Isabel Aguilera: “85% of the wealth of nations comes from innovation. Therefore, in a changing environment, it is necessary to innovate”.
Digitalisation can solve major societal problems from a collaborative public-private point of view for the development of cities.
Alicante, 4 October 2022 – The first Alicante Futura International Congress, organised as part of Alicante City Council’s strategy to boost the technology industry in the city and promote job creation in the sector, under the title ‘The tomorrow that moves us’, held its first day today. The event, which is being held today and tomorrow at the Alicante Provincial Council Auditorium (ADDA), was opened by the Mayor of the city, Luis Barcala. Isabel Aguilera, strategy and innovation consultant and associate professor at ESADE, former president of GE, former DG Google Iberia, former COO of NH Hotels, former General Electric, former CEO of Spain, Italy and Portugal, Dell Computer, gave the opening speech.
The Mayor of Alicante opened the meeting by highlighting the work being carried out by Alicante Futura and emphasising the importance of holding this congress as a key element “for the city of Alicante to become the world benchmark in the field of entrepreneurship and technological development to which we all aspire”.
The programme was divided into two blocks with different themes, on the one hand “Technological challenges and opportunities for governments and public administrations” with the opening speech by Isabel Aguilera, strategy and innovation consultant and associate professor at ESADE, former president GE, former DG Google Iberia, former COO NH Hotels, former General Electric, former CEO Spain, Italy and Portugal, Dell Computer, who spoke about the different challenges and opportunities of technology, as well as the advantages that innovation brings in each and every one of the social, economic, political and business areas. “85% of the wealth of nations comes from innovation. Therefore, in a changing environment, it is necessary to innovate,” said Isabel Aguilera. To achieve this, leaders must attract talent by “offering challenges with a guarantee of success – talent does not want to be made easy, but to feel valued, challenged: only with you will we achieve this milestone”, concludes the expert.
The first round table discussion ‘The public administrations of tomorrow’ was also held, with the participation of Luis Barcala, Mayor of Alicante; Juan Pedro Moreno, President of the advisory board Digitaliza Madrid of the Community of Madrid; Ana Comellas, founding partner and CEO of Miriapods and economist of the podcast ‘This is how it works’ of Forbes. The discussion, moderated by Juan Ramón Lucas, focused on the need to apply new technologies to public administration as a tool that helps to facilitate any process or public management for citizens.
The mayor of Alicante, Luis Barcala, has emphasised that in the process of digitalisation of the administration “the human factor must be irreplaceable in dealing with the citizen”. In this sense, Moreno stated that the administration must put the citizen at the centre in a transversal way so that digitalisation brings speed, simplicity and efficiency. Meanwhile, Comellas argued that in order to make progress in digitisation, the administration must first know what society needs.
In the second block of the day, ‘Time for the economy: smart, sustainable and technological companies’, a round table discussion took place, made up of Ignacio Valor from Air Quality & Climate; Jose Vicente Castell from Vicky Foods; Simón José Puliod from Agbar, and moderated by Antonio Sánchez Zaplana, president of Alicantec. The participants addressed issues such as the importance of proposing solutions to care for air quality; and the need for sustainability to form part of the business strategy in a cross-cutting manner. One of the conclusions of the debate was that digitalisation can solve the major problems of society from a collaborative point of view. In this sense, public-private collaboration with universities has been defended for the development of cities.
The first day of the I International Congress Alicante Futura has closed with the intervention ‘Tomorrow of the Social Economy and the Third Sector’, carried out by David Henneberger, director of Friedrich Naumann Foundation Madrid, who in a conversation with Ignacio Amirola, president of INECA, spoke about the functions of the German political foundations and the projects they are carrying out in Spain and the Mediterranean. Henneberger analysed the current macroeconomic situation and the Russian conflict, taking into account entrepreneurship, creativity and diversity as economic factors. Finally, the speaker gave some guidelines for young people in Spain to have more opportunities and the implications of migration in Spain in this regard.
A SHOWROOM OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
The congress also has a space made up of the companies Vodafone, Uware Robotics, Robotikids, Next Electric Motors, GDV Mobility, Alicante Investment Agency (ALIA), Caixa Bank Day One and LIUX, in which they will inform and present their new products and trends.
These companies offer experiences with augmented reality glasses and metaverse; robots; underwater drones; and virtual tours of the first and only 100% Made in Spain hybrid car.