Summer Nostos FestivalSummer Nostos Festival

In 2012, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) launched the Annual SNF International Conference on Philanthropy which has taken place ever since every June in Greece. The conference has brought together internationally renowned speakers from the fields of academia and science, as well as representatives of other foundations and institutions. The aim of the conference has been to present best practices, and become the ground for the exchange of ideas and discussion on the developments within the wider field of philanthropy. Each year’s theme has varied depending on current challenges, keeping at its core the four program areas of the Foundation: Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Sports, and Social Welfare. The conference is addressed to representatives of other foundations, nonprofit organizations and institutions, as well as to all those who are interested in the role of philanthropy and social giving.

Over the past seven years, the conference has debated and examined a variety of critical topics, such as the economic crisis, the emergence of a social welfare society, ethics, the significance of creative assets, sustainability, the local and global consequences of the refugee crisis, the importance of ethical public spaces, the impact of polarization, and disruption. As we embark upon the preparation of the eighth annual conference, we believe that we have reached a seminal moment. The conference has been attracting participants that transcend the defined boundaries of the philanthropy sector, inducing in us the need and desire to reach further out and explore broader themes, to open ourselves up and pose broad, critical, and all encompassing questions, keeping in mind, at the same time, the Foundation’s core activities.

To reflect this broader approach, the conference is now titled The SNF Conference.

In 2019, the SNF Conference will take place for two full days from June 24th to June 25th, 2019 with proceedings commencing early in the morning and concluding in the evening. Our goal is to engage and bring together high caliber speakers from various backgrounds, and diverse disciplines and spaces, “forcing” them to engage into conversations and debates about subject matters outside their areas of expertise. Our driving force is the desire to transcend traditional, linear, and comfortable modes of thinking, and in the process redefine, hopefully, the way we have been approaching and contemplating current complex issues.

The theme of the 2019 SNF Conference is [Untitled].

We hope to move past labels, boundaries and conventions and invite unexpected and unconventional thinking from speakers from distinct areas, approaches, cultures, ethnicities and geographical spaces, in order to examine issues not as experts but as thinkers.

The conference schedule will be updated as soon as new information becomes available.

In addition to the conference, on June 26th, 2019, Johns Hopkins University will co-organize the 2nd SNF Agora Institute Workshop as part of SNF’s monthly DIALOGUES series. The workshop, “Talking (and Listening) Across Divides”, will explore what experience and science can teach us about the requirements for productive dialogue and engagement. How can we open our minds to new, different, and conflicting ideas or values? How can we effectively communicate our own ideas or values in ways that allow others to hear us? How do we create environments that support meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations? What is happening in our brains during these interactions? This workshop will be led by a diverse group of scholars and practitioners whose research and work will help to shed light on how we might resolve, mediate, or even just consider, competing claims - essential work for any thriving democracy. The SNF has supported the establishment of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University with a grant totaling $150 million. The mission of the SNF Agora Institute is to enhance civic engagement in democratic processes, to promote civil discourse, and to help address polarization in our societies.

The SNF Conference as well as the SNF Agora Institute Workshop are taking place as part of the Summer Nostos Festival, an international multifaceted arts, sports and education festival organized by the SNF at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The 2019 SNFestival will take place from June 23rd to June 30th, 2019.

Admission to the SNF Conference and the SNF Agora Institute Workshop is free for all and open to the public with pre-registration. 

Read the Conference Schedule
2019 SNF Conference