The foundations associated with CECA met at the head office of FUNDOS, the host entity, from 14 to 16 September to address the challenges and opportunities of Obra Social in Spain

The dissemination of culture and heritage, the energy transition and the importance of promoting education in the field of cybersecurity were the central themes of the conference

CECA, the association of Banks, Savings Banks and Foundations, held its Foundations and Obra Social Executive Committee on 14, 15 and 16 September at the corporate head office of the Fundación Obra Social de Castilla y León (FUNDOS). This annual event brings together CECA's foundations to share views and discuss the activities undertaken within the framework of Obra Social, and to set the sector's priorities for the coming months.
This year, the Committee has focused its efforts on creating working groups to promote the implementation of cultural projects and to seek new sources of income to finance more Obra Social programmes. In addition, the Committee is working on a new map for foundations, given that since the approval in December 2013 of Spanish Law 26/2013 on savings banks and banking foundations, which led to a restructuring of the sector and generated a new ecosystem, ten years have passed and it is necessary to update this map, as well as to dimension and systematise the work that foundations have been undertaking.

Main focal points of the conference: energy transition, cybersecurity and dissemination of culture and heritage
The Committee was welcomed by José María Viejo, CEO of FUNDOS, and Rafael Barbero, Chairman of the Foundations and Obra Social Executive Committee and CEO of Fundación Caja de Burgos.

During the conference, participants enjoyed a talk featuring the Palencia-born journalist and president of the Fundación Santa María la Real, Ignacio Fernández Sobrino, who discussed the energy transition with Arsenio Terrón, Professor of Botany at the University of León and former director of the Fundación Ciudad de la Energía, and a presentation on the value of cultural content by Raúl Fernández Sobrino, Director of Culture and Heritage at FUNDOS.
Among the main items on the agenda, a proposal was put forward for the creation of two working groups, one to explore possible additional revenue streams and the other for the generation and exploitation of cultural content.
Similarly, for CECA and its member entities, the link between financial literacy and the digital environment is key to helping citizens securely manage their finances in the online world. Under this premise, the representatives of the foundations visited the head office of the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE), a key body for the development of cybersecurity and digital trust at national level.
The meeting brought together representatives of CECA and Funcas, as well as a broad participation of the associated foundations: Fundación Caja de Burgos, Fundación La Caixa, Fundación Montemadrid, Fundación Caja Navarra, Fundación Círculo, Fundación Caja Extremadura, Fundación Ibercaja, Fundación Ávila, Fundación La Caja de Canarias, Cajacanarias Fundación, Fundación Mediterráneo, Fundación Unicaja, Fundación Kutxa and Fundación Caja Rioja.

CECA's Obra Social, the catalyst for progress and inclusion
The Obra Social promoted by CECA's member entities has shown itself to play an essential role as one of the key tools for contributing to development and in creating equal opportunities for the most vulnerable groups. As the largest private social investor in Spain, it is the backbone of society and a lever for educational, scientific, cultural, economic and social progress.
In 2022, CECA's member entities allocated a total of €800 million to Obra Social projects, an increase of 2.8% compared to the previous year. This funding was used to promote more than 72,000 activities reaching over 32 million people, 57% of whom belonged to specific groups, in areas such as Social Action, Education and Research, Culture and Heritage, Local Development and Job Creation, and Sport, Leisure and the Environment.