Open main menu

Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) is a non-profit, London-based organisation and was incubated at Oxford University’s Said Business School in 2011. It has been created to "help our societies and leaders navigate a very complex world".[citation needed]

Global Thinkers Forum
MottoAccountable Leadership. Women’s Empowerment. Youth Development.
TypeSocial-purpose organization
PurposeEducation & Development
HeadquartersLondon, UK
Region served
Official language
CEO & Founder
Elizabeth Filippouli

GTF launched officially in 2012 in Amman, Jordan.



GTF was founded in 2012 by Elizabeth Filippouli.

The 1st GTF and inaugural GTF Awards for Excellence took place in Amman, Jordan (6-8 October 2012) discussing the role of the modern Arab woman, in the MENA region and globally.[1] GTF convened some 350 international executives under the patronage of Queen Rania of Jordan [2][3] and with the support of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development. GTF was incubated at Oxford Said Business School as an initiative to create new thinking and effect positive change for the world.[4] Speakers and audience at GTF 2012 discussed issues such as the Arab Spring and the role of women in social transformation.[5] Columbia University Professor Saskia Sassen discussed her theory of the ‘Global Street’ and the city as a space where 'the powerless can make history'.

In 2013 Global Thinkers Forum organized its annual event and the GTF 2013 Awards for Excellence in Athens, Greece under the theme ‘Leadership & Collaboration'. Among the GTF 2013 speakers in Athens were the High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna V. Vardinoyiannis who talked about Philanthropy and creating change, Geir Lippestad, the defense lawyer for the Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik who shared his experience about the impact of terrorist activities in Norway, Professor Tu Weiming, Stephen Cole, Ali Aslan, Hani Masri.

The 2nd Forum opened with a keynote by the High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser, highlighting the importance of leadership responsibility at an international level.[6] The event was held under the auspices of the Mayor of Athens Yorgos Kaminis[7]

Discussions on matters concerning Leadership, Collaboration and Cultural Understanding were held within the framework of the Forum.[8]

In 2014 GTF hosted its Awards in Dubai, UAE on 28 November 2014 under the theme: ‘Arab Women as Changemakers-A Celebration of Achievements’.[9]

In 2015 GTF co-hosted a Forum in Athens, Greece in partnership with Carnegie Council under the theme 'Democracy & Values',[10] creating conversations around leadership and accountability, the issue of collective liability and ethical business.[11] The event was attended by 150 Academics, CEOs, public officials and entrepreneurs and was held under the auspices of the Municipality of Athens,.[12] It brought to Greece members of Carnegie Council's Global Ethics Fellows Network.


Global Thinkers Forum also creates smaller events such as workshops and roundtable discussions, promoting women’s [13] and youth empowerment. In April 2014, Global Thinkers Forum and Google UAE co-hosted an event dedicated to women entrepreneurs & innovation in the Google offices in Dubai, in partnership with Oasis500 and Google.[14] The event featured eight young women pitching to a crowd of MENA investors[15] In July 2014 GTF hosted the State Department's Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) Lorraine Hariton in London, for a conversation on international business development, moderated by Bloomberg's Stryker McGuire.[16]

Five-year goalsEdit

GTF's mission (five-year goals 2012-2016)is cited to 'nurture leadership talent among women and youth'. As part of this commitment the think tank maps, links, collects and integrates information from across the international system, creates events that help share knowledge and establish common best practices in governance, business, society.[17] Women are at the heart of these issues and so is youth, around which GTF creates initiatives and discussions that also bring into the conversation social issues of global interest.

GTF also produces publications[18] and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives. In 2014 GTF partnered with UN Women to help advance the Beijing +20 platform and create conversations on Women's Rights in the MENA region.[19]

Global Thinkers MentorsEdit

Focusing on two of the GTF’s key focus areas (Youth development and Women’s Empowerment).

Funding sources and membershipEdit

GTF is funded by sponsors from the private sector, grants, donations and through annual memberships. Among companies and organizations who have supported GTF are: UN Women, Anna Lindh Foundation, Oasis500, King Abdullah II Fund for Development, Solidarity Now, Qatar Airways, Umniah, Montegrappa, Vodafone, Shell, Ahli Bank.

Advisory boardEdit

The GTF Advisory Board steers the overall strategy, direction and effectiveness of the organization. Notable members of the GTF Boards include: Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Saskia Sassen, Muna AbuSulayman, Salim Amin, Queen Sylvia of Buganda, Roya Mahboob, Victoria A. Budson, Marc Ventresca, Hakan Altinay, Lucian Hudson, Richard Sambrook, Dirk Brossé, Ameera A. Binkaram[20]

GTF Awards for ExcellenceEdit

In 2012, GTF inaugurated its honorary Awards for Excellence. The GTF Awards go to individuals nominated by the GTF Advisory Board and have a "proven track record of integrity and positive change". Among GTF Award Honourees are: Queen Rania of Jordan, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi,[21] Zaha Hadid, Nouriel Roubini, Arianna Huffington, Hayat Sindi, CEO of Injaz Deema Bibi, Dirk Brossé, Margery Kraus CEO APCO,[22] Princess Rym al-Ali,[23] Marianna Vardinoyannis, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Ibrahim Abouleish Founder of SEKEM,[24] Sir David Frost, Shahira Amin, Tu Weiming, Maisah Sobaihi,[25] Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Muna Abu Sulayman[26]

Notable strategic partnersEdit

Among Global Thinkers Forum's strategic partners are: UN Women, King Abdullah II Fund for Development, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Anna Lindh Foundation, Solidarity Now,[27]The UK Media Society, Mowgli Foundation, Open University, Sharjah Business Women Council, ALBA Business School.


  1. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum begins next week". Retrieved 5 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah Patrons GTF". 24 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah attends Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) discussion panel". Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum in conversation with Arianna Huffington". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Jordan's women celebrate success". Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  6. ^ "The UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Receives The Excellence in Leadership Award". Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  7. ^ "北京大学杜维明教授荣获"文化理解杰出成就奖"". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum held in Athens". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum Awards 15 Arab Women". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Global Thinkers στην Αθήνα: "Δημοκρατία, αξίες και υπεύθυνη ηγεσία"". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Our troubled democracies and how to fix them". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Στην Αθήνα το διεθνές συνέδριο Global Thinkers Forum με θέμα "Ηγεσία & Συνεργασία"". Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Breaking the mould: Female entrepreneurs". Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Meet me halfway!". Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Jordanian women entrepreneurs pitch to local investors at Google event". Retrieved 22 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "A Conversation with Lorraine Hariton: From the Silicon Valley to the White House Interviewer in The West End". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Jordan-based Accelerator and Fund Expands Across the Middle East". Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum Publications". Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Global Thinkers: Action for Gender Equality in the MENA region". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum selects Ameera BinKaram to serve on its Board of Advisors". Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  21. ^ "H.E. Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi - GTF 2014 Award for Excellence in Global Thinking". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Margery Kraus: Hall of Fame 2014". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  23. ^ "HRH Princess Rym Ali of Jordan GTF 2012 Excellence in Media Award". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Dr Ibrahim Abouleish- Honoree GTF 2013 Award for Excellence in Positive Change". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Play explores the real lives of Saudi women". Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Global Thinkers Forum 2014 awards 15 Arab women as changemakers and leaders". Archived from the original on 19 July 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  27. ^ See


  • By Dr Reginald Watts, Dr Roger Hayes (2015). Reframing the Leadership Landscape: Creating a Culture of Collaboration. Gower Publishing Ltd (London, UK). ISBN 9781472458704