2016 started with a wonderful invitation from TEDx University of Piraeus to “digitally” contribute to their pre-event, with my insights as a previous TEDx speaker!

I would like to thank the organising team for inviting me and trusting that I still have ‘ideas worth spreading’.

Despite the initial shock of seeing myself on a gigantic screen, repositioning all the items of my living room to find the right filming angle and finally ‘hunting’ for a kind soul to help me film it in more professional way, that was an awesome start to my term! The preparation of this little video, filled me with lots of good vibes and motivation in a week full of deadlines and new beginnings. In fact, it acted as a ‘stress-relief’ factor, reminding me that when you work towards something worthwhile, deadlines are just the end-points of a highly productive phase.

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This video left its marginal contribution in my life. First, because it was a stimulus to think of how much distance I have covered in life since my Buenos Aires days. And secondly, because I was ‘expected’ (worse than ‘forced’ believe me!) to translate these reflections into a comprehensible video format of…me and my ‘imaginary interviewer’. And that was fun, new and exciting and certainly cooler than essay-writing. Things I learnt:

-you cannot possibly film a video at 2 degrees celsius without looking like a snowman.

-Photo Booth is alright to temporarily boost your self-esteem that you look nice in your night-out outfit but NOT when you give a speech for an audience. You don’t wanna look like a cartoonized version of a human being either when you take about ‘serious stuff’.

-Technology is cool! I can look cute and confident at one side of the planet, while simultaneously staring with empty, exhausted eyes the receptionist of my department.

-There can be ‘international mobility’ without boarding a plane. Its called: international mobility of ideas. 

As to people, first of all thanks to Faisan from the Department of Management of the LSE who dedicated energy and time to film and edit my video. His very kind offer to help ensured that I would never submit something below the quality that the LSE is urging us to attain. He reminded me how lucky I am, being at a programme that truly feels like family and where Faculty and Administration are giving us a productivity paradigm to follow in our student and professional careers. Behind any door you knock at the 3rd and 4th floor of the New Academic Building there is somebody willing to help, something I strongly believe is idiosyncratic to our Department and of course our Master in Management (MiM).

Turning to the TEDxUniPi organising team, thanks to my dear friend, Andili Rachouti. She recommended me to the rest of the organising team without a single doubt on my ability to undertake this task. She shared with my her fresh ideas on the event and sought my advice, over a Christmas day coffee, underneath the sunny greek skies of December, by the coastline of Athens. I have been following her work and initiatives from abroad and I couldn’t be happier for her progress. Choosing an unconventional way compared to the mainstream Greek student mentality, she is now thriving both as a recent graduate, professional and above all creative mind! In a country where you are automatically an outlier if you consciously decide not to seat for the uncreative Pan-Hellenic exams (just like me), she stayed firm in her vision to reach success, through a different path. She attended a private college for Graphic Design and obtained a double degree from Greece and London. While I was listening to people complaining about resiting the exams they failed during their fresher year, Andili was designing cool t-shirts, cool posters and cool installations. A few months ago, I visited her at her office; she offered to design my first business cards, she talked to me about TEDx and she informed that she was selected to join a ‘design-thinking cruise’ across the Aegean. I left her building thinking ‘it’s not so bad getting older, indeed!’ A few months later, my best friend sent me on whats app “Andili is on The Guardian” for her contribution to a start-up venture for homeless people. Good work pays off even in mid-crisis Greece, that’s for sure! I cherish her creativity, down-to-earth manners and commitment to ‘listening’ to others and never showing off for her achievements (even if she should sometimes!) Andili, ‘fashion fades but style is eternal’. You are about to discover this with the eyes of a fashion-industry insider. But you have already achieved it in life.

Many thanks also to TEDx organiser George Protonotarios for his remarkable professionalism and kind words. Although we have just met once (excluding tons of emails!), my gut instinct is telling me that he is very worthwhile, committed individual, with wonderful manners. And although, my organisational behaviour and leadership knowledge is limited, I can confidently say that he is underpinned by evident leadership qualities; carefully listening to others and inspiring trust. Thanks for enduring my greeklish and laughing at it, for being super professional and detailed at our communication and for all the nice comments you made about my contribution.

If I judge from both of them, TEDx University of Piraeus 2016 is expected to be an event  organised according to international standards. Let it be a “Spectrum” that will filter diverse ideas and convert them into colourful inspiration for your audience. A Spectrum of motivation for all of us, Greeks, to go beyond the ideation level, and convert inspiration into implementation.