The 4th Industrial Revolution – Working Group meeting

Often accused of slow, outdated and even obstructive regulation, the European Commission has received little in the way of praise for its embrace of the digital era. While some innovative US start-ups like Uber and Airbnb have already been free to become big global players, digital as a driver for growth largely remains a story of untapped potential, in particular in Europe. Recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that Europe operates at only 12% of its digital potential. It is clear to many that while the EU takes its time, the revolution is not only speeding along, but is accelerating.

Participants in this working group will think through the consequences and implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution to provide insights on how Europe can, in the context of its Digital Single Market objectives, seize the opportunity to become a global leader in harnessing digital innovation for growth.

  • What are the main hurdles slowing up Europe’s engagement with the 4th Industrial Revolution? What is needed to effectively address these? What lessons can be learned from American successes?
  • What are the levers for developing and enhancing a digital market place?
  • What types of initiatives should the EU focus on in particular, and how can it ensure policy coherence across such a huge field?

This event is part of Friends of Europe’s work to explore the impact on Europe of the 4th Industrial Revolution and how transatlantic cooperation could position Europe to compete and contribute effectively in a rapidly-changing global digital landscape. Through a series of events, articles and working group meetings, we are bringing together stakeholders from both sides of the Atlantic. Their aim is to debate and propose a set of policy measures, incentives and approaches that would help Europe to be better prepared and ready to maximise the potential of the 4th Industrial Revolution – as well as provide the stimulus for greater transatlantic cooperation.

IMAGE CREDIT: Vadimborkin/


17.00 – 17.30 Registration of participants for Conversation with European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip
17.30 – 18.30 Conversation with European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip

18.30 – 19.00 Networking cocktail

19:00 – 21:00 Working Group meeting: How can Europe embrace the 4IR and make the most of innovators’ ideas?
21.00 End of meeting


  • Jacques Bughin

    Director at the McKinsey Global Institute and Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company
    Jacques Bughin has co-authored numerous publications, including McKinsey Global Institute’s recent reports on migration, People on the move: Global migration’s impact and opportunity and Europe’s new refugees: A road map for better integration outcomes. With the firm since 1992, he has been based in offices around the world, working primarily with media, telecom, online services, healthcare, fintech, travel and logistics companies. Bughin is also a fellow at ECORE, a think tank on economic policy in Belgium.

  • Elena Alfaro Martinez

    Chief Executive Officer of BBVA Data & Analytics and European Young Leader (EYL40)

  • Marietje Schaake

    Vice Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States, Founding Member of the Intergroup on the Digital Agenda and Trustee of Friends of Europe
    Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament, serves on the International Trade committee and is the spokesperson for the ALDE Group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Schaake also serves on the committee on Foreign Affairs and the subcommittee on Human Rights. She is the founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. She has been called “Europe’s most wired politician” by the Wall Street Journal, “rising Dutch star” by CNN and was voted one of the “40 MEPs that matter” by Politico.

  • Pastora Valero

    Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs for Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia at Cisco Systems and Chair of the AmCham EU Committee on the Digital Economy

More events