13 December 2010
Their Royal Highnesses Felipe and Letizia, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, presided the Madrid presentation of the Prince of Girona Foundation (Fundación Príncipe de Girona) in one of a series of activities designed to promote the goals and mission of the Foundation. Similar activities have already been held in Girona itself, Seville, Zaragoza and Bilbao. The event was addressed by the eminent cardiologist and Prince of Asturias prize winner, Dr. Valentí Fuster. Three scientists from Institute IMDEA Networks – Dr. Albert Banchs, Dr. Sergey Gorinsky and Dr. Gianluca Rizzo – were invited to take part.
Yesterday (13 December) Institute IMDEA Networks attended the presentation of the Prince of Girona Foundation at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid. Five hundred politicians, business executives, journalists and representatives from the world of science and innovation were gathered together to learn more about this institution’s objectives first hand, which was founded in 2009 to provide support for the education and training of young Spanish people, so that they can work in the Knowledge Society, promote their talent and help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
In his speech, Prince Felipe highlighted the need to evoke the spirit of the Transition in Spaniards, as an example of courage, responsibility and commitment, so that “Spain is positioned as we would wish and as it deserves”. Prince Felipe underlined the “delicate” moment that Europe is currently facing due to the “great burden of the economic crisis” and the shift in the new international order’s political and economic center of gravity “from the Atlantic to the Pacific, towards Asia”.
In a world experiencing profound transformation, the Prince expressed his conviction that “a new mentality” is required, an openness to change, which demands that we “promote an entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people, awaken their creativity and ability to take the initiative, encourage them to have a positive and open attitude, foster their drive to build a better society”. “We need cultural and social entrepreneurs (…) in business, but also in the research and academic domains”, he declared. The Prince also highlighted innovation as “the most important motor of social development”.
Given the current “era of crisis, which is having a very strong impact on society at large but particularly young people, as it conditions or even frustrates their life plan,” Prince Felipe made a call for society to recover values such as integrity, merit, effort, appreciation for work well done and last but not least solidarity, because “the stature of a country should be measured in terms of the wellbeing and dignity of its most vulnerable members”.
Main speakers at presentation of Prince of Girona Foundation: (from left to right) Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Mayor of Madrid; Esperanza Aguirre, President of the Madrid Regional Government; the Prince and Princess of Asturias; Ángel Gabilondo, Minister for Education; Antoni Esteve, President of the Prince of Girona Foundation.