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Life and Culture

Life and Culture

56:54Audio

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What is stoicism and how can it help us manage a life crisis? A doctor and professor of philosophy, Massimo Pigliucci faced a critical juncture with the death of his father and undergoing a divorce. He looked to the ancient philosophers for answers and discovered “virtue ethics,” an approach to life that advances human improvement through the development of values.

The BBVA Foundation has honored “the fundamental contributions” of American researcher Kerry Emanuel to understanding the essential physics of hurricanes with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category. The twelfth edition of the awards has recognized the pioneer work of this professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), for being the first to link this phenomenon with the warming of sea surface waters driven by climate change.

A few years ago when BBVA decided to define its purpose, one of the intended goals was to foster a common corporate-wide culture based on a shared vision and values. This is no easy task because the profile of any large multi-national business will reflect the different backgrounds of its individuals: different nationalities, ages, etc. Young people today demand more from a job and are more aware than ever of the values that companies project. During the application process, companies will also weigh whether a job applicant fits with its corporate values. Some companies, like BBVA, are even beginning to define incentive plans to encourage alignment to the overarching corporate culture.

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BBVA’s Diversity and Inclusion program has developed a pilot project to help female employees advance in their careers. Through a dynamic known as “speed networking”, a group of female employees was able to expand their network of contacts at the bank and interact with a variety of different people with extensive experience and responsibility at the bank. This activity is part of BBVA’s plan to bridge the gender gap and break any possible glass ceilings that could get in the way of its female employees’ careers.

56:38Audio

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Alex Beard

Alex Beard has spent a decade dedicated to educational research. He is a member of Teach for All, a worldwide network of independent educational organizations that seek to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential. He has traveled the world studying the most innovative, ground-breaking educational methods. Of everything he has learned on his travels, he stresses that we should “take creativity more seriously” and that we are at the threshold of an “educational revolution”.

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The climate summit in Madrid kicks off with a reception for world leaders who, over the course of the next few days, will discuss the environmental challenges confronting the planet. BBVA sponsors the inaugural lunch with a sustainable menu designed by the brothers of El Celler de Can Roca. The chefs from Spain’s northeastern city of Girona have created a culinary overture to invite reflection on some of the most relevant topics to be addressed at the summit.

The groups of BBVA and JP Morgan employees created to foster diversity at the workplace held a joint session to work on some of the issues that concern staff the most in their professional development. Topics such as work-life balance, networking, leadership, and personal brands were discussed at the different working groups. Led by various mentors, employees from both companies discussed best practices, areas for improvement and team management trends.

The Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca fame have created the dishes that will be served to prime ministers, heads of state, government officials, and the United Nations’ Secretary-General at the opening lunch of the next Climate Summit. The summit gets underway next Monday, December 2, in Madrid. The meal, sponsored by BBVA with a menu prepared by the Roca brothers, is based on local Spanish products and a cuisine that is amenable to small-scale farmers. “Cuisine is a transformative tool that can raise awareness and advocate for sustainability,” Joan Roca stated.