Amongst the usual spate of depressing news, some nuggets of positive information made the front pages of the daily papers:
Now that people have less disposable income to spend on small luxuries, a 9th Swapping Bookshelf has been inaugurated in Athens. The brainchild of two young architects, Lefteris Abatzis and Irini Emilia Ioannidou, these automatic lending and exchange libraries are freestanding structures made of steel and glass, where anyone can swap a book at all hours of day and night. There is no fee or subscription of any kind. At night they are lit up, and each can accommodate up to 350 books.
Usage is aided by a smartphone App – the swapping bookshelf – while updates and info can be found on http://www.vivliothiki.org.
The project was first presented at the international contemporary art platform Remap4 and at the 4th Athens Biennale. Its realization was made possible with the help of the Skrimitzeas construction company and artist Andonis Donef and has now been incorporated into the central Public Library Organization of the City of Athens. Amazingly, the libraries, the first one of which was set up in 2012, have survived the usual vandalism of public property and are thriving. Who said the printed word is dead?
In another article, a team of four students from the University of
Thessaloniki traveled to Seattle to compete in the finals of the
Microsoft Imagine Cup, billed as ‘the world’s premier student technology competition.’ They faced more than 30 teams from all over the world, selected from tens of thousands of students.
The Greek team won the Ability Award, featuring innovative projects that are intended to help people living with disabilities. This award was inaugurated just this year by Imagine Cup to recognize the team that has best addressed this important topic.
They also got third place in the World Citizenship Competition where students show the world new ways to think and to change, by creating new technology projects in fields such as health, education, and the environment.
PROGNOSIS, an intelligent ICT-based approach for the early detections of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. The application will also allow prompt intervention in people’s everyday life, promoting active and healthy ageing. This is achieved through a set of health self-managing tools, set within a collaborative care context with health professionals.
And finally, in the realm of sport, the Greek team has won the EuroBasket 2015 Under-18 Championships
With Vassilis Charalambopoulos, Giorgos Papagiannis and Dionysis Skoulidas as its biggest stars, the team of coach Ilias Papatheodorou came from behind to beat Turkey in Sunday’s final at Volos, central Greece, where the tournament took place.
Making the most of home advantage after downing France in the quarterfinals and Lithuania in the semis, the team defeated Turkey 64-61.
This is another golden generation for Greek basketball, as the men’s team is eyeing a place on the podium in next month’s Eurobasket.
It is these, and many other, young people who are the future of Greece. We must make sure they do have a future here and are not obliged to seek it elsewhere.