SNFestival: RetroFuture | What’s on | Online 21-28.06.2020

Long-run predictions about AI and humanity’s shared future? Check.

Dancing along as some of our favorite musical artists find their beat and run with it? Check.

A mathematician as versed in football end runs as he is in running machine-learning algorithms? Check and check.

Some of the greatest chess players in the world? Check and mate.

The Summer Nostos Festival, including the SNF Conference, is adjusting to our new reality and this year is moving online for a special RetroFuture Edition. The week, packed with bold ideas and big fun, will include:


While this SNFestival: RetroFuture Edition is far from normal and far from its home at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, it’s still about enjoying artists we know we love while being introduced to new favorites. About grappling with ideas that push us outside our intellectual comfort zones while soaking up the good vibes shared time together. About how journeying out into the unknown makes returning home that much sweeter—the spirit of “nostos” that gives the festival its name.

Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou, iMEdD Managing Director, SNF DIALOGUES Executive Director, and journalist, will host and moderate the SNF Conference. Magician Mark Mitton, together with a very special personality from Greece (stay tuned to find out who!), will host the Summer Nostos Festival.

Join us for an SNFestival unlike any other, June 21 to 28, 2020.

Sunday, June 21st

18:30 Kids’ Hour (Premiere) – Home sometimes feel like a circus? Lean into it, and learn tricks from some of the most skilled performers on the planet. Activities and shows—from trained poodles to a Bronx cowboy—for all ages will deliver pure summer vacation fun throughout the festival week. Participating artists include Nina Burri, Lea Toran Jenner, and Compagnie Soralino.

19:30 Choir! Choir! Choir! (Premiere) – A new sing-along with our favorite musical, comical Canadian duo, Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman, creators of Choir! Choir! Choir!

21:00 Burna Boy (Premiere) – Live from Lagos, rising Nigerian superstar Burna Boy will share a sneak peek at his 2021 SNFestival appearance, which will deliver a profusion of Afro-fusion and a distinctive, authentic sound that’s earned him accolades around the world.

21:15 DJ Decay (Premiere) – Next up: Uganda’s DJ Decay will harness the power of the femme to turn your living room floor into a blazing dance floor.

Monday, June 22nd

The SNF Conference will be hosted and moderated by journalist, iMEdD Managing Director, and SNF DIALOGUES Executive Director, Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.

18:30 SNF Conference – Nine Years of the SNF Conference: A Retrospective – Live discussion between legendary choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones, renowned NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg, founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Ruth Faden, and SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.

A dialogue between our present state of affairs and key themes of previous SNF Conferences, including the changing nature of public space, the role of philanthropy and cultural institutions in responding to crises, the mitigation of trauma, and the role of ethics in shaping our public choices.

19:30 SNF Conference – Rebirth, Reinvention, and Return: Framing the Questions of the Post-COVID World – Live Discussion with renowned Yale sociologist and physician Nicholas Christakis and forecaster Andrew Zolli.

The SNF Conference has always engaged the public in exploring the possibilities of a more creative, more inclusive, and more humane future born out of devastating crises. Here we will discuss how we might “bounce forward” to the world we want to inhabit post COVID-19.

21:00 William Kentridge Studio Tour (Premiere) – How often are you invited into the creative space—and the creative mind—of one of the generation’s eminent artists? Leading South African visual artist and director William Kentridge guides us through his studio and talks to us about his work Waiting for the Sibyl.

Tuesday, June 23rd

18:30 SNF Conference – Humanity & AI: Cooperation, Collision, or Coevolution? (Sneak peek at 2021) – Live discussion with Google AI leader Blaise Aguera y Arcas, cultural anthropologist of AI Madeleine Clare Elish, noted technology analyst Azeem Azhar, and AI ethicist Sabelo Mhlambi.

In this sneak peek at our 2021 SNF Conference, we will discuss the promise of AI and the surprising ways it’s changing how we work and connect.

19:30 SNF Conference – Humanity & AI: Can We Keep Humanity at the Center? (Sneak peek at 2021) – Live discussion with president and CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT Tenzin Priyadarshi, famed computer scientist and AI researcher Stuart Russell, and noted leader of the ‘humane’ technology movement Tristan Harris.

A conversation follows, centered on the undervalued perspectives of young people about AI and ethics. High school students Elize Dracopoulos and Ypatia Fafalios will share their ways of viewing these critical issues in a discussion with SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos and IBM AI Ethics Global Leader Francesca Rossi.

How do we ensure that AI works for humanity and not against it? We’ll explore how our values can and should shape the tools we make, how we can maintain the right kinds of controls, and how the conversation between technology and society is evolving.

21:00 Virtual SNF RUN (Live) – The SNF RUN will return—in a new, physically distant form, but with the same charitable purpose. In its new virtual form, the SNF RUN will invite runners from all over Greece and beyond to run in support of their local hospitals.

21:30 Stereo Nova concert (2018 SNFestival rewind) – A broadcast of the electro duo’s historic appearance at the 2018 SNFestival. Were you one of the 11,000 fans that packed the Great Lawn at the SNFCC, or did you miss out? Now is your chance to watch one of the SNFestival’s most beloved gigs.

Wednesday, June 24th

18:30 SNF DIALOGUES – SNF Agora Conversations: The Interplay Between Technology and Democracy: Potential and Limitations (Live Discussion) – The SNF DIALOGUES and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University are hosting an online webcast discussion to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on society, democracy, and our future, in relation to the role of technology. COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated some of the challenges already facing societies, economies, and even democracy itself. As the world increasingly turns to technology and AI to respond and recover from the pandemic, what lessons can we learn about how technology might help both governments and citizens redefine governance, participation, competition, freedom, and equality? Can technology assist us in making liberal democracies more inclusive and just, so that all citizens can participate?

20:00 Theater of War, The Oedipus Project (Live) – Acclaimed actors perform scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King to spark audience discussion facilitated by Bryan Doerries. Featuring performances by Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Thursday, June 25th

18:30 Kids’ Hour (Premiere) – Fun for all ages returns with activities and shows guaranteed to be whimsical, magical, and comical.

19:30 Comedy with Greek Stand-Up Comedians (Premiere) – They say they’re doing stand-up, but over video we can’t be sure they’re not actually sitting. Either way, Greek stand-up comedians working around the world, including Giorgos Xatzipavlou, Lambros Fisfis, Angelo Tsarouchas, George Zacharopoulos, and Aliki Tsakoumi, will deliver laughs.

21:00 Seu Jorge & Athens State Orchestra (Flashback to 2018 SNFestival) – Watch the 2018 SNFestival concert by Brazilian songwriter and singer Seu Jorge and the Athens State Orchestra. In one of the most moving musical moments in the history of the festival, Seu Jorge performed some of David Bowie’s greatest hits in Portuguese on a set reminiscent of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.

Friday, June 26th

19:00 SNF Agora Conversations: The Politics and Policy of COVID-19, "A New Post-Pandemic World Order" (Live Discussion) – The coronavirus pandemic has profoundly changed the way nations function from day to day. But it has also disrupted the way those countries interact with each other, as power dynamics shift, alliances reshuffle, and new world leaders emerge. As part of the SNF Agora Conversations: The Politics and Policy of COVID-19 series, join us for a discussion of what this evolving world order will mean for trade, immigration, international relations, the global economy, and more.

19:45 Nostos University Retrospective (Curated show of SNFestival archival material) – A look back at Nostos University highlights, from Erno Rubik and the world’s fastest speedcubers, to cardstacker Bryan Berg, to domino artist Lily Hevesh.

Saturday, June 27th

18:30 Circus Cosmos Show (Curated show of SNFestival archival material) – Some of the best moments from the best circus show in the cosmos.

19:30 Nostos University Sneak Peek at 2021 (Premiere) – A discussion between chess grandmasters Garry Kasparov and Judit Polgár, mathematician and former professional football player John Urschel, Chessbase founder Frederic Friedel, and the audience, moderated by Greek grandmaster Hristos Banikas.

20:45 Suspended (Live) – An unforgettable musical moment from renowned composer Dimitris Kamarotos and mezzo-soprano Anna Pangalou, originally performed in mid-May from the Energy Canopy at the top of the SNFCC. The breathtaking performance will be repeated as part of the SNFestival: RetroFuture Edition with a sunset-lit sky as its background.*

22:00 Selected Shorts (Premiere) – The popular American radio show featuring short literary readings curates a special episode for the SNFestival: RetroFuture Edition, exploring current themes like social distancing but also looking to the future with the theme of AI. Starring Nia Vardalos, Kathleen Chalfant, Sam Underwood, and Valorie Curry.

Sunday, June 28th

18:30 Kids’ Hour (Premiere) – Family fun returns with something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone—nothing that’s formal, nothing that’s normal.

19:30 Best of Circus (Curated show of SNFestival archival material) – There’s no big top, but there will be big fun and top moments from past shows.

21:00 MEΛISSES (Premiere) – One of the top Greek pop bands of the past decade dazzled crowds at the SNFestival Great Lawn stage back in 2017. This year, they return with live and unpredictable show staged on top of the SNFCC—a show you don’t want to miss!*


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