The REACT Conference on Economic Reactivation, organised by the Barcelona City Council, is an eagerly anticipated annual event that brings together various economic sectors and experts to discuss and reflect on the economic future of Barcelona. The conference was held from March 28 to March 30, 2023, and was open to city residents and all stakeholders involved in Barcelona’s development. This face-to-face event was divided into three thematic areas people, planet, and progress, and featured sessions analysing initiatives such as re-economizing the city centre and promoting strategic sectors that were a source of economic growth for the city.
REACT 2023 attracted local, national, and international experts and leaders, making it an excellent opportunity for professionals in various industries to bring experiences and reflect on the future development of the cities. The conference aimed to be a meeting point for Barcelona’s various economic sectors to reflect on projects being developed in the city and the economic future for the coming decade.
The conference gathered some of the brightest and most innovative minds from various economic sectors, including entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and academics, to discuss and reflect on the economic future of Barcelona. This year’s conference was particularly special, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to explore new and innovative ways to reactivate the local economy. You can see the full list here.
During the conference, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a range of informative and insightful talks and workshops covering a variety of topics. These included discussions on the latest trends in technology, sustainable development, and urban planning, as well as insights into emerging sectors and industries that will shape the future of Barcelona’s economy.
Barcelona Green Deal
One of the most noteworthy features of the REACT Conference 2023 was the introduction of the Barcelona Green Deal initiative. This visionary program aims to convert Barcelona into one of Europe’s most sustainable and environmentally-friendly cities by implementing a diverse array of strategies to reduce carbon emissions, promote renewable energy, and enhance residents’ quality of life.
The Barcelona Green Deal initiative has set formidable objectives and timelines to realize its vision. The plan comprises 38 measures that strive to reshape Barcelona into one of the continent’s most sustainable and eco-friendly urban environments. Urban transformation is one of the initiative’s essential pillars, and it includes revitalising and building new strategic economic activity centres in several sectors across the city.
Some urban transformation measures in the Barcelona Green Deal scheme include the development of sustainable mobility, green areas in the city, and the development of community gardens where residents can grow their own food and engage in sustainable practices.
In addition, the program aims to revitalize and create new strategic economic activity areas in several of the city’s sectors, including technological sectors, creative industries, research, life sciences and health, and tourism. The goal is to create new economic opportunities that prioritize sustainability and innovation, and to support the growth and development of these sectors in a way that benefits both the economy and the environment.
As the deployment of the Barcelona Green Deal approaches 2030, the city has plans to complete or reform some major urban nodes:
- Sagrera with its large intermodal station,
- Sants station and its surrounding area,
- and the Glòries Square area.
Additionally, there is a need to address the section of the Coastal ring road between the Zona Franca and Carbonera, which presents a significant opportunity to connect the La Marina neighbourhood with other coastal neighbourhoods not only by private vehicle but also by public transport and active modes of transport such as pedestrians and bicycles.
One of the major projects to highlight that encompasses the remodelling of Barcelona is The 22@ Plan. It was established two decades ago and transformed 200 hectares of obsolete industrial land in Poblenou neighbourhood into a hub of economic activity integrated into neighbourhoods with a more balanced mix of uses. Today, 22@ is an economic driver of the city and continues to create employment in sectors linked to technology and digital transformation, as well as the creative industries.
Pyou recognised the need to be located in the heart of the city’s talent hub, and we opened our offices in Barcelona’s innovative 22@ neighbourhood, establishing our presence in this strategic location. Our office has positioned itself in the centre of the talent search, where it is often most difficult to find talent. We are committed to supporting companies and candidates in the midst of the city’s transformation, collaborating and facing challenges together. With this new location, Pyou is ready to continue contributing to the growth and evolution of Barcelona as an economic and talent hub.
However, the northern part of 22@ is still pending transformation, and Barcelona City Council is updating the urban planning regulations to give it a new boost. The modification aims to unblock the development of more than one million square meters of productive land, add technology companies, create about 60,000 jobs, and incorporate current sustainability criteria and respond to the new challenges of workspaces in the post-COVID era. The City Council will take the lead in the development of three areas in the northern part of 22@ and promote the consolidation of two axes: the “creative mile” on Carrer Pere IV, and the green axis on Carrer Cristóbal de Moura.
Overall, the urban transformation measures in the Barcelona Green Deal scheme are aimed at creating a more sustainable, liveable, and economically vibrant city. By prioritising sustainability, innovation, and quality of life, Barcelona is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable urban development and is paving the way for other cities around the world to follow suit.
The Barcelona Talent Map
One of the sessions was “The Barcelona Talent Map,” which showcased the city’s entrepreneurial and business ecosystem and how it sets Barcelona apart from other European cities. The Barcelona Talent Map (created by Barcelona Activa in collaboration with the City Council of Barcelona), provides a comprehensive overview of the talent landscape in Barcelona, including information on key job sectors, educational institutions, and talent development initiatives in the city.
The talent map features an interactive interface that allows users to explore talent data at a granular level. Users can filter the data by sector, education level, age, and gender to gain insights into talent demographics and trends in the city. For example, the map provides a snapshot of the behaviour of professionals in the metropolitan area, with data taken from LinkedIn. Industry 4.0, health and biotechnology, creative industries, and the digital economy attract the most talent, with digital disciplines accounting for 17.9% of talent in the city. The map also shows a significant increase in women’s presence in digital training. London, Paris, Berlin, and Milan are the main European talent providers, while Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and San Francisco are notable non-European sources.
The Barcelona Talent Map also highlights key educational institutions in the city, including universities, business schools, and vocational training centres. This information can be valuable for businesses and investors looking to connect with talent in specific fields or industries.
Additionally, the map provides information on talent development initiatives and programs in the city, such as Barcelona Activa’s entrepreneurship program and the city’s Talent Help Desk. These resources are designed to support talent development in Barcelona and to facilitate the growth of key industries in the region.
The Barcelona Talent Map is an important tool for businesses, investors, and individuals looking to connect with talent in the city. By providing a comprehensive overview of the talent landscape in Barcelona, the map can facilitate the development of new talent pipelines, support the growth of key industries in the city, and promote innovation and economic development in the region.
At Pyou our main focus is to facilitate the perfect match between firms and candidates by acting as a bridge between the two. We are dedicated to ensuring that companies are able to find the most suitable talent for their needs, while candidates are presented with the best job opportunities in line with their career goals. We believe in the importance of providing personalised attention to both companies and candidates to understand their specific needs and requirements. Our approach enables us to create a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Overall, the Barcelona Talent Map showcases the city’s commitment to talent development and innovation. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive data, the map is poised to become a vital tool for businesses and individuals looking to capitalise on Barcelona’s talent pool and drive economic growth in the region.
The Barcelona React 2023 conference was a resounding success, bringing together experts, professionals, and city residents to reflect on the economic future of Barcelona. The conference covered a range of topics, from urban transformation to sustainability and talent development. One of the highlights of the conference was the launch of the Barcelona Green Deal scheme, a visionary initiative aimed at transforming the city into one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly urban environments in Europe. Additionally, the conference saw the unveiling of the Barcelona Talent Map, an interactive tool that provides a comprehensive overview of the talent landscape in the city. Overall, the conference showcased Barcelona’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and talent development, and it is certain to have a lasting impact on the economic future of the city.
Overall, the REACT Conference on Economic Reactivation was an essential event for professionals interested in the economic future of Barcelona and those seeking opportunities to network and exchange ideas with other stakeholders in the city’s development.