Executives return to IESE classrooms in Madrid, Barcelona

  • IESE resumes on-campus activity with strict health protocols and hybrid classes

Barcelona/Madrid, June 15, 2020. IESE Business School today resumes its in-person classes and campus activities while following stringent health protocols. The Barcelona and Madrid campuses will host, from today and through July and August, programs geared towards executives based in Spain.

Between 80 and 90 participants each day will pass through IESE classrooms which have been adapted to continue offering a top-quality educational experience while also ensuring student and faculty safety. In recent months, IESE quickly and efficiently moved some of its programs to online formats due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Activities have also resumed on the Munich campus, although ongoing travel limitations have prevented the relaunch of in-person classes. The goal is to resume normal operations on the New York campus in September.

In returning to campus, IESE wants to take part in the gradual return to normal that has begun in many sectors.

“Organizations need to move and act decisively in order to restart and re-energize the economy as soon as possible. Helping businesses protect as many jobs as they can, ultimately helps people. At IESE, we’ve resolved to be part of the solution to the crisis,” said IESE Business School Dean Franz Heukamp.

A Plan Built on Three Pillars

To make sure that the return to the campus is carried out in an orderly manner that best protects the health of employees and students, IESE has been working for weeks on an exhaustive protocol that has been certified by the epidemiology team at Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic. The protocol is based on three fundamental points:

  1. Facilities and people. IESE has prepared its facilities and staff for this new stage with improved technology, redesigned spaces, training for online teaching and other operation operations, and measures concerning flexible schedules and work-family balance.
  2. Health and prevention. IESE has designed a comprehensive hygiene and prevention protocol that goes beyond that required by health authorities and includes the following measures: all IESE participants and employees must be tested before their first time back on campus; individuals complete a health status questionnaire every day they access the facilities; there are temperature controls at entrances; mask use is mandatory and there is interpersonal distancing of two meters in all spaces. Additionally, cleaning and disinfection measures have been instituted in all reopened spaces, and special air purification systems have been installed.
  3. Innovation. IESE has planned to relaunch on-campus teaching while maintaining the hybrid (classroom and online) format for any participant who’s unable to attend in person, and by offering a number of new and innovative online programs.

Cutting-Edge Hybrid Formats

In this new, post-confinement stage, IESE aims to continue offering managers a transformative, innovative and, above all, safe experience that will help prepare them to have the sort of positive impact that society needs now more than ever.

Participants who are studying remotely will be able to follow their classes in full, including the use of whiteboards, projections and other materials. Cameras, screens, speakers and microphones have been installed so that professors and students in the classroom can interact with those who are at home, seamlessly and in real time.

In addition, IESE has innovated and launched programs to specifically meet the needs of managers and businesses during the health crisis. Among them is Project Safeguard, focusing on crisis management, and some short online programs on topics such as virtual team management and digital marketing.

Photo caption: Executive Education participants returned to in-person classes at IESE´s campus in Barcelona, with all the safety measures in place. Credit: Edu Ferrer.

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LEADING INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES LAUNCH RESTARTING TOGETHER: AN INITIATIVE TO BOOST RECOVERY AFTER COVID-19

  • Boston Consulting Group, CEMEX, Telefonica, Airbus BizLab, BASF, BID Lab, Citi, Endeavor, IE, IESE Business School, Microsoft for Startups and South Summit are organizing Restarting Together, a global challenge for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The initiative is designed to contribute to a fast-economic recovery and create a more resilient society in the face of a crisis like the current pandemic.
  • The call for entries will be open from June 2 through June 30, 2020, on restartingtogether.com.
  • The most promising solutions will showcase their project to a specialized jury on September 9, 2020, and the winners will share their vision with global leaders while having the possibility to receive acceleration support or investment.

June 2, 2020. Airbus BizLab, BASF, Boston Consulting Group, CEMEX, Citi, Endeavor, IDB Lab, IE, IESE Business School, Microsoft for Startups, South Summit and Telefonica announced today the launch of Restarting Together, a global challenge that seeks to boost innovative projects after the impact of COVID-19. The initiative aims to promote projects developed by entrepreneurs and SMEs that will contribute both to speed up economic recovery after the effects of the pandemic, and create a more resilient society, with more effective and sustainable capabilities against future similar crises. Through this joint initiative, this diverse group of industry leaders want to promote community engagement to build a better society.

The overall goal of Restarting Together is to find innovative projects that seek to expedite the return to normality after the confinement period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative also looks to identify projects to boost economic recovery in a sustainable way, aimed specially at improving employment, revitalizing the ecosystem of small businesses, and creating networks and financial aid mechanisms for crisis situations. Likewise, the challenge encourages entrants to propose solutions that bolster cities´ response for any type of crisis in the future, whether it be sanitary, economic or driven by environmental or climate change issues.

Interested participants can present their proposals from June 2 through June 30, 2020 by entering www.restartingtogether.com. Proposals will be evaluated based on their projects’ social and economic impact, feasibility, rapid implementation time, and degree of sustainability and innovation.

The nine most promising projects would be scheduled to participate on a digital Pitchday on September 9, 2020, where they would present their solution directly to the organizing companies´ representatives, who would select three winners to share their vision with global leaders from the supporting companies. The three winners would enjoy the possibility of receiving access to corporate resources from the organizing companies, including potential acceleration or investment. Additionally, all proposals should be available for development, promotion, and implementation by all, or some, of the companies organizing Restarting Together. The global and multidisciplinary focus of the industry leaders that make up Restarting Together allows for the implementation of these solutions, with the potential to achieve global results to make the strongest potential impact on society.

The organizers will offer participants their experience and knowledge in diverse industries, as well as the opportunity to build relationships with leading multinational companies, and possible access to investment capital.

For more information about Restarting Together and the registration process, please visit www.restartingtogether.com.

FT Ranks IESE #1 in the World for Executive Education for Record 6th Straight Year

  • IESE Business School makes history by becoming first institution to top the Financial Times combined executive education ranking for 6 consecutive years
  • IESE stands out thanks to its ability to consistently prepare innovative programs that meet the needs of executives and corporate clients, the follow-up and networking opportunities offered to participants, its internationality, and faculty

May 11, 2020. The Financial Times has today ranked IESE Business School best in the world for executive education for an unprecedented sixth straight year. Last year, IESE became the first school to top the combined table five years in a row. This year they extended their record-breaking unbeaten run at the top of the ranking, thanks to shining in categories measuring factors such as the preparation and innovation of its programs, the ability to provide new skills and learning to executives, the follow-up given to participants, its internationality, and its faculty, among others.

Mireia Rius, the Associate Dean for Executive Education at IESE, said the FT ranking was particularly significant coming in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. “Technological disruption in recent years has changed the business landscape significantly,” Rius said. “At IESE, we have a proven track record in helping executives, entrepreneurs and companies thrive in these challenging circumstances. We´ve done this by delivering programs adapted to their specific challenges, and which utilize the latest teaching methods and technologies to ensure maximum flexibility (whether delivered online, face to face or a mix of both.) The fact our corporate clients and participants have continually considered us best in class during a time of such seismic shifts shows we know not only how to be agile to respond to their needs, but also how to teach business leaders themselves to adapt. And that’s a skill that’s going to be even more important during and after this crisis.”

With this in mind, IESE has also launched a series of initiatives to help companies and executives at all stages in their career cope with the current pandemic, added Rius. “From the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we´ve been in constant dialogue with companies and executives around the world, adapting to their immediate needs. This builds on our model of always putting the concerns of our students, alumni and clients at the center. For example, we have just launched Project Safeguard, a new online program designed to give participants and their companies the tools they need to survive in these turbulent times, in addition to offering a highly successful series of open access sessions on this topic, among others.”

The 2020 FT Executive Education ranking, released today, analyzes two types of programs for executives: custom programs (courses that are tailor-made for specific companies) and open-enrollment programs (open to executives from any company). The FT produces separate rankings for custom and open programs, and then produces an overall rating for all of executive education, based on the data collected for the two rankings. As well as coming first overall in the combined ranking, IESE also ranks first for custom programs, and in the top ten for open programs.

Regarding custom programs, IESE scored high marks across the board, placing in the top five for 13 of the 15 categories that the FT uses to rank programs, and in the top 3 for 10 of them. These include factors such as program preparation, design (where IESE stood out for its close interactions with clients and the ability to integrate cutting-edge research into its programs), the ability to impart new skills and learning through the program, as well as the diversity of its faculty and the international reach of the school.

For open programs, participants particularly valued the follow-up provided by IESE once they were back in the workplace (ranking no.2 in the world on this measure), as well as providing numerous networking opportunities on the program. IESE´s internationality and strong alliances with top business schools, such as Harvard, Wharton and CEIBS, also drew praise, as they allow rich opportunities for networking and help foster an international mindset.

The Financial Times ranking is based on survey responses from custom program clients and open program participants, combined with data provided by the business schools themselves across a number of different criteria.

View the full ranking here.

Global Recession “Almost Inevitable”: New Report on World Economic Impact of COVID-19

  • New analysis by IESE professor Nuno Fernandes shows economic effects of outbreak are currently being underestimated, due to over-reliance on historical comparisons
  • Report estimates GDP growth will take a hit ranging from 3.5-6% depending on the country, in a best-case scenario. If current halt in economic activity lasts until summer, the average decline in GDP would be close to 10.4%.
  • Every extra month of shutdown accounts for approx. 2.5-3% of global GDP
  • Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Italy, will be amongst most affected; Nearly all countries to go into recession

March 23, 2020. Madrid. Today, Nuno Fernandes, Full Professor of Finance at IESE Business School, releases an updated report providing new forecasts for how COVID-19 will affect the world´s economy. While previous estimates relied on historical comparisons with SARs or the 2008/9 financial crisis, the report shows why simple comparisons are not possible, and instead uses a new model to calculate economic effects across industries and countries. In light of the report´s findings, a “global recession is almost inevitable” says Fernandes.

Unlike with previous crises, Fernandes points out that “this time, we are facing a combined supply and demand shock” exacerbated by a variety of factors, such as the highly integrated nature of today´s world economy and the key role that China, the center of the initial outbreak, now plays in it. The global pandemic has also come at a time when starting interest rates are low, and economic tools to combat the crisis are limited. “Central banks exhausted their firepower during the good times. There is almost no room for monetary stimulus to help sustain the coming risks,” he warns.

Taking into account this context, the report discusses how the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak is being felt across different industries and 30 countries. It finds that the economic costs of the crisis will hit some much harder than others. For example:

  • Service-oriented economies will be particularly negatively affected, and have more jobs at risk.
  • Countries like Greece, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain that are more reliant on tourism (more than 15% of GDP) will be more affected by this crisis
  • Countries more reliant on exports will suffer disproportionally

The report also attempts a rough estimate of the potential global economic costs of COVID-19 under three different scenarios: a shutdown of 1.5 months (from mid-March to end of April), of 3 months (lasting until mid-June), and of 4.5 months (until end of July.)

Key findings:

In a mild scenario (the shutdown of economic activity lasts 1.5 months, from mid-March to end of April, with May as a recovery month):

  • The U.S. is expected to enter into a recession, with GDP shrinking by nearly 2%. Overall, the crisis is expected to cost it nearly 4% of its GDP
  • Most European countries will face significant recessions, seeing contractions of their GDP by 2% to over 4%. Judging from prior recessions, a decline in GDP of this magnitude will significantly increase unemployment
  • Argentina´s economy will also be one of the worst hit, with its GDP estimated to shrink by about 5%
  • In this scenario, nearly all countries analyzed will experience negative GDP growth, apart from China and India (although their growth will still be slashed from a pre-crisis estimate of 6% to below 2% in China´s case, and from around 7% to about 3% for India)
  • Overall, for all countries analyzed, an average economic impact of 4.5% of GDP is expected

Full breakdown by country: base scenario of 1.5 months

CountryEconomic Impact (as % GDP)Estimated GDP Growth in 2020*
Argentina-4.3%-5.0%
Australia-4.4%-2.2%
Austria-5.5%-3.8%
Belgium-4.3%-3.0%
Brazil-3.9%-1.9%
Canada-3.9%-2.1%
China-4.3%1.6%
Czech Republic-4.6%-2.0%
France-4.3%-3.0%
Germany-4.8%-3.5%
Greece-6.2%-3.9%
India-4.0%3.1%
Ireland-4.8%-1.3%
Italy-5.0%-4.5%
Japan-3.6%-3.1%
Mexico-5.4%-4.1%
Netherlands-4.2%-2.6%
Norway-4.4%-2.0%
Poland-3.9%-0.8%
Portugal-5.9%-4.3%
Russian Federation-3.6%-1.7%
Saudi Arabia-4.4%-2.2%
South Africa-4.3%-3.2%
South Korea-3.8%-1.6%
Spain-5.2%-3.4%
Sweden-4.5%-3.1%
Switzerland-4.6%-3.3%
Turkey-4.6%-1.7%
United Kingdom-4.5%-3.1%
United States-3.8%-1.7%

 

Figures fromEconomic effects of coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) on the world economy” by Nuno Fernandes. For the full tables, results and analysis, access full report here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3557504

*Expected GDP growth takes into account the (pre-crisis) expected 2020 GDP growth for each country and the economic costs of the COVID-19 crisis

If crisis measures are extended:

  • On average, each additional month of shutdowns will cost 5%-3% of global GDP
  • If extreme COVID-19-related measures last until mid-June 2020, the U.S. will see its GDP growth fall to about -5%, and both China and India will join the rest of the analyzed countries by entering into a recession.
  • Most European countries will be very hard hit. For example, Greece and Portugal will see their GDP fall by nearly 9%, while Italy´s and Austria´s will shrink by over 8% and Spain´s by 7.5%. Meanwhile Germany, Switzerland and the UK will also see their GDP shrink by close to 7%
  • Worldwide, if measures last until the end of July 2020, the average decline in GDP would be close to 10.4%. And the decrease in GDP could in some cases be around 14%

According to Fernandes, “if the ongoing crisis lasts until the end of the summer, the global economy faces the gravest threat seen in the last two centuries.”

As such, he urges global policy makers to act to avoid the worst-case scenarios. But timing is running out fast. “Overall, the potential impacts of this crisis are larger than any previously seen in history”, he says

Access the full report “Economic effects of coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) on the world economy” here.

IESE offers new open-access sessions on coronavirus crisis

March 16, 2020. As the world scrambles to respond to the global coronavirus outbreak, IESE has begun a series of online sessions on leading and working during these difficult times, and on understanding what may come after the health crisis has subsided.

The series is available to the general public via IESE’s LinkedIn channel, and will feature professors exploring issues such as practical aspects of the crisis and human resource and operations management. There will also be sessions to help give a broad understanding of this global outbreak, from its financial impact, to its economic consequences, to its geopolitical fallout.

The LinkedIn series allows participants to make comments and ask questions during the live sessions. Recordings of all of the sessions are available on the LinkedIn channel for those unable to make the live sessions, as well as on IESE’s YouTube channel.

The schedule of upcoming sessions is available on the website’s Events Calendar, on the Open Access Resources page, and the IESE Alumni Association page, which also provides more description of the sessions and speakers.

Link to livestreaming of sessions as well as recordings of past sessions: https://www.linkedin.com/school/iese-business-school

For more freely available resources from IESE, check out our Open Access Resources page.

IESE confirms first coronavirus case on campus

March 11, 2020. IESE today has received confirmation that a participant in one of its programs in Madrid has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case of coronavirus on one of IESE’s campuses.

The case is a participant in IESE’s PADE program in Madrid. The participant has mild symptoms and is recovering at home, and last visited IESE’s campus on March 9. All of her classmates and others who have had close contact with her have been informed and are in quarantine.  

Following Madrid government recommendations to stem the spread of the coronavirus, IESE on March 11 moved classes delivered on its Madrid campus online. At the same time, as a purely precautionary measure, IESE also moved its full-time MBA students in Barcelona to an online format.

Switching its activities online has been one of the scenarios IESE was preparing for since the coronavirus spread from China to Europe and the rest of the world. IESE’s installed online capacities are strong, and have been deployed in other contexts. IESE has a virtual classroom, in which 80 participants can connect from all over the world in a fully interactive way, as well as a range of other remote learning options.

The Madrid campus remains open for employees and professors, so that they may support the online classes.

More information on how IESE is responding to the coronavirus crisis can be found on the Safety and Prevention page.

IESE Business School pioneers 5G in Europe

  • IESE among first ever business schools in Europe to test 5G wireless prototypes on campus
  • Powered by Cellnex Telecom, the prototypes incorporate 5G, edge computing and augmented reality technologies
  • The overall aim is to learn how 5G connectivity could help revolutionize participants’ learning experiences

March 09, 2020. Barcelona. Today, IESE Business School and telecom infrastructure operator Cellnex have announced the setup of a 5G mobile network at the school’s Barcelona campus. Together, they are using it to explore how the technology can help enhance educational experiences. With this news, IESE becomes one of the first business schools in Europe to pilot cutting-edge 5G prototypes on its campuses.

5G connectivity, which will ensure a wireless experience up to 100 times faster than 4G and with drastically reduced network latency (or the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks and get response), has the potential to greatly improve the learning experience of business school participants.

It also comes at a time when, whether due to current events or climate concerns, we are seeing an acceleration in trends like remote work, blended learning and virtual networking – meaning the improved experiences 5G enhanced technologies can bring will be even more valuable to executives around the world.

To this end, IESE’s provisional 5G mobile infrastructure has been built with the collaboration of MasMóvil, to test a variety of prototypes that could be deployed in future programs. For example, one prototype that has already completed its first demo at IESE, makes use of edge computing combined with a 5G small cell, and a pair of wireless glasses with augmented reality, through which participants can play a computer-generated game in their real-life environment. From here, it is not too much of a stretch to imagine future participants discussing a business case in an industrial factory, an airport, or at a car assembly line, while seeing in real-time data about the processes, logistics and costs of some of the elements around them.

Adopting 5G on campus: Enhancing future learning experiences

There are countless other uses for 5G and edge computing in the education sector, such as experiencing a business case from home with virtual reality, broadcasting a 360 captured session in 4k definition to thousands of 5G mobile phones, building new blended learning experiences with non-existing objects, or creating real-time simulations for teams, to name a few.

According to Franz Heukamp, Dean of IESE Business School, “anticipating trends and experiencing new approaches, as typified by this collaboration with Cellnex, are an essential part of providing the best possible learning experience for our participants. At IESE, we are always looking to provide cutting-edge insights and new methodologies on our programs to help participants grow both personally and professionally. This is just one of many advancements that we are preparing in this regard.”

5G will swiftly become a reality across homes and businesses worldwide. By 2025, the number of worldwide 5G subscribers is expected to hit 2.6 billion, while average mobile data consumption is also projected to climb from 7.2GB to 24GB per smartphone. In real terms, that accounts for being able to stream a 30-minute HD video a day during your commute, including a six-minute clip of virtual reality.

With 5G mobile phones soon to hit the market, the types of organizations looking to utilize the untapped potential of such connectivity will also only increase. Òscar Pallarols, Global Commercial and Innovation Director at Cellnex, said: “we are going to see a dramatic growth in 5G adoption across sectors in the forthcoming years. This collaboration is a clear example of the many that will follow in the education sector.”

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of c.58,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal.

IESE Business School Launches Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Management Initiative

  • IESE launches multidisciplinary project to shape managers in ethical use of AI

February 17, 2020. IESE Business School has launched a new Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Management Initiative, a multidisciplinary project that will look at how artificial intelligence is impacting management, and prepare executives to put Al to use in their companies in an ethical and socially responsible way.

Artificial intelligence, like electricity a century ago, is a general purpose technology that will touch every sphere of economic activity. That places new demands on managers to adapt to the changing competitive landscape, to transform their organizations, and to ensure that employees – and themselves — have the skills required. IESE’s new Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Management Initiative will meet those needs for research and education efforts by:

  • Pursuing research that managers can put into action to lead their organizations and to strengthen the society in which they operate, through academic research, academic conferences and speaker series.
  • Educating current and future managers on how to navigate the changes, across IESE’s extensive range of programs, from short focused courses to longer programs such as the MBA and Executive MBA.
  • Engaging the broader business, academic and policymaking communities to promote the ethical use of technology and sense of responsibility towards those affected by the changes, through articles, workshops and outreach programs. 

“AI is as much a management challenge as it is a technological challenge,” said Dean Franz Heukamp. “With this initiative we want to help current and future managers, as well as policy makers, face the challenges AI presents, enabling them to shape the ways AI is used and ensure that it’s a force for good in society.”

The initiative, led by Professor Sampsa Samila, will bring together the work of IESE professors across a range of departments. The initiative’s current research areas include the use of AI in companies, the impact of industrial automation, and changing skill demands in the labor market. IESE also now offers the program Artificial Intelligence for Executives and students in many of the school’s programs can opt to take courses related to AI. 

IESE MBA Employment report: placements in tech sector soar by 62% since 2017

  • 94% of IESE´s MBAs Class of 2019 receive offers within three months

November 26, 2019. IESE´s newly released MBA employment report shows the continued global interest in the school´s MBA talent – and especially from tech firms such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. In fact, Technology continues to grow as a popular destination for MBA graduates, with a 62% increase since 2017 in MBAs choosing jobs in that sector 

Main highlights from the report:

  • 94% of IESE´s MBA class of 2019 accepted a job offer within three months of graduation, as calculated according to the MBACSE rules.
  • Technology continues to grow as an employment sector of choice for our MBAs: 26% of the class of ’19 accepted a tech sector offer, up from 20% of the class of ’18 and making for a 62% increase since 2017. E-commerce was an especially popular destination.
  • Still, despite tech’s popularity surging, consulting remains for now the most popular destination of IESE MBAs. 33% of the class took offers in that sector, at firms including McKinsey & Company.
  • Amazon, Facebook and Google were among the leading companies who recruited on our Barcelona campus over the past year, as well as Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Roland Berger, McKinsey & Company and many more.
  • In terms of geographic placements, the 2019 report shows that 25% of graduates accepted offers to stay and work in Spain. Europe was the most popular region to work in, with 55% of graduates accepting jobs there. Latin America (17%) and Asia (13%) trailed Europe as sought-after career destinations.

Background stats: The IESE MBA Class of 2019 counts 356 students, 32% of them women, from 50 different countries. 

The MBA as a platform for career changers

The report also helps show that studying an MBA at IESE offers a tremendous platform for people thinking of switching careers, as they have access to a dedicated careers center with expertise in many different sectors and geographies. The option to take a corporate internship (or work on your own entrepreneurship project) in the summer between the first and second year of the MBA, also enables career changers to test and get experience in their new field.

In fact, 21% of IESE´s class of 2019 have already made the “triple jump,” that means, students who after graduating changed their industry, as well as their job function and geography.

IESE MBA career changer profiles include  Ryan Fritsch, a former bomb defusal expert in the U.S. Navy. After graduating from IESE´s MBA early this year, he is now working in Belgium as the Luxembourg Country Manager at global beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev.

He said: “Coming to IESE with a non-traditional background and from the United States, IESE provided me the education, interview skills, and network to secure an internship, and subsequent fulltime offer, at my target company within FMCG, AB InBev. Beyond getting an offer from my target company, IESE provided me the context that enabled me to receive an offer for a position within Europe, which I gladly accepted.”

Download the full 2019 Employment Report here.

Spain´s Queen Letizia presents the International Friendship Award at IESE

  • Business leaders from China, Nigeria and South Africa were awarded the prize in recognition of their work strengthening ties between their countries and Spain

Madrid. October 30 2019. Today, seven prominent business leaders from China, Nigeria and South Africa received the International Friendship Award in recognition of their contribution to economic development and job creation in their home countries and abroad. Spain’s Queen Letizia presented the awardees with the prize at IESE Business School’s Madrid campus.

The award winners, chosen by a jury of prominent global academic and business figures, were:

  • Li Ka Shing, Chairman, CK Hutchison Holdings
  • Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria
  • Hong Tianzhu, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Texhong Textile Group
  • Liling Qi, President, Puente China España and La Roca Golf Resort
  • Lidan Qi Zhou, Founding Partner, Qimeng Global and Managing Director, Puente China España
  • Iqbal Survé, Founder and Executive Chairman, The Sekunjalo Group
  • Chen Xi, President, Sanquan Food Company

This was the third edition of this prestigious award, which was created by IESE professor Pedro Nueno after he received China’s Friendship Award, the Chinese government’s highest award for foreigners working to advance economic and social progress in the country.

Inspired by that award, Nueno decided to establish a prize for people from China who have made an outstanding contribution to the world; this year was the first time the award was open to people from other countries.

The 12-member jury was composed of academic and business leaders, including: Alfredo Pastor, emeritus professor at IESE; Antonio Argandoña, emeritus professor at IESE; Annette Nijs, founder of The China Agenda and president of BSN; Peter Lorange, president of The Lorange Network; and Jan Borgonjon, President of  Interchina; among others.

Dedication to business and progress 

The winners have long histories of promoting progress through business as well as philanthropy in projects that span the globe.

Li Ka Shing founded and led the CK Group for nearly five decades, building a global business with interests in ports, infrastructure, energy, real estate and more. One of Asia’s leading philanthropists, his Li Ka Shing Foundation has donated billions to education, medical services and research initiatives.

The award was collected on his behalf by Eric Ip, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings.

Ibukun Awosika is the Chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria Limited and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Centre Group. She is active in a variety of social causes, working to address youth employability, support women in business and foment entrepreneurship.

Hong Tianzhu is founder, Chairman and CEO of Texhong Textile Group, one of China’s largest textile companies, which has operations around Asia and Latin America. With more than 40,000 employees across the globe, his company has contributed to the economic development of China and many other countries.

Liling Qi is President of Puente China España and of La Roca Golf Resort, and has more than 20 years of experience in international trade with Asia. With an extensive professional and institutional networking platform in China and Spain, she serves in several Chinese public institutions and regularly organizes events in China and Spain to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Lidan Qi Zhou is a founding partner of Qimeng Global and Managing Director of Puente China España. She has more than 10 years of experience as a legal advisor for companies and institutions such as the Shenzhen and the Yiwu governments. She actively collaborates with ICEX and ACCIÓ to attract Chinese investment in Spain, while also promoting social and cultural understanding between the two countries.

Dr. Iqbal Survé is a physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Dr. Survé is committed to the development of Africa through the Sekunjalo Group, a values-based investment group. He has a philanthropic foundation that supports human rights, education, the arts, entrepreneurship and healthcare.

Chen Xi is President of Sanquan Food, China’s largest frozen food company, which produces one of the country’s best-known food brands. He has helped modernize and expand the company, which is known for its innovation, research and technological development.