On the fourth floor of the Romantso building on Anaxagora Street, there is a well-hidden “factory” hard at work, weaving together a new Athens. Known as the Athens Partnership (AP), this is an independent nonprofit organization working to bring together municipal services, charitable foundations, nonprofit organizations and private companies to spark innovation in the technology, culture, education and social welfare sectors.
AP, which was established by the City of Athens in late 2015 as an initiative of Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, has become an international model of good practices in addressing the needs and problems of a complex (and at times chaotic) city such as Athens.
Passion and drive
Αs they celebrate the release of their first official biennial report, AP staff – including executive director Alexandros Kambouroglou, communications manager Alexandros Kandarakis, financial director Alexis Filias and office manager Dimitris Grigoriadis – invited Kathimerini to their offices to share more about their programs, their approach and what motivates them.
AP brings together the public and private sectors, public servants, and people who want to contribute to the improvement of public services to facilitate cooperation between existing municipal services with the additional know-how and resources of the private sector. The Athens Partnership also works as an incentive for strengthening the capacity of the state. As Kambouroglou puts it: “We enable people with the help of the private sector. You should be there to watch the way municipal services are transformed. The motivation is exponential.”