19
Oct
16
Oct

IMG_7111El pasado 13 de octubre el IE acogió la presentación del libro Las plantas de uso medicinal en Lanjarón. Puerta de la Alpujarra de la antigua alumna Nítida Pastor (MBA 1988) y el Catedrático de Farmacia Joaquín Molero. Acompañaron a la coautora en la mesa Xavier Medina, Secretario de la Fundación El Alto, y Juan Jose Güemes, Vicepresidente Económico del IE y antiguo Consejero de Sanidad de la Comunidad de Madrid.

Introdujo el evento Juan Jose Güemes, en calidad de anfitrión, repasando la trayectoria y el vínculo con la casa de la coautora. También pidió una pronta traducción al inglés puesto que está convencido de que la extensa comunidad internacional del IE estará interesada en su obra. A continuación Xavier Medina explicó la labor de la Fundación El Alto, institución a la que se destinan los beneficios que resulten de la venta de la obra. Esta ONG está compuesta por farmacéuticos y tiene como objetivo mejorar de las condiciones sanitarias de varios hospitales de África.

IMG_7119Tras las ponencias preliminares la protagonista de la noche tomó la palabra. Las primeras palabras de Nítida Pastor estuvieron destinadas a Joaquín Molero, coautor de la obra y Catedrático de la Universidad de Granada, a quien disculpó por no haber podido asistir a la presentación. Prosiguió explicando las razones que le llevaron a comenzar este proyecto dos décadas atrás, cuando cursaba los últimos años de Farmacia. Durante dos años, con la supervisión del Profesor Molero, recopiló las 84 plantas que figuran en el libro tras múltiples conversaciones con lugareños, especialmente pastores, de la Alpujarra. Destacó que la peculiar ubicación de la sierra granadina, a gran altura pero cerca del mar, hace que en este lugar se puedan encontrar el 80% de las especies que hay en toda España. También explicó cómo llevaron la investigación del laboratorio al papel. La coautora explicó como consiguieron demostrar la consistencia entre el uso popular y los principios activos de las plantas y el beneficio. Destacando que “lo más importante es conocer la correlación entre la tradición y la ciencia que valida el uso”. De hecho compartió que ella veía su obra como “un libro de cocina”, donde las plantas eran los ingredientes y los usos las recetas. Finalizó su ponencia diciendo que el objetivo de la obra era “devolver a Granada lo que Granada nos dio” y realizando una bonita analogía entre el pabellón de papel y su libro “coger raíces y proyectarla al futuro”.

La obra combina el saber popular y análisis taxonómico de una forma ordenada y amena explica, entre muchas cosas, las propiedades de cada planta, la forma de utilización popular y su uso farmacológico. Fue Bestseller en la pasada Feria del Libro y se puede adquirir en el la Tienda del IE (Maria de Molina 4)

14
Oct

Svetlana Alexiévich, or the hidden voice

Written on October 14, 2015 by Susana Torres Prieto in Literature

susanaBy Susana Torres Prieto, Professor of Humanities at IE University and IE Business School.

Don’t get me wrong, it must be terribly difficult to award prizes, of any kind. It must be, therefore, even more difficult to award one as important as the Nobel, and in a discipline as unmeasurable as literature. This year’s laureate, Svetlana Alexiévich, has been awarded a distinction previously granted to Pasternak or Solzhenitsyn, Mann or García Márquez, to name only a few. Only 24 hours before knowing the name of the winner, we were remembering the killing of Anna Politkóvskaya nine years ago, shot by a professional killer in the lift of the block of flats where she lived in Moscow. Could both facts be related?

Judging literature has become increasingly difficult since the dawn of post-structuralism and deconstruction, and the search for anything that might resemble an official, or uncontested canon, despite best efforts made by critics such as Harold Bloom, is often met with suspicion by those who prefer to be conceptual, or simply mistrust any sort of cultural dominance on the part of followers of traditional trends. Certainly, one could tell the story of two young lovers whose families disapprove of their love in a Twitter, or in three acts of a full play by Shakespeare, but the difference between the former and the latter is only whether you actually want to know what Shakespeare, in the mentioned case, thought about forbidden love and how good was he in keeping your attention going so the audience would not abandon the theatre. The difference is what we usually call literature. As A.C. Grayling mentioned in the last Hay Festival in Segovia a few days ago, listening, letting the text speak for itself, is one of the great adventures of the human spirit, being able to converse with those long gone, or, indeed, as he graphically put it, being able to “go to be with Jane Austen” from time to time.

Enjoyment is an essential part of any art, and the same goes for literature and too often we tend to forget that literature is made with words, words used differently, words placed differently, words saying something different and in a different form than in our everyday talk. If that were not the case, we would all be Nobel laureates.

Svetlana Alexiévich is a brave and courageous woman who has always tried to give voice to those whom official accounts of history and propaganda have tried to silence and forget. Her books on uncomfortable issues of the Soviet past of her native Belarus, Ukraine and Russia have not granted her much official endorsement in that part of the world, and she clearly steps in a literary tradition of Russian literature different from the great 19th century novels that clearly goes back to the “social sketches” inaugurated by Aleksandr Bestuzhev, Marlinsky (1797-1837) and was taken to unexpected levels of artistry by Anton Chekhov, a form of literary realism that denounced the poor conditions of the majority of the population by focusing on every-day, unimportant and monotonous details and that, maybe thanks to its  shortness and apparent lack of open criticism to the government, managed to bypass, unnoticed, the censorship of Soviet authorities. A form of literature in which both Mikhail Bulgakov and Ryszard Kapuściński, to name only a few, learnt to write, both with excellent results.

Svetlana Alexiévich shares with the widely mourned journalist Anna Politkóvskaya her permanent compromise with those the officialdom wants to leave behind, make them disappear from history, like the characters in George Orwell’s 1984. Anna died in Moscow, Svetlana lives now in Germany, but their fingers are pointing at the same direction. Whether that incredible merit is to be endorsed by a Nobel prize of Literature is another matter.

12
Oct

santiagoBy Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University

What makes a good boss? For some respected business gurus it’s a somewhat dehumanized individual focused on results—typically measured over a short period of time through scorecards or dashboards—, hypercompetitive, and who never lets their feelings or instincts interfere with getting the job done. Furthermore, bosses can never have a friendship with their subordinates for fear of compromising their need to drive them harder, to correct them, or eventually to sack them.

This rather rigid interpretation is pretty much that of Harvard Business School’s Linda Hill and Kent Lineback, a veteran manager, as spelled out in their bookBeing the Boss: The Three imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader (1): bosses cannot be friends with their subordinates. And while building friendships with employees, they argue, is a natural tendency among humans to look for the best in people, to avoid conflict, or to sympathize with the personal or family situation of others, they also warn that bosses can use friendships to secure support and better performance.

Instead, they say, professional relationships should be governed by other factors. To begin with, friendship should never be a means to end. Furthermore, true friendships can only take place between equals. Bosses are there to exercise pressure when needed so as to produce better results; friendship is about reciprocity. And of course, as Hill and Lineback point out, it is simply not possible to be friends with the entire workforce.

Which is all well and good, but as we know from experience there is always a utilitarian aspect to all friendships: we tend to have certain expectations from our friends, whether we seek their support, advice, or simply a good time when we see each other.

At the same time, employees will have certain expectations from their bosses, and if these are not met, may prompt them to leave the company. I think we all know by now that one of the main reasons people move on is because they can’t get along with their boss.

“Philia (the Greek word for friendship), is the motive for society” (2) wrote Aristotle. “Society depends on friendship. After all, people would not even take a journey with their enemies” (3). I believe the same principle applies to the world of work, which is typically a microcosm of society. Aristotle believes that there are three different kinds of friendship; that of utility, friendship of pleasure, and virtuous friendship “for what the other is”, because both “resemble each other in excellence.” The first two types of friendship, says Aristotle, tend to be temporary, while the third includes elements of the first two, and is the true friendship. This type of healthy friendship is found among virtuous people and “lasts as long as they are good, and excellence is something lasting.” (4) But could such a friendship develop in a business context, for example between boss and employee? I think Aristotle would agree it can, provided that the relationship is built on “excellence”. Either way, says the philosopher, such friendships are uncommon. Read more…

7
Oct

las-plantas-de-uso-medicinal-en-lanjaron-puerta-de-la-alpujarraIE Humanities Center, en colaboración con IE Alumni Association, tiene el honor de invitarle a la presentación del libro “Las plantas de uso medicinal en Lanjarón. Puerta de la Alpujarra, de la Doctora Nítida Pastor y del Doctor Joaquin Molero, el martes 13 de octubre a las 19.30 h.

Tras un siglo XX de vertiginosos avances en la medicina científica, el siglo XXI está siendo el del reconocimiento de la medicina tradicional.  Las plantas de uso medicinal en Lanjarón. Puerta de la Alpujarra recopila y compara el uso tradicional que se le da a las plantas medicinales, junto al análisis, y referencias científicas que en la mayoría de casos refrenda el porqué de estas tradiciones. La visión del presente y futuro de la aplicación de las plantas medicinales, tanto a nivel etnobotánico como científico, se puede deducir a través de la lectura de la obra.

Intervendrán: Dra. Nítida Pastor, directora europea de Estrategia Profesional y Relaciones en MeadJohnson y Antigua Alumna del IE Business School (MBA 1988), Dr. Joaquin Molero, Catedrático de Botánica, Facultad de Farmacia de Universidad de Granada, y D. Xavier Medina, secretario de la Fundación El Alto. El evento será presentado por D. Juan Jose Güemes, Vicepresidente Económico de IE Business School.

La presentación se desarrollará en el Pabellón de Papel del IE Business School situado en c/ Serrano, 99.

En caso de ser de su interés, ruego confirme su asistencia en HumanitiesCenter@ie.edu

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