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IMPULSA - Fòrum Fundació Príncep de Girona
IMPULSA - Fòrum Fundació Príncep de Girona

Closing session IMPULSA Forum by HRH the Prince of Asturias and Girona


Good afternoon to all and welcome to those who have just joined us in this final ceremony of an intense day full of major contributions and moments from which we have doubtless learned something and which will give us matter for thought and oblige us to reflect. Beyond all this, however, having reached this point, we can state that we feel very good, confident, and satisfied at having started something worthwhile.

This is the end of this 1st Edition of the IMPULSA FORUM, held here, in Girona, in this capital with a unique personality, that knows how to combine history, the vanguard and culture. For this reason, on behalf of the Princess and my own, I thank all the Gironans and their Authorities for the support they have given the Foundation and for the interest they have shown in this and all our projects. Girona has charmed us once again.

Allow me to express further thanks to all those who have made possible the holding of this FORUM: firstly, to the Founders and the Trustees of the Prince of Girona Foundation – their generosity, their financial effort and their commitment to society deserve the utmost acknowledgement. Likewise, my thanks to the Foundation team –headed by our President T. Esteve, with the three Vice Presidents, the Director, the Secretary and their collaborators– who in barely one year have started up our first projects as well as others in collaboration with other institutions. Their excellent work, together with the enthusiasm that moves them, fills us with hope as to the success of our initiative.

All we who form part of the Foundation feel today an inner joy and a legitimate pride because, in a few short months, we have succeeded in organizing this Forum, which aspires to make Girona an international center of reference for our goals.

Thanks as well to the members of the Advisory Council for their constant support and their very valuable contributions to the definition and orientation of our activities. They have also been the members of the jury responsible for choosing the magnificent group of veritable EXAMPLES formed by our first prize-winners.

On reaching the end of this first “IMPULSA experience”, however, I wish to acknowledge sincerely the contagious enthusiasm and effort of the Organizing Committee –chaired by Josep Lagares– which has really made this meeting feasible. Likewise, our thanks to the Rector of the University of Girona for her efforts, her words and her contribution, and our gratitude to Alfons Cornella for his intense involvement and the visual map of the day, and to the parallel workshops and their excellent presentation of results.

I am convinced, moreover, that the splendid aesthetic proposal of the Jove Ballet de Catalunya and the performance of Silvia Pérez have won the affection and admiration of all. Their synthesis of sensitivity and discipline, and of talent and technique has been the best prologue to the end of this meeting.

Over the course of the day we have become acquainted with many fresh, original and advanced proposals for building the future with a renovating spirit.

The speakers who have taken part, from their great professional diversity, are “agents of change” and promoters of the transforming spirit of our youth, because they have created innovative programs that raise the quality of life of their beneficiaries and strengthen their role as active citizens in their communities. Their projects modify attitudes and behaviors, highlighting the importance of ideas, of hopes and of the sense of solidarity in the building of the future.

We have also enjoyed the presence and the words of great personalities who have made an impact on our society with their life and their works; and we have become acquainted with the opinion of great experts and emergent entrepreneurs, holding discussions with them all; and above all we have studied ecosystems for stimulating young people’s entrepreneurial character.

In the IMPULSA FORUM, energies of all the social sectors converge to improve the personal and collective development of our young people, to strengthen their entrepreneurial initiative, to favor the development of their qualities and to provide channels for their hopes and dreams. Indeed, all of you now form part of IMPULSA as well – today you have caught its message, I am sure, and we ask you to spread it.

All those who have taken part in this meeting strengthen our conviction that the education of our youth is the aspect of the greatest significance for our future development and welfare. In the globalized world, the growing role of the knowledge economy is of key importance; for this reason we need to educate and train our young people with the greatest possible solidity in order to allow them to forge their future with more capacity and freedom; to generate stable employment; to help to assure that growth will be sustained and will protect the environment; to foster creativity and research, and, in short, to stimulate human progress in a more inclusive and solidary way.

For the Prince of Girona Foundation, which aspires –as I said this morning– to be the present of our future, the suitable training of our young people, their capacity of initiative and their creative vitality should allow them to be the protagonists of the building of the better and more solidary society to which we all aspire.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we constituted this Foundation one year ago, I pointed out that we proposed to embrace a broad horizon and that our goals would be ambitious. Today we can honestly and confidently state that the Foundation is a tangible reality and not a decorative artifice; it is a solid and cohesive project. It is an institution with an enormous potential to create value for the society which it serves and from which it has arisen.

It is a project that has the participation of many of Spain’s foremost companies as Trustees; that has very prominent personalities of our business, scientific, academic, cultural and sports worlds as advisors, and that is directed by a capable, motivated and committed management team.

In short, it is an integrating institution that, in positive coexistence and fruitful collaboration with other persons and organizations of all Spain, is rooted in this land, with a calling to promote and project its values and traditions.

It is a land that we who are here have always known to be committed to culture, work, effort and progress, with a great social sensitivity and a consummate sense of entrepreneurship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The spirit with which this FORUM was born finds its best reflection in these young people to whom we have just awarded the PRINCE OF GIRONA FOUNDATION IMPULSA PRIZES. The prize-winners are five people under the age of thirty-five years, from different points of our territory, and a Barcelona foundation. To each of them, our most sincere congratulations. Thank you for your renovating example.

The IMPULSA Prize in the Category of the Social Area has gone to Ruth Ruiz, a social entrepreneur who combines reason and heart, determination and generosity. With her effort the LUDALIA discotheque has achieved that young people with an intellectual disability may enjoy a normalized leisure of high quality. It has also succeeded in creating an inclusive environment that permits the beneficiaries of this activity, who are persons at risk of exclusion, to accede in a fully natural way to relaxation or entertainment, together with the other members of society. Congratulations, Ruth!

Óscar Fernández-Capetillo and Borja Ibáñez have been awarded ex aequo the IMPULSA Prize in Science and Academics. They have both succeeded in mobilizing their energy and knowledge in favor of the best scientific research in key specialities of medical progress: oncology and cardiology, in which Spain is advancing with a high level of excellence and which, moreover, have a large development potential. Both of these young men are making contributions to pioneering projects and they stand out for the quality of their respective publications. To Óscar and Borja, our congratulations as well.

The IMPULSA Prize in Culture and Sports has gone to Alba Ventura for her determination from a very early age to strengthen her musical sensitivity through a learning endeavor that has been as demanding as it has been tenacious. Sensitive and the master of a marvellous technique, Alba reaches with her music extraordinary heights of expressive capacity and maturity, which we recognize in her performances and which she puts into teaching. Alba, we hope to be applauding you again in the future.

The IMPULSA Prize in Business has acknowledged in Pau Garcia-Milà his level of knowledge, intuition and technology as a computer expert. He also stands out for the enormous amount of hopefulness and drive that have allowed him to overcome no few difficulties. With two colleagues of the same age –to whom we convey our warm greetings–, Pau has designed and established his own project, transforming it into a new, useful and efficient company in such a competitive and imaginative sector as that of the New Technologies. Congratulations to Pau and to the other two co-founders of the company.

And lastly, we have had the joy of awarding to Fundació Èxit the IMPULSA Prize for Organizations. For nine years now Èxit has been devoting the determination, hopefulness and skills of its members to fostering the social insertion of young people at risk. Its success is that of others. To this end it has succeeded, with a minimal structure, in building bridges between social and business activities. Quite a few young people have found a new assurance and serenity through a professional activity managed by Èxit. For this reason I would say that today we are all with Èxit. Congratulations!

Each one of the prize-winners and their prize-winning endeavors is deserving of the reflection by Inés Sanguinetti, who states that "creating is worthwhile". Worthwhile indeed is the creativity expressed in your dreams and in your drive and work, which open even more Girona, Catalonia and all Spain to the spirit of excellence promoted by our Foundation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This spirit of excellence should be a source of inspiration today, faced as we are by the economic crisis. “Crisis”, a word that we have not pronounced all day, is one which generates in many citizens feelings of frustration and despair in response to this very adverse situation.

At the same time, we citizens also find that our lives are changed, sometimes daily, by scientific advances and the development of the New Technologies, and we are all aware of the need to find coordinated, global and collective answers to the challenges of worldwide scope that go far beyond the traditional territorial confines.

We live, all told, in times of far-reaching changes and transformations, in which there are both uncertainties and new opportunities, and we should react to this situation with a renewed spirit, banishing all temptation of indifference, resignation or conformism.

In our most recent history we have the example of how a generation of young people, under very difficult and complex circumstances, contrived successfully a model of positive coexistence and progress such as had never before been achieved. But as for them, in their times, now for us, in ours, determination and good wishes alone do not suffice.

I have no doubts about the capacity which we Spaniards possess to confront and overcome the challenges of the new reality if we are capable of formulating new common proposals and objectives on firm solid bases. We should recover the values and principles on which the success of any project is based: we have to foster talent, aim for excellence, reward effort and well-done work, acknowledge merit, and value the capacity of sacrifice.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Words are capable of moving the heart but only examples move the will. Today, in this Auditorium, we have been witnesses of brilliant ideas, unforgettable experiences, innovative projects and renovated attitudes. Let us put them into practice and, with our conduct, let us be an example of the spirit that has moved us throughout this day.

Many thanks to you all for your effort; for being here, and for your shared determination on this day full of human, professional and social interest that I now officially close, with the hope that we may be meeting again at the next Edition of the IMPULSA FORUM.

Congratulations to all!!



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