The prominent Mexican businessman, Carlos Slim, visited the ESADE Barcelona campus this morning to collect the award in honour of his professional career and firm social commitment announced at the 14th ESADE Alumni Day on 25th May.
He also delivered a speech, organised by the ESADE Alumni Finance Club, concerning the current climate in Latin America and repeatedly aired his grave concern for the evolution of the employment market as the first and foremost repercussion of the present crisis. "The most valuable investment to overcome the crisis is to combat poverty", he stressed, "and only through education and employment is this possible".
Carlos Slim weighed up the global crisis and defined it as a phenomenon "worse than a tsunami" because tsunamis "hit land, destroy all and then disappear", whereas today's situation is a "true deep-rooted economic crisis". According to Slim, now is the time to "reboot" and transform the present-day global society into "a new technological civilisation", leaving behind the industrial model in force. He noted that in 1996 alarm bells signalling a crisis began to sound in Latin America and that between 2000 and 2001 economic problems multiplied and recession began to hit. "It could have been all over in 2003", he claimed, "but fiscal policies applied at the time dragged out its consequences".
Scrutinising the knock-on effects of the crisis, Slim highlighted the social impact and rocketing unemployment as the major problems, and called for anti-cyclical policies to reduce and avoid unemployment. He also championed the backing of small and medium enterprises and "investment, even if non-recoverable". In the midst of this crisis climate, he underlined the importance of developing and maintaining infrastructures in the short term, as this creates a wealth of jobs although it doesn't entail growth.
Slim also pointed out that "modern-day society has a serious interest in the welfare of others and the fight against poverty", which is why he deems the incorporation of people into the employment market as imperative. Likewise, he stressed that societies must be technological and make major R&D investment into healthcare and the environment. Despite reiterating the extreme severity of the crisis, he feels optimistic about the opportunities that will arise in the next 10-15 years. "We will witness great entrepreneurs, new types of companies and innovative activities in fields such as healthcare, the environment, entertainment, and so on", he predicted.
On the philanthropic front, the Mexican businessman referred to several programmes he is developing in areas such as nutrition, healthcare, sport and culture to open up opportunities which promote the all-round development of people.
Today's event was also attended by Javier Santiso, Director of the Development Centre of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), who coincided with Slim that the social impact and unemployment will be the longest-lasting problems once the crisis has been weathered. Marcel Planellas, Secretary General of ESADE and member of the ESADE Alumni Advisory Board, moderated the event and Pedro Fontana, President of the ESADE Board of Trustees, Germán Castejón, President of ESADE Alumni and Xavier Sánchez, Director of ESADE Alumni, presented Slim with his award.
Carlos Slim, President of the Board of Administration of the Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina (IDEAL), will be visiting us to pick up the ESADE Awards, awarded during the XIV ESADE Alumni Annual Conference in Barcelona. Slim will make a speech on "The economic and social perspectives in Latin America".
12:30 p.m. “Economic and social perspectives in Latin America" by Carlos Slim, President of the Board of Administration of the Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina (IDEAL) and Javier Santiso, Director of the Development Center of the OCDE ((Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico).
Session moderated by: Marcel Planellas (LDC 87), Secretary General of ESADE.
1.15 p.m. "ESADE Award" for his career and social entrepreneurship.
Prize presented by Germán Castejón (Lic & MBA 81), president of ESADE Alumni and Pedro Fontana (Lic&MBA 74), president of the ESADE Foundation.