George A. Papandreou
Former Prime Minister of Greece
President of Socialist International
Chairman of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation
George Papandreou is former Prime Minister of Greece (2009-2011). First elected as member of Parliament in 1981, he served in many governmental posts. As Minister of Education (1994-1996), he founded the Greek Open University and promoted multicultural programs. As Minister of Foreign Affairs (1999-2004), he promoted peace building and European integration in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans and managed a breakthrough in Greek-Turkish relations. In 2015 he founded with Ipek Cem the Cem-Papandreou Peach Award which is being awarded annually. He is the leader of the Party of Democratic Socialists, member of the coalition of Greek progressive parties, Movement of Change. Since 2006, he has been the President of the Socialist International, the largest global political family. He has been the Chairman of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation since its establishment in 1996. In July 2019, he was re-elected as member of Parliament representing the region of Achaea in Western Greece.
KONU Founding Partners | Leadership Development Coaches
KONU is an international boutique consultancy for leadership development and change management.
KONU works with government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and international organizations to create and implement customized leadership development opportunities. KONU’s clients include the World Bank, the Kellogg Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, Abbot / St Jude Medical, Volkswagen and the California Public Utilities Commission. KONU has worked with several high-ranking government representatives – among them elected officials and cabinet members.
KONU’s methodology values participants’ lived experiences over prepared case materials and examples. Structured exercises are built around participant cases and stories. These real and relevant dynamics illuminate the complexity of real challenges and the politics of change.
As a result, the subsequent learning and action plans are directed at what matters most to our participants. In detail, a mixture of experiential and instructional methods will be used such as small group case work, large group exercises, presentations, 1:1 and Peer-coaching as well as individual reflections.
Symi Symposium participants who excel in their respective fields, provide Young Leaders with the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges they face, as well as how these influence their lives.
Cases of success, failure or a mixture of both, in which the pressures for quick fixes and solutions were high – and when leadership across different factional divides, narratives and values was needed, are analysed.
Young Leaders are able to apply the concepts they learn to their real-life leadership cases.
Today’s leaders, whether in active politics, in central or local government, in civil society NGO’s, private or social enterprises, are challenged to negotiate, decide, adapt and transform in a world of ever-growing complexity. They need to be equipped with an innovative and progressive toolbox to address the new dilemmas, priorities and mega-trends triggered by the concentration of power and the wealth and the subsequent growing inequalities. And most recently, they need to navigate and confront unprecedented global crises such as the covid-19 pandemic. All these cross border, complex phenomena are challenging the heart of our democracies, economies and societies.
In this reflective spirit, the Young Leaders Project engages emerging leaders across sectors with a strong commitment to social challenges, democracy and peace in a unique, experiential program, designed by KONU in synergy with the annual Symi Symposium – an annual gathering of global thinkers following the tradition of Ancient Greek philosophers and bringing together like-minded individuals from different backgrounds, leading intellectuals, politicians, Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, diplomats, scientists, and activists to discuss some of the most pressing issues of our time.
By tapping into the resources and challenges of Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond, participants of the Young Leaders Project:
Since 2019, YLP offers two parallel, yet distinct programs:
The 2019 Young Leaders Project kicked off in the morning of July 11th, 2019.
The venue was Kalimera Kriti hotel in the area of Sissi, in Lasithi, on the island of Crete.
In a stunning natural environment, YLP provided a stimulating space for participants to be mindful, learn from each other, share stories and form lasting bonds in an atmosphere of self-exploration, intelligence and constructive deliberations.
Over the course of four well balanced days, participants had the chance to meet and socialize with likeminded peers, through a variety of activities both on-site and around the island. Following the success of previous projects, on the first day participants were provided with a unique opportunity to join the closing ceremony and conclusions presentation of the Symi Symposium deliberations. Following this mental stimulus, they were engaged in a specially curated program of leadership development that tapped into the invaluable cross-sector expertise and insightfulness of the Symi Symposium network.