Celebrating ten years of ceaseless presence in the Greek and international public affairs scene, effectus organized a fireside chat entitled: “Businesses in the Era of Permacrisis: The Experts’ View”.

Three leading public affairs and corporate diplomacy practitioners – from Washington D.C., Brussels and Berlin- who walk the talk everyday advising some of the world’s top corporations and industry associations, met in Athens to discuss current geopolitical and policy trends and the ways through which businesses, in Greece, Europe and all over the world, can effectively respond to the mounting challenges of today and tomorrow.

The event-discussion, took place on November 21st, 2023 at the Athens Concert Hall and was moderated by the journalist Niki Lymperaki.  

Among the many issues discussed, Gregoire Poisson, Partner, Head of Public Affairs EMEA and Head of Dentons Global Advisors office in Brussels, emphasized the issue of “regulatory inflation”, related to the multitude of new laws and regulations that are promoted by European institutions and their implementation can hide major problems for businesses, radically changing the operating conditions of many markets.

In the same spirit, Jan Kallmorgen, Founder and Managing Partner of Berlin Global Advisors, pointed out the return of the “big state” which on the one hand limits the free operation of markets and international trade, but on the other hand creates new investment opportunities in the form of private-public partnerships etc.

The discussion also focused on the issue of Europe’s energy security in the context of its imperative need to avoid dependence from Russian gas. In this context, special reference was made to the pivotal role that alternative energy sources (wind farms, solar energy, etc.) are expected to play in the future, hydrogen and the exploitation of gas and oil fields in the South-Eastern Mediterranean and the significant resources that the EU and key member states – such as Germany – are investing in this direction.

The leading experts also, referred to the multiple elections slated for 2024, turning it into a puzzle year. Referring specifically to the US elections, Karen Finney, Political Strategist, CNN Political Commentator and Advocate, spoke of a possible repeat of the Biden-Trump confrontation, without ruling out a surprise in the Republican camp. Regarding the consequences from the outcome of these elections for business and the world in general, Jan Kallmorgen, expressed the ground-breaking position that – whoever the winner is – the U.S. will turn their attention to the Pacific and China, leaving a significant strategic vacuum in Europe and the Middle East.

In summary, the experts mutually emphasized the need for businesses to obtain accurate and timely information about world events and to take geopolitical and regulatory/legislative trends seriously into account when developing their business plans. Moreover, the need for effective support of their positioning in national and international decision-making centers was summed up in the characteristic phrase of Gregoire Poisson: “If you are not at the dialogue table, then you are on the menu”!

After the end of the event, Yiannis Kofinis, Managing Partner of Effectus, said:

“It is a great pleasure for us to celebrate, in this symbolic and meaningful way, the ten years of effectus’ contribution to the Greek and International market of Corporate Affairs. We are very proud of our achievement to grow through an extremely challenging decade for all of us.

As we live in an era of “certain uncertainty”, through this anniversary event we aimed to highlight the necessity for dialogue between government and businesses, as well as for policy and business decisions based on knowledge and accurate information about global trends and supported by evidence and data in order for our country to walk, boldly and optimistically, on the path of sustainable growth, spreading  the benefits to everyone”.

You can watch the full event’s video here.


The Experts

Karen Finney

Karen Finney

Karen Finney, Political Strategist,
CNN Political Commentator and Advocate,Washington D.C., USA

Karen Finney is a respected television commentator, leading political and communications strategist and spirited thought leader. She has worked at the intersection of politics, media, and cultural change for over 25 years. Her unique career includes roles as top Democratic communications strategist and spokesperson; political commentator for CNN and MSNBC; television and radio show host; inspirational public speaker; business and communications advisor; leader and advocate for social justice and civil rights; and White House staffer. ..

Read More

Political Strategist, CNN Political Commentator and Advocate

Karen Finney is a respected television commentator, leading political and communications strategist and spirited thought leader. She has worked at the intersection of politics, media, and cultural change for over 25 years.  Her unique career includes roles as top Democratic communications strategist and spokesperson; political commentator for CNN and MSNBC; television and radio show host; inspirational public speaker; business and communications advisor; leader and advocate for social justice and civil rights; and White House staffer.

She brings this diverse combination of skills and experience to her current work as a political commentator for CNN, Host of TV One’s “Represent Our Voice”, columnist and consultant working with non-profit, for-profit, and political clients.  Karen serves on the boards of several national organizations that reflect her commitment to empowering women, illuminating tough issues from different perspectives, and supporting the next generation of leaders. She serves on the boards of Let America Vote/End Citizens United, Power Rising and Ultraviolet.  She is also Co-Convenor of the Black Women’s’ Leadership Collective.

Media Commentator and Talk Show Host
An incisive commentator and interviewer, Karen is currently a political commentator for CNN and has hosted “Represent Our Voice” on TV One for two seasons examining a range of issues impacting Black and Brown communities and elevating the stories and excellence within the community.  The show grew out of a series she hosted in 2020, “Represent the Vote: Our Voice Our Future,” which examined key issues impacting Black America in the 2020 election.  Previously Karen was a political analyst at MSNBC, where she hosted her own weekly television show, “Disrupt with Karen Finney”, featuring breaking news, current events, and political roundtable discussions.

Karen’s broadcasting experience also includes co-hosting “The Flaks,” a bipartisan political news and information show, on Sirius XM-radio.  Her writing can be seen on CNN.com, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, The Hill, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, and US News and World Report.

Independent Consultant/Advocate
Karen has a distinct passion for helping women, especially women of color, grow their political leadership and representation. Her wide-reaching work helping to elect women and address the unique challenges they face in running for office includes working directly with candidates, polling and research, media trainings and speeches, producing radio and TV ads, and strategic advising. She also helped lead a coalition of Black women leaders who advocated directly with then Vice-President Biden and his search committee for a Black woman on the ticket, and the successful grassroots effort in support of Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson. Her work on the intersection of culture and politics includes research examining attitudes about racism, Criminal justice, policing reform, and mobilizing infrequent African American voters.

White House Communicator
A veteran of several campaigns including four presidential campaigns, Karen started in politics working on the 1992 Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. She served in the Clinton White House, first as Deputy Press Secretary to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and as Deputy Director of Scheduling for President Clinton.
Karen would later join Hillary Clinton’s successful run for the U.S. Senate in 2000 as a Traveling Press Secretary managing press relations and media logistics. In 2016, Karen served as Senior Advisor and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary’s presidential bid.  During that campaign she also served as Communications Director to then-Vice-Presidential nominee, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.

Karen was the first African American spokeswoman and Communications Director for the Democratic Party. In that role she ran the party’s communications strategy including DNC Chairman Emeritus Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy” to rebrand the party and expand its reach and the successful 2006 midterm election.

Business and Public Sector Advisor
Inspired by her first job out of college as a teaching assistant working with young women in a minimum-security facility, Karen has an abiding interest in improving public education.
After leaving the Clinton White House she moved to New York to be the Chief of Staff to the Chairman, CEO, and President of Scholastic Inc., a $1.2 billion global children’s education, and media company, where she led several corporate projects, including branding campaigns, CEO board relations, Internet strategy, and partnership development. As Director of Business Development and Strategy, she oversaw the growth of the company into new market areas and product development and cultivated strategic relationships with key organizations. Karen later combined her political and communications skills with her knowledge and interest in education to become Chief Spokesperson and Communications Director for the New York City Board of Education. During her tenure she led crisis communications for the school system on 9/11 and throughout the recovery and re-opening of public schools in lower Manhattan.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, 2017
Terker Fellow at the George Washington University’s School of Journalism and Public Affairs, 2019 – 2021

Karen has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is represented by United Talent Agency.
Twitter: @finneyk


Jan Kallmorgen

Jan Kallmorgen

Jan Kallmorgen, Founder & Managing Partner,
Berlin Global Advisors, Berlin, GE

Jan Friedrich Kallmorgen is BGA’s founder and Managing Partner, combining a background in finance, foreign policy and public affairs. He advises clients on geopolitical and public policy issues that impact business strategies, capital markets and transactions...

Read More

Prior to BGA, he worked at the World Bank, Goldman Sachs, the European Group for Investor Protection, the German Council on Foreign Relations and Interel, a global public affairs consultancy. Jan founded and chairs the non-profit think tank Atlantic Initiative and is a member of Atlantik-Bruecke, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, the CDU Business Council as well as an alumnus of various Young Leader Programs.

He holds masters’ degrees in history and international relations from the Freie Universität Berlin and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.


Gregoire Poisson

Gregoire Poisson

Gregoire Poisson, Partner,
Head of Public Affairs EMEA and Head of Dentons Global Advisors’ office, Brussels, BE

Grégoire Poisson is a Partner, Head of Public Affairs EMEA and Head of Dentons Global Advisors’ office in Brussels. He also advises his own portfolio of clients, consisting of corporations and associations in the energy, mobility, and sustainability fields...

Read More

Under Mr. Poisson’s watch, Dentons Global Advisors (formerly Interel) won multiple awards, including Best EU Consultancy of the Year in 2018 and in 2017. He was voted Consultant of the Year 2018 (Public Affairs Awards Europe).

Committed to enhancing and protecting the critical role of public affairs professionals, he has served as a board member of the European Public Affairs Consultancies Association since 2014.

Before joining the firm in 2012, Mr. Poisson headed the energy-environment-transport public affairs practice for Weber Shandwick in Brussels. Prior to that, Mr. Poisson was account director at Havas Worldwide, where his clients included a major sports-betting services provider and a leading recycling company.

Before moving into consulting, Mr. Poisson was director of public affairs for the European Aggregates Association (UEPG), where he contributed to the success of the European Minerals Forum and ran several successful pan-European campaigns, including ones for the Mining Waste Directive and the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. Mr. Poisson began his career as European affairs manager at Hitachi Ltd., where one of his major achievements was establishing the EU Hitachi Science & Technology Forum.

Mr. Poisson holds an undergraduate degree from EMLYON Business School and a master’s degree in European Affairs from the Institut Catholique de Paris. In 2015 and 2016, respectively, he completed executive education programs at Harvard, Stanford and Said business schools.


The Moderator

Niki Lymperaki

Niki Lymperaki

Niki Lymperaki, Journalist
Athens, Greece

Niki Lymperaki is a journalist in Athens, Greece. For the past twenty years she has worked on international news and current affairs for major Greek media as an anchor, reporter and radio producer. In 2020 she was awarded with the highest distinction for journalists in Greece, the Botsis Foundation Award. She holds a degree in Law from the University of Athens and she speaks English, Italian, Spanish and German.