Elizabeth has an international background in broadcast media and, also, as a true “trans-citizen”, she has lived and worked in Europe (London, Athens), the Middle East (Doha-Qatar) and the US (New York, Atlanta). Furthermore, she have extensively travelled the world to meet with (and most of the times interview) foremost experts, business, government, social, intellectual leaders (i.e. Ted Turner, Al Gore, Mohammed El Baradei, Lord Robertson, Chris Patten, Dr Deepak Chopra, Christianne Amanpour, James Rubin). Hence she has acquired not only a deep and extensive knowledge of working in cross-cultural environments, but also the necessary communication skills and etiquette to meet with global leaders and opinion-makers.
· Elizabeth has achieved the formation of partnerships, which provide her with access to a wide number of countries and markets. Some of the companies she has worked with: Thomson Reuters, CNN, Al Jazeera, PR NewsWire, Africa 24, APCO Worldwide, NewsXchange, Oxford University.
· She has an extensive network of media, business, academia and public service experts that stretches out globally and with particular expertise on the Emerging Markets (India, KL, Indonesia, Africa, ME).
· Thanks to her background in the international media she has extensive knowledge of global affairs and excellent access to an extensive global network in national and regional media worldwide.
· She has selected, recruited and worked with teams of multicultural backgrounds and based in different locations worldwide (UK, USA, India, France, South Africa, Kenya, Greece) and also deigned and implement innovative strategies.
· She has in-depth expertise in organising international-scale events
· As a crisis management expert she has consulted companies and public entities such as the Olympic Games 2004 Committee, Coca Cola, National Lottery UK, Banking Groups and Public Ministries.
Elizabeth is an ardent supporter of the need (and opportunity) to promote global collaboration and also a dedicated fan of the virtual revolution and the numerous ways that technologies and the World Wide Web can radically transform societies, people, relationships and the world around us!
She strongly believes in a vision of a globalised world, a world of greater access, intelligent thinking and revolutionary minds.
In this interview she speaks about shifting careers from mainstream journalism with international media to becoming a global entrepreneur, the Founder & CEO of Global Thinkers Forum.
Q: Elizabeth why did you decide to move from journalism into founding Global Thinkers and Global Thinkers Forum?
A: I did not exactly ‘move’ from journalism. I still investigate, research and report what is happening in our world, but through different means.
I felt that I could do more active and more effective on the ground work by creating a global platform consisting of dynamic thought leaders who are changemakers. This is in relation to the Forum. As far as Global Thinkers is concerned, I have been working as an independent management consultant since 2000 and so it was just a natural development and choice to launch my own consulting firm.
Q: How do you think your previous experience helped you in this shift?
A: It helped me acquire a significant amount of knowledge related to global trends (incumbent and emerging), I developed the skill to work in complex and culturally diverse environments and also perform really well under deadlines. I think that the need to produce fresh thinking and develop platforms that promote collaboration and understanding will continue. It is a very complex world out there and there is a cry for new policies and new initiatives that can improve people’s lives and help them prosper, develop.
Q: I see that you do a lot of work in the Arab world/MENA countries, what do you see as the main difficulties for a European organisation in this environment?
A: None, really. If an organization is credible, open minded and respectful of the local culture, then I see no obstacles in their work.
Q: What do you see as the principal difficulties of the organisation/industry as a whole, and how are you dealing with them?
A: Building a good concept and a mission of meaning and relevance to our world. That is the first challenge. The second challenge is to make it financially sustainable/viable. The third challenge is to build it as a brand, a credible and trustworthy entity. And the fourth challenge is to get your work to be endorsed by respected global leaders. So far we have scored 10 out of 10 in all!
Q: What do you think have been the key skills that have enabled you to succeed in your career?
A: Sense of mission, focus, hard work, perseverance and continuous self improvement through continuous learning. Also risk taking.
Q: What skills would you look for in a potential employee?
A: All the above as well as integrity and efficiency.
Q: What are the best bits about your current role? And the most negative aspects?
A: Meeting amazing new people and thought leaders –from all walks of life, all cultures and all ages are the best bits. Airport waiting time is the only negative I can think of.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?
A: Having the trust of people who have honoured me with their friendship, support and love.
Q: What do you think have been the best decisions you have made in your career?
A: To be fearless when it comes to work and career risk taking and follow my curiosity and dreams wherever these might take me.
Q: Are there any decisions you made that you regret, or would have done differently with hindsight?
A: I always tried to make the best decisions possible given a number of existing variants and assessing the existing situation and prospects. Sometimes my decision making should have been tougher and sometimes I should have handled things with more diplomacy.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for someone younger looking to get into the same/similar sector?
A: Read, listen, learn-as much as you can. Be open minded and respectful towards diversity. Do not be put off by difficulties and challenges and follow your gut feeling-it is right most of the times. And hard work is a must if you want to succeed. And if you want to seriously succeed you need to be ten times faster and more efficient than others.