The 4th Industrial Revolution – Working Group meeting

28 November 2016 - 03:00 - 29 November 2016 - 01:00
Often accused of slow, outdated and even obstructive regulation, the European Commission has received little in the way of praise for its embrace of the digital era.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


The financial crisis has profoundly affected our confidence in an economic model that has prevailed for decades. The limitations of monetary policy have come into sharp focus, notably its inability to discriminate between regions, sectors or individuals – and, in the eurozone, countries too.

The working group meeting is fully booked.
Natasha Ibbotson, Senior Programme and Partnership Development Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 24
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Event starts
28 November