Fernando Lacasa, Secretary-General of the Board of Directors at Lacasa chocolatiers; Dr Jorge Solano, Head of the Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Unit at Quirónsalud Hospital; Cross-country runner Toni Abadía; Journalist Encarna Samitier, editor of the newspaper 20 minutos and Miguel Ángel Berna, dancer, choreographer and the founder of Arkhé Danza in the event in Zaragoza.

Zaragoza joins ‘Values to Build Dreams’ campaign

Over 300 students from five learning centres took part in the event organised by the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, Marca España and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

Today, the Chairman of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, José Luis Bonet, and the High Commissioner for Marca España, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, introduced Values to Build Dreams’ in Zaragoza. The campaign, organised by the three organisations already mentioned, is aimed at promoting the importance of effort and self-sacrifice, inquisitiveness, humbleness and zeal for improvement among the youth.

These values are embodied by Marca España Honorary Ambassadors like basketball player Pau Gasol, scientist María Blasco, opera singer Ainhoa Arteta, businessman Francisco Martínez-Cosentino, chef Joan Roca, mountaineer Edurne Pasaban or flamenco dancer Sara Baras. They all appear on the video shot for the campaign and screened at the presentation.

The event took place at the Zaragoza Chamber of Commerce auditorium on 2 March, gathering almost 350 students from five local schools – Sansueña, Colegio Inglés, IES Miguel Catalán, IES Goya, IES Corona de Aragón – and their teachers.

According to José Luis Bonet, ‘the idea came about in a talk with Pau Gasol. We agreed on the need to support and encourage talent in Spanish youth, and to help young people face challenges in their lives and careers.’ In his speech, Mr Bonet addressed the students: ‘’You will have to face difficult things in life, and values like determination or perseverance will help you get along and succeed in both the personal and the professional spheres.’

At the presentation, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros highlighted the fact that all the people in the video ‘reached professional success without giving up on their values.’ ‘You will see,’ he added, that ‘success comes before work in the dictionary. However, there is no success without effort. In fact, it is the only way to pursue your dreams.’

The panel

The campaign video was followed by a panel hosted by journalist Eva Pérez Sorribes, featuring leading local figures.

Fernando Lacasa, Secretary-General of the Board of Directors at Lacasa chocolatiers (and member of the fourth generation of the family that founded the company), evoked his childhood days, spent among sugar sacks and talks about chocolate and business. ‘Hard work, team work and self-sacrifice are a must. But sometimes you also need a spark that kindles the fire in you,’ he said.

Dr Jorge Solano, Head of the Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Unit at Quirónsalud Hospital, told the students how he had discovered his passion for medicine: ‘It was when the Corona de Aragón Hotel burnt down, in 1979. I was passing by and I felt useless; I just could not help anyone. This decided me: I wanted to become a doctor.’ Then he surprised his audience with his concluding remark: ‘I wish you fail many times, for it will mean you have tried and learnt a lot.’

Cross-country runner Toni Abadía, Spanish champion, told the audience that he started running when he was late for school. ‘And then I had to get back home, where I had left my books!’, he added. ‘Running and sports at large teach you that victory is not the real goal. Tenacity is the key to success,’ he said.

Journalist Encarna Samitier, editor of the newspaper 20 minutos, encouraged youths to follow their dreams. ‘But do not go mad if you had no big dreams! Paraphrasing Oscar Wilde, we can say that it takes a smart boy or girl to overcome failure; fools, on the other hand, cannot get over success.’

Finally, dancer and choreographer Miguel Ángel Berna, founder of Arkhé Danza, highlighted the importance of being rooted in tradition and encouraged the students to play an active role, get inspiration from their elders and ‘dance, dance, dance’.

In his closing speech, Antonio Rodríguez Ramos, Director-General of Innovation, Equality and Participation of the Government of Aragon, underscored the importance of dreams: ‘Life is better with dreams. They keep you going,’ he said. Likewise, Manuel Teruel, Chairman of the Zaragoza Chamber of Commerce, insisted on values like fair play and learning, and invited the audience to harbour their own hopes and dreams.’