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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Greek PM George Papandreou & Nicholas Christakis - Two Global Greeks in Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers

Foreign Policy  100 Top Global Thinkers for 2010

No 79 ....George Papandreou 
'for making the best of Greece's worst year'


... that's the description under Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's name which comes in at number 79 on Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2010..while another of our Global Greeks, Harvard Professor, Dr Nicholas Christakis comes in at number 83! 

Congratulations to both of them! This is the kind of news we at Global Greek World love to read and share!

The list which is described as 'a unique portrait of 2010's global marketplace of ideas and the thinkers who think them' includes US President Barack Obama, Microsoft's Bill Gates, IMF's Dominique Strauss -Kahn, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Foreign Policy's listing goes on to say the following about the Greek PM:

'Even before the 2008 financial crisis, the Greek economy was running on borrowed time, an ossified system that predictably buckled under the weight of the crash. When George Papandreou took office as Greece's prime minister in October 2009, he found that the budget deficit was not 6 percent, as his predecessor had claimed, but 12.7 percent, four times that allowed by the eurozone's rules. (GGW note... it has since climbed to 15 percent !!)


Papandreou has spent 2010 telling Greeks hard truths about the unsustainable nature of their welfare state -- and sounding an international warning that Greece is the canary in the European coal mine. The Minnesota-born son of a former socialist prime minister, he has rolled out an austerity plan that will raise taxes and rein in the bloated public sector, a package ambitious enough to convince Europe to keep Greece afloat even as it has provoked riots in Athens. And he has argued that the disaster should be a wake-up call for the threat sovereign debt poses far beyond Europe's borders. 

"It's not an issue of countries acting on their own," he said. "We need a more coordinated strategy not only in Europe but around the world."'


No 83... Dr Nicholas Christakis  
along with long time collaborator, Dr James Fowler
'for proving that social networks are more than tweets and pokes' 


In naming Greek American physician and sociologist, Dr Nicholas Christakis in 83rd place, Foreign Policy notes the following:
'Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler's 2009 book Connected explained how our weight, emotional well-being, and physical health are influenced by hundreds of people, most of whom we will never meet. This year they proved that their research has the potential to improve the largest social network of all: our global health-care system. In a paper released in September, Christakis and Fowler devised a way to predict the spread of infectious outbreaks. By assessing the most interconnected people in a social network, they reasoned, they could predict the spread of a virus before it hit the entire population. And the idea worked: By monitoring the spread of swine flu through Harvard University's undergraduate population in the winter of 2009, the researchers got a two-week jump on understanding the full extent of the epidemic. 

"If you want a crystal ball for finding out which parts of the country are going to get the flu first, then this may be the most effective method we have now," said Fowler '

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