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  • Experience and young talent come together at the 2018 FPdGi Awards ceremony

Experience and young talent come together at the 2018 FPdGi Awards ceremony

- The award winners call for a kinder world with hope for the future
 - The Foundation will celebrate its tenth anniversary with the creation of a new international category in the FPdGi Awards 
- HM the King highlighted the inclusive nature of the awards that bring together “a shared will, efforts and hopes”

28/06/2018

Around 450 people came together today in Girona at the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony, in an event that dealt with talent, self-improvement and even failure as a trigger for change, and which was presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain. A desire to inspire and address all young people was a central theme that was repeated in the different interventions, in which moving stories, videos and musical performances took place during the course of an evening filled with the talent of all the guest speakers and award winners. 

HM the King began his speech by highlighting the careers of each of the winners, who he got to know personally at the various announcement events held during the first part of the year in Merida, Seville, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, and Soria. He underlined their values, the passion with which they have made their dreams come true, as well as the exemplarity, differentiation and impact with which they are striving to build a more renewable and sustainable world.

A year away from celebrating the tenth edition of the Awards, in his speech the King emphasised that “we can be proud of what we have built thanks to the efforts of many people and organisations and their identification with this great caring, inclusive and responsible project”. He went on to assure the audience that “we will continue working to make it grow and consolidate it as a benchmark, a loudspeaker that amplifies the signal of what thousands of young people think, need and do in a world where they do not always find someone to listen to them, understand them or support them in their ambitions and their dreams”. HM the King reminded the attendees that this is “a project for young people, the spirit of which reflects the image we have of this land and which has been enthusiastically joined by many other men and women from all over Spain. A project which does not exclude anyone and which brings together a common will, efforts and hopes”. Referring to the Foundation’s work, he said: “Building for young people is what the Princess of Girona Foundation has always done. Always building. Yesterday, today and tomorrow”.

Cardiologist Valentín Fuster, basketball player Pau Gasol and Paralympic swimmer Teresa Perales opened the 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony at the Espai Mas Marroch – El Celler de Can Roca’s events centre. Moderated by Spanish National Radio journalist Pepa Fernández, the three guest speakers revealed the secrets of their success in their respective careers and the values that have accompanied them throughout their journeys. Fuster regretted that “we are losing our young people and then we are negligent because we criticise them”; Gasol remembered that his best advice was “be grateful for what you have and don’t limit yourself”; and Perales underlined the importance of having challenges in life “because it’s what keeps us alive”. 

Next, three winners of previous editions took the stage: Miriam Reyes, 2017 Princess of Girona Foundation Social Award, Auxiliadora Toledano, 2013 Princess of Girona Foundation Arts and Literature Award, and Borja Ibáñez, 2010 Princess of Girona Foundation Scientific Research Award. The three explained how the awards boosted their careers. For Toledano, it was “the best thing” that has happened to her in her career; Ibáñez opted for investment in research “because it is a gain within 10 or 15 years”; and Reyes called for change in the whole education system “so that it gives all the opportunities available to all children with special educational needs”.

One of the most eagerly awaited moments was when the King and Queen presented the 2018 FPdGi Awards to this year’s winners: singer Soleá Morente, 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Arts and Literature Award ex aequo; chemist Guillermo Mínguez, 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Scientific Research Award ex aequo; chemical engineer María Escudero, 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Scientific Research Award ex aequo; aeronautical engineer José Miguel Bermúdez, 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Business Award; social entrepreneur Arancha Martínez, 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Social Award, and Article 1, 2018 FPdGi International Organisation Award. The only winner who was unable to attend the event was cellist Pablo Ferrández, 2018 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo, who had a prior commitment with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra made two years ago. 

Chemical engineer María Escudero gave a speech on behalf of all the winners, reaffirming that all of them were motivated by the desire to “build a better world”. Her speech made two particular points. One of them was to express her “gratitude to all the women who paved the way in all fields”; while not forgetting those “whose colleagues made invisible”. Escudero’s second point was a call for a “great pact with science” as a display of “more investment” in this area. The scientist ended by reminding young people that they are facing “a journey full of courageous, fair and balanced decisions” on their way to building “a kinder world”. The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, with a prize of €10,000 and a reproduction of a sculpture by Juan Muñoz, recognise the work of young people aged between 16 and 35, and that of a organisation working for young people, an award that this year was won by an international organisation. 

The award ceremony is followed, tomorrow 29 June, by the annual meeting of the FPdGi’s second central programme, ‘Talent rescuers’, with which the organisation is taking a further step in its commitment to youth employability by running this transformative project whose differentiating factor is the promotion of talent and employment mobility among Spain’s Autonomous Communities in search of opportunities. The event takes place at the Hotel Camiral in Caldes de Malavella, from 9 am. 

2019 call for entries open
The nomination period for entries to the 2019 Awards is now open. For the first time, and coinciding with the Princess of Girona Foundation’s tenth anniversary, this will include a new International Award which recognises the personal and professional careers of young people in any part of the world who stand out for their work, their merits and their exemplarity. The impact must always be considered in its broadest dimension, in that their contributions extend and/or are known on an international level. This global award highlights the capacity for achievement and self-improvement of young people from all over the world in the development of projects or businesses —especially when they have involved difficulty or risk— demonstrating that they have the power to influence, in a creative way, positive changes in society and that they are inspiring role models for other young people. Unlike the other categories of the FPdGi Awards, the International Award is selected from nominations.

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