Greek shipping tycoon John S. Latsis was well known for his philanthropy and his family is continuing the tradition. In fact, his wife and all three of his children, including son Spiro Latsis, make up the Supervisory Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, which manages the various charitable initiatives that the Latsis family is involved in.
The Foundation designs and implements its own programmes and finances programmes in partnership with others. Most of these programmes are in the fields of education, social welfare, scientific research and culture and while the majority of activities are focused on Greece, there are some programmes in other countries too that benefit from the Foundation.
Among the Foundation’s educational programmes are the series of international summer schools it funds. For example, the Pallas Athena Building, where the Foundation’s headquarters is located, serves as the venue each year for a summer school organised by universities and research centres in Greece. The Foundation also provides funding for an annual summer school programme at the University of Trento in Italy, where the focus is on economics and the solving of financial crises.
The issue of financial crises is of course close to the hearts of many Greeks who have lost their homes and businesses due to the crisis in that country. The Foundation started ‘It is Our Duty’, a social solidarity programme that aims to provide relief to those suffering most from the impact of the crisis, including children, the homeless, the unemployed and the newly poor.
Research is another area important to Spiro John Latsis and his family. Every year, the Foundation funds academic research projects in fields such as life sciences, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, earth sciences and social sciences. In addition, the European Science Foundation awards the prestigious European Latsis Prize every year on behalf of the Latsis family in recognition of outstanding contributions to scientific research in Europe.
Culture isn’t left behind either. In addition to sponsoring concerts and theatrical performances, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is also the driving force behind the creation of a series of books focusing on archaeological museums. These are available in open access digital format and are free of charge.
With such a diverse range of activities, it is clear that the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is doing more than its bit to help benefit humanity and create a better world for everyone. However, allocating its time and energy doesn’t happen in a haphazard way. The Foundation carefully considers each possible project first to determine those that will make the greatest impact in the long run.