Safety last? Security and prosperity in the Gigabit Age

At this event in Brussels the Vodafone Institute will bring together economists, academics, entrepreneurs, technologists, and policymakers to discuss how we can get ahead of the game and secure a successful and safe digital future for Europe.

20 February 2018, 6:00 to 8.00 pm

BMW Brand Store, Boulevard de Waterloo 23-24, Brussels 1000

Doors open at 5.30pm, talks start at 6.00pm sharp, walking dinner to follow.

For registration, please contact Cindy De Koninck: cindy.dekoninck(at)

The next revolution in digital technology is coming. It will change how all of us live our lives, build our societies and run our economies. Everything will be connected, with unprecedented ability to analyse, monitor and interact with the world around us. Nothing will ever be quite the same again in future: homes, offices, factories, transport, healthcare – even, perhaps, the human body itself.

Much of this will be benign, enhancing lives and livelihoods in ways unimaginable to previous generations. But some of what lies ahead also presents serious and complex challenges in terms of ethics, equality and safety. Join us as we bring together leading economists, academics and entrepreneurs to discuss what’s needed to create a safe and sustainable digital future for Europe.

Setting the scene:

Philippe Aghion

Visiting Professor of Economics at Harvard University, also College de France and at the London School of Economics


Shaping the future:

Tim Houter

CEO of Hardt Global Mobility,  winners of SpaceX Hyperloop competition



Lynette Kucsma

Co-founder of Natural Machines, the makers of Foodini



Tackling the big issues:

Sadie Creese

Sadie Creese

Professor of Cybersecurity, University of Oxford



Mary-Jo de Leeuw

Partner at Revnext and President of the platform “Internet of Toys”



Nuria Oliver

Director of Data Science Research, Vodafone Group



Live performance:



Hosted by:

Joakim Reiter

Chairman of the Advisory Board, Vodafone Institute


Moderated by:

Katrina Sichel





Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion is a Professor at the College de France and at the London School of Economics, and a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on the economics of growth. With Peter Howitt, he pioneered the so-called Schumpeterian Growth paradigm which was subsequently used to analyze the design of growth policies and the role of the state in the growth process. Much of this work is summarized in their joint books Endogenous Growth Theory (MIT Press, 1998) and The Economics of Growth (MIT Press, 2009), in his book with Rachel Griffith on Competition and Growth (MIT Press, 2006), and in his survey “What Do We Learn from Schumpeterian Growth Theory” (joint with U. Akcigit and P. Howitt.) In 2001, Philippe Aghion received the Yrjo Jahnsson Award of the best European economist under age 45, and in 2009 he received the John Von Neumann Award.

Tim Houter

Tim Houter is the CEO and co-founder of Hardt Hyperloop, the first European company developing and realizing the hyperloop. Previously he was the team captain of the Delft Hyperloop team which won the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. It’s Tim’s dream to create a world where distance does not matter. Tim is an engineer by heart. Having a background in Mechanical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, he also built record-breaking electric race cars, submarine swarms, and a hyperloop prototype. His passion is combining his engineering skills with a great team and loads of ambition to do the extraordinary.

Lynette Kucsma 

CNN has named Lynette one of only seven ‘tech superheroes’ to watch, and Fortune says she “wants to sell the 21st century’s version of the microwave.” (As in, a device will revolutionise every kitchen, outpacing the functionality of the last kitchen revolution: the microwave.) She believes that people would be healthier if everybody eats freshly made wholesome meals and snacks. But, it needs to be easier and faster for everyone to create healthy foods made with fresh ingredients. So she’s helping to build a new generation kitchen appliance. Lynette is a co–founder and CMO at Natural Machines, the makers of Foodini: the first 3D food printer+ IoT (Internet of Things)kitchen appliance to contribute to a healthy eating lifestyle. Foodini makes all kinds of savory and sweet foods, using fresh, real ingredients. Lynette is a senior marketing professional with international experience and a proven track record of full marketing responsibilities in companies ranging from start­ups to Fortune 500 organizations – prior to Natural Machines she was at Microsoft. She is passionate about healthy eating, technology and ‘doing the right thing’. Weave that together with her tech and consumer professional background, and it all comes together for her at Natural Machines.

Sadie Creese

Sadie CreeseSadie Creese is a Professor of Cybersecurity in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of WorcesterCollege, Oxford where she is a member of the Governing Body.

She is a Director of the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre at the Oxford Martin School and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Cyber Security. She was the founding Director of Oxford’s Cybersecurity network launched in 2008 and now called CyberSecurity@Oxford. Her current portfolio of cyber-security research includes cybersecurity capacity models for nations and organisations, cyber-harm modelling, situational awareness, visual analytics for cybersecurity, risk propagation logics and communication, threat modelling and detection, network defence and resilience strategies, and privacy. Since 2003 she has been involved in research collaborations with other disciplines which include working with psychologists, sociologists, economists, political scientists, engineers, lawyers, mathematicians, business operations management experts, and criminologists. Her interest in interdisciplinary research spans policy, science and creativity. She supervises and teaches at all levels, including undergraduate Computer Scientists, graduate students at Oxford’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Cybersecurity and on cyber-risk for the MBA and executive programmes at the Saïd Business School. Creese has a background in philosophy, mathematics and computer science and has worked professionally in commercial, government and academic organisations. Prior to joining Oxford in October 2011, Creese was Professor and Director of e-Security at the University of Warwick’s International Digital Laboratory. Creese joined Warwick in 2007 from QinetiQ, where she most recently served as Director of Strategic Programmes for their Trusted Information Management Division.

Mary-Jo de Leeuw

Mary-Jo de Leeuw is Associate Partner at Revnext and works as a lead advisor on cyber security and innovation. In addition, she is co-founder to the Women in Cyber Security Foundation and initiator of the Holland Innovation House. Bits and bytes have fascinated Ms De Leeuw ever since she got a Commodore 64 computer back in the ‘80s. In 2013, she founded the platform Internet of Toys where scientist, toys, manufacturers and members of parliament meet and discuss the security and privacy breaches in the area of connected toys. The IoT platform is committed to the standardisation and approval of connected toys, and works to resolve issues at the intersection of law and regulation and privacy. She publishes regularly on this topic in various media.

Nuria Oliver

Nuria Oliver

Nuria Oliver, is Director of Research in Data Science at Vodafone and Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance.  She has over 20 years of research experience in the areas of human behavior modeling and prediction from data and human-computer interaction. She holds a PhD in perceptual intelligence from MIT. She worked as a researcher at Microsoft Research for over 7 years and as the first female Scientific Director at Telefonica R&D for over 8 years. At the end of 2016 she was named Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance and in early 2017 she also joined Vodafone as the first Director of Research in Data Science.

Her work is well known with over 150 scientific publications that have received more than 12000 citations and a ten best paper award nominations and awards. She is co-inventor of 40 filed patents and she is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences.

Katrina Sichel

London-born, Brussels-based, Katrina Sichel has 20 years’ experience in communications as a TV Producer, Event Presenter/Moderator and Campaign Director. Among other roles in an eclectic career, as Head of Production for a TV PR company she produced syndicated news reports for the BBC, Sky, ITV, Reuters, etc. This included interviewing high-profile figures from the worlds of business, politics, art, sport, film and fashion. From 2007 – 2017, she developed and ran Europe-wide multimedia campaigns and projects for the EU institutions covering diverse policy areas including employment and social inclusion, regional development, EU urban agenda, agriculture, fisheries, climate and the environment, transport, mobility, ICT, energy, human rights, taxation and sport.