a design approach to support sustainable development of the Arctic. While creating the brand for Arctic Design Week, she helped the city of Rovaniemi to partner up with Helsinki, the World Design Capital in 2012, and was the catalyst in the inclusion of arctic design in the national Arctic Strategy of Finland.”

Päivi Tahkokallio is going to participate

in the Fishbowl Conversation

at 14.40-15.15

Audrone Drungilaite Photo

Audrone Drungilaite

Lithuanian Design Forum

Executive Director

Short CV

Audrone has been interested in design ever since she began to study at a local children’s art school. Even after launching a career in credit management, she couldn’t leave her love of design behind and, after studies in France, she resolved to make it her future. Since 2014 she has been chief executive of the Lithuanian Design Forum (LDF). The LDF is a non-governmental organization that seeks to raise the profile of design as a factor for sustainable economic growth and as a catalyst for societal development, across manufacturing, communication and public life. Audrone is also responsible for the management of Design Week Lithuania, the biggest design festival in the Baltics. A graduate of Vilnius Academy of Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and a Master’s in Cultural Management and Politics, Audrone is an enthusiastic promoter of Lithuanian design around the world – and sometimes curates Lithuanian design exhibitions abroad.

Αudrone Drungilaite is going to participate

in the Fishbowl Conversation

at 14.40-15.15

David Grossman photo

David Grossman

International Council of Design

Board Member-Former President (CA)

Short CV

David Grossman is Past President of ico-D, the International Council of Design. He has lectured and served on juries in many countries and has organized and curated many design exhibitions and events. Of late he has been very active in developing the design industry infrastructure in China. He represents ico-D on the Steering Committee of the International Design Summit Meeting.

He is an environmental graphic designer and has many years of experience as a practicing designer, educator and activist in the international design community.

David Grossman is going to participate

in the Fishbowl Conversation

at 14.40-15.15

Nikolaos Tsoniotis

Product Innovation Manager

CERTH – Information Technologies Institute

Short CV

Telecommunications R&D Engineer for over a decade and serial entrepreneur . Overall an engineering mindset with entrepreneurial skills and qualities. Current activities include product innovation management at CERTH/ITI and startup coaching at OK!Thess, Thessaloniki’s pre-incubation program

Nikolaos Tsoniotis is going to participate

in the Fishbowl Conversation

at 14.40-15.15


Gulay Ozkan

GEDS Design and Innovation Consultancy


Short CV

Gulay Ozkan is an award-winning entrepreneur. Her design and innovation consultancy GEDS helps companies create human-centric solutions that are well-connected with human behaviour, needs, and desires. To name but a few of her accolades, Gulay has been an advisor at the Boston-based Design Management Institute, a member of the Design for Europe Expert Panel and listed in the EU’s Global Board Women Ready project. Her work around humanising tech earned her a place on Singularity University’s GSP13 programme at NASA Ames Research Park in Silicon Valley. She was named curator of Harvard Business Review Turkey’s first Design Thinking conference in Istanbul in 2016 and design coordinator of Maturolife, a EU funded design-driven nanotechnology project that takes place in 9 EU countries in 2017. | @gulayozkan | youtube/gulayozkan

Presentation: Transformation in Design in the Age of Technology

at 15.15 – 15.30

As technology transforms lives dramatically in an increasing pace, design companies have the responsibility of integrating technology into the contexts of societies and living beings. To fulfill this responsibility, designers must adapt their ways of working into this transformation and acquire new skills. This talk discusses how we in GEDS tackle this challenge with examples such as our work with Maturolife, a EU funded design-driven nanotechnology project that takes place in 9 European countries.

You can find Ms. Ozkan’s presentation here

Vassilis Vassiliadis

Vivid Vibes


Short CV

Vassilis is a consultant and trainer for Customer Experience and Service Design. He helps organisations to define their purpose and build a purposeful customer experience culture. In the past years he has been involved in a series of cutting edge projects aimed to bring service design culture into organisations worldwide. He founded VividVibes in 2017 focusing on designing transformative and disruptive strategies. With his background in psychodrama and sociodrama, he aims on making an impact on people’s lives and driving change.

Presentation: If culture eats strategy for breakfast, then guess what culture does with service design… 

at 15.30 – 16.00

You can find Mr. Vassiliadis’ presentation here 

Thomas Sutton  at Frog Design in Brooklyn, New York  Photography by Timothy Fadek / Redux Pictures

Thomas Sutton


Vice President-Design (IT)

Short CV

Thomas Sutton leads frog’s health design practice in Europe, partnering with corporations, start-ups, the public sector and NGOs to develop innovative medical devices, digital health solutions, and new models of care.  Using examples from this work, Thomas will outline the emerging practice of value-based design.

Presentation: Value-based Design: pushing the limits of design in complex socio-technical systems

at 16.30 – 17.00

“Focus on the user!” has long been our mantra in design and innovation circles. Design thinking, agile and lean start-up methods all agree on this point. Yet real-world experiences designing for complex service domains demonstrate that focusing on individual users is a necessary but insufficient condition for achieving meaningful innovation. To innovate in socio-technical systems, we need to think about value creation from multiple perspectives, drawing on a toolkit that extends well beyond classical user-centred design.

You can find Mr. Sutton’s presentation here

Ioannis Markakis


Creative Director / Partner

Short CV

Somethink is an award-wining, multidisciplinary creative agency based in Athens, founded in 2001 by Aimilia Kanta. Brand Design and Strategy is the main focus of the agency, providing a wide rage of services in visual communication from print to digital media. Open to collaborations for relevant expertise, Somethink aims to create unique brand experiences for services and products. Our team is committed to deliver meaningful design with curated content for the long term. Selected clients: FrieslandCampina, Aktina Travel Group, Safege, ADK, “Hellenic Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport & Networks”, Hellenic Ministry of Finance, “Hellenic Chinese Center for Entrepreneurship”, Panteion University, University of the Aegean, Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, EPP (European People’s Party), Amnesty International, Novartis, Chiesi, Genesis Pharma. Ioannis Markakis studied Design at the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean. Active in the filed since 2012, he has worked as a designer and art director in a range projects. In 2016 he joined Somethink as a Partner and Creative Director.

Presentation: Design Thinking in Branding as a tool for Growth

at 17.00 – 17.15

We believe that Design should not only have a decorative nature. A holistic approach within brand design thinking can be very beneficial to help companies grow, expand and in many cases innovate. What could the role of the designer be today? How design can help businesses apart from their visual perception? We strongly believe that good design goes hand by hand with vision, creativity, growth, and most important out of all, potential change.

You can find Mr. Markakis’ presentation here

Anna Whicher photo

Anna Whicher

Head of Design Policy

PDR – Cardiff Metropolitan University

Short CV

As Head of Design Policy, my main professional interest is in developing, implementing and evaluating government policies using design methods. I am responsible for developing partnerships, drafting proposals, leading networks, conducting research, developing strategies and evaluating impact for government, enterprise agencies, sector councils and trade associations. Since 2009, I have been managing a portfolio of multi-million pound European, research council and government contracts. I’m currently leading Design4Innovation, an INTERREG EUROPE project to integrate design into innovation programmes and support government to develop design action plans. I’m also a board member of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA).

Anna Whicher is going to moderate

the CampFire Session

at 17.15-17.50:

The outputs of the EDF’s morning session

on European Design Action Plan


Joe Tanti


Malta Business Bureau

Short CV

Joe Tanti, MSc (Strathclyde), is the CEO of the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) – the EU-business advisory office for the Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. Throughout his professional career, Joe has gained extensive international experience having lived and worked in Switzerland, the UK and Ireland. Joe has considerable expertise in a wide range of EU-funding programmes, resulting in the successful submissions and management of various projects, some of which have been nominated as best practices by the European Commission. In the area of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, he has been a catalyst in the launch of ZAAR – Malta’s first crowdfunding platform – a project spearheaded by the Malta Business Bureau and the University of Malta. Joe was appointed Ambassador for the European Commission’s Design for Europe programme in Malta and is a strategic partner in the H2020 DesignShots Project.

Joe Tanti is going to participate in

the CampFire Session

at 17.15-17.50:

The outputs of the EDF’s morning session

on European Design Action Plan

Simon Bensasson

President / Coordinator


Short CV

Has a degree in architecture from the University of Thessaloniki and one in Computer Science from the University of London. After working as technical manager of the “Design Office Consortium” in Cambridge, UK he started his own software house in Cambridge, and then another one. Joined the EC in 1990 where he’s been head of Future and Emerging Technologies and, later, head of International Relations in ITC. In May 2014 was elected to the Thessaloniki City Council, where he is responsible on matters relating to innovation.

Simon Bensasson is going to participate in

the CampFire Session

at 17.15-17.50:

The outputs of the EDF’s morning session

on European Design Action Plan

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