2
Dec

The subtle voice of intelligence

Written on December 2, 2016 by Susana Torres Prieto in Conference, IE University

11428Dileep Padgaonkar, former editor of The Times of India, passed away in Pune last Friday November 25th.

Dileep was our guest in Segovia during the last Hay Festival and during his conversation he could expose his particular view of India’s current challenges in view of the changes undergone by the country in recent decades. For someone who has been on the forefront of journalism for more than four decades, it might seem something easy to do. But Dileep not only had a special talent to see the dots between questions that most of us missed, and formulated the most poignant questions, he also had the special charm of someone who is equally comfortable, and competent, discussing the future of the Congress Party in India and the nature of love and sexual drive in both Western and Eastern literary traditions.

His exquisite education, by Jesuits, as he liked to point out, his many years spent abroad and his witnessing the second half of the last century, with its many lights and shadows, gave him a rare capacity for understanding the many depths of the human soul. He was a delight to listen to, he was a breadth of fresh air mixed with calmed wisdom, he was the West and the East in one (a clear proof that intelligence does not know any geographical borders). And he will be much missed.

28
Nov

img_9270On Thursday November 24th the IE Humanities Center hosted the second conference of the Cycle India: Present and Future, focusing this time on the subject of politics, under the title “Politics: the Largest Democracy”. This event was dedicated to the complex Indian political reality and the discussion panel included IE University’s IR Professor Babita Bhatt, Universidad Complutense’s Professor and expert on India Eva Borreguero and IE’s IR Academic Director Daniel Kselman, who acted as moderator.

Professor Kselman introduced the conversation speaking about the incredible diversity of India, a country with more than a billion people and 22 official languages and remembering how this “diversity in democracy” was thought impossible to survive at the time of its independence as, for example, Britain thought it was rather a civilization than a nation. However, as professor Kselman said “the diversity glues the country as they need one another” specially after configuring a multi party system, despite the different interests of state-level democracies, as well as national and regional parties, which has contributed to a progressive institutionalization of democracy.

img_9272Professor Bhatt started the discussion on the first thematic block of the event focused on domestic policies of India, centered on the two parties that have ruled India since the independence, namely, the Indian National Congress (I.N.C.) and Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P). After explaining the common view of each of them (I.N.C. is considered a dynastic party of the Nehru-Gandhi family and B.J.P. a pro Hinduist nationalist party), it was inevitable to talk about current Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. Professor Bhatt gave an exhaustive description of the controversial figure, often compared to Trump or Putin and of his intention to project an image of a C.E.O rather than a politician, of an honest man who is an example of social promotion (he comes from a humble background), dedicated to his country (a single man whose only concern is the welfare of the Indians) with a successful record (as governor of Gujarat he got its economy increased by double figures during his term in office). The panel then analysed his two years in office and the recent issue of the demonetization and how could it affect the average citizen as well as politics in terms of party funding.

The second block was dedicated to India’s foreign affairs and its capacity to equate its economic position with its international influence. Professor Borreguero was quite clear India in expressing that “India has too many internal problems to become a global player and too many img_9234differences with his neighbours” referring to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. The moderator ask both speakers on the lasting Pakistani-Indian Conflict on Kashmir. Both experts agreed that the more likely scenario was interspersed periods of tension and calm between the two nuclear powers, since an external enemy is always useful in domestic policy, and that an open conflict or a long lasting peace was quite a remote scenario.

As a conclusion, Prof. Borreguero insisted on the “elastic” capacity of the Indian democracy to face present and future challenges and Prof. Bhatt pointed out that maybe the biggest threat was the growing Indian middle-class who does not necessarily perceive democracy as a form of government leading to economic growth.

The moderator invited the audience to give their insights in all of these issues and the discussion was enriched by the comments of IE’s students.

25
Nov

IE University estrena el Centro de Creatividad de la Real Casa de Moneda de Segovia

Written on November 25, 2016 by Administrador de IE Blogs in IE University

picture1El Edificio Cultural de la Real Casa de Moneda de Segovia, en tiempos la casa donde estuvo instalada la fundición de metales, es ahora el Centro de Creatividad de IE University (IEU), un espacio que podrán compartir los alumnos del centro universitario privado y los jóvenes de la ciudad para convivir y elaborar proyectos conjuntos. Al entrar se ve una gran estrella multicolor de ocho puntas y la leyenda IEU Art Society Creativity Center, en la misma planta de calle están la sala de exposiciones, la de danza y teatro y la sala de yoga (no debe sonar extraño, en la Universidad de Stanford hay una similar en el patio de la Escuela de Negocios); en la primera hay salas de descanso (con mesa de billar), el estudio de música o sala de ensayo, espacios para conferencias y para reuniones, y en el ático está el estudio de pintura y otra zona de descanso.

Acondicionar este edificio, utilizado por IE University desde hace cuatro años en virtud del acuerdo suscrito con el Ayuntamiento, ha costado cerca de 100.000 euros, aunque como indicó este jueves el vicerrector de alumnos, Miguel Larrañaga, «ahora es cuando empezamos a gastar». El responsable universitario se refería al coste de dotar de contenido a las actividades previstas en este Centro de Creatividad, que ya cuenta con las instalaciones y equipos necesarios.

Larrañaga fue el maestro de ceremonias de la inauguración, a la que asistieron el rector, Salvador Carmona, la alcaldesa de Segovia, Clara Luquero, el diputado delegado del área económica de la Diputación, Jaime Pérez, las concejalas de Cultura y de Turismo y Patrimonio, Marifé Santiago y Claudia de Santos, otras autoridades académicas, profesores y alumnos. Este espacio ha sido concebido gracias a la renovación del convenio firmada el pasado mes de mayo, que otorga a IEU la utilización del edificio durante cuatro años más. Aunque será un uso compartido y, en realidad, su apertura supone iniciar una nueva fase de utilización del inmueble. Y con un nuevo concepto.

Salvador Carmona destacó en la inauguración que la puesta en marcha del centro entra en los valores humanísticos de la universidad, que llevan el concepto de la educación más allá de la acumulación de conocimientos, y que en este caso combinan las actividades culturales con el carácter emprendedor que es consustancial con IE University como lo fue para la primitiva escuela de negocios del Instituto de Empresa. También con la internacionalización, otro valor fundamental del centro privado, que es «la universidad más internacional que hay en el mundo», con un porcentaje de alumnos extranjeros que supera el de cualquier universidad americana y que es el resultado de muchos factores, del campus de Santa Cruz la Real, de la internacionalidad de la ciudad y de «lo que tratamos de inculcar a los estudiantes, que es fundamental el encuentro entre los estudiantes y los jóvenes de Segovia».

Este es uno de los objetivos del Centro, cuyo coordinador y gestor cultural es el segoviano Juan Carlos Redondo. Será uno de los responsables de que, como destacó la alcaldesa, de allí salgan proyectos interdisciplinares, compartidos por los alumnos y los jóvenes de Segovia que tendrán este lugar como punto de encuentro, también con las instituciones y las empresas. Porque, declaró Luquero, «la innovación la tiene Segovia en los genes y la creatividad está en la base de toda innovación». Por eso mantiene su sueño de que Segovia sea ‘territorio creativo’, y por eso este centro «encaja en la estrategia que tenemos diseñada para la ciudad», dijo.

El centro estará abierto la próxima semana, de 16:30 a 22:00 de lunes a viernes y de 12 a 20 los sábados. Los jóvenes de Segovia interesados pueden contactar con las concejalías de Cultura y de Patrimonio o con la Oficina de Alumnos de IE University.

Publicado en El Norte de Castilla (24/XI/2016)

24
Nov

IE GOES TO COMPIMUN2016

Written on November 24, 2016 by Administrador de IE Blogs in IE University, International Relations

unnamed-6By Carlota Marcoartu Jauregui (BIR 2018)

Last week members of the IE Model United Nations Club, had the opportunity to participate in the Universidad Complutense Model United Nations 2016. All of our participants in this MUN did a great job, representing IE University and walking away from the conference feeling their achievements after the challenge it had posed to themselves.

Our delegates have had the opportunity to take part in this competition as representatives of states in committees such as Joint Crisis (UK representatives), European Commission, Euro Group, Security Council, Peacekeeping Operations Committee and UN Women. IE team was comprised of Renata Villafuerte Co-Chair of ONU MUJERES committee, Carlota Marcoartu Chair of Peacekeeping Operations unnamed-5 Committee and thirteen students who participated as delegates. For the majority of IE students this MUN has been their first of many more yet to come. In spite of this, four IE students walked away on Friday 18 with more than just the participation diploma, the award to Best Delegate from the Euro Commission went to Elizabeth Prieto and three mentions were given to Elena Balrod who competed in the Euro Group, Xénia Elena Greenhalgh and Layan Al-sayeh, delegates in the European Commission. Thus all the IE students who participated must be congratulated, for their hard work and dedication.

As students, their participation in this Model United Nations allowed them to share their past MUN, debate experiences as well as acquire knowledge and skills that will help them in their future careers. This conference has enhanced their abilities while experiencing diplomacy. Furthermore it has been a chance to promote a better understanding of what the United Nations is today and a way to gain further experience in this field, to broaden horizons while enhancing a career profile. Being an opportunity to put into practice all the knowledge they have now the pleasure to know.

23
Nov

A terra da boa gente

Written on November 23, 2016 by Fernando Dameto Zaforteza in Travel

img_8340When we decided to spend our last summer vacations in Mozambique, I was embarrassed by my poor knowledge of the country. In fact, I only had two references dating back to my teenage years.  

The first one was an outstanding football striker, known as the ‘Black Panther’, who lead Benfica to two U.E.F.A.‘s European Cup titles. My classmates back in England first told me about him –I have always admired the way British recognize foreign sportsmen, I felt touched by their devotion to Seve Ballesteros. Eusébio, born in Maputo, was not an exception, even people of my generation were aware of his great performance at the World Cup celebrated in England in 1966.

The second reference was a Bob Dylan’s song, with a beautiful violin, included in his LP Desire. I never knew the story behind the song, but everything iimg_7946n the 2016 Literature Nobel Prize invites to interpretation. The truth is that Mozambique has such a great melody and the lyrics are so catchy —“The sunny sky is aqua blue, and all the couples dancing cheek to cheek” — that you immediately think “I would like to spend some time in Mozambique”.

In order to fix that ignorance it was critical to do some reading. It was the adequate moment to follow the advice of Admiral James G. Stavridis, former NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and current Dean of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, who at an inspirational lecture at IE said that the text that helped him most to understand the pashtun mindset was a novel about Alexander the Great.

Bearing that in mind I bought two novels, Confession of the Lioness by local writer Mia Couto, and A Treacherous Paradise by the Swedish bestseller Henning Mankell (there must always be a first time with Mankell). The first one is set on current Mozambique, it is actually based on a real experience of the author’s, who works at the Natural Environment Ministry. This remarkably poetic book explains in detail the survival of indigenous rites and how they cope with the modernity of the 21st century. The second one is a thriller set in Lourenço Marques, the former name of Maputo, and manages to transmit the reader a sense of how was the city at its first stages, when the status of img_8258capital was granted. It fictionalises in a entertaining way the building up of the city, special mention merits the beautiful train station, at a time when is was populated by different peoples that composed its landscape, from European sailors on their way to Australia to Indian lawyers in Johannesburg (like Gandhi was at some point), Boer mining tycoons, Portuguese bureaucrats, etc.

Two facts are made present the moment you set foot in the country: that you are in Africa and that Mozambique was a Portuguese colony.

Mozambique, as most of the places of sub-Saharan Africa, can be described with one word: cheerful. Cheerful are the people, the music and the colours, as cheerful is their way of living. The best thing is that it is contagious. The percussion-based, repetitive music, the psychedelic clothes that will always look out img_3059_newof place in Europe, but there look great, and the rich diversity of flowers, make of Mozambique of a colourful postcard.

There is, naturally, a strong presence of the Portuguese past. The legacy of this period, deeply felt in Mozambique’s culture and architecture, is huge, as is the case with most things that last five centuries (1498-1975).  Curiously, most of the younger generation prefer to talk in Portuguese rather than the local languages, by contrast to what you see in the neighbouring South Africa.

The historic and artistic heritage is incredible, those five centuries account for a wide array of architecture. Probably my favourite place was Ilha de Moçambique, which was the capital for 500 years and became during the second half of the 20th century a popular holiday destination for metropolitans. You can find buildings form the splendour of the age of the discoveries taking you back to the 16th century (Governor’s Palace, Roman Catholic monasteries and churches, Fort São Sebastião)  as well as to recreational facilities of the sixties such as a cinema or a swimming pool, today sadly abandoned. The most surprising thing is that most of the buildings have been abandoned, giving the town a post apocalyptic look. The best imag4448example is the beautiful 19th century Old Hospital, a huge infrastructure that now uses less that 10% of its capacity.

A completely different place is Maputo, with its marvellous steel colonial buildings from the early 20th centuries, similar to those found in Cape Town, taking one back to that industrial period just before the Great War. Equally enchanting are their sixties villas, single-floor buildings with a garden and jacaranda on the wall, reminiscent of the times of décolonisation, that happy period of hope and excitement brilliantly described in Ryszard Kapuscinski’s books. Maputo is where you get the cultural vibe of the country, I will always remember a fantastic concert of a local musician Carlos Gove in the Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano.

img_7976A big surprise was the level of social harmony, despite the current civil war between the factions of FRELIMO and RENAMO. The truth is that the coexistence of different religions is exemplary, between Roman Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Protestants. In a town such as Ibo, for example, with an overall majority of Muslims, the respect for the different confessions or traditions is extraordinary. In Ilha de Mozambique, likewise, it was common to see Hindus and Muslims together, greeting tourists or showing their holy premises.

The explorer Vasco da Gama was one of the first Europeans to put a foot on Mozambican soil. Besides being one of the greatest sailors of all times, he named many places. When he met sultan Ali Musa Mbiki, he decided to called the land that he ruled, Moza-mbique Island, after him, a name that was later extended to the whole country. More accurate, perhaps, was he in his previous stopover, a few days earlier, in present day Inhambane. He was so impressed that he claimed it was the land of good people (“a terra da boa gente”), which is, translated into the local language, the present name of this city and region.

1 2 3 386

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept