Sotiris Makrygiannis is the founder and the CEO of Eliademy. He got his first personal computer when was 11 and started his career in ICT business at 17. Sotiris launched one of the very first electronic schools in Greece in 1997 and later moved to Finland to help Nokia build mobile devices for mass market.
His last project was award winning N9, the last Nokia phone build using open source technologies. Sotiris is open minded and his personal credo is “learn fast and adapt”. He believes world can be changed by democratising education with technology. Sotiris is a father of two wonderful girls, and is always passionate about his work, family and open source.
CEEDS: How will you evaluate the current condition of digital education in Eastern Europe? What needs to be improved and can you propose any action steps about that?
S.M. There 3 dimensions in the current situation:
- Access to internet and the situation is improving but maybe not as fast as it should. Some of the recent EU initiatives around broadbands, mobile operators will improve the situation and hopefully within the next 2-3 years EE will be on the same level as the nordics.
- Second dimension is around teachers education and the demographics around the volume of teachers. Is known that older generations are not willing to adapt or introduce new technologies in the classroom. A massive retraining needs to occur because the issue here is more related of being afraid of the new and not because they dislike technology.
- Is the dimension of giving incentives to students on learing online , beyond Facebook, in order to build a carrer and I think that we are overemphasising in the media the power of silly apps rather redirecting the youth into educational content and service such as Eliademy.com
CEEDS: You believe world can be changed by democratizing education with technology. Do you have action steps about how this is going to happen?
S.M. In summary there 3 steps for this:
- Making education accessible to all, meaning that digitalisation of education has the potential to reach and continuously train the 7 billion people on this planet. We never before had such power to connect 1 teacher to 10.000 students and get them trained en mass.
- Social contract, during the process we must keep Educational services clean. I observe a lot of interest from some publishers to get access to the user data from educational platforms. Im worried that their motive is to maintain , in the long run, their power by distributing data to affiliate networks (digital ad agencies) and impose an influence to bloggers. Educational services should remain clean and maintain their independence from marketing agencies.
- High quality adapted content in forms of services or applications. One service will not fit all, we will need diversity of applications and educational services and Im happy that this is happening as we speak.
CEEDS: You started your career in ICT business when you were barely 17 years old. How has your motivation and values changed since then?
S.M. I’m now 40 years old and I’m always eager to learn something new. I love what I do and I still have the energy of a young fellow. However now as a father I care more about what Im going leave behind to the future generations, when I was younger I was more selfish.
CEEDS: What is your motivation to be a speaker at CEEDS’15 by Webit? What are your expectations from CEEDS’15?
S.M. I’m really excited to be part of CEEDS, I like the sound of it and Im also impressed with the organisation and execution of your events. I would like the world to hear a different point of view, beyond the ordinary messages, something that hopefully will stimulate their mind and place a seed of change. My expectations are around networking, visiting the beautiful Bulgaria and spreading a message.
CEEDS: Whom you will recommend to attend CEEDS’15 by Webit?
S.M. I will recommend and I already have, to all C level executives and dreamers but also the young curious souls looking to hear what the global start up CEOs and executives dream about the future.