Thessaloniki 2020: Why Think Tanks and Civil Society Matter Forum

Thessaloniki 2020: Why Think Tanks  and Civil Society Matter Forum

On January 31, 2020, Thessaloniki will be one of more than 140 cities worldwide to hold a "Why Think Tanks Matter Forum." The Dukakis Center and Transparency International Greece, in collaboration with the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania (TTCSP), will host local think tanks, research institutes, and NGOs with a research and advocacy capacity to participate in an open house and pitch session/press conference at the Manolis Anagnostakis Room, Municipality of Thessaloniki, from 4 to 7 PM.

Last April, the Dukakis Center, and Transparency International Greece organized the first Greek Think Tank Summit in Athens, with James McGann, Director of the TTCSP, and representatives from several Athens-based think tanks and NGOs.

Our objective in this new event is to draw public attention to the breadth and depth of scientific and social-scientific talent and capacity in Thessaloniki and to link our city with a global network of think tanks and research institutes. The "2020 Thessaloniki Why Think Tanks and Civil Society Matter" Forum will be convened by Dr. Anna Damaskou, Chair of the Board of Transparency International Greece, and Dr. David Wisner, Executive Director of the Dukakis Center. Working languages will be Greek and English. The forum will be open to the general public and will reach out particularly to youth active in civil society. We will be looking particularly to gather organizations that engage with the general public and produce or commission research conceived to inform policy decisions by local and national authorities.

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16:00-16:30 Open House

16:30-17:15 Pitch session

17:30- 19:00 Panels

  1. Core values and civil society

What are the principal activities and contributions of think tanks and other institutions of civil society? How do we measure their impact? To what extent is civil society a sphere of competing voices?

Virginia Tzortzi, Center for International and European Law

Giorgos Kokkas, Entrepreneurship Hub at ACT

Anastasis Drosou, Information Technology Institute (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas)

Moderator: Vassilis Christakis, American Universities Alumni Association of Northern Greece

  1. Helping civil society

What are the requisites for a healthy civil society? What input is required from the public at large? To what extent does competition for scarce resources and lack of coordination impact the contribution of think tanks, research institutes, and NGOs?

Giorgos Siakas, Public Opinion Research Unit, University of Macedonia Research Institute

Aris Paraschou, United Societies of Balkans

Nikos Zaharis, Southeast European Research Centre

Moderator: Lambrini Nassis, ACT-Dukakis Center

  1. Civil society in Greece – the way forward

How does your organization assess the future of civil society? What needs to be done? What might your contribution be?

Nikos Filippou, Neo Revma - Neo Orama

Epaminondas Christofilopoulos, Millennium Project Greek Node and UNESCO Chair on Futures Research

Angelos Kaskanis, Navarino Network

Christina Papazoglou, UNHCR

Moderator: Anna Damaskou, Transparency International Greece





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