Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Europe. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Europe. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Σάββατο 4 Ιουλίου 2015

The real bet for the future of Greece depends on what happens on Monday

The very people responsible for the Greek tragedy are coming back crawling out of the woodwork, trying to take advantage of the situation to exonerate and rebrand themselves.

People who should have been in prison (or at least hiding in their holes) are staging their comeback, pretending to be advocates for the European integration.

We won’t let them.

At the end of World War Two, Nazi collaborators were held accountable for their crimes and expelled from public offices all over Europe. 

With the exception of Greece, that is, where they merely changed sides, aligning themselves with the Allies. The Greek people, who fell for that scheme (along with the unfortunate intervention of the USSR), had to endure a civil war followed by decades of poverty and subordination.

This history is about to be repeated.

The stupid reactionary verbalism and the amateurish governing style of SYRIZA assisted in the revival of the disastrous “triangle of power”, that of the criminal economic oligarchy, the mass media outlets that it owns, and the Greek politicians that serve as its lackeys.
Members of this “triangle” understand that, whether with the drachma or the euro, Greece will continue to require further economic assistance. 

They also know that among the few entities able to offer their “support”, the E.U. will remain be the more realistic and viable option (obviously no one will accept the help of mafia czars or of the sponsors of jihadists). 

That’s why they try to re-invent themselves as the “European connection”. 

We won’t let it happen.

The ruling powers in E.U. (that is, the ones insisting on the failed model ofintergovernmentalism, where a few powerful countries take all the decisions and smaller countries are forced to comply), are eagerly waiting to use any Greek government misstep to their advantage — and the same holds for the local powers of decay.

Let them hear this loud and clear:

A vote of YES is a vote for the European Federation, a vote for a “united states” of Europe, so to speak — and not a vote to their criminal plans for the subjugation of smaller European countries.

In the same vein, a vote of NO is a loud “no” to the failed paradigm of intergovernmentalism — a heroic cry against the rule of power and the law of the jungle.

As for abstention or black and invalid ballot papers, those represent nothing more that a de facto delegitimisation of a meaningless referendum. 

Greeks shall remain united.

Whatever we do on Monday, even in it leads to a  haircut on deposits or other extreme but necessary measures, we’ll need further assistance from abroad. 

Our local criminal oligarchic establishment understands this all too well, and no longer even pretends to keep up appearances.


Whatever one choses to vote, YES, NO, absence, invalid or blank ballot, we are not forgetting those who destroyed Greece from 1974 onwards.They are guilty and they will be punished for what they did. We want the truth, and we won’t allow their crimes to be forgotten.

Reconciliation presupposes justice.

Greece is facing an unprecedented cul-de-sac. The best thing that can happen with regard to the referendum, is for it to be postponed. But even if it goes through as planned, its result won’t matter one iota. Neither Greece can exist outside of Europe nor Europe can continue on the dead end path of intergovernmentalism. 

All this makes the actual result of the referendum irrelevant. Whatever one votes, what’s important is what will happen on Monday.

The establishment of a negotiating team accepted by all parties to do the right thing for Greece and Europe has become an absolute necessity.

This message is a cry of despair and a shout of determination.

We’ll march forward united with no fear for Greece and Europe.

Πέμπτη 10 Οκτωβρίου 2013

Entrepreneurship and Universities: More on my IVLP / ANB13 experience

New York City
October 1st, 2013

Tom Leighton, the SAT problem and changing Universities in Europe to support entrepreneurial growth and job creation

Tom Leighton is a very special person. Being a Professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT, ranked as the best university in theworld in Computer Science & Engineering, he also is the founder of Akamai, the company which revolutionized multimedia delivery over internet in the late 90s, actually creating the unified video-voice-image internet experience that most of us enjoy today.

The "SAT problem" is one of the most difficult mathematical problems in the field of Boolean Algebra, which largely forms the core of Computer Science. At many Universities around the Globe, SAT problem is taught at the final year of the curriculum as an advanced topic.

Before starting my IVLP/ANB13 program in Washington DC, I paid a visit to Boston, Massachussets. I was informed there about the following two facts:
  1. Tom Leighton teaches the SAT problem to MIT students during their 1st or 2nd year of studies (!)
  2. The notes which Leighton distributes to his students mention his affiliation both to MIT and to Akamai . In other words, the MIT students while studying one of the hardest topics of their curriculum, proudly learn that their Professor has been the Co-founder of Akamai.
As far as teaching the SAT problem at 1st year students is concerned, I will only comment that MIT’s ranking as No1 in the World in Computer Science & Engineering is anything but accidental. Many European Technical Universities used to include very strong mathematics in their curricula. Some of them still do so. It is rather obvious that keeping doing so and even increasing the difficulty level of the offered studies will only be good for Europe, in the new super-competitive global landscapes. Practical experience and learning tools, which must find its way to the Universities, must always be accompanied with solid theoretical background.

In this article however I shall focus to point [2], which in my opinion has a terribly high importance in understanding the changes that must take place in higher education in Europe in order to boost entrepreneurship and, via it, quality jobs creation. As a matter of fact, Universities in Europe have always been of high academic quality and more orless remain as such. Unfortunately though, in Europe we observe low entrepreneurial activity directly related with the academic and research ecosystem, which has created at least the following two consequences:
  1. A “start-up migration wave”, where most of the high-potential start-ups in the EU have either moved to the US or plan to do so, and ,
  2. A terrible opportunity cost has occurred in terms of quality jobs which could have been created, but actually they haven’t.
A rather disappointing fact is that linking the academic & research world with “the industry” has been a top priority for the EU Commission since quite a long time. Tens of billions have been spent in the RTD support programs in a number of “Framework Programs”, results however have been anything but satisfactory. In my opinion the main cause of this phenomenon is the following contradiction:

While funding rules actually ask for “commercialization plans” and “partnerships with the industry”, in real terms the academic and research community simply does not appreciate entrepreneurship. If Tom Leighton had been a Professor in Barcelona, Munich, Lisbon, Toulouse, Athens or Milano, it is very likely that many of his students, as well as many of his fellow professors, would not like at all his double affiliation on his notes, as Professor of the University and Co-founder of Akamai.”

A so-much-19th-century philosophy of not “mixing academic with for profit activities” is actually the highest barrier of European universities in their way towards being the knowledge hubs of sustainably growing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

During my IVLP/ANB13 program I had the privilege of visiting a number of leading American Universities, such as Georgetown, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Denver, Southern Methodist University and Columbia University. At all of them, literally ALL, it was very obvious that the academic environment not only is entrepreneurship-friendly but it actually is designed to boost entrepreneurship and to promote the "culture of failure". Very few European Universities can really make a similar claim - If any.

Being in the fifth year of the financial crisis in Europe and having general unemployment in the South higher than 25%, as well as youth unemployment is some cases (Spain, Greece) higher than 50%, it is now the time to look at the ugly truth and do something about it. The ugly truth is that while the number of well educated young Europeans increases constantly, very many of them fail to find a quality job, while on the same time the industry complains for having difficulties to find the right talent to cover their needs. It’s rather safe to conclude that there’s a growing gap between market needs and education provided by our educational system, both in terms of formal knowledge, and, more importantly, in terms of culture.

Donald Rumsfeld had talked about “Old Europe” almost one decade ago. It was probably one of the very few cases where I had agreed with this US politician. Europe is old, indeed. Behaves like an old person, it is slow moving and ultra-conservative. If we don’t do today some radical changes in our educational system, in economic terms Europe can only hope to a slow death. In that unfortunate event, the best-case scenario for Europe will be to become a huge open-air museum for Chinese tourists. The game is not over (yet) however, there still is time for changes which can bring Europe back to global leadership, given that these changes will be implemented soon and with high level of determination.

The World’s economy becomes increasingly knowledge intensive. We have to adapt to this reality and turn our universities to the knowledge hubs necessary to boost the “economy of creativity and collaboration”. NYC, the rising star of the tech world, does exactly the same as discussed in our recent meeting with Nancy Ploeger, President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, during my IVLP/ANB13 program in the US. 

It is quite interesting that, although NYC launched its start-up strategy only few years ago, now it is an almost equally developed ecosystem with the San Francisco Bay Area and rather more developed than Boston - Where there is a huge tradition of high tech universities. That is probably because the City of New York made a wise choice: They played on their strength! 

Unfortunately, we Europeans do not play on our strength but seem to prefer the copycat way - that is to dream for many of our regions to become "the Silicon Valley of Europe". One can easily name 10+ European regions dreaming/aiming to become the Silicon Valley of Europe. On the other hand in NYC nobody ever dreamed of becoming "the Silicon Valley of the East Coast". What is the result of those two different choices? Today NYC competes with the Silicon Valley at -almost- equal terms while those European regions still remain miles behind. This situation could easily be described as the "Silicon Paranoia".

Many analysts in Europe have suggested a number of necessary measures for promoting high growth and innovative entrepreneurship aiming to the sustainable creation of quality jobs. They refer to increasing seed/risk financing, improving bankruptcy legislation, adding entrepreneurship courses in all of the educational levels and realizing the single European market for businesses. The analysts are right in their recommendations; however such measures will unfortunately fail unless a major cultural and political shift take place.

Students and fellow professors in Barcelona, Munich, Lisbon, Toulouse, Athens or Milano, as well as anywhere else in Europe, not only shouldn't be skeptic with seeing a European Professor having an entrepreneurial affiliation together with an academic one, like Tom Leighton does with MIT and Akamai, but they should strongly encourage and be highly proud of academics and researchers who managed to create sustainable, growing companies on the basis of cutting edge technology and research in European universities.

If we reach that point, if every European student starts dreaming of an entrepreneurial endeavor instead of a corporate career, a hugely important step for Europe will have been made. Europe does not lack the financial, neither the human nor the symbolic capital necessary to become the global leader in high growth and innovative entrepreneurship. All of the parts of the puzzle are just in front of us. We only need to put them in order and inspire a new entrepreneurial culture, making the youth of Europe to dream of realizing their creativity in sustainably growing businesses.  

In a very few words, it is time for Europe to put creativity and innovation above job security, as far as employment is concerned. Once we do this, it will not take long till a number of Akamai-level companies will be created around Europe and their proud founders will be teaching and inspiring the next generation of European entrepreneurs. Like Tom Leighton of Akamai does in MIT.

Dimitris Tsigos is the founder of StartTech Ventures, a start-up incubator in Athens, Greece . A serial tech entrepreneur and pioneer in seed financing, currently serves as President of YES – European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs. He also is the Founder of the Hellenic Start-up Association and a Board Member at the European Business Angel Network. In 2012 he was nominated as one of the 40 European leaders under the age of 40 years. Dimitris recently participated to the IVLP / ANB13 program organized by the U.S. Department  of State and Entrepreneurs' Organization.

Κυριακή 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

European Federal Republic: The time has come!

Over the last years when the European Union has been facing the challenges imposed by the so-called "global financial crisis", it has been made clearer than ever before that something must change in the EU. I could say that it is more obvious than not that there is an extreme necessity to get Europe truly united.

The 20th century has been a very bad one for Europe. A century of wars, genocides, tragedies and distractions. The European Union that we know today has been the previous generation's response to the unprecedented catastrophe caused by the two World Wars which practically started in Europe. The mission of the previous generations has been accomplished and Europe has lived almost seven decades of peace and prosperity.

Recently though, the financial crisis has initiated a process of questioning the European peace miracle. Vast segments of the middle class in European States, especially at the South, enter into poverty creating an ideal ground for the rise of nationalism. A massive return of nationalism would definitely led to the dissolution of the European Union and rather sooner than later to the Third World War. The consequences of this are too severe to let them come to reality.The rise of the neo-nazi movement in Greece, a country which lost almost 10% of its population to help the free people defeating the Nazis, serves as the ultimate example of how wrong things can go if a wrong political and economic model is followed for long time.

The current EU model is based on the concept of intergovernmentalism. Today, in 2013, we Europeans can keep pretending that this so much 20th century intergovernmentalism approach works. The ugly truth however is that it doesn't work at all. A new approach is needed.

We all know it, Europe is old (that actually is one of the few wise words ever said by Donald Rumsfeld). Europe does behaves like an old person. Slow moving and uber-conservative. Young Europeans have completely different dreams for their lives. No, we do not aim to becoming citizens of a huge open-air museum. We envision Europe as a great, united country, as a super-power of justice, equality, democracy and culture. A dominant factor of fairness and stability in the international affairs. A growing economy with financial and ecological sustainability.

This dream, might not be that far away from reality given that young Europeans stand up and talk with loud and clear voice. On the contrary, it is absolutely feasible. Europe does have the financial, human and symbolic capital necessary to make that dream come true. It only lacks the required political will. Actually, those who lack that will are the national governments, more or less frightened in sight of sharing some parts of their authorities and responsibilities and managing them via a supranational, federal structure. The reality is however that the vast majority of Europeans not only is ready to accept this federal approach but rather is about to demand it!

The question to be asked to the youth of Europe is very simple: "Don't you thing that it is about time to turn Europe young again? Don't you think that it is about time to start the process of creating the European Federal Republic?". As far as I am concerned, I do think it is about time to do so and I'll put all of my energy and resources to make this dream come true, remaining confident that thousands of other young Europeans will also do the same.

Uniting Europe is the major challenge of our generation and I'm absolutely confident that we shall positively respond to it. At the end of the day, it is all about making a life worth living. 

Πέμπτη 2 Μαΐου 2013

Saving Europe's Lost Generation with Creativity and Vision

Originally published on www.friendsofeurope.org 

Europe is in trouble. Everybody says so, newspapers shout out headlines on the “Eurozone Crisis” or, most recently, the “European Crisis”. It started as a Greek Drama – it now looks like a “European Tragedy”

Is it really so? 

No, absolutely not. Europe remains the world’s largest economy and Europeans enjoy a quality of life that others aspire to. 

Europeans envision a sustainable and fair global economic and societal ecosystem. This vision was born in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II and achieved thanks to the hard work of our grandparents and parents. 

It’s up to us, the so-called “Lost Generation”, to make sure that the results of this decades-long hard work is not lost. 

Labour in a progressive society is about realising one’s creativity in a financially sustainable manner. Unfortunately in many European countries a “good job” is one where you earn a secure salary without really having to work too hard. 

This type of a “good job” was often in the public sector. This harsh reality killed European competitiveness and created a completely wrong public attitude towards entrepreneurship. 

As such, we need to rediscover the joy of creativity and redefine what a “good job” really is. 
Europeans also have to rethink what it means to be a citizen. Participation in politics in not only about voting. Citizens need to think, discuss, exchange ideas, contribute and demand. 

It’s time to “think European”. Europe needs a leadership which is empowered by the people. Forget intergovernmental and federal options. It is time for courage to speak of building a European Republic.

Σάββατο 13 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Challenge Accepted - The European Union Nobel Peace Prize

We all know that Europe is a rising superpower.

There are centers of influence trying to make us forget it, however in terms of financial, human and symbolic capital the European Union is today way the strongest entity in the global landscape.

It's up to us, every single European, to make this rising superpower a superpower of democracy, justice, equality and culture.

We must be proud of what our parents and grandparents have created: Europe is today the best society ever created by the mankind. It's up to us to make it even better.

The Nobel Peace Prize is a call for action for every European.  A call for action to turn this society of democracy, justice, equality and culture from a vision to a reality. The Nobel Peace Prize for the European Union actually brings a challenge ahead of every European. As far as I'm concerned, I accept the challenge. I'm confident that Generation Ten across Europe will accept the challenge. The Youth of Europe wilk accept the challenge.

We European, working together and putting European interest above the short-sighted national interest, will make the World, a better place.

For every European, the Nobel Peace Prize it's a duty, not an award. For every European, the Nobel Peace Prize is a call for deeper integration in Europe. A call for moving forward with establishing the European Federation.

Europe has paid the price of nationalism. It was a very high price, from any point of view. None of us will allow nationalism to rise again in Europe. The Nobel Peace Prize has been an alarm bell to all of us.

No, the nightmare of nationalism will stay away. The European project will continue, it will successfully respond to any challenge and the society of of democracy, justice, equality and culture will be our future.

Warmest congratulations to the Norwegian Nobel Committee for this inspiring, eye-opening, change-making decision!

Κυριακή 13 Νοεμβρίου 2011

The only effective response to the debt crisis is Federal Europe

What we are experiencing in Europe the last two years, very much more the last six months, is the result of political hesitation for a deeper & stronger European integration.

The obvious statement that "a monetary union without a real financial union is not sustainable" is proven right at an amazing manner day-by-day.

Political systems across Europe struggle to stay in power, betting, quite unfortunately, on a concept which we all thought was deep-burried in European history: Nationalism.

Watching news in European countries makes you think that there are some very bad people in Brussels dictating decisions and 'imposing authority' on the national governments. Interestingly enough, this stands both for strong and weak economies in the EU.

This is pure populism and we should all stand against it.

For European Economy, for Europe in general, in order to play any role in future geopolitics and geoeconomy, has to get truly united, has to explore economies of scale. The 19th century US history teaches the most important lessons about this.

A truly united Europe can only be a Federal Europe, with a directly elected European government for the European citizens.

We all live extreme moments in Europe. Yes, it's about business, it's about entrepreneurship, it's about stability, it's about sustainability. IMHO, it is ridiculous to believe that Europe faces a financial crisis.

The European debt crisis is a pure political crisis and the response can only fall in the field of politics.

Entrepreneurs, as actors of innovation, creativity and progress, should use all their influence and power to move decisions to the right direction.

A truly united Europe, a federal European State, will only be good for us Europeans and for the rest of the World.

Last but certainly not least: We just need to realize that a possible return of Nationalism in Europe will be THE END for all of us and, after that, do whatever necessary to realize a truly united, Federal Europe.

Ως τη Νίκη, Πάντοτε, Μιχάλη Χαραλαμπίδη

Αγαπημένε Δάσκαλε Μιχάλη Χαραλαμπίδη, Ήταν Ιούνιος του 1996, διάβαζα μαθηματικά για τις πανελλήνιες εξετάσεις της επόμενης μέρας. Στιγμή ιερ...