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Interview: “For an institution to support new talent and creativity, and a concept as new as ‘disruptive innovation’ is courageous and admirable”

This Friday sees the start of  Imagine 7 Islands, a program based on innovation in the 7 Canary Islands, to promote disruptive business ideas in the tourism industry. Until 17 March, 12 dreamers (divided into 4 teams) will participate in this project via 4 challenges set by companies and institutions in the tourism industry, by land, sea and air. The dreamers will be advised by 15 mentors and experts who will accompany the throughout their journey.

Paula Foto

Paula Álvarez holds a degree in English and Hispanic Studies and a Master’s Degree in Education and Translation. At just 28, Paula, from Zamora, has become the first dreamer of Imagine 7 Islands, she was awarded a scholarship by Banco Sabadell Foundation. Winner of the ‘Elevator Pitch’ competition, the highest in the world, as its competitors take part in a cable car 3,718 meters above the Mount Teide Volcano, Paula is one of the 12 dreamers to participate in this edition.

What were the keys to convincing the panel and becoming the first Dreamer? Above all, I think that the enthusiasm and dynamism that I showed in my presentation video, as well as my pitch in the Teide cable car, which was also very exciting. I also think that my academic background which is humanist and creative, coupled with my work experience which is more practical, varied and international, played a part.

What do you hope to achieve during the 14 days of the Imagine 7 Islands? On a personal level, I would like to test myself to see what I am capable of, develop my abilities to the maximum, enjoy new experiences and discover everything I am able to offer. Professionally, I would like to share ideas that contribute to the development of the projects which are proposed to us, providing efficient and feasible ideas which have a positive impact. I also want to learn as much as I can from the mentors, my team mates and the experiences awaiting us.

How do you feel about Banco Sabadell Foundation supporting this program? It is something to be genuinely proud of, especially bearing in mind the trajectory of the Banco Sabadell Foundation, and the level and quality of the projects and institutions that it sponsors, especially at a time like this, when sponsorships and collaborations have been so drastically reduced. For an institution to support new talent and creativity, and a concept as new as “disruptive innovation” is courageous and admirable.

How does it feel to be a part of the Dreamer family? It seems to be a very interesting melting pot, which I want to nurture my talents with, and also add my own experiences into the mix. We are a very heterogeneous group with very different profiles, but with a common goal, so I believe that Imagine will be a symbiotic group where we will all learn from each other. Without a doubt, it promises to be a very enriching experience.