7th International Congress on Ceramics – ICC7
OPENING CEREMONY – Foz do Iguaçu, June 17, 2018
Speech given by Dr. SAMUEL TOFFOLI – ICC7’s President
– The honorable Madam President of the International Ceramic Federation, Dr. Katherine Faber AND Mr. Antonio Carlos de Camargo, president of the Brazilian Ceramic Society,
– Distinguished authorities and guests,
– Ladies and Gentlemen,
Six years ago, in Chicago, stimulated by some renowned members of the international ceramic community, we proposed to the International Ceramic Federation to host ICC7, the first time to be held in the Southern hemisphere. We were chosen… and we truly considered it a privilege and an honor. At that point, we knew that the task was a challenge, but no one could imagine the obstacles that the future situation of this country would impose. Many were the expected difficulties, but very few could have anticipated the turmoil that Brazil has lived in these past two years, maybe one the worst political periods in the country’s history, what caused severe impact on the economic situation of the country.
But today, here, speaking near the triple frontier point, between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, I can gladly say that I am very happy now to look around this room and see it packed. I can see experienced, renowned people. I can see many men and women, young and not so young, from young adults to senior citizens, from diverse ethnicities, and that makes me confident to state: We are teaching the world a lesson!!
I mentioned we have recently experienced important political issues here in Brazil, but they are not as important as when we start looking at the situation of many peoples in many other parts of the globe: terrorism, dangerous fundamentalism, small groups imposing upon whole nations, fear, violence… But … we will not have this today or along the next few days. That’s not what we are here for! We came here, from very many locations in the world, people from over 35 countries of the world decided to come to Foz do Iguaçu, and put together effort, time, and financial funds, to be here. Why? To learn, to teach, to exchange, to socialize, to show, to observe, to meet people, and, of course, to enjoy! Fun is, and should always be, an important part of this activity. We can never forget that.
Therefore, people from dozens of countries, reunited in a high-level meeting, so getting professionally and personally better, in a harmonic environment, sharing the same space, enjoying, having fun … that’s remarkable… and, that’s why I say it again: we are teaching the world a lesson!!
Your presence here is a demonstration that our efforts paid for.
In this spirit, let me now address the younger generations: you, students, recently graduates, post-doctoral fellows, who, to be here tonight, may have put together even more effort than older fellows: embrace a mission! Convey your feelings to the even younger generations: the spark to learn, the drive to discover or to explain, the satisfaction of proving or just having contributed.
Such attitude will not only give you personal intellectual satisfaction, but will also make you feel that the world can be much better than it is now. So never forget to have fun doing what you decided to be your job, and try to bring in other people. That is, contaminate others with the hidden, curious, fantastic world of the oxides, nitrides, carbides, silicides, borides, nanotubes, graphenes, and so, so many other topics which fascinate us…
Therefore, young ceramists: you do have a mission. Moreover, you will also be in charge, more than ever, of ceramizing the future for a sustainable society, which is exactly the motto of this meeting.
Well, now let me just take a few instants to recognize a number of people, without whose collaboration, time, and dedication, our meeting would just not happen. First, let me thank all the eighteen symposia coordinators. Your effort, dedication, and diligence, made up the most important asset of our meeting. We greatly appreciate it.
Thank you also the distinguished presenters of the plenaries, who kindly accepted our invitation.
I also have to thank the whole organizing committee of our meeting. Particularly, let me thank my dear co-chairs, Drs. Edgar Zanotto, Daniel Florio, and Humberto Yoshimura. Thank you very much guys!
Also, I can’t thank enough our sponsors. In the organizing, thank you Mirella, Rose, and all the staff of Metallum, the support and infrastructure firm that made all this become reality. Also thanks to the representatives of the ceramic societies of the several countries, who trusted us back then in 2012 and still do today. And last but not least, thank you Raquel and Samara, from the Brazilian Ceramic Society staff, and also Mr. Marco Antonio Jordão, an ex-president, currently a special and instrumental society’s special associate. We really appreciate all your devout attitude and dedication, and hard-work.
In conclusion, besides wishing that you can enjoy the most of the technical meeting, I can’t help to stress the importance of everybody finding a time to explore the natural beauties of this Brazilian region. In particular, I should point out that a visit to Iguaçu Falls is something not to be missed.
Once again, thank you all for being here tonight, and I wish to each and every one of you a great meeting!
Thank you … and good night!