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Art and Social Impact Hackathon: Banco Sabadell Foundation gathers together young people, culture and a strong dose of creativity

The Círculo de Bellas Artes was the venue – from Friday 17 March in the afternoon and throughout the day on Saturday 18 March –  for the Art and Social Impact Hackathon, a Banco Sabadell Foundation initiative coordinated by U4IMPACT, which connects the social world with the world of culture, bringing young talents together to work on solutions to challenges posed by social and cultural organisations.

Around 70 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 worked together in multi-disciplinary teams to tackle challenges set by Fundación Teatro Joven, Fundación Sifu, la Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, Fundación Exit and Fundaciones por el clima. Raising awareness about functional diversity, how to bring classical music to adolescents, reporting on sustainability, helping young people attain self-knowledge, or tackling addiction to technologies – these were the challenges posed by the participating organisations, to which the teams of young people had to find solutions by applying artistic tools.

Sonia Mulero, Director of the Banco Sabadell Foundation, explains the reasons behind this initiative: “From our experience of promoting artistic disciplines, we believe that these can serve as powerful tools to inspire social transformation. Our commitment to young talent involves offering young people opportunity spaces, like this Hackathon, in which we connect them with the entire ecosystem of organisations that we work with. This gives them a valuable opportunity to learn, share and grow, using tools that enhance their creativity and generating transformative and collaborative social impact models.”

The goals and spirit of this Hackathon are in total harmony with the values of our institution”, explains Valerio Rocco, Director of the Círculo de Bellas Artes.For us, it is essential to listen to younger generations, learn from them and offer them a space where they can develop their talent. The Círculo de Bellas Artes maintains a steadfast commitment to transfer knowledge, not only between different disciplines and areas of knowledge, but also across different generations. We are convinced that this is the right direction of travel to provide solutions that contribute to a better social outcome in all areas”.

During the two-day event, the young people were able to attend workshops and presentations in which professionals of cultural and artistic organisations such as Teatre Lliure, Kubbo, Artepaliativo, Cámara Cívica, AIDI and Jump The Line, provided them with the tools and inspiration to explore solutions and develop proposals.

A team of mentors was also on hand to support them, consisting of  professionals from cultural, social and business backgrounds. Specifically, 15 professionals from Banco Sabadell took part as volunteers, providing mentoring to the teams, and prominent representatives from organisations in the Banco Sabadell Foundation ecosystem got involved as mentors and members of the panel of judges. In addition to Sonia Mulero and Valerio Rocco, those participating in the event were: Juan Carlos Martel Bayod, Director of Teatre Lliure; Salvador Tasqué, Director of Fundación Princesa de Girona; Julia Sánchez, Director of Escuela de Música Reina Sofía; María Huertas de la Gándara, Director of Projects at Fundación Exit; Pablo Burgué, Director of Projects at Dynamis; David Peralto, Chairman of  Fundación Teatro Joven; Federico Buyolo, Cultural Director at Fundación Ortega-Marañón; and Álvaro Pérez-Pla, Director of Open Value Foundation.

Gonzalo Ortiz Poveda, Director of Organisational Development and People, of the Eastern Territorial Division at Banco Sabadell, spoke about his participation as a mentor in the Hackathon: “A few years ago I took part as a volunteer in programmes run by the Foundation and they told me about this Hackathon event that combines social impact, creativity and youth, and I jumped at the chance. The young people responded to me with enthusiasm, creativity, attentiveness and fresh ideas, and their continued interest over an entire weekend demonstrates the impact of this initiative and their commitment; I am getting so much out of this experience, I am learning from them.”

Judith Hernández, HR Technician at Banco Sabadell, said: “I could not pass up an opportunity like this to be a mentor in a space like the Círculo de Bellas Artes, bringing together young people, art and culture with solutions that impact on society. Young people are fearless and, contrary to what people say about their generation – that they are apathetic and don’t want to do anything – here they have shown the opposite to be true.

The winning team presented the “ExperienciaIN” programme, an immersive proposal for educational and cultural centres seeking to raise young people’s awareness of functional diversity through virtual reality. As their prize, the winning team were all registered for the next edition of Human Up, a training programme that develops skills in leadership, communication, creativity and innovation through hands-on workshops; they were also each awarded a one-year pass as a “Friend” of Círculo de Bellas Artes and an invitation for two to attend the next opening performance of LaJoven, a company of the Fundación Teatro Joven, that serves as a meeting point for young people who are passionate about theatre and performing arts professionals and teachers.

It is wonderful for us to be able to get young people involved in such an innovative event, bringing together the social, cultural and academic ecosystems to inspire and reveal the potential of art as a tool for social transformation” concluded Manuel Docavo, co-founder of U4IMPACT.