Social Networks and Innovation in Ancient Greece and the Modern World

  • Embassy of Greece 2217 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20008 United States

The Embassy of Greece in Washington D.C.
invites you to:
“Social Networks and Innovation in Ancient Greece and the Modern World”

a lecture and discussion by


Diane Cline and Nicholas Vonortas
George Washington University


Social networks are an important factor for fostering creativity and innovation, back in ancient Greece and today. Such networks allow people to efficiently find the resources and partners they need and help new ideas catch on and spread. The ancient Greeks were remarkably innovative -- what was their secret? What can we learn from them to make our own communities more creative? What do we know about innovation today that confirms that the Greeks had tapped into something important, how to make lasting changes and to invent technological solutions to social problems.


Diane Harris Cline is an ancient Greek historian who is also deeply committed to the development of GWU’s initiative to support innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration. Author of National Geographic’s The Greeks: An Illustrated History (2016), she teaches ancient Greek history as well as digital history and digital humanities at GW. With her B.A. in Classics from Stanford and Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from Princeton. Her current research focus is on the application of social network analysis to the study of ancient history as a method for uncovering the relationships in classical Athens. 


Nicholas Vonortas joined the Elliott School in 1990. He has a joint appointment with the Center for International Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Economics (Columbian School of Arts and Sciences). He specializes in the economics of technological change, science and technology policy, international transfer of technology, and inter-firm cooperation in research and development. At the Elliott School, Vonortas offers graduate courses on comparative science and technology policy, the creation and diffusion of technological advances, and technology and international competitiveness

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