Who we are
Manolis and Nikoletta are a couple and enthusiastic about rhetoric.
Manolis Polychronides is a Rhetoric Trainer, with studies in political science and sociology and extensive experience in debating, public deliberation and voluntary organizations related to education, human rights, intercultural communication and environmental protection. He is trained in coordinating educational groups (critical friends’ group facilitation), in adult education, in storytelling and in science communication. He has attended numerous lectures and seminars in communication, philosophy, rhetoric and self-knowledge. He has given public speeches, offered private lessons and has organized various trainings and lectures addressed to children, adolescents and adults.
He is a founding member and treasurer of the Greek Association for the Advancement of Education in Rhetoric, a student at the Rhetoric Circle and active member and officer of the Greek-speaking and English-speaking Toastmasters Clubs in Athens. He is also founder and instructor of four Elementary Public Schools Rhetoric Clubs (15th Maroussi, 4th Paleo Faliro, 9th Athens and 4th Maroussi). Since last year he collaborates as a rhetoric trainer with the Athens University of Economics and Business at its Postgraduate Diploma in Negotiation (DIN) and the German Foundation Friedrich Naumann at its Liberal Political Thought seminars.
Manolis was born in Chania, Crete and grew up and studied in Athens. He graduated with honors from the first High School Kifissia and was a Scout Troop Leader at the 1st Kifissia Sea-Scouts Team.
He graduated from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Athens with the grade “Very Good” (1993-1997). while attending studies in Economics at Deree College (The American College of Greece) from which ended he graduated in 2002 with high distinction. He was an Erasmus student for a semester, at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium for an intensive concentration course on Social Security. He attended several seminars and international conferences in Political Science, Social Sciences, Rhetoric and Argumentation and summer schools in Science at the University of Cambridge (2000) and Discourse Theory and Analysis at the University of Essex (2001).
He served his military service in the Greek Navy, initially on the Frigates Hydra and Spetses, then did a divers training course and finally served as a Navy Sergeant at SCEM (1997-1999). He continued graduate studies at the University of Athens in Political Science and Sociology, with a focus in Discourse Analysis and Modern Social Theory, graduating with honors in 2002.
At Deree College he was an active member at the Debating Club and the Hiking Club, with two ascents of Mount Olympus. He participated with distinction at the Harvard University Model United Nations (Harvard MUN) in Athens (2000) and Istanbul (2001).
He has participated as speaker and adjudicator at several University Debating competitions in Greece and abroad, including the World Universities Championships (WUDC), the European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC) and as an adjudicator at the World School Debating Championships (WSDC) that took place in Athens in 2009. He won the English as a Second Language (ESL) category at the European University Debating Championships (EUDC) in 1999 in Rotterdam, Holland and participated as a break judge at the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) in Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2001. He has also represented Greece at the European and World Councils of University Debating. During the summer of 2007 he was an instructor at the summer debating school of the International Debate Education Association in Trest, Czech Republic.
Since 1999 and for ten years he worked with private schools as a trainer, adjudicator and organizer for rhetoric and debating competitions. From 2000 to 2006 he was in charge of organizing the Interschool Rhetoric Art Games of the Filekpaideutiki Etaireia (Arsakeia - Tositseia Schools), worked with the Moraitis School as a Forensics coach in English and Greek (2002-2009). Also he worked at AKMI adult education school as an instructor of communication to students of journalism (2003-2004), while at the same time he participated as a member of the organizing team and as an adjudicator and a trainer for the National High-school Debating Games of the Ministry of Education and the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (2001-2008).
In 2005-2006 he was a scientific advisor and adjudicator at the educational TV game of ET1 “Logomahies” (Speechfights), while in 2007-2008 he worked in the Lambrakis Foundation under the “Education and Development Initiative” as manager of Action II : "Educational content on the Internet".
He is still attending rhetorical - dialectical and self-awareness seminars and culture lectures at the Rhetoric Circle of Mr. Yiannis Andrianatos and takes courses in storytelling with Mr. Stelios Pelasgos. He had participated in the International Storytelling Festival of Kozani in 2011 where he offered a rhetoric seminar for adults. From June till December of 2012 he participated at the Biographical, Social and Leadership Trainings of Proponisi Zois by Mr. Dionysis Bougas.
He participated in the science communication competition Famelab, organized by the British Council and qualified for the final Greek phase in Spring of 2012 and in the same year participated in the theatrical work of science communication for Researchers' Night "Eglima sto Ergastirio” (Crime at the lab).
He is a frequent visitor and commentator at the TED.com website since 2008 and he has voluntarily translated into Greek from various TED and TEDx conferences. In October 2009, he was a volunteer for the first TEDxAthens as speaker coach and has since regularly attended the TEDxAthens, TEDxAcademy and TEDxThessaloniki conferences.
He attends the public debates organized by Intelligence Squared Greece (IQ2) and has participated in experiential courses related to entrepreneurship in new technologies and social practices (StartUp Weekend Athens, StartUp Live Athens, Startegy).
He follows current political, scientific and social developments through social networks and in 2012-2013 he participated in the voluntary citizens' movement "Politeia 2.0", coordinating the first Citizens' Consultation Workshop in the fall of 2013 and participating in various other events.
He is married to Nicoletta Kapogianni and lives in Halandri.