For the second year running, the Catalonia Congress Centre was the venue for the ESADE Alumni Annual Conference in Barcelona, the ESADE Alumni Association’s most emblematic reunion. The conference was attended by Javier Solana, former NATO Secretary General and currently President of ESADE’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics.
The conference was led by Jordi Alavedra (Lic&MBA 78) and began with a talk by Germán Castejón (Lic&MBA 1981), President of ESADE Alumni, who based his talk around three key points: ESADE Alumni, ESADE and the Grants. He highlighted the fact that this academic year, ESADE Alumni is celebrating 20 years "dedicated to bringing value to Alumni, to ESADE and to society¿. “We are probably currently one of the most active and global associations in the world,¿ he said, pointing out that “by the end of this year we will have organised more than 400 refresher programme events [...] more than 250 class reunions [...] and accumulated over 7000 pro bono consultancy hours for the third sector ". He praised Carlos Losada (Lic&MBA 79 and PhD 03) and his ten years as ESADE Director General, and ended by mentioning the 2010 Scholarship Programme: "No one knows the value of studying at ESADE better than you. To attract the best talent, we need a Scholarship programme like this one, and we encourage you to take part". By way of example, a video was then shown of alumni already involved in the programme talking about their experience whilst another three students with grants testified to the great opportunity that studying at ESADE has meant to them.
Carlos Losada addressed the perception of the role and function of public and private sector managers. "An axiological approach", he went on, "that leads us here in ESADE to train people to be competent professionals whilst developing their human awareness". He also mentioned ESADE’s commitment to "the companies, organisations and professionals who focus on success and are socially responsible". It was precisely with this main aim of attracting the finest talent, that as of September, he announced, ESADE’s new Director General would be Eugènia Bieto (Lic&MBA 73 and PhD 08).
This speech was followed by a video in keeping with the title of this ESADE Alumni Annual Conference about the international economic panorama. And who better to talk about this than international alumni living in Dubai, USA, India, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, China and the UK.
Reflections by Javier Solana
One of the foremost participants in the conference was Javier Solana. In conjunction with Marcel Planellas (PMD 87), ESADE Secretary General and member of the ESADE Alumni board of directors, he analysed the main challenges facing the world. Solana began his talk by pointing out that the "multipolar world is not necessarily the best" and highlighting the need to provide "global solutions for global issues". He shared other thoughts with alumni such as the fact that the boom in the world’s population will not occur "in our world, but beyond our frontiers and above all, in Africa".
The conversation between Marcel Planellas and Javier Solana covered other areas of interest such as Russia’s role, on which subject the President of ESADE’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics pointed out that Russia "must move towards a model of country that complies with the regulations and commitments acquired", and so must India and China. As regards these two Solana said, "We should talk about re-emerging countries for they both have experience and a wealth of culture they have been able to mature".
Similarly, on the subject of the future role of Europe, Solana spoke of "applying the Lisbon treaty in the letter and in the spirit". He went on to say that "ours is an important role because the way things are done in Europe appeals to many countries around the globe".
As the round table came to an end and in response to the question posed by Marcel Planellas about the importance of having a vision open to the world, Javier Solana commented on the global responsibility that every social leader must assume. In this respect and in reference to ESADE, he emphasised that "it has a commitment to society that appeals to me and satisfies me".
Xavier Sanchez (Lic&MBA 97 / SEP 08), Director of ESADE Alumni, was in charge of the awards. One of the most emotional moments came when the golden E was presented to Pere A. Fàbregas (Lic&MBA 67), the first President and current Honorary President of ESADE Alumni. Holding the award, he remembered when the association began, with himself and Francesc Rafart (MBA 68) as the driving forces behind it.
This was followed by the 2010 ESADE awards to: Juan Arena, for his "enterprising and innovative spirit" and for "boosting transparent corporate governance in companies"; Víctor Grífols, for his "brilliant business management as the head of the transformation of the Grífols group into a global leader in its industry"; and the Pont i Amenós brothers, Antoni, Ramon and Josep, for their "combination of strategic vision and quality in implementing the Borges group’s global leadership strategy".
As Víctor Grífols said, "I am proud of you and the work done for the institution", whilst Juan Arena also highlighted "the pride of working in an institution with so much rigour and impetus as ESADE". Finally, speaking on behalf of the three brothers, Antoni Pont mentioned his family and particularly his enterprising grandfather who set in motion the group that is now a world leader.
The networking cocktail in the Expo hall marked the end of this ESADE Alumni Annual Conference bringing ESADE graduates together once again.
On 22nd April, the XV Annual ESADE Alumni Conference will be held in Barcelona. Our special guest this year will be Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999), former High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (1999-2009), and current President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics. At the Annual Conference, Mr. Solana will share his vision of the geopolitical changes and the globalization effects that are taking place worldwide in a dialogue entitled "A Global Outlook on New Challenges".
Lecture by Germán Castejón (Lic&MBA 81), President of ESADE Alumni
7.10 pm Lecture by Carlos Losada (Lic&MBA 79 and and PhD 03), Director General of ESADE
Video: "Economic situation: An outlook from our international Alumni"
Dialogue: "A Global Outlook on New Challenges"
Participants: Marcel Planellas (PMD 87), Secretary General of ESADE and Member of the Executive Board at ESADE Alumni Javier Solana, President of ESADE’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics
ESADE Award giving ceremony
Closing address and networking cocktail in the Expo Room