SNF NostosSNF Nostos


SNF Conference

June 23, 2020, 18:30 - 21:30, 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.

Tuesday June 23, 2020
The conference is hosted and moderated by iMEdD Managing Director, SNF DIALOGUES Executive Director and Journalist Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.

6:30pm to

11:30am to

8:30am to
Humanity & AI:
Cooperation, Collision, or Coevolution?

Few tools, if any, promise to shape humanity as deeply and widely as artificial intelligence. In this sneak-peak at our 2021 SNF Conference, we will discuss the promise of AI and the many surprising ways it's shaping the future of society, the way we work and connect and our very idea of who we are.


Blaise Aguera y Arcas Distinguished Scientist, Google
Azeem Azhar Founder, Exponential View
Madeleine Clare Elish Program Director, AI on the Ground Data & Society
Andrew Zolli Vice President, Planet Inc., Forecaster and Author
7:30pm to

12:30pm to

9:30am to
Humanity & AI:
Can We Keep Humanity at the Center?

How do we ensure that AI works for humanity and not against it? We'll explore how our values can and should shape the tools we make, how we can maintain the right kinds of controls, and how the conversation between technology and society is evolving.


Stuart Russell Professor of Computer Science, University of California Berkeley
Tristan Harris Co-Founder & President, Center for Humane Technology
Tenzin Priyadarshi President and CEO, Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, MIT
Sabelo Mhlambi Founder, Bantucracy
Aarathi Krishnan Humanitarian Futures and Strategic Foresight Advisor
8:45pm to

1:45pm to

10:45am to
Special Discussion:
Humanity & AI:
How Do Youth Perceive AI Ethics?

The next generation will inherit a world transformed by artificial intelligence. In this special conversation, hear from two young people exploring the future they will shape and inhabit, and challenging the adults about the consequences of their current choices and decisions for future generations.


Andreas Dracopoulos Co-President, Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Francesca Rossi AI Ethics Global Leader, IBM
  Closing Remarks

Andreas Dracopoulos Co-President, Stavros Niarchos Foundation