Participants’ voices: Focus on World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development
Speech delivered by Mr Hugo Alonso Bahamon Fernandez, Inter-American Development Bank, Colombia, - participant in the Master en Patrimonio Mundial Y Proyectos Culturales para el Desarrollo, during the Inauguration of the 2015 academic year at the ITCILO’s Turin School of Development (TSD)
My name is Hugo Bahamon; I am from Colombia. Thank you for allowing me to talk on behalf of my group about our experience, both here and in Barcelona, our base.
I am part of the World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development master’s program. We are a group, almost a family now, of individuals who believe, like many of you here, that we are called upon to be agents of change.
That said, although human and economic development requires well-intentioned people like us, we are only half the equation. What is going on here - training and the acquisition of how-to knowledge - is the other half. Initiatives like this, set up by the ITCILO and partner universities, are the real catalyst. This is a process that needs to be as inclusive as possible and the ITCILO is certainly succeeding in this. For the second time since its inception, this program is accessible to the Spanish-speaking world. And, boy, do we need it! I therefore applaud the efforts that have made this possible, both here and at the University of Barcelona.
I will not go on at length, as this is meant to be short. I will simply say, again, on behalf of my colleagues, that we are very thankful.
Barcelona is the closest I have been to magic. Don´t get me wrong, those of you working here in Turin, but Barcelona is a truly amazing city, as well as, perhaps, one of the best examples of how the arts and culture can be present in daily life. Its streets are inspirational. Barcelona is a city filled with majestic architectural masterpieces and unparalleled heritage.
We are thankful for being part of this intellectual adventure: learning from the expertise of established scholars and practitioners in the field of culture and development, and, perhaps more importantly, learning from each other. We are a multicultural group, composed of people from different professional and personal backgrounds, and this has proved to be fundamental in our learning process, as well as setting the stage for a versatile community of practice.
This has been a life-changing experience for all of us, and we hope we shall be able to change the lives of many with all the knowledge we have acquired. So, once again, thank you.