28 DEC 2018

Spanish female talent comes home for Christmas at the 'Brilliant People' (Gente Que Brilla) encounter

  • Iberdrola's Brilliant People initiative organised a session in which it brought together brilliant Spanish women from around the world and brought them home for Christmas
  • An engineer in Germany, a medical researcher at Harvard, a coordinator of NGO projects in Africa, a start-up director in the United States, a furniture designer in Bali and an Olympic skater in Moscow took part in this meeting

There are many Spanish women living outside our country, who one day decided to leave everything to start a new adventure in search of their dreams. Many of them have achieved success on their journey, but despite having great experiences, they never lose their desire to return home for Christmas and share their experiences with their loved ones.

Thus, Brilliant People, a digital space created by Iberdrola to make known stories of interest to all organized the meeting "Brilliant People around the world who come home for Christmas" at ISDI, the first school of digital business in Spain, which brought together several representatives of Spanish female talent who live outside Spain and who spent the Christmas season with their loved ones. The speakers explained to the attendees what their life is like, what they do, how they managed to get to where they are or what their challenges for the future are.

Gente que brilla campaign.

The introduction by the presenter Beatriz Crisóstomo, Telecommunications Engineer and Head of Innovation at Iberdrola was followed by talks by the speakers. The day began with Patricia Salamanca, a young engineer who shared her international experience with the attendees. She left her country to devote herself to what she likes best. She is currently leading the Wikinger project, the first offshore wind farm built by Iberdrola in Germany that provides renewable energy to 400,000 families with its 70 offshore wind turbines. "The key is to look for something that motivates you, that makes you happy, and not think that you're really working," Patricia said.

Next, Itziar Lamiquiz, specialist in Molecular Biology at Harvard, explained how the lack of investment in research in our country led her to pack her bags and move out to fulfil her dream. She is currently working on a research project on genetic and environmental factors to predict weight change in study subjects. Enthusiasm and dedication are two key factors for her, "this allows you to give your very best". "Now that I have finished my thesis, I'm looking for an opportunity in Spain and so I can give back to Spanish science the effort I have made", he concluded.

Marta Jurado, interior designer and furniture designer. She is the co-founder of Heaps & Woods, a firm that designs custom furniture in Indonesia using local materials and preserving the tradition of Bali artisans. Four years ago, this young woman from Barcelona decided to turn her life around to give shape to her dream. "I went to Indonesia on a personal journey that changed my life. That's when I discovered all this country's potential for materials and the know-how of its artisans. Together with my partner, Louis Chagnaud, we decided to create our dream project of designing unique furniture and iconic pieces for decorators."

A talk with many stories of commitment and overcoming circumstances

The protagonists of the event got together and took the floor at the experience table, where they talked openly about their adventures outside Spain and debated with each other about their experiences. Virginia Morcillo was another guest speaker, representing a committed generation that strivves to help others. Virginia coordinates development projects in Zambia and Kenya in order to push the locals towards entrepreneurship, with special emphasis on projects for women. During his speech she stressed the importance of knowing the local context and rhythms when working outside Spain. She also concluded that "international experience is necessary. We must expand and open the focus to discover new paths."

Leaving everything behind to fulfil a dream and a passion is the beginning of the story of Sara Hurtado, Madrid skater living in Russia and silver medal in Rostelecom Cup in Moscow. The road has not been easy for the six-time Spanish champion, as three years ago she had to leave everything behind and move to Moscow in search of an improvement in her training and in her sporting career. A country that claims that "the ice skating girls have larger audiences than the football matches". Sara Hurtado said, "If you want to achieve something exceptional, you can't do it from the sofa. You have to commit as much as you can to get what you want."

Rosa Jiménez Cano, a technology journalist, is the Chief Ecosystems Relations at Venture City in Miami. Working outside Spain has served her well. "I'd like us in our country to get rid of our complexes and be open to adopting methods from abroad," she said.

The main objectives of this meeting, which brought together examples that show how our young women shine outside our borders, were to publicise stories about Spaniards living in other countries and to highlight the relevance of Spanish talent.


Gente que Brilla is a space created by Iberdrola to present stories that are of interest to all. People who in one way or another have made their personal mark. Stories that bring together the most vulnerable, the lives of anonymous heroes, great fighters, brilliant projects and innovative proposals. In short, of people who take risks, who try, who surpass themselves, who use their energy to motivate others and their light to illuminate them.