A view from Irene Nikolopoulou

Global viewpoint from Greece

Odysseus sailed for a decade to reach his home of Ithaka after the ten-year Trojan War. Like that odyssey, Greece is still sailing though its economic crisis, eight years now without apparent sight of its Ithaka.

The ongoing recessionary situation continues to strain the economy and society while the refugee crisis puts increasing pressure on our already very limited resources.  

But all of this is well-known. What is less talked about are the positives. Look a bit closer and you will see a surprisingly different side of Greece that gives us hope.

This is the Greece of fishermen who give up their work to rescue people from the sea, grandmothers on remote islands feeding refugee babies and knitting clothing to keep them warm.

Then there are the young, budding entrepreneurs fighting record unemployment with new ventures and innovative ideas.

There are companies offering selected young people work opportunities and supporting youth start-ups by providing them with free office space, infrastructure and advisory services.

Look a bit closer and you will see a surprisingly different side of Greece that gives us hope

There is solidarity in action with companies such as our supermarket client AB Vassilopoulos and its "Love Food" programme. It donates food to the Food Bank NGO, providing food to more than 23,000 people.

There is also plenty of selflessness from the business community, with many Greek companies pitching in. We recently developed a campaign for Zagori natural mineral water, which dedicated its advertising budget to an initiative that supports children with disabilities.

In a nutshell, there is a lot to be positive about, with many examples of social consciousness and inventiveness.

As an agency, we are proud to play an active role in these initiatives, creating impactful campaigns that inspire people to participate.

Last, but not least, there is the Greek sun and a plethora of beautiful destinations combined with a rich culture, allowing people to enjoy the multitude of bright, positive attractions this country has to offer, regardless of their budget.

This is not the Greece of the headlines but the one under the sun, blessed by the gods. This is our Ithaka: our spirit and passion for life, our deeply human and humanitarian side and, most importantly, our hope for a brighter future.

Irene Nikolopoulou is the joint chief executive at J Walter Thompson Athens