On Monday 27th June 2020, the 10th online open dialogue of YES Forum took place via Zoom summing up in view of summer the initiative of our team which was generated because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis aiming at the uninterrupted communication between young people and professionals even under these circumstances. These online discussions are definitely here to stay, therefore the next discussion will take place again from September 2020.

It was a great honor for us having as guest speakers Secretary General of Ports, Port Policy and Maritime Investments of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, the President & the Vice President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Mr. George Pateras and Mr. George Alexandratos who were directly connected during their weekly meeting on maritime affairs, discussing and giving priority to the maritime education and the integration of shipping into schools. The presentation of career prospects in shipping at schools is a main pillar of YES FORUM’s vision. The first step towards its implementation is the participation of YES FORUM in career days attended by 10,000 students in total. A bigger step, however, is its inclusion in the agenda of the competent bodies and ministries. All of them encouraged and motivated the young participants to examine the multiple opportunities provided by the maritime cluster in Greece.

The editor and journalist of NAFS Magazine, Mr. Nikos Doukas, the Professor of the Department of Shipping and Business Services in the University of the Aegean, Ms. Helen Thanopoulou, the Founder and Owner of XRTC, Mr. George Xiradakis, the CEO of TST International SA & Dr. Konstantinos Rokkos participated also in this fruitful conversation and shared with the young participants their views concerning the consequences, the challenges and the chances posed by the Coronavirus in the shipping industry, the job opportunities and the new working conditions and the society as a whole. The dialogue was moderated by the Concept Founder of YES Forum and CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants Ltd., Mrs. Danae Bezantakou.

The discussion was attended also by the President of the Department of Shipping and Business Services in the University of the Aegean, Mr. Serafeim Kapros, the Director of the Oinousses Merchant Marine Academy for deck officers, Commander (HCG) Panteleimon Vatoussis and Laboratory and Teaching Staff at University of the Aegean Capt. George Georgoulis and the President of Union of Cruise Ship Owners & Associated members, Mr. Theodore Kontes.

The maritime community gave a powerful answer towards this “invisible enemy” in recent months, despite the unprecedented and objective difficulties thanks to the continuous work, coordinated efforts, composure and quick decisions. The maritime sector never stopped operating, as mentioned, supporting all the jobs and institutions on the frontline which offered care and first- aid equipment.
YES Forum through this series of online conversations attended by 1,000 young people, 30 speakers and 10K viewers in total, achieved to inform, create close links between young people and the representatives of the job market, mobilize and send the message of unity and common goal even under this weird occasion we live in, both in Greece and worldwide. The highlight of this endeavor was the last open dialogue on July 27 in which, acclaimed executives of the shipping industry, prestigious academics, representatives of Merchant Marine Academies and public sector representatives took part along with young people who want to work or have just started working in this field.
YES Forum’s team wishes a nice and safe rest of the summer with more “YES” to action!!