When I first got the news from IDEAeconomics and Alan Harvey that Steve Keen could actually come to Greece and give a seminar for the first time, I was thrilled by the prospect. However, the initial enthusiasm was soon replaced by skepticism that was again substituted by enthusiasm.
The majority of the academia in Greece is conservative and suffers from the same viral disease of neoclassical economics. My first contact, despite not rejecting the idea of a seminar, discouraged me by saying that it would be very hard to attract students to attend the seminar and also the timing was not good as the 18th of June is right at the middle of exams. Changing the location from Athens to Thessaloniki and approaching the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki [A.U.T.H] broke the deadlock. Immediately the School of Economics of A.U.T.H approached the Society of Economists Scientists and Entrepreneurs [E.O.S.E.E] whose members are young students and graduates from different disciplines but with a focal interest in economics.
Based on previous experience, we all thought that if we managed to attract 80 students into attending the seminar it would be successful. Up to now go registrations have exceeded 250 and that figure does not include postgraduate and PhD students. We had to change the auditorium and move into a larger one that can accommodate 300 people.
However what is even more encouraging is that out of this initiative a movement to reform economics may blossom in Greece. Thessaloniki, the host city, is a city of 80.000 students. The A.U.TH probably has the biggest University campus in Greece and is only one minute walk from the city’s second largest University, the University of Macedonia. Thessaloniki with the 2.500 years of multicultural history is receptive to change and that offers the best guarantee that Prof. Keen’s seminar will stimulate even more interest in Debunking Economics.
On behalf of A.U.TH and E.O.S.E.E I would like to thank everyone in IDEAeconomics and especially Alan Harvey who has to be credited with the initial idea.