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«Barcelona is a city that attracts & retains talented individuals, companies, and institutions» By Tobias Haug

«Barcelona is a city that attracts & retains talented individuals, companies, and institutions» By Tobias Haug

Tobias Haug, 51 years old. Born in the USA, Toby has lived in various locations across the US before moving to Germany 20 years ago and Barcelona 5 years ago. Over the last 30 years, he has gathered international experience in a broad variety of fields – from zoology, consulting, software design, and management. As Head of Humanizing Business Initiative, he currently leads a highly-networked initiative within SAP, a global enterprise software company of more than 110,000 employees, with the purpose of amplifying the human aspects of business and turning culture into a competitive advantage.

Why did you choose Barcelona?

You can say that Barcelona chose me! While my work brought me to Barcelona for the first time nearly 10 years ago, it was the vibrant and open atmosphere that kept bringing us back.

The stars aligned and we moved to Barcelona nearly 5 years ago, to start a new personal and professional chapter in our lives.

What aspects of the city would you highlight as being positive?

Barcelona brings together various aspects which are important to our lives – the cultural depth, the international diversity, the high standard of living, and of course the amazing Mediterranean lifestyle.

The most powerful moments for us always were connected to the people – we were quickly welcomed, connected, and engaged in personal networks – which speaks to the openness and warmth of both the local and international communities in Barcelona.

What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?

I truly believe that Barcelona has a unique advantage of being a city that attracts and retains talented individuals, companies, and institutions. As digital infrastructures and mindsets begin to change the way we work, we will see more people deciding where to live their lives and expecting to be able to work remotely from there, rather than having to move to wherever the next job is located.

If done correctly, these «Future of Work» aspects will be a huge driver for Barcelona, it´s worldwide recognition for supporting a healthy blend of living and working and draws international attention as an example of future-ready city.

What aspects of the city must be improved? How?

To achieve this vision and to maintain the powerful momentum that Barcelona has created, I believe that we must become more intentional about addressing sustainability challenges of the future. While Barcelona is already considering many sustainability initiatives, it is also at risk due to climate change (heat, draught, rising ocean levels, etc.), pollution (with one of the worst air pollution values due to the port), and infrastructures (lack of building insulation, promotion of solar energy, etc.).

It is my hope that Barcelona drives a stronger green agenda through stronger policies, community action, and both local & foreign investments.

Which city do you feel as «your city»? What do you miss the most?

Working for a global IT company that supports international experiences, we would have the option to live anywhere around the world … however, we consciously chose Barcelona and feel like this is «our city».

El Periódico

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