The Brain and Neural Networks

Dr. José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena, specialist in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, dissects the brain and neural networks in the third video of five made by PROA Comunicación.

Currently there is a crisis of creative solutions, repeated formulas of the last century can be found in the political, educational and cultural fields. Scientific advances about the brain have not influenced changes in our ideas about memory, intelligence or the emotional world. This translates into essays about creativity, on the creative fact, passing briefly and incompletely, without a multidisciplinary vision of the topic.

José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena is a member of the International Society of Psychoanalysis, the Analysis Group of London, the Spanish Society of Psychiatry and the Institute of Psychosomatic Studies and Medical Psychotherapy.

Why do we Use Drugs?

Dr. José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena, a specialist in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, reflects on drugs and addictions that distance human beings from their genetic programming in the second video of five made by PROA Communication.

“Our genetic programming look for simple, natural pleasures, nothing to do with what we can find in the aisles of the supermarket, nothing to do with video games, social media, or other aspects that do not represent a reward. The real reward is to be healthy, survive , live together, and be emotionally stable, mentally speaking, “he says.

‘Why do we get high?’ Intends to give us the key points to a modern and updated vision on the origin and causes of why human beings fall into infinite modalities of addictive behaviors and bonds. The work reviews and synthesizes the experience of 20 years of reflections and works on the topic, erasing misunderstandings and superficial visions. The second part is extended to give a vision of professional work with these people. His thoughts and reflections are in agreement with those who have been working on the subject for the past 90 years. José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena is a member of the International Society of Psychoanalysis, the Group Analysis in London, the Spanish Society of Psychiatry and the Institute of Psychosomatic Studies and Medical Psychotherapy.

Proa Comunicación Prepares the first Annual Report of Lantania Group

Proa Comunicación has been responsible for the design, editing and printing of the first Annual Report of the Lantania Group of 2018. It is a 48-page document in which, apart from presenting the company and capturing the solvency of its annual accounts, they explain their philosophy and their business lines. In addition, its management team and the company’s policies on Corporate Social Responsibility, Occupational Risk Prevention, Quality and Environment and R&D are detailed.

All of this is accompanied by a thorough presentation of a selection of works and projects that the company has carried out, or in which it has participated, in infrastructure, building, water and energy. The Annual Report also includes the group’s strategic plan for 2018-2022 and includes a selection of the its main news stories that appeared throughout last year.


Annual Report 2018

The Keys of Communication in Foundations

María Cano, communications and marketing of the Spanish Association of Foundations, highlights the importance and keys of communication in the foundational sector. The foundations and, in general, the entities of the third sector are agents of change and transformation. For a long time, they have mistakenly been perceived as unprofessional entities that practiced charity without great pretense or demands in their impact, management and obligations.

During the last few years and protected by the constitutional right to found, more than 8,000 foundations have grown extraordinarily in volume, professionalization, good governance and influence in the development of our society. They currently employ 256,000 people, invest more than 8,000 million euros annually in projects of general interest, generate 0.8% of GDP and serve more than 35 million people. Their diversity and agility allows them to reach all kinds of situations and groups, so that we can say “where there is a need there is a foundation.”

The keys to good communication are based on these three aspects:

  • To Inform
  • To Connect
  • To Invole

Each one of them is fundamental and complementary. We cannot improve the perception of the sector without informing. Today, there is still a high percentage of the population that is unaware of our abilities to make their situations better. Our mission is to reach out to citizens in their needs, shortcomings and problems. But how are we going to help them if they don’t know us. We must be informative, there is no other way. On the other hand, information generates transparency that is the greatest, most demanding and critical requirement to the sector. For a long time we have confused humility with opacity, gratuitousness with responsibility, which has generated great currents of distrust. This excess of informative zeal has brought very negative consequences to the sector.

It is necessary to connect with the emotions of citizens to create opinion and joint action. We are not simple service entities, oblivious to people’s sensitivities, motivations and concerns.

The foundational sector is full of stories that are worth telling, real stories of people who generously contribute their work, their talent and their time where they are most needed. There are few things in life that connect us as human beings more than stories. And if we can connect, they will embrace our foundation’s own values and objectives. And most importantly, the trust that validates our existence will develop.

Finally, if we manage to inform and connect, it will be easy to reach the third milestone, to involve. With involvement we move forward, grow and inspire society to collaborate in our projects. Together we are more and we are when we are able to involve and create a community. Today, the groups of interest, the so-called stakeholders, not only want to know where their donations contributions are going, now they want to participate. They want to be a part of the cause and that’s why you have to know how to connect.

In this context, digital transformation offers us a thousand different possibilities to communicate effectively. The Internet is the speaker of what we are and what we do. Social networks are great conversation platforms that allow us to connect with users’ emotions and provoke responses.

Pero además, somos grandes expertos de lo que acontece. Nuestro conocimiento y experiencia en los diversos ámbitos del sector, tantos como situaciones, tiene un gran valor en el análisis de la actualidad y en su transformación.

But in addition, we are great experts in what is happenning. Our knowledge and experience in the various fields of the sector, as many as the situations which they serve, has great value in the analysis of current affairs and its transformation.

With good communication we build trust, inspire, sensitize, connect, transmit, involve and transform. That is the challenge and the way.

María Cano, communication and marketing of the Spanish Association of Foundations

The Scientific Foundations of the Mediterranean Diet and Exercise

Dr. José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena, specialist in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, analyzes, in depth, the scientific foundations of the Mediterranean diet and physical exercise.

“We are inundated with headlines about health, especially about what we should eat.” An infinite variety of diets appear in the form of books and headlines. In this book you will not find recipes. It is about updating the reader on the scientific foundations of what we should eat, to do so, it is necessary to consider the body, the human being, as a unit. This is why I included a description of the digestive process, foods and their properties, antioxidants, and the role and functions of the digestive system, from the mouth to the rectum.

“I describe the brain-digestive system unity with the intestinal flora. What does not appear in the miracle or other fad diets, is an any organ like the liver or lungs. The thousands of intestinal bacteria that work for us can also cause diseases, lengthen our lives, improve our memories, intervene in our emotional state, lower or raise cholesterol, or interve in cardiovascular health. And we explain how to take care of this organ, and how to feed it. We eat not only for ourselves, also for them. But without physical exercise, no diet is worth it. And my book explains why. The functions of muscle, adipose tissue, the intervention of our skeleton, the brain system and the digestive system, act as an inseparable unit and diet is simply one more component. In short, it is a scientific view of food, which is something more than the digestive system or food itself. If we understand all of this, we can live longer with better health. Intense physical exercise lengthens telomeres and therefore our longevity.”

The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation presents its 14th Jornadas Científicas (Scientific Conference) at Proa Comunicación´s Headquarters

On Wednesday July 10, at the headquarters of Proa Comunicación, the  Alicia Koplowitz Foundation held the press conference for its 14th Scientific Conference, which will be held on October 24 and 25 of this year at the Auditorio Castellana 33 de la Mutua Madrileña. María Concepción Guisasola, doctor of Medicine and scientific coordinator of the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, and José Leoncio Areal, patron-secretary of the Foundation, announced the content of the presentations and round tables, which are dedicated to, in this edition, the Impact of Social Networks and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in child and adolescent mental health. The press conference was attended by media groups including Antena 3, Ondacero, Servimedia, ABC, Colpisa, EFE and Europapress, among others.

In this year’s edition, as a new feature, the 1st Prize for Research Alicia Koplowitz will be awarded, endowed with 3,000 euros, and will distinguish the best scientific research work published in 2018 by young research(less than 40 years old) members of the Association of Scientists in Mental Health of Children and Adolescents – Fundación Alicia Koplowitz.

During his speech, Dr. Guisasola explained that based on researchers’ publications, the use of the Internet, “and especially social networks,” favors the practice of violations or abuses, including interfering with social networks sites’ accounts, creating false profiles to provoke threats and even invitations to suicide. Therefore, the Organizing Committee of the 14th Scientific Conference opted to address the impact of social networks and ICTs in child and adolescent mental health, “seeking to respond to the concerns of parents regarding the mental health of their children, given that the use and abuse of new technologies and virtual reality generates many questions” to parents.

The scientific coordinator of the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation also justified the theme of the Conference by discussing how addictions related to technology have been growing exponentially since 1995, when the term ‘Internet Addiction’ was deemed, recognized by the WHO as a health condition disease in the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

Faced with this situation, he noted that experts believe that “there is growing scientific evidence that suggests that excessive use of social networks or online interaction can lead to symptoms traditionally associated with addictions or substance abuse.” Among these symptoms, he cited the loss of control capacity, mood modification, tolerance, abstinence and relapse, which all fall within the components of the aforementioned Internet Addiction.

On the other hand, María Concepción Guisasola reviewed other ailments that recent research has associated with the excessive use of social networks, such as FOMO (fear of missing out, fear of losing something), “a generalized fear that others may be having grafiying or fun experiences from which one is absent,” or Nomofobia,”intense fear of being without a mobile phone,” and, “of course,” cyberbullying, which he described as a “social problem, in addition to a public health problem” The latter, he explained, is even more serious than common harassment, since it is carried out under the shield of “anonymity”.

Despite everything, the Organizing Committee of the Scientific Days wanted to stand up in favor of technological advances and its influence on children. In this sense, Guisasola pointed out that “social networks and new technologies have brought great advances and benefits to the mental health of children and adolescents, especially from the point of view of early detection, diagnosis and treatment.” As an example of this, he highlighted the work of the DetectaWeb Project, a detection protocol directed and developed by Spanish psychiatrists and psychologists in colaboration with Dutch colleagues. It is able to detect prematurely and prevent future emotional disorders, which saves costs and offers more agility in the evaluation and analysis of results.

With regard to treatments, he listed ICT’s advantages as the ability to reach those who need it with reasonable costs or the facility to implement interventions designed to address different psychological disorders. Some benefits whose potential is greater in the case of children and adolescents because they are “digital natives.” As examples, he listed the effectiveness of Virtual Reality applications, as demonstrated for almost two decades, as an intervention tool in the field of Clinical Psychology and Health, or the use of serious games to promote health in various fields. However, he stressed that ICT-based applications designed to improve interventions with children or adolescents have not yet achieved the same expansion as in the case of adults, so he predicted that “they will experience a remarkable development in the near future.”

The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, through its different types of scholarships, has financed training in prestigious international centers of almost two hundred doctors and psychologists in specialtizing in practices related to minors’ mental health.

What Value does Lobbying Contribute to Businesses and Society?

Rafael Cabarcos and Carlos Sánchez, experts in lobbying and corporate diplomacy, highlight what value lobbying contributes companies and our society. As they explain, lobbying is an action designed, planned and directed to public decision-makers to provide information in a responsible and transparent manner on issues that affect the activity of different social actors. More than ever, the convergence between public interests and private interests today is a reality. This convergence, this alignment of interests must accommodate the interests of some and others to achieve the prosperity of our society.

The Wanda Metropolitan Stadium: Achieving Iconic and Unique Brand Status in Record Time

The fact that this stadium, inaugurated in September 2017, was chosen to host the final of the Champions League wasn’t only because of its technological advances, seating capacity, or accessibility facilities.

Since the Community of Madrid approved the notion to build a new athletics stadium in 1988 at a location far from downtown, a series of circumstances have made the stadium a brand both iconic and unique, an inseparable part of Spain and Madrid’s identity to the rest of the world.

On June 1, the day of the Champions League final, this icon of a stadium made its debut before hundreds of millions of spectators around the world. For communication professionals, it is worth asking: How is it possible to achieve such a massive impact in such a short time?

Iconic Buildings

In general, iconic buildings which form part of the identity of their home cities – the Notre Dame in Paris, the Big Ben in London, the Empire State Building in New York – have only consolidated their icon status after dozens, even hundreds of years.

Many architecture studios understand this and design their building projects with the foresight, regardless of the circumstances, to create and incorporate symbols that will in the future be universally recognized as icons of the city. It’s a way to associate the architecture studio’s own brand with that of the city.

However, reality shows that it doesn’t usually happen that way. There exists a widespread urban legend which stipulates that great architectural works begin with a simple drawing of a sketch on a paper napkin reflecting the original creative and exceptional idea.  Wanda Metropolitano’s architects never thought in this manner.

Because getting the general public to intuitively associate a construction project from an architecture studio with the city’s greater image is a daunting task, requiring endless hours of conscientious and diligent work.  A task for which, to obtain results, requires sacrificing many ideas that were once drawn on napkins.

For Cruz and Ortiz Architects, each assignment is a unique opportunity. Aspects such as the building type, scale of building to design, budget, country, city or location, among others. are taken into account. All of these are analyzed when starting a design. The most prominent example is the AVE Santa Justa station project in Seville, another of Cruz and Ortiz Architects’ work. This was, in fact, a structure that combined the functional, the innovative and the distinctive. Therefore, there is no textbook method of constructing buildings to attain icon status, the belief of which has given rise to construction projects that on so many occasions end without success.

The Wanda Metropolitano is another example, in which the combination of qualities such as efficiency, innovation, creativity and functionality did actually succeed in creating a truly iconic landmark. In this case, in a very short time.

The Origins: La Peineta

When in 1994 the athletics stadium was inaugurated for the city and community of Madrid, the building was appropriated the nickname La Peineta (the hair comb) for the mere resemblance of its single side tier at a glance with this feminine adornment. What could have been rather “sardonic” at first, in time became its main brand quality in a much more affectionate way, a name close to the heart for the people of Madrid.

Because no stadium in the world had a tier with such a characteristic. Moreover, situated at quite a long distance from Madrid’s city center in a secluded and lonely area, its profile is visible from many miles away.

Madrid’s three time failure in its Olympic candidature (2012, 2016 and 2020) had, however paradoxical, a beneficial effect. It managed to attract the attention of public institutions, citizens, companies, national and international media, about a facility that was intended to be the heart of the Olympic Games in Madrid.

Changes and Enhancements

To overcome this challenge, Cruz and Ortiz Architects made a new design for the “hair comb”, which considered converting a stadium of just 19,000 spectators into one with a capacity of 75,000. Inherent was an important advantage: the base structure was already there, the stadium only needing to be expanded with new grandstands, and adapted to the urban design of the area consistent with the new demands.

Once the Olympic Games were out of the picture, the football club Atlético de Madrid set its crosshairs on the “hair comb” as its future headquarters, taking into account the limitations of the Vicente Calderón stadium in terms of location and age. The club wanted a new stadium that was consistent with its growth in athletic prominence and economic terms.

Atlético wanted reap many of the advantages the new building would offer. For example, in terms of accessibility, its proximity to the M40 highway and the airport, as well as its new direct access to the Metro network.  Other aspects includeded visibility, its iconic image and the lower population density in its neighborhood compared to others in Madrid, which supposedly lowered land costs, among other things.

Therefore, Atlético decided to acquire the property, coming to an agreement with the city of Madrid on the necessary changes in the Urban Development Plan. They comissioned Cruz and Ortiz Architects with the design and construction of the new stadium that would meet the stipulated objectives and fall in line with UEFA’s requirements to host European and world-class competitions.

It’s also a multi-purpose facility, with which to generate additional income streams and increase revenues, through both sports competitions as well as business and commercial activities, cultural events and more. It’s building to be utilized 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Unique Stadium

The successful combination of all these factors earned Wanda Metropolitano the opportunity to host the Champions League final, generating resounding excitement for Madrid and Spain from a new icon that symbolized this city and country for the rest of the world.  Because in football, there are billions of people who follow with  everything that happens around them with heartfelt passion.

The “end product” that Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos, Madrid institutions, and Atlético de Madrid have managed to position in the world of football in 18 months has qualities that undoubtedly make it different. Its capacity of almost 68,000 spectators, more than 4,200 parking spaces, 142,000 square meters of land area and most importantly a cost of merely 200 million euros, half of what is normal for projects of this magnitude.

The innovative sunshade has been made with resistant and flexible materials such as teflon and is designed in such a way that tension and compression forces are balanced, eliminating additional structures – and costs – for its support. Its flaming wave shape, designed as such for the need to cover the original grandstand and the new grandstands with a harmonious design, is the differentiating touch that gives the stadium its iconic image.

The Wanda Metropolitano is, therefore, an inspiring example for business communication professionals, as we seek to position our clients’ brands as leaders in their sectors with distinctive qualities and competitive advantages.


Javier Ferrer
Director of Financial Communication at Proa Comunicación

Pablo de Villota writes in El Confidencial about the Return of Tobacco Companies to Formula 1

The Director of the Sports & Entertainment at Proa Comunicación, Pablo de Villota, wrote an article in the newspaper El Confidencial about how and why tobacco companies have returned to Formula 1. De Villota explains how tobacco brands are taking advantage of certain legal loopholes allowing them to sneak back into motor sports, its highly desired promotional territory, starring McLaren and Ferrari.

In the extensive article, Pablo de Villota values the highly varied regulation between countries regarding what areas permit smoking and tobacco promotion, and how this “quagmire” is being taken advantage of by tobacco companies.

Access the full article here:

Pilates: Harmony between Mind and Body

Pilates highlights that physical health is an essential requirement for happiness. In its 10th Anniversary Videos, Proa Comunicación analyzes Pilates as a lifestyle that creates harmony between the mind and the body, elaborating as to what extent it can help improve our health and well-being.