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Ten stories of leadership demonstrate young people’s leading role nowadays

The winners of the 2020 and 2021 Awards received their prizes in an audiovisual ceremony focusing on the new generation’s capacity for transformation after COVID-19.

01/07/2021

Veterinarian and writer María Sánchez, filmmaker Guillermo García López, lawyer Lucía Goy Mastromiechele, entrepreneur Pepita Marín Rey-Stolle, researchers César de la Fuente Núñez and Rubén Costa and social entrepreneurs Ousman Umar, Guillermo Martínez Gauna-Vivas and Juan David Aristizábal have received their awards from Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain and Their Royal Highnesses the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and Infanta Sofía.

In the morning, winners from previous editions met at Albéniz Palace in Barcelona. There was also a meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and an online networking and gamification activity with the participation of 150 young people.

The Princess of Girona Foundation today emphasised the need to give young people a voice and visibility, while highlighting their leadership capacity after the pandemic, in a double edition during which both the 2020 and 2021 Awards were presented. The ceremony, which was presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and Infanta Sofía, was streamed live on the Foundation’s website and YouTube channel and on Spanish Television’s Channel 2. The event was also attended by the first vice-president of the government, Carmen Calvo, and the president of the Congress, Meritxell Batet.

Attending the ceremony held at CaixaForum Barcelona were the Foundation trustees and award winners. The Awards went to veterinarian and writer María Sánchez, cinema director and scriptwriter Guillermo García López, lawyer Lucía Goy Mastromiechele, entrepreneur Pepita Marín Rey-Stolle, researchers César de la Fuente Núñez and Rubén Costa, and social entrepreneurs Ousman Umar, Guillermo Martínez Gauna-Vivas and Juan David Aristizábal. The winner of the 2020 International category, Boyan Slat, was unable to attend the event.

Nine winners, one story
The nine award winners in this double edition made a joint speech in which cinema director Guillermo Martínez López stressed that “cinema can offer us a viewpoint that is different to our own conception of the world. There is a lot of work to do on our way of viewing reality and on educating the sensitivity of future generations in order to deconstruct truths to start building again from scratch”. In a collaborative message the other award winners of this double edition highlighted the need to create opportunities for young people and said that education is the best way to do this.

Speech by the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and the King
The Princess of Asturias and of Girona, who began her speech in Catalan, insisted that “providing opportunities” for our youngest generations is “a duty for any society” and that the pandemic and its consequences “make it more necessary than ever”. Happy to be back in Catalonia, princess Leonor also remarked on the entrepreneurial and creative character of the Catalan community and took the opportunity to praise “the effort, solidarity, enthusiasm, capacity for initiative and resilience” that defines the community of FPdGi Award winners.

His Majesty the King, after referring to the pandemic, stressed that “it is only in this way, by working closely together, that we will be able to move forward to combat the insecurity that has affected so many households in our country and, in particular, the lives of millions of young people”. The King continued by saying that the new generations probably have more resources than the previous ones, but they also have less opportunities and that “we cannot allow an entire generation of Spanish youth to languish between insecurity and difficulties”. In his speech, in Catalan and Spanish, he also recognised the efforts of outstanding young people who, “with their work, are contributing towards important advances in our society”. Regarding the work of the Foundation, the King said that it is “a clear guide in the careers of many enthusiastic and committed young people”; young people who are “promoting strategies to protect our planet and make it more sustainable”, and who clearly understand “the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion” and are generating necessary change and shaping the present.

The Ceremony

Young people’s commitment during the pandemic
During the ceremony, tribute was also paid to all those young people who stepped up to fight the impact of the pandemic by making face masks, bringing vital technology to people who do not have access to education without it, helping the elderly, developing technologies to assist solidarity, etc.

#YoungPeopleWant
At the gala the audience also listened to entrepreneur Pau-Garcia Milà (2010 FPdGi Business Award) and social entrepreneur Marta Michans. These are two of the young people who participated in the #YoungPeopleWantcampaign, the result of a social experiment promoted by the Foundation with the aim of breaking down the stereotypes surrounding young people, and in which six young people with different backgrounds, education and locations took part.

Music for a gala
Violinist and 2012 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award winner Leticia Moreno brought us the work of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzola, who is being celebrated this year on the centenary of his birth. Leticia was accompanied by other musicians and the Camerata of the Reina Sofía School of Music.

Dialogue for the future with the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Frances Arnold, and chemical engineer María Escudero Escribano (2018 FPdGi Scientific Research Award)
As every year, the ceremony hosted an inspiring intergenerational dialogue. On this occasion, chemical engineerMaría Escudero Escribano, 2018 FPdGi Scientific Research Award winner, talked with the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry from the same year, Frances Arnold, about the great challenges of facing climate change. Separated by more than two decades in age, these two inspiring women share the same concern and desire to come up with a new model of sustainability.

Other activities

Winners’ meeting
The morning began with the traditional meeting between the King and Queen and the winners of previous editions, more than 30 of them on this occasion. Also attending this meeting, held at Albéniz Palace in Barcelona, were the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and Infanta Sofía.

Online networking activity for young people
Before the Awards ceremony, 150 young people took part in an online networking and gamification activity that allowed them to expand their network of contacts and improve their professional skills. At the same time, the participants also formed part of the audience of the ceremony in a virtual auditorium without leaving their homes.

Meeting of the Board of Trustees
Coinciding with the Awards ceremony, in the afternoon an ordinary meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees was held at CaixaForum Barcelona, presided over by His Majesty the King and with a visit from the Queen, the Princess of Asturias and of Girona and Infanta Sofía. The Foundation’s governing body approved the 2020 accounts, took a closer look at the development of the organisation’s various programmes during the first half of the year and approved the appointment of Sílvia Martínez Carnicero as secretary to the Foundation (replacing Enric Brancós Núñez) and of Salvador Tasqué Díez as director general (replacing Mònica Margarit Ribalta).

New call for entries
The ceremony closed with the opening of a call for entries for the 2022 edition of the Awards, once again organised with the aim of recognising the personal and professional efforts of young people aged between 16 and 35 years old who stand out for their work, their merits and their exemplarity. The entry period for candidacies is open until 31 October. In the case of the International Award, which unlike the other categories works by nomination, the deadline for submitting entries is 30 November. The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, this year in their 13th edition, are accompanied by a prize of €20,000.

 

 

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