The mayor of Madrid, Ruiz-Gallardon, signs a collaboration with IE Business School which addresses four key areas: entrepreneurship, economy, innovation and worldwide promotion.

IE Business School is to produce management education tools based on the public administration model of the city of Madrid, including keys to the social and economic transformation achieved by the city in recent years.  The collaboration agreement signed today by Madrid Mayor, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, and President of IE Business School, Diego del Alcázar, also includes a plan for employees of Madrid City Hall’s Tourism City-branding Department to undertake IE programs. Moreover, IE Business School will be providing support in the design and management of the content of a Chair in New Technologies, set to be inaugurated in the near future, as well as providing consulting services for startups in the business incubator run by City Hall, where IE students will be able to place their business startups free of charge.

With this agreement the two institutions, one public, one private, will join forces to promote economic recovery in Spain’s capital. The Mayor commented that “this mutual support has come at a time when it is most needed, and will hinge on four key areas: economic analysis, innovation and technology, tourism, and entrepreneurship.  

Ruiz-Gallardón talked about how both IE Business School and the city of Madrid had evolved since the 1970s, saying that “Economic recovery is possible”. In 1973, the total value of all goods and services produced in the city of Madrid stood at less than 4,000 million Euros and a large part was centered around public administration. Madrid’s metro network covered just 50 kilometers at the time, the city was a full day´s journey from Spain’s coastal regions, and Madrid’s Barajas airport received some 3 million passengers. That year, a group of entrepreneurs, headed by Diego del Alcázar, founded an private business school to provide top-tier postgraduate programs in the field of management education in Spain, which until then had only existed in Barcelona.  

The Mayor continued by saying that today the average per capita income of a citizen of Madrid has multiplied by 16, production stands at more than 120,000 million Euros, and business activity no longer revolves around the public sector, “because we are now Spain’s main business hub.” Gallardon also remarked that the Madrid Metro is six times larger than in 1973 and one of the most extensive and effective underground transport networks in the world. High-speed trains can now reach Malaga or Barcelona in little more than a couple of hours, and Barajas receives 50 million travelers each year.

In much the same way, over the last 37 years IE Business School has gone from being a small business to become a worldwide leader in management education. IE’s first annual intake comprised fewer than a hundred students, whereas now there are almost 8,000 each year, with more than 40,000 alumni living and working in 102 countries around the world. Ruiz-Gallardón rounded off by saying that “the school’s original program is now one of the best one-year MBA programs in the world, according to the Wall Street Journal, as well as the best online MBA program in the world, according to The Economist, or the best Executive MBA in Europe, according to BusinessWeek”.

Mutual support

The Mayor went on to comment how IE enjoys its current position in large part thanks to its location in the unique city of Madrid, which has afforded the School enormous prestige. But he also noted that a substantial part of Madrid’s transformation was thanks to IE. He argued that business schools play a pivotal role in stimulating the economies of the cities in which they are located. They generate employment and wealth, foster social progress and professional development, and work in tandem with public policies from the private sector to attract and create talent, and strengthen the city’s image.

The Mayor declared that these were all very good reasons for establishing closer collaboration that will bring substantial benefits for the city, serving as an engine for growth and knowledge. Said benefits will be the end result of a series of actions based on four key areas:

Economic analysis. IE is interested in using the management model used for the social and economic transformation of the city of Madrid over the last ten years to design new teaching tools for its programs. The Mayor added that “We are proud that the best business school in Spain, which is also one of the best in the world, is using Madrid as a model for public administration”.

Innovation and technology. The agreement will serve as a platform for both parties to work together in this field, and for IE to design and manage the design and content of a Chair in New Technologies, which will be constructed in the Boetticher hanger and launched in the near future.

Tourism and city branding. Employees from the Tourism Department of City Hall will undertake programs run by IE. A prestigious business school like IE plays a key role in showcasing the city to the world, “Which is why Madrid City Hall is going to work together with IE on international campaigns aimed at promoting the school and thereby helping to sell the city”.

Entrepreneurship. Finally, Madrid City Hall will work with IE to promote entrepreneurship in three ways. Firstly by providing support in the drafting of a document about entrepreneurship in Madrid that will form part of the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) report, a benchmark in comparing levels of entrepreneurial activity around the world. The GEM report normally focuses on countries, but this will be the first year that Spain will provide specific information on a city. Secondly, IE will provide counsel for new businesses in the City Hall start-up incubators, and thirdly, the incubator facilities will be available free of charge to entrepreneurs studying at IE.