Celebration of the Constitution of the Park of InnovationBr. Thomas Johnson, Vicar General Brothers of the Christian Schools (En)Madrid. November 5, 2008
I am very happy to be present at the celebration of the Constitution of Park of Innovation. I come to this event in the name our Superior General, Brother Alvaro Rodriguez Echeverria who asked me to give you his greetings on this important occasion. This creative, innovative and entrepreneurial partnership is very much in line with the Lasallian educational philosophy and the story of our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. John Baptist de La Salle saw real needs of the society he lived in and devised new and creative ways of meeting those needs. His methods, innovative at that time, brought together students with needs and educators in terms of the Brothers and benefactors from the world of commerce to create a new form of education that was both practical and idealistic, imparting the faith and preparing students for a world of commerce. Today, we continue through many forms of partnership such as we see here today to assist in the development of society and contributing to its cohesion.
The Park’s approach to innovation, driven by solving needs and the market’s demands, versus the classical linear model of seeking applications for a new technology, is a promising alternative that hopefully will give answers to many of the problems we have today that unfortunately, by experience, we know cannot be solved in other ways. Today solving the problems of society and encouraging the growth of a healthy society depend on crossing the lines that in the past have separated religion, education, government, technology and commerce.The Innovation Park is an ecosystem created to generate, share and manage knowledge that enables innovation on services to take place for the improvement of the quality of life of people. This, together with the Areas of Knowledge set up by the Park, such as Dependence, Accessibility, Education and International Cooperation for Development are deeply related to the basic lines of Lasallian’s commitment with society, its organizations and the people. The areas in preparation such as health, energy, transportation, finance are also examples of responding to the needs of a global society. The world needs to be a better place and with this kind of partnership, the Park of Innovation, can be a model of creative ways to approach today’s problems.John Baptist de La Salle knew early in his foundation of our Institute that journeying together is better than journeying alone. Today we celebrating the journeying together in partnership with IMADE, Madrid Emprende, BBVA, Everis, the Madrid Research Institute and the International Triple Helix Institute under Dr. Henry Etzkowitz. We Brothers are grateful for our journeying together with you for the mutual benefit of the students and the organizations here present so that our world can be a better place.I am personally grateful to Brother Luis Timón, the staff of the Parque de Innovación and to the Brothers for their leadership and, of course, for the invitation to be here in Madrid