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José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica: "Our purpose is to make the world more human by connecting people's lives".

Álvarez-Pallete recently visited the University of Navarra to get a first-hand look at the project of the BIOMA Center

FotoManuelCastells/Executive Chairman of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, during the meeting meeting with students at the University of Navarra.

17 | 11 | 2023

Telefónica's CEO, José María Álvarez-Pallete, recently visited the University of Navarra. Accompanied by his team, the CEO of Telefónica held a meeting with students of the School of Economics and had the opportunity to see first hand the project of the BIOMA Center of the University of Navarra. The BIOMA Center is a project that combines research, training and knowledge dissemination environmental and scientific in a single space to be built next to Cima. With a budget of 30 million euros, construction is expected to begin this academic year 2023-24. 

Álvarez-Pallete told the students the history of Telefónica, from its founding in 1924, with the deployment of the copper wire network , to the present time and the development of the fiber network and 5G. Telefónica today has 386 million customers worldwide, invoice 42 billion euros; and manages a network that exceeds the sum of this infrastructure in Germany, UK and France combined. With these data on the table, Álvarez-Pallete wanted to make clear what the company's main goal is: "Our purpose is to make the world more human by connecting people's lives". 

Álvarez-Pallete spoke of the need for all companies to manage the current technological revolution with social responsibility; of the opportunity to develop and certify security systems on network and of how the irruption of artificial intelligence, although it will destroy jobs, will generate new opportunities for work. In view of this, Álvarez-Pallete urged to articulate a transition manager, advocating retraining programs for employees in companies, such as the one promoted by Telefónica.    

"In Telefónica there is a DNA of innovation, of daring with initiatives and wanting to take the company a little further. We have a vocation for service and our essence is to want to do our job well work," he said. "During these one hundred years of history, Telefónica has had to reinvent itself. From that voice factory that was born with the copper wire, we find ourselves in a society that does not like to talk on the phone and new forms of communication are emerging: social networks, platforms, etc.".  

Álvarez-Pallete stated that the aforementioned technological revolution has created a new production factor: the data. "We are not aware of the value that we are transacting with our data. We are in digital vassalage, undermining data, which are part of our dignity and our individual sovereignty, so that others can get rich. It is a model that, in my opinion, is not sustainable because it is a model where the subject premium is free," he said. 

Faced with this scenario, Álvarez Pallete pointed out the need for companies to act responsibly and remarked that Telefónica has incorporated between 700 and 800 AI experts into its teams, to which it has also added lawyers, economists, but also sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers. "The explosion of digital services must go hand in hand with the defense of our rights. Our society is governed by values that are being altered by technology. We are living 4 times the industrial revolution. If we do not manage it socially manager we will have problems," he warned.