The power of connectivity is beyond imagination.

If developed properly and fairly, it can boost and transform lives, create a sense of community, and enable Europe to live up to its values.

Connectivity opens up a world of access to education, skills and training, enabling self-agency in tackling climate change & the housing crisis as well as improving mobility and agriculture – and so much more.

That is the power we are tapping into through Connected Europe, an initiative launched in partnership with Vodafone to foster a successful, green and resilient digital transformation in Europe.

The world’s economy hasn’t faced a crisis like this since the 1930s. Yet given the scale of the challenge, and the trillions of euros worth of investment and economic stimulus required to address it, European citizens must understand, support, and feel ownership over the policy decisions being made.

Trust and accountability will be crucial to overcoming this.

Boosting Europe’s connectivity could foster a digital transformation that would make European economies and societies more resilient to future shocks, and more competitive on the global stage.

Solutions cannot be not determined by a single institution or approach. It isn’t about access to jobs vs. access to health, or a greener Europe vs. a strong economy. It’s about wiring things around people and communities to improve livelihoods. It’s about private, public and civil society working in a different way, and together, locked in by social contract that enables a just transition to a world that is fast emerging.

Connected Europe is about preparing for that world, harnessing the power of connectivity for social gain and learning from the past so that we are more shock absorbent in the future.

How are we going to do this?
We’ll be focusing our work around three thematic clusters:

Core to these will be addressing questions linked to industrial strategy, competitiveness, innovation, interoperability, governance, connected communities, human capital and digital public services.

In addition to consumers, policymakers and businesses, we’ll also be talking about these issues with citizens, because their voices and buy-in are an essential component to this process.


Dionysia Theodora Avgerinopoulou

Member of the Hellenic Parliament and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Natalie Barkei

Head of EU Affairs at DocMorris

Antonella Battaglini

Chief Executive Officer at Renewables Grid Initiative, Germany

Franziska Brantner

German Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, former member of the European Parliament, Trustee of Friends of Europe and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Patrick Child

European Commission Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation

Massimo Deandreis

General Manager at SRM – Economic Research Center, Italy

Julie Foulon

Founder and CEO at Girleek

Joe Griffin

Senior Manager in the Sustainability Team at Vodafone Group

Jakob Haesler

Managing Director at Foxdixneuf and European Young Leader (EYL40)

Ben Hammersley

Founder of Hammersley Futures and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

John Higgins

Chairman at Global Digital Foundation, United Kingdom

Ilias Iakovidis

Advisor for Societal Challenges in the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Lynn Kaack

Postdoctoral Researcher at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich and Chair of Climate Change AI, Switzerland

Adem Kumcu

President of the New European Business Confederation (UNITEE)

Astrid Ladefoged

Head of Unit - Sustainable Development Goals Green Finance & Economic Analysis in the European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment

André Loesekrug-Pietri

Chairman and Scientific Director of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Philip Lowe

Partner at Oxera, former European Commission Director-General for Competition and Energy and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Andrea Mairate

Economic Advisor in the European Commission Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs

Fabio Marchetti

Director of the International Affairs Department at Generali

Linda McAvan

Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Development

Daniel Mes

Member of the Cabinet of European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans

Martha Mghendi-Fisher

Founder of European Women Payments Network (EWPN), The Netherlands

Cristina Pozzi

Co-Founder and CEO at Treccani Futura and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Andrea Rappagliosi

Senior Vice-President of Public Affairs for EMEA, Canada and LATAM at Edwards Lifesciences

Milena Richter van Iterson

Head of EU Office & Senior Director for European Public Affairs at Sanofi

Giampaolo Silvestri

Secretary General of the AVSI Foundation

Vibeke Talstad

Safety, Security and Sustainability Lead at Equinor

Margo Thomas

Founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Imperative, United States of America

Vasia Vasilopoulou

Deputy CEO, Stellar Capacity

Ioannis Vrailas

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Greece to the EU

Caroline Walerud

Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of AirForestry and Volumental, and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Ben Wreschner

Chief Economist at Vodafone


Franc Bogovič

Maria Da Graça Carvalho

Pilar del Castillo Vera

Member of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)

José Manuel Fernandes

Ilhan Kyuchyuk

Iskra Mihaylova

Victor Negrescu

Sirpa Pietikäinen

Dragoș Pîslaru

Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and former Romanian minister of labour, the family, social welfare and the elderly

Susana Solis Perez

Maria Spyraki

Continue to Partners


  • Vodafone

    Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company in Europe. We are the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe and a leading global IoT connectivity provider. Our purpose is to "connect for a better future" and our expertise and scale gives us a unique opportunity to drive positive change for society. Our networks keep family, friends, businesses and governments connected and - as COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated - we play a vital role in keeping economies running and the functioning of critical sectors like education and healthcare while building an inclusive and sustainable digital society.


view more
Track title


Stop playback
Video title



We use cookies to improve your online experience.
For more information, visit our privacy policy

Africa initiative logo