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  • 26 Close Encounters at the heart of Girona

26 Close Encounters at the heart of Girona

280 young people took part in 26 informal encounters with Forum speakers, award-winners, trustees, and members of the Prince of Girona Foundation Advisory Council.

  • Marc Bonavia, Close Encounter

The Close Encounters, held in cafés on Plaça Independència in Girona, were valuable for exchanging projects, concerns, and points of view on various professional fields, ranging from the profiles and educational background required to start up a business to advice on overcoming the obstacles found by all entrepreneurs on their path to success.

 Among those gathered to share queries and experiences were secondary school students carrying out entrepreneurship projects, university research groups wanting to place their findings on the market, and young graduates aspiring to set up their own projects.

Here are some of the reflections heard today:

"Why not make our first failure into our next success? If you start a project thinking that you are going to get rich, that’s a bad start. It’s preferable to have a team of motivated partners sharing a similar profile and determined to make the project work rather than signing on one outstanding person. Entrepreneurs don’t have to be kamikazes, but they do need to have something of the hero in them."
Marc Bonavia. Founder of SIT Mobile and Chairperson of AIJEC Young Entrepreneurs of Catalonia. 2011 FPdGi award-winner.

"In a company there has to be a lot of exchanges between the different departments. That enriches the company."
Judit Viader. General Director of Frit Ravich

"There is currently a lack of strong leadership in the EU; however, we must all make the European project our own."
Manuel Marín. Chairperson of Iberdrola Foundation.

 "Companies with a sense of responsibility end up being more efficient and more innovative, and their brands more appreciated, which then makes them attract more talent and more investors"
Ignasi Carreras. Director of ESADE Institute for Social Innovation

"The problems of the education model required for the future are global. However, it is clear that the university needs a change of people and a change of attitude."
Israel Ruiz. Executive Vice-president and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"In life, there is nothing better than experience, both good and bad".
Catalina Hoffman. Founder and CEO of Vitalia. 2013 FPdGi award-winner. 

"My favourite panel of experts are children, because they have not yet been conditioned by the established social paradigms."
Borja Vilaseca. Founder of Koerentia. Creator of Akademia.

“An idea in itself has no value. What is of value is how we put the idea into practice!"
Sergi Figueres. Co-founder and CEO of Worldcoo

"People’s mentality is changing thanks to entrepreneurs."
Ricard Garriga. Entrepreneur and recruiter of innovative companies for YouNoodle entrepreneurs’ social network.

"Everything is possible, unless you don’t bother to try."
Teresa Perales. Paralympics swimmer and winner of 22 medals.

As well as the 26 Close Encounters, Girona’s Casa de Cultura hosted 18 Open Sessions, workshops, and practical classes on various subjects, at which over 270 persons participated.

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