A delegation formed by more than 20 professionals from different areas of expertise visited Bilbao in order to know more about its transformation in the las few decades. In the visit they met former Basque president Juan Jose Ibarretxe, as well as other portagonists of the Basque case, such as Juan Ignacio Vidarte or Javier Sotil. The main goal was to foster different collaboration projects between the Basque Country and Quebec.

Last JANUARY 20 AND 21 a delegation from Montreal visited the Basque Country in order to know in depth about the Basque socioeconomic transformation experience in the last few decades, as well as fostering different collaboration projects between the Basque Country and Quebec.

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The delegation was formed by MORE THAN TWENTY PROFESSIONALS from different areas of expertise: Jean-Marie Aussant (Chantier de l’économie sociale), Erica Barbosa (The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Diane Berard (Les Affaires), Malorie Flon (Institut du Nouveau Monde), Pascal Brissette (McGill University y CIRM), Félix-Antoine Joli-Coeur (Authentique Partners), Johanne Turbide (HEC Montréal HUB IDEOS), Nadia Duguay (Exeko) and Samuel Gervais (Esplanade), among others.

During the visit the delegation met the Director of Agirre Lehendakaria Center and former Basque President JUAN JOSE IBARRETXE. They also met other relevant actors in the Basque Case (such as Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Director JUAN IGNACIO VIDARTE, Bilbao Mayor JUAN MARI ABURTO and President of Mondragon Corporation’s General Council JAVIER SOTIL), with the aim of learning more about this experience and exchanging ideas. This way both territories were able to explore common areas in order to foster potential future collaborations.

International intervention work

This visit took place within the context of Agirre Lehendakaria Center’s intervention projects. We CONNECT BASQUE COMPANIES AND INSTITUTIONS with several organizations abroad that are interested on the series of values and practices that led the Basque Country to reach high places in international rankings in healthcare, education and income per capita (2008), and forge an image linked to modernity, having in mind that just three decades ago the country was undergoing a serious economic crisis, with high unemployment rates and an international image that related directly to terrorist violence. Some countries and regions can EXTRACT LESSONSbased on this successful case and follow its model.

We are currently working on WALES, SOUTH AFRICA, IRELAND and CROATIA, serving as an international voice for Basque companies and institutions, in order to help them find collaboration opportunities and favoring the creation of new projects and cooperation networks. Once the projects are agreed, we let the collaborations run its course and we no longer intervene.

‘AMPLIFIER MONTREAL’ RECAP OF THE VISIT : “The most important common points between between Bilbao and Montreal are commitment to positive transformation, identity and pride“.