The Penrose conference was sponsored by the Geological Society of America, the AGAUR-Generalitat de Catalunya (project 2010ARCS100130), the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (project CGL2011-13114-E), the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the councils of Cadaqués and Roses and the Cap de Creus Natural Park. Grants to support the attendance of early career scientists were provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the IUGS Commission on Tectonics and Structural Geology (TecTask). We thank the co-organizers/convenors of the conference for their efforts in organizing it. Special thanks to Patrícia Linares, Lluís Daider and Pia Serinyana for their contribution to the success of the conference. The Municipality of Cadaqués kindly allowed us to use its theatre and other facilities for the conference. We are also grateful to Carlos Ponce, Emma Soldevila and Ingrid Terricabres for their conference assistance, and to all the participants for their individual contributions and enthusiastic involvement in the conference. Finally, we would like to thank all the people who made the publication of this special issue possible, especially those who have acted as reviewers.