European Digital Forum

Dedicated to empowering web entrepreneurs and growing Europe`s digital economy

Led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, in collaboration with the Startup Europe Partnership and the European Commission

'Europe needs thriving startups and global internet companies to become an international growth centre again. Politicians don’t create jobs, entrepreneurs do.'

Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda

Launch of the European Digital Forum at the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 2014

  • Towards Industry 4.0 and a Digital Single Market

    The European Digital Forum convened a high-level roundtable on Towards Industry 4.0 and a Digital Single Market: How Digital Technologies Can Close Europe’s Productivity Gap. Two of the world’s foremost experts on information technology and productivity, Bart Van Ark,...Read more

  • European Digital Forum Study Visit to Munich, Germany

    At the invitation of the Bavarian ministry of economic affairs and media, energy and technology, the European Digital Forum visited Munich for an intensive round of high-level meetings and study sessions. The European Digital Forum used the occasion to learn more...Read more

  • European Digital Forum @ Digital Venice

    The Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in collaboration with the European Commission hosted Digital Venice, a high level summit on the advancement of Europe's digital economy. Ann Mettler, executive director of the European Digital Forum, chaired a...Read more

  • European Digital Forum @ Launch of Greek Startup Manifesto

    Ann Mettler, executive director of the European Digital Forum, chaired the official launch of the Greek Startup Manifesto at the First European Youth Entrepreneurship Conference in Athens. Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of the...Read more

  • European Digital Forum and World Economic Forum Team Up on Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship

    The European Digital Forum teamed up with the World Economic Forum to host a High-Level Working Lunch on Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship. The discussion focused on improving the collaboration between digital entrepreneurs and large corporations in an effort to help...Read more

  • José Manuel Barroso and Neelie Kroes Launch European Digital Forum in Brussels

    José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for the digital agenda, joined a star-studded group of digital entrepreneurs and thought leaders for a high-level summit in Brussels to...Read more

  • German Digital Champion Presents Open Letter at European Business Summit

    Gesche Joost, Germany’s digital champion and design research professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, presents the Open Letter of European Digital Champions to the Contenders for European Commission President, at the European Business Summit.Read more

  • Jean-Claude Juncker Responds to Open Letter from Digital Champions

    The European Digital Forum released an Open Letter to the Contenders for European Commission President, signed by European Union digital champions. These ambassadors for the digital agenda of Europe who are appointed by their respective governments, encourage the lead...Read more

  • European Digital Champions Briefed About European Digital Forum

    Ann Mettler, executive director of the Lisbon Council and the European Digital Forum, met with European Union digital champions, ambassadors of the digital agenda for Europe appointed by their member states. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the digital...Read more

  • Presentation to Expert Group on Taxing the Digital Economy

    Ann Mettler was invited to speak before the Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy. Chaired by Vitor Gaspar, former finance minister of Portugal, the group asked Ann to focus her remarks on the rise of micro-multinationals, small startups that have global...Read more

  • European Digital Forum at Mobile World Congress

    Ann Mettler, executive director of the Lisbon Council and the European Digital Forum, took part in the session Startup Europe Manifesto: making it happen at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and presented the European Digital Forum.Read more

  • European Digital Forum Announced at World Economic Forum in Davos

    The Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think tank and Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, jointly announce the creation of the European Digital Forum, a first-of-its kind think tank dedicated to empowering tech entrepreneurs and growing Europe’s digital economy. It...Read more

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    The European Digital Forum launched in Brussels in the presence of José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission and Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the digital agenda. 
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European Digital Forum Photos

About the European Digital Forum

The European Digital Forum is a think tank dedicated to empowering web entrepreneurs and growing Europe’s digital economy. It is led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, in collaboration with the Startup Europe Partnership and the European Commission. It was inspired by the Leaders Club, an independent group of founders in the field of tech entrepreneurship, and first called for in the Startup Manifesto for entrepreneurial excellence.

The European Digital Forum is a think tank led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, in collaboration with the Startup Europe Partnership and the European Commission. Founding partners include the European Investment Fund, Telefónica, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Orange.

The European Digital Forum is a first-of-its kind think tank dedicated to empowering tech entrepreneurs and growing Europe’s digital economy. The European Digital Forum gives a voice in public policy to the continent’s most enterprising and innovative entrepreneurs.

The European Digital Forum aspires to become Europe’s leading think tank and policy network on digital economy and digital entrepreneurship issues. It is designed as a “broad church,” meaning that it will seek to take digital economy issues – which are oftentimes seen as niche or sectoral in nature – and place them squarely in the wider economic context.

The European Digital Forum aims to deliver thought leadership in transforming the European economy “from coal and steel to wired and digital.” A crucial element in this transformation is encouraging Europeans to become web entrepreneurs, supporting technology startups and engaging with established corporate players, with the overall purpose to intellectually engage and inspire a new generation of leaders and doers. Against this backdrop, the European Digital Forum is uniquely positioned at the interface of technology/web entrepreneurship/innovation and public policy.

The day-to-day operations of the European Digital Forum are managed by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, two of Europe’s leading innovation think tanks.

The Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal asbl is a Brussels-based think tank and policy network. Established in 2003 in Belgium as a non-profit, non-partisan association, the group is dedicated to making a positive contribution through cutting-edge research and by engaging politicians and the public at large in a constructive exchange about the economic and social challenges of the 21st century. Its website is www.lisboncouncil.net.

Nesta is the United Kingdom’s innovation foundation. It helps people and organisations bring great ideas to life. It does this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. It is an independent charity enabled by an endowment from the national lottery. Its website is www.nesta.org.uk.

The European Digital Forum is an initiative set up in collaboration with the European Commission. 

The Digital Agenda is the European Commission's strategy to help digital technologies, including the internet, to deliver sustainable economic growth. As part of the Digital Agenda for Europe, the Startup Europe initiative aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU. For more information visit www.ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/growth-jobs/startup-europe 

Founding partners of the European Digital Forum include the European Investment Fund, Telefónica, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Orange.

The European Investment Fund’s (EIF) central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. EIF is part of the European Investment Bank Group. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over € 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 435 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over € 5.6bn in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor. For more information, visit www.eif.org

BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, it is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States. Its diversified business is biased to high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. BBVA ranks among the leading Euro zone banks in terms of ROE and efficiency. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes. For more, visit the BBVA Innovation Centre website at www.centrodeinnovacionbbva.com

Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation and number of customers. From this outstanding position in the industry, and with its mobile, fixed and broadband businesses as the key drivers of its growth, Telefónica has focused its strategy on becoming a leading company in the digital world. The company has a significant presence in 24 countries and a customer base that amounts to more than 320 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy. Telefónica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4.551.024.586 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia) and on those in London, New York, Lima and Buenos Aires. For more information, visit www.telefonica.com

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of € 43.5 bn in 2012 and had 166,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2013, including 102,000 employees in France. Present in 32 countries, the Group had a total customer base of more than 232 million customers at 30 September 2013, including 175 million mobile customers and 15 million fixed broadband customers worldwide. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. Orange is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN). For more information, visit www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com and on Twitter: @orange, @orangegrouppr, @orangebusiness.

The Startup Europe Leaders Club is an independent group of founders in the field of tech entrepreneurship, who act as role models for European web entrepreneurs and provide guidance to the Commission on what needs to be done to strengthen the environment for web entrepreneurs to start in Europe and stay in Europe.

    Members of the Leaders Club:
  • - Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO, Spotify
  • - Martin Lorentzon, co-founder and chairman of the board, Spotify
  • - Kaj Hed, owner and chairman, Rovio (Angry Birds)
  • - Lars Hinrichs, founder and CEO, HackFwd
  • - Joanna Shields, chairman, Tech City UK, UK Business Ambassador for Digital Industries
  • - Reshma Sohoni, partner, Seedcamp
  • - Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, founder and CEO, The Next Web
  • - Zaryn Dentzel, founder and CEO, Tuenti
  • - Niklas Zennström, CEO and founding partner, Atomico

 

View Joanna Shields Interview
View Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten Interview

In September 2013, the Leaders Club published A Manifesto for Entrepreneurship & Innovation to Power Growth in the EU. It is a 22-point action plan, highlighting five key themes: Education & Skills, Access to Talent, Access to Capital, Data Policy, Protection & Privacy, and Thought Leadership.

Establishment of the European Digital Forum is a direct implementation of Action 22 of the Startup Manifesto. It reads, “Bring together leading entrepreneurs, politicians and policy makers for the purposes of establishing a common understanding and common set of goals in translating this manifesto into action”.

For more information about the Leaders Club, visit http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/leaders-club

For more information about the Startup Manifesto, visit http://startupmanifesto.eu/