STAFF AND ASSOCIATES
George Isaias is the founder and executive director of the SYNTHESIS Center for Research and Education Ltd, a pioneering enterprise aiming to inspire, develop and support social entrepreneurship and social innovation on the island. He is also the founder of Hub Nicosia, the first hub of social innovation and social impact in the country. He holds a BS in Business Administration and an MA in Government and Politics from US universities. He has been the key speaker in a number of European conferences on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He provides training on entrepreneurial and business related themes. He has been involved in educational and social projects for nealy fifteen years and has a strong experience in the full cycle of projects, from project development to project evaluation. His passion is social entrepreneurship and his key interest is the development of the field of social entrepreneurship in Cyprus. He is a recipient of the Stelios Award for Business Cooperation in Cyprus 2013; the award is set by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet.
Maria Georgiou holds a BSc in Sociology and an MSc in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour. Since 2012, she has been working on EU and UN funded projects which predominantly focus on social inclusion, global citizenship, democracy, promotion of dialogue, media literacy, youth engagement, global education and sustainable development. Maria has experience in using the Structured Democratic Dialogue Process in the development and application of new and innovative projects. She has also accumulated experience in the quality assurance process by designing entry and exit questionnaires and conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups. Her interests include employability, development education, career management, organisational behaviour and strategic planning. Maria is a member of the Publications and Communication Committee of the Cyprus Human Resource Management Association.
Ms. Golfo Kateva has studied Psychology and Systemic Counseling in Greece and holds a Masters degree in Educational Psychology. She has worked with different groups, inlcuding young people with learning difficulties and hearing impairment as well as adults. She has developed training materials for competencies such as self-esteem, team building, and communication and run mentorship programmes. She is experienced in psychometric tools and has been trained in the use of "Self Awareness," a diagnostic tool that assesses entrepreneurial skills in young people. She has been country manager in a number of Erasmus+ projects on entrepreneurship, language acquisition, and migrant integration, including the YESict, EnYouthTeacher and the Welcomm project.
Irene Antoniou is a teacher with advanced studies on special and inclusive education. She has studied in Cyprus and the United Kingdom. She has particular experience with people with disabilities. Her passion is using arts for empowerment. She has been trained in mentoring methodologies and is delivering training programmes on social and emotional learning. In addition, she has experience in administering projects funded by local and EU bodies. She has been the project administator for the project "Pan European Peer Education” (PEPE) and “Future Europe” (FutEur).
Dr. Nicos Souleles holds a PhD from University of Lancaster in Educational Research and Technology-enhanced learning. He is an associate Professor at Cyprus University of Technology, where he runs the 'Art + Design: elearning lab - design for social change." This lab deals with design education, design for social change and social entrepreneurship, as well as technology enhanced learning. His students work on social innovation projects as part of their postgraduates studies, and have developed pilot apps that address a variety of social issues such as mobility, environmental protection and recycling. The Lab organises World Design Day Cyprus. Currently, Nicos is working on a project titled REFIL (Refugee Integration through Language) which builds a model of language acquisition and social integration opportunities for refugees in a sustainable way.
Ioanna Siakalli holds an MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford. She is currently working at UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the Innovation and Leadership in Curriculum and Learning team. Her work predominantly focuses on Global Citizenship Education, the publication of IBE-UNESCO’s In-Progress Reflection Series on Current and Critical Issues in Curriculum and Learning, as well as conducting research on current educational issues (e.g. national assessment, youth, computational thinking, smart learning). She has teaching experience in both Cyprus and the United Kingdom, which has helped her gain valuable insight into the inner workings of schools. She therefore has a more holistic understanding of issues pertaining to education systems. Her research interests include identity construction, citizenship education, and global citizenship education.
Themis is finishing his PhD in Advance Computing/Human Computer Interaction. He was a member of the BIG lab (Bristol Interaction Group at the University of Bristol and a member of the CDT in Communications. Throughout his Ph.D, he became a member of the GHOST (Generic and highly organic shape changing interfaces) project which was supported by the EC within the 7th Framework Programme through the FET Open Scheme of the European Commission. He was an exhibitor for the GHOST project in the European's Commission's ICT Innovate Transform Connect) exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal in which the project was listed as one of the top 10 must-see projects out of the 150 EU funded projects. Themis has been a judge for the Google Science Fair since 2013 and was teaching various Human Computer Interaction and future technologies modules at the University of Bristol. His main interest was dynamic physical visualisations by utilising acoustic levitation for the purpose of data visualisations using levitated objects. His work was featured in CNBC, BBC and CNN and he presented in various high tier conferences around the world including Seoul, Toronto and San Jose.
Mostafa is SYNTHESIS regional representative in Egypt and North Africa. He has has established G.O.L (Goal Oriented Learners), one of the most successful youth communities in Egypt G.O.L at the age of 19. G.O.L aims at improving Egyptian youth employment skills by offering training on Social Entrepreneurship, Career Development & Soft skills. Mostafa has delivered training to more than 8000 students and graduates in Egypt since 2011. He has an engineering background and studied social entrepreneurship at Connecticut University, USA. He has attended international entrepreneurship conferences in different countries all over the world. He has served in many international organizations either as an intern or a full time employee, including IBM Egypt, Ashoka Arab World, Mercy Corps Egypt and IIE (International Institute of Education). He is currently representing two international companies and is a reporter at Nudge sustainability hub where posts on all the entrepreneurs' success stories. He is the SYNTHESIS & HUB NICOSIA regional representative in Egypt and North Africa since December 2015.
Dr. Andreas Pavlakis' education and experience focus on three main areas: health, legal science and distance learning. He holds degrees in Nursing, Open and Distance Learning and Law. He has worked extensively (a) as a health professional (b) youth trainer particularly on health matters, and (c) as Secretary to Parliamentary Committees in the Cyprus House of Representatives (d) as an academic and researcher at the Open University of Cyprus. Dr. Pavlakis' research interests are focused, mainly on people, in particular, health care professionals and the various aspects regarding the functionality of health care units. Concurrently, over the last 20 years, Dr. Pavlakis has been studying the behaviour of youth, in terms of crime, anti-social behaviour, as well as the abuse of legal and illegal substances. Additionally, Dr. Pavlakis' research activities engage with the applied academic methodology of the open and distance learning education, and how this methodology affects the learning process.
Carla Cabrera is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (five-year degree) from Belgrano University (Argentina) and holds a Master’s degree in Developmental and Social Psychology from the University of Cyprus. The subject of her Master’s thesis is related to intergroup contact and prejudice in formally mixed villages in Cyprus. For her clinical psychology license in Argentina Carla did a one-year internship specialization on autistic children. She later moved to the USA where she trained in short-term therapy at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. In the USA she worked for several years as a family and youth counsellor. Upon moving to Cyprus she worked in Nielsen Cyprus as a qualitative researcher, becoming the head of the Qualitative Research Unit. In addition she was a social-services volunteer, providing simultaneous translation and psychosocial support to victims of human trafficking. Carla is currently working at a private school in Cyprus, proving learning support for children with learning disabilities, and as a freelance qualitative researcher. She also provides private social skills training to people with disabilities with the aim to develop and to improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Working in very different fields, living in different countries and traveling has given Carla the opportunity to be exposed to and to study many different cultures. Societal differences among cultures is an area that fascinates her. .
Filios Savvides is a UK Chartered accountant, an ex auditor and banker. He is currently active in a broad spectrum of activities, including active ageing, youth employment and training, and environmentally related grass roots projects. He is President of Materia Group (a private sector social business for the elderly), a director at Tigadoo (a private sector social business for the young), a Board member of Gerontology Research Centre (GRC) and the President of Youth Employment / Training Foundation (IEEN).
Marina Polycarpou is a Gerontologist. She holds an M.Sc from King's College London. She also holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Gerontology from the University of Kansas. She has worked as the director of community services for older people in Nicosia for five years. Since 2001, she is the Managing Director of Materia Group. She is also a board member of the Gerontology Research Center (GRC) and of the Youth Employment / Education Foundation (IEEN). She has a key interest in developing programmes for active ageing and intergenerational learning.
Ms. Karaolia holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Cyprus and a MSc in Information Technology, Management and Organisational Change from Lancaster University, UK. She has been involved in EU funded projects for the past 10 years as a Research Scientist at the Cyprus Oceanography Center and has been serving as Project Manager for the past 4 years. In the past she also served as a Data Manager and Web Developer. In 2008 she founded WabbieWorks Ltd, a small agency delivering web design, web development and digital marketing services to clients such as Louis Hotels, Frederick University, Cyprus Computer Society, Cablenet and more.
Mr. Silay is an Industrial Engineer with a post-graduate degree in Business Information Technology. Since 2005, he has been involved in Resource Management. Realising that social standards and life quality of our communities is decreasing, he moved to Civil Society Sector as a social entrepreneur to inform, educate and transform the society for better life standards and conditions. He has been involved as Information Scientist and Coordinator on projects on Renewable Energy Use, Fair Trade, Rights of Minorities, Conflict Resolution, Democracy, and Peace Building.
Mr. Wang is currently working at a national owned VC/PE in China. Before that he had spent time helping micro-family enterprises to operate small trading businesses. He studied at the Shangail Jiaotong University and the CBI China. He also holds an MSc on Development Projects Management (Distinction) from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. His interest is transferring his experience abroad and helping social enterprises grow.
Ms. Spyroula Mavrommati has studied Turkish Studies in Bulgaria and Cyprus and Business Administration in the United Kingdom. She is an activist in the bi-communal activities implemented in Cyprus and abroad. She has been involved in various projects/trainings accomplished by NGO's within the fields of human rights, cultural diversity, reconciliation, conflict resolution and gender equality. She has a strong knowledge base of civil society in Cyprus, having worked in both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities through various funded projects. Currently, she is the Project Coordinator of the WAP-HR (Women Advocates for Peace and Human Rights) project.
Andrie studied Marketing and Business Management in London where she also acquired the Advanced Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Marketing London. She was in charge of marketing and communications at EY Cyprus.At the same time she graduated with Distinction from London and was awarded a Masters degree in Strategic Marketing. In 2008 she founded Penta Marketing Art, which provided marketing and public relations solutions for private and public companies. In 2010 she founded the Cyprus Image Institute after obtaining the title of Certified Image Maker (with attendance in London) and joined as an associate member of the Association of Image Consultants International. At 27, Andrie was the youngest nominated Ambassador for Female Entrepreneurship for Europe, serving since then as a business advisor and mentor. In 2013, Andrie was designated as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Hope in Life Foundation and a Cypriot Woman of the Year (2013) finalist. As of 2013, Andrie works on a freelance basis and focuses on soft skills trainings and business related consulting.years of hands-on marketing, branding, PR and communications experience. She has over 10 years experience with well known international and local brands, such as DHL, ExpoBank, Ernst&Young. She is often invited to give public speeches and share good practice.