Digital Agenda Assembly 2013 roundup – digital leader interviews, Digital Masterplan launch, and young entrepreneurs

24 Jun 2013

European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes chats with Jordan Casey (13), CEO of Casey Games. Photo via Neelie Kroes' Facebook page

Some 600 delegates from across Europe’s civil and private spheres descended upon Dublin on 19-20 June for the European Digital Agenda Assembly.

Over two days, workshops took place at Dublin Castle to plot the next chapter in the EU’s digital agenda, with an emphasis on digital skills, entrepreneurship and achieving a digital single market.

Speakers and delegates included policy-makers, regulators, NGOs and internet users from all over Europe.

A range of stakeholders from Europe’s digital society were at the event, including EU Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes and Ireland’s digital champion Lord David Puttnam.

In terms of industry, representatives from the likes of Google, Rovio, IBM, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent and Siemens were also in attendance.

The Digital Agenda Assembly is the final event in Ireland’s Presidency of the EU Council. was there, too, bringing readers news and video reports with key players at the event.

We spoke to Kroes about driving Europe’s Digital Agenda, and to Puttnam, who called on teachers to be ‘adventurous experimenters’. Ireland’s Communications Minster Pat Rabbitte joined Kroes in addressing the shaping of Europe’s digital economy. Mark Foster, managing director of Deezer UK and Ireland, arrived to discuss the idea of European champions in terms of digital content platforms.

Also on the topic of digital was the launch of the Digital Masterplan for Dublin by the city’s Lord Mayor Mr Naoise Ó Muirí, and Bell Labs president Gee Rittenhouse, who said Europe needs to catch up on 4G to derive economic benefit.

Entrepreneurship was also a hot topic at the Digital Agenda Assembly, with 13-year-old CEO of Casey Games Jordan Casey, Decoded co-founder Kathryn Parsons, and NEST’up co-founder Damien Van Achter on hand.

Casey told delegates that if they want to see start-ups flourish in Europe then they need to take kids with ideas more seriously. Parsons said it’s possible to learn to code in a day, and Van Achter revealed media need to think like entrepreneurs to survive.

Rounding up our coverage is our interviews with Anna Mazgal, Polish NGO professional and a member of the European Commission’s Young Advisors Group, who filled us in on the workshop on building an open, safe and secure cyberspace; Dr Andreas Goerdeler, deputy director general in charge of Information Society & Media at the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, who spoke about how cloud computing can create a level playing field for SMEs , and Rob Hartman, director of ASML, who highlighted the need to drive semiconductor technology in Europe.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic