FPdGi Awards

We all have different talents

Workshops, talks, dialogues, meetings and talent were the ingredients of an event filled with experiences and networking between social role models and 400 enthusiastic young people


After the 2018 FPdGi Awardsceremony last night, Hotel Camiral in Caldes de Malavella today hosted a day of networking centred on young talent, the annual ‘Talent rescuers’ meeting, where companies linked to the Princess of Girona Foundation (FPdGi), mentors and young people taking part in the programme had the opportunity to share and exchange content and innovative proposals focused on young people’s employability in a Spanish job market that is destructured in comparison with other European countries. Viewing mistakes as a mechanism of change and learning was one of the constant points reiterated by the speakers.

The presence and involvement of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain in this event –and with the Foundation’s programmes– is “fundamental, because of the boost and visibility it provides” in the words of Francisco Belil, president of the FPdGi. The programme dedicated to promoting specific actions and measures in favour of improving young people’s employability was the star of the sessions, talks, workshops and informal meetings on today’s agenda, with over 400 participants from the almost 3,000 people signed up to ‘Talent rescuers’.

Belil encouraged young people to raise their voices. “Did you know that one of the Foundation’s goals is to increase young people’s social presence: we want to reverse the paradox that, often, those who have hardly anything useful to contribute wield great importance and influence, in contrast to the invisibility of those who really have the capacity to change the world”.

Furthermore, the president of the FPdGi analysed how “the market changes very quickly and often education cannot evolve at the same speed” and he supports “reducing the imbalance between the labour market and our schools and universities”. Belil encouraged young people to “make a difference and build a better society and a better country”. 

750 people at the Foundation’s events in Girona
The events organised by the FPdGi over these two days brought together 750 people in total, which this year was the maximum capacity available in the venues. The organisation rated this number of attendees very positively as it has allowed it to consolidate the growth of the FPdGi’s projects and initiatives: promoting social and professional role models through the award winners, generating employment opportunities for young people, developing educational projects for them and accompanying them through mentoring. 

AMBER CASE:“Technology only makes sense if it informs and calms us
The American cyborg anthropologist Amber Case addressed a highly motivated audience with an opening question that completely won them over: “Did you know that you are all cyborgs?”. In this powerful way Amber Case began her talk, in which for almost an hour she defended a more human view of technology.

Case stressed the duality that exists regarding whether we humans are controlling technology, or whether technology is controlling humans. This situation could become even more noticeable after 2020, when it is predicted that there will be more technological devices in the world than people, and we are forced to think about a less invasive technology.

The arrival of a friendlier technology should end the use of some devices that are even taking a toll on human health.One of the keys to this new technology is that, apart from being minimally intrusive, should also“inform and calm”, and help ushumans achieve the same challenges using less mental effort. An “ally” to fuel human curiosity, according to Amber.

Case ended her talk with another question, urging young people to fill their lives with more experiences and less technologies: “Will you remember the latest publication or when you fell in love?. 

PEDRO DUQUE: “The FPdGi demonstrates that in this country there has been a changing trend in interest in knowledge”
Making science and knowledge the future of many young people in this country: this is, according to Pedro Duque, one of his long-term objectives at the helm of the Ministry of Science. “It’s not that wealthier countries invest more in science, rather, those who invested the most in science in the past are now the wealthiest”, he said.

The minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque, held up the Princess of Girona Foundationas an example of a changing trend in interest in knowledge in society. A turnaround that is taking place now and which he wants to push forward from the public administration, introducing some changes that facilitate personal contributions to funding scientific and technological projects.

In science, stopping the brain drain is another goal that Duque aims to achieve by “growing the system to make room for more scientists”. “Scientists are smart people, so they are not going to return if there are no resources here to create laboratories and that will only happen when resources are increased”, he explained.

WORKSHOPS: Young people’s employability, the main aim of the workshops
The head of the Selection and Employer Branding Area at Lidl, Eva Ortega, together with her team, David Garrote and Alicia Bender, delivered the workshop ‘Communication and influence’, in which they explained the key points so the attendees could “reflect and work on how to achieve influential communication”. The trainers detailed the different styles of communication and influence that currently exist so that the young people could apply them in both their professional and personal lives. And, as an example, they conducted a practical exercise that consisted of preparing a pitch based on evidence in order to influence a decision.

At the same time, Accenturededicated the workshop ‘Play with the future NOW’ to explaining the very latest digital content and future technological trends, based on its study ‘Technology Vision 2018: Unleash the intelligent enterprise’. The members of Accenture’s training team demonstrated how to carry out a data analysis and incorporate immersive technologies into the most diverse business areas.

Under the title ‘Discover your potential with the Insights Discovery method’, the team from Enagás, formed of Óscar Gómez del Saz, Antonio Manzanera and Ignacio Muñumer, showed the participants how to apply the Insights Discovery method to foster their own self-awareness in order to face the search for work, so that, depending on what they learn about themselves, they can act in one way or another. The trainers also provided advice and tips to help the attendees in their search for employment and to overcome self-limiting beliefs and thoughts.

Finally, the workshop ‘The search for candidates has changed. Are you ready for social recruiting?’ delivered by the director of Sartiaand social selling and digital selling trainer Alex López, went over the digital requirements that are vital to guarantee success, revealing the keys to areas such as Inbound Marketing and Inbound Recruiting, with the phases of attraction, conversion, closing and delight. In fact, López sparked an intense debate with the young people after warning them that anyone can follow their activity of social networks and how this can cost them dearly when they are applying for a job.

In parallel, the director of Escuela de Mentoría, María Luisa de Miguel, gave a workshop addressed to the programme’s mentors entitled ‘Emotional intelligence in mentoring’. During the activity, De Miguel showed the participants how they should build a mentoring relationship with engagement using the 12 emotional intelligence skills. She also explained how to distinguish between verbal and emotional conversation and how to manage the needs, expectations and roles that arise in all mentoring relationships.

DIALOGUE: Ignacio Hernández Medrano and Luz Rello encourage young people to change the world
In the presence of approximately 400 young people, neurologist and cofounder and CEO of Savana,Ignacio Hernández Medrano, and linguist and founder of Change Dyslexiaand 2016 FPdGi Social Award winner, Luz Rello, revealed how they managed to carve out their successful careers and contribute towards building a fairer society.

In a dialogue entitled ‘I want to be like them. Two entrepreneurs who inspire us, face to face’ moderated by Ashoka Spain ambassador,Antonella Broglia, the two guests detailed how and why they created their respective companies.

Rello remembered that when she was a child she was obsessed with spelling mistakes because she “hated” her errors. A fixation that, when she grew up, led her to analyse the spelling mistakes made by people who, like her, have dyslexia. “We discovered that the spelling mistakes people with dyslexia made followed certain patterns which revealed a great deal about dyslexia that we didn’t know before”, she explained during the dialogue.

Hernández Medrano, in turn, talked about how one day he decided to close his neurological practice to travel to Silicon Valley (California, USA) to learn about artificial intelligence. When he returned he set up, together with two partners, the company Savana: a large medical database that allows users to predict clinical events, evaluate health results and take decisions in real time based on best practices.

Both Rello and Hernández encouraged young people to change everything they don’t like. “You don’t have to be a genius, just dedicate time and energy to changing things”, insisted the neurologist, who also reminded the audience of the importance of “rest and down time”. On this subject, Rello confessed that she ended up in an intensive care unit due to overwork. “I am learning, but it is very important to stop and above all to take care of yourself”.

COFFEE CONVERSATION: “I wish we’d had an opportunity like this when we were young”
Eleven experts in different areas explained to the young participants in this closing talk what tools they need to guarantee success when looking for a job. The question this year’s coffee conversation aimed to answer was whether it is harder for young people today to obtain their first jobs. Moderated by the founding partner ofThe Passion Generation,Marcos García, the guests shared their experience and advice with young people.

For the general director of People and Resources at Enagás, Javier Perera, the key word is ‘confidence’. Perera believes that “we all have different talents” that companies need, “because they need more and more diversity”. Rather than giving advice to the young members of the audience, the executive instead preferred to “share experiences”, even including mistakes. “We learn the most from our mistakes”, explained Perera. For Enagás, participating in the ‘Talent rescuers’ programme is an opportunity to “give something back to society by giving young people a future”.

Álex López, who also participated in the morning’s workshops explaining the key importance of social networks for finding work, also took part in the coffee conversation. López has been working with the Foundation for four years and he considers that “being able to help someone who is the first in their family to have obtained a degree is really important for me”. The author of the first book on social selling in Spanish concluded by saying “I wish we’d had an opportunity like this when we were young”.

A sentiment also shared by Joan Clotet, talent innovation manager at Ferrovial. Clotet noted that “young people are all very well prepared, more than I was at their age”. His goal is to provide a little light at an uncertain moment. “Young people are very focused on what they lack rather than on what they have”, he said. For this reason, arriving at job interviews fully aware of their strong points is vital in Clotet’s opinion. “We have to infuse them with energy”, insisted the recruiter.

There are three ideas that must get through to young people searching for work: find out what you enjoy doing, think about your capacity and talent and then finally take action”, said José Manuel de Haro, director of People Development at Suez Water Spain. De Haro responded with a resounding yes to the question posed in the coffee conversation, because the new job positions are going to require “a great deal of competence” and artificial intelligence “is going to replace certain positions”. The executive was surprised by the high level of all the participants and he applauded the contacts that were generated between them and the mentors. “I don’t know of any foundation that organises mentoring programmes as successful as this one”, assured De Haro.

José Luis Blasco agreed that this generation has it hardest. Blasco is global head of KPMG Sustainability Servicesand has been apartner at KPMGsince 2008, but he adopted a hopeful position for these young people: “Perhaps the market is offering 20th century jobs to 21st century people, we need a little perspective”. This member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development underlined that the good thing about the programme is that “companies like ours have begun to work on solving the problem of youth unemployment”. Blasco believes that the community created thanks to the FPdGi and the ‘Talent rescuers’ “will very soon”result in common ideas and initiatives.

In addition, among the other speakers at the coffee conversations were Ignasi Belda Reig, biotechnology entrepreneur and 2014 FPdGi Business Award winner; executive director of Escuela de Mentoring, María Luisa de Miguel; team leader at BBVA Spain, Elena Tomico; director of the Tomillo Foundation, Mercedes Valcárcel; general manager of the Itaca Educational Association and 2013 FPdGi Social Award winner, Felipe Campos, and general manager of Equipo Singular, Paco Caro.


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