Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Global Director, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) and Senior United Nations Advisor, visits Greece to mobilize the Sustainability Transition of the country and explore Aristotelian Epistemology and Ethics!
Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, a world-renowned Professor of Economics, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries, recently visited Greece together with , Dr. Sonia Sachs, Director, Health Sector, Centre for Sustainable Development. During his stay he attended a two week programme organized by UN SDSN Greece, co-chaired by Professor Phoebe Koundouri (Athens University of Economics and Business, President Elect of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Director of EIT Climate KIC Greece) and Professor Andreas Papandreou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), and UN SDSN Black Sea, chaired by Professor Nicolaos Theodossiou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
On Thursday July 25th, 2019, he visited Thessaloniki, where he met and discussed with professors from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki working on Aristotle. During this interdisciplinary meeting Professor Sachs presented his proposal for the development of an economic model based on the principles of Aristotelian ethical philosophy. The meeting was attended by the Rector of the Aristotle University, Professor Pericles Mitkas, the new Rector of the Aristotle University, Professor Nikos Papaioannou, the Vice-Rector for Academic and Student Affairs Professor Ariadni Stogiannidou, the new Vice-Rector of Research Associate Professor Stratos Stylianidis, the Dean of the Faculty of School of Economics and Political Sciences, Associate Professor Gregory Zarotiadis, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Konstantinos Katsifarakis, the President of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Professor Emerita Dimitra Sfendoni-Mentzou, and Professor Emeritus Ioannis Seiradakis, the Chair of SDSN Black Sea Professor Nicolaos Theodossiou, as well as professors from other related disciplines. You can find the relevant press release here.
On Friday July 26th, Professor Sachs was guided by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Hemathia to the ancient Macedonian city of Mieza and the School of Aristotle where the philosopher tutored Alexander the Great.
During the weekend (July 27thand 28th) Professor Sachs also visited Mount Athos after an invitation by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch and met with government officials.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty, is developing an extremely interesting humanistic economic model, based on the principles of Aristotle’s ethics, as we find them in his treatises, Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics. He, thus, brings to the forefront a global interest in Aristotle, and expresses his willingness to support the goal of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies of AUTH to promote the work of the Stageirite philosopher worldwide.
From July 29th to August 2nd 2019 a Symposium titled “Neo-Classical Economics Reconsidered within Plato’s and Aristotle’s Epistemological and Ethical Framework” organised by UN SDSN Greece, co-chaired by Professor Phoebe Koundouri, Athens University of Economics and Business, and Professor Andreas Papandreou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and hosted at the historical library of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, courtesy of the Panos Laskaridis family.
The symposium was led by Professor Nikitas Pittis, University of Piraeus and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University , while among the significant contributors were Professor Stelios Virvidakis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Professor Yannis Ioannidis National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Director of Athena Research and Innovation Center, Professor Phoebe Koundouri, Athens University of Economics and Business, Professor Andreas Papandreou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Dr. Sonia Sachs, Director, Health Sector, Centre for Sustainable Development, Adam Sachs, author, Lydia Papadaki, researcher and Sotiris Drosis, researcher.
During the Symposium, Plato’s and Aristotle’s main theories have been revisited in order to assess their potential for reforming the Neoclassical Economics paradigm towards including Aristotelian Ethics. UN SDSN endeavors that this Symposium becomes an annual interdisciplinary academic event, bringing together world experts that aim to develop an interdisciplinary framework based on Aristotelian Epistemology and Ethics, within in which the implementation of UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development will be facilitated.
During his stay Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University met with the Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis in order to discuss Greece’s shift to a sustainable development model. The focus of the meeting were the potential pathways, in which Greece can combine environmental protection with the attraction of significant investment and the creation of new jobs on a large scale.
The meeting was attended by Professor Phoebe Koundouri, Athens University of Economics and Business, Professor Andreas Papandreou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Professor Yannis Ioannidis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Director of ATHENA Research and Innovation Center, Dr. Sonia Sachs, Director, Health Sector, Centre for Sustainable Development, as well as the Secretary-General for the Environment and Water, Associate Professor Konstantinos Aravosis. You can find the relevant press release here, which was widely disseminated in all Greek mass media.
Lastly, Professor Jeffrey Sachs and selected seminar participants, were treated by Mr. Panos Laskaridis, President European Community Shipowners’ Associations,Laskaridis Shipping Company LTD and Lavinia Bulk Limited and Mrs Suzanna Laskaridis, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Laskaridis Shipping Company LTD and Lavinia Bulk Limited at a dinner meeting, where discussions focused on Sustainability Transition of the Shipping Industry, in particular, and Sustainable Blue Growth, in general.
Related to these discussions, UN SDSN will launch during the 3rdSustainability Summit 16th-17th October, organized by The Economist and UN SDSN Greece, the 4-SEAS Sustainable Blue Growth Initiative: Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian and Aral Seas, as well as a Global Roundtable on Zero-Emission Ocean Shipping, including world-leading ship technologists, ship owners, ship builders and ports worldwide.