Met off the plane from Sao Paulo at Santiago airport by Fernando (Nilo) and Carol (Huber) of Recycla and Recyclápolis, and driven in their Mitsubishi all-electric greenmobile to the Grand Hyatt hotel, where I am to stay while in the city. Along the way, Fernando gave me a copy of the profile that the ‘Economía y Negocios’ section of El Mercurio, the main newspaper, published a few days back, on 31 October.
Great to see Fernando again, who I first met some years back in Davos, and who Pamela (Hartigan) and I profiled in our 2008 book The Power of Unreasonable People, translated into Spanish as the not-quite-catching-the-sense-of-the-title El Poder de la Locura.
After I had a shower and more or less caught my breath, we went on to a lunch hosted by Nicolás Eyzaguirre, senior partner at Claro & Cia, the leading legal firm that has been supporting Recycla’s activities – including helping set up Fernando’s new foundation, Recyclápolis.
Next, we drove across to the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, to meet the Provost, Guillerme Marshall Rivera, and to scout out the setting for tomorrow’s main Awards event. Wonderful cases of exhibits celebrating the university’s history in different sectors, with the communications cabinet catching my eye and camera lens. Following considerable interest (and pressure) from students, the university is now paying much more attention to the sustainability and social innovation agendas.
Then we went on to the Palacio de la Moneda, which I recall seeing photographs of when the coup against President Salvador Allende took place in 1973. He still stirs emotions, it seems. Carol and I wait in the square while Fernando has mysterious forms signed.
Then back to the Grand Hyatt, for a reception in the gardens behind the hotel, ahead of the event this evening. There I meet Marc Lorenz, General Manager of the hotel, who turned out to be probably the most engaging General Manager of a major hotel I have ever encountered.
Having seen the location where Allende committed suicide, or was killed, depending on your source, my often-overly-dramatic brain conjured suitable links when a bottle of 2010 vintage Palo Alto wine I had been presented with, and which had then kindly whisked away to be held for me later, crashed to the ground – and spilled its bloody treasures every which way …
Another bottle was promptly conjured up. Am particularly intrigued to taste it, because it manages to blend no less than five grapes: “Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot and Petite Sirah.”
Then back into the hotel for the main event of the day, a public lecture which I focus on the ‘Power of Unreasonable People’. Very lively discussion afterwards, followed by conversations with some members of the audience. Then Fernando, his wife Tere and I have a Japanese dinner in the hotel. Then, with an early start tomorrow at the British Ambassador’s residence, I decide to call it a day.