The DIGITALEUROPE’s Masters of Digital 2023

On the 8th and 9th of March Moverim attended the 8th edition of Master of Digital organised by DIGITALEUROPE. As a hybrid event it took place at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels with the opportunity to attend the event online.

Masters of Digital is the flagship annual event on digital policy, at each edition representatives of the digital industry and other high-level speakers discuss the digital world and current issues related to it.

What topics have been covered?

The two days included panel discussions, deep dive sessions and speeches with a focus on Europe’s digital resilience. Top-level speakers and digital experts covered various topics offering very interesting and topical insights.

Central themes were the post-pandemic world situation and the current war in Ukraine which put the global economy under even greater strain, European unity and the climate crisis. Common to these numerous crises that the world and Europe are facing is the key role played by digital technologies in overcoming these challenges.

Specifically, the panel discussions addressed issues such as the role of digital in solving the energy crisis and the need to strengthen cooperation among States for cyber security across the EU, and the past panel of the first day featured candidates for the Future Unicorn Award 2023. The main themes topics of the deep dive sessions were cybersecurity, the European Year of Skills, and the role of women in tech industry and their persistent minority, compared to men. As the Vice-President of DIGITALEUROPE and Business Group Leader & Senior Advisor Advocacy Digital at Agoria Floriane de Kerchove remarked, only 10% of entrepreneurs in tech are women. A common theme of panel discussions and deep dive sessions was the use of data in various sectors, including finance and healthcare, the latter being the focus of the panels on the second day. Specifically on the need to implement a common European health data space that can collect information and incorporate already existing systems in other Member States. This data will be a valuable resource for all those involved in the sector.

The subjects covered during the event can be summarised in five key points:

  • The need for a clear and precise regulatory framework that regulates the sector and enables Europe to establish itself as a hub for start-ups. This will provide an environment that can attract promising start-ups and ensure that they grow and stay in Europe.
  • The importance of digital education for a high-performing digital ecosystem and the need to educate all citizens and for them to develop digital skills that are essential in this era of digital transition. Because, as DIGITALEUROPE President Hilary Mine stated, these skills are the core of everything Europe will experience in the coming years.
  • Unity in defence against cyber-attacks, a faster implementation of regulation is necessary for better cyber security preparedness.
  • Gender equality in tech; as Laura Urquizu noted, given the speed at which AI is becoming more prevalent in our society, it is necessary to involve more women in the tech sector to ensure that the technologies that will play a fundamental role in our lives are not developed exclusively by men.
  • The development of AI and its application in various fields, including healthcare, finance and the ecological and energy transition. But as Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, noted, there is still little involvement of citizens and businesses, as well as a persistent gap between those who understand AI and want to regulate it and those who exclusively want to be protected against AI.

Over the two days many high-level speakers attended the conference

Among the many distinguished guests, an honourable mention goes to Valeriya Ionan, deputy of the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation, who during her speech illustrated and explained how Ukraine defended herself against the Russian cyber aggression.

Japan’s Minister for Digital Affairs Taro Kono, who connected virtually and gave a speech focusing on how to achieve a truly global digital world, Japan’s new Digital Agency created in 2021, which is crucial for the achievement of digital goals, and the current challenges of digitisation, such as privacy issues and information reliability.

Laura Urquizu speaker at the parallel deep dive session themed ‘Female Founders in Tech: How to Close the Gap’ and CEO of Red Points, the scale-up that won the 6th edition of the Future Unicorn Award 2023. The award celebrates the most promising European tech scale-ups that have developed a particularly disruptive, fast-growing solution and have the potential to become the future tech giants in Europe. The winner of this edition is the Spanish scale-up Red Point, a pioneering Digital Revenue Recovery platform in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

A special moment during the first day was the handing of the Ukrainian Peace Prize by Valeriya Ionan to Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, in recognition of DIGITALEUROPE’s support to Ukraine through initiatives such as  Laptops For Ukraine, thanks to which 13,000 devices have been donated so far.