The DIKTYO for Reform in Greece and Europe was, for the fifth consecutive year, a programmatic associate of the Delphi Economic Forum. In this context, DIKTYO co-organized, with the Forum, three online discussions.
The first discussion, under the title «BIM (Building Information Modeling): Bringing the Revolution to the Construction Industry», opened with introductory speeches by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Kostas Karamanlis and the Chairman of DIKTYO, Anna Diamantopoulou.
In her introductory statement, Mrs. Diamantopoulou referred to the main cost and time problems faced by public and private projects in Greece and to BIM as one of the key factors for the transition of the construction sector to the new era. The three-dimensional approach of a building during its construction to all construction models opens up many opportunities, foretelling an active future for our country in the field of construction. Mr. Karamanlis spoke of the significant effort made by the State for the major construction projects to be completed, so that Greece becomes an infrastructure hub for the wider region of Southeastern Europe. Utilizing Big Data, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence as key decision-making tools is the pillar of this huge effort. Their use will fill the gap between the designer and developer of the project, contribute to the saving of significant resources in terms of the final cost of the projects, while it will also contribute to their proper management and monitoring.
Nikolaos Milis, President of the Delegation of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), presented BIM as the digital simulation of the functions related to construction and construction projects. It utilizes technology, improved processes and digital information, with the aim of drastically improving the results, not only for the sake of the clients, but also for
the improvement of the functions related to the construction projects. He emphasized that BIM technology can play an important role in the restoration, renovation and maintenance of the built environment. The Associate Professor of the NTUA Vissarion Papadopoulos stressed the need for further deepening of the digital culture and technology in the field of industry, in such a way, that the different groups and specialties involved may obtain a common vocabulary. At the same time, stakeholders such as Ministries, Chambers, the private sector, Universities, Research Institutes should adapt and harmonize their current practices to the new data by establishing procedures that allow the smooth flow of information at all project stages.
Giorgos Raounas, Head of Risk Consulting of KPMG Greece argued that the arrival of BIM will lead to a new organization of companies, enable medium-sized companies to build the appropriate structures and ensure economies of scale. That is, to become profitable and sustainable. Finally, the CEO of AIDIGITS LTD Issam El-Absi noted that emphasis should be placed on investing in education and human capital, as a prerequisite for achieving systematic efficiency and sustainable development.
The second discussion, under the title «Upgrading the Image of Greece: Theoretical Searches and Empirical Experimentations», hosted as speakers the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostas Fragkogiannis, the Ambassador of Greece to the OECD, Giorgos Prevelakis, the geographer and diplomat Michel Foucher and Anna Diamantopoulou. In her introductory statement, the Chairman of Diktyo Anna Diamantopoulou pointed out a number of issues that adversely affect the image of Greece in terms of international public opinion, such as the negative image of their country projected by the political parties themselves, the absence of influential think tanks with a regional and international impact, the lack of extroversion on the part of the Universities, as well as the issue of the utilization of the Diaspora Greeks.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragkogiannis stressed the need for the image of Greece to change. This means that the central national idea shall not only be found in shipping and tourism, as has traditionally been the case, but also in innovation. The challenge is to establish Greece as the next destination for investors. But this presupposes that it must prove in practice the difference how things have changed, that it has indeed «changed the substance of its image.» The Ambassador of Greece to the OECD, Giorgos Prevelakis, clarified that, on the international chessboard, the importance of public diplomacy and the image that Greece promotes are decisive factors. Events and games are played depending on the image of the country.
Finally, DIKTYO organized a discussion under the title «Aging societies: Towards a new social contract, in the post-pandemic era». In her introductory speech, the Chairman of Diktyo Anna Diamantopoulou argued that the increase in life expectancy has brought about significant changes in people’s lives, in the operation of businesses and the structure of economies, globally. Employment, social security and lifelong learning policies, as well as the welfare state in general, need to be adapted to meet the new reality. David C. Grabowski, Professor of Health Care Policies at Harvard
Medical School, said the pandemic revealed the «crisis at the height of the crisis», as the aging crisis existed long before the pandemic.
Long-term care is underfunded, the regulations governing the care of the elderly are often ineffective and not enforced and many of the facilities are understaffed. For Professor Grabowski, transforming care facilities by investing in services offered at home, as well as promoting models of smaller homes and more pleasant living spaces are some of the solutions.
The head of the World Bank Social Protection Expert Group, Elena Glinskaya, presented important statistics in her speech. The purpose of the research carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance is the in-depth understanding of the de jure and de facto situation of three publicly funded programs of the centers for open elderly care (KAPI), the day care centers for the elderly (KIFI) and the “Assistance at Home” program. She observes that 10% of the elderly in Greece reported that they need help with daily activities, along with about 1/4 of the people over 80 years old. Before the pandemic, 1/5 of the elderly in Greece did not receive any care, while 2/5 received only informal family care.
In his statement, the LSE research partner Raphael Wittenberg cited the reasons for making forecasts for long-term care needs, including support for financial planning of central and local government services and the long-term viability of public services. The TIMA Foundation Advisor Paul Kidner emphasized the importance of NGOs in tackling the problems of aging. In 2020, for every 100.000 inhabitants, there was less than one long-term care bed in nursing structures and nursing homes, leaving Greece at the lowest ranking among the EU Member States. In fact, the absence of any central government service creates further challenges in terms of representing and coordinating the issues concerning the elderly at the state level. In this context, Mr. Kidner stressed that the TIMA provides grants to Greek NGOs dedicated to the fields of social welfare and health care for the most vulnerable groups of society.
The Professor of Insurance Science of the University of Piraeus Miltiadis Nektarios stressed that we should not expect any positive contribution from the workforce in the coming decades and therefore we should rely on strengthening the factor of productivity. The key issue here is the restructuring of the education system. Furthermore, the creation of the Recovery Fund was a decisive step for the creation of a federal type of Europe in the future, as well as an opportunity to reinvest in the Greek economy. The discussion was moderated by the associate of DIKTYO – Research Officer at the Care Policy and Evaluation Center (CPEC) of the LSE, Maria Karagiannidou.