I feel very fortunate to be able to write these lines and I begin them with a plea: innovate, now and throughout the length and breadth of the planet, night and day, to help us change the world and improve people's lives.
Our foundation is running incredible projects that improve people's lives in more than twenty-five countries, the kind that give you goose bumps. They include supporting children with terminal cancer in Costa Rica, to name but one. They are projects often supported by volunteers: the soul of society, the soul of MAPFRE and its Foundation.
The people that work at Fundación MAPFRE, thanks to the work of over 38,000 MAPFRE collaborators and the trust of its tens of millions of customers all over the world, also pay special attention to the prevention of unintentional injuries. We are particularly focused on those that occur as a result of mobility-related incidents, given that this type of injury causes most deaths throughout the entire world in the 1-29 year-old age bracket than any other disease or external cause. In this regard, road safety is clearly the field that requires still more attention and the one that has a huge impact on people's lives. We at Fundación MAPFRE are absolutely convinced without a shadow of doubt that we can, before 2050, achieve Goal Zero serious or fatal unintentional injuries; and before 2030 if we are talking about urban mobility. Much has already been invented and now it's a question of continuing to invest in and implement those measures known to be effective on a major scale; although there still remains even more to discover.
“Armor-plated” bikes to combat collisions with heavy vehicles? Flying ones, perhaps? Virtual reality to save journey times and avoid unnecessary risks?
Apps for connected vehicles that don't detract from a driver's mental faculties? Autonomous shopping trolleys that follow us along the sidewalk? As yet unthought of solutions for universal accessibility? Completely safe and sustainable individual mobility? When imagination is translated into innovation, the opportunities that arise can have a positive and meaningful impact on people's lives.
I am confident that this challenge starting now in 2017 will drive ideas and projects that will improve people's lives and will help us to construct a better world for ourselves and, above all, for the new younger generations and their children.
*About the author:
Doctorate in Industrial Engineering (University of Zaragoza) and MS in Transport Safety (George Washington University, Fulbright scholarship). He was the Spanish representative on the subject of transport for the EU's 7th Marco Polo Program and has acted as an innovation project assessor in Europe, Spain, Denmark and the Czech Republic. Currently Director of Accident Prevention and Road Safety at Fundación MAPFRE, an institution that promotes educating children in the prevention of injuries, raising awareness and research in more than twenty-five countries.