CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - Interview with Vanessa Archontidou – Founder of, Alpinist & Speaker

CEO Insights

Interview with Vanessa Archontidou – Founder of, Alpinist & Speaker

Vanessa Archontidou

Vanessa Archontidou worked for 20 years as a marketing executive at multinational companies. Today, she has made a career change. She founded, through which, by organizing mountain missions, campaigns, speeches, and many more environmental actions, she tries to raise awareness about climate change. is an organization through which I give back to the world things that I have received. And after a certain age, I think we all have to give back to the world because we won’t be here forever. It is very important to transfer our knowledge to the next generation, she told the CEOWORLD magazine.

This activity of mine is connected to the marketing sector because, as a marketer and communicator, I have learned to do campaigns, and that is what I am trying to do now. To help the companies that are interested in the environment to participate in actions that will be able to promote some solutions through communication, she added.

Vanessa Archontidou

In July, the alpinist (she climbed Earth’s 7 Summits), founder of the organization A Woman Can Be and Ambassador of the European Pact for the Climate (#EUClimatePact), Vanessa Archontidou will carry out a mission to East Africa with the aim of raising awareness about climate change. 

Vanessa Archontidou and Greek journalist Leta Garetsou will travel to a particularly vulnerable area, where they will attempt to climb Mount Kenya (5,199 meters), the 2nd highest mountain in Africa. During their stay, they will meet women, activists, and local organizations contributing to women’s empowerment and sustainable development efforts. 

Part of this mission is the new Women For Climate initiative, which includes’s research on the impact of climate change on the world’s women. Through this specific initiative, a series of documentaries will be created in which awareness missions will be recorded and dynamic images of each region will be transmitted, with the aim of motivating the public to take action. The result of this initiative is the documentary created through Vanessa Archontidou’s expedition to Antarctica and the South Pole, which was completed in the spring of 2022. In this documentary, hosted scientists referred to the dangers that the melting of the ice marks.

Q: How did you make the transition in your career?

Vanessa Archontidou: I found that you have to be 100% committed to what you do and have a specific goal in order to move forward. I finally decided that I don’t need to give up my love of communication, or the skills I’ve acquired in the business sector in order to do something completely different. I can use this experience to do something that will please me more in my everyday life. So, I use communication and marketing to do what I think is very important to our world, which is climate awareness. But again, it’s marketing. Again, it is part of communication, it is part of entrepreneurship, but social entrepreneurship. For me, it is a period of transition. Every career transition takes time. There are companies that I have worked with in the past that come to me to talk about the projects of and ways to approach climate change and the climate crisis. So it is a combination, that is slowly evolving into something that has not yet reached its final scope.

Vanessa Archontidou

Q: How much has your previous work experience helped you in what you are doing now?

Vanessa Archontidou: What is important in mountain missions is not only the athletic part but also the financial part. You have to find the resources to be able to do this kind of activity. The fact that I was a marketer and could make people understand why they should support my efforts and why they should look to a women’s group or a woman decision-maker helped me a lot in my climbing activity. All this knowledge helped me learn how to approach people who would be my supporters and also promote what I do so that it can have a greater impact. My business background helped me a lot in being able to support my dreams and find funding for them.

Q: Is there interest here in Greece from the companies?

Vanessa Archontidou: Little by little, there is interest. Most companies have realized that they cannot survive in a collapsing world. But all the progress is being made with small steps since, in Greece, we are several years behind compared to other countries. However, I think people are now more likely than in the past to follow ESG practices in their companies.

Q: What are the three main elements that an executive should have?

Vanessa Archontidou: He should have self-discipline, and a vision for his company that aligns with society. It is very important not to be alone, not to walk alone, but to be able to do something that will improve the lives of other people in society or in humanity, depending on the size of the company. Also, for me, it is very important not to deviate, that is, to have the organizational spirit to put feasible steps in your business plan.

Q: You have been selected as a European Climate Pact Ambassador. How did this occur?

Vanessa Archontidou: In the midst of the pandemic, the EU was looking for people in all countries who could talk about the issue of the climate crisis. To convey messages about how we can deal with the climate crisis and how we can each contribute from our own field. So I applied and got accepted into a big group of climate ambassadors from all over Europe, and I’m doing my own piece of work, which is about storytelling. Through these stories on social media networks, the goal is to make the world understand that climate change should concern each of us.

Q: What are your future goals for the organization?

Vanessa Archontidou: is a big challenge for me. I want my vision to be embraced by people who want to be part of a group of women who, through activities and projects related to nature, strive to empower society. I have seen it on a personal level. When I climb the mountains, I feel so much inner and psychological strength, which helps me in other areas of my life as well. The role of the organization can be very important in starting to create a community, and this is also a challenge.

As an organization, we are evolving, and we need financial support to keep going. We rely on donations and private funding. The more funding we have, the more people we can bring into our family, plan our structure, and create something bigger with an international role and a base in Greece.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - Interview with Vanessa Archontidou – Founder of, Alpinist & Speaker
Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at