The Economist Events along with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Greece, Global SDSN Leadership Council, UN SDSN Mediterranean, UN SDSN Black Sea and Climate KIC Europe organized the Third Sustainability Summit for south-east Europe and the Mediterranean, on October 16th – 17th 2019. Alba was once again the academic partner of this Economist event.
Representatives of the government, public and private sector and academia discussed, within the context of Agenda 2030, about ways to implement efficiently and effectively the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Challenges related to migration and security, the impact of the blue and circular economy on growth, climate change, tourism, new partnerships and current technological developments were set on the spotlight during the two-day summit.
During his keynote speech Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostis Hatzidakis stressed that "We do not consider the environment as an individual political sector but as the filter through which every state policy should pass and this primarily concerns the economy, as there can be no future without green growth so investments must come to terms with environmental protection"
Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras stated that "Sustainability is not a luxury but a prerequisite for our future course". He also mentioned that the transformation of the global economy in the context of carbon sequestration of the energy system, can only have a positive sign.
The second day of the event kicked off with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Marianna Vardinoyannis pointing out that "education and cultural heritage should be a priority in order for humanity to move forward."
A bit later within the day Alba's professor, Dr. Pavlos Vlachos participated in the panel discussion "A view from the top : How sustainable development is changing business leadership".
Dr. Vlachos mentioned that achieving sustainable development goals requires responsible leadership. “My view is that responsible leadership should be about an unrecognized strength in business namely humility. So, my view is that the Responsible Leader is the Humble Leader!”
According to Dr. Pavlos humble leaders are more prosocial and appreciative of others, are tough on themselves, admit their mistakes, are quietly confident and most importantly: humble leaders are doers and not talkers. Unfortunately, “Greenwashing and cheap talk is a key sustainability barrier and common practice nowadays.” However “In sustainability, it seems, actions speak louder than words and as we find in our research this tangibly pays"