Dionís Guzmán, Director of ISDI Barcelona
What does ISDI specialize in?
Digital training: ISDI is the largest digital business training ecosystem in the world.
Who founded ISDI?
It was founded in 2009 by Nacho de Pinedo and Javier Rodríguez Zapatero. I have been the director of ISDI Barcelona since March 2016.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy working closely with both companies and professionals of all ages and roles to improve their digital skills; this improves their chances of employment in the new and constantly changing digital economy.
And the least?
When one works in a field as dynamic and volatile as digital transformation, there is always a risk that one may not be covering something in sufficient detail or that it could soon become obsolete.
What do you think your company excels at?
It was the first digital business school to be created in Spain. Founded 12 years ago, it has evolved together companies and the economy and become one of the largest digital business training ecosystems in the world.
What is your main challenge?
To play an active role in making Barcelona a leading European and global benchmark in the digital economy.
Where is your company located? Do you know why this location was chosen?
We are in a pedestrian passageway in the La Nova Esquerra de Eixample district, off Carrer Diputació. It has the characteristic charm of Barcelona's passageways: discreet, intimate and quite unlike other cities.
What do you like the most about the neighborhood where you work?
I live 3 minutes away from ISDI, so I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to live and work in the same neighborhood. La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample combines the best of the Eixample with being close to Sant Antoni and Sants...it's all good!
How important is Barcelona for your company?
Barcelona is ISDI's second largest campus and we started our first in-company' training courses here. I should also mention that all the new schools acquired recently by the ISDIGITAL TALENT group—Skylab (coding), Isde (law) and Eserp (marketing and university degrees)—are all in Barcelona.
Which city would you compare Barcelona with?
It's difficult to compare Barcelona with any other city, but I see similarities with Amsterdam. Barcelona is welcoming, cosmopolitan, vibrant, innovative, and open to everyone.
What city model should Barcelona adopt?
Amsterdam is a great example of public-private collaboration involving government and municipal initiatives. In addition to being a first class international training destination, it's a city that receives tourism throughout the year, so I believe Barcelona could learn from it.
What good practices from other cities would you like Barcelona to adopt?
Barcelona is a great city, but it has some major shortcomings. We cannot claim to be a European city of the future if our past convictions weigh us down and prevent us from moving forward: we must improve training, education, and legal mechanisms (visas, etc.) in order to attract international talent. And we need to diversify and regulate all kinds of tourism—leisure, congress, clinical, training, etc.
What do you ask of the Barcelona of the future?
Well, I would ask this of the inhabitants rather than the city itself: more civility, greater integration, and more collective purpose, so that Barcelona becomes a city we can all enjoy and feel proud to live in.