Another cycle of FNF’s “Liberal Youth Seminars” came to an end lately. This time, the weekend courses examined theory and practise of leadership in any field of social life, from politics to economy and civil society. The seminar took place on three weekends, lasted 64 hours and provided the participants with lots of first-hand impressions of respectable political as well as social leaders. The seminars were organized in cooperation with the Alumni of Political Science Dept. of the University of Athens.
Since it is widely accepted that people learn better when they have to combine knowledge and experience, the seminar used state-of-the-art exercises and workshops methods. In order to offer a substantial experience, the participants were divided into three imaginary political parties, the Republicans, the Democrats and the Progressives, as they simulated a political campaign for the imaginary city of “Eleftheroupolis” (City of Liberty). Following the directions given by the lecturers, the three parties presented their strategic plan and run their own campaign with the constant advice of the supervisors, until the last day when they voted for the winning combination. To make the experience as real as possible, the FNF provided a professional director and photographer who advised them on their public appearance, and filmed a promotional video for each party.
Regarding the lecturers, the seminar worked with some of the best educators in the field. The main part, “Leadership & Management”, was taught by Professor Dimitrios Bouradas of the Economic University of Athens, who is considered the field’s expert in Greece. In his lessons, he referred to several issues such as political strategy, political leadership, organizational culture, and human resources management.
In addition, the seminar hosted Emeritus Professor George Mavrogordatos, Professor Aristides Hatzis and Professor Evanthis Hatzivassileiou. Other experts were Eftychis Vardoulakis, campaign strategist, and Alex Skouras, program manager at Atlas network.
Last, since politics are an actual process, several reformist politicians spoke to the students. Founder and President of “To Potami”, Stavros Theodorakis, and ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt launched the seminars in an open event which attracted more than 200 people. Kostis Hatzidakis, former Minister of Development, visited the seminars to share his experience, and Andreas Andrianopoulos, member of the 1990-1993 reformist cabinet, shared his views on how to change Greek politics despite the obstacles by interest groups and clientelist politicians.