Massive Open Online Course: Meetup Remarks by U.S. Ambassador David D. Pearce (June 11, 2014)

Massive Open Online Course Meetup, Stoa of Attalos, Athens (Photo by Yiorgis Yerolympos)
Massive Open Online Course Meetup, Stoa of Attalos, Athens (Photo by Yiorgis Yerolympos)

Stoa of Attalos

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

(as prepared)

Αξιότιμες κυρίες και κύριοι, καλησπέρα σας,

Με μεγάλη μου χαρά σας καλωσορίζω στην εκδήλωση της Αμερικανικής Πρεσβείας για το ελληνικό Massive Open Online Course: δηλαδή, το Μαζικό, Ανοικτό, Διαδικτυακό Μάθημα με θέμα την επιχειρηματικότητα.

Είμαι ιδιαίτερα ευτυχής που αυτή η εκδήλωση γίνεται σήμερα εδώ στην Στοά του Αττάλου, στην Αρχαία Αθηναϊκή Αγορά.

Η Αρχαία Αγορά, όπως ξέρουμε, δεν ήταν μόνο ο κύριος χώρος για το εμπόριο και τις επιχειρήσεις.  Ήταν επίσης ο χώρος για την ανάπτυξη της γνώσης και ιδεών.

Σας ευχαριστώ πολύ που είστε εδώ απόψε και αν μου επιτρέπετε, θα ήθελα να συνεχίσω στα αγγλικά…

I know we have an international audience tonight, so I’ll continue in English.

We’re here at the Stoa of Attalos, which I think is a great place to hold a meetup for a Massive Open Online Course, because it is quite literally an open market, a free market.  This was the original incubator of capitalism.

And in ancient times this was a free market for more than just shopping. This was the place for the free exchange of ideas.  It was where Socrates and Plato taught, and challenged Athenians with new ways of thinking.  The crowds back then were massive, they were open, people would wait in line to hear them, and the courses were free.

In modern times, a successful business is the result of knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit.  And that is the goal of this meetup: to offer the know-how someone would need to start a successful business.

Today you’re wrapping up on online course.  It’s the modern version of the stoa.  The only thing that’s changed is the technology.  You’re still innovating, you’re still sharing ideas, the competition is just as fierce, but now your market is not confined to these walls, it is the whole world.

With this MOOC, we’re being entrepreneurial in getting education to the people who want it most.  We customized the content to be in both Greek and English.  We mixed up videos, with live meetups, with social media, to bring together people from around the world, if not in person then definitely in spirit.  We’re sharing ideas in ways that Socrates and Plato never thought of, but in which they would be proud.

So I take great pride in welcoming you to this final meetup of the first ever MOOC with Greek content, “Beyond Silicon Valley: Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies.”  I want to thank the Cultural Ministry for letting us use this wonderful Stoa.  Professor Michael Goldberg, thank you for coming all the way from Cleveland to lead the MOOC discussion in person; you’ve done an excellent job putting this together with all the examples of fantastic entrepreneurship from around the world.  To everyone at ALBA Graduate Business School, and to everyone that contributed to this project on the Greek side, thank you all for your work, you’ve been great partners and friends. And to the students here in Greece, back in America, and around the world…

Σας ευχαριστούμε θερμά για την παρουσία σας απόψε στην  εκδήλωση μας και ελπίζουμε να βρήκατε το «μάθημα» χρήσιμο!