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  • The IMPULSA Forum is launching a new format that will let young people take centre stage


The IMPULSA Forum is launching a new format that will let young people take centre stage

Graça Machel will inaugurate the sixth edition of the Forum, which will be held in Girona on 25 and 26 June.


The programme includes a variety of activities that will be held simultaneously, allowing each participant to choose their own itinerary

Graça Machel, widely acclaimed activist for the rights of women and children and widow of Nelson Mandela, will inaugurate the sixth edition of the IMPULSA Forum. The event will be held in Girona on 25 and 26 June, with a new format that will let young people take centre stage. With the slogan "IMPULSA: the Forum for your opportunities", this year's event includes new content and formats, which will allow participants to acquire the tools and resources they need to develop their skills, talent and entrepreneurial ability, all while sharing the experience with other young people and professionals.

The programme includes some twenty activities, which have been designed so that the participants are the main focus. The aim is for each attendee to build their own itinerary based on their personal interests, so that the Forum is a tailor-made, unique experience. The activities on offer are the result of discussions and dialogues with young people, taking their motivations into account so that the event responds to their needs and interests as much as possible.

The new format is based on sharing experiences and participation, and it is the result of the changes the IMPULSA Forum has undergone over the years, and the huge success of some of the more recent initiatives, such as the Close Encounters and Open Sessions, for example. The aim is to continue providing young people with what they want, placing the IMPULSA Forum and Girona on the map as one of the leading events in entrepreneurship for young people.

With this in mind, the activities at the IMPULSA Forum on 26 June will be divided into thematic blocks, with a schedule of simultaneous activities designed in a way that allows the participants, speakers and professionals to share their experiences.

The block of activities titled "Points of view" will include talks and round-table discussions on new opportunities that might change our models of society, culture, science and technology. The next set of activities, "Professional skills", consists of seminars and workshops in which participants can practice and develop their skills and abilities to improve their employment prospects and entrepreneurial skills. The activities related to entrepreneurship will be included within the block of activities titled "Entrepreneurship project", and will feature workshops, project presentations and focused training sessions.There will also be activities aimed at inspiring scientific, artistic and social vocations, encouraging ambitions to change reality, and on overcoming personal goals; these activities fall within the block called "Personal development". Finally, the set of activities called "Educating talent in schools" will cover different activities where participants can share their teaching experiences from the Educating entrepreneurial talent programme run by the FPdGi, as well as other innovative educational courses aimed at inspiring and encouraging young people's interest in STEM careers.

In total there will be around twenty activities, conducted in groups with between 40 and 150 participants, which will be carried out in different venues in the Girona Conference Centre. The wide range of activities on offer means that every participant will be able to design their own Forum schedule to suit their needs, and the smaller size format means it will be easier to exchange ideas, share experiences and that, consequently, there will be more networking opportunities for the enterprising young people in attendance.

The speakers who will give talks on the second day of the Forum include well-known figures such as Rolf Tarrach, theoretical physics professor, former president of the CSIC and former rector of the University of Luxembourg; the publicists Toni Segarra and Risto Mejide; the CEO of Infojobs, Jaume Gurt; Antonella Broglia, organiser of TEDxMadrid and Ashoka ambassador, and Juan Carlos Cubeiro, head of talent at the ManpowerGroup, as well as Juan Ignacio Cirac, a renowned physicist who has received acclaim for his research in quantum optics, and who was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics, regarded as a precursor to the Nobel prize.

Over 600 young people between 16 and 35 years old from all over Spain will take part in the Forum. This year's new format aims to encourage participation and interaction between the participants. All young people with ideas and projects are welcome to participate in the IMPULSA Forum. Inscription is open to anyone who wants to take part, and you can sign-up online at www.forumimpulsa.org. The deadline to apply to attend is 30 April.

Close Encounters in restaurants around the city

For another year running, the IMPULSA Forum will be combining activities in the Conference Centre with events held around the city. This year the Close Encounters will be held again, starting on Friday 26 June at lunch time, in different restaurants in Girona city centre. This activity offers young people the opportunity to interact in a more informal atmosphere with speakers and award-winners from past years of the IMPULSA Forum, as well as members of the FPdGi Advisory Council and Board of Trustees. The scheduled events for the IMPULSA Forum also include a final party that will be held on Friday night in the Sala Platea.

The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards

The IMPULSA Forum will begin on Thursday 25 June with the inauguration ceremony for the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, which will be presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain. The award ceremony will give prizes to four young people and one organisation in recognition of their entrepreneurial abilities and innovative projects. The winners of four categories have already been announced: Olga Felip, Arts and Literature Award; Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Organisation Award; Héctor Colunga, Social Award; and Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez, Scientific Research Award. The winner of the Business Award will be announced on 20 April.

On 17 March the Girona-born architect Olga Felip was proclaimed winner of the Arts and Literature Award for her sober, elegant, warm and bright designs which instil a sense of harmony in the user, the viewer and the landscape.

The Fundación Secretariado Gitano, on the other hand, was announced as winner of the Organisation Award on 24 March, for its work on equal opportunities for the Roma community. The Fundación Secretariado Gitano has worked for over thirty years to encourage the social inclusion of this community through programmes and services that contribute to achieving the full citizenship of young Roma people through integration into the labour market.

Héctor Colunga Cabaleiro was proclaimed winner of the Social Award on26 March for his contribution towards creating social capital and renewing forms of participation, providing proximity, transparency and citizen involvement.

The final award announced was in the Scientific Research category, and it went to Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez. The jury, who met in Madrid on 9 April, were particularly impressed by his work in the field of nanotechnology, especially his work designing self-propelled nanorobots that could improve targeted drug delivery, and have potential environmental applications.

The award ceremony will include speeches by two important international figures: the social activist Graça Machel, widow of Nelson Mandela, and Andrew Devenport, CEO of Youth Business International, a global network of initiatives that encourage young entrepreneurs to make their projects a reality. Machel, who was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 1988, will give the inaugural address, while Devenport will give a speech titled "Offering the opportunity of a lifetime to a growing number of young entrepreneurs".

The ceremony will be brought to a close with a round table involving five people who received Princess of Girona Foundation Awards in previous years.

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