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  • Sportspeople Pau Gasol and Teresa Perales, and cardiologist Valentí Fuster, will be sharing the stage at the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony

Sportspeople Pau Gasol and Teresa Perales, and cardiologist Valentí Fuster, will be sharing the stage at the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony

Aeronautical engineer José Miguel Bermúdez, chemical engineer María Escudero, chemist Guillermo Mínguez, social entrepreneur Arancha Martínez, singer Soleá Morente, cellist Pablo Ferrández and French organisation Article 1 will receive their awards on 28 June.


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Girona, 15 June 2018 – Basketball player Pau Gasol, Paralympic swimmer Teresa Perales and cardiologist Valentí Fuster will be opening the presentation ceremony for the 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, which, presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, will bring around 500 attendees, mostly young people, to Girona on 28 and 29 June. The three invited guests will open the event on Thursday by taking part in a conversation led by Spanish National Radio journalist Pepa Fernández, who will be presenting the event together with Lucía González, one of the participants in the ‘Talent rescuers’ programme. Employability, sustainability and promoting young talent provide the central theme for the events organised for the end-of-year celebrations held annually by the Foundation: the 2018 FPdGi Awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 28 June at Espai Mas Marroch – Centre d’Esdeveniments  del Celler de Can Roca (Vilablareix), while the ‘Talent rescuers’ meeting will be held on Friday 29 at Hotel Camiral from Caldes de Malavella.

The award ceremony: role models for today’s society

Pau Gasol, Teresa Perales and Valentí Fuster have been invited to intervene in these two days because they provide young people with clear examples of hard work and talent at the service of society. Creativity and innovation in their professions have always defined their lives, making all three of them tangible exponents of the achievement of excellence through effort and humility in their respective fields.

Pau Gasol, the greatest Spanish basketball player of all time, is a symbol for society both for his sporting success and his social and humanitarian work; Teresa Perales, swimmer with a legendary record of 26 Paralympic medals, is a shining example of determination and courage through disseminating and improving sporting activity for disabled people; and Valentí Fuster, cardiologist and communicator, honours us as a world-renowned reference whose vision of health promotion was taken as the route map to be followed in order to end the cardiovascular disease pandemic at the last World Congress of Cardiology.

Pau Gasol, Teresa Perales and Valentí Fuster will be joined at the 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony by Borja Ibáñez, Miriam Reyes and Auxiliadora Toledano, winners of previous editions, in the usual dialogue led by journalist and comedian Juan Carlos Ortega. During the ceremony, in which video-profiles of the winners will be shown, the voices of Granada singers Estrella and Soleá Morente will accompany the audience together with the Extremadura Youth Orchestra, conducted by Andrés Salado, 2016 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award winner.

The event will culminate in a speech by one of the winners, on behalf of all this year’s award winners, followed by a speech by HM the King.

The 2018 Awards: seven role models for 21st-century young people

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 years, and that of an entity working for young people, an award that for the first time this year went to an international organisation.

During the first half of 2018, the respective juries selected this year’s winners. Made up of recognised experts in each of the categories and former winners, the juries, who met in different cities (Merida, Seville, Soria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat), decided to recognise, in the ninth edition of the Awards, the singer from Granada Soleá Morente and the cellist from Madrid Pablo Ferrández (FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo), the chemical engineer from Caceres María Escudero and the chemist from Seville Guillermo Mínguez (FPdGi Scientific Research Award ex aequo), the aeronautical engineer from Barcelona José Miguel Bermúdez (FPdGi Business Award), the social entrepreneur from Madrid Arancha Martínez (FPdGi Social Award) and the French organisation Article 1 (FPdGi International Organisation Award).

Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain will be presenting the awards to the winners during the ceremony on Thursday 28 June.

Creating sound universes from new interpretations of the universal repertoire is reserved for unique talents such as young cellist Pablo Ferrández, FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo; conceiving and developing a revolutionary propulsion system for shipping, using the wind and rigid sails as disruptive elements, could change maritime transport thanks to visionaries such as young aeronautical engineer José Miguel Bermúdez, FPdGi Business Award; creating a model of efficiency that allows humanitarian organisations to identify society’s most vulnerable undocumented groups demonstrates the faith in change that guides young entrepreneur Arancha Martínez, FPdGi Social Award; forging ahead on a rule-breaking path, honouring her roots but freely evolving towards new musical styles is reserved for members of well-respected families of artists such as young singer Soleá Morente, FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo; leading scientific research projects on new materials that allow us to obtain clean energy and sustainable fuels is the dream come true of young chemical engineer María Escudero, FPdGi Scientific Research Award ex aequo; securing European funding to develop pioneering scientific research projects at the Molecular Institute of Valencia gives a sense of pride to young chemist Guillermo Mínguez, FPdGi Scientific Research Award ex aequo; and promoting a social project that transforms society by fighting for young people’s employability, regardless of their social backgrounds, is the raison d’être of Article 1, FPdGi International Organisation Award. These are some of the contributions that the young people and organisation who have won the 2018 Awards have made to our society.

‘Talent rescuers’ programme: annual meeting of a rising project

The award ceremony will be followed the next day, 29 June, by the annual meeting of the second of the FPdGi’s central programmes, ‘Talent rescuers’, through which the entity is taking another step forward in its commitment to youth employability by supporting this transforming project whose differentiating feature is its promotion of labour mobility among Spain’s autonomous communities.

The programme is addressed to young people aged between twenty and thirty years old with higher education and who are currently unemployed, underemployed or searching for their first jobs, with the aim of promoting social mobility and meritocracy in accessing the job market. Currently, there are more than 3,000 young people registered who are benefitting from professional mentoring from senior executives from the 31 participating companies, specialised training at the development centres of the same companies, a job offer board and mobility grants.

Amber Case’s calm technology

Invited to this event are the young people and mentors involved in the participants’ professional development activities. Amber Case, a researcher specialising in human-computer interaction, will encourage the audience to reflect on this second day of activities with an opening talk about calm technology and how the increasing power of technology in our lives is changing the way in which cultures think, act and understand their worlds. Case is a member of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and visiting researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media. In 2008 she founded CyborgCamp, an ‘unconference’ about the future of the relationship between humans and technology.

Dialogues, workshops and conversations: choose your own itinerary

Also taking part in the workshops, conversations and talks during the day will be the director of Sartia and social and digital selling trainer Álex López; neurologist and cofounder and CEO of Savana Ignacio Hernández Medrano; Ashoka Spain ambassador Antonella Broglia; founder of The Passion Generation Marcos García; global head of KPMG Sustainability Services José Luis Blasco; 2013 FPdGi Social Award winner and general manager of the Itaca Educational Association Felipe Campos; general manager of Equipo Singular Paco Caro; talent innovation manager at Ferrovial Joan Clotet; director of People Development at Suez Water Spain José Manuel de Haro; executive director of Escuela de Mentoría María Luisa de Miguel; team leader at BBVA Spain Elena Tomico; general director of People and Resources at Enagás Javier Perera and general director of the Tomillo Foundation, Mercedes Valcárcel.

Profiles of the winners, speakers and participants

Our 2018 Award winners:

María Escudero, 2018 FPdGi Scientific Research Award ex aequo

“We conduct research to improve people’s lives. Without science there is no development, no progress, no future”

Regarding María Escudero, the jury highlighted her work on developing electrochemical catalysts based on metallic nanoparticles that could replace noble metals to reduce costs and increase efficiency in processes for obtaining clean energy. It also recognised the scientific, technological, energy-generation and social impact of her work, which will contribute towards slowing climate change.

Dr Escudero graduated in chemical engineering from the University of Extremadura and has a PhD in chemistry from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). She is researching into new materials which, through electrochemical reactions, allow us to obtain clean energy and produce sustainable chemical compounds and fuels. Her main objective is to design and optimise the active role of catalysts for specific reactions in energy conversion devices such as batteries and electrolysers, in order to provide society with a new energy system based on clean and non-polluting energy.

Further information about the winner

Video interview

Guillermo Mínguez, 2018 FPdGi Scientific Research Award ex aequo

“Science must be integrated into policies to promote objective management based on knowledge”

The jury recognised Guillermo Mínguez for his work designing hybrid molecular sieves that allow tailored nanostructured materials to be synthesised. It also highlighted the impact of his work on magnetic metallic organic frameworks (MOF), from his fundamental study to its application in sensors and catalysis. According to the jury, the new porous materials developed will have a huge impact in fields such as the environment and energy.

A graduate in chemistry from the University of Seville and PhD from the University of Sheffield (UK), he is currently a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science at the University of Valencia, where he leads four research projects. Dr Mínguez Espallargas’ work focuses on the development of new porous materials, conceptually different to those that currently exist, with the goal of making them capable of very selectively storing some gases and, therefore, applying them to the separation of these gases. The implementation of magnetic properties enables us to detect the incorporation of these gas molecules and develop sensors. These scientific advances could revolutionise areas such as the environment or energy.

Further information about the winner

Video interview

Pablo Ferrández, 2018 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo

“Talent alone, without work and effort, doesn’t get you anywhere”

The jury chose this cellist for his brilliant artistic career and his extraordinary capacity to create sound universes through new interpretations of the universal repertoire.

Ferrández began playing the cello with his parents at the age of three, and at thirteen he joined the renowned Queen Sofía College of Music, being one of the youngest students ever accepted and where he won the prize for best student for four consecutive years, leading to him receiving a full grant to cover his studies. In October 2011 he joined the postgraduate programme at the Kronberg Academy (Germany), studying under Frans Helmerson, thanks to the support of a Sodalitas Stipendium grant. He has also studied under such renowned musicians as David Geringas, Philippe Muller, Gary Hoffman, Arto Noras and Ivan Monighetti.

Further information about the winner

Video interview

Soleá Morente, 2018 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo

“My father taught me that without risk there is no creativity”

The members of the jury rated Soleá Morente as a completely genuine artist with a capacity to lead musical projects in a world that is often difficult for women.

Singer and actress Soleá Morente studied Hispanic philology at the University of Granada. Possessor of a magnificent combination of styles, dominated by her roots, when she finished her degree she launched her artistic career by collaborating with her father, the famous flamenco singer Enrique Morente. Since then, her reverential respect for flamenco and her restless desire to continue her father’s work as an interpreter of tradition, have made her one of the figures with the most courage and personality on today’s music scene, in which she has carved out her own space without losing touch with her roots.

Further information about the winner

Video interview

Arancha Martínez, 2018 FPdGi Social Award

“In the first world we live with our backs turned to reality, within a privileged fiction”

The jury praised the project It Will Be as a highly innovative management model based on cutting-edge technology that is sustainable and will have a great impact on improving efficiency in international cooperation actions. Regarding its founder, the jury considered her an inspiring person who has chosen to infuse her personal and professional life with social commitment.

A graduate in business science and international relations from ICADE, at the age of twenty-four Arancha Martínez already knew that it was possible to change the world. In 2008 she resigned from her job at a bank in Dublin to travel to India as a volunteer guided by one clear purpose: to be an active part of change. It was in this country that she found her vocation: to take advantage of her knowledge and professional experience of strategic marketing and finance techniques to apply them to the social sector with the aim of maximising the social impact of cooperation and humanitarian projects. In 2009 she founded It Will Be, an organisation that seeks to bring efficiency and professionalism to the humanitarian sector in order to maximise aid and resources to reach many more people.

Further information about the winner

Video interview

José Miguel Bermúdez, 2018 FPdGi Business Award

“In our culture we must learn to internalise mistakes as part of success, not as part of failure”

The jury recognised the business and research experience of José Miguel Bermúdez leading industrial projects with great social impact linked to highly competitive sectors that are very difficult to break into, as well as his capacity for exemplariness, differentiation, impact on society and excellence in business management.

José Miguel Bermúdez graduated as an aeronautical engineer, specialising in space vehicles, from UPC-BarcelonaTech. In 2014, after watching a television documentary with his father on the effect of environmental pollution caused by maritime transport, he decided to set up bound4blue, with the aim of revolutionising maritime transport by using the wind as complementary propulsion through an innovative rigid sail system. The technology developed enables the sails to generate part of the power needed, which reduces fuel consumption and sulphur emissions.

Further information about the winner

Video interview

Article 1, 2018 FPdGi International Organisation Award

The jury stressed this entity’s efforts in favour of young people’s employability, regardless of their social, economic or cultural backgrounds, its impact on a large number of young people at risk of exclusion, the fact that it is an example of growth thanks to the merger of two different entities, its work on the integration of education and employment, and its capacity to actively involve the various stakeholders in society: businesses, professionals, volunteers, public and private institutions and education centres.

Based in Paris, Article 1 is the result of a merger between two associations fighting for equal opportunities, Frateli and Passeport Avenir, founded in 2004 and 2005, respectively, based on the same observation: social inequality and discrimination feed on young people from the lowest income brackets. Guided by the common values of justice, equality, fraternity and liberty, over the years these two associations have developed programmes that seek to build links and arrange meetings between these young people and volunteers/mentors from the professional world who want to share their knowledge and commitment.

Further information about the organisation

Our speakers:

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol is a professional basketball player who is currently signed to the San Antonio Spurs and the Spanish national team. In 2001, he became the second Spanish player in the NBA and the first foreign player to win the Rookie of the Year award. In 2006, he was the first Spaniard to play an All-Star Game. Gasol was selected in overall third position in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, although his rights were transferred to the Memphis Grizzlies with whom he played six and a half seasons.

In addition to his professional activity, Pau has always shown an interest in making an impact off the court, especially when it comes to health and childhood issues. For that reason, since 2003, Pau has been an ambassador for UNICEF’S Spanish Committee to raise awareness of the precarious situation of many children across the world. Furthermore, in 2013, Pau and his brother Marc created the Gasol Foundation, whose objective is to reduce childhood obesity by promoting four key areas: a healthy diet, physical activity, adequate rest and emotional wellbeing.

Teresa Perales

Teresa Perales Fernández (Zaragoza, 1975) is the Spanish athlete who has won the most medals ever in the Paralympic Games (26 in total). After losing mobility in her legs at the age of 19, she set out to make history and started to swim. A specialist in personal development and growth, she has demonstrated that where there’s a will, there’s a way and that success is a matter of attitude. She has been given the Freedom of the City of Zaragoza, has been awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in Work (2017) and was a finalist for the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport (2013). She also holds an honorary doctorate from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (2017), among other recognitions. She is the author of La fuerza de un sueño (‘The power of a dream’; Editorial Conecta, 2014) in which she uses her own personal experiences to talk about the enormous transforming power hidden in the phrase ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

Valentí Fuster

Valentí Fuster graduated in medicine from the University of Barcelona and has worked as professor of medicine and chief of Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University and currently at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Winner of the Prince of Asturias Award, he is the only cardiologist to have received the highest research awards from the four leading international cardiology organisations. In addition, he is general director of the Carlos III National Centre for Cardiovascular Research in Spain and president of the Advisory Health Council of the Spanish Ministry of Health and director of the US Government’s Global Health and the Future Role of the United States committee, as well as president of the world’s leading cardiology societies, including the World Heart Federation. He has published more than 1,000 scientific articles and is one of the most cited authors in the world. A great communicator, he has also written several books for the general public.

Amber Case

Specialised in human-computer interaction, and in how our relationship with information is changing the way in which cultures think, act and understand their worlds, Amber Case is a member of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and visiting researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media. In 2008 she founded CyborgCamp —an ‘unconference’ about the future of the relationship between humans and technology —, and she was also cofounder and CEO of Geoloqi, a software company based in the location acquired by Esri in 2012. Author of the book Calm Technology: Design for the Next Generation of Devices, Case is one of National Geographic’s emerging explorers, has been included in Inc. magazine’s 30 under 30 honourees and was named by Fast Company as one of the most influential women in technology. She gave a keynote talk about the future of the interface at SXSW 2012, and her TED talk ‘We are all cyborgs now’ has been watched by more than a million people.

The Princess of Girona Foundation

The FPdGi is a private foundation set up by civil society in Girona in 2009 and backed by 88 distinguished trustees. The honorary chairman is His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, on behalf of his daughter Princess Leonor. The Foundation seeks to become a benchmark at national level in supporting young people in their professional and personal development through the three areas in which it exercises its influence: firstly, the FPdGi Awards, the main focus of which is identifying young people with talent who can act as contemporary role models for other young people; secondly, the ‘Talent rescuers’ programme, which centres on promoting the employability of young people aged between twenty and thirty by fostering labour mobility among Spain’s autonomous communities.

The Foundation’s third sphere of action is the ‘Educating entrepreneurial talent’ programme, which is addressed to teachers and aims to raise awareness of, foster and guide entrepreneurial educational as a key aspect for young people’s future, helping them to configure entrepreneurial schools in which entrepreneurship is a pillar of education. The first ceremony for this programme will be held this autumn.

In 2018, the FPdGi will spend 2.8 million euros on programmes that benefit young people.

For further information:

FPdGi Press

Sílvia Bonet | [email protected] | M. 689 351 612 | [email protected] | Tel. 972 410 410

Press and Communication Service

Marc Gall | M. 619 307 620 | [email protected]

Beatriz Moyano | M. 619 754 429 | [email protected]

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