THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – What will transatlantic cooperation look like?

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.

Registration for this event is now closed.

IMAGE CREDIT: Vadimborkin/


17.45 – 18.00 Welcome and registration of participants
18.00 – 20.30 Roundtable dinner: What will transatlantic cooperation in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution look like?

With most data holders based in the US, effective transatlantic co-operation could open up the way for Europe to tap a wellspring of opportunity while also ensuring mutually agreed standards of privacy and data protection. This is just one example of how collaboration between the US and the EU could both boost digital growth and improve standard setting towards the development of global digital regulation that not only supports shared interests but also reflects shared values. The outcome of the US election will have significant implications for digital relations between Europe and the US. Politics is however just one aspect. The digital revolution is being driven by market forces and unexpected  innovation and takes place on a global stage. In a context where emerging players such as China and India look set to outpace Europe and the US in the consumption, delivery and advancement of digital services and technology, partnership becomes all the more important. Participants in this working group will consider how the 4th Industrial Revolution is impacting differently in Europe and  the US, whether the current international institutional infrastructure is equipped to deal with the changes that are taking place and how we can enhance transatlantic cooperation and strengthen both continents’ positions in the global digital market place.

  • What is likely to stifle the transatlantic digital market place and how might this be addressed?
  • Where could joint regulation and policymaking bring benefits?
  • What kind of transatlantic cooperation on the 4th Industrial Revolution would position us to compete and contribute more  effectively in global digital landscape?
  • How can we overcome difficulties of data sharing and matters of privacy?

20.30 End of event

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


  • Ben Hammersley

    Futurist Ben Hammersley is an expert on the effects of the internet and digital network on political, cultural and social spheres globally, and acts as a high-level advisor to governments and businesses. With an extensive background in digital issues, he has served as a Member of the European Commission High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism and as a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Today he wears many hats, working—among other things—as a contributing editor for WIRED magazine and BBC presenter.

  • Amanda Long

    Amanda Long is Director General at Consumers International (CI) and a champion of ethical business practice and pro-consumer issues. She joined Consumers International following a highly-successful career working with blue-chip multinational FMCG corporations, small/medium-sized enterprises and the public sector. At Consumers International, Long works - among other things - to promote consumer rights in the digital age and to improve conditions for cooperation with emerging economies in the field of consumer privacy and data protection. Long was shortlisted for the ‘Public Service’ category at the 2011 First Women Awards, hosted by the CBI and Real Business magazine recognising trailblazing women and in 2012 was awarded the ‘Responsible Business Game Changer’ Award by HRH Prince Wales charity, Business in the Community.

  • Taavi Roivas

    Taavi Rõivas, the former Prime Minister of Estonia, is a strong supporter of a united Europe and an advocate of market liberalism and security policies. He is a tech savvy enthusiast of innovative solutions and has a first-hand experience of how to govern a digital society, as Estonia has become one of the most wired countries on Earth, a global leader in e-government and has one of the highest number of start-ups per capita. Rõivas joined the Reform Party in 1998, became the leader of the party in 2014 and led the party to victory in the 2015 Parliamentary Elections. Before his term as the Prime Minister, Rõivas was the Minister of Social Affairs from 2012 to 2014 and had previously served as chairman of the Finance Committee and the European Affairs Committee.

  • Khalil Rouhana

    Khalil Rouhana is Deputy Director-General, European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology. His current responsibilities include the policies for digital economy and society and notably for research, innovation and industrial strategies, digital solutions for societal challenges and governments as well as cybersecurity. He previously served as Director for Digital Industry in the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology supporting the competitiveness of core digital sectors in Europe and the digitisation of all industrial sectors of the economy. Rouhana started his career as a research and development engineer for the aeronautics industry, has worked for the French University in Beirut and created also his own engineering company.


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