Last week, Points of Light staff had the honor of participating in the Madrid Innovation Service Summit, the first global service leadership event of its kind, hosted by the Meridian International Center, the U.S. Embassy in Spain and the Rafael del Pino Foundation.
I was lucky to be joined by two other members of our team at the summit: Delores Morton, president of Programs, and Gared Jones, vice president Global Service. We traveled to Madrid to share the projects, tools and ideas that Points of Light uses now and our vision for the future of volunteerism with more than 200 corporate, nonprofit and government leaders from Spain and the United States.
- A campaign to promote Spanish volunteerism was launched – Cuenta Conmigo, which translates to “Count on Me” – providing resources and online community for people to share their ideas; as part of the launch, communities are encouraged to submit their ideas for service projects to win a 10,000 Euro grant
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg congratulated Madrid on becoming the second international city to join the Cities of Service; this is a great accomplishment for Madrid, which joins more than 100 U.S. cities and London
- U.S. Ambassador Alan Solomont directly connected the high unemployment rates in both Spain and the U.S. to the power of service and volunteerism by saying, “lives are fundamentally transformed by the experience of serving others”
- Ambassador Stuart Holliday of the Meridian International Center said, “this summit will lead to greater cooperation between service leaders and volunteer leaders here in Spain and the U.S… we hope the ideas they generate here will make a tangible difference in their communities”
- The list of attendees also included the Crown Prince of Spain, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, the Spanish Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, the Mayor of Madrid and many other notables; having all of these leaders in attendance added to the conversation and value of the summit, specifically around the power of cross-sector collaboration
The Madrid Service Innovation Summit was a great success and benefited from the luminaries in attendance. We congratulate Meridian International and U.S. Ambassador Alan Solomont and Susan Solomont for its success. It connected major service leaders from the U.S. and Spain so that they could work together to deliver results. New ideas were generated, projects were started, collaborations have begun and volunteerism is on its way to the next level.
Executive Director, Points of Light Corporate Institute