12 March 2021

Who are we?

The Blanquerna Observatory on Communication, Religion and Media is directed by its founding director, Dr. Míriam Díez, and its deputy director, Dr. Alba Sabaté. This is their team:

Members

President. Dr Josep Ma Carbonell i Abelló (Barcelona, 1957)  His articles, +

President of the Blanquerna Foundation since 10/2022. President of the Blanquerna Observatory on Communication, Religion and Culture. Former dean and professor of the Blanquerna-URL School of Communication and International Relations. PhD in Communication (URL). He has been a Deputy of the Parliament of Catalonia (1995-2003), director and president of the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia (CAC), member of the Executive Comission of the Political and Social Sciences of Catalonia (ICPS), director of the cabinet of the president of the Council of Barcelona (1986-1995), president of the Joan Maragall Foundation (2011-2019), member of the Administration Council of BTW among other positions.

Director. Dr Míriam Díez Bosch (Girona, 1973) – Her articles

Director of the Observatory and of the Chair of Religious Freedom and Conscience of Catalonia. PhD in Social Sciences by the Pontifical Gregorian University. Main researcher of the SGR STReaM Research Group. Professor and Research and Internationalization. Vice dean at the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations (URL). Vice president of the Catalunya Religió Foundation. President of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture; member of the advisory council of the AC advisory board of the Center for the Anthropology of Religion and Cultural Change, of the Sacro Cuore University of Milan. Co-coordinator of the Media and Religion Group of the IAMCR.

Dr Josep Lluís Micó Sanz (La Font de la Figuera, 1974) – His articles

Journalism professor of the Ramon Llull University at the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations, where, previously, he has been dean, vice dean, director of the Journalism Degree and of the Blanquerna-Godó Master in Advanced Journalism, Reporting. He has led national and international research projects and has participated in innovation initiatives with technological giants like Google and Meta. He collaborated with media and groups like La Vanguardia, Prensa Ibéricaor RTVE and has won several essay and article awards. 

Dr Alba Sabaté Gauxachs (Sant Carles de la Ràpita, 1991) – Her articles

Researcher at the Observatory and at the Chair of Religious Freedom and Conscience in Catalonia. Coordinator of the Global Communication Management Degree at the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations (URL). Professor on the Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and the Master’s Degree in Advanced Journalism-Reporting at the same centre. Member of the Board of Directors of the World Association for Christian Communication and Fellow 2020 of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC).

Dr Valentina Laferrara (Córdoba, Argentina, 1993) – Her articles

PhD in Communication from Ramon Llull University, with a research plan financed by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the European Social Fund. Researcher of the Chair of Religious Freedom and Conscience of Catalonia. Coordinator of the Degree in Journalism and Corporate Communication, as well as the Master in Advanced Journalism Reporting (FCRI-URL). Professor at the FCRI. Collaborator at Catalunya Religió. Youth Editor at Trípodos. Member of the IAMCR. She has a Master in Journalism and Advanced Report (FCRI-URL) and she has studied Professional Journalism and Social Communication in Cordoba (Argentina). 

Dr Verónica Israel Turim (Montevideo, 1984) – Her articles

Ph.D. in Communication from Ramon Llull University, Barcelona. Academic coordinator of the Master in Cultural Production and Communication and a Professor of undergraduate and graduate studies at the same University. Researcher in the STReaM group and the Blanquerna Observatory of Communication, Religion, and Culture, and member of the Chair of Religious Freedom and Conscience of Catalonia. Gender editor of the magazine Trípodos and member of the Women in Research group.

Dr Daniel Esparza (Caracas/USA, 1978) – His articles

PhD in Religion (Columbia University, NYC, USA). Master Degree in Religion (Columbia University, NYC, USA), Master Degree in Philosophy (New School for Social Research, NYC, USA; and Simón Bolívar University, Caracas, Venezuela). He has a Bachelor in Art History from the Central University of Venezuela. He has taught philosophy classes in the Manhattan College (NYC, USA) and South Orange University (NJ, USA) and art history at the UCV (Caracas, Venezuela). He has advanced certificates in comparative literature and psychoanalytic studies (Columbia University, NYC, USA). His interest areas include philosophy of religion (Bataille, Augustine, Kierkegaard, Arendt, Weil), anthropology (Lévi-Strauss, Geertz, Douglas), psychoanalysis (Freud, Klein, Kristeva) and Iberian mysticism (Juan de la Cruz, Teresa of Avila, Quevedo, Spinoza).

Dr Lana Kakzak (Hamah, Syria, 1992) – Her articles

Researcher at Blanquerna Observatory on Communication, Religion and Culture. PhD in Communication from the Blanquerna Faculty of Communication and International Relations-URL. She has a Master’s Degree in New Media and Journalism from the Jordan Media Institute (Jordan). Her recent activities include participating in conferences and publishing articles on religion, hate speech and extremism in the Middle East. Lana is a researcher, journalist, and graphic designer. She speaks Arabic, English, Spanish and has a knowledge of Catalan.

Joby Kappipparambil (Pala, Kerala, India, 1986)

Journalist and Catholic Priest. PhD student in the Blanquerna-URL School of Communication and International Relations and member of Blanquerna Observatory of Media, Religion and Culture. He is an assigned priest in the Basilica of Sagrada Família, Barcelona. He is from a small village called Pala, Kerala, India and belongs to the Missionary Society of St Thomas the Apostle (MST). He has four Bachelors (Philosophy, Theology, Arts and Education) and three Masters in English literature, Global communication, Leadership and Corporate diplomacy and Advanced Journalism and Reporting. He is a visiting professor in the seminaries in India in communication and Innovative and generative leadership. He worked as Manager and Principal of different educational national and international institutions in India.

Roger Negredo Fernández (Barcelona, 1996)

Bachelor in International Relations (Blanquerna-URL) and MA in World Heritage Studies (BTU-Cottbus), he has worked for UNESCO and its advisory bodies (ICOMOS and ICCROM) in order to improve the management tools for both cultural and natural heritage. He has evaluated and participated in the inscription process of several (tentative) World Heritage properties worldwide, while living in Rome, Beirut and Berlin. His interest focuses on the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflicts.

Pilar Baradat Marí (Eivissa, 2001)

Graduated in Audiovisual Communication (Blanquerna-URL) and student of the Master degree in Film and Television Fiction of the same school. Collaboration intern at the research group STReaM. She has experience in the audiovisual sector, having worked at the Catalan Film Academy and the Lavinia production company, and as a Collaborating Teacher at the Eòlia Dramatic Art Centre. She directs and writes fiction projects, publicity and music videos and has an interest in gender perspective in fiction. 

Laia Palos Rey (Barcelona, 1998)

Laia Palos Rey. Graduated in history with a minor in philosophy from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, master’s degree in education from the Camilo José Cela University and currently PhD candidate at Blanquerna-URL in the STReaM research group on communication of Human Rights, environmentalism and education.

Chiara Fagone (Milan, 1992)

Graduated in Languages Communication and Media with a master degree in Media Management by the Università Cattolica of Milan. Currently a PhD student in communication at Blanquerna-URL. Research interests: television, cinema, gender studies and catalan speaking media.

Dr Gemma Morató Sendra (Reus, 1972)

Dominica of the Presentation. PhD in Humanities, journalist, master in Moral Theology and Theology of the Religious Life expert, and teacher of Special Education. Professor at the Blanquerna-URL School of Communication and International Relations since 1999, where she teaches the “Communication, Culture and Spirituality” class; professor, since 1998, at the Don Bosco Superior Religious Sciences Institute of Barcelona affiliated with the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome, where she teaches classes of “Fundamental Moral, Personal Moral, Social Moral, Pedagogy and Pastoral of MCS”. She is also a professor at Domuni Universitas – International Dominican University, online university of the Dominican Order, and the Research and Religious Studies Institute of Lleida (IREL). She directs the Project Maria, Queen of Peace in Barcelona (center of meetings-university residency).

Jordi Llisterri i Boix (Barcelona, 1972)

Director of the Catalunya Religió Foundation and collaborator Animaset Media and Communication. Graduated in Communication Sciences (UAB). He has been dedicated to religious information since the beginning of the 90s, and he has been a collaborator, manager and promoter of several religious media in Catalonia. He also collaborates as a generalist media expert and coordinates the publications of the Blanquerna-URL School of Communication and International Relations. In the last years, he has specialized in institutional communication and crisis management, and he likes to know what goes on in the Church.

David Gisbert Fosch (Sabadell, 1991)

Graduate in International Relations (URL), postgraduate in Religious Institutional Communication (URL), Master in Corporate Communication, Protocol and Event Organisation (UOC) and currently PhD student in Communication (URL). He has been working as a researcher at the OBS since 2022, specialising in international relations and diplomacy, Middle East politics and religion, and institutional communication.

Interns:

Noali Ruiz Sala (Yangchun, 2004)

Second year student of Global Communication Management (GCM) at the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations (URL). Before studying this degree, she attended the Hamelin-Laie International School, where she got the diploma for International Baccalaureate (IB). She speaks three languages fluidly: Catalan, Spanish and English. She worked as a sales assistant at AIESEC, the non-profit global organization formed by young people, as an auxiliary at Barna Porters and as a barwoman for the Primavera Sound festival. Because of this, she has knowledge in sales, she knows how to solve problems efficiently and how to adapt to any situation.

Former members…

 

Adriana Chiva Polvillo. Assistant Consultant for Hill & Knowlton Canada. She works in the Health and Corporate Advisory team at their offices in Toronto, where she lives. 

Paula Cid Moya. She currently works at Eraneos Iberia as a Corporate Culture Specialist.

Ana Pascual Alberich. She currently works at Gartner as Associate Talent Sourcer.

Annaïs Soriano Oliver. Opposition student of the Diplomatic Career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC).

Dr Jordi Sànchez-Torrents. Deputy Director (2012-2019). Professor of Anthropology in the School of Health Sciences and professor of History of Thought in the School of Communication and International Relations. Director of the Blanquerna-URL Chair and member of the Academic Commission of the UNESCO-URL Chair. Research member of the group Eidos. His research areas are philosophy of religions, anthropology of the body and city. 

Juana Altmann. She currently teaches English in an academy. She is passionate about communication and photography. 

Lydia Dionís Giordano. She currently works as Global Project Manager in Mazars Group. She directs the Global Leadership Summit for Youth in Spain. 

Viviana Girard Riera. Global Communication Management Graduate and Master’s student in Human Rights Law in Edinburgh, UK.