THE BLOG
11/20/2014 08:12 am ET Updated Jan 20, 2015

A Global Effort for Greece

I am a proud Greek. Though I was not born on the banks of the Aegean or on the shores of the Mediterranean, I come from a country that enjoys its beaches and likes its meat on a skewer -- that country is Australia.

There are millions of Greeks like me around the world, born overseas but drawn to our homeland. We grew up hearing stories from our parents and grandparents about our heroes and our history. And no matter our heritage, our accent, or our current address, we feel a special connection to Greece.

This diaspora is not simply an abstraction -- it is a powerful force. From Ireland to Israel, we have seen the power of diaspora groups in the past. And today, the global Greek community has the same chance to join together and build a stronger future for the homeland we all share.

In 2012, I was honored to join many of these Greeks and philhellenes to found The Hellenic Initiative (THI). Our goal was as simple as it was profound: to help Greece overcome its current challenges. Together, we are determined to empower the next generation of Greeks to reach higher, see farther, and achieve more.

Since then we have worked with the Greek people on a strategy to create jobs and opportunity in Greece. For those just starting their careers, we have programs like the Fellowship for a New Economy, which is providing crucial training for the next generation of Greek business leaders. For those further along, we have programs like the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, which offers mentoring, business support, and funding for promising entrepreneurs. And soon, the THI Export Accelerator will focus on established businesses ready to expand in the export markets. Through these initiatives and more, we have begun to make progress toward revitalizing the Greek economy in the near-term, while building the human capital to sustain growth for decades to come.

In a very real way, our success has depended on bringing together the entire Greek diaspora. Today we have supporters in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Greece, and we are looking for more around the world. These supporters may have very different backgrounds and experiences, but they are all lending their particular talents and resources to one united cause.

This is the unified effort Greece needs today. Together, we can rebuild a nation where fear and uncertainty no longer define the Greek economy; where new businesses are able to grow, thrive, and create good jobs once again; where young Greeks once again see their brightest opportunities emerging at home.

Together, we can restore Greece's place in human history. We can ensure that when the world thinks of Greece, they think not of the last 5 years of history, but of 2,500 years of civilization.

We do not have a moment to waste. So if you are Greek citizen, I hope you will seek allies in the diaspora. If you live abroad, I hope you will remember your responsibility to your homeland. And no matter where you live, I encourage you to join us in our global effort for Greece.