Swedish Television Interviews Nicolas De Santis on European Branding

Sveriges Television (SVT), the Swedish public service television company with the widest range of programming of all TV companies in Sweden, has interviewed Nicolas De Santis, Gold Mercury President, at the London offices of the European Union.

Nicolas De Santis is an expert in European Union identity issues and branding and has advised the European Parliament and the European Commission on this subject, as well as on the launch of the Euro currency. He also created the cartoon character Captain Euro – Europe’s superhero in the 1990’s to promote Europe and the launch of the Euro to its citizens and the world. SVT will be dedicating a programme to Captain Euro.

“Captain Euro started as a social research experiment to test the feelings, emotions and perceptions of the EU in Europeans and the world. When we launched it, the world was caught off guard with the launch of a European superhero that represented a united Europe. It became an instant media success story that continues to this day,”

said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

As the EU identity crisis continues, Gold Mercury will be launching a new programme called BRAND EU about the future of the European Union’s brand, covering issues relating to the concept of EU citizen identity formation. The main aims of the BRAND EU project are to deliver critical insights on the current state of the European Union’s governance and political structure, as well as address the lack of a common European identity and a strong EU brand. Gold Mercury aims to challenge the current complexity, which is associated with the BRAND EU, so that citizens can start to feel closer to Europe.

“Gold Mercury has identified the lack of a clear EU brand and EU identity as a key barrier to achieving the full support of its citizens and for the development of Europe as a whole. One of the key brand problems for citizens in understanding Europe and participating actively, is the complexity of the current political structure of the EU. Still today, it can be only understood by academics or experts,”

said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

The Swedish Television interview was conducted by Veronica Lilja reporting for Cobra, SVT’s main cultural programme. The prime-time interview will be broadcast across Sweden, in English with Swedish sub-titles in November 2013.

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Sir Evelyn De Rothschild Meets Gold Mercury President to Discuss Re-Inventing Banking Culture Project

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, former Chairman and CEO of NM Rothschild and Sons, the international investment bank, met with Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International to express his views on the global banking and financial sector and the many different factors which he believes led to the crisis, including ethical, technological and historical reasons.

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, former Chairman and CEO of NM Rothschild and Sons, the international investment bank, met with Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International to express his views on the global banking and financial sector and the many different factors which he believes led to the crisis, including ethical, technological and historical reasons. Sir Evelyn’s comments will contribute to Gold Mercury’s report ‘Re-inventing the Banking Profession for the 21st Century’. The discussion with Sir Evelyn is part of a series of interviews that Gold Mercury is conducting with leading authorities, representatives of financial institutions, academics and other prominent actors involved in the financial services sector, within the scope of Gold Mercury’s ‘New Corporate Culture for Banking’ project.

“Sir Evelyn is one of the great city veterans. His experience in the financial and investment banking world brings very valuable insights to our project. He believes that banking reform is required to fix the profound lapses in banking standards and to allow the banking sector to play the crucial role of supporting the real economy, whilst restoring trust,”

said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recently issued its final report – ‘Changing Banking for Good’. It outlines the radical reform required to improve standards across the banking industry. Sir Evelyn recently published an article on the important role that banking must play in order to re-establish public confidence in the industry. The article called ‘Banking Must Pursue the Holy Grail of Confidence’ clearly expresses that the City of London’s most important traded commodity is confidence. If that is lost, there remains little to do business with and without confidence it would be impossible to engineer a recovery or reform the financial system.

“The biggest penalty of all today is that as a result of the crisis, commercial banks, to maintain their capital resources, are not lending to small and medium sized businesses. This needs to change rapidly if we want to see the economy improve and confidence with the public restored,”

stated Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild is currently Chairman of E.L. Rothschild Ltd, a private investment company. He was previously Chairman and CEO of NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd, the international investment bank. Sir Evelyn also served as Chairman of The Economist Group, where the family is a large minority holder. Sir Evelyn is also a Director of IMG Worldwide and a Governor of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Previous corporate directorships include: Director of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, and Director of IBM United Kingdom Holdings Ltd. Sir Evelyn has maintained a lifelong commitment to philanthropy. He is Chairman of the ERANDA Foundation, a family foundation that he formed in 1967 to support charities working in the fields of medical research, health and welfare, education and the arts.

Sir Evelyn believes in inclusive capitalism to give a wider range of opportunities for people to participate in the economy.

“When clearing banks merged with investment banks, it was the bigger factor of change in the banking industry. We had two very different cultures that had to work together, but in most cases one culture took over the other. There are many examples on how the banking industry has gone wrong. But now I think banks cannot just go back to basics. To re-instate confidence, banks need to play a new role in building community and social value, including being a part of private and public partnerships that create low cost housing or building new and needed infrastructure,”

said Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

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Gold Mercury Board Member Wins Prestigious Freedom to Write Award

Sonia Nassery Cole, Gold Mercury International Advisory Board Member and Director and Producer of the inspirational film ‘Black Tulip’ has won the Freedom to Write Award, granted by the PEN Center USA.

The Oscar nominated film ‘Black Tulip’ addresses the notion that “freedom is never free” and is about a family in Kabul that opens a literary café catering to artists and poets. In the café, poets are offered the opportunity to read their works. The film was shot on location in Kabul, Afghanistan using extensive security precautions despite death threats from the Taliban . The film was nominated for an Oscar in both the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Soundtrack categories in 2011. Nassery Cole also established the Afghanistan World Foundation funding the construction of a hospital for women and children in Kabul, medical care for land-mine victims and other causes.

PEN Center USA has a membership list of more than 800 writers, including poets, playwrights, essayists, novelists (these make up the original letters in the acronym, ‘PEN’), as well as television and screenwriters, critics, historians, editors, journalists and translators. PEN Center USA was founded in 1943. Its mission states that the organisation will “defend and promote freedom of expression throughout the world by advocating for the release of imprisoned writers, and for the protection of writers who suffer political prosecution, persecution, and censorship.” Since 1993, PEN Center USA’s Freedom To Write Program has honoured individuals whose work and experience underscores their mission.

The Freedom To Write Award will be presented to Sonia Nassery Cole at a gala dinner on October 14, 2013, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

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  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic
  • Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic

Gold Mercury Chairman Eduardo De Santis Receives “Order of the Italian Star” from the Presidency of the Republic

Eduardo De Santis, Chairman and Founder of Gold Mercury International, has received a new recognition from the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano. Mr De Santis has been awarded the ‘Order of the Italian Star’ (Ordine della Stella d'Italia - OSI) for his services to Italy.

View Video (Italian Language)


The ‘Order of the Italian Star’ is Italy’s oldest national honour and was established by the Italian Republic in 1947 soon after the end of the Second World War. The ‘Order of the Italian Star’ recognises the Italian Republic’s gratitude and solidarity for the efforts and services made towards the reconstruction of the nation, the preservation of national prestige abroad, as well as cooperation with other countries.

The Order is presented to both Italian expatriates and foreign nationals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Italian Republic after World War II. Other recipients of the Order include: Henry Cabot Lodge, American Ambassador to the UN; President John F. Kennedy, former President of the U.S.A; Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and Italo-American legend Frank Sinatra.

The Award Ceremony was held at the Italian Embassy in Madrid and was hosted by the Italian Ambassador, H.E. Pietro Sebastiani who presented the medal of the Order to Commander Eduardo De Santis, with kind words from H.E. Italian President Napolitano.

The ceremony was attended by Mr De Santis’ family and friends as well as several Board Members of Gold Mercury International, including Enrique Barón Crespo, former President of the European Parliament; Aldo Olcese, President of Fincorp and Francisco Luzón, former Director General Santander LATAM. Other guests included former Club of Rome President Ricardo Díez-Hochleitner; Father Lezama of the Lezama Foundation; Andrea Brentan, CEO of Endesa; former Italian Ambassador Vanni D’archirafi and painter Sofia Gandarias.

“My most sincere thanks to the President of the Republic Napolitano for awarding me with this prestigious honour. I also want to recognise and praise here today your recent gesture to serve for Italy again. You are truly a great Italian,” 

said Eduardo De Santis on receiving the Order from the President of the Republic.

Mr Eduardo De Santis is already Commander of the Italian Republic (Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana), an honour presented to him in 1972 by the then President H.E. Giovanni Leone.

 

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Leading British Economics John Kay Visits Gold Mercury for Corporate Culture Banking Project

Leading British Economist, John Kay, a distinguished academic and acclaimed columnist for The Financial Times met with Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International, to discuss the global economic challenges affecting the world, specifically the future of banking and financial institutions.

The discussion was part of a series of interviews that Gold Mercury is conducting with leading authorities, representatives of financial institutions, academics and other prominent actors involved in the economic and financial services sector. The interviews are undertaken within the scope of the ‘New Corporate Culture for Banking’ project.

John Kay is an influential economist and his research interests encompass public policy and business strategy. In 2012, Mr Kay chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making, which reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Mr Kay discussed with Mr De Santis the current economic structure and the ideologies which are shaping it, as well as the future of global economic governance. The loss of trust in the financial sector, the failed role of corporate boards and the necessity for a culture for self-regulation were among the topics that were covered in the discussion. Finally, Mr Kay underlined the need to examine the crucial role of intergenerational equity as part of the new thinking required in the convergence of the economic, environmental and social aspects of a society.

“John Kay is a leading figure in economic and social thinking. His ideas question established norms and contribute towards innovative thinking for the challenges which are shaping the global economy, especially banking. Mr Kay has a holistic view of the financial sector, looking beyond narrowly focused solutions and quick fixes. His way of approaching economic challenges offers us invaluable insights for our ‘New Culture for Banking’ project. The role of banking needs to change, moving towards serving societies to produce a sustainable future for future generations,’’

said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

Mr John Kay is a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is a director of several public companies, a writer, lecturer and broadcaster and a weekly contributor to The Financial Times.

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Book Launch of Shaking the Skies: Leading Change in the Global Aviation Business

The development and progression of aviation continues to be an essential global technological development. Aviation has opened up the individual to the world and in doing so, created a global village, connected cultures, families and nations.

Throughout his time at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Giovanni Bisignani challenged governments, powerful leaders and airline conglomerates to revolutionise the commercial aviation industry. In his new, aptly named book, Shaking the Skies, Bisignani details the many challenges he faced as he sought to, upon his appointment as CEO and Director General, improve the profile and economics of the aviation industry. Hired “to lead a revolution,” Bisignani presents a remarkable account of an illustrious career that was based around an ethos of ethical leadership, good governance and business determination.

The strongest message that Bisignani seeks to communicate is change. Initially detailing his rise in the aviation industry that led to his appointment at the IATA in 2002, Bisignani’s wealth of experience, run in with Gaddafi in Libya and requests from Mother Teresa tell a fascinating story of how he was able modernise the aviation industry. The story of his rise and how he came to lead one of the biggest associations in the world is also filled with details and facts that demonstrate a man who cared as much about the industry as he did the customer.

His achievements and changes did not seek to purely benefit the IATA and its associated airlines; rather, he pursued a system of change that improved every aspect of the industry. His changes began with management restructuring and, to name one of many successes, led to him enforcing e-ticketing and subsequently making aviation the first ever industry to “enter the paperless world.”

The uniqueness of Bisignani as a CEO is also illustrated and detailed in a concise factual method. Emotively and professionally affected by September 11, Bisignani, during his time at the IATA, greatly improved the environmental and safety procedures of the aviation industry. His continued effort to make flying safer and environmentally friendlier involves global, ethical and unilateral action and is captured entertainingly through meetings with Al Gore, “crazy” technological ideas and a “shooting” incident in Lagos.

The full extent of Bisignani’s developments and contributions to the aviation industry are summed up through a description of how he hopes his changes will lead to “Vision 2050.” Where, as an industry, aviation businesses and governments will co-operate with economic, environmental and moral procedures in mind to ensure airlines continue to be “a force for good.”

The values and ideals which make up Giovanni’s Vision 2050 was the motivating factor behind Gold Mercury International’s decision to co-publish and host the launch of the book. The principle, vision and managerial system which Giovanni outlines in Shaking the Skies corresponds with Gold Mercury’s own views on Global Governance; namely, constructing a future in which ethics, sustainability and visionary leadership underpin an organisations operations.

A central message of Giovanni’s book is the importance of having an effective managerial system in place. This message correlates with Gold Mercury’s mission of seeking to educate organisations about the significance of having a responsible vision that is environmentally friendly and proficiently managed.

Shaking the Skies: Leading Change in the Global Aviation Business will be launched on the 20th May 2013 at the Royal Aeronautical Society, London.

Visit the Shaking the Skies Twitter page for news and extracts about the book.

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Brand EU Project: Build a Shared EU Brand Identity to Secure a Common European Future

Gold Mercury International is conducting new research on the future of the European Union’s brand and on issues relating to the concept of EU citizen identity formation.

The main aims of the BRAND EU project are: a. to deliver critical insights on the current state of the European Union’s governance and political structures and b. to address the lack of a common European Identity and strong EU Brand.

“Gold Mercury has identified the lack of a clear EU Brand and EU identity as a key problem to achieving the full support of its citizens and for the development of Europe as a whole. One of the key brand problems for citizens to understand Europe and participate actively, is the complexity of the current political structure of the EU. It can be only understood by academics or experts,”

says Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

Gold Mercury aims to challenge the current complexity which is associated with the BRAND EU. Both studies will also include interviews with leading national and international political authorities, representatives of the EU, civil society members, academics and other key actors in the EU and within international affairs.

Understanding the Institutional Structure of the EU

The report on the EU’s institutional structure, entitled ‘The Current State of European Union’s Governance & The Need for Greater Political Integration’ will provide an in-depth analysis of the current levels of political organisation in Europe (i.e. national, European, regional, municipal) and will investigate different conceptualisations of the EU’s structure (i.e. federalism, con-federalism, multi-level governance). The report will also provide policy recommendations based on existing research, responding to main areas of criticism including the democratic deficit and the lack of a common European demos.

At the moment, the EU has 27 member countries and 5 have already been given candidate status. However, there are enormous differences in the political organisation of the member states. The interplay between transnational, national, regional or urban levels of political organisation is no longer efficient for the competitiveness and future of Europe.

In order to challenge the current instability in the European context and its global effects, it is critical to analyse the diversity of the political organisation and levels within the EU. This will provide a clear understanding about the different levels of governance in a country and about the changing notions of national sovereignty, a concept which is of the utmost importance in order to understand the current debates about the EU.

The Critical Role of a European Identity & Demos

At the same time, a collective EU identity is missing and citizens often feel disempowered to participate in EU affairs. As the British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron argued in his recent EU speech, “disillusionment” with the EU was “at an all-time high”. Mr. Cameron also added that “There is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years. And which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain”.

However, sharing a common European identity or common ‘esprit de corps’ is critical in order to develop a shared sense of the Brand EU and to promote civic engagement. Developing a shared EU identity would not in any sense presuppose to eliminate national identities but rather to complement them and enrich them. Working towards this direction, Gold Mercury’s report on the lack of a common European identity will investigate the role of identity formation in European citizenship and will provide innovative ways of addressing the core issues relating to the lack of a shared Brand EU identity.

Developing a new Vision for the EU

Gold Mercury International argues that the European Union is a critical institution in global governance which is at a critical point in its evolution. It needs to clarify its purpose, role and future vision to its citizens and the international community in order to progress as a future bastion of stability. The recent economic crisis has manifested the instabilities of the current political system in nation states and the EU, including the lack of unified decision-making, underlining the need for critical discussions about the future levels of political, fiscal and economic integration.

However, policy research and reporting on EU affairs has increasingly become too narrow, focusing only on the negatives perceptions associated with EU membership. The British Prime Minister’s EU speech and his plan for an ‘in/out’ referendum illustrate that Euro-Skepticism and the practices of questioning the EU are a growing force in the UK. As Mr. Cameron mentioned, “We insistently ask: how, why, to what end? But all this doesn’t make us somehow un-European.”

At the same time, U.S. President Barack Obama underlined to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, that the United States “Values a strong UK in a strong European Union”, reminding us that other nations value the unity that the EU brings and want the EU to stay united and prosper with Britain at the heart of it. But a united and prosperous Europe needs a common vision.

The Gold Mercury Brand EU project aims to challenge the frequently unbalanced debates on EU and provide a solid platform to build a framework for a common EU vision which can be shared amongst all EU citizens.

“The Brand EU project aims to re-shape the current debates on the role and future of the European Union and its citizens by analysing and comparing different international political and supranational structures. The EU at the moment is a hybrid with both federal and con-federal elements. It is an imperative that we build Europe around simple concepts and a common vision of why we are all united as peoples in order to build a shared identity,”

says Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.

The need to clarify the vision of the EU was also raised by the Independent Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, set up by the European Council. The group’s purpose was to identify, analyse and propose solutions to the challenges that the EU will be facing at the horizon 2030. Their report underlined that:

“The EU needs to communicate a common vision of how Europe can secure its future. The choice we face is therefore clear: build on the strengths of the EU and use its collective weight to become an assertive and relevant player in the world, or cultivate fragmentation and contemplate the possibility of absolute decline in a world where rules are defined by those who matter.”

 

For more information on Gold Mercury International and this story contact Kate Delaney Send Mail

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