On Wednesday, September 26th, 2018, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) hosted people who have attempted a new beginning, either at a professional or personal level, and shared their own experience with the audience. They discussed the mixed feelings that come along with this, and how uncertainty and fear of the unknown turn into a new beginning, which can bring us even closer to personal fulfillment and happiness.
The moderator, journalist Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou, initiated the conversation, talking about her own new creative beginning with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, as well as the next step in this collaboration, noting that “there is a will, a clear vision, people with ideas, without restrictions and agendas, ready to work for the realization of these ideas.” The collaboration between Ms. Bousdoukou and the SNF has already been underway for two years, starting with her role as a consultant for the implementation of the SNF Scholarship Program for Greek Journalists at Columbia University in New York. During yesterday’s event, Ms. Bousdoukou talked about the new venture she is undertaking, with the support of the SNF, which involves the establishment of a nonprofit organization, aiming to promote education in subjects related to the field of Journalism, as well as the organized support of activities to enhance the transparency, validity and independence of Journalism. (Note: More information on the project will be announced soon.)
In yesterday’s DIALOGUES, Fotini Pantzia shared moments and images from the journey she embarked upon when she returned from Ethiopia, accompanied by a 5 year-old, who is now officially her son, Abadu-Angelos. Speaking of the small and large challenges to which we must adapt daily, Ms. Pantzia stressed that “all beginnings are great and we should not be afraid of them,” and “when we are confident of ourselves and of what we want, we do not feel the need to explain or apologize for our new beginnings.”
Andreas Papachristou, representing the “Stagones” team, described how they experienced the transition from the familiar and organized setting of the city to the unfamiliar terrain of the countryside. “A beginning means that you recognize something you wish to leave behind and that you see what is authentic, true within you,” said Mr. Papachristou during the discussion. Guided by their love of nature and their growing concerns about the urban lifestyle, “Stagones” built homes made of clay, sand, straw and water, in a village near Evia, setting the foundation for a new reality, with new expectations and dreams for a better tomorrow.
Dr. Nancy Mallerou, coach, speaker and author, noted “no new beginning starts from scratch,” as the experience, wisdom and knowledge that people acquire during their life, as well as the disappointments they experience, are the guarantees and foundations for a new beginning. Referring to the fear of failure, she provided a different definition, saying that “failure is setting a goal, not achieving it, and learning absolutely nothing. If you learn something, then it is not failure, it is experience.”
Elementary and high school students shared their own thoughts, anxieties and dreams about the future.
The DIALOGUES are curated and moderated by Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.
*The opinions expressed by DIALOGUES participants are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) or the SNF DAILOGUES team. Speakers’ remarks are made freely, without prior guidance or intervention from the team.