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The Second Edition of the Technology School of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation begins: Technology and Society: Perspectives of the Future

May 16, 2006

Seville, May 15th, 2006.- The Focus-Abengoa Foundation and the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP), will hold the second seminar of the Technology School, “Technology and Society: Perspectives of the Future” from the 15th to the 18th of May.

The goal of this second course, that will be lead by Eduardo Punset, an international expert in the analysis of the Information Society, is to propose a multi-disciplinary perspective about the impact of technology on the different environments of human behavior and life in the Society.

Also, to progress in the comprehension of the role of technology and the innovation processes in the knowledge Society, and its impact on the increase of productivity and the competitiveness level of companies and countries within global markets.

The inauguration ceremony took place today at 18:30 in the Hospital de los Venerables, and was presided over by the Chairman of the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP), Luciano Parejo and the President of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Javier Benjumea. Also Anabel Morillo, General Manager of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation was present, as well as José Luis Martín, Manager of the Seville branch of the UIMP, and Eduardo Punset, Manager of the Seminar.

Among the international speakers are Alun Anderson, Editor in Chief of the “New Scientist” magazine, who will open the cycle with a conference entitled “How to change the world: triumphs, disasters and the unexpected in technology”. Also Richard Jones, Physics Professor at the Sheffield University will take place; Daniel Thalmann, Manger of the Virtual Reality Lab of the Federal University of Lausanne; Andrew Pickering, Sociology Professor of the Illinois University, who will give a conference entitled “This was the future”.

People expert in the nature of global economy and the competitiveness challenge it imposes will also take place, such as Juan Pérez Mercader, Manager of the (INTRA-CSIC) Astro-Biology Center; Javier Echeverría Ezponda, a Researcher at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas; Santiago Grisolía, Secretary of the Fundación Valenciana de Estudios Avanzados and holder of the Príncipe de Asturias Prize; José López Barneo, Physiology Professor of the Seville University and holder of the 3rd. Research Prize Javier Benjumea Puicerverg, José Mª O’Kean, Professor of Applied Economy of the Pablo de Olavide University, or Antonio-Miguel Bernal, Economy History of the Seville University.

Eduardo Punset will be in charge of closing this second seminar with a set of ideas and proposals that will tackle what perhaps is the great subject: Technology and Human Happiness.

The Technology School course is the result of a collaboration agreement between both institutions, which materialized in two triennial scheduled School courses, one dedicated to the Baroque, and the other to Technology, courses are given at the Hospital de los Venerables, the site of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, and included in the academic studies plan of the UIMP in Seville. With regard to their contents, the School courses can be validated by credits of free configuration in the Hispalense Universities, Pablo de Olavide, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and in all the universities with which the UIMP had signed validation agreements.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation began in 1982 as the result of the continuous work started in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works entitled “Temas Sevillanos” and “Iconografía de Sevilla”. At that time, a documentary fund made of books and drawings about the Kingdom of Seville and authors of Seville was created. This initial cultural work showed the Abengoa executives the importance of developing something else than the basic technology functions with an activity that was beneficial to the Society, and so the Cultural Fund of Seville was born.

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