Positive news, exchanging ideas and Greek hospitality: why #INSP2016 is unmissable

With just 10 days left to register for the Global Street Paper Summit this June, I’m going to share my top 10 reasons why you would be mad to miss #INSP2016. Having travelled to Greece in December to meet our partners at Shedia – and with the programme coming together every day – I can promise you this is going to be a fantastic event. Street paper staff would be mad to miss it (really, that goes without saying).

The summit is a prestigious international event with a long history. It is the only gathering of the global street paper movement, bringing together our unique network of social entrepreneurs and journalists in a vibrant exchange of ideas. It is significant for any city but in the midst of the ongoing Greek crisis, hosting the summit is of even greater importance.

As we do every year, INSP will draw from the local context to shape the summit experience, so without further ado, here are my top 10 reasons why #INSP2016 is essential.

1. A show of solidarity

“We are facing difficult times as a country. Our visiting colleagues and the summit itself will give not only inspiration, but also knowledge of our common struggle for a just society, a society for all.”
– Emilia Douka, Shedia

Photo: Zoe Greenfield

2. Accessing mutual benefits

Being in Greece will allow delegates to learn first-hand about the impact of the socioeconomic crisis in the country – and about the response. It will also provide an opportunity to showcase the innovative and entrepreneurial work of our network.

“Through this great exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences, we strive for the summit to act as an inspiration not only for the members of the local community, as they try to invent and reinvent ways to support people to support themselves, but also for our visiting delegates.”
– Chris Alefantis, Shedia

3. Preparing for uncharted territory

Inequality is growing in cities around the world, with urban gentrification pushing those already on the margins of society even further out. Meanwhile, the refugee crisis is putting an unprecedented strain on many of our street papers, who offer a lifeline to growing numbers of people in need.

We are entering uncharted territory and facing new challenges so it is more important than ever to come together to learn, share expertise and plan for the future.

“We believe that, along with the knowledge gained through the summit, this first-hand experience of developments in Greece, visiting places and meeting with people, will help to better understand the issues –locally and globally- and better equip us for the enormous challenges that lie ahead.”
– Chris Alefantis, Shedia

4. Positive news

We have a chance to shine a light on the positive stories coming out of the crisis in Greece, which are often ignored by the mainstream media: social enterprise pioneers, entrepreneurial spirit and overcoming adversity.

5. Our host: Shedia

Celebrating their third anniversary this month, Greece’s only street paper is innovative, enterprising, passionate… in short, they are AWESOME. They are also working hard alongside INSP to make sure the summit is informative, engaging – and fun.

My handy guide to pronouncing σχεδία (Shedia) like a local:
σ – like ‘s’ in sister
χ – like ‘ch’ in loch or scheme. A bit throaty.
ε – like ‘e’ in set
δ – the hard ‘th’ sound of then (but not thin).
ί – like the ‘ee’ in meet
α – like ‘A’ in Anna

6. Very cool venues

Through generous in-kind sponsorship we are able to use two of the most prestigious venues in Greece. The Onassis Cultural Centre and Ethniki Asfalistiki Conference Centre will host events throughout the summit. You can look forward to state of the art facilities and rooftop lunches overlooking the Acropolis.

And cool collaborations too…

7. Top (secret) keynotes and sessions

We can’t reveal any details yet but rest assured, you will experience inspiring keynotes (we’re close to securing some very special guests). The parallel tracks will also return, to allow you to make the most of your time. The packed programme will cover strategy, innovation, business development, editorial, design, fundraising, marketing, campaigns, distribution, sales and new ways to support our vendors.

8. We’ve listened to our members

After talking to our network, we’re keeping the customisable programme that gives you the chance to customise your experience. And the programme will also include more time to network with fellow delegates and you will be seeing more of INSP staff too!

9. See the city

We’re also making sure that you will see the city and experience the rich local culture (and nightlife) – from walking tours to eating in local tavernas.

Athens photos: Zoe Greenfield

10. Greek hospitality

As I discovered in December, elasticated waistbands are highly recommended!

The summit is your chance to join colleagues from around the world – so far 23 different countries and more than 40 publications – you can register online… Help us to make this the biggest and best summit yet. Can’t wait to see you in Athens!