The sixth edition of the IMPULSA Forumhas ended today in Girona with the presence of more than 800 young people aged between 16 and 35 who participated throughout the morning in the different simultaneous activities organised around five thematic blocks, the main focus of which was to promote entrepreneurial initiative. Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain were present throughout the whole day, attending some of the talks and workshops taking place and interacting with the participants.
The event, designed to offer young people tools and resources to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills, talent and capacity, was held at the Girona Auditorium–Conference Centre with a new format that included forty activities involving some 70 speakers and professionals. The participants, from all over Spain, were able to exchange experiences with each other, with the guest speakers and a wide range of professionals and entrepreneurs.
Under the slogan ‘IMPULSA: the forum of your opportunities’, the Princess of Girona Foundation structured the event around five thematic blocks: Points of View, Professional Skills, Entrepreneurship Project, Personal Development and Educating Talent in Schools. These blocks each contained talks, round tables and seminars, as well as workshops to develop skills and capacities and specific training for presenting projects, among other activities.
“For us, this new format for the IMPULSA Forum was a challenge and we are very pleased with the result. We believe we have achieved the objective we set for ourselves: to transmit to young people that, despite living in a very difficult environment, this very environment can also generate opportunities”, explained Mònica Margarit, general manager of the Princess of Girona Foundation. Margarit added that the Forum “generates confidence and enthusiasm, transmits hope and excitement to the young participants, opens doors and uncovers their concerns”.
During the morning, young people listened to reflections on the evolution of the labour market, such as the talk given by Jaume Gurt, CEO of Infojobs: “We are on the threshold of a historic event: the retirement of the baby boom generation. Within the next five to ten years many people will be leaving the labour market but very few will join it. This will force four very different generations to work side by side in companies and they will have to move forward together”. Gurt was one of the speakers with a talk entitled “Fall in love to attract talent”, with the participation of Luís Marqués, head of Branding at Google; and the directors of Human Resources of Iberdrola Group, Ramón Castresana; FritRavich, Maria Saló; and Accor, Arantxa Balsón.
In another equally inspiring and optimistic line about the opportunities that are opening up for young people, Juan Ignacio Cirac, director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, explained that: “In science we often come up against the laws of nature; but rather than stop us in our tracks, they can open up a whole world of options”. During his talk “What will the supercomputers of the future be like?”, Cirac explained that there are companies, such as IBM, Google and Microsoft, working on prototypes of quantum computers and he warned the audience about the social unawareness of the current ‘scientific revolution’.
Professor of Theoretical Physics, Rolf Tarrach, spoke about “The pleasure of deciding” and stated that deciding “is one of the five basic pillars of life”, together with understanding, acting, feeling and sharing. Tarrach urged young people to make the most of their opportunities because “they are hardly ever repeated”.
Other speakers also talked about making decisions, including the inventor and founder of MIBA, Pep Torres, who said that “there are no good or bad ideas; there are those that are put into practice and those that are not”. “At first ideas are ridiculous; later they become a nice story to tell our grandchildren. Inventing means not being afraid”, said Torres during his talk “Free your ideas”.
One of the activities that attracted most interest was A Word from the Wise, in which eight young people put their entrepreneurial initiative to the test by presenting their projects to a group of experts and professionals who evaluated them and studied their viability. This council was made up of renowned professionals and entrepreneurs such as Adrián García-Aranyos, managing director of Endevour España; Ana María Llopis, founder and managing director of ideas4all; Carina Szpilka, founder of the venture capital fund K Fund; Francesc Fajula, director of Innovation at Banc Sabadell; and Xavier Pont, social entrepreneur, co-founder and managing director of the Ship2B Foundation, among others.
The sixth edition of the IMPULSA Forum was brought to a close by the Close Encounters sessions, which were held at lunchtime in two centrally located restaurants in Girona. These meetings, in reduced format with a maximum of 10 people per table, allowed young people to talk and share their experiences and projects with each other and with renowned experts and professionals. Ten of the 17 Close Encounters were led by speakers from this edition of the Forum, such as for example Francesc Fajula, director of Innovation at Banc Sabadell; Carina Szpilka, founder of the venture capital fund K Fund; Carlota Mateos, founder and CEO of Rusticae and Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in Davos; and Adrián García-Aranyos, managing director of Endevour España, among others. The remaining seven meetings were chaired by various member of the FPdGi Board of Directors and Advisory Council, such as the president, Antoni Esteve, and vice-presidents Gonzalo Rodés and Jaime Carvajal.