Barcelona, first European iCapital

Last March 11, during the 2014 Innovation Convention, organized by the European Commission, Barcelona was named the first European Capital of Innovation. The Catalan capital has prevailed over finalists Grenoble and Groningen in a contest that also involved Paris, Espoo and Málaga. The winning project highlights the predominant role of the city in promoting new technologies and bringing together government bodies and citizens, in order to enhance sustainable economic growth and improve the people’s welfare. The award, endowed with € 500,000, will be used to expand and scale Barcelona’s efforts in innovation.

There is no doubt Barcelona has a lot to offer to its people and visitors: it is a great city to work in, to live and to enjoy and discover the beauty of life. The city is continuously reinventing itself and this creates and attracts talent. Outside, the Barcelona brand it is very positive as well.

However, the city it is suffering from the economic downturn and unemployment rates associated with Spain. How do local experts value the innovative capacity of Barcelona? Does the city deserve de award? Is Barcelona ready to become a world-leading region in innovation such as Silicon Valley? What it lacks?

Barcinno, an online platform to share the stories, knowledge & events of Barcelona’s startup and tech communities, made a round among different change makers, influencers and innovation practitioners to hear their story. They are Catalans, Spaniards and Internationals working at different sectors divided across three pillars: knowledge, government and industry. Jorge Juan Férnandez, Head of Academics at Moebio was among the experts interviewed.

The publication resumes the four big needs addressed by experts that Barcelona should solve to become an innovation hub and highlights the strengths of some of its clusters to create new opportunities for innovation. The report is divided in two parts. The first one is accessible here. The second one, here.

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We can train you, but we can’t change your DNA!

Google is famous for having spent years hiring people focusing on GPAs, brand name schools and interview brain teasers. In a recent article at The New York Times, Google’s head of people operations, Laszlo Bock, detailed what the company looks for now. And increasingly, it is not about credentials.

Succeeding in academia or having studied at a prestigious university isn’t always a sign of being able to do a job. However, intellectual humility, i.e., the ability to step back and embrace other people’s ideas it is a sign of open-mindedness that allows people to learn.

The great fallacy of the Information and Knowledge Society is that what matters is knowledge. It’s not true. The key assets are skills. Skills are what transform knowledge into something of value. To excel in tomorrow’s job market, those who think better and have the skills to use their knowledge to the best possible use, in different contexts and with different goals, enjoy a competitive advantage over those who don’t.

Coding, creating a business plan, prototyping… all of them can be taught. How to be optimistic, to have a “glass half-full mentality”, to stay motivated, feel passionate, be very patient and very persistent to face the challenges of entrepreneurship not. The latter is the kind of people we seek for Design Health Barcelona, people who want to create and drive their own future. Because, as Herb Kelleher, the successful entrepreneur co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines once said:

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Barcelona tops the list of best cities for higher education

Barcelona is one of the most cosmopolitan, modern, dynamic and stylish capitals in the world. It is ranked the sixth best urban area for business in Europe and the 5th best city in Europe for scientific production.

Now, The Times Higher Education Supplement has included Barcelona in the list of the top 18 university cities in the world. The survey has evaluated that Catalonia has 12 universities in total, with a student population of around 235,000. Of these, eight are situated in Barcelona, with three making the top 250 of the latest World University Rankings.

All these elements position Barcelona as one of the leading cities in the development of a global knowledge-based economy at present and in the coming years.

Evidences show that we were not wrong when we decided to base d·HEALTH Barcelona in this amazing city! By the way, if you want to know the cities that complete the list here is the article here.