After our successful and interactive pre-event with the name: “Unlock Yourself”, that was held by the team of TEDxPanteionUniversity in the beginning of March, we met with the people that support us, once again, in one more initiative of ours. On the 19th of March, more than 500 people attended the talks, performances and workshops of our Main Event for 2018: “Elephant in The Room”.
Acclaimed speakers and performers stood on the stage of Benaki Museum in order to share with the audience ideas with originality, thoughts and Objections upon contemporary soci al issues. Inspired by the British idiom: «Elephant in The Room”, they focused on issues we tend to “ignore”, like: depression, child labor, sex trafficking, fake news, racism, body shaming. In the context of a different “role”, actor Argyris Pantazaras was the host of the event, shedding light upon his own “elephant”.
The first session of the event called: “Flare”, was initiated with the act of Irene Skylakaki, then Gerasimos Kouvaras, Country Director of ActionAid Hellas, gave the first talk of the event named: “Unlearning the truth”. Vasiliki Kompilakou presented an alternative point of view of education through her initiative: “The Forest School”, while actress Penelope Anastasopoulou shared her experience and thoughts upon body shaming. Wrapping up the first session, George Evgeniadis, food technologist and educator, presented his school project: “Special Stick”, and pointed out the power of creativity and the power of his students with special needs. During the lunch break, delegates had the chance to take part in different workshops, leave a special message, and enjoy an integrated experience that was configured in the venue.
The second session titled: “Formation”, begun with an intense performace by the “Art of Soul” and later on, George Moschos, in the law business and Counsel for the kid in Greece, talked about child labor. Photographer Orestis Seferoglou shared some stories from the people he had met, experience he had gained and thoughts he had upon the refugee crisis and the life of refugees in Greece. Then we had Eleni Zaharopoulou, social scientist and administrator of the campaign “Break the Chain”, touch upon sex & human trafficking and the violation of human rights. Talking about her personal experience with an accident that forced her in a wheelchair, opinion leader Georgi Kaltsi maintained irreducible the interest of her audience until the end of the session.
After the coffee break and the afternoon workshops, musician and performer Gautier Velissaris prepared the audience for the third and final session of the event that was named: “Footprints”. Timos Platsas, Head of Corporate Community Affairs in Microsoft of Central and East Europe, talked about technology as means of social and economic growth. Journalist and writer Fragkiska Megaloudi analyzed fake news, the state of the press currently and online communications. TV presenter and tattoo artist George Mavridi, though an “experiential” talk, shed light upon his “elephant” that shaped his life and affected his choices. With a speech that truly touched the audience, our final speaker, George Kounanis reminded us all the equal treatment is not something given when it comes to a homophobic, transphobic and racist society that we live in.
Nine months of preparations, full of creativity, stress, ideas and parallel actions, unexpected happenings and meetings led to a full of people, ideas and emotions amphitheater and a raving party. Once again, the team of TEDxPanteionUniversity and maintained its social orientation and offered a free entrance in return of medicine and food for the Greek Wildlife Care Center.