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Today, Eduardo Punset will bring the Focus-Abengoa Foundation Technology School: "Technology and Society: visions of the future", to a close

May 18, 2006

Seville, May 18, 2006. – Today, at 19:00 hours in Hospital de los Venerables, the Second Edition of the University Technology School, “Technology and Society: visions of the future” organized by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and the Menendez Pelayo International University, will be brought to a close. Eduardo Punset, a renowned international expert on analyzing the information society and director of this second edition, will bring this seminar to a close, with an array of ideas that address what is the, perhaps, the million dollar question: technology and human happiness. Entry to said conference is free until full capacity is reached.

Eduardo Punset, a Law graduate from the University of Madrid, has held the post of economic editor of the BBC, financial director of the Latin America edition of the weekly magazine “The Economist”, and economist of the International Monetary Fund. As a specialist in subjects that impact on new technologies, he has been adviser to the COTEC, Advisory Professor of International Marketing at the ESADE, President of the Bull Technological Institute, Professor of Innovation and Technology at the Business Institute (Madrid), Deputy General Manager of Economic and Financial Studies at the Banco Hispanoamericano. He is currently directing the scientific news program “Redes” on TVE. His most notable recent publications include “The Journey towards Happiness: the new scientific keys” and “Face to face with the mind, life and the universe”.

The sessions on May 18 will commence at 10:00 hours with the conference entitled “This was the Future” by the professor of sociology from the University of Illinois, Andrew Pickering. It will be followed at 12:00 hours by the presentation “Society of the future” which will be given by Daniel Thalman, director of the Virtual Reality Lab of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, Switzerland. At 16:30 hours, Jose Maria O’Kean, Lecturer in Applied Economics at the Pablo de Olavide University will present “Technology and society: conclusions”.

Other noteworthy authorities from the academic and technology sectors that have participated in this second edition of the school include, Santiago Grisolia, Secretary of the Valencia Advanced Studies Foundation and winner of the Price of Asturias Prize; Jose Lopez Barneo, Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Seville; Antonio Miguel-Bernal, Lecturer in Economic History and Institutions at the University of Seville; Alun Anderson, Doctor of Biology from Edinburgh University and currently senior consultant of the “New Scientist” magazine; Juan Antonio Perez Mercader, Bachelor of Physical Sciences by the University of Seville and director of the Astrobiology Center (Mixed Center INTA-CSIC); and Richard Jones, Lecturer in Physics at the University of Sheffield.

The objective of this the second edition of the school is to offer a multidisciplinary perspective of the impact technology has on different aspects of human behavior and life in society. Another aim is to advance in comprehending the role technology and innovation processes play in the knowledge society and their impact, on both the growth of productivity and the level of competitiveness of companies and countries, in the global markets environment.

The Technology School is fruit of a collaboration agreement between both institutions and has materialized in two Schools with a triennial program, one dedicated to Baroque, and the other to Technology. The courses are given in the Hospital de los Venerables, headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and are included in the UIMP’s academic program in Seville. As regards their educational content, the Schools will be validated as free configuration credits in the Universities of Seville, Pablo de Olavide, the Open University of Catalonia, and in all those with which the UIMP has validation agreements signed.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was established in 1982 as a consequence of the cultural activity initiated in 1972 by Abengoa with the publishing of the works "Sevillian Topics" and "Iconography of Seville". During this same period a collection of documents, books and prints on Seville, or by Sevillian authors, was being put together. This initial cultural activity brought Abengoa's senior management to see the importance of the company being seen outside its essential technological functions through an activity that would be of benefit to society as a whole, which led to the founding of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla.

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