Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, attended Davos week during the World Economic Forum 2019. This year’s theme was: ‘GLOBALISATION 4.0 – Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of Industrial Revolution’. The main focus of discussions was on the future of technology and how it affects the future of our world.
Nicolas De Santis, met with the CEO’s of various corporations to discuss the state of the world, progress of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the Brexit situation in UK.
“Davos is now heavily influenced by technology and tech companies as the future of the world is being shaped by exponential technologies affecting every economic sector, from mobility and cyber defense to robotics and health. It is critical that we prepare the right economic and social transitions across industries, to make sure that change and disruption are managed properly and for this we all require great foresight, vision and ethical frameworks based on sustainable development. Most corporations are now embracing the SDG framework and linking those sustainable goals to corporate strategy and investments, but much more can be done.”
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International and CEO of Corporate Vision, has been honoured in Florence, Italy, for his business career as an internet entrepreneur and for his philanthropic work in developing a stronger European identity and citizenship via the initiatives and projects BRAND EU® (The European Union Brand Centre) and Captain Euro®, Europe’s Superhero™.
The Florentine ‘Premio Pinocchio’ of Carlo Lorenzini (creator of famous Pinocchio character) includes categories for excellence in business, culture, sport and philanthropy.
The Award Ceremony, organised in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor of Florence, RAI Television, Istituto Lorenzo de Medici and Erasmus programme of the European Union, took place at the studios of RAI TV in Florence. The Award was presented to Nicolas De Santis by Enrique Baron Crespo, former President of the European Parliament, Monica Baldi, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Montse Aguer, Director of Salvador Dalì Museum, and Massimo Fratini, Consigliere of the Florence City Council.
Past winners of the ‘Premio Pinocchio’ include: Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of Salvatore Ferragamo spa,Vittorio Sgarbi, cultural commentator and television personality, Rocco Forte Hotels,Maria Cristina Gribaudi of H-farm, Maria Letizia Sebastiani, director Biblioteca Nazionale di Venezia, Andrea Barducci, President of Florence Region, Fulvio Pierangelini, Italian chef, Roberto Innocenti, artist, Cecile Hollberg, Director Galleria Dell’Accademia art museum in Florence, Gabriele Rossetti, skeet world champion, Eric Buffat, music composer and Pippo Zeffirelli of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation.
“Pinocchio is an Italian but also a global brand and its narrative describes how a wooden puppet manages to make his dream come true and become a real boy, despite the hardships and adventures of life. It is a metaphor for the lives of all peoples. I am honoured to receive this Italian and Florentine award for my career and my work towards making Europe’s brand stronger and more accessible to its citizens. I thank the City of Florence and the Pinocchio Cultural Association for this excellence Award.” said Nicolas De Santis.
Nicolas De Santis recognised many years ago the importance of fostering a European identity to improve citizen involvement in the project of the European Union. He warned EU institutions that without a strong EU identity, the project was at risk. Now with Brexit and extreme nationalism on the rise, Europe needs to focus on its own identity.
His work to improve brand Europe, includes the creation of BRAND EU®, the European Union Brand Centre and Captain Euro®, Europe’s Superhero comic character. Both projects develop and support the development of a European identity and strengthen citizen involvement in the future of the EU.
As an internet entrepreneur, Nicolas De Santis has been involved in major technology start-ups, like beenz.com (the first ever digital currency) and opodo.com, one of the world’s largest travel portals, reaching €1.2 billion in gross sales. As a strategy advisor and the CEO of Corporate Vision, the strategic visioning consultancy, he has develop several frameworks to prepare companies for the future. As part of his role as President of Gold Mercury International, the global think tank and Award, he has developed several philanthropic projects to advance global governance, including GLOGO, the global governance monitoring system.
Here is Nicolas De Santis acceptance speech (In Italian)
Illustri Autorità, Comune di Firenze, Istituto Lorenzo de Medici, Associazione Culturale Pinocchio di Carlo Lorenzini, Rai Italiana, Erasmus, Cari ospiti,
È un onore essere qui nello storico STUDIO C di Rai Toscana, per ricevere questo Premio Pinocchio, parte integrale della diffusione della cultura italiana ed europea nel mondo, grazie al grande Carlo Lorenzini (Collodi).
Come imprenditore e uomo di affari, ho sempre creduto in creare valore per la società. Per questo ringrazio i miei genitori. Mio padre Eduardo De Santis, per essere sempre stato il motivante di grandi valori umanistici. Ringrazio mia madre, Maria Cuadra, famosa attrice europea, e difensore della democrazia e la liberta durante la dittatura di Francisco Franco. Ci voleva molto coraggio!
Volevo spiegare le motivazioni del nostro lavoro sull’Europa e l’ Unione Europea.
E stato sempre molto chiaro per me che il progetto per l’unione europea è uno dei progetti più importanti della storia e ha creato le fondamenta per mantenere il progresso e la pace nel nostro continente. Ma il progetto Europeo e a rischio come abbiamo visto con Brexit nel Regno Unito e in altri parti dell’Europa.
Parte del problema è che il marchio del’Unione Europea e debole. Non e riuscito a comunicare una visione di lungo raggio o certe emozioni positive a molti cittadini Europei. E rimasto un marchio troppo distante e istituzionale, che ha bisogno invece di comunicare i veri valori europei di pace, solidarietà, e innovazione. Con i nostri progetti europei BRAND EU e Captain Euro, il nostro obbiettivo e arrivare alle persone con un marchio dell’Unione Europea che comunica emozioni più intense e una visione piu chiara per coinvolgere i cittadini nel progetto europeo piùintensamente, creando maggiori sinergie tra le parti, siano persone, aziende, governi europei e con il resto del mondo.
È un grande onore il ricevere un premio che si chiama Pinocchio. Carlo Lorenzini, creatore delle ‘Avventure di Pinocchio’, utilizza la storia di un burattino, come una metafora per parlare della strana condizione umana. Un burattino che deve affrontare le vicissitudini e pericoli della vita, ma riesce a trasformare il suo sogno in realtà, e diventare un vero bambino. Siamo in un mondo che ha bisogno di sognare e avere la speranza che un giorno il nostro pianeta sarà un posto migliore per tutti. Ma per riuscire nel nostro sogno abbiamo il dovere, come cittadini europei e globali, essere parte della soluzione non del problema.
Il nostro lavoro non e facile e la strada sarà dura. Ma sappiamo l’importanza che ha il mantenere l’Europa unita e forte in un mondo che diventerà ogni volta più complesso e che continua ad avere grandi guerre e conflitti tra gli esseri umani. Questo dovere europeo, aspetta a tutti noi.
The President of Gold Mercury International, Nicolas De Santis, is among more than 100 entrepreneurs and business leaders that have signed an open letter to MPs urging them to keep the UK inside the EU’s customs union. Organised by Richard Reed, a co-founder of Innocent Drinks, the letter has been co-signed by the founders of Pret a Manger, Waterstones, Zoopla, Net a Porter, Domino’s Pizza, Yo Sushi and Jack Wills.
The letter states: “The cost, complexity and bureaucracy created by crashing out of the customs union and adopting alternative arrangements is the last thing that our businesses need as we seek to grow and employ more people. It would amount to the British Government tying the hand of British business.”
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury said “UK businesses do not want to leave the single market or the customs union, this was voiced recently also by BMW, Airbus and most Japanese companies creating jobs here in UK. Now is the time for MPs and the Government to listen to the voice of business in order not to inflict irreparable damage the UK economy, productivity or British jobs.”
Nicolas De Santis, CEO of Corporate Vision®, was featured in Spain’s leading national economic newspaper, Expansion.
In the article, Nicolas De Santis explains Corporate Vision’s expansion strategy in international markets with a focus on Latin America where the firm already has several large clients. De Santis also discusses the damage that Brexit is causing to the UK in political and economic terms. Roberto Casado, Expansion’s UK correspondent also covers Corporate Vision’s extensive expertise in advising multinational firms on strategic vision, global branding, business model innovation and cultural change, working with clients such as Iberdrola, Coca Cola, Scottish Power and Ferrovial. As part of its consulting services, Corporate Vision’s own tech incubator & accelerator based out of London serves start-ups and its own clients in developing business model innovation in key sectors such as travel, media & entertainment, food industry, financial services, industrial goods and infrastructure.
The campaign supported by our centre BRAND EU, calling for all UK nationals to retain their EU citizenship after Brexit was passed by the House of Commons, with no members opposing the motion. The campaign was organised by Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales) and supported by BRAND EU, the SNP, the Green Party, leading lawyers and other pro-EU groups.
Whilst this wasn’t a binding vote, so there is no obligation for the UK Government to ensure our citizenship is retained, this does mean that they must respond with a statement in the House within the next 12 weeks.
In his speech, Hywel Williams MP (Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Arfon), explicitly mentioned BRAND EU, putting our organisation on the official House of Commons record. You can read his speech, and the rest of the debate here, or watch it here (forward to 14:15).
The campaign reached over 4,700 signatures on the petition, and had Guy Verhofstadt (the European Parliament’s representative in the Brexit negotiations) supporting it and using the #IamEuropean hashtag!
Petition page here:
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International and founder of BRAND EU, talked to CNBC about Brexit and the weak brand of the European Union.
Nicolas De Santis, founder of the BRAND EU Centre (www.brandeu.eu), talked to CNBC about Brexit and the weak brand of the European Union. He told CNBC in London that Brexit, as a word, does not mean anything anymore as leaving the EU covers a very long timeframe, thousands of areas, immense legal issues and key citizen rights issues. His view is that many of the areas involved in Brexit can never be fully resolved in a globalised, interdependent world. “I think that a full Brexit will never happen” and soon we will see its terrible effects on the UK economy. Whatever happens now, will not be a full Brexit but arrangements and patches that will never be as good as being a full member of the EU. This, basically means that unless Brexit is stopped, the UK government will spend the next decade focused on carrying on the result of the EU referendum, instead of focusing on resolving more pressing national and global issues or building the future. The UK Government has become a slave to itself”, he said.
De Santis also believes that the only way out of this situation is to have a new EU referendum. “I believe that as time progresses people will realise that leaving the EU is a utopia reserved for people that still believe that sovereignty in Europe (or elsewhere) is better protected by protectionism rather than full collaboration, cooperation and the sharing of sovereignty. We also have to remember that politicians in UK also lied to people during the EU referendum carrying out a ‘character assassination of the EU’ and its true role in bringing peace and prosperity to Europe and the world”. De Santis explained that the EU did not defend itself properly during the EU referendum and that its weak brand continues to be disconnected from the EU citizens it represents. “Until the EU has a clear ‘strategic’ vision and a ‘friendly’ brand that connects with its citizens, the EU will always remain a project of the ‘elites’ and an easy target for national politicians to attack”, De Santis said.
Nicolas De Santis, President of global strategy think tank, Gold Mercury International, talks to Marianne Taylor about Scotland, Brexit and BRAND EU’s role in repositioning the brand of EU. De Santis is also the founder of BRAND EU, the initiative to build a better brand and vision of the EU. www.brandeu.eu
Scotland can veto Brexit, says think tank by Marianne Taylor
SCOTLAND has the power to stop Brexit from happening, the leader of an influential global governance think tank has said.
Nicolas de Santis, head of London-based Gold Mercury International, believes Holyrood must legally be given a vote on the triggering of Article 50, meaning MSPs could choose to veto Brexit.
De Santis, a high-level advisor to the EU, told The Herald Brexit was the ultimate test of devolution and said Scotland should “fight for its right” to be an equal partner in the UK.
He added that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon faced her “biggest and most important job” in the months and years to come in a period that would “define the future of Scotland” either inside or outside the UK.
According to De Santis, a Spanish-born Italian who is also co-founder of the successful online travel agency Opodo, the recent high court ruling that the UK parliament must be given a say on Article 50 – the triggering of which is required to begin the process of leaving the EU – sets an important precedent, regardless of whether the Supreme Court upholds the decision at a hearing next month.
“The high court has told the UK Government that it cannot just unpick legislation and do what it wants without consulting parliament,” he said. “EU law is also, of course, ingrained in devolved law and that is very important.
“Scotland’s role in this is to defend its right to be part of the democratic process and understand what is best for its people.
“It needs to put pressure on to ensure this democratic process is followed. And if it is followed, I don’t think Brexit can happen.
“Theresa May’s government is trying to override the devolved nations and that is politically significant. They are basically saying they don’t care about devolution, that the UK Government will simply do just as it pleases. This attitude is, frankly, unbelievable.
“And it may take the UK constitution to breaking point.”
Gold Mercury International was set up in 1961 by De Santis’ father, Eduardo, and has works with businesses, institutions and governments around the world.
De Santis, who has been advising the EU for more than 20 years and heads Brand EU, an organisation promoting the benefits of EU citizenship, recently had what he describes as an “open and informative” meeting with former First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss Scotland’s position.
But he warned that the EU could not openly support Scotland’s wish to remain part of the EU as it “cannot be seen to get involved in an ‘internal’ matter. It deals with sovereign states, that is the reality”.
He insisted, however, that Scotland could still influence the outcome.
“Scots should not view Brexit as a fait accompli,” he explained. “Scotland should do what it needs to do politically and legally to exercise its rights. Its role is to guarantee that the devolution it received actually means something.
“This is the biggest and most important job Nicola Sturgeon is ever going to have. This will define the future of Scotland.
“And it opens up very big questions. Either the UK creates a real constitution that clarifies these matters and possibly creates a federal system or it will break.
“In 2014 I didn’t want to see Scotland leave the UK. But at that time I did not conceive of Brexit, and that the devolved nations would basically be told what to do.”
Describing the aftermath of the Brexit vote as “a mess, like watching a bad soap opera” De Santis said the past six months demonstrated that pro-Brexit Tories either did not understood the complex nature of membership of the EU, or were prepared to mislead the public about what leaving would mean and rely on “stupid rhetoric” and anti-EU propaganda.
He is now doubtful that leaving the EU is actually possible, despite the Prime Minister’s assurances that “Brexit means Brexit”.
“The EU is comprised of thousands of small items that together create something huge,” he explained. “One by one you have to remove laws, treatise, agreements – I don’t see it as possible in modern times to easily extricate yourself from this, economically or socially.
“The problem is the Brexiteers told people it would be possible, but they didn’t say how it would happen. The leaked memo we saw last week highlighted that they had no idea what they were doing.
“Now Theresa May now has problems everywhere she looks. This conspiracy of a few has opened Pandora’s box.”
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, attended a forum part of the process for electing the next director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). Chatham House organised this unprecedented event to meet the six candidates nominated by their governments. The candidates are undergoing a process of scrutiny by WHO member states and its executive board prior to the election of a new director-general by the World Health Assembly in May 2017.
Global Health Governance is a crucially important issue in a globalised and interconnected world. The health challenges facing national governments and the international community are enormous, especially regarding increasing healthcare costs. Achieving ‘universal health coverage’ to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them is a key WHO objective. Another key area is the critical role of WHO in advancing better coordination and implementation of international health regulations in diverse areas of health governance. To achieve these mega goals for sustainable development, the next DG of the World Health Organization has to be a great visionary leader but also must know how to navigate the difficult political landscape of our complex world.
said Nicolas de Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.
The six WHO candidates are: Dr Flavia Bustreo, Italy, Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy, France, Dr David Nabarro, United Kingdom, Dr Sania Nishtar, Pakistan, Dr Miklós Szócska, Hungary, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia. The event was Co-chaired by David Heymann, Head and Senior Fellow, Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House.
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International with Dr Flavia Bustreo, Italy, one of the six candidates for next Director General of WHO.
Mr De Santis met H.E. Mr Ömer Önhon, to discuss the situation in Turkey, the European Union, and the forced migration crisis affecting Europe, Turkey and the Middle East.
Turkey is a regional power and a critical ally in the region for Europe. It is in the interest of the EU and Turkey to develop even closer economic and diplomatic ties for the future”
said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.
On 15 July 2016, a coup d’état was attempted in Turkey against state institutions, including, but not limited to the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The coup failed after forces loyal to the state defeated the rebel faction of the Armed Forces.
Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, was interviewed by the largest Chinese independent international broadcaster, Phoenix TV, on Brexit, the upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit and the State of World Affairs.
Brexit causes great concern in China due to the large Chinese investments in UK and Europe. China is the EU’s second trading partner with over 1 billion dollars of daily trade.
On the upcoming NATO Summit, De Santis explained that it has a full agenda. Top priorities for the NATO Warsaw Summit potentially include: the migrant crisis; the Ukraine crisis; future NATO troop deployment in Poland and the Baltics; negotiations with new potential NATO allies (Georgia, Serbia, Ukraine); future NATO (and U.S.) presence in Afghanistan; Islamic State strategy; Libya and the Mediterranean; Cyber warfare and a potential NATO naval fleet in the Black Sea.
NATO Chiefs past and present have supported that NATO prefers the UK to remain in the EU. The European Union is considered a bastion of stability in this very unstable world and now is not the time to create political and economic instability within European countries. If article 50 of the EU Treaties is triggered, it will extend that uncertainty in UK and Europe for decades”
Added Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International and Founder of BRAND EU.
On Phoenix TV
With 56 news bureaus and production teams located worldwide, Phoenix TV is a multi-channel television broadcaster with presence in China, Europe, North America and Hong Kong. It currently has an audience in excess of 360 million worldwide.Phoenix internet website (www.ifeng.com) is ranked top in broadcasting platforms, ahead of BBC.com and CNN.com.