In a topsy-turvy year, SNF Nostos by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) was just what we needed to reconnect with each other and re-ground ourselves in our shared humanity. We were thrilled to be able to host SNF Nostos in person again at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), and seeing you all there and experiencing it together was incredibly rewarding. All told, more than 70,000 of us joined the five-day celebration from August 25 to 29, 2021.
The SNF DIALOGUES on Humanity-AI Symbiosis, held in collaboration with the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and the SNF Nostos Conference on Humanity and Artificial Intelligence brought together audiences and experts from across disciplines and around the world. Together, we got our minds moving to explore how we can ensure that the inevitable progression of AI ends up benefiting humanity.
We got our bodies moving at the SNF Nostos Run, which brought together 2,021 runners whose generous donations to the nonprofit organizations Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth – SKEP, and ARTOGETHER – Art of People with and without Disabilities totaled €10,000 and will be tripled to €30,000 through a double-match from SNF. We kept moving with inclusive activities for kids of all ages, from a climbing wall to kayaking on the canal. And we got to meet nonprofit Field of Life, established at the initiative of and with founding support from SNF to provide children and adolescents the tools and guidance they need to strengthen their character, explore their talents, play, exercise, and develop core personal skills.
Burna Boy, Bomba Estéreo, ΜΕΛΙSSES, Fotini Velesiotou, Good Job Nicky, and many other renowned artists electrified audiences with performances that channeled a year and a half of pent-up creative energy. Young people from all over Greece came together for the first SNF Nostos Hackathon and a Minecraft-based creative building challenge. Our guides to all of this were our dynamic SNF Nostos Young Presenters, taking us behind the scenes to meet speakers and performers over social media and providing highlights on television.
This year was also special because SNF is marking 25 years of its international grantmaking mission. A spectacular original drone show featuring 200 individual drones, the first of its kind in Greece, was a magical highlight each night of SNF Nostos. We are accustomed to looking up to the skies in wonder, but this was something totally new, totally unexpected—precise yet fluid, mechanical yet gracefully inspiring very human emotions.
This year’s SNF Nostos was a return to some of the best parts of summers past: the games where everyone is part of the team, the thrill of hearing a new idea that subtly but profoundly shifts how you understand your world, the concerts where strangers become friends in the space of a verse, the feeling that anything is possible and that magical surprises are waiting in the wings.
SNF Nostos 2021 was both a return to something we love, and at the same time unlike any SNF Nostos before it. It showed us the value of coming together as we aspire to journey toward a brighter future.
Thank you for joining us on that journey. There’s no way forward other than together.
The SNF Nostos Team
*nostos NOUN (from Ancient Greek) A homecoming, especially after a long, difficult journey, such as the return of Odysseus and other Greeks after the Trojan War.
The SNF Nostos team would like to thank all of our partners who contributed to this year's events:
*The SNF DIALOGUES event was held through journalism nonprofit iMEdD (the incubator for Media Education and Development) and was moderated by journalist and SNF DIALOGUES Executive Director Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou and SNF Agora Institute Director Hahrie Han, along with iMEdD Lab Project Manager Thanasis Troboukis.
*The SNF Nostos Run was held in collaboration with the nonprofit Regeneration & Progress and the Sports Excellence program, under the scientific supervision of the 1st Orthopedic Surgery Clinic of University of Athens Medical School. We would also like to thank the following for their assistance and cooperation: the Municipality of Athens, the Municipality of Kallithea, the Hellenic Police, EKAV, the Municipal Police of the Municipality of Athens, the Hellenic Fire Department, O.S.Y. SA, the Athens Mass Transit System (OASA), Special Olympics Ηellas, METRO SA.
*The nonprofit Field of Life was born out of SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos’s vision to create opportunities for all young people—especially those living in underserved areas—to grow and thrive, and basketball legend Panagiotis Giannakis’s vision to inspire new generations of kids to develop healthy lifestyles, starting in the city of Nikaia where he was born and raised. These two visions have joined together to drive an ambitious mission, and a brand-new, inviting space will host Field of Life’s activities in the Nikaia neighborhood of Athens.
*The technical production of SNF Nostos was undertaken by View Master Events.
*The drone show was designed and implemented by Skymagic, with local support from View Master Events. We would like to thank the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority and the Hellenic Police for their assistance and support.
*This year’s SNF Nostos took place following guidelines for the protection of public health and the wellbeing of visitors and participants. The rapid COVID-19 test stations operated with the collaboration of the nonprofit Regeneration & Progress, the Ministry of Digital Governance, and the Nursing and Administrative Service of Attikon under the scientific supervision of the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology at Attikon University General Hospital.
*SNF Nostos is organized and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and implemented with the collaboration of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
*masks off for the click