May 27, 2024 | News

The 20×30: Europe’s Advanced Digital Skills (ADS) Summit in Madrid was a resounding success, with over 150 attendees from diverse sectors including business, academia, and policy-making.

A prestigious lineup of speakers representing diverse sectors across Europe, including CEOs, Deans, Senior Strategists and policy makers from leading companies and institutions such as FPS Policy and Support, IDC, Founderland, Factoría F5, Uni Systems, Trinity Business School, Telefónica, Siemens, SAP, European Commission and IBM, among others, showcased the best in digital innovation, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange to drive forward Europe’s digital transformation.

With a mission to propel Europe towards adding 20 million new ICT specialists by 2030, the Summit provided a comprehensive platform for discussing the future of digital skills and strategies for ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of global technological advancement.

Insights and Key Discussions

The event commenced with inspiring opening remarks from Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak, Head of Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education at the European Commission. Rehana highlighted the need to promote the uptake of trustworthy and green digital technologies, to safeguard Europe’s leading position and independence in the digital world, while fostering a healthy and competitive internal market.

Setting the tone for a day focused on exploring Europe’s digital innovation journey and envisioning the future of technology in the coming decade, Rehana concluded the session by posing several thought-provoking questions: How can we overcome institutional barriers? How can we progress with microcredentials? How can we engage girls and women in ICT? How can we empower the new generations to be co-creators rather than just recipients of ADS?

The Summit featured an extensive exploration of critical topics essential to advancing digital skills across Europe. Discussions delved into the trends shaping the future of advanced digital skills in the European context, addressing market demands and forecasts for 2030. Collaborative initiatives for SME digital transformation were highlighted, emphasising the need for cross-cooperation to expand digital training. Some sessions highlighted approaches for rapidly adopting digital skills in SMEs, while others examined the strategic importance and return on investment of skills investments.

One of the main panels centred around strategies for handling talent pipelines in light of recent hiring trends and the shift towards skills-based profiles within organisations. Innovative methods for both attracting and retaining talent were explored, with a particular emphasis on harnessing the potential of women in digital skills to bridge the skills gap. Additionally, the organisational ramifications of skills-based profiles on talent acquisition, workforce development, and organisational agility were key focal points of the discussion.

Sessions on the impact of generative AI on legal services and financial risk management provided a forward-looking perspective on AI’s role in these sectors. Healthcare’s transformation through data-driven innovations was another focal point, underscoring the significant impact of advanced digital skills on various industries. Additionally, discussions on developing the first European Data Space for Skills emphasised the importance of data in driving comprehensive skills development.

The summit wrapped up with a compelling fireside, culminating in insights on sustainable growth through digital skills. These discussions collectively underscored the strategic approaches and innovations necessary to bridge the digital skills gap and foster Europe’s digital transformation.


Urgent Action Needed: Closing the Digital Skills Gap

The ADS Summit culminated with a powerful call to action: the pressing need to bridge the digital skills gap across Europe. With a clear vision for the future, the summit emphasised the critical importance of acting swiftly and at scale. By fostering collaboration among stakeholders and stressing the strategic significance of digital upskilling, the summit reaffirmed Europe’s commitment to maintaining competitiveness in the global digital economy. The shared insights and strategies are poised to propel the collective effort forward, driving digital skills enhancement and fostering innovation continent-wide. We must act now and act at scale to ensure a digitally empowered Europe by 2030.

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