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Tenth anniversary FPdGi, FPdGi Awards

Role models, leadership, social values and the role of science (10th anniversary events)


Monday 4/11: 2019 FPdGi Awards ceremony

  • This year’s five winners will receive their awards in a ceremony presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain and in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and Infanta Sofía
  • US engineer Hugh Herr and Rwandan storyteller Nathalie Munyampenda engage in a fascinating dialogue about the role of science in the future
  • ‘The story of an award’ reviews the past ten years of the Foundation’s awards through the impact the winners have had
  • The Foundation’s award winners over the past ten years will be taking an active role in the ceremony and the content of the youth-focused day on 5 November

 Tuesday 5/11: ‘Talent attracts talent’ workshop

  • Journalist Julia Otero leads an intergenerational debate among trustees, award winners and young people from other FPdGi programmes about some of the critical issues in our society
  • Illusionist Jorge Luengo interviews British physicist Jess Wade, in ‘Science, diversity and magic’, to close the day’s events
  • Talks, workshops, dialogues and networking related to employment, education, technology, sustainability, critical thinking, social responsibility and equal opportunities make up a programme of interesting activities for young people and professionals provided by leading experts

British physicist Jess Wade, staunch defender of equal opportunities and diversity in the sciences; ‘bionic’ engineer Hugh Herr, striving to eradicate disability throughout the world; and Rwandan journalist and storyteller Nathalie Munyampenda, development and science promotor across the African continent, are some of the guest speakers on the programme that the Princess of Girona Foundation has prepared to celebrate its first decade, always focused on young people and on the aspects that are critical to their personal and professional development. The celebration, being held on 4 and 5 November at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya (Barcelona), addresses the main challenges facing society today and in the future and how young people are being called upon to play a leading role in tackling them.

The King and Queen will once again be presiding over the Awards ceremony on Monday 4 November, as well as the activity-packed day after which, under the title ‘Talent attracts talent’, brings together international experts in talks and workshops on leadership, education, employment, technology, sustainability, equality and critical thinking. The programme has been specifically designed to offer young people the tools and knowledge they need to strengthen their professional and individual capacities, while also fostering values that help to improve the society we live in. All of this is taking place in a space and with a format that facilitates exchange and interaction among all the participants and professionals from the companies and other organisations involved with the Foundation. This special 10th anniversary event will also be attended by Their Royal Highnesses the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and Infanta Sofía.

Common denominator: role models
The common theme of all the activities taking place during the two-day event —and of other content that is being prepared for the celebration— highlights how the Princess of Girona Foundation is a perfect space for established talent —in this case, represented by its trustees— to connect with Spain’s young people to share knowledge, opportunities and contacts and to understand the real challenges facing young people today. The almost 50 award winners who have been recognised by respected juries for their exemplary work over the years are today also role models in our society. For this reason, to mark our 10th anniversary, this group of award winners have helped to organise the events and prepare the content from different perspectives. And they have been joined by the companies that make up the Foundation’s Board, as we will see:

‘The story of an award’ [Palau de Congressos Auditorium – Monday 4/11 during the Awards ceremony]. Antonella Broglia is one of TED Talks’ main ambassadors in Europe, an advertising and marketing expert and one of the FPdGi’s long-standing collaborators with extensive knowledge of our project. She will be leading a dynamic and original story about the 10 years of the FPdGi Awards, during which we will meet some of the young winners from the first nine years, hear about the unexpected consequences the award has had on their lives and the impact they have had in Spain, the world and on other young people. Thirty minutes of pure emotion.

Generations on stage: Experience and courage’ [Palau de Congressos Auditorium – Tuesday 5/11 during the opening of the ‘Talent attracts talent’ workshop]. Journalist Julia Otero needs no introduction, and very few of her peers would dare to tackle a debate on the most pressing issues in our society to open a day of activities focused on young people on 5 November. Five of the Foundation’s trustees —the presidents of their companies—, five award winners and five outstanding young people from the Foundation’s professional development programme will divide into groups of three to discuss the topics and share their contrasting points of view, as is often the case between different generations. Josep Oliu from Banc Sabadell, Ángel Simón from Agbar Group, Ana Vallés from the Sorigué Foundation, Concha Yoldi from the Persan Foundation and Juan Pedro Moreno from Accenture will be sharing this experience with Borja Ibáñez (2010 FPdGi Scientific Research Award), Javier Agüera (2012 Business), Samuel Sánchez (2015 Scientific Research), Héctor Colunga (2015 Social) and Elena Medel (2016 Arts and Literature) together with Ming-ya Wang, Alejandra Acosta, Juan A. González, Lucía González and Alejandro Briceño, all of whom are involved in the Foundation’s youth projects.

Other 10th anniversary content: During 2019, the Foundation has promoted two extraordinary actions to mark its anniversary, which will be unveiled to coincide with the event in November. Both have the same aim of highlighting the Foundation’s most important testimonials: those of its award winners, but also those of its trustees and some outstanding young people.

Firstly, the Foundation convinced the renowned journalist and writer Juan Cruz to conduct a series of almost forty interviews with FPdGi Award winners and young people from our other programmes and to document them in a book that, rather than simply relating events, would instead focus, once again, on debate and reflection surrounding the issues that genuinely interest today’s young people based on their first-hand experiences. When we thought we had all the answers, the questions changed - Spanish young people and the Princess of Girona Foundation fighting for science, the arts and life is the title of this book published by Planeta, which will be released on 4 November in Barcelona. In the words of the author himself, the young people who appear in the book are a “surprising civic, academic and human treasure” and the experience has been for him “a surprise and a discovery”.

A series of audiovisual shorts, created by Jorge Martínez—a leading screenwriter and creative director in the audiovisual field who has worked with some of Spain’s most important NGOs—, was produced with the idea of promoting a meeting space between established talent and business success with the courage of young people and their future prospects. Seven conversations about issues that, once again, are considered critical by the Foundation’s trustees and its award winners from the past ten years offer extremely valuable first-hand experiences that can be watched at www.generaccionfpdgi.org and on the websites of some of the media channels covering the 10th anniversary eventsfrom 4 November onwards.

The 2019 Awards ceremony and the winners
The 10th anniversary celebration events kick off on the afternoon of 4 November with the FPdGi Awards ceremony, which this year recognises five new young people who join the almost 50 role models awarded since 2010.

Theatre director Rafael R. Villalobos (Arts and Literature Award), neurologist and entrepreneur Ignacio H. Medrano (Business Award), mathematicianXavier Ros-Oton (Scientific Research Award)and social entrepreneur Begoña Arana (Social Award) are the winners of the 2019 edition. In addition, this year, for the first time, the Foundation is recognising the outstanding work of a young person on a global scale with its new International Award, which goes to the cofounder of the international humanitarian organisation Humanity Crew, Maria Jammal. All of this year’s winners are young people who stand out for their professional and human achievements and who share a desire to innovate in each of their own areas of expertise to transform the world with their efforts. They will receive their awards from the King and Queen of Spain in a ceremony that also pays tribute to the other young people who have won these awards over the past ten years through their personal stories.

As mentioned earlier, the Foundation has asked its winners to take part in this celebration both on stage and off. Accepting the challenge, the most recent winner of the Arts and Literature Award, Rafael R. Villalobos, has taken charge of the stage management of a gala designed especially for the occasion, which in turn will be presented by musician and conductor Andrés Salado (2016 FPdGi Award).

Among the performances, there will be various surprises also linked with the leitmotivof generational role models —singer and last year’s winner Soleá Morente will be sharing the stage with Sole Giménez, ex-vocalist of the group Presuntos Implicados with a successful career spanning decades— and showing how the winners collaborate with each other —soprano Auxiliadora Toledano, winner in 2013, will be accompanied on the cello by Pablo Ferrández, winner in 2018.

Dialogue on science: Hugh Herr and Nathalie Munyampenda
As every year, at the heart of the award ceremony an inspiring and thought-provoking dialogue will take the stage. It is almost a given that science and technology are probably the main drivers of change in our society today, affecting many different areas of our lives simultaneously. For this reason, US engineer Hugh Herr and Rwandan journalist Nathalie Munyampenda talk about the current limits of science, its transformative capacity and how it is being called upon to make a commitment to inclusivity in the future.

Herr lost his legs while climbing, and now builds bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs with the sole aim of eradicating disability in the world. Timemagazine named him “leader of the bionic age”.

Munyampenda is an activist for scientific development in Africa, and through her platform Next Einstein Forum is fighting for inclusive science and greater visibility for women in this field. She is convinced that the next Einstein will be African.

5 November, ‘Talent attracts talent’ and the challenges of the 21st century
The day after the FPdGi Awards ceremony, the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya will host a programme of activities specifically designed for young people, but which may also be of interest to professionals from companies specialising in innovation, human resources, employment and development. After the opening session with some of the Foundation’s trustees, award winners and other young people, led by Julia Otero, those registered for the ‘Talent attracts talent’ workshop will split up into different rooms where they will learn, experiment and exchange knowledge on topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, critical thinking, communication, social media influence and talent development, among other content.

Pilar Jericó, Manuel Campo Vidal, Alberto Cairo, Beatriz Martín Padura, Julio Montes, Álex López, Javier Cañada, José Conejos, Marta Romo, Ana Torres, Maria Batet and Xavier Verdaguer will be giving talks, workshopsand using other original presentation formats. Three hours of training and networkingduring which the attendees will also have access to a speed-meetingsand informal meet-up zone, and, during the breaks, they can visit a space set aside to watch the 10th anniversary audiovisuals.

All the participants, juniors and seniors alike, will be able to find role models to inspire them from among this selection of sessions. The day’s events will come to a close once again in the Auditorium with a particularly thought-provoking and optimistic closing act.

Jorge Luengo interviews Jess Wade: ‘Science, diversity and magic’
Young engineer and illusionist Jorge Luengo dazzles audiences with his ability to generate revealing conversations at large-scale events. That is why, for the closing event of its 10th anniversary celebration, the Foundation chose him specifically to interview one of today’s most disruptive and unique physicists: Jess Wade, who believes that science still has a long way to go to catch up with nature, which has been creating perfect nanostructures for hundreds of millions of years. Her dedication to scientific sustainability and natural science —nourished by her research work— goes hand in hand with her public commitment to bringing about a culture shift in physics, and particularly in the promotion of women in this sector. Her active contributions to different initiatives that support inclusion and diversity, and in particular gender parity and equalityof opportunities, have garnered her countless mentions and recognitions, despite her youth.

In 2018 she was chosen by the journal Natureas one of the ten most important people of the year. She is also a regular collaborator with Wikipedia, where she makes daily contributions by writing the biographies of LGBTQfemale, and POC scientists, thereby promoting diversity with more than 700 profiles registered so far.

#10FPdGi, looking to the future
Since 2009, the Princess of Girona Foundation has been promoting different programmes that seek to offer Spain’s young people the tools, knowledge, meeting spaces and opportunities to face the challenges of our society, with the help of leading business and social organisations that are involved in different initiatives.

The FPdGi Award winners and the community they form today —which already includes almost 50 outstanding young people in various areas and disciplines— allow the Foundation to work towards increasing young people’s social presence and promoting these winners as role models for other young people. In addition, education as a driver of change, social transformation and the construction of critical thinking, together with improving youth employability, are also two of the Foundation’s principal concerns. A commitment to building a better and more sustainable world has, without doubt, been acknowledged by all —administrations, companies and society— and is being demanded by the youngest members of our society: in this context, the initiatives developed by the Foundation have taken on even greater significance and its focus on the future is to become a meeting space for all the stakeholders involved in addressing this challenge.




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