Thursday, June 1, 2017
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Impact Hub Athens
Good evening everybody. First of all, let me say what a treat it is to be back here at the Impact Hub. I love this new space, so congratulations on that. The last time I was here was December so it’s a little different, with the garden and everything else, and it really looks fantastic.
The first Hack the Camp event in October was, literally, one of the very first public things that I did after arriving in Greece. And I said at the time how impressed I was by the sense of energy but, also, the sort of super energized civil society that is so apparent in the Greek response to the refugee and migration crisis. The sort of connection between that empowered civil society and this Greek gene for innovation, for resilience, for invention.
And, so, it’s been really exciting to see the ideas come to fruition in the eight months, or so, since then with the December event. Very excited to see today the five months later results. But I really, more than anything else, I’m excited by the sense of energy and the sense of commitment that is so apparent in this area.
I, you know, we have fantastic, fantastic partners in the NGO space here in Greece, who are working and who we work with on these issues – Melissa, of course, but also METAdrasi and many, many others who are working in this space. I want to say special, special thanks to our partners in this project, of course, the Impact Hub but, also, the Onassis Cultural Center. We’re very, very proud to be working with you on all of this. I also want to say thank you, again, to all of our corporate partners on this – Microsoft, of course, ELLAK, Intel, and the many mentors who have come, often long distances, to help with this effort.
I think what I would emphasize, as I finish up and sort of turn it over to the folks who’ve done all the work, is that for me, for the U.S. Embassy, this part of an ongoing commitment to do as much as we possibly can to help Greece manage the consequences of the refugee and migration crisis, to support those in Greece who are doing the work, and to make a real difference in human lives. And so, without further ado, I will hand it back to the folks who’ve done the work. And very, very excited, not just by what we’re going to see tonight, but also about what’s going to be done in the months and years ahead. Thank you.