How decision makers can secure a digital future

The digital revolution creates enormous politic and economic challenges. In the paper “Europe’s Got Talent” international opinion leaders offer concrete solutions to the most pressing problems.

Digital technology makes a significant contribution to Europe’s economic growth, transforming its economic base and rapidly changing the way we live and work. Europe’s Got Talent, is an action-orientated report, which identifies the key gear changes we need across three pillars of the digital economy: Learning, Creating and Growing. Innovators and changemakers from across education, business and policy in Europe were interviewed for this report.

Whilst that presents many opportunities, it also creates significant challenges for individuals, communities and business. In particular there is a skills gap – new skills are needed but they are in short supply. The European Commission estimates that 900,000 ICT jobs could go unfulfilled by 2020, due to a lack of skilled personnel to fill those roles.

Yet at the same time there are currently 5.6 million young people unemployed across Europe. We must work together across the professional and generational divide, to create an integrated strategy that empowers young people and enhances their employment and development opportunities in our digital world.

To do that, we need: a fresh mindset; new skills; new partnerships and forms of integration, supported by a strong policy and technological infrastructure. Only then can Europe compete with its rivals and secure its position as an innovator at the forefront of the global economic development trajectory.

The report provides a snapshot of our digital environment, identifies innovations and puts forward recommendations to help guide us forward.

Some key results – have a look at the report for in-depth information.

Learning – Education and Lifelong Development

We need a digital lens to provide the perspective we need to see the opportunity in our digital world. We need to develop new skills to help us participate and prosper in the digital world. We need to create the mechanisms by which if you have the right partnerships you can translate that new outlook and skills into the workplace.

Creating – The Workplace of the Future

We need to reconfigure hierarchies. We need to apply the digital lens. We need to apply a new logic of interaction and integration within the workplace.

Growing – Business and Entrepreneurship

We need to support, unlock and integrate entrepreneurial mentality and business capability across the economy. Build infrastructure that supports investment and scalability in the startup ecosystem. Promote partnerships, integration and Consolidation in the digital economy. Develop our policy, digital and legislative infrastructure to support the digital economy.

The report was commissioned by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications as part of its Digitising Europe Summit, that brought together business leaders, political decision makers, academics, innovators, entrepreneurs and young people, to discuss how to best harness the power of digital technology and foster an integrated voice that can meet the challenges that our digital future presents.

In preparing the report views from a variety of innovators and changemakers from across education, business and policy in Europe were gathered. The interviewees are listed in Appendix 1. The report also incorporates some insights from the Vodafone Institute Survey: Talking about a Revolution – Europe’s Young Generation on Their Opportunities in a Digitised World, along with findings of an extensive literature review.

Each generation has entered the digital world at a different stage of life, resulting in different skill sets, priorities and attitudes. Strong leadership is needed to embed these new practices and culture that bridge the generational divide and drive learning, creativity and growth. Only then can digital natives and digital immigrants come together to build the integrated voice that we need to underpin a coherent digital future. This is the challenge of our age. Welcome to it turning point.

Watch all key notes from the “digitising europe” summit on our Youtube-Channel.

Listen to our podcasts produced at the summit (interviews with Dupsy Abiola, Sinead Mac Manus, Anne Bouverot, Julia Manske, Rajeeb Dey, Michael A. Osborne) on soundcloud or iTunes.

About ISD

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is an independent ‘think and do’ tank working through policy, education and cultural programmes to develop multicountry responses to challenge long-range threats to international and communal peace and enhance Europe’s capacity to act effectively in the global arena. ISD’s flagship programmes include Europe in the World; the Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme; and the Security and Counter-Extremism Programme. ISD runs the Club of Three, which brings together political and business leaders fromBritain, France and Germany alongside key strategic global partners, to engage in open discussions on the major geo-strategic, economic and social issues facing Europe.