STOCKHOLM – Annastasia Seebohm, the new CEO of the Brilliant Minds Foundation, was featured in Vogue Scandinavia. She officially took on the role in May 2021. The Foundation supports “European founders with transformative ideas that make the world more sustainable, creative and inclusive,” according to its website.
Founded in 2015 by Spotify founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, and serial entrepreneur, Arash Pournouri, Brilliant Minds began with a mission “to spotlight the successful Swedish tech ecosystem and convene creative people around ‘Swedish values’ rooted in openness, transparency, equality, trust and social responsibility to collaborate and create impact,” according to the website, which added that “what started as a symposium in Stockholm, has five years later grown into a global community and movement shaping the future by challenging the present.”
Seebohm told Vogue: “I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest to Brilliant Minds in 2018 and 2019. And I had the most amazing experience. I thought it was a really unique gathering of the most interesting people convening on the most important issues of our time.”
At 34, Seebohm has “already been appointed the CEO of two major companies – an impressive feat given her age,” Vogue reported, noting that she “was acknowledged as one of the ‘50 Most Influential People in Britain’ by GQ last year.” She was previously the CEO of the world’s leading lifestyle group, Quintessentially, the first female and millennial to hold the Group CEO role, leading a team of over 1,000 employees across 50 cities.
Seebohm was born in Greece and moved with her mother to the UK when her parents divorced, The Daily Mail reported, adding that when Seebohm was a teenager she took on the care of her mother who had suffered a brain hemorrhage that left her disabled. She posted on social media about the Daily Mail article in 2019: “Thinking of my late Mama with this landing in @dailymail today… I always try to remember how fragile life is… Be in the now, DREAM BIG and tell those you love just how much you care.”
Seebohm told Vogue about joining Brilliant Minds: “They started looking for a new CEO and I was headhunted. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I knew I was excited by it as soon as I got to know the board. It just cemented that this is absolutely what I wanted to do.”
“You just have the most amazing group of interesting people driving change and impact, and I feel so fortunate to get to learn from them every day,” Seebohm told Vogue, noting that Ek as a boss is “encouraging and supportive.”
Brilliant Minds “past guests have included Barack Obama, Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Pharrell,” Vogue reported, adding that “the event itself has taken a pandemic-induced hiatus since 2019 but with Seebohm taking the reins she is now fully focused on the task of bringing in the next roster of talent in 2022.”
She told Vogue, “I absolutely adore Malala [Yousafzai]. I find her very inspiring. Equally, I find Emma Watson incredibly inspiring and as Angela Merkel is now finished in office I would love the opportunity to hear from her… and then I’m really inspired by the decisions that Alexandre Arnault makes, so I would love to be able to get him on stage too.”
“Seebohm now divides her time between New York and Stockholm,” Vogue reported, noting that the Swedish capital city is “much more relaxed, which is something I really enjoy.”
“It’s very transparent. It’s a very non-hierarchical, relaxed working culture and creative and collaborative,” Seebohm told Vogue, adding that “Sweden is so conscious in its impact and sustainability agenda, and businesses see that they have a responsibility to impact society positively in the long term. And that’s something that I think is very unique to this market and I think the rest of the world needs to be educated on.”