Hooked as we are on negativism, which often leads to nihilism, we harbour a grim outlook about Greece. We increasingly feel that there is no hope, that the country will never be able to get back on its feet, and that all the disagreements between politicians and economists over the exact rate of economic growth are a meaningless theoretical exercise. The game is already lost.
And just when you thought that the country was done for, that there’s nothing out there to pin your hopes on, you are suddenly confronted with a group of young people who sound out their thoughts and put forward fresh, pioneering ideas that leave you stunned. You start wondering whether you have been too negative; whether you have been dragged down by the predominant negative mood. Maybe the game has not been lost, after all.
It provides opportunities that we do not have the luxury or the right to squander
Within this grey environment, you see the emergence of young people, students, professionals and friends creating startups as rays of optimism and hope. These people will bring some light to the gloomy Greek reality during the eighth Panorama of Entrepreneurship & Career Development, which takes place this weekend at the Athens Concert Hall.
The now-established event, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, focuses on trends, opportunities and challenges. Around 5,000 people are expected to attend dozens of panels and discussions.
There’s often talk about Greece’s high-quality manpower, which is true. Due to the economic crisis, this manpower can, for better or worse, be utilized at a lower cost – both by local businessmen and foreign investors. This was confirmed by Tesla Inc’s decision to open an engineering facility in Athens. This is the other side of the coin for crisis-hit Greece. It provides opportunities that we do not have the luxury or the right to squander.
A lot is said about Greece’s education system which is obviously dogged by distortions and shortcomings. However, it does generate great minds, which, within the proper working environment, could work wonders.
The key to success is bridging university institutions with the business world, a mutually beneficial practice which has been demonized in this corner of the world. This is yet another of Greece’s structural problems, although things have slightly improved in recent years.
What the country needs is a modern educational system which will produce skilled personnel that can fill private sector jobs in areas that are expected to dominate the future, such as AI and data analytics. During the Panorama event, the members of Greece’s nascent entrepreneurial community will present their vision for a future based mainly on innovation – the only way Greece can dig itself out of its crisis.