Athens Women's Football
The Second Annual International Conference
INVEST. EMPOWER. INSPIRE. These were the themes of the trailblazing 2020 Online Athens Women’s Football Summit (October 12-16) – the largest virtual women’s football conference ever – which emanated the powerful message that WOMEN’S FOOTBALL IS SERIOUS BUSINESS and cannot be treated any longer as if a secondary priority to the men’s game.
We were honored to have football legends such as Michelle Akers, Gilberto Silva, Carolina Morace, Karina LeBlanc, Shannon Mac Millan, Ariane Hingst and Emile Heskey join other highly respected leaders and experts in football and business in a week of powerful sessions. With this unprecedented digital gathering hosting approximately seventy speakers from around the world, many thousands from the US, UK, Mexico & Latin America, Europe, Africa and around the globe – in over one-hundred countries – watched (and are continuing to view) the compelling, thought- and action-provoking sessions available on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube … to learn from top stakeholders from sport, business and NGOs as they discuss the skill, grace, society-changing power and life-altering impact – and enormous investment and economic opportunities – that comprise girls’ and women’s football.
On Facebook alone, people worldwide watched over 245,000 minutes of the video from the summit, with Greece, Cyprus and Spain topping Europe and Mexico, Brazil and USA leading the numbers elsewhere. Not surprising. Women’s football broadcasts are breaking new records daily and not just in the countries you might expect, and the women’s game is exploding in participation and interest worldwide!
Participants included top executives from global corporations (including Microsoft, P&G, Google); governing bodies (such as the Swiss Football Association, CONCACAF), professional leagues (e.g., NWSL) and emblematic clubs (e.g. VfL Wolfsburg, Houston Dash, Sky Blue FC, Leicester City FC; Lewes FC); elite coaches and legendary players (e.g., Carolina Morace, Michelle Akers, Shannon Mac Millan, Gilberto Silva, Karina LeBlanc, Carmelina Moscato, Ariane Hingst, Emile Heskey, Anne Mäkinen, James Galanis, James Clarkson, Mary Kok-Willemsen); top academics; frontline warriors from intrepid NGOs; broadcasters and media; and leaders who will help guide the women’s game to its astounding potential. Further, AthensWFS and partner The Hague University of Applied Sciences hosted a forum with students from around the world, preparing tomorrow’s leaders and game-changers. Moreover, on the last day of the summit, AthensWFS Co-Founders Agisilaos Toumazatos and Marios Christos Sfantos announced the founding of the International Women’s Football Historical Society, and invited speaker Gail J. Newsham – a highly respected author and Dick, Kerr Ladies historian – to be IWFHS’s honorary first member!
Powered by IBF – Intelligent Business Forces, and the International Women’s Football Community, we once again thank our phenomenal strategic partners for their committed support and innovative collaboration!
- 2019 & 2020 Media Sponsor: NOVA Channels
- Education2Sport, and The Sports Career Podcast with Ed Bowers
- Lewes Football Club
- The Hague University of Applied Sciences
- Girl Power Organisation
- The Sports Bra Project
- Football For Humanity
- Her Football Hub
The Athens Women’s Football Summit is the year-round global home of the Girls’ and Women’s Beautiful Game at all levels. Honoring the past, empowering the present, investing in the future, while celebrating and leading the Women’s Game.
Here is a small selection from the 2020 virtual summit’s much-heralded sessions:
Conversation with Michelle Akers
* FIFA Female Player of the Century 1991
* FIFA World Cup Winner
* 1999 FIFA World Cup Winner
* 1996 Olympic Gold Medal Winner
* FIFA Order of Merit – highest honor awarded by FIFA
* 1st UWSNT Goal Ever in an Official Match
* 1991 Golden Boot as Top Scorer in 1st FIFA Women’s World Cup
* FIFA Women’s World Cup Silver Ball (1991) & Bronze Ball (1999)
* FIFA World Cup MVP
* 153 Caps for the USWNT with 105 goals & 37 assist
* Member, US National Soccer Hall of Fame
* Hermann Trophy Winner (1988)
* One of two female footballers on the FIFA 100 List
* For many the greatest of all time, … Michelle Akers
Football Legends sharing their thoughts on the future of Women’s Football
Moderator: Shon Osimbo – Sports Journalist
- Carolina Morace – Professional International Football Coach, FIFA Legend, Greatest Italian Female Footballer of All Time, World-Class Head Coach, and Recipient of the 2019 Athens Women’s Football Summit Award
- Gilberto Silva – FIFA Legend, 2002 World Cup Winner, Arsenal Invincible, Copa America Winner and Copa Libertadores Winner
- Emile Heskey – Former England International Footballer and Ambassador for Leicester City Football Club Women
Conversation with Karina LeBlanc
Former International Footballer and Olympic Bronze Medalist Carmelina Moscato in an exclusive conversation about the future of the Women’s game with CONCACAF Head of Women’s Football Karina LeBlanc.
A FIFA Legend and UNICEF Ambassador, Karina has participated in five FIFA Women’s World Cups and two Olympic Games (Bronze Medalist).
Equality in the Football Industry
Moderator/Speaker: Dr. Donna de Haan – Associate Professor at the Hague University of Applied Sciences, and Equality Champion
- Khalida Popa l- Founder and Director of Girl Power Organisation
- Maggie Murphy – General Manager at Lewes FC
- Sarah Dwyer-Shick – Founder of the The Sports Bra Project
The Athens Women’s Football Summit presents an exclusive live panel on Marketing and Branding in Women’s Football!
Moderator: Charlie Dobres – Director, Lewes Football Club
- Katie Sarantakes Scallan – Chief Marketing Officer, Houston Dash / Houston Dynamo
- Karen Dobres – Director, Lewes Football Club
- Gill Whitty-Collins – Author of “Why Men Win at Work”, and ex-Procter & Gamble Vice President
Conversation with Mary Kok-Willemsen
Host: Ed Bowers- Founder of Education2Sport.
Speaker: Mary Kok-Willemsen- Owner of Holland Football University & FootballEquals Foundation Founder Mary and Ed talk about the next steps to elevate the professionalism of the women’s game.
Media & Broadcasting in Women’s Football
Moderator: Georgia Goulding, Co-Founder at Her Football Hub
- Suzy Wrack – Sport Writer for The Guardian
- Zac Emmons- Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Houston Dash / Houston Dynamo
- Katerina Kaskanioti – Pay TV Executive Director, Forthnet
Conversation with James Galanis and Ed Bowers
Host: Ed Bowers – Founder of Education2Sport
Speaker: James Galanis – world-renown player development specialist, top coach, and Founder of the Universal Soccer Academy
Coaching in the Women’s Game
Moderator: Glenn Crooks – Soccer Commentator, Former Rutgers Women’s Football Head Coach and Host, SiriusXM FC
- Carolina Morace – World-Renown Professional International Football Coach, Italy’s Greatest Female Footballer Ever, Italian Football Hall of Fame Member, FIFA Legend and 2019 Athens Women’s Football Summit Award Recipient
- James Clarkson – Head Coach of Houston Dash (NWSL), and 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Winner
Conversation with Shannon Mac Millan
Moderator Ashleigh Huffman, Ph.D. – Program Specialist, United States Department of State – with football legend Shannon Mac Millan – 1999 World Cup Winner, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2002 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, and Hermann Trophy Winner
Sponsorship in the Women’s Game
Moderator: Jeff Kassouf – Founder of Equalizer Soccer
- Lindsay Barenz – Vice President of Business Development at NWSL
- Jan Twete – Director, Global Partnerships, North America at VfL Wolfsburg
- Jackie Truong – Brand Partnerships Lead, Consumer Apps – Google
Conversation with Sabrina Buljubasic
In the final session for Day One, Ed Bowers – AthensWFS Digital Marketing Manager, Education2Sport Founder and Host of The Sport Career Podcast – had an exciting conversation with Sabrina Buljubasic, former footballer and the CEO FK Sarajevo.
The Player’s Voice
Moderator: Arianna Criscione – Professional Football Player, Paris Saint-Germain
- Niki Michalopoulou – Football Player, Agia Paraskevi FC (Greek 1st Division)
- Anne Maarit Makinen – Legendary Former Professional Footballer and General Manager, AIK Fotboll Damer
Clubs Driving the Growth of Women’s Football
Moderator: Glenn Crooks – Top Coach, Soccer Commentator, and Host at SiriusXM FC
- Alyse LaHue – General Manager at Sky Blue FC (NWSL)
- Ariane Hingst – 2x World Cup Winner, 4x European Champion and Assistant Manager at VFL Wolfsburg Frauen
Conversation with Gail Newsham
Host: Georgia Goulding – Co-Founder, Her Football Hub
Speaker: Gail Newsham – Women’s Football Historian and Author of In a League of Their Own! the Dick, Kerr Ladies 1917-1965
Player Representation in the Women’s Game
Moderator/Speaker: Panagiota Betty Tufariello – Intellectual Property and Business Attorney, Founder/CEO of Intellectulaw (United States)
- Paulo Jorge Verissimo – International Player Intermediary (Portugal)
- Tijana Zivkovic – International Sports Lawyer (Serbia)
Changing Lives Through Women’s Football
Moderator Johnny Collins – Business Development Officer, Football for Humanity
- Katerina Salta – Founder of Hestia FC
- Katayoun “Kat” Khosrowyar- Former Iran Women’s National Team Captain and Former Iran Under19 Women’s National Team Coach
- Marios Christos Sfantos, Esq, – Co-Founder of the Athens Women’s Football Summit (AthensWFS) – from NYC
- Agisilaos Toumazatos – Co-Founder of AthensWFS – from Athens
- Amy Wanday – Founder of The African Sports Network – from Barcelona
- Alessandro Giacobbe – Global Corporate Learning & Education Cloud General Manager at Microsoft – from Seattle
The Final Whistle
At the conclusion of the groundbreaking 2020 Online Athens Women’s Football Summit, Hosts Shon Osimbo and Adriano Del Monte are joined by AthensWFS Founders Agisilaos Toumazatos and Marios Christos Sfantos, Esq. to share thoughts on the amazing last five days!
Please be sure to visit our YouTube page for more videos!
Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2020 Online Athens Women’s Football Summit a resounding worldwide success!
Looking forward to seeing everyone online and in Greece in October 2021!