IEU Experience

04/12/2023

Today’s world is full of uncertainty. Ongoing conflicts in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere, increasing geo-political polarization, large-scale refugee movements around the world and our changing climate present a difficult scenario for humanity. If we’re to overcome these challenges, humanity is going to have to work together, using the best of ourselves. By leveraging both learnings from the long-standing humanities disciplines—that still hold true for all of us—and combining that knowledge with innovation and our incredible capacity to create new technology, we'll be able to make the world a better place in the next fifty years.

Our desire to learn is one of the things that make us human. And that desire, and education’s power to drive change, is what was behind IE University’s The Next Fifty initiative. Over the past year, a series of events, research, talks and thought-provoking exhibitions have challenged us to ask the questions that humanity must answer as we look forward. And the year-long initiative culminated at IE Tower in a Grand Finale event attended by over 600 people, including leading figures from the business, academic and institutional worlds, and one legendary filmmaker.

The Next 50 IE University

Different visions of the future

An entire floor of the iconic IE Tower was given over to a cutting-edge exhibition featuring presentations from all of IE University’s schools. Using interactive tech and the latest in immersive virtual reality, attendees were able to explore each school’s own vision of the next fifty years, viewed through the prism of their principal areas of education; business, law, architecture and design, science and technology, and global and political affairs.

The Grand Finale also saw the unveiling of the conclusions of an extensive research project undertaken by IE Center for the Governance of Change as part of The Next Fifty initiative. Surveying over 8,000 citizens from the G20 countries about their concerns, challenges and opportunities for the future, forward-looking findings on technology, economic trends, scientific challenges, the environment and education were presented. This important and ground-breaking research will play a central role at COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Summit.

The Next 50 IE University

Engaging conversation, and important news

Since the future of education has played such a central role in The Next Fifty, IE University also made an exciting announcement about the institution’s own contribution to the field over the next five decades and beyond.

First, though, there was a fascinating conversation about the enduring importance of art and the humanities between IE University’s CEO Diego del Alcázar Benjumea and guest of honor, giant of the film world Francis Ford Coppola. Known for his visionary work in cinema, Francis envisaged a future in which not all intelligences are flesh and blood, but those that aren’t could still be considered human. Artificial intelligence, he said, will also have to be educated, just as young humans do.

Turning to an enthralled auditorium, he addressed the invitees on their own uniqueness, and on the nature of humanity itself. “You’re all geniuses,” he told the audience. “You have to accept that. You don’t want to, but every one of you sitting here is a million-to-one, extraordinary human being. The priorities of human life are to learn, to create, to perfect and to celebrate.”

Francis Ford Coppola IE University

A historic announcement

Manuel Muñiz, Provost of IE University and Dean of IE School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs, had some extremely exciting news on the night. Reinforcing IE University’s commitment to the humanities in education both now and for the future, he announced the first new school within IE University for 15 years: IE School of Humanities

The launch of the school represents the start of a journey on which IE University’s educational methodology will continue its forward-thinking approach, while at the same time informing that approach with a deep understanding of our past. IE School of Humanities, opening in September 2024 with the academic backing of UNESCO, will seek to nurture humanistic leaders, giving them the foresight to tackle the challenges of our complex, post-digital world.
Whatever the #Next50 years hold, the new IE School of Humanities will play a role in shaping it. By leveraging the critical lessons to be learned from art and the humanities, continuing to foster an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and gathering diverse young minds together to ask the right questions, the next 50 years will see some answers to some of society’s most pressing issues.

Click here to see more of the event’s highlights in a short video.

Manuel Muñiz IE University