Mozart is said to have begun playing the clavier when he was just four. By five he was composing and at age seven he toured Germany. Seven years later he composed his first opera. It’s little wonder then that Mozart is one of the world’s most famed and lauded prodigies.
But what is it that generates a prodigy? Is it nature or nurture? There has been considerable debate amongst psychologists on this topic, with myriad examples to support both arguments. And of course, there is also many who purport that it’s the combination of the two; that prodigies are ‘born and then made’ as psychologist Jonathan Wai puts it.
One point on which most agree, however, is that regardless of whether an individual is born with a particular talent, or steered towards an activity at a young age with copious amounts of money and time thrown at it, nurturing this skill will allow its full potential to be realised.
You only have to turn your attention to our industry to see the effects that nurturing aptitude and ability can have. Cosentino, who are your Official Partners of The Prodigy award at INDE.2017, have set up their own initiatives for fostering young talent (with their Future Leaders programme and Eduarda Justo Foundation) … and the results speak loud and clear.
The Eduarda Justo Foundation comprises two types of scholarships with a special focus on those with more limited economic resources. The first offers international post-graduate scholarships – to enable young people to pursue their studies at the world’s leading Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Stanford or Columbia. The second, together with the United World College Foundation, offers two scholarships each year to study the International Baccalaureate at one of the 13 schools the institution has around the world.
As part of the Eduarda Justo Foundation and the company’s ongoing commitment to nurturing emerging talent, Cosentino also runs the Future Leaders Seminar – an intensive, annual training seminar that aims to identify young Almerians with high potential, and help them become the future social, economic and business leaders of the region. This is targeted at university students in their final year, as well as young professionals and entrepreneurs, and the foundation pays for all 50 attendees’ travel and accommodation costs for the three-day event.
For professionals who have already studied and worked in a relevant field for five years, there is the Cosentino Leadership Programme. This helps develop talented individuals into either industrial or sales leaders. Candidates are mentored by one of the company’s directors and, after training is complete, they will join Cosentino as Industrial Manager or General Manager in one of its centres or factories the moment a vacancy becomes available.
Both schemes are well established now and run successfully year on year. By nurturing this talent at the early stages of the applicants’ careers, they are guided onto bigger, brighter paths. But Consentino and the province of Almeria benefit too. For, today’s young prodigies are tomorrow’s leaders and they will help bring innovation and better economy to both business and region.