Today, on the 17th of May, starts the first of many Tech.eu summits. Through this event in Brussels, Europe is trying to find innovative ways to catch up to tech competitors in America and Asia, keeping its economy and development competitive.
The Tech.eu summit is imagined in two parts, ‘’Inspire’’ and ‘’Grow’’. The first segment focuses on tech companies and their future. The second is more closely related to social matters. Some of the issues discussed at the summit are:
- IT Investments
- Mobility and remote working
- New technologies and solutions
- Diversity and inclusion
- Social inequality
The two-part Tech.eu summit is trying to attract multiple types of stakeholders from technical, business, political, and social spheres. The summit’s ‘’wide tent’’ approach aims to connect these sectors. It should also foster cooperation and create synergies that benefit all parties.
The summit will feature some of the biggest names in European tech and politics. Tech.eu will also host many experts that will discuss both technical and social subjects. For anyone near the IT industry, this will likely become a key annual event.
Mixing Tech, Politics, Business, and Security
The opening subject for the Tech.eu summit was about unlocking Europe’s innovation potential. Tech.eu founder, Robin Wauters, and EU’s Commissioner for Innovation & Research, Mariya Gabriel, opened the event in high spirits and with a clear message.
Wauters expressed his desire for the Tech.eu to be different from other similar events because it focuses on issues surrounding tech. He emphasized that while the industry rarely discusses these issues, their impact is still palpable.
After the brief first panel, the stage was taken by the Belgian Prime Minister, Mr. Alexander De Croo, and Zara Rutherford, a pilot for SlyZolo. This alone proved the point about the mixing of several subjects. De Croo and Rutherford made several parallels about the similarities between flying and new technologies.
The opening segment wasn’t all praise and encouragement. Kristo Käärmann, the CEO of Wise (formerly: Transwise) noted that developments in tech can and will disrupt existing industries. He also warned, “those who can’t adapt, fail.”
After the break, the Tech.eu summit was divided into the technical and social spheres. That said, both still had several key points about the future of tech and business in Europe.
Strength of European Diversity
While sharing the joint European identity, the speakers emphasized that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be just a buzzword for European business and politics. In fact, the continent’s diversity is one of its comparative advantages that puts it ahead of others.
One of the speakers, Ms. Anna Wnuk, clearly demonstrated Europe’s diverse aspect. The head of the community for European Women in Venture Capital herself was born to a Polish family in Norway, and she spent her life in Kenya.
Unlike the rest of the developed countries in the World, Europe is uniquely diverse and cooperative. In fact, each member state is the home for people from other member states who bring their own cultures, perspectives, and insights.
Women also take a prominent place in European tech and business, with more opportunities being planned through the political sphere and cooperatives like Venture Capital.
New Tendencies in FinTech and Data Security
Two major overarching subjects during the summit were FinTech and privacy concerns. Mainly, Tech.eu focused on the inclusion of ecology in all future developments in FinTech and Cybersecurity.
Tanguy Goretti, the founder of the electric bicycle app and company COWBOY, shared his story and ideas. He disclosed how to make a good business in the current climate. He also advised companies not to be solely based on digital attributes. Rather, they should offer the public something more, something that will make users’ lives better.
Crypto, including the recent failure of currencies such as Terra and Luna, was a major subject in several panels. Overall, the speakers were positive that the technology will have a future in tech, despite the recent setbacks. In their words, FinTech will keep developing. That said, it wouldn’t be wise to expect each ICO to be fruitful.
In connection with blockchain and NFTs, the panels touched heavily on the data security issues. Pointing out the resilience of tech companies in Ukraine, the tech journalist Andrii Degeler touched on the reason why Ukrainian tech companies weren’t as affected by the aggressions. Attackers hoped to do more harm, but Ukrainian tech companies managed to protect private information and data.
An Emphasis on Sustainability
Sustainability is a frequent subject in the EU in general, with the continent generally lacking in easily exploitable natural resources. That’s why Europe generally needs to focus on sustainable long-term practices.
As explained by the Policy Director for Coadec, Camilla de Coverly Veale, the idea behind any major undertaking is to have sustainable growth. In turn, this growth will not tax the environment or the company’s human resources.
Companies should handle the expenses of growth, not externalize them to nature or the public.
The panel’s message was that tech should assist people to make sustainable choices. After all, that will lead to long-term benefits for everyone, not just profits.
Growing the EU Tech Market
Excluding the UK, the European Union fell to being the second biggest market in the world, behind the United States. Yet, with 447 million people in the Union, it can still become the biggest tech market on the planet.
The road to that location, as pointed out by several speakers, will not be easy or quick. Many EU member states lack the infrastructure and the incentive to change their economy drastically.
Still, the conclusion was that with cooperation and innovation, tech is the key to improving all Europeans’ lives.