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Life and Culture

Life and Culture

What does a company bring to society? What role does it play? Why does a brand exist? These questions can be answered in many ways, each answer hinting at the company’s “what for”, the reason that drives it and defines how it engages with society, its purpose.

In an interview published by the financial newspaper Expansión, BBVA’s CEO explains what the coronavirus crisis has been like for him, and how the bank has adapted its operations to continue providing customers the same service. “It is very rewarding to see how our teams have adjusted to the challenges posed by this scenario,” he said. Onur Genç thinks the crisis is going to have a major impact on the economy and businesses, and that now is the time  "when we - the banks – need to stand by our customers more than ever before, and be part of the solution to this crisis."

The ‘RRSSalud’ project is researching the dynamics and types of fake news regarding coronavirus on social networks, thus helping to alleviate the negative effects of this health crisis. Coordinated by the researcher Ramón Salaverría, the initiative is part of the BBVA Foundation’s 2019 program to assist scientific research teams in economics and digital society. One of the first conclusions of the study has determined that one-third of current fake news stories refer to the health crisis contain health or scientific content.

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Nearly two months after Spain declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus crisis, the population has slowly begun to adapt to the lifting of some lockdown restrictions amid lots of questions and fear of a new outbreak. In an initiative promoted by the BBVA Foundation, Dr. Jordi Vila, the Head of Microbiology Services at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, gave a videoconference for BBVA employees to answer some of these questions. Among his responses regarding how to return to work in a safe manner, he indicated that “massive testing would be ideal, but it’s impossible from a logistical standpoint,” in his opinion.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered our habits. Bars, restaurants, and entertainment spots have temporarily closed down and are being forced to consider how they might have to restructure in response to a new, post-pandemic world. “Seeing an empty restaurant is a bit sad: such a vital space, normally with so much energy and young people from all over the world working, but we want to be optimistic,” says chef Joan Roca, owner of El Celler de Can Roca, one of Spain’s most celebrated gastronomic venues. The hospitality industry is facing a considerable challenge, and insight from industry leaders like the Roca brothers can shed some light on what we might expect from restaurants in a post-COVID-19 reality.

At the end of 2019, when the first cases of COVID-19 began to be detected in China, a lockdown seemed like a remote scenario. Four months later, isolation and social distancing have emerged as the most effective measures to stop the virus from spreading, forcing more than 3.6 billion people around the world to isolate themselves in their homes.

The mathematical community has committed all its resources to support the fight against COVID-19. Specifically, the Spanish Mathematics Committee (CEMat) has launched Mathematical Action against Coronavirus, an initiative geared towards putting the Committee’s analysis and modeling capabilities at the service of authorities to help them better understand the problem and design possible solutions. David Gómez-Ullate and Justo Puerto, both recipients of several BBVA Foundation grants and scholarships, are two of the mathematicians who are contributing to the project.