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Fletcher Alumni Club of Greece

Fletcher Alumni Club of Greece

Website URL: http://www.fletcher.gr

The Fletcher Alumni Club of Greece consists of all Greek alumni of the Fletcher School at TUFTS University, as well as all Fletcher Alumni who live in Greece. At this moment, there are 65 Fletcher graduates in Greece, who are occupied in a wide range of professional activities.

 

Debate on

The Quest for Sustainability:

Climate Change vs. Economic Growth

 

Speakers:

  • Dr. William Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Fletcher School, Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Nobel Peace Prize 2007
  • Dr. Bruce McKenzie Everett, Professor of International Business at the Fletcher School and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, former Senior Executive of ExxonMobil

 

TUESDAY MAY 13, 2008

MODERATOR: DIMITRIS KERIDIS

 

MR. K. ARVANITOPOULOS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I would like to welcome you here on behalf of the Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy to tonight’s meeting which has been co-organized with the Fletcher School Alumni Club of Greece of Tufts University. And I would also like to thank the Alumni Club for its initiative to ask us here to discuss the issue which we will be debating today, the Quest for Sustainability: Climate Change vs. Economic Growth.

                        So we would like everyone to consider that we had the initiative for tonight’s meeting, but I have to give thanks where thanks is due, and I have to say that the idea sprang from the Fletcher School Alumni Club of Greece.

                        Now, at the Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy we have always shown a lot of sensitivity to the matter of climate change and sustainability, and we did organize a speech by the former Vice President of the US, Mr. Gore, and we also organized a meeting with Mr. Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment.

                        Now we are very happy that we have with us tonight very important people. I would like to thank them for accepting our invitation. We have first of all Dr. William Moomaw, who is the Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Fletcher School, and is also the Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the UN. And of course he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007. So I would like to thank you for coming here tonight.

                        I would also like to thank Dr. Bruce McKenzie Everett, who is a Professor of International Business at Georgetown University, which is in Washington, and is also a Professor at the Fletcher School in Boston, and he is also a former Senior Executive of ExxonMobil. So thank you for being with us tonight.

                        Tonight we will be attempting to have an interactive format here; it is a first for us tonight. And I will give the floor to the moderator, who will be moderating tonight’s meeting. Unfortunately, Mr. Papahelas was not able to come here tonight, but we have Professor Keridis with us, who will be moderating the debate tonight.

                        I now would like to ask Mr. Varvitsiotis to take the floor. He is the President of the Alumni Club for Greece.

MR. T. VARVITSIOTIS: Ladies and gentlemen let me in my turn welcome you on behalf of the Fletcher School Alumni Club of Greece. This is the first such event of our Club, which consists of 33 members in Greece and abroad. Let me thank in particular Professors Moomaw and Everett, who have been kind enough to respond to the invitation we extended to them and to come from the US to participate in this debate.

                        Let me also thank the Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy for an excellent cooperation. Let me also thank a Fletcher alumnus and Professor at Macedonian University, Mr. Keridis, who will be acting as moderator tonight.

                        I believe that this is a great conjuncture for mainly three reasons, as regards tonight’s event. One of these lies with the fact that sustainable development is at the core of concerns around the globe and in Greece. Governments, bodies, NGOs, the media – they are all concerned about the same thing, what the environment can do in terms of economic growth.

                        Is the course for sustainability realistic? Are there reliable alternatives? Tonight’s dialogue will be two different voices, two conflicting views on this critical issue. And hopefully this debate will enlighten us, and also provide us with various parameters.

                        The second most important aspect of this event is the fact that the Fletcher School is celebrating 75 years. The Fletcher School, which was established back in 1933 in Boston by Tufts and Harvard Universities, with a view to preparing leaders with a global perspective, which is the school’s motto.

                        There are three main disciplines, if you will. We have international law and international organizations, diplomacy and political history, economy and international businesses, with 17 research centers and joint programs and degrees with universities such as Harvard and Berkeley in the US, as well as the School of International Relations in Vienna, and even the International University of Economics of Shanghai.

                        The Fletcher School stands apart because it links theory with practice, but also because it prepares professionals and active citizens who are able to understand, decodify and contribute by effectively addressing the challenges of the new world. Today our alumni live in more than 130 countries, and they are also working for governments, international organizations, businesses and NGOs.

                        But the Fletcher School, and this is the third parameter, has a special relationship with our country, since Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is one of our distinguished alumni, holding Masters and PhD degrees, whereas the Constantine Karamanlis Chair in Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies has been very successfully operating for some years now. The Chair, which was created on the initiative of the Karamanlis Institute and took its name from the great Greek politician, has offered courses in Balkan policies, Greek-Turkish relations, European studies, to more than 300 graduates so far. It has also hosted a number of conferences, lectures and seminars, making a decisive contribution to the dialogue developing on the scientific and political level in the US regarding our area and country.

                        Hopefully, the Alumni Club of Greece will hold other events in the near future, always with the objective of having an exchange of views on important problems, for a better understanding of international affairs and a more active participation of Greece in the global dialogue. Hopefully we will see you at the upcoming events.

                        Let me thank you at this point, and let me give the floor to Mr. Keridis, who will also be elaborating on the terms of this debate. Thank you.

MR. D. KERIDIS: Excellent. First of all, I would like to thank my fellow graduates, and you all know the President of the Alumni Club, Mr. Varvitsiotis. My name is Dimitris Keridis, and I am Assistant Professor for International Relations in Salonica at Macedonian University, and I am also a graduate of the Fletcher School, and I was the third person to hold the Constantinos Karamanlis Chair at Fletcher.

                        So I would also like to thank you for coming here tonight. I see a lot of people, and even before we start, I feel that we have been extremely successful. I will now start speaking in English, so that we can start our evening.

                        And so I would like to welcome the two distinguished professors. The Fletcher School, as it is well known, is a great school, obviously, and is a great school mainly because of its faculty and of its students. And we thought that bringing the two together here in Athens will once more reinvigorate the public dialogue and public discussion on an issue of great importance that increasingly dominates world politics, and this is the issue obviously of the environment.

                        We will start with Professor Moomaw, and then proceed with Professor Everett. The rules of the game, the rules of the debate, are pretty simple, and my role obviously is going to be quite limited. Each speaker will have 15 minutes for the initial remarks. I will keep the time; my role is as the timekeeper here, right? And then they will have another four minutes to counter-argue, and counter-argue they will. Eventually they will have a final two-minute time period to close their remarks, and after this first part of our debate we will proceed to our second part, which will be even more interactive, and will open the floor to you, so you can also ask your questions in the second part, and there will be a lively discussion.

                        We should be done in around 90 minutes approximately, I guess, and let’s start with Professor Moomaw. He is a very distinguished professor. He is the one who built the very successful Environmental Studies Program at the Fletcher School, one of the programs that increasingly has more and more students at the Fletcher School. He has had a distinguished education, first from Williams and then from the neighboring MIT in Boston. He has written extensively on issues of the environment, and more recently, as has already been mentioned, he was co-awarded with a group of scientists the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007.

                        I can say a few words about Bruce Everett as well. He comes from the corporate world originally. He has also a very distinguished educational background, coming first from Princeton, and he is also a co-graduate from the Fletcher School, where he received his PhD in 1980. He worked in the corporate world, in ExxonMobil, the largest, I guess, firm in the world still. Gazprom is competing hard to overcome Exxon, but we will see about that in the future. And he is an Associate Professor both at Fletcher and at Georgetown, living in Washington and making the trip between the two cities.

                        He is a very popular professor, teaching Oil Politics at the Fletcher School, and I can assure you he disagrees with Professor Moomaw.

                        So without saying more, I start counting the minutes. It’s five to eight, and we will start with Professor Moomaw please.

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