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SNF Dialogues


Curated & Moderated by:
Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou
Wednesday 29 May 2024
5pm EDT
Has politics become a commodity? In an era saturated with political advertisement, the SNF Dialogues explored the repercussions of the commercialization of politics and the evolving role of citizens within this framework.
Wednesday 12 June 2024
Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International, explains to the SNF Dialogues the danger of contempt and the urgent need to treat our fellow human beings with dignity.
Tuesday 30 April 2024
The SNF Dialogues journeys around the world to discover the many lives and the diverse roles of public libraries.

Events on demand


Through podcasts, videos, and multimedia content of all kinds, the SNF Dialogues explore different angles and shed light on the issues that define us all.


Speakers, experts, and citizens share their knowledge and experience on every possible field of science, culture, or just everyday life, keeping the Dialogue alive.


Timothy Shriver

Chairman, Special Olympics International
To treat another with dignity is to recognize that no matter how much we may disagree and no matter how painful our relationships may have become, we can still recognize the worth of the other. Contempt demeans and destroys; dignity uplifts and heals.

Hahrie Han

Director of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University
Appears on:
19 Talking (and Listening) Across Divides, 
33 The Interplay between Technology and Democracy: Pοtential and limitations, 
37 Τhe Power of Dialogue, 
55 Reconnecting in a Fractured Political Landscape, 
58 Consumers or Citizens

Mark McKinnon

Political Analyst & Media Producer
Appears on:
58 Consumers or Citizens

Sigal Ben-Porath

Presidential Professor of Education & Director of SNF Paideia at the University of Pennsylvania
Appears on:
58 Consumers or Citizens

Jennifer Palmieri

Political and Communications Strategist, Senior Advisor at Emerson Collective
Appears on:
58 Consumers or Citizens

Timothy Shaffer

SNF Ithaca Director and Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Chair of Civil Discourse in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware
Where is that line [between citizenship and journalism]? It is that sense of professional expectations of what it means to be a journalist. But I would almost flip it; how much do journalists think of themselves as citizens? How do we enable or support professionals to see themselves in a civic way?
Appears on:
56 Spectators or Citizens?, 
58 Consumers or Citizens

Anthony Marx

President of The New York Public Library
It is the symbolic power that people experience, of being welcome, without any papers, without any credentials, respected, in a space that is majestic. When I started this job, somebody said to me: ‘Oh that’s where the homeless go’. We should be proud of that, that’s where everyone can go: the Nobel laureates, the homeless, and everyone in between.
Appears on:
57 Beyond Books: How libraries can serve the public

Ares Kalandides

Urban scholar and Academic Advisor at New York University, Berlin
We need to understand libraries, books and knowledge as a public good. Public goods are under a very serious threat. And as an urban planner, I also see libraries as a public space. A public space does not need to be an open space. It can be, but that’s not the idea. The library has two characteristics; it’s open for everybody and it’s free, you don’t have to consume.
Appears on:
44 The Return to Public Space, 
57 Beyond Books: How libraries can serve the public

Tanya Harrison

Co-Founder and Director, Earth and Planetary Institute of Canada
People tend to assume that the struggles that we're going to run into with sending humans to Mars are technological. Can we feed them? Can we keep them warm? Can we keep them healthy? But I don't think we fully understand what the mental impact will be.

James Giordano

Professor of Neurology, Biochemistry and Ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC USA
It is critical to discern science fact from science fiction, and to define the actual capabilities, and limitations of both brain-computer interfacing technologies, and of those individuals and groups that are engaged in their development, use, and regulation.

Darren Lilleker

Professor of Political Communication at Bournemouth University
Digital technologies allow everyone to have a voice to some extent. Anyone can speak, but not everyone can be heard.
Appears on:
56 Spectators or Citizens?

Laurie Ouellette

Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota
What the media are trying to do is not to passivize citizens, but to activate them as fans. They are blurring boundaries between information and entertainment and politics.
Appears on:
56 Spectators or Citizens?

Lilliana Mason

Associate Professor of Political Science at the SNF Agora Institute of Johns Hopkins University
Leaders have a big role to play (…) Their motivations are often based on how to get more votes and how to get more money and…[they] create more conflict to get those things. Having leaders be more responsible participants in democracy (…) could tone things down.
Appears on:
55 Reconnecting in a Fractured Political Landscape

Peter Ditto

Professor of Psychological Science at the University of California, Irvine
When you feel that it’s morally offensive what the other side is doing…it creates anger, anxiety, very often fear, particularly when they are in power, and you could see the connections between the political and the personal in this sort of situation.
Appears on:
55 Reconnecting in a Fractured Political Landscape

Carlo Barbante

Director of Italy's Institute of Polar Sciences
What is happening in polar regions, doesn’t stay in polar regions. It affects the ocean, the atmosphere, and the continents at lower latitudes.

Esther Duflo

Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
The…mistake is that we are focusing too much on economic growth. That should not be an end, that should be a means. The end would be welfare in developing countries. Simple things, like being alive, not dying in infancy or in childbirth, being able to go to school…

Foteini Tsalikoglou

Author and Professor of Psychology at Panteion University
Our psyche is a product of dialogue, as, from the moment that we are born, we are part of a relationship. There is no ‘I’ without an ‘other.’ From this initial condition derive the difficulties, but also the beauty, that shape the adventures of our psyche.
Appears on:
38 The Psychological Effects of a Year Living with Covid-19

Nikos Alivizatos

Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Everyone has the right to define themselves as they wish, and to believe whatever they want, but when they coexist with others, they cannot set the rules of the whole game.
Appears on:
37 Τhe Power of Dialogue

Alondra Nelson

President of the Social Science Research Council and Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University
More than ever before it’s both important to have real experts at the table and those who are not experts but live with the consequences of the decisions that are being made by a technocratic society.
Appears on:
33 The Interplay between Technology and Democracy: Pοtential and limitations
Dogfighting is inextricably linked to other crimes. When we investigate the issue of dogfighting, it's like investigating arms and drug dealing.
Appears on:
23 Cruelty toward Animals

Dimitris Christopoulos

Professor at the Department of Political Science and History at Panteion University
The purpose of dialogue is not to deliver compliments. Dialogue is necessary in difficult situations and arguments, where our patience and tolerance are being tested.
Appears on:
37 Τhe Power of Dialogue

Alex Piquero

Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology and Distinguished Scholar of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami
One of the strongest risk factors for later violence is exposure to violence.
Appears on:
50 Manifestations of violence

Giannis Vassilopoulos

Member of the SNF Nostos Youth Advisory Committee
Social media has found a way to satisfy a need that is not met by our social circles.
Appears on:
52 Generation Social

Eric Klinenberg

Professor of Social Sciences at New York University
A public space is an essential part of modern democratic life.
Appears on:
44 The Return to Public Space, 
50 Manifestations of violence

Walter Puchner

Professor Emeritus of Theater Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Ancient tragedy had a mechanism that starts with hubris, which involves a human being, a mortal, transgressing the laws of the gods and being punished for it. And, today, we are in a parallel situation, in the sense that we are breaking the laws of nature, the absolute standard.
Appears on:
54 Modern political values, ancient drama

Irene Moundraki

Dramaturg and Head of the Drama, Library, Archive and International Relations Departments of the National Theatre of Greece
Theater does not simply reflect the ideas of philosophy, but also raises big questions that concern humankind and, I think, will always concern it.
Appears on:
54 Modern political values, ancient drama

Demetres Karavellas

CEO of WWF Greece
Climate change has become a crisis because we are already living it, and we have reached the point where reality confirms, or even exceeds, forecasts. Moreover, there is also the time factor; the fact that time is running out, and now is the time for change. The crisis is the harbinger of the need for change.
Appears on:
26 Climate Change

Thibeaux Hirsh

Member of the SNF Nostos Youth Advisory Committee
I’ve found social media to provide a sort of distorted reality as a result of the algorithms, the feedback loops, and for myself it has resulted in a lower general appreciation for life than when I’m off social media.
Appears on:
52 Generation Social

Harold S. Koplewicz

Founding President and Medical Director of the Child Mind Institute
The stigma attached to mental disorders for years prevented parents from seeking help. It is time, because of the pandemic, to think about our mental health, especially that of our children.
Appears on:
38 The Psychological Effects of a Year Living with Covid-19, 
51 Mental Health