European Digital Forum

Dedicated to empowering tech entrepreneurs and growing

Led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, in collaboration with the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative

 

News & Events

  • From Startup to Scale-Up

    What does it take for European companies to move from the "startup" to "scale-up" phase? Why do so many European firms remain static and what prevents them from becoming global champions and driving the growth and jobs Europe so badly needs? To answer these heated and timely questions, the European Digital Forum launches From Startup to Scale-Up: Growing Europe's Digital Economy. Aimed at contributing useful ideas to the Investment Plan for Europe put forward by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the policy brief analyses the places where company-growth financing breaks down in Europe and proposes a ten-point plan for fixing the European "funding escalator." The policy brief was formally launched at Startup Europe Summit 2016 in Berlin at a high-level panel of leading venture capitalists.

  • European Unicorns Headline EDF Day @ CeBIT

    Europe has no shortage of entrepreneurs and good ideas. The question is, how do we translate that into cutting-edge businesses capable of creating more jobs, developing new products, internationalising from day one and conquering markets with their spirit and ingenuity? We thought, “why not ask the best?” The European Digital Forum convened European Startup Ecosystem Day at CeBIT 2016, the global event for digital business, with a high-level, highly interactive session bringing European “unicorns,” top entrepreneurs, leading policymakers, venture capitalists and key startup associations together for a no-holds-barred discussion on developing the right framework conditions for startups to succeed. The session was intellectually informed by The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard, a ranking of European countries by progress on implementing the Startup Manifesto in their home country (the study was prepared and crowdsourced by Startup Manifesto Crowdsourcing Community, a team of 33 leading experts in 28 EU member states). European Commissioner Günther Oettinger keynoted and laid down a challenge: “Tell me what I need to do, and together we will do it.” Philipp Kreibohm, managing director and co-founder of Home24 (a German “unicorn” founded in 2012 and now valued at more than €1 billion) and Rubin Ritter, co-CEO of Zalando (Germany’s wildly successful online clothing store, started in 2008, with €3 billion of sales in 2015) joined a high-level CEO panel including Karen Boers, president of the European Startup Network and co-founder of Startups.be, and Andreea Wade, CEO and co-founder of Opening.io. Later, in a highly interactive workshop, leading entrepreneurs, startup associations and authors of national startup manifestos met to discuss the key challenges facing entrepreneurs in 2016 – and the path to better roadmaps and policy recommendations. David Osimo, director and co-founder of Open Evidence and principal author of The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard, discussed the potential and challenges of crowdsourcing policy and policymaking.

    Download The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard 

  • The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard

    How is Europe faring on startups? A lot has been spoken about the need to do more to improve the ecosystem for startups, entrepreneurs and “scale-up” organisations. But is anything really happening in the 28 European Union member states where progress most needs to be seen? In this ground-breaking study, the European Digital Forum looks at The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard: How European Union Countries are Improving Policy Frameworks and Developing Powerful Ecosystems for Entrepreneurs. The policy brief sets up a framework for tracking progress on the Startup Manifesto, a 22-action roadmap published in 2013 by eight leading European entrepreneurs. The product of a unique crowdsourcing exercise involving national experts in 25 countries, the new study looks at progress from a policymaking standpoint. Who is doing most to create a better environment for startups? And who needs to do more? The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard was formally launched at CeBIT 2016, the global event for digital business in Hanover, Germany, in the presence of Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for digital economy and society, who joined the Opening Plenary hosted by the European Digital Forum.

  • Making e-Government a Success

    An eclectic group of high-level policymakers, top civil servants and digital reformers met at the High-Level Working Dinner on Making eGovernment a Success to discuss how the European Commission’s eGovernment Action Plan can improve public service and deliver results. Paul Timmers, director for digital society, trust and security at the European Commission’s directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology, kicked off the discussion with a reflection on the Commission’s priorities with regards to eGovernment. Kaja Kallas, vice-chair of the delegation to the EU-Ukraine parliamentary association committee and member of the committee on industry, research and energy at the European Parliament, also joined the debate, which was intellectually informed by Government of the Future: How Digital Technology Will Change the Way We Live, Work and Govern, a European Digital Forum policy brief. 

  • Financial Services in the Age of the Internet

    The European Digital Forum convened the High-Level Roundtable on Financial Services in the Age of the Internet. Policymakers, expert researchers, stakeholders and industry participants debated and discussed the way digital technology will revolutionise the provisioning of financial services, providing unique challenges and opportunities for consumers, market participants and regulators alike. Paul Hofheinz, president and co-founder of the Lisbon Council, moderated and delivered opening remarks. Sergey Filippov, associate director of the Lisbon Council and author of Financial Services in the Digital Age, a European Digital Forum policy brief; David Rutter, founder and CEO of R3 CEV, a fast-growing cryptofinance, exchanges and venture group; and Álvaro Martín, head economist of digital regulation at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Research, kicked off the discussion with fascinating keynotes. Sébastien de Brouwer, executive director for retail, legal, economic and social policy at the European Banking Federation; Clive Cooke, director of global alliances at R3 CEV; Thierry Derungs, wealth management chief digital officer and head of digital solutions at BNP Paribas; Fernand Dimidschstein, managing director for FinTech innovation Europe, Africa, Latin America at Accenture; Gerrit de Graaf, director for digital economy and co-ordination at the European Commission’s DG for communications networks, content and technology; Katarzyna Hanula-Bobbitt, senior public affairs officer at Finance Watch; Leanne Kemp, CEO and founder of Everledger, a startup that tracks and registers diamonds through a distributed ledger; Katharina Lüth, head of Europe at SavingGlobal Raisin, a fast-growing crossborder financial-services platform; Mario Nava, director for regulation and prudential supervision of financial institutions at the European Commission’s DG for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union (DG-FISMA); Tomas Peeters, chief strategy officer at ING-DiBa and chief operations officer at ING Bank Germany; Mirjam Plooij, policy adviser for cash and payment systems and retail payments policy at De Nederlandsche Bank; Olivier Salles, head of unit for retail financial services and payments at DG-FISMA; and Julian Wilson, vice-president for operations and technology, digital and mobile at Barclays, presented an array of ideas on the digitisation of retail financial services and discussed the interplay between the European Union’s digital single market strategy and emerging action in the area of retail financial services.

  • Government of the Future

    The European Digital Forum launches Government of the Future: How Digital Technology Will Change the Way We Live, Work and Govern at the eGovernment Conference Luxembourg 2015, a minister-level informal gathering hosted by the Government of Luxembourg, acting as Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Written by Sergey Filippov, associate director of the Lisbon Council and former professor of innovation management at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, it imagines a world where citizens and governments collaborate to “co-create” public services through the use of radically enhanced approaches, such as “government as a platform”-based services and blockchain technology. It analyses “best-in-class” e-government initiatives in an array of countries and speculates on how Europe would look if today's best practices were broadly disseminated and embraced at scale.

    Download Government of the Future

  • Günther Oettinger Joins Startup Europe Forum at ICT2015

    The European Digital Forum took centre stage at ICT 2015: Innovate, Connect, Transform in Lisbon on 20-22 October 2015. ICT 2015 is the European Union’s flagship digital conference that united 7,000 innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, corporate leaders, private investors, regional and national policymakers and digital-era luminaries from throughout Europe for intense policy debates, stimulating keynotes, dynamic new research and high-level networking.

    This year, the European Digital Forum was proud to co-host the Startup Europe Forum, an intellectually vibrant parallel track of unprecedented discussions and debates that will take place inside of the conference. Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for digital economy and society, kicked off the opening plenary of the Startup Europe Forum with a 30-minute round of “hard talk,” led by Politico’s Zoya Sheftalovich and Paul Hofheinz, director of the European Digital Forum.

    Rastislav Chovanec, state secretary of the ministry of economy of Slovakia introduced a newly established initiative The Startup Policy Facility and handed over a letter of intent to Commissioner Oettinger. Later, Brigitte Baumann, founder and CEO of GoBeyond and president emeritus of the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players (EBAN); Marie Ekeland, co-president of France Digitale; Nikita Fahrenholz, co-founder and CEO of Book a Tiger and co-founder of Delivery Hero, one of four German “unicorns;” Inês Henriques, CEO of Ynvisible; Miguel Leitmann, senior vice-president of Vision Box; António Murta, co-founder and managing partner of Pathena and digital champion of Portugal; Carlos Torres Vila, president and chief operating officer of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA); Matthias Ummenhofer, founder and managing director of mojo.capital; and Linnar Viik, co-founder and member of the board of Pocopay and associate professor and member of the board of Estonian Information Technology College, took the stage to share their successful experiences and discuss how Europe can become a better place to start and scale up. Paul Hofheinz, president and co-founder of the Lisbon Council, moderated this high-level debate.

    View Highlights Video of Startup Europe Forum Opening Session 

  • Startup Manifesto Movement

    A manifesto for entrepreneurship and innovation to power growth in the European Union.That’s what nine wildly successful European entrepreneurs – founders and co-founders of eight fast-growing, cutting-edge, globally competitive Internet startups – set out to write in 2013. To date, more than 8,000 people have signed the Manifesto, which has grown into a trans-European campaign and spawned more than 10 national startup manifestoes in the European Union member states. At ICT2015 – Innovate, Connect, Transform, the European Digital Forum brought together the authors and co-authors of all 10 national startup manifestos under the theme Startup Manifesto Movement: Driving Change Throughout Europe.

    Meeting in Lisbon, the grassroots leaders explored the recent success and future prospects of the “startup manifesto movement,” led by entrepreneurs, to raise the voice of startups and build more effective eco-systems in the European Union’s 28 member states. Carmen Bermejo, co-author of the Spain Startup Manifesto and CEO of Tetuan Valley; Karen Boers, co-author of the Belgium Startup Manifesto and co-founder and managing director of startups.be; Dimitris Drakoulis, co-author of the Greece Startup Manifesto and president of the Greek association of computer engineers; Przemysław Grzywa, co-author of the Poland Startup Manifesto and vice-president of Youth Forum at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Katowice, Poland; Nils-Erik Jansson, co-author of the Sweden Startup Manifesto and president of Young Entrepreneurs of Sweden; Stavriana Kofteros, co-author of the Cyprus Startup Manifesto and special entrepreneurship and development adviser of Democratic Rally; Eliza Kruczkowska, co-author of the Startup Poland Manifesto and president of Startup Poland; Guy Levin, co-author of the United Kingdom Startup Manifesto and executive director of Coadec; Miroslav Rebernik, co-author of the Slovenia Startup Manifesto and professor at the University of Maribor; and Bastiaan Zwanenburg, co-author of the Netherlands Startup Manifesto and managing director of Young Creators, joined the debate. Peter Balík, director of the department for innovation and digital economy at the ministry of economy of Slovakia joined as special guest.

    The European Digital Forum used the occasion to launch the Startup Manifesto Policy Tracker, a new online tool for tracking startup-friendly reform in EU member states. Paul Hofheinz, director of the European Digital Forum, moderated. Later that day, the European Digital Forum hosted a working dinner on Next Steps for the National Startup Manifesto Movement. All startup manifesto writers as well as Tonnie de Koster, assistant to the director for digital economy and co-ordination at the directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology (DG Connect) at the European Commission; Pierre Marro, policy officer for innovation at DG Connect; Ricardo Marvão, co-founder of Beta-i; Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta; Pedro Rocha Vieira, co-founder, president and CEO of Beta-i; Lisa Schreier, European relations manager at German Startup Association; and Linnar Viik, co-founder of Pocopay and associate professor and member of the board of Estonian Information Technology College, joined the working dinner. ICT 2015 took place in Lisbon on 20-22 October 2015. This is the European Union’s flagship digital conference that united 7,000 innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, corporate leaders, private investors, regional and national policymakers and digital-era luminaries from throughout Europe.

    Visit the Startup Manifesto Policy Tracker 

  • European Digital City Index

    The European Digital Forum launched the European Digital City Index. This groundbreaking interactive tool provides compelling evidence of how well different European cities are prepared to support digital entrepreneurship and ranks their digital readiness. The Index, which was conceived and prepared by Nesta, the UK innovation foundation and co-manager of the European Digital Forum, covers all capital cities in the 28 European Union member states. In addition, it includes seven leading hubs of digital entrepreneurship – Barcelona, Cambridge, Cologne, Milan, Munich, Oxford and Stuttgart.

    The launch took place at ICT 2015 – Innovate, Connect, Transform in Lisbon on 21 October 2015, the European Union’s flagship digital conference. Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta, presented this fascinating new research – and offered a tour d’horizon on making Europe a more cohesive society and a better place to do business again.

    Visit the European Digital City Index 

  • Sherry Coutu on Fuelling Scale Ups

    The European Digital Forum welcomed Sherry Coutu, serial entrepreneur, business angel and author of the highly influential Scale-Up Report, at ICT 2015 – Innovate, Connect, Transform in Lisbon. Sherry Coutu delivered a keynote speech on Fuelling Growth Firms in Europe, and discussed the challenge and opportunity of “scaling up” businesses – and proposed at 12-point plan for making Europe a better place to develop healthy, prosperous companies.

    Paul Hofheinz, director of the European Digital Forum, chaired the session. One of the world’s most acclaimed investors and women, Ms Coutu established and successfully sold two financial-services businesses and sits today on the board of several corporations and associations, including the London Stock Exchange. ICT 2015 took place in Lisbon on 20-22 October 2015.

    This is the European Union’s flagship digital conference that united 7,000 innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, corporate leaders, private investors, regional and national policymakers and digital-era luminaries from throughout Europe.

  • Andrus Ansip Keynotes The 2015 European Digital Forum

    The 2015 European Digital Forum convened under the timely theme How the Digital Single Market Will Power a European Renaissance – and What We Need to Do About It Today. Andrus Ansip, vice-president of the European Commission for the digital single market, delivered The 2015 Guglielmo Marconi Lecture and laid out his vision of a European renaissance fuelled by dramatic leaps in the digital single market before an eclectic audience of leading European thinkers, regulators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and Internet aficionados.

    He listened to the debate animated by leading thinkers and practitioners and offered concluding remarks based on what he heard. Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta, co-manager with the Lisbon Council of the European Digital Forum, set the scene with a sprightly overview of Europe’s digital challenge –and potential. Later, Bart Becks, CEO and founder of angel.me, a Belgium-based crowdfunding platform and former CEO of Belgacom Skynet SA; Bernard Le Masson, managing director for public service at Accenture Strategy; Ana Segurado Escudero, CEO of Telefónica’s Open Future; and Javier Arias, head European Union representative of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) shared their perspectives on how European digitally-led entrepreneurship can boost the digital economy. Earlier in the day, the Forum opened with a High-Level Working Lunch on Making the Investment Plan and the European Strategic Investment Fund a Success. Marjut Santoni, deputy chief executive of the European Investment Fund, presented an array of ideas on how to make European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s €315 billion Investment Plan a success. Miguel Gil-Tertre, member of the cabinet of Jyrki Katainen, vice-president of the European Commission for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, served as discussant. Nikita Fahrenholz, CEO and co-founder of Book a Tiger; Daniel Glasner, founder of Quandoo and CRES Internet; Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK; Hervé Le Jouan, CEO and founder of Privowny; Guy Levin, executive director of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec); and others also intervened in a rich and fascinating debate on how smart policy choices coupled with targeted investment can empower Europe’s tech and web entrepreneurs. 

    View Andrus Ansip's Lecture in its Entirety

    View Highlights Video of The 2015 European Digital Forum 

  • Financial Services in the Digital Age

    In a new policy brief, published by the European Digital Forum, author Sergey Filippov looks at Financial Services in the Digital Age: Leveraging Technology and Regulation to Achieve a Stronger Capital Markets Union. The paper examines the spread of digital technology throughout the financial-services arena and the rise of new and innovative services such as crowdfunding, blockchain technology and data analytics. It concludes that “If the European Commission wants to make the Capital Markets Union a success, it must tap into the wealth of improved consumer services and greater access to funding opportunities that technology has brought.” 

  • Startups and the Digital Single Market

    The Lisbon Council and Nesta, the two organisations leading the European Digital Forum, team up with Tech.eu to produce Startups and the Digital Single Market, an essay that highlights the common issues startups face across the European Union member states, explains why policymakers should pay special attention, and makes several recommendations to support them. This report was published by the European Commission. 

  • Open Data in the Digital Single Market

    The European Digital Forum hosted the High-Level Working Lunch on Open Data in the Digital Single Market. Beatrice Covassi, deputy head of unit for data value chain at the European Commission’s directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology, led an electric discussion on the potential of open government data to empower citizens, improve the delivery of public services but also generate significant economic value. Among others, Vivian Chan, CEO and co-founder of Sparrho, a personalised recommendation platform for scientific research; Jonathan Raper, CEO and founder of Transport API, an open platform for transport solutions; Yodit Stanton, CEO and founder, OpenSensors.io, a startup that offers smart solutions for sensor-generated private and open data; and Chris Taggart, CEO and co-founder of OpenCorporates, the largest open database of companies in the world, shared their experiences on the opportunity – and challenge – of open data in the Internet economy.

  • European Digital Forum @ Startup Europe Summit in Berlin

    For two days, the Startup Europe Summit, a pop-up conference for European startups hosted by Factory Berlin in collaboration with the European Commission, brought together captains of the industry, leading startup founders and policymakers. The European Digital Forum held two stimulating sessions at the summit. First, Director Paul Hofheinz animated a forward-looking discussion on Technologies of the Future: What is the Role for Startups?  Speakers and participants discussed the tremendous potential of emerging and future technologies – such as high performance computing, robotics and smart manufacturing – to revolutionise the modern economy and create opportunities for startups. Later, initiators of national Startup Manifestos and policymakers gathered for a session on Startup Nation Europe: Driving Change at the Member State Level. Under the chairmanship of Director Hofheinz, the delegates shared their experience about drafting national Startup Manifestos, highlighted the reforms that were most needed to create startup-friendly environments in their respective member states and discussed how the voice of European entrepreneurs can better be heard at the policy level. Neelie Kroes, special envoy for StartupDelta and former vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the digital agenda, intervened in the lively discussion. At the Startup Europe Summit, Andrus Ansip, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Single Market, and Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for digital society and economy, participated in live and dynamic fireside chats.

    Visit Startup Europe Summit Website
    Read a Blog, on the Startup Europe Summit by Neelie Kroes, Special Envoy of StartupDelta

  • Startup Europe Leadership Council Inaugural Meeting and Open Letter

    Convened at the London Stock Exchange, the first Startup Europe Leadership Council, a high-level group of business representatives from the European Digital Forum and the Startup Europe Partnership, met to discuss how to foster scale-ups in Europe. Special guests included Sherry Coutu, business angel investor, non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange and author of the recently launched and widely noted Scale-Up Report on UK Economic Growth; Ed Vaizey, UK minister for culture and the digital economy; and Jacqueline Minor, head of the European Commission Representation to the UK. The business leaders in attendance used the occasion to issue an Open Letter on supporting the scale-up of the startup ecosystem in the EU.

    Download the Open Letter

  • Data-Driven Business Models and Europe’s Digital Future

    The European Digital Forum convened the High-Level Roundtable on Europe’s Digital Future. Neelie Kroes, former vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for the digital agenda (2009-2014), delivered a fascinating keynote and launched Digital Minds for a New Europe, an e-book featuring 44 essays by the world's leading thinkers on the challenges ahead – and the solutions digital technology will provide. The roundtable also served as the launch for Data-Driven Business Models: Powering Startups in the Digital Age, a new policy brief written by Sergey Filippov, associate director of the Lisbon Council. The policy brief explores the growing role and prominence of data-driven businesses among European startups and presents a set of 10 “smart policy principles” for making Europe an environment where digital startups can thrive. Romain Niccoli, co-founder, deputy CEO and chief technology officer of Criteo, a French digital advertising startup that has grown to more than €1 billion annual turnover, delivered the keynote. Laurent Kinet, CEO and co-founder of Swan Insights; Márta Nagy-Rothengass, head of unit for data value chain at the European Commission’s directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology; Mark van Rijmenam, founder of BigData-Startups.com and author of Think Bigger: Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business and Estelle Werth, global privacy officer of Criteo, joined a high-level panel on how European startups are carving out unique niches in the field of data-analytics, drawing on their limited legacies and imaginative business thinking to re-define competitive advantage in the age of the Internet.

  • POLICY BRIEF: Data-Driven Business Models

    The European Digital Forum launches Data-Driven Business Models: Powering Startups in the Digital Age, a policy brief that looks at the growing prominence of data-driven business models for European startups and the increasingly important role these startups are playing in gaining global competitive advantage. Based on extensive interviews with 20 leading European startups, the policy brief develops a first-of-its-kind “data value-chain” model, which summarises the types of business strategies emerging in this fast-growing field. It presents a set of ten “smart policy principles” for making Europe an environment where digital startups can thrive. 

     

  • E-BOOK: Digital Minds for a New Europe

    The European Digital Forum launches Digital Minds for a New Europe, a cutting-edge collection of 44 essays by the world's leading thinkers on the digital challenges ahead – and the solutions technology can provide. Neelie Kroes, former vice-president of the European Commission (2009-2014) responsible for the digital agenda, commissioned the essays to open a broad debate in Europe on the way forward, and contributed the Foreword (and an essay) to the e-book. Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican; Vint Cerf, vice-president and chief Internet evangelist at Google; Zaryn Dentzel, CEO and founder of Tuenti; John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay; Kaj Hed, chairman of Rovio Entertainment, maker of Angry Birds; Rem Koolhaas, architect, architectural theorist and urbanist and professor in practice of architecture and urban design at Graduate School of Design of Harvard University; Baroness Martha Lane Fox, chair of Go ON UK, the UK’s Digital Skills Alliance; Lu Wei, minister for cyberspace administration at the People’s Republic of China; Wim Pijbes, general director of Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands; Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum and Ben Verwaayen, partner at Keen Venture Partners also weigh in, along with 31 other leading luminaries from the digital field. 
                    
    Download Digital Minds for a New Europe in Kindle version on Amazon.com

  • 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, executive vice-president, chief economist and chief strategy officer of The Conference Board and author of Productivity and Digitalisation in Europe: Paving the Road to Faster Growth and Robert D. Atkinson, president of The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and co-author of Raising European Productivity Growth Through ICT, presented their research and led a discussion on how digitalisation drives productivity, growth and jobs. Francisco Caballero Sanz, chief economist and head of unit for industrial competitiveness for growth at the European Commission’s DG enterprise and industry; Wolfgang Dorst, head of department, Industry 4.0 at Bitkom; Gerard de Graaf, director for co-ordination at the European Commission’s DG communication networks, content and technology; Dennis Kredler, director-general of the European Retail Round Table; Valerie Mocker, senior researcher for startups and entrepreneurship at Nesta; and Mark Purdy, managing director and chief economist of Accenture’s institute for high performance, also intervened, sharing their recent research and latest thinking on Europe’s economic situation and the role the digital economy can play in helping to overcome it. Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament weighed in with a special video message, giving the European Parliament’s perspective and announcing several important European Parliament initiatives aimed at driving the digital agenda forward.

    Download Productivity and Digitalisation in Europe: Paving the Road to Faster Growth
    Download Raising European Productivity Growth through ICT
    Download Bart Van Ark’s Presentation
    Download Robert A. Atkinson’s Presentation
    Download Wolfgang Dorst’s Presentation
    Download Valerie Mocker’s Presentation
    View Photo Highlights on European Digital Forum's Picasa Photostream

     

  • 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 about the Bavarian digital entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem and engage in a fascinating dialogue with world-leading industrial companies (BMW, Intel, Telefónica), a media company (Hubert Burda Media), an outstanding biotechnology cluster (BioM Munich) and a tech entrepreneurship incubator (UnternehmerTUM, the centre for innovation and business creation at the Technical University of Munich). The visit culminated in a high-level roundtable discussion with the leadership of the Bavarian ministry of economic affairs, media, energy and technology. Both sides explored potential collaboration and re-confirmed their shared vision for the indispensable role of digital technologies in the transformation of traditional manufacturing.

  • 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 workshop on Rethinking Digital for a New Economic Development. Jeremy Rifkin, world renowned economist, social theorist, writer and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, gave a keynote on the zero marginal cost opportunities of the internet and the new technologies and joined an electric panel of thought leaders, entrepreneurs and policymakers. Gerard de Graaf, director for co-ordination at the European Commission's directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology, served as discussant. Earlier in the day, Matteo Renzi, prime minister of Italy, keynoted the summit and committed to presenting the outcomes and recommendations of Digital Venice to the European Council in October 2014. 

    Read Ann Mettler's LSE Blog on Strengthening the Role of Digital Technology
    Visit Digital Venice Website 

     

  • 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 digital agenda, joined the session via livestream and gave a keynote speech on the importance of the startup manifesto movement for the advancement of the European digital economy. The Manifesto was officially presented to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greek minister of administrative reform and e-governance, who endorsed it and committed to driving its recommendations forward in order to foster a much needed entrepreneurial environment in Greece. The European Digital Forum remains a vocal supporter of this forceful call to action.

    Sign the Greek Startup Manifesto 

  • 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 Europe to innovate better and more collaboratively. Mário Campolargo, director for net futures at the European Commission's directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology served as the special guest. 

    View Photo Highlights on the European Digital Forum Picasa Photostream 

  • 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 formally launch the European Digital Forum.

    Watch President José Manuel Barroso's Keynote
    Watch Vice-President Neelie Kroes' Keynote
    Watch Highlights Video
    Read Neelie Kroes's Keynote
    View Photo Highlights on European Digital Forum's Picasa Photostream

  • 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.

  • 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 European Commission presidency candidates to include a bold and ambitious digital strategy in their electoral platforms and unite behind a four-point agenda.

  • 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 champions about the implementation of the Startup Manifesto, as well as to find national actions that can plug into the Manifesto. Ann Mettler introduced the European Digital Forum and outlined its plans.

  • 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 reach thanks to digital technologies and the Internet.

  • 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.

  • 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 was launched by Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, at a press conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

latest newsletters

publications

  • From Startup to Scale-Up: Growing Europe's Digital Economy

    This paper analyses the places where company-growth financing breaks down in Europe and proposes a 10-point plan for fixing the European "funding escalator."

    Download
  • The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard

    How is Europe faring on startups? Who is doing most to create a better environment for startups?

    Download
  • Government of the Future

    Government of the Future: How Digital Technology Will Change the Way We Live, Work and Govern. 

     

    Download
  • Financial Services in the Digital Age

    In a new policy brief, published by the European Digital Forum, author Sergey Filippov looks at Financial Services in the Digital Age.

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  • Digital Minds for a New Europe

    The European Digital Forum launches Digital Minds for a New Europe, a cutting-edge collection of 44 essays by the world's leading digital thinkers. 

  • Data-Driven Business Models: Powering Startups in the Digital Age

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  • Highlights Video: The 2015 European Digital Forum

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  • The 2015 Guglielmo Marconi Lecture: Ansrus Ansip

    Andrus Ansip, vice-president of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market, delivers this annual address devoted to cutting-edge innovation and the European innovation eco-system. The title of this year's lecture: "Digital for Growth: Removing Barriers to Build for Europe's Future." 
  • Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten of The Next Web on challenge and opportunity of Internet-led businesses

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, founder of The Next Web and member of the Leader's Club, speaks about the challenge and opportunity of Internet-led businesses.
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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. 
  • Joanna Shields of Tech City on digital entrepreneurship and “scale-ups”

    Joanna Shields of Tech City on Digital Entrepreneurship

About the european digital forum

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

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/tech 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.

   

 


•    Francisco Javier Arias Marin, group head representative to the European Union, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
•    Gilles Babinet, digital champion of France
•    Xavier Damman, co-founder, Storify
•    Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK
•    Charlotte Holloway, head of policy, TechUK
•    Hervé Le Jouan, founder and CEO, Privowny
•    Kaja Kallas, member, committee on industry, research and energy, European Parliament
•    Tom Kirschbaum, co-founder and chief operating officer, Ally
•    Saul Klein, serial entrepreneur and investor
•    Bernard Le Masson, managing director, public service, Accenture Strategy
•    Stewart McTavish, director, the University of Cambridge ideaSpace
•    Victor Negrescu, member, committee on budgets, European Parliament
•    Gergana Passy, digital champion of Bulgaria
•    Eva Paunova, member, committee on the internal market and consumer protection, European Parliament
•    Richard Poston, director of global public affairs, Telefónica
•    Wojciech Przybylski, project leader, New Europe 100; president and editor-in-chief, Res Publica Nowa
•    Marjut Santoni, deputy secretary-general, European Investment Bank
•    Matthias Ummenhofer, founder and managing director, mojo.capital
•    Robin Wauters, co-founder and editor-in-chief, tech.eu

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Advisory board

Leaders club

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.

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 Startup Europe Policy Tracker, please visit www.europeandigitalforum.eu/startup-manifest-policy-tracker

For more information about the European Digital Cities Index, please visit www.digitalcityindex.eu