Libra Chairman and CEO George Logothetis delivered a stirring speech at the Concordia Summit, which Libra launched in 2011 as a founding sponsor.
Speaking at the start of the Summit where the top movers and shakers of today’s world convened, he said that Concordia’s mission from the beginning was to bring diverse voices from all levels together to discuss the world’s most pressing challenges.
At Concordia “students can meet Presidents”
Logothetis said that Concordia is the place where students can meet Presidents and exchange views.
He offered the example of a group of young students from Greece who he invited in 2016 to attend the Summit. Concordia arranged for Nikos and nine of his fellow students to attend that year’s Summit.
He explained that at the Summit, he bumped into these young Greeks for most of whom this was their first trip away from home.
“They were all nervous but bright-eyed,” Logothetis said. “As I was talking to them I spotted the [former] Presidents of Bolivia and Costa Rica walking by.”
Logothetis then recalled asking Nikos and his friends if they’d ever met a President to which they responded that they hadn’t. That is when, according to Logothetis, he introduced the former Presidents to the Greek students.
“Ten students from Greece interacting with two Presidents,” said Logothetis. “That’s Concordia.”
The Libra CEO noted that Concordia is comprised of more women than men. The average age is thirty. As a nonpartisan, transparent, and vibrant organization, it speaks to “today and tomorrow,” the CEO said.
The British-born Greek businessman and philanthropist expressed his optimism about humanity’s future.
“Prior generations have been through a multitude of crises,” he said. “At the time, they did not know if or when or how they would overcome. But they did. And so shall we.”
“Every generation has its seemingly insurmountable issues,” Logothetis admitted. “We surmount. We progress. Not in a linear fashion. Beware of instant progress, the healthiest form of progress, sometimes frustratingly incremental.”
Need to keep perspective
Logothetis highlighted the importance of maintainng perspective. It is particularly useful to look into yesterday to attain perspective for today, he noted.
“Perspective is an extraordinary thing,” he said. “It illustrates things in their correct relationship. What is large versus what is small. What might be important versus what is not. What demands immediate attention and what does not.”
He stressed the importance of also gaining perspective from different viewpoints—from the young and the old, the struggling and the successful, and everyone in between.
“Perhaps the issues we struggle with today require both kinds of perspective,” he said inquisitively. “This is what I know Concordia offers to all of us. Perspective comes from context and context often comes from history.”
Surplus of information yet a deficit of insight
Logothetis argued one of the problems we face in the modern world “is a surplus of information yet a deficit of insight.”
“We tend to have conversations and headlines instead of substance,” he said. “Perspective is drowning in a sea of Twitter outrage and Facebook frenzy. And context can thus be lost in an ocean of competing information and misinformation.”
That loss, he added, is further compounded by speed. “Machines work at a speed which provokes anxiety with the inevitable result of diluting empathy; yet, it is empathy which humanizes our decision taking and decision making,” Logothetis revealed.
Logothetis: Lost time is only wasted time
Logothetis also delved into the question of lost time after two years of quarantines and shutdowns caused by COVID-19.
“Lost time can also be found time, a time to slow down, a time to be grateful, to read and contextualize the present with lessons from the past,” he maintained. “For it is only lost time if it is wasted time.”