The work of the foundation is carried out by a permanent full-time volunteer, E.D. Haidemenakis, in conjunction with other dedicated part-time and full-time volunteers.
Epimenidis D. Haidemenakis, founder and president of the International Science Foundation, the International S.T.E.P.S. Foundation and the Olympiads of the Mind, studied at Columbia University and the University of Paris. His professional career encompasses 12 years of research in solid-state physics in a number of laboratories. These include Honeywell Research Center, Sylvania Central Physics Labs, NYU Labs, RCA Engineering Labs, Laboratoire de Physique de L’Ecole Normale Superieure, MIT National Magnet Lab, and the US Naval Research Lab.
Following his work as a research physicist, he continued his career as a consultant in international science, technology, industry and education policy, conducting studies and ex-post evaluations for corporations, governments and intergovernmental organizations. These include ITT, International Harvester, Alsthom-Atlantique, the Ministry of Industry of France, UNIDO, UNDTC, UNESCO and the OECD.
The Olympiad of the Mind is organized under the auspices of the International S.T.E.P.S. Foundation, or ISF. This is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, scientific, educational, tax- exempt corporation registered both in the State of Massachusetts and in Athens, Greece. The planning of each Olympiad is monitored and evaluated by the ISF’s International Committee, which includes representatives from large industries, governments and academia. This eminent group of people provides guidance on program scheduling, topics and speakers to be invited. Moreover, the International Committee members play a crucial role in evaluating the findings of the forum and assisting the President in drafting the layout of the final policy recommendations.
The Foundation also extends invitations to individuals who are usually recommended by the members of the International Committee and are known for significantly contributing in their own fields of expertise, as well as to society as a whole. It is interesting to note that 12 speakers from IBM and 22 speakers from MIT, including directors of principal research laboratories, have participated in the foundation’s international programs. Additionally, four of those participants have since received The Nobel Prize. Furthermore, the ISF issues a limited number of invitations to qualified students who are willing to donate their time to help with the Foundation’s research programs, as well as promotional and fund-raising activities. Following each Olympiad of the Mind the published proceedings are distributed in libraries all over the world.
The broad range of timely international issues addressed by the Olympiads of the Mind interest governments, multinational corporations, academic institutions, foundations and other organizations and individuals. Previous Olympiads of the Mind and earlier scientific conferences have been supported by financial and in-kind contributions.
Depending on the level of sponsorship, the Foundation reciprocates by offering global exposure and publicity as well as other benefits. In addition to corporate banners placed on-stage and outside the event, the ISF is willing to work closely with each sponsor to develop ways in which publicity and media exposure from the Olympiads of the Mind might be maximized.
Press releases drafted by the ISF staff, are also open to reviewing by sponsors. Moreover, the Olympiads of the Mind offer a unique chance to get to know people from all over the world. Sponsors are invited to attend VIP meetings and consultations with speakers and members of the International and French Committees during the conference.
The broad range of international matters addressed in the Olympiads of the Mind is appealing to several international businesses, governments, intergovernmental organizations, foundations, academic institutions, labor unions, multinational corporations, as well as individuals. The Foundation reciprocates by offering global exposure and publicity, as well as other benefits. Previous Olympiads have been financed with contributions from corporations, foundations and donations from dedicated friends. However, adequate financial support is of imperative importance for the Ninth Olympiad of the Mind, as it will ameliorate the quality of conference significantly and subsequently the effort to enlighten the participating audience.
Funding can be donated to the International S.T.E.P.S. Foundation by signing up for a membership, in one of the following membership categories:
Contributor (USD $1,000)
Donor (USD $5,000)
Benefactor (USD $10,000)
Sponsor (USD $50,000)
Grand Sponsor (USD $100,000)
Each membership category is entitled to a unique package of benefits, such as corporate banners, VIP meetings with speakers, trophies and sponsor awards. Additionally, for every $1,000 donation one person is allowed to attend the conference free of charge.
Both the International Science Foundation and the International S.T.E.P.S. Foundation have been organizing their events on an ad hoc basis, relying on sponsorship and donations without having a secure source of income. As an organization associated with influential people in numerous different fields, the ISF attracts scientific celebrities, business leaders, legendary scholars and heads of state to its events. In this process the Foundation distributes conference and publication materials worldwide, promoting both its events and its sponsors. This global influence and the presence of so many prominent and distinguished figures would greatly add to the intellectual clout of any organization involved. In addition, the host institution would play an integral role as an advisory body for all ISF events and therefore have the ability to influence the development and growth of the Foundation to their mutual interest.