#iSTANDfor: Every voice Being Heard
By Anthony S. Papadimitriou
Aristotle Onassis was very clear about what he stood for: an entrepreneurial spirit that translated to a certain way of seeing life. His personal life was full of successes and marked by tragedy; in his final hours, he transcended tragedy in favor of a higher calling which he made known in his will: he established the Onassis Foundation to promote culture, education, health and social solidarity. These are the pillars on which the Onassis Foundation was founded. Forty years later we continue to operate in the same way combining entrepreneurial spirit and public benefit. Our commitment to promote them in a rapidly changing world is a big and challenging responsibility; like Odysseus or Marcus Aurelius we know the world is imperfect but we strive to use our talents to the best of our abilities. Our ideal is to be useful citizens of the world or as the Romans put it a “civis utiliter,” i.e. a “useful citizen.”
With the #iSTANDfor campaign we are inviting the public to join our efforts. Our Onassis Cultural Centers in Athens and New York have served as hubs of culture, art, education and social responsibility for many years. People who share our interests and support our common humanistic and liberal heritage, can physically meet and interact with each other. We have seen firsthand the positive change this can bring rise to, and believe there exists unlimited human potential in the world today, especially among the new generation.
It is our hope that the #iSTANDfor campaign will underscore how much concrete action is taking place in the world, not just on the scale of organizations such as the Onassis Foundation but also through the hands of everyday people who are working alone. It is our hope that they will all connect on this platform to share ways to improve our world, improve our societies, and mend gaps in understanding among us.
This is the idea behind #iSTANDfor: to provide a global amphitheater of sorts that will allow every voice to be heard and, most importantly, to join other voices as part of the same chorus. Together we can. Together stronger.
Tell us what you stand for, and you may just find that millions are standing by you.
Anthony S. Papadimitriou