Wednesday Night in Athens

New School of Athens

New School of Athens

Dear Diana and David,

Greetings from Athens. We are having our Athens-3 Conference starting this Wednesday 2 April until Saturday 5th of April at the Latsis Foundation Headquarters at Pallas Athena. I am enclosing the final program NSOA Programmewhich includes the underlying problematique. You might also be pleased to know that Wednesday Night will be well represented because other than myself we have three other Wednesday-Nighters participating : Jaime Webbe and Bert [Revenaz], and Cleo Paskal.

Kimon Valaskakis PhD
Ambassador of Canada RET
President Global Governance Group

The Report

Dear Diana,
It took 14 hours straight of sleep to recover from the New School of
Athens conference. There were just too many interesting people and
ideas to absorb in a normal night’s sleep.
The conference consisted of two full days of three parallel sessions,
as well as a reception the night before it all started, and a plenary
the day after. Lots of opportunities to eat, discuss, plot and plan.
During the workshops, we were with largely the same group of about
15-20 diverse people from all areas, including industry, academia and
In my sessions, the first day the topic was Natural Disasters and
included things like: Jaime’s excellent presentation on the role
biodiversity, in particular wetlands, plays in mitigating the
destructive effects of natural disasters
; a comparison of the Greek
and Californian forest fires; the role the public plays in Israeli
disasters; mathematical approaches to predicting disasters; my
presentation on the systemic problems in the US that contributed to
the disaster caused by Katrina and more.
The second day looked at climate change. I delivered an issue paper
on environmental change, geopolitics and security
and then we had a
wide-ranging debate on carbon reduction mechanisms, energy, etc.
Throughout Kimon did a remarkable job of shepherding the troops and
keeping us all on track. And Paris somehow managed to distill and
summarize what we had covered in an eloquent and useful fashion
. All in all, Kimon is spearheading an exciting venture that will hopefully
move forward into a new structure for debate and action. I hope he
managed to get some sleep afterwards because his hard work is only
just beginning.
Wednesday Night was brought up often among us veterans, and you were
thanked many times in absentia for bringing us together in the first
place. Wish you were there physically, but you were certainly there
in spirit.

2 Comments on "Wednesday Night in Athens"

  1. Cleo Paskal April 3, 2008 at 12:16 pm ·

    Hi from Athens,
    The first evening was much fun and the opening speeches offered many of tasty nuggets, indicating the veritable intellectual feast to come. The venue is a lovely grand building opposite a pretty manicured park in an elegant part of Athens.
    Kimon is a splendid master of ceremonies. Should be an interesting few days. You will be missed. Cleo

  2. Cleo Paskal May 3, 2008 at 8:13 pm ·

    Great debates for 2,500 years in Athens
    … At a recent conference in the swank Athenian suburb of Kifissia, experts convened to debate the future of the U.N., climate change, the E.U. and more.
    Ancient Athenians might not have recognized the topics but would have been more than familiar with the way participants tumbled out of the building still in heated discussions that lasted long into the night and pulled in various bar staff and taxi drivers along the way.

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