H.M. the King of Spain and António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, participated this morning in the inauguration of the IE Tower, the new technological and sustainable headquarters of IE University in Madrid. The event marks a milestone for IE University, an academic institution internationally recognized for its entrepreneurial and innovative character and for the level of employability of its graduates. The ceremony was attended by 600 figures from the institutional, business, and academic spheres around the world as well as students, alumni, professors and members of the IE Community who watched the ceremony via live streaming from 165 countries.
Upon arrival to the IE Tower, which is located in the “Five Towers” business hub in the north of Madrid and is the third tallest campus in the world at 180 meters, with 35 floors and 50,000 square meters, His Majesty the King of Spain was received by Diego del Alcázar Silvela, President of IE University; Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE University; Manuel Castells, the Minister of Universities; Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid; Pablo Casado, Spain's Leader of the Opposition; José Luis Martínez Almeida, Mayor of Madrid; Clara Luquero, Mayor of Segovia, the historic city where IE University has a campus; and Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization. H.M. the King Felipe VI visited the new IE University building, where 3,800 students are attending courses this academic year in the Business, Law, Architecture & Design, Global & Public Affairs, and Human Sciences & Technology programs.
During the opening ceremony, Diego del Alcázar Silvela highlighted the importance of innovation as IE University's "permanent state of mind," along with entrepreneurship, diversity, sustainability, and also the humanities, which help students "to be better people; to better understand others and society at large and to anticipate the changes taking place in the world."
Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE University, highlighted the purpose of the academic institution in "promoting positive change through education, innovation and research" and mentioned that these three pillars reinforce the new educational paradigm. “Innovation is a part of everything we do and it is essential to the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. Innovation also allows us to embrace technology as a core value.”
“We educate in the digital age, but we also educate for the digital age. At IE University, we seek to fulfil our calling of bettering society through the creation and transfer of knowledge. Thus, respect is key to our educational philosophy. Respect for oneself leads to the respect of others’ beliefs, rights, ideas, orientations, ways of living, and to the planet we inhabit.”
Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE University
António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, described IE Tower "as a symbol of the towering importance of education in today’s fast-changing world. It will be a home for world-class learning, cutting edge ideas and practical answers to the many challenges facing humanity." He added, “We at the United Nations are proud to work with IE University in advancing the Sustainable Development and so many other tasks.”
H.M. the King Felipe VI observed a class taught by Rachida Justo, IE University Professor of Entrepreneurial Management and Social Entrepreneurship and also attended an audiovisual presentation of IE University's values related to technology, entrepreneurship, diversity, humanities, and sustainability.
Following the ceremony, H.M. the King Felipe VI visited the classrooms and prominent spaces of the university, accompanied by Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE University, Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University, and others in attendance at the event. H.M. the King Felipe VI met with students, professors, and academic authorities of the institution and learned about IE University's liquid learning model, which allows students to attend classes in person or connect remotely simultaneously from anywhere in the world through the screens installed in the classrooms.
The IE Tower is the fifth tower of the business complex that is driving economic growth in the north of Madrid, at the upper end of the Spanish capital’s emblematic Paseo de la Castellana. The IE Tower has spaces for technological immersion, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, 64 classrooms with flexible configurations and 30 unique spaces that encourage interaction, innovation, and creativity, as well as open areas to promote social and cultural life. Among other spaces, the IE Tower has a Venture Lab to accelerate the creation of startups, a FabLab to develop architecture and design projects, and an auditorium with a capacity for approximately 600 people.