SNF NostosSNF Nostos


SNF Conference

June 22, 2020, 18:30 - 21:00, Online

SNF Conference

For the past eight years, the SNF Conference has brought together some of the world's best thinkers, leaders, artists, iconoclasts and visionaries to explore critical questions regarding the future of humanity and society. Presented as a gift to the public by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the conference seeks to explore and deepen our collective understanding of fundamental issues and raise the level of democratic discourse. 

Since 2016, the Conference has convened at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, Greece. The SNFCC is an ambitious project to reimagine the essence of a truly public space in the twenty first century, and the Foundation's largest single gift to date.

In this time of pandemic and rapid technological change, such dialogue helps us understand what is happening around us, and the new choices ahead of us. And so, despite the pandemic's disruptions, on June 22nd and 23rd, we'll be presenting a focused, virtual version of the SNF Conference, open to all. (Though registration is required.)

The conference will balance broad discussions of the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic with a sneak-peek at our 2021 event, which will be focused on the challenging issue of Humanity and Artificial Intelligence. Over two days, we'll explore questions such as: what lessons can we learn from past crises? How can we "bounce forward" from the pandemic to a more inclusive and sustainable future? What's the proper role for philanthropy and the arts in responding to this global moment? And how do we ensure that in that future, technology – and artificial intelligence in particular – serves humanity, and not the other way around?

Each session will feature a mix of presentations, discussions and live questions. Sessions are timed to allow participation in Europe and across the United States. The conference is part of the larger Summer Nostos Festival: RetroFuture Edition, convening online, June 21-28, 2020.

Monday June 22, 2020
The conference is hosted and moderated by iMEdD Managing Director, SNF DIALOGUES Executive Director and Journalist Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.

  Opening Remarks

Andreas Dracopoulos Co-President, Stavros Niarchos Foundation
6:30pm to

11:30am to

8:30am to
Looking Back, Looking Forward

The SNF Conference emerged in 2012, in the midst of another major disruption – the 2008 global financial crisis. We've invited back some of our most provocative and irreverent presenters, to explore how ideas they've shared at past SNF conferences about critical issues speak to the present moment, and our possible futures. We'll examine the way public space is changing and challenged, the role of philanthropy and cultural institutions in responding to crises, and the role of ethics in shaping our public choices.


Andreas Dracopoulos Co-President, Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Ruth Faden Founder, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Bill T. Jones Co-Founder, New York Live Arts
Eric Klinenberg Sociologist, NYU
Alan Stoga Chairman, The Tällberg Foundation
7:30pm to

12:30pm to

9:30am to
Rebirth, Reinvention, and Return: Framing Questions for the Post-COVID World

What might the world look like, and what choices might we face, in the post-COVID world? How might the practice of public health change? How might society's institutions change, evolve or devolve? How might the world of work change? How might the social contract change? And how might we "bounce forward" to a new and more sustainable future?


Nicholas Christakis Director, Human Nature Lab, Yale University
Hilary Cottam Social Entrepreneur and Author
Aarathi Krishnan Humanitarian Futures and Strategic Foresight Advisor
Andrew Zolli Vice President, Planet Inc., Forecaster and Author

Monday June 22, 2020
The conference is hosted and moderated by iMEdD Managing Director, SNF DIALOGUES Executive Director and Journalist Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.