WORK, SKILLS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH – Harnessing the 4th Industrial Revolution

During Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017, Friends of Europe will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders for three working group roundtables to explore the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution across policymaking, ultimately producing a ‘future-focused report’ on the steps that must be taken to enhance transatlantic cooperation on the 4th Industrial Revolution; see that Europe’s digital skills, labour market and regulatory framework fit the bill of the new era; and ensure that in a context where events such as Brexit and member states’ domestic political crises risk reducing political traction at EU level, momentum on digital matters is not lost.

This initiative was launched by a conversation with Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market on 28 November.

IMAGE CREDIT: Vadimborkin/


17.30 – 18.00 Welcome and registration of participants
18.00 – 20.30 Roundtable discussion: Work, skills and economic growth: harnessing the 4th Industrial Revolution

The final working group session of this series will take a long-term view on the wider infrastructure needed to stimulate and support digital growth on both sides of the Atlantic, beyond direct regulation and policy making on digital. Participants will attempt to define what actions and attitudes will be required for both Europe and the US to be ready to engage with the social and economic consequences of a global digital economy and how industry and other stakeholders can work with policymakers to stimulate the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that is required to build a pathway into the future, rather than stumble into it through disruption.

  • Is business on both sides of the Atlantic ready for the challenges and opportunities that increasing automation will bring?
  • How can education support skills development to meet the demands of the changing employment landscape?
  • What approaches and public / private investment strategies will be required to seed innovation and digital growth?

20.30 End of event

Moderated by
Dharmendra Kanani/ Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe


  • 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.

  • Kaja Kallas

    Member of the European Parliament and European Young Leader (EYL40)
    Kaja Kallas started her career as a lawyer in Estonia. In 2011, she was elected Member of the Estonian Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs. In 2014, she was elected to the European Parliament, where she sits on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. A member of the ALDE Group, Kaja is also part of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda, an informal network of MEPs interested in digital technologies and how they can benefit society. She is a proponent of innovation and frequently emphasises that regulations should not hinder the technological revolution. Kallas has been the author of five reports in the European Parliament, including of an own-initiative report on the Digital Single Market.

  • André Loesekrug-Pietri

    Founder of ACAPITAL and European Young Leader (EYL40)
    André Loesekrug-Pietri is the founder of ACAPITAL, a private equity fund investing in innovative European companies with strong international growth potential. The core focus of the fund is industrial tech, including energy and security technology companies. Loesekrug-Pietri is a Colonel with the French Air Force Reserve, a member of the Advisory Board of Beijing Jiaotong University, a member of the Eiffel Group for a political union of the Euro, and founder of the FrenchTech hub in Beijing. He is frequently invited to speak on topics linked with technology startups in Europe as well as on Europe-China relations.

  • Maive Rute

    Deputy Director-General of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)
    Maive Rute joined the European Commission in 2005 to become Director for the Promotion of SMEs and Entrepreneurship in DG Enterprise and Industry. She brought in her extensive management experience in the Estonian private and semi-public sector, notably five years as CEO of KredEx, the funding body for businesses, housing, innovation and export. Rute also worked as Director for Biotechnologies and Agriculture Research and as Resource Director in DG Research and Innovation until April 2016. She graduated as an agricultural economist from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. She holds an MBA from the Danube University, Austria, and received an MA in international politics from CERIS, Brussels.

  • Egbert-Jan Sol

    Chief Technology Officer of TNO Industry and Director of Dutch Industry 4.0
    Egbert-Jan Sol is Chief Technology Officer of TNO Industry and Director of the Dutch Smart Industry programme, Dutch Industry 4.0. He is also part-time professor at the Faculty of Science of Radboud University. At European level he is vice-chairman of the European Factories of the Future Research Association and a member of the High Level Group of the European Technology Platform ‘Manufuture’. Egbert-Jan started his industrial career as a robotics system architect, and has also worked as a software project manager, development manager (Philips) and managing director of the 500 person Ericsson R&D centre. From 1990-98 he was part-time professor Technology Management at the TU Eindhoven.

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