How can we transform empty cultural heritage buildings in sustainability motors for society & economy?


The challenge

The sustainable reuse of buildings is a challenge for the whole world. There are historic buildings everywhere and in many parts of the world rules and legislation try to protect them. However, each case is different, as the economic, legal and social environment (beyond the political, technological and environmental environment) varies. The case of Greece, then, is not only particularly interesting and probably beneficial for the country if discussed, but also with clear international implications. This challenge revolves around the sustainable reuse of historic buildings. How do we maintain the values of built heritage while we reuse it and render it as a sustainable integrated resource for both the cities and the countryside? We are interested to examine the ways in which we can preserve our country’s built heritage without the need for continuous external investment in its maintenance.  


The challenge owner

The non-profit organization “The Heritage Management Organization” was founded in 2008 with the aim of retraining professionals in cultural heritage management in specialties that are now necessary for the complete execution of their work. Since 2016, the organization has operated internationally under the title The Heritage Management Organization , following the establishment of the “brother” non-profit Organization Heritage Management Organization Inc. in the United States of America. The Heritage Management Organization, recognizing the value of world heritage, is committed to exploit its potential as a foundation and driving force for self-awareness, collective understanding of culture, learning and sustainable development. The actions of the organization are mainly educational. To date, more than 685 people from 77 countries have participated in the organization’s programs, which are delivered in English and addressed to professionals as well as budding cultural heritage managers.

Evangelos Kyriakidis

Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis is the founding director of the Heritage Management Organization, that has trained hundreds of heritage managers from close to 80 countries. Evangelos is Senior Lecturer in Aegean Prehistory in the University of Kent, Canterbury. Trained in UCL and Cambridge in Classical Archaeology, Linguistics and Anthropology, and having fundraised 7M for heritage management projects, Evangelos has been for five years Senior Leventis Research Fellow in Heritage Management, a member of the Subject Committee for Archaeology in the UK, a fellow of the society of Antiquaries of London and of the Archaeological Society of Athens as well as a visiting professor at UCLA. Evangelos’ research on heritage management has contributed to Kent being rated second for its impact in society in the UK. He is the founding director of the MA in Heritage Management between Kent and AUEB, a program consistently rated as 3rd internationally for Culture and Creative Industries Management and first for Heritage by Eduniversal.

Ioannis Trohopoulos

Ioannis  Trohopoulos, was born in Veria, Northern Greece. Worked as Director for Veria Central Public library from 1988 till May 2012. In August 2010 during the IFLA Conference at Goteborg, Sweden received on behalf of Veria Library the annual “Access to Learning” 1 million$ award nominated by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From June 2012 till April 2016 he served as CEO at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. He is a founding member of Future library, an NGO which supports the development of public libraries at national and international level. He was (March 2017- April 2019) Head of the“Athens2018-World Book Capital”, an important distinction which the city of Athens received by UNESCO. From June 2019 is director of Programs of Heritage Management Organization.He is also member of the Library board of Veria Central Public library. 


Anastasia Simou


Vassilis Ganiatsas

Architect- Professor of Architectural Design - National Technical University of Athens

Anna Lamprou

Architecture & Urban Planning - Exhibitions Dept. @Athens Biennale

Eleytherios Skiadas

Vice Mayor of Municipal Properties

Sofia Avramopoulou

Architect, Urban Designer

Giorgos Kapniazis

Representative in the Real Estate Development Team OAED

Elena Lamprou

Director of the Municipal Market of Kypseli

Impact Hub Athens 

Dimitris Tryfon

Partner at Charamida Investments

Nicholas Karachalis

Lecturer-Researcher in Cultural and Tourism Development - Val. URBACT Lead Expert

Poka Yio

Visual Artist, Consultant and Coach. Associate Professor, Athens School of Fine Arts. Founding Director, Athens Biennale

Angelika Starbatty

Senior Manager bei BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt

Afroditi Dimou


Vasileios Fourlis

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Executive Member, Chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee

Zoi Mylona

European affairs advisor, Municipality of Tripolis Translator (GR, EN, FR, ES) Systemic counsellor

Myrto Tsitsinaki

Heritage Conservation Specialist - Historic Buildings and Sites


Dina Ntziora

A Cultural Manager and Creative Placemaking Producer committed to making places more memorable, fun, participatory, equitable and sociable. Focussing on creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being by investing in the local creative community’s assets, inspiration, and potential. 
In 2012 she led on the transformation of a Victorian police station designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building, located at the commercial centre οf Bristol, to a thriving arts centre named The Island. In 2016 Dina worked on the Feasibility Study for Jacobs Wells Baths, a building of significant architectural and heritage merit in partnership with Bristol City Council property department, in order to ensure the long term use of the building whilst maintaining the community vision. 
Her work with empty buildings transforms neighbourhoods and also brings something fresh and diverse to commercial centres. She has studied International and European Economics and Politics at Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and holds an MSc in Development, Administration and Planning. She has previously worked for Bristol City Council, British Council, Athens Municipality and Athens Development Agency and is an active member of the European Placemaking Network. She is also a mentor for Women on Top in Athens.

Lida Tsene
I hold a PhD from Panteion University, Department of Communication, Media and Culture. Apart from academic books on corporate and media responsibility, social media, storytelling and cultural management, I read loads of comics. I try to share everything I learn, and that’s the reason why I participate in many conferences about CSR, journalism, social media and comics and also organize educational workshops. I like to talk a lot about the things I am passionate about, so I am collaborating as teaching associate with several academic institutions and I am also Public Relations Director of Comicdom Press. I believe in the power of networks, that’s why I have friends all over the world.

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