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XX ESADE Alumni Annual Conference in Barcelona

21/05/2015 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Barcelona

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Live the Eday! XX ESADE Alumni Annual Conference in Barcelona


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Winning Numbers in the Giving Back raffle to raise funds for ESADE scholarships


The Palau de Congressos de Catalunya hosted the ESADE Alumni Annual Conference in Barcelona yesterday: this year with a new, experiential format involving the entire audienceThe keynote speaker, Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, gave a talk entitled "The changing role of business: leadership in the 21st century" after being presented with the ESADE best leadership award for his support for socially responsible corporate growth. A new feature was provided by Mag Lari who performed an entertaining magical trick created specially for the occasion.

Xavier Sanchez (Lic&MBA 97/AMP 08), Director of ESADE Alumni and co-presenter of the conference together with the journalist Verónica Sanz, thanked the audience for coming along and the sponsors – La Caixa, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira and SEAT – and other collaborators for their contributions.

Miguel Trias (MBA 89), ESADE Alumni President, then gave a speech urging all those present to help improve politics, in view of the impending local elections: "In addition to implementing effective compliance and governance mechanisms, we are all responsible for building a better future both inside Spain and elsewhere". He also emphasised that the global standpoint was essential "not only to shape the strategies of our companies, but also to plot our professional careers. This is why geostrategy is now a cornerstone of the courses provided by ESADE and ESADEGeo, and one of ESADE Alumni’s main tasks is to cater for the increasing demands of our former students around the world".

Miguel Trias also announced that his speech it would be his last as the president of ESADE Alumni at the annual conference: "ESADE Alumni has a remarkable team, dynamic clubs and chapters with enthusiastic, capable boards, graduate delegates and over 18,000 alumni willing to share and collaborate. I would like to thank all of them, all of you, most sincerely". He went on to say that the aim of the alumni network was to spread and share ESADE’s values: the pursuit of excellence, the desire to better oneself and an enterprising spirit always with a view to respecting and understanding others and working towards mutual wellbeing.

New leadership

The winner of the ESADE 2015 Award was Paul Polman. Speakers during this presentation included Xavier Sanchez and Miguel Trias, and also Manuel Raventós, President of the ESADE Foundation board of trustees. The ESADE Awards are held by ESADE Alumni to honour people and organisations whose career, activities or services rendered are characterised by values in keeping with ESADE’s mission, values that can be an example for others.

In his speech after receiving the award, Polman urged companies to demonstrate their commitment to society by implementing policies of corporate social responsibility in order to help solve the most urgent challenges facing the world, particularly the challenges of climate change and the increasing wealth of a minority of the population to the detriment of the majority. He emphasised the need to improve how we work and do business in order to create a more inclusive and sustainable world. "Capitalism is the best system we have created, but it must evolve in search of collective wellbeing", he said. 

The Unilever CEO mentioned his company as an example and said that during his mandate he had tried to create the right environment to enable people to think and behave differently with a view to building a better future each day. In this respect, Polman urged the audience to create the leader of the future and emphasised that ESADE was the right place to achieve this.

The magic of ESADE’s values 

Part of this event organised by ESADE Alumni to forge closer links between alumni that deserves a special mention was Mag Lari’s performance. His surprising apparitions drew laughter from the audience and against a very modern-day backdrop, the magician adapted traditional magic tricks to ESADE’s values, involving the entire audience and culminating in a grand finale that was one of the high points of the conference.

The new educational experience 

Eugenia Bieto (Lic&MBA 73/PhD 08), Director General of ESADE, wound up the talks and began her speech with an emotional mention of three special people no longer amongst us: Juan Sureda who died two months ago, and the former students Ariadna Falguera and Rogelio Oficialdegui, passengers aboard the Germanwings plane that crashed in the Alps.

Bieto went on to explain ESADE’s progress under its new team of directors and the 2014-18 Strategic Plan setting out the priorities for the forthcoming years with a very clear goal: to ensure that the time spent at ESADE leaves a unique mark upon its alumni. "Today’s students learn in a different way, they are driven by different things, they are faced by a world that poses different challenges, and ESADE must give these young people what we define as a singular, innovative and life-changing educational experience. We want to give them an experience in the broadest sense of the word, in which diversity and the desire to work together are essential. But what must differentiate this educational experience from other proposals is the singularity based on ESADE’s values, a singularity able to respond to the learning methods of a hyper-connected society and able to adopt blended learning (the combination of face-to-face and on-line teaching) to make them feel that ESADE has transformed their outlook", he explained. Bieto also said he hoped this experience could be available to everyone with talent, regardless of their purchasing power, thanks to ESADE’s scholarship fund which has trebled in four years.


At the end of the event, participants had the opportunity to boost their networking whilst sampling products at stalls in the new e-market, thanks to contributions from Hellmann’s, Cornetto, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Knorr, Actimel Pro-Vital, Organic Gourmet, Frit Ravich and Boadas 1880.

Attendees also had the chance to be the first to try out the very latest technologies and innovations at La Caixa’s Innovation Corner: the contactless wristband and other mobile devices, and a selfie photo call featuring a replica of a  student’s room to let alumni relive their times at ESADE. Participants could post their funny selfies on the new ESADE Alumni Instagram at #IamESADEalumni.

Finally, the Giving Back draw to raise funds for the ESADE Scholarship fund took place – yet another of the evening’s very successful new concepts – and twenty-three lucky participants won exclusive prizes donated by sponsors.

A DJ entertained the audience in the music area until the early hours. Yet another successful and unforgettable evening of reunions and new contacts between ESADE alumni.


Are you ESADE? Live the Eday!

Come and celebrate the 20th Annual Conference in Barcelona, a DIFFERENT day full of surprises for all alumni. 

7:00 pm Doors open 

7:30 pm Start of event

Welcome and introduction:
Xavier Sanchez (Lic&MBA 97 / AMP 08), Director of ESADE Alumni

Miguel Trias (MBA 89), President of ESADE Alumni

ESADE award ceremony

Lecture: "The changing role of business: leadership in the XXI Century"
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever

The magic of the classroom

Closing speech:
Eugenia Bieto (Lic&MBA 73/ PhD 08), Director General of ESADE

9:00 pm Networking in the Emarket:
- Enhance your networking while stopping for product degustation at one of our many stands. 
- Be the first one to try the latest in technology and innovation.
- Take pictures in front of the photocall where you will be able to relive your student days; come and discover why.
- Take part in the Giving Back raffle with exclusive prizes, to raise funds for ESADE scholarships. Together we can create more opportunities for talent! Check out the rules and prizes

This year the attendance at the conferene has a sure prize! Get a 2 months free subscription to La Vanguardia. Just sign up now!

You have registered already…Congratulations! If you haven’t done so yet, what are you waiting for?

After the Annual Conference you will be receiving an e-mail with the subscription link.



Follow us on Instagram and meet the successes of the other Alumni!

Upload your photo to Instagram with your promotion and your career goals achieved through ESADE. Add @esadealumni and the hashtag #IamESADEalumni. Or send it to   esadealumninetworks@esade.edu

 Follow and participate on the event with the hashtag #EdayBCN

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