Meet the host ambassadors of Barcelona International Community Day 2023

A Chinese businesswoman living in the city for more than 30 years and a biologist who is the head of communication at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park are just some of the international professionals who will share their experiences in Barcelona.

18/07/2023 - 09:08 h

It’s once again time for the Barcelona International Community Day, the major annual gathering of the city’s international talent ecosystem. This year we’re holding the tenth edition of this benchmark event for professionals from around the world who live and work in Barcelona. It will take place at the Maritime Museum on Saturday 28 October.

For yet another year, the event will feature an entire programme of activities, workshops and lectures that will help promote contacts and the exchange of information and knowledge among the widely diverse nationals living in the city. It will also feature a trade fair, where companies, organisations and associations can present their services, products and initiatives for the international community. They will also provide support, information and mentoring on integrating into life in Barcelona.

And as always, Barcelona International Community Day will have host ambassadors. Six professionals with different backgrounds and profiles who live in Barcelona will share their experiences in the city to help the rest of the community adapt through their personal experiences.

This year’s six host ambassadors

The youngest host ambassador was born and raised in Cuba, but he has lived in Barcelona for 14 years now. Lázaro Campoalegre is a computer engineer who specialises in virtual reality and scientific visioning and pursued a master’s in computing in the city. Now he works as a project manager in an artificial intelligence company for autonomous stores. He misses his homeland but feels totally integrated and happy in Barcelona, a city he defines as modern and colourful where he has found his second home.

Liling Qi has spent more than twice as long in Barcelona, where she came when she was only 18 years old. She is a Chinese entrepreneur, the president and founder of Puente China Holding, a business group that promotes relations between Spain and China. She got her values from Chinese culture: hard work, excellence, commitment and efficiency, and she has managed to blend these principles seamlessly with the lifestyle in Barcelona, a city she finds open, fun, welcoming, cosmopolitan and perfect for doing business.

Marion Sánchez comes from Perpignan and moved to Barcelona with her family in 2020. This city was her first choice when she decided to return to Europe after several experiences abroad. She specialised in bank oversight and financial market stability in cities like Paris and Washington DC. In Barcelona, she works at the Impact Forum de Ship2B, a foundation that promotes the impact economy. This entrepreneurial ecosystem, the quality of life and the mix of modernity and history are what draw her to Barcelona the most.

The Dutch citizen Mirjam Maarleveld visited Barcelona 25 years ago and fell in love with it. Seventeen years later, she decided to move here and found Barcelona Expat Life to help other people from around the world enjoy this experience. From this venue, she provides information on living and working in Barcelona and organises job fairs, shares the experiences of other expats and encourages all newcomers to enjoy every single moment in the city. She loves Barcelona and feels very grateful to live here.

On one of his trips to Barcelona in 1993, the biologist Reimund Fickert bought two postcards. One of them showed the two towers in the Olympic Village, and half-joking he said one day he would have an office there. In 2000 he made it come true with an office in Estació de França. He helped to create the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, which is considered one of the top 5 best places to work in the sciences and research in Europe, and now he is the head of communication and business development there. He highlights Barcelona’s ‘transformative’ capacity.

The Ukrainian Svetlana Velikanova recalls her childhood as a difficult time with the collapse of the USSR. She dreamed about opening a university and chose Barcelona to make her project come true. The outcome is Harbour Space University. She describes it as an attempt to build the university of the future, merging different disciplines to educate the best artificial intelligence (AI) engineers in the world. She believes that Barcelona chose her, and that if you come here and live here for more than a month, you are going to stay. The city made her feel physically happy for the first time, and she finds it an ideal place for professionals.

They are all part of the upcoming Barcelona International Community Day as part of the activity programme that will be available within a few weeks. Find out the latest news on our social media and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the international community.