Day 8: CEOs at UNIC

We spent the day today on the University of Nicosia’s campus hearing a variety of talks about shipping, cryptocurrency, and data forecasting. For the first talk, we met with some of the people in charge of Fleet Management Limited in Cyprus, one person who used to be a chief engineer and another who used to be a captain. The company is based in Hong Kong, but they have a branch in Cyprus because of its important location between three continents. It’s the second largest ship management company in the world with over 600 vessels in its fleet and 20,000 employees worldwide. It was interesting to hear about how they manage such a large fleet and how the company works with people all over the world, bringing together people of many different nationalities onto one ship. The company officials we met with were also great to talk to because they had such a wide variety of information to share with us and were able to answer questions about many topics efficiently.

After hearing from them, we went to the campus cafeteria to have lunch. I don’t eat too much meat at home, so Cypriot culture has been different for me in that there’s meat in every meal. Because of that, I just got pasta again, but it was still good!

After lunch, we heard from the CEO of UNIC about cryptocurrency. This was a great opportunity for me, because I knew nearly nothing about crypto prior to this talk. I was surprised to hear about how early UNIC began to accept crypto for tuition (2013) and how they’ve been developing degree programs for it since then. He also talked some about the future and how technologies such as the Metaverse are likely to take over. We had to move on before I could ask my question, but I was curious to know what he thought would happen in terms of inequities in a place such as the Metaverse. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to build a whole virtual world when there are so many problems currently with the real one. For example, one issue is that I’m sure access to the Metaverse would not be equally accessible to all groups in the world, let alone in the United States.

We then heard from a professor at the university, Spyros Makridakis, about data forecasting. He was actually also an Olympian for Greece! I also didn’t really know much of anything about data forecasting before his talk, so I thought it was interesting to learn about how many data forecasts go into something as seemingly simple as a grocery store. It was also interesting to hear about the differences his competitions, such as the ongoing M6 competition, have impacted the world of data forecasting.

Once we got back to the hotel, we went for a walk around the new city and went out for dinner at a traditional Cypriot restaurant!

Sheftalia (meatballs) from dinner!

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