Lisbon Mayor Fernando Medina said at the opening ceremony of the Web Summit technology summit that the Portuguese capital was once again the “capital of the world” when it hosted the event.
Speaking to a crowded Altice Arena, a few minutes before kick-off, Medina told the speakers: “500 years later, Lisbon now becomes the capital of the world because of you.”
Five centuries after the first circumnavigation trip carried out by Fernão de Magalhães, the mayor wanted to mark the ephemeris (actually celebrated in 2019), offering a portrait of the Portuguese navigator to Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave.
“500 years ago, Lisbon was the centre of the world, with innovation, science and technology, with the courage to discover new worlds,” said the socialist, stressing that the world that Fernão de Magalhães “helped to discover and build” is the one that “the new generations of the most brilliant, enterprising, brave people are discovering.”
Taking the stage after UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the prime minister, António Costa, the mayor said that the speakers will be able to find in the Portuguese capital “one of the most scarce resources in our day – opening, tolerance, wanting well, receiving everyone, “saying that” everyone is welcome to Lisbon. ”
“We are very proud of our city and our values. That is why we are very proud that this city is the home of Web Summit in the next ten years, because what we are trying to show with this decision is that we want to make Lisbon the capital for innovation, for entrepreneurs, but mainly the capital of tolerance, of dialogue, where people talk to each other without discrimination, “he added.
“My wish in these days is that they have the opportunity to truly know us,” he said, adding that “those who are here for the first time will know one of the oldest cities in Europe and the world.”
The 2018 edition, the third in Lisbon, takes place at the Altice Arena and the Lisbon International Fair (FIL) until Thursday with 70,000 participants.
The technological, innovation and entrepreneurship summit Web Summit was born in 2010 in Ireland and moved to Portugal in 2016 and since then has generated an economic impact of more than 500 million euros.
Last year, it gathered in the Portuguese capital about 60 thousand people from 170 countries, including 1,200 speakers, two thousand ‘startups’, 1,400 investors and 2,500 journalists.