Academic program

The program will be delivered over seven days, following a carefully crafted curriculum that involves lectures, executive talks, and company and cultural visits structured around the blocks of Economic ContextSustainability as a Concept, Sustaining Competitiveness with Technology, Leadership for a Sustainable Company Culture, and Innovation for Sustained Advantage.

The global economic context keeps changing at an unprecedented speed. The program starts with an overview of the emerging economic landscape, with a focus on the region of southeast Europe. Lessons from business sustaining their competitiveness through the Greek crisis will also be exposed.

The second day concretizes the concept of sustainability. It involves understanding what the new sustainability playing field implies for companies and how companies strategize in order to lead rather than adapt to this new reality. Emphasis is now increasingly being placed on maintaining performance through sustainability, which places the concept directly into the operational reality of businesses.

Day three delves into how the most recent trends in technology -Big Data and Digital Marketing in particular- are influencing virtually all business sectors and how they can become essential tools for accurate and informed decision-making.

The fourth block focuses on how culture and leadership need to be developed in order to support and drive the necessary restructuring propelled by sustainable business models and processes. The Summer School taking place in the cradle of western civilization, leadership insights from ancient Greek philosophy will also be exposed and debated.

The last module consists of applying an innovation framework to selected parts of a business and to investigate how, through innovation, companies can take organized steps towards building a sustainable competitive advantage.

Schedule 9.5.2017For the detailed academic program, click here.

Learning outcomes

By attending the summer school, students will:

  • Be able to understand the interconnectedness of global and local challenges related to sustainability in business,
  • Be exposed to key research findings and applied business solutions in the topic areas presented,
  • Interact with experts and peers from various business and academic backgrounds.

More precisely, participants will:

  • Get a grasp of the challenges of economic nature facing businesses globally, regionally and locally,
  • Become familiarized with the evolving playing field around sustainable economic and business development, by apprehending the logics and impact of international agreements and sustainability frameworks and certifications,
  • Comprehend new technologies’ potential for redefining business models and providing means of thriving in an increasingly customer-centric and connected marketplace,
  • Understand how leadership development and implementation culture building is supportive of sustainable competitive advantage,
  • Apprehend how holistic and systematic innovation can sustain competitive advantage.


The program is taught by a team of excellent academic staff with extensive teaching experience at the Athens University of Economics and Business, the oldest and most prestigious University in Greece in the areas of Economics and Business Administration, and other renowned universities. Participants will also engage with industry experts and representatives from key international institutions.

Confirmed Instructors

George Ioannou is Professor of Production & Operations Management at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He is the Director of the MBA International Program, and of the Management Science Laboratory at AUEB. Dr. Ioannou received his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, and his M.Sc./DIC in Industrial Robotics and Manufacturing Automation from Imperial College, London, UK. He was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute for Systems Research of the University of Maryland at College Park, USA, where he received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He also served as Assistant Professor at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of Virginia Tech, directing the Manufacturing Systems Integration Laboratory. His work has been sponsored by several research organizations and private companies from the US, Europe and Greece (Toshiba, Motorola, Siemens, Cyclon, Avin, SAS Institute, NSF, European Commission, General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Education, etc.), while his publications have appeared in various archival journals. He has consulting experience in various sectors and has received many awards, including the Microsoft Excellence in Education. He has served as Member of the Innovation Council of the Greek Ministry of Development and Competitiveness and is Member of the Global Networking Committee of the School of Business at AUEB.
Klas Eric Soderquist is an Associate Professor of Innovation and Knowledge Management at the Department of Management Science & Technology, School of Business, Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB). He is Head of Academics of the MBA International Program and a member of AUEB’s Management Science Laboratory. He has been a faculty member at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France and also taught at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai. He holds a DBA from Brunel University, UK, and a BSc-MSc in Industrial Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Dr. Soderquist’s teaching and research focuses on Innovation and R&D Management and Policy, New Product Development, Knowledge Management and Operations Strategy. He has published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Long Range Planning, R&D Management and Omega among other. He has consulted for companies in the manufacturing and banking industries, for the European Commission on innovation policy, and for UNIDO on technology transfer and alliances. He has also worked for the Swedish Office of Science and Technology in Paris.
George Pagoulatos is Professor of European Politics and Economy at the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.

Author of several books and many articles in leading international academic journals, and a regular columnist in the Sunday edition of the main Greek centrist newspaper Kathimerini since 2007, Pagoulatos has been interviewed and quoted widely in the international media regarding the ongoing Eurozone and Greek economic crisis.

In November 2011 Pagoulatos was called by the newly appointed technocratic Prime Minister Lucas Papademos; he served as Senior Advisor and Director of Strategy at the PM Office under Prime Ministers Papademos and Pikrammenos from November 2011 to June 2012.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the think-tank ELIAMEP, Board member at the European Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels, member of the Advisory Board of Social Europe, and board member of various academic and civic organizations. He has served as member of the High Council of the European University Institute in Florence (2010-13), and President of ECSA-Greece (2013-14). He has extensive experience in providing advice and analysis on the Greek political economy.

Pagoulatos holds a Law degree from the University of Athens, M.Sc. and D.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. His research and publications focus on the EMU and the European Union, Southern European and Greek political economy, economic governance, the political economy of banking and finance, the political economy of reform. He has given lectures at several universities including Oxford, LSE, Harvard, Yale, NYU, and Princeton, where he was a postdoctoral fellow (1998-99).

His monograph Greece’s New Political Economy: State, Finance and Growth from Postwar to EMU (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) won the Academy of Athens award for best book in economics. He was short-listed for the Rudolf Wildenmann “best paper” prize of the European Consortium of Political Research. He has been part of several EC-funded networks of excellence, and the research project DOSEI (on the EU Constitution building process), nominated for the European Commission’s 2006 Descartes prize for scientific excellence.

Nikolaos Vettas is Professor of Economics at AUEB since 2003 and since 2013 he also serves as the General Director of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), Athens, Greece. His research and teaching interests include Industrial Organization, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory, Competition Policy and Regulation, Information and Learning. Among his prior faculty appointments, he has been an Associate Professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, USA, and a Visiting Professor of Economic and Political Sciences, INSEAD, France. He holds a B.A., Economics (1989), University of Athens, and an M.A. (1992) and a Ph.D. in Economics (1994), University of Pennsylvania, USA. He holds editor’s positions and has published in many renowned international journals and has presented seminars to over 40 Universities worldwide and to many conferences. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (2003- ), a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), London, UK (2004- ) and a member of the Economic Advisory Group for Competition Policy, European Commission, DG-Competition, Brussels (2004- ). He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award (“best teacher” award) in the Core MBA, INSEAD, the DaimlerChrysler Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching (“best teacher” award in the Core MBA) and the DaimlerChrysler Outstanding teaching award (“best teacher” award) in the Global Executive MBA Program, both at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
Damianos Chatziantoniou received his B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Athens (June 1991, summa cum laude) and continued his studies in Computer Science at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University (M.Sc.) and Columbia University (Ph.D.) His academic research interests include big data systems, business intelligence, large-scale analytics, query processing, data streams and real-time analysis. He has published more than 40 articles at top conferences and journals, such as VLDB, ICDE, EDBT, KDD, SIGMOD, CIKM, Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Data and Knowledge Engineering and elsewhere. His research work has influenced Microsoft’s SQL Server (query processor), Oracle’s 8i and 9i Systems (Analytic Functions for OLAP), and ANSI SQL Standard (OLAP Amendment). He is currently an Associate Professor at Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) – Department of Management Science and Technology – and Director of AUEB’s new Master’s program in Business Analytics. Prior to AUEB, he has served as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology (September 1997-December 1999.) Besides academia, Damianos has been involved in several technology start-up companies. Panakea Software Inc. (founder, 1998), based in New York City, developed and marketed BI technology to make certain analytics (ad-hoc OLAP) easier to express and faster to evaluate. Clients included Dun & Bradstreet, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Philips North America. VoiceWeb SA (founder, 2001), based in Athens, focused on speech & telecom applications. Damianos has served in 2007-2008 as a senior research consultant in Aster Data Systems, a pioneer in big data systems. Aster Data was acquired in March of 2011 by Teradata.
With over 28 years of professional experience as an economist, Dr. Alexandrakis has acquired a combined managerial, research, public policy and strategy analysis background, with an extensive applied business experience in the public and private sectors. With a career that is marked by diversification and rapid escalation to positions of significant responsibility and authority, he has addressed various issues from both the perspective of the public and private sector.

The health sector though has captured an important part of his activity. Before joining the Pharmaceutical Company MSD in 2012 (known as Merck & Co., Inc. in the USA and Canada) in order to lead the Policy, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in Greece and Cyprus, he had served as a Senior Advisor at the Hellenic Parliament, with a key responsibility on the Economic Adjustment Program of Greece and issues related to fiscal policies and legislation. Before that, for several years, he served at high-level government positions and Committees in Greece and the EU (Special State Secretary of the Greek Government, CEO of the healthcare organization of the State organization for seamen, co-ordination of PPP and Investment Committees, consultation with the Government on behalf of the Pharmacists’ Association etc.).

Dr. Alexandrakis also has an extensive University level teaching and research background and has extensively worked with the EU Institutions, Industry Associations and many Government bodies. During the past few years he has been an active member of several Committees and work-groups of SFEE (the Hellenic Pharmaceutical Industry Association), of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce and the Pharma Innovation Forum. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Greek Chapter of the European Innovative Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) and participates in the BoD of EEFAM (The Hellenic Society of Pharmaceutical Management). He also had coordinated a number of Committees (Development of Specialized Tourism in Greece, Committee for Public Private Partnership in the area of transportation and telecommunications, Hellenic cross-ministerial committee for Trans-European Networks – Motorways of the Sea, Committee of European Regional Policy of the Regional Scientists Association et.c.), and participated in Boards (Investment Central Advisory Board of Greece, Central Steering Committee of the Greek EU Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship, Committee of Experts for the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation et.c.).

Vasia Agapitou received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the Panteion University in Athens and continued with postgraduate studies in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in the University of Hull (UK), where she graduated with distinction and was granted the Tom Hoyes memorial Prize in recognition for her excellent performance in dissertation. She holds a PhD in Leadership from the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), earned with full scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation. Her academic research interests lie in the fields of authentic leadership and leadership development, mindfulness, philosophy, communication and education. She has significant experience conducting seminars on business ethics and leadership. She is currently a lecturer in the Business College of Athens and a research associate of the Centre of Research in Organizational Behaviour and Leadership in AUEB– Department of Management Science and Technology. At the beginning of her academic career, she has already been the author of one monograph and co-author of a book that was short-listed for Management Book of the year 2015, organized by the Chartered Management Institute in association with the British Library and sponsored by Henley Business School. Besides academia, Dr. Agapitou has been involved in several research projects, among which have been the development of a questionnaire about the unemployment, motivation and job-search behavior on behalf of Evalion (former SHL) and the development of an online community for music education.
Michael Spanos is the Founder & Managing Director of Global Sustain, an Expert Advisor to the European Commission on the Sustainable Development Goals, an AHC Group Senior Associate, a member of the secretariat of the United Nations Global Compact Network and of the Advisory Board of the CEO Clubs in Greece. Michael leads projects in sustainability strategy, non-financial reporting, sustainability activities and sustainability performance and recognition through indices, awards and initiatives. He presents in international events and produces global publications on responsible investments, sustainable leadership and innovation, collaborating with organisations such as the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, Global Compact, GRI, European Commission and Parliament. He has held senior positions in a venture capital firm, an investment fund and in ICAP Group, the largest business information and consulting firm in South-East Europe. Michael holds an MBA and a diploma in Production Engineering and Management and speaks English, French and Greek.
Niki Siropoulou is the Managing Partner of Alternative iGrow, an Innovation, Brand Strategy and Business Development Consulting Firm that brings innovative tools in our networked society era. Niki is a global community leader, founder of TEDxAcademy Greece and advisor at Network Society Project Ventures, a New York based investment fund. As of April 2017 she is the Global Executive Director for P&G Alumni Network.

With 20 years of Marketing and business development expertise in Europe and the US, she has a proven record working with Companies such as P&G, Estee Lauder, MKB a Health Tech Fund, Unilever, Carlsberg Group, The Coca-Cola Company and more. Niki has conceived and develop products in the Greek, EU and US Market. On a global level she has received the “Breakthrough” Product of the Year Award in the US, for the Mustang Fragrance Development for Estee Lauder US.

Niki currently works with companies globally developing an innovative culture and a unique Product development process and culture. Niki Siropoulou has executive education from Harvard Business School, MIT, Kellogg Business School, on Innovation and New Business Development and holds an MBA degree from the University of Texas at Austin USA.

Evaluation and Grading

Equivalence of 3 ECTS credits (50-70 hours of lecture).

Mode of Assessment:

Class participation (25%)
Individual Paper (50%)
Group presentation (25%)

Corporate and Cultural Visits

Each day, the program structure features either a company visit or a cultural activity, carefully designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the topics discussed in the lectures. These activities take an in-depth look at the business environment in Greece and provide a better understanding of the social and cultural environment of the country.

Below you may find a tentative list of the activities planned for this year’s program.

Company visits to:
– Shipping company
– IT company
– Energy Sector

Cultural visits:
– Guided tour to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum
– Walking tour in Plaka, the old historical neighborhood of the city of Athens in the shadow of the Acropolis
– Tour of Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
– Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
– One day trip to the island of Aegina (tour of the island, visit to the archaeological site of Aphaia and company visit to a local firm producing and packaging the famous Aegina’s pistachios)

Supporting Partner

Basic CMYK

Current Distinctions & Awards