I-Com in Madrid for the Esade Conference “The Need for Smart Digital Policy”


As the digital transformation thrives and issues as data privacy and cybersecurity arises in the center of the global agenda, EsadeGeo – Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics – promoted a discussion on the need for Smart Digital Policy (Madrid, January 20th).

The dialogue was hosted in partnership with Google and in collaboration with I-Com – Institute for Competitiveness, IOBE – Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (Greece) and Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation (Portugal). The event brought together experts and policy-makers to approach the EU-wide debate from a Southern European perspective.

Following Mr. Javier Solana – President of EsadeGeo – opening statements, Mr. Günther Oettinger, former European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources and for Digital Economy and Society, elucidated the need for digital sovereignty in Europe and to promote investments in R&D.

The panel – moderated by Ángel Saz-Carranza, Director, EsadeGeo – was attended by Núria Agell, Director of the Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences at Esade Business School; Stefano da Empoli, President at I-Com – Institute for Competitiveness; Vasco Teles, Researcher on behalf of Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos; and Aggelos Tsakanikas, Scientific Advisor, IOBE – Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research.

Mr. da Empoli advocated the need to introduce Artificial Intelligence in the curriculum of Italian schools and emphasized the importance of establishing a national Artificial Intelligence institute. Mr. Teles, in turn, declared that policy should be an instrument to apply digital to the market in a very efficient way. Mrs Agell focused on the need to adapt current governance models to the new technology and identified that are risks such as privacy, while Mr. Tsakanikas stressed the fundamental role of IT specialists as catalysts to other businesses.

The matter of 5G was also approached, and Professor Solana argued that the management of the 5G will be crucial in the near future and key to define the future of Internet. The debate came to an end with an ultimate question raised by EsadeGeo President on how the issue of the internet governance should be addressed.

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