Archivo del December, 2011

In memory of Montse Ollé

0017 199x300 In memory of Montse OlléSaturday 10th December was going to be a day for celebrating. Various members of ESADE were in Lisbon to attend the CEMS Master in International Management graduation ceremony. More than fifty ESADE students were due to graduate this year. But a telephone call at 9 in the morning tinged the day with sadness. Montse Ollé had died during the night, ESADE had lost a lecturer and the Director of its Department of Business Policy.

I met Montse when we were both ESADE students. When she began her degree in Business Studies in 1960 I was in my second year and we became friends straight away. In total we were no more than ten female students so we felt the need to stick together. Over the course of four years Montse and I shared doubts, fears, joys, secrets and, above all, ideals. We belonged to a generation of women committed to changing the destination which, back then, society had reserved for us. We were determined to fight for our professional careers, fully aware that we might have problems along the way. The truth is that neither she nor I encountered major difficulties and the two of us went ahead, mapping out our destinies.

Montse was the daughter of a businessman and I used to love hearing her talk about her father’s chocolate factory, where she went on to work after finishing her studies. Who knows whether it was her family background or the years of experience working with her father which ignited her early interest in the world of entrepreneurs.  The fact is that today ESADE is proud to be a benchmark in entrepreneurial training and it was Montse who first launched Business Creation courses, making ESADE the first European business school to offer such training. Furthermore she, together with other lecturers, wrote the manual Cómo crear una empresa (How to create a business), which more than thirty years later, continues to be wholly applicable.

The final years of Montse’s life were difficult ones. Her health was not good, but despite everything she never gave up. She held her head high and that was her attitude: to confront difficulties. She was an exceptional departmental director, knowing how to adapt to the school’s transformation and managing to make the Business Policy faculty understand the need for research but without forgetting the institution’s roots She, more than anyone, looked after the young lecturers who joined us, and tried to integrate them and their families into the ESADE culture. Finally, above all else, she knew how to listen to everybody.

Montse, your friends and your colleagues at ESADE are going to miss you.

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25 Years Training Professionals in Healthcare Management

grupo1 300x200 25 Years Training Professionals in Healthcare Managementgrupo2 300x189 25 Years Training Professionals in Healthcare ManagementThis scanned photograph from the year 1986 shows the first group of students to study the Hospital Management Programme at ESADE. A short time ago, I had the opportunity to reminisce about old times and have a photograph taken with them at an event organised by ESADE Alumni to commemorate their 25th class anniversary. It was a very moving reunion. Since leaving the classroom twenty-five years ago, the professionals who attended the reunion have, over the years, maintained strong links with ESADE, and today they hold high-ranking positions in Spanish healthcare.

In the last 25 years, healthcare management in Spain has undergone some enormous changes. Indeed, 25 to 30 years ago, healthcare management barely existed in this country; public administration was just beginning to find its feet. This group of students has seen, experienced and participated in many of the extraordinary changes that have occurred, and today, at the height of their activity, they play a key role in finding the solutions required by this sector, one that is so important for people. The experience amassed in this sector by the 30 alumni who were present at this enjoyable reunion has been acquired from positions of responsibility and management posts in a very wide variety of fields within the sector, including public hospitals, health insurance companies, private hospitals, public and private healthcare centres, regulatory bodies, pharmaceutical and medical product companies, the emerging public and private socio-sanitary field, teaching and research, and consultancy in Spain and abroad.

Some years ago, many business schools had healthcare management programmes. The only programme that has never been interrupted and which can claim more than one thousand alumni —who form a community of their own in the ESADE Alumni Health and Pharma Club— is the Hospital Management Programme, currently known as the Integrated Healthcare Services Management Programme (DSIS) and directed by Professor Manel Peiró.

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The Challenges of Energy Dependency

thumb 308x231 Featured.8.ficImagen.2.jpg 300x225 The Challenges of Energy Dependency87% of the energy consumed worldwide comes from fossil fuels, a finite source of energy that will eventually run out. Renewable energies, despite efforts to invest in these in recent years, still account for a small percentage of global consumption. Aware of the need to promote debate about energy challenges, ESADE recently staged a workshop entitled The Coming Energy Market, which brought together a number of world energy experts from business, academic and organisational spheres to analyse the present and the future of the energy market. The initiative was organised by ESADEgeo, in collaboration with Aspen Institute, The Boston Consulting Group and KIC InnoEnergy.

The workshop opened with a debate about the technological challenges and the potential, in the medium to long term, of renewable energies, electricity storage, third and fourth generation nuclear energy, and shale gas. The experts agreed that renewable energies will play a key future role in ensuring a smooth transition when oil supplies run out. There is good news for the planet, insofar as renewable energies are of indisputable importance in the fight to prevent energy dependency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I left the workshop feeling fairly optimistic; we have come further than one could have predicted some years ago, but there is still a lot to be done where energy is concerned. Renewable energies will be the long term commitment, but not the short or medium term, due to the investment they require.

In the session on the geopolitics of energy security, a panel of experts from China, India, Russia and the European Union discussed issues of great importance concerning global energy governance and access to energy resources. The workshop ended with a debate on the energy policy and regulatory framework in various parts of the world. I would echo the observations of our ESADEgeo president, Javier Solana, who closed the workshop with the following words: “Major technological changes are occurring and the economic crisis is diverting attention from the challenges ahead on energy ­– challenges that must not be underestimated.”

The International Energy Agency predicted that in the year 2035 renewable energies would represent 14.5% of world energy consumption. The European Union has set itself a slightly more ambitious target: to reach a 20% share of energy from renewable resources by the year 2020. The figures are encouraging, but we must continue to channel efforts towards increasing this percentage in the next few decades, if we are to avoid a situation in which the end of oil has serious consequences for the economy.

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