A reader who comments under the name of ‘Canutely King’ wrote to me the following:
“This is the sort of thing that drives me to despair. The waste management ‘idea’ didn’t originate from McKinsey’s or the TGFR in 2011/12. Instead it came from an employee of the Greek Ministry of Finance (nee Economy) around 2008, or even earlier. Of course, similar projects have been done long before that in other countries but for Greece, Ms. Tomadaki’s paper is the earliest I’ve seen.
Ms. Tomadaki presented another paper regarding the conduct of R&D in Greece to the 8th international Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation at Lodz, Poland in 2005. At that time she was working in the Laboratory of Industrial & Energy Economics, Department of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens. I found an EIB loan to a Greek Pharma firm a couple of months ago. The purpose of the loan was — R&D of course.
I get the feeling that whilst everyone is talking about what needs to be done, Despina Tomadaki is out there making it happen.
But will Despina Tomadaki get any public credit? Unlikely, unless you feel so inclined”.
What had happened and who is Despina Tomadaki?
The Ekathimerini recently reported that the first waste management tender is expected to see conclusion next month via a private-public-partnership (PPP) and with financing from the EIB. The casual reader might think that this is one favorable outcome of ‘wise men and women of foreign descent’ who presently advise Greece, be they from consulting firms or from the EU Task Force (TFGR). Greeks on their own could never come up with such a brilliant idea.
Or could they? Canutely King discovered that this ‘brilliant idea’ was first presented by the Public Private Partnerships Unit in the Greek Ministry of Economy over 5 years ago. And the author was — Despina Tomadaki (who now works for the EIB).
One criticism of management consultants is that ‘they look at your watch to tell you what time it is’. There is a lot of objective truth to that. Every consultant that I ever worked with confirmed to me that the bulk of ideas which they bring to customers orginally comes from employees of those customers. The resources and potential for improvement are always there. They just need to be taken advantage of.
So, here is to the many Despina Tomadaki’s in Greek society who could and would contribute a lot to Greece’s turn-around — if they were only asked and recognized. Someone ought to start looking for the Despina Tomadaki’s!