1st Annual Symposium of the SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership



Building prosperous organizations through creative Leadership

The 1st Symposium of the SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership took place on February 12, 2020 at the Lighthouse of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The event coincided with the Center’s one-year anniversary and featured distinguished speakers from Greece’s leading industries. 

Participants and speakers at the Symposium shared practice-relevant insights about best practices related to creative leadership internationally and in Greece.  

But what exactly do creative leaders do? As recent research suggests, depending on the characteristics of the business and professional context in which companies operate, creative leadership can appear in one of the following shapes or forms:

As facilitating. This is the common form of creative leadership across most industry sectors, whereby leaders tend to facilitate the creativity of the individuals and teams they manage.

As directing. This type of creative leadership is common in sectors where the creative identity of the product/service is key and creative leaders generate themselves a creative vision and direct others towards its materialization.

As integrating. In this type, creative leaders synthesize heterogeneous creative inputs into a final creative product or service. This form of creative leadership is more common in sectors where work is highly complex and interdependent.

Moreover, to monitor how creative leadership in Greece is delivered and practiced, the Center carries out an applied research to identify companies in Greece which:

(a) provide a work environment that systematically inspires and promotes creative behavior among a large number of their employees;

(b) offer products or services that carry the unique creative identity of a top leader or founder; or/and

(c)  produce complex products or services that integrate the creative work of various professionals. 

During the Symposium, participants were exposed to the multifarious aspects of creative leadership in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to technology, to digital entrepreneurship, to creative economy (design, advertising, film production, fashion, film direction, gastronomy, etc.) and others, and will come to realize that, when done right, creative leadership can guarantee the growth, prosperity and longevity of companies and organizations.  


Download the Symposium's agenda (in Greek) here  


  • Stelios Argyros, Chairman of BoD, Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece
  • Axarloglou Kostas, Dean, Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece 
  • Steve Vranakis, Chief Creative Officer, Government of the Hellenic Republic 
  • Christos A. Ioannou, Director, Employment and Labour Market affairs, Hellenic Federation of Enterprises
  • Alexandros Katraouzos, Managing Director, Neotex AEBE 
  • Eleftheria (Errika) Pekopoulou, Plant Director/Q.P., Elpen Pharmaceutical Co Inc 
  • Petros Spanos, R&D Director, Palirria S.A. 
  • Michael Tsaoutos, General Manager, EPSA S.A. 
  • Konstantina Angeli, Head of New Product Development, Korres Natural Products  
  • George Zarogiannis, President & Managing Director, Soho Square Athens
  • Dimitra Kolotoura, Co-founder, Zeus + Dione
  • Vangelis Gerovassiliou, Oenologist and Owner, Ktima Gerovassiliou
  • Lefteris Lazarou, Chef and Owner, Varoulko Seaside
  • Loukia Beikou, Designer and Owner, Atelier Loukia
  • Yannis Kouroudis, CEO, Head Creative Director, k2design
  • Olga Malea, Film Director & Writer
  • Spiros Mavrogenis, President, General Manager and Producer, Stefi and Lynx Productions  
  • George Panou, Group Digital Innovation and Digital Transformation Director, Mellon Technologies 
  • Antigonos Papadopoulos, Commercial Director, Cardlink S.A. 
  • Nikos Sahinis, General Manager Niche Markets Division, Entersoft S.A. 
  • Nikolaos Georgoudelis, Tech Entrepreneur
  • Angelos Gkamiliaris, Level Designer and Business Administrator, Pixel Reignà 
  • Thanis Paraskevopoulos, Solutions Manager, Uni Systems, S.M.S.A.


Download the Symposium's speakers Bios here


Section A | Discussion 1: Laying the groundwork for a more creative future

  • What is the contribution of creativity in the entrepreneurial and social prosperity
  • What is the role of creative leadership in the development of entrepreneurial extraversion? 
  • What institutional, educational and structural reform do creative leaders implement in the era of AI and digital transformation?

Section B | Discussion 2: Innovation as the outcome of leadership decisions with a long-term horizon

  •  What is the role of creative leadership in the transformation of a business? 
  • How do political leaders prepare their businesses in light of tomorrow’s disruptive innovations?
  •  What is the role of creative leadership in the business’s proactive experimentation with ideas that cannot be implemented yet?

Section B | Discussion 3: Nurturing the creativity of the human capital

  • What are the elements of the work climate that encourage creative thinking?
  • What are the best structures of creative collaboration with internal and external partners?
  • How do leaders manage rising tensions within their teams in the midst of a creative project?
  • What is the leader’s role in the evaluation of new ideas?

Section C| Discussion 4: The identity of the creative leader

  • How is personal creativity transformed into a primary source of entrepreneurial and social value?
  • How do creative leaders breathe new life to their inspiration and aesthetic signature in the course of time?
  • How does a leader operate as creator, entrepreneur, teacher, visionary and gatekeeper?

Section D| Discussion 5: The creative leader as connective tissue

  • What is the leader’s role in the creation and management of creative teams with professionally diverse members?
  • What is the importance of the creative vision in the progress of a multi-faceted project?
  • How does the creative leader operate as the connective tissue between multiple internal and external partners?

Section D | Discussion 6: Creative leadership and digital transformation

  • What is the role of creative leadership in the development of complex technological innovations?
  • What flexible and collaborative forms of creative leaderships are encouraged by the digital transformation?

Section D | Discussion 7: Collaborative leadership and co-creation beyond boundaries of space and time

  • What forms of leadership favor the creation and support of virtual creative teams?
  • What is the role of creative leaders in conceiving and implementing creative projects within unconventional space and time limits?

Section D | Discussion 8: Co-creation and symbiotic careers

An alternative “on stage” interview with the Duo Violins.


Nikos Efstathiou from Kathimerini  interviews Dr. Babis Mainemelis and Mr. Christos Ioannou , in an effort to "decode" Creative Leadership.

Read the interview here


Maria Akrivou and fortunegreece.com share the experience and insights from the 1st Annual Symposium 

Read the article here


More articles in Kathimerini.gr can be found here and here 

Article by Economia : "Creative leadership": searching for content in words

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