Welcome to Athens 2011


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Hellenic Open University which is hosting and has co-organised the 15th Annual EBHA Conference, and the local organising committee, I would like to welcome you to Athens, a city where history is both a guardian and a loyal companion for visitors and residents alike.

When a few years ago the EBHA Council’s took its decision about the location and the theme of the Conference, recession and economic crisis appeared an appropriate topic, but no one could have thought then that Greece would eventually be at the centre of events, having been struck hard by, and struggling to overcome the effects of, the crisis. Greek philosophy, nevertheless, teaches us that there is always something positive to come out of any difficulty, and it is true that our determination and collective effort was strengthened to organise a successful Conference. The Hellenic Open University has placed its infrastructure, financial and human resources at our disposal; the National Technical University of Athens has offered the use of its vast campus as a venue; other sponsorship was sought and obtained; and the local organising committee has tried to ensure both a pleasant as well as functional environment for our work.

More than 100 papers will be presented in the two days of the conference addressing issues including business response, reaction and adjustment to various types of crises across Europe and the world. Relations between business on the one hand, state policy and finance, on the other, are also central issues. The role of various types and sectors of business and their attempts to overcome the consequences of crisis are themes treated in terms both of their historical importance and contemporary significance.

But Athens is also a city of dreams and challenges; of philosophy, myths and legends; of metamorphosis and at the same time fundamental human values. So, I would like to urge you to discover some of its many charms: its rich cultural past not only of the classical era but of subsequent periods; its modern and contemporary attractions; and the spirit to enjoy life.

Margarita Dritsas