Returning to Our Roots

Gustavo Cisneros at Palencia, Spain

For the Cisneros family, our roots, values and legacy have always guided our actions both in our personal lives and as a company. We are proud of our roots and learning about our history became our life’s mission.

More than a decade has passed since my family and I began this great quest to explore our background. It was crystallized through publications such as, “La saga atlántica de los Jiménez Cisneros” (The Atlantic Saga of the Jiménez Cisneros Family) which was published by Fundación Cisneros… This quest led me to the town of Cisneros in Palencia, Spain, and confirmed us to be descendents of the Jiménez de Cisneros family.

It allowed my family, especially my grandchildren, to have in-depth knowledge of our roots, as well as visit the place where our ancestors lived and from where they left on an adventure to the Americas, which is extremely important for us.

It was during this quest, I recently had the opportunity to return to Palencia. I traveled through some of the most important areas of Valladolid and of course, Cisneros town, together with the National Delegate for Valladolid, Miguel Ángel Cortés; José Ma. Hernández, President of Regional Council; Carmen Fernández, Delegate for Culture; the Mayoress of Cisneros, Rosa Aldea and her team; as well as the Mayors of Frómista, Fernandez Diez Mediavilla, Pedrosa de la Vega, Arturo Calvo, Saldaña, Miguel Nozal y Becerril and Mario Granda.

La Casa del Esclusero in Frómista; La Olmeda Roman Villa in Pedrosa de la Vega; the Museo Parroquial de Arte Sacro in Becerril de Campos; as well as the Cisneros Museum and Church; were some of the main places we visited. We heard about some of the tourism projects promoting these places which are home to some of the greatest renaissance art expressions.

As the Spanish proverb says, “If you don’t know where you’re going, look to where you came from…” . Over the last seven years in our family, Villa Cisneros has already become a part of our daily lives and our history.


Vatican diplomacy could be Venezuela’s salvation

At least 30 people have died in Venezuela in the street protests between pro- and anti-government supporters of the past month. The economy, plagued by shortages and high inflation, is in near freefall. Politically, the polarisation long fomented by both the socialist government and the opposition has deepened even further.

Distrust, intolerance and confrontation have become the norm; how else to understand a recent ruling that banned websites deemed “harmful to the Venezuelan people”? Amid the disturbances, calls for political justice or ideology have also lost their old resonance – for both sides. The situation is no longer tenable, and it cries out for attention and help from the international community. So far, it has largely ignored Venezuela’s terrible plight.

The challenges of achieving meaningful dialogue are huge. The incendiary atmosphere makes it especially difficult for what I call “The Two Venezuelas” – one in favour of the government, the other against – to talk to each other. Efforts by both sides have so far been half-hearted, or duplicitous. Nevertheless, resolution of the country’s colossal problems requires a truly consensual project.

To begin with, both sides need to recognise the legitimacy and significance of the other, and, despite their differing national visions, to meet on common ground: their love for Venezuela and the desire to build a better future.

This better future, which Venezuelans of all socio-political persuasions can surely agree on, is a country where all opinions count, where human rights support democratic rule, and where minority rights and long term stability are nurtured. It is a country where parents can spend their time cultivating their children as good citizens instead of waiting half a day in queues to buy their groceries. It is a country where walking in the streets is safe and enjoyable, instead of fraught with peril as it often is now. It is a country that gives its youth the possibility of dreams, and where journalism is not a life-threatening profession. In brief, it is a country where everyone has the right to speak, and be listened to respectfully, and where that rich dialogue engenders growth of all kinds.

With so many currently mourning the loss to violence of beloved family members and friends, Venezuela’s crisis needs to become a defining moment that sparks a collective effort to resolve a conflict that touches all citizens – not just the government or the opposition. The country has, in the past, demonstrated the political maturity needed to establish common ground. It must do so again. Gifted minds that prioritise the future over the past and can focus on the task at hand rather than the losses suffered or the obstacles faced, will be the architects of that consensus. But to create consensus, bridges first need to be built trough honest dialogue.

Overcoming polarisation is the most urgent task. Unfortunately, the conflict has left the country void of honest brokers. Amid so much division, no single institution or individual is considered the depository of righteousness. And at a time when such a figure is so essential, Venezuela lacks an arbiter who loves our nation, understands its complexity and enjoys the deep knowledge of our history needed to propose consensus-building formulas that would be acceptable to all. The country is in dire need of a mediator whose work and deeds are inspired by a deeply felt conviction to seek the best for all and to set us on a path to a better future. The delegation dispatched to Caracas by the Union of South American Nations with the mission of promoting dialogue is a start, but is far from enough.

Perhaps His Holiness Pope Francis and wise Vatican diplomacy could be Venezuela’s salvation. Pope Francis could bring to a halt the nation´s destructive journey. Signs abound of his suitability for such a role: from the internal messages he  has sent to his representatives in the country, to his expressions of concern over the violent turn that student protests have taken. “I beg all parties in conflict to seek peace and understanding,” the Pope has said. “I call on all the Venezuelan people, beginning with those with institutional and political responsibilities, to unite in seeking national reconciliation through mutual pardon and sincere dialogue and respect for truth and justice as the medium to achieve the common good”.

Opinions differ over who is responsible for what in Venezuela, or how things arrived at this disastrous point. But what seems self-evident and unquestionable is that the status quo is unsustainable. Both sides need to show good will by releasing all political prisoners, by ending all street barricades, and by lowering all voices of confrontation. If the Vatican's diplomacy can facilitate those initial steps, talks to reconcile Venezuelans around real solutions to profound problems can begin — which is what Pope Francis is praying for. Let's take his prayer to heart.

Article published in the Financial Times March 20, 2014

[ TRADUCCIÓN ] 
 

La colaboración diplomática del Vaticano, posible salvación para Venezuela 

 
Durante el último mes, por lo menos 30 personas – entre simpatizantes del gobierno y  opositores – han muerto en Venezuela debido a las protestas. En tanto, el país atraviesa una situación económica apremiante, con un alto índice de inflación y al borde del colapso; mientras que la polarización fomentada desde tiempo atrás, tanto por el gobierno socialista como por la oposición, se ha incrementado drásticamente. 
 
La desconfianza, la intolerancia y la confrontación se han vuelto comunes. ¿De qué otra forma podrían entenderse las regulaciones que restringen el acceso a sitios web que “agredan al pueblo venezolano”? Entre disturbios, llamados de justicia política o ideología, ambos frentes han perdido su antigua fuerza. La situación es insostenible y requiere desesperadamente de mediación internacional. Hasta el momento, el caos que enfrenta Venezuela ha sido terriblemente ignorado. 
 
Los retos para alcanzar un diálogo significativo son enormes. La atmósfera incendiaria hace especialmente difícil el diálogo, debido a lo que yo llamo el surgimiento de “las dos Venezuelas”, una a favor del gobierno, la otra en contra. Los esfuerzos por parte de ambos frentes han sido medianamente sinceros e incluso falsos; sin embargo, para alcanzar la solución de los grandes problemas del país, se requiere de un proyecto honesto y unificado. 
 
Para empezar, más allá de sus diferentes visiones sobre la situación, ambos frentes necesitan reconocer la legitimidad y la importancia del otro; y encontrar un punto de coincidencia: su amor por Venezuela y su deseo de construir un mejor futuro. 
 
Este mejor futuro con el que estarán de acuerdo todos los venezolanos – independientemente de sus ideas políticas – está representado por un país en donde todas las opiniones cuenten, en el que el respeto a los derechos humanos, a los derechos de las minorías y la estabilidad a largo plazo, vayan de la mano. Un país, donde los padres de familia puedan pasar tiempo formado buenos ciudadanos en lugar de haciendo filas para adquirir productos básicos. Un país en el que sea posible caminar por sus calles sintiendo confianza y seguridad, en lugar de hacerlo con ansiedad y temor. Un país en el que los jóvenes puedan alcanzar sus sueños y donde los periodistas no se jueguen la vida cada día para cumplir con su trabajo. En suma, un país donde todos los venezolanos puedan expresarse libremente y ser escuchados. 
 
Con tantos venezolanos de luto por la pérdida de familiares y amigos, la crisis que vive hoy Venezuela tendría que convertirse en el momento decisivo para el despertar de un esfuerzo colectivo para resolver un conflicto que afecta por igual a todos los ciudadanos, no sólo al gobierno o a la oposición. Venezuela ha demostrado ya en el pasado, la madurez política que es imprescindible para encontrar un punto de coincidencia. Las mentes privilegiadas priorizan el futuro sobre el pasado, centrándose en la tarea por hacer en lugar de en las pérdidas o los obstáculos que enfrentan…serán ellos, los artífices del consenso; pero para que puedan llevarlo a cabo, es necesario construir una atmósfera que privilegie el diálogo honesto. 
 
Superar la polarización es prioritario. Desafortunadamente, el conflicto ha dejado un vacío de mediadores honestos; y en medio de tanta división, ninguna institución o individuo es considerado como depositario de confianza. En este momento en el que la figura de un mediador es esencial, Venezuela carece de un árbitro que ame a nuestra nación, que entienda su complejidad y que conozca nuestra historia, características necesarias para proponer fórmulas de consenso que resulten válidas para todos. Venezuela se encuentra en extrema necesidad de un mediador cuyos actos sean inspirados por la única y profunda convicción de buscar lo mejor para los ciudadanos y colocarnos en la senda hacia un futuro mejor. El grupo de cancilleres enviado por UNASUR, próximo a llegar a Caracas con la misión de promover el dialogo, es un comienzo, pero está lejos de ser suficiente. 
 
Quizá Su Santidad El Papa Francisco y la sabia cancillería del Vaticano, podrían convertirse en la salvación de Venezuela. El Papa Francisco podría poner fin a la trayectoria destructiva de nuestro país. Las muestras de su carácter idóneo para esta tarea abundan; desde los mensajes internos que ha enviado a sus representantes en el país, hasta la expresión de su preocupación por el giro tan violento que han tomado las protestas estudiantiles, haciendo un llamado “a la paz y la concordia” al pedir que “todo el pueblo venezolano, comenzando por los responsables políticos e institucionales, se una para favorecer la reconciliación nacional a través del perdón mutuo y el diálogo sincero, el respeto por la verdad y la justicia, capaces de hacer frente a cuestiones concretas para el bien común”. 
 
Las opiniones acerca de quién es responsable de qué en Venezuela o cómo fue que llegaron las cosas hasta este punto tan desastroso, son divergentes; pero lo que parece ser una verdad evidente e incuestionable, es lo insostenible de la situación. Ambas partes del conflicto necesitan demostrar su buena voluntad a través de la liberación de los presos políticos; terminando con las barricadas en las calles y disminuyendo el nivel de confrontación. Si la diplomacia de la Santa Sede pudiera facilitar estos primeros pasos, el diálogo de reconciliación entre los venezolanos en busca de soluciones reales, podría dar inicio…eso es por lo que ora el Papa Francisco. Aceptemos de corazón sus oraciones. 


Tolerancia y diálogo sincero, las vías de la reconstrucción

Con la violencia en ascenso, la situación en Venezuela ha alcanzado un punto insostenible al cual no podemos ser ajenos.  Más allá de cualquier ideología, el país exige una reconfiguración y toma de decisiones inmediata, que nos permita definir el rumbo que Venezuela necesita tomar para encontrar -de mutuo acuerdo-, la senda de la paz, reconciliación y crecimiento.

Desgraciadamente, hoy la intolerancia y la desconfianza, así como el evidente ánimo de confrontación visto en nuestras calles, parecen reinar en el país. La reciente advertencia por parte de la Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CONATEL) a proveedores de internet para bloquear los sitios web que “agredan al pueblo venezolano” y “causen desestabilización y zozobra” es una clara muestra de ello, al igual que la consideración de una posible restricción para el ingreso a redes sociales como Twitter y YouTube.

Ante este tipo de actitudes, la idea de sentar en la mesa a dos Venezuelas tan distantes, parece lejana. No obstante, resolver los grandes problemas que hoy nos aquejan –criminalidad y violencia, desabastecimiento, un alto índice inflación y una apremiante situación económica- requiere de la voluntad de todos. Se necesita una apertura en la que cada una de las partes reconozca la validez de sus interlocutores, poniendo por encima de cualquier diferencia, esa gran coincidencia que nos une a todos los venezolanos: el amor y la lucha por nuestra patria.

Necesitamos comenzar un diálogo sincero, a trabajar juntos en la construcción del país que todos deseamos: un país en el que todas las opiniones cuenten; en el que el respeto de los derechos humanos, los derechos de las minorías y la estabilidad no estén peleados. Un país de progreso en el que las madres de familia no necesiten realizar una odisea para adquirir lo básico. Un país en el que la gente pueda caminar confiada por la calle. Un país en el que los jóvenes puedan alcanzar sus sueños. Un país en el que sus periodistas no tengan que jugarse la vida todos los días para hacer su trabajo, en el que  la libertad de expresión y el oficio de la comunicación sean respetados. Un país en el que todos los venezolanos podamos expresarnos y ser escuchados.

Estamos en el momento justo para demostrar la madurez política de Venezuela y decidir la forma de resolver un conflicto que está afectando a todo el pueblo venezolano, no sólo a gobierno u oposición.  El nivel de polarización que ha alcanzado Venezuela, merece ya la mediación externa de una figura que goce de credibilidad ante ambas partes: un árbitro que conozca y quiera a Venezuela y que comprenda la complejidad de su situación. Alguien que cuente con capacidad técnica para llamar a la reconciliación, con disposición para el diálogo y cuyo fin último sea la consecución de la paz y la  unión entre todos los venezolanos.

En este contexto -tal como diversos personajes han propuesto ya- la intervención de una figura al margen de cualquier interés político, como la del Papa Francisco y la sabia cancillería del Vaticano, emergen como la  opción más viable. Desde el recrudecimiento de las protestas en Venezuela, el Sumo Pontífice se ha mostrado especialmente preocupado por la violencia desatada y ha sido uno de los primeros en hacer un llamado “a la paz y la concordia” al pedir que “todo el pueblo venezolano, comenzando por los responsables políticos e institucionales, se una para favorecer la reconciliación nacional a través del perdón mutuo y el diálogo sincero, el respeto por la verdad y la justicia, capaces de hacer frente a cuestiones concretas para el bien común”.  El Vaticano cuenta además con figuras como el Cardenal Pietro Parolin, hoy Secretario de Estado, que en su calidad de Nuncio Apostólico de Venezuela, tuvo la oportunidad de conocer de cerca nuestra situación y cuenta también con gran experiencia en materia de negociación internacional.  La Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana tiene la confianza del país y podría tomar parte de este arbitraje y del establecimiento de un ambiente propicio para un diálogo sin exclusiones.

Se puede o no estar de acuerdo con lo propuesto hoy en Venezuela, es justo ese debate el que da fuerza a toda democracia.  Pero lo que no podemos negar es lo insostenible de la situación que atraviesa hoy nuestro país, donde la protesta es una reacción normal como lo es en cualquier sociedad democrática; no obstante, debe poder hacerse sin violencia.

Tal como ha sido la constante en las grandes transformaciones de América Latina, los jóvenes venezolanos han sido los primeros en alzar la mano, mostrando al mundo el espíritu de nuestra patria: echado pa’lante, decidido, valiente, que no se doblega. Se trata de jóvenes que entienden que el progreso también está ligado con el bienestar de los menos favorecidos; que son capaces de visualizar las consecuencias, a mediano y largo plazo, que trae consigo la carencia de certeza; y que pugnan por la reconstrucción del país.

Si queremos encontrar la reconciliación, resulta indispensable el cese a la persecución; así como la investigación independiente y transparente de los fallecimientos ocurridos y las denuncias existentes sobre violaciones a los derechos humanos durante las protestas.  La violencia –provenga de donde provenga- es totalmente reprobable.

Venezuela requiere de la unión de gobierno, instituciones, partidos políticos y ciudadanos, de un debate constructivo  que nos permita recuperar esa Venezuela de oportunidades, de progreso y de bienestar.

Hoy me duele mi patria tan dividida, me duele el grado que han alcanzado nuestros desacuerdos. Me duele una Venezuela que sufre; pero confío en que el amor que los venezolanos sentimos por nuestra patria, nos permitirá superar la intolerancia que ha dominado el escenario político en los últimos años, para dar paso al debate democrático y la recuperación de la confianza en las instituciones. No podemos darnos el lujo de continuar divididos.

Si bien este pronunciamiento recibirá, estoy seguro, críticas de muchos; también estoy convencido que si las partes se sientan a la mesa del diálogo –contando con una mediación externa como la del Vaticano-, mi país encontrará de mutuo acuerdo, la paz y la reconciliación que todos aspiramos.

Editorial publicada en el País

(Original article in spanish)


Interview with Bloomberg: Adriana Cisneros focuses on Latin American expansion

I would like to share with you another interesting interview by Bloomberg of my daughter Adriana as the new CEO of Cisneros. In the interview, she mentions relevant aspects of our future plans and the niche markets with the greatest potential for the organization’s growth. Adriana clearly states that her focus is on Latin America, where there are markets very favorable for expansion, as well as her goal to bolster our status as a leader in Spanish-language TV. How can that be achieved? Through new acquisitions, expanding our production companies and capitalizing on the growth of e-commerce in Latin America. I am convinced that’s precisely the most promising course for Cisneros, with Adriana at the helm, representing a new generation of leadership and knowledgeable of the digital tendencies from which new platforms and formats have originated like digital advertising, which is currently experiencing the highest rate of growth in Latin America and where there are markets with great potential. In this interview, she also mentions a number of our other investments, including Tropicalia, our real estate project in the Dominican Republic, and Miss Venezuela.  The latter was exemplified to demonstrate how to generate greater growth in existing companies while expanding their digital reach.

I invite you to see the interview through the link below:

Cisneros’s First Female CEO Seeks Latin America Expansion by Adriana Cisneros


Adriana Cisneros, The New Face Of Cisneros Group: The Miami Herald

Adriana Cisneros

   I would like to share with you a very good article The Miami Herald wrote about my daughter Adriana as the new CEO of Cisneros.

Published on October 28th, the article very well presents the challenges she has taken on in her new role, as well as the way she has prepared herself to face them. The journalist, Cindy Krisher Goodman, mentions several strategic points that I consider will be driving force behind Adriana´s leadership in the coming years: the first is innovation, which began a few years ago with her own initiative to create the company´s digital division; this marked the beginning of a restructuring that would ultimately establish three new corporate divisions: Cisneros Media, Cisneros Interactive, and Cisneros Real State. The second is to continue the company’s expansion, which produced optimal results in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and now presents a new challenge for Adriana; and the third is to transcend frontiers, conquer new territories, and increase audiences across the different formats in a world where creating relevant content has become a very competitive business. 

The article also addresses the issue of successions in family businesses in Latin America, and how it has been a priority for our organization, a process meticulously organized and appropriately planned in Adriana’s case.  She now devotes a portion of her time to contemplate how to engage the next generation in the business, and envision the type of company we want to be in the future.

I invite you to read it:   

 

The new face of Cisneros by Gustavo Cisneros


Diego Cisneros or the Desire for Knowledge

 

My father, Diego Cisneros, was a man who made a big impact on the Venezuelan business world.  As an entrepreneur, he paved the way for creating industries, promoting democracy, and also strived to improve education, all of which helped lead Venezuela into modernity.

Diego Cisneros’ legacy is part of our core, and it will continue to be the stepping-stone of what Cisneros is today; our philosophy and our way of doing business.

This is why we pay a tribute to this great dreamer, a businessman who knew how to make any idea come true.  This is a homage to this visionary who, with brains, a heart and courage founded what is today one of the most important media and entertainment groups of the world.

Without a doubt, my father’s story is worth telling; in fact, it is an inspiring story that I would like to share with you today.


On designating Adriana Cisneros CEO of Cisneros

  It gives me great pride to appoint my daughter Adriana as the new CEO of Cisneros.  She is the third generation to lead our company.       

This moment has taken me back to when I took over Cisneros under very different circumstances.  I was 25 years old and my father, Diego Cisneros, had  just passed away. From that moment on, thanks to my father’s extraordinary lessons, and the support of his executive team and that of my brothers and sisters, I was able to take on the challenges of corporate expansion and diversification, which yielded incredible gains and consequently transformed us into  a global company.

Patty and I are incredibly pleased and proud of Adriana, and we know that under her leadership, Cisneros will explore new paths and with the support of  a deeply rooted tradition and an ideal team, she will be able to face a complex and challenging ever-changing wor

 

It gives me great pride to appoint my daughter Adriana as the new CEO of Cisneros.  She is the third generation to lead our company.

This moment has taken me back to when I took over Cisneros under very different circumstances.  I was 25 years old and my father, Diego Cisneros, had  just passed away. From that moment on, thanks to my father’s extraordinary lessons, and the support of his executive team and that of my brothers and sisters, I was able to take on the challenges of corporate expansion and diversification, which yielded incredible gains and consequently transformed us into  a global company.

This step has been very different for Adriana. She joined Cisneros more than seven years ago and spent the past four years as Vice Chairman and Director of Strategy; which has allowed her to prepare for this new endeavour. During her tenure, Adriana took our company to another level, leading our expansion in the digital world, developing new lines of business, creating strategic global partnerships and fostering an innovative approach to Corporate Social Responsibility that is linked to each of our business units.

Adriana thoroughly understands that for a family business to endure  time throughout  several generations, she must presistently favor change, with innovation at the helm, while preserving the fundamental values that  were instilled by my father  since our company’s beginnings and that have provideda solid foundation,  and the reliability and excellence for which we have distinguished ourselves, and that have  allowed all our companies to flourish along with a invaluable human capital.

Patty and I are incredibly pleased and proud of Adriana, and we know that under her leadership, Cisneros will explore new paths and with the support of  a deeply rooted tradition and an ideal team, she will be able to face a complex and challenging ever-changing world.   


Taking the Colección Orinoco to Spain pays homage to the ethnic groups that have populated the Amazon jungle of Venezuela

The Colección Orinoco opened at the Museo Gaiás in Santiago de Compostela a few days ago. It is one of the most representative samples of the Latin American ethnographic world, and has been shown in several European countries -Germany, France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Denmark and Slovenia- where it has been extraordinarily well received. 

The exhibition arrives in Spain for the first time, which is significant for several reasons. First, because of the close ties we have with this country: friendship, tradition, business and even our own last name. 

Second, because taking the Colección Orinoco to the Iberian Peninsula, and thus sharing with countless visitors an essential reality of the Venezuelan national identity, is for me paying homage to the 12 ethnic groups that have populated the Amazon jungle in the south of Venezuela.  These groups have enriched the country’s cultural heritage with their rituals, customs and natural knowledge.

Third, because opening Orinoco in the magnificent spaces of the Gaiás Museum in Santiago de Compostela is the accomplishment of a project that involves more than 30 years of work, the collection of objects, research, and the documentation of a magical area and the extraordinary abundance of its most genuine natural beauty. To be able to offer all of this now to a country that centuries ago witnessed the transformation of these same inhabitants fills us with pride and satisfaction.


Behind a free trade agreement there is a clean and honest purpose to gather people together

Integración

 

Behind a free trade agreement there is a clean and honest purpose to  gather people together… I heard this phrase from the Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, and I think that it perfectly describes the spirit of regional integration that we have sought in Latin America for decades.

It is true that over the years we have made several attempts to achieve integration, signing a wide range of cooperation and commercial agreements, but so far we have not reached that goal. It is for this reason that during my recent participation in a forum with business leaders from Latin America, I emphasized on the factors that I consider essential to achieve it, such as the establishment of shared goals, vision, and capacity for commitment, leadership, clear regulations, efficient enforcement mechanisms and, above all, sustained political will.  

An example of what we should aim to is the Pacific Alliance, because I believe that this agreement signed by Chile, Colombia, México and Peru is perhaps the closer effort to what it should be a real integration in the region. 

This Alliance seeks to gradually achieve the free transit of goods, services, capitals and people, and is moving forward towards that direction, with the elimination of visas among its members, and the plan to open joint embassies. It is certainly a great example of vision and unity towards a common goal for our continent that we should follow closely and help replicate.


Conveying knowledge, values and experience to new generations: Our Responsibility

 

I was deeply glad to receive the invitation to participate in Babson Founder’s Day, an activity organized by the Babson College Alumni Club of South Florida, and its oldest tradition since 1947. The occasion recognizes Babson´s founder and first president, Roger W. Babson, and gathers new generations of students with graduates who have become leaders of organizations of great relevance worldwide.

Through a video message, I told future students of my Alma Mater, as well as other graduates, the principles that have been the basis for the expansion, consolidation and globalization of the Cisneros Group, which are closely linked to the ones instilled by Babson to its students, such as leadership, integrity, responsibility and entrepreneurial vision.

Our President and CEO, Steven Bandel, who attended the event on my behalf, shared with the participants our philosophy and the way the Cisneros Group has evolved in eight decades.

This is not the first time I participate in activities with Babson College members; in 1981 I was elected as member of the Academy of distinguished entrepreneurs, and three decades later, I have reaffirmed the principles we shared at that time, which today represent my own philosophy. That is the reason why I would like to share with you my words of that moment, which I found more current than ever: Gustavo Cisneros’ speech: Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (April 15, 1981)