Alexander De Croo
Belgium Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Digital Agenda
Alexander De Croo is currently Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Post and Telecom in the Belgian Federal Cabinet. From 2012 to 2014, he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions. Before taking the office of Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo was Party Chairman of Open Vld, the Flemish liberal‐democrats.
In 2010, he was elected Senator, scoring third in the popular vote in Flanders. In 2015, he was selected as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF). He is also member of the Global Agenda Council on Europa at the WEF.
Prior to politics, Alexander De Croo was an active entrepreneur in the field of intellectual property rights. He started his professional career as a business consultant for The Boston Consulting Group. Alexander De Croo holds a degree in Business Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, Chicago).
Member of Cabinet, Cabinet of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, European Commission
Rodrigo Ballester is a law graduate (San Pablo University, Madrid) and holds a Master in European Law (LL.M) from the College of Europe (2002). He started his career as an academic assistant in the College of Europe for two years before moving into the private practice as a lawyer in the American law firm Lathan and Watkins. He then moved to the European Parliament where he worked as an adviser for the Spanish Delegation of the European People’s Party (Partido Popular). In 2008, he joined the European Commission, first in DG Justice, and as from 2011, in DG Home Affairs where he was in charge of the external dimension of the EU’s migration policy in Morocco and Sub Saharan Africa.
He is now a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Naracsics. He is in charge of education and follows among other issues the Europe 2020 strategy and the Education and Training 2020 Framework, the Skills Agenda (including entrepreneurship) and the role of education in tackling radicalisation.
He is an invited professor in the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Married, two children.
Saskia Van Uffelen
CEO Ericsson BeLux, Digital Champion for Belgium
Saskia Van Uffelen has been working in the sector of information and communication technology (ICT) for over 25 years. She has held national and international sales and marketing functions in leading companies such as Xerox, Compaq, HP, Arinso, Bull and CSB Consulting . In may 2014, she was appointed as CEO Belgium and Luxemburg of Ericsson bringing her through the Telecom offer in the heart of the Networked Society.
As a manager, Saskia Van Uffelen always keeps a keen eye on the human aspects of collaboration in a company. She focusses heavily on ensuring the synergies between the different generations inside Ericsson to make everybody proud, and in interview and guest columns she urges her peers to do the same.
As a female role model in the ICT sector she has been honored as ICT Woman of the Year in 2011 (Data News) and Inspiring Lady of the Year 2013 in Science, Technology and Research in Luxembourg (Inspiring Wo-Men)
In November 2012, the federal ministry of economic affairs appointed Saskia Van Uffelen as ‘Digital Champion’ for Belgium in support of European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. To stimulate the roll out of the Digital Agenda in Belgium she sensitizes all local stakeholders about the Digitalization of the educational system, boosting the e-Commerce and safety on the internet and focusing on the specifics of e-skills to turnaround our economy.
Saskia Van Uffelen is married and a mother of five.
Director, CyberSalon; Partner, The Retail Practice; UK Government Advisor
Eva Pascoe, born in Poland, studied Linguistics (Warsaw University, 1983-86), came to UK 1986 to study Psychology and Ergonomics of Human-Computer Interaction, London University.
Co-founded Cyberia Internet Café, the world’s first Internet Café in 1994, pioneering the Internet early online/offline communities, online secure payment and building the business globally across Europe/Asia (Director 1994-2000) – backed by Saatchi&Saatchi and Mick Jagger. Jointly with Gene Teare Winner of Sunday Times Technology Award
Managing Director of the first e-commerce fashion Website in Europe (MD of Zoom, the joint venture between Daily Mail and Arcadia Plc, Director 1997-2005). Pioneered the early e-payment and e-commerce fashion solutions in UK, the back-end and logistics for e-Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, Principles, Evans, Racing Green and Hawkshead. Developed the world’s first mobile retail for fashion using WAP platforms for Topshop. Zoom JV board member of Arcadia under John Hoerner, Stuart Rose, Charles Wilson, Philip Green and Jonathan Rothermere (Daily Mail).
Co-founded a non-profit Digital think-tank Cybersalon.org in 1997, present chairman (digital inclusivity and diversity, on-line privacy protection, crypto-currencies, retail.2.0, mobile retail and marketing), in alliance with Middlesex University, Media, Film and Performance Department (2012- present). Working on digital preservation for Internet works in art, retail and advertising projects in New Media Memories (joint project with” Digital Archeology”), co-organiser of Cybersonica Festivals (Southbank, Soho, Science Museum, co-founded with Arts Council, supported by Welcome Fundation, Nesta).
Head of Department, Senior Lecturer in Science and Global Affairs, University College London
With a unique background spanning research physics, Silicon Valley technology development, public policy, and global governance, Jason is an internationally respected scholar, educator and policy adviser on the interface between science and public decision-making.
Jason joined University College London in 2013 to help establish a globally unique Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP). As Head of this innovative new department, Jason is leading the strategic development of STEaPP’s rapidly expanding research, education and policy engagement programmes, all aimed at delivering on STEaPP’s socially-oriented mission to explore, experiment with, and improve the mobilisation of scientific and engineering knowledge in support of better public decision-making around the World.
Prior to joining UCL, Jason taught and directed policy-engaged research at leading universities and think tanks, including Harvard, Oxford, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria). For the past seven years, Jason’s scholarly and policy work has focused on the complex interactions between the scientific, political and global governance dimensions of our planetary climate and energy challenges. In 2010 Jason was elected an Associate Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.
Principal Administrator, DG GROWTH, European Commission
André Richier is responsible for policy issues relating to the digital economy, IT professionalism and skills within the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH). He was the 2002-2003 EU Fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs (University of Texas) at Austin. He played a leading role in the e-skills (2007), e-economy (2001) and e-learning (1998-2000) policy initiatives. Before that he was in charge of research projects (1991-1996) within the European Strategic Programme for Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT). Prior to joining the Commission, he held sales and marketing positions in the IT industry. He started his career at IBM in 1985.
Deputy Head, Digital Economy & Skills, DG CNECT European Commission
Alexander Riedl is Deputy Head of the “Digital Economy and Skills” unit in the European Commission’s DG CONNECT. He is contributing to the Commission’s work on the impact of digitisation on skills needs and the labour market, and concrete actions to tackle the digital skills challenge. A trained economist, he worked in the media and telecommunications sectors before joining the EC in 2004. Prior to his current job in the Commission, he worked in competition enforcement and scientific advice to policy making.
Senior Vice President, Telenet for Business
Martine Tempels has been leading since 2009 Telenets B2B department named Telenet for Business. This division is responsible for bringing the Telenet telecommunication, security and hosting services to the business market. The Division has its own sales, marketing, hosting services and customer operations department but is leveraging Telenet’s network.
In February 2012 Martine was selected ‘ICT Woman of the Year’ by Data News. With this nomination Martine will undertake an ambassador role in the ICT-sector. She committed to reinforce existing initiatives to encourage young people and especially young woman to choose an ICT career.
In January 2013 she started CoderDojoBelgium. CoderDojo is a club, with the Irish origin, where children between 6 and 18 learn to code. Currently CoderDojo Belgium works in 44 locations and has over 1000 children who participate in its activities.
In early 2012 Martine was invited to be a member of the Flemish STEM platform, of which she became president. The STEM platform advises the Flemish Government on the execution of the STEM action plan, which has as objective to maintain Flanders in the top economical regions of the world.
Regional Manager Corporate Affairs Europe, CIS, Russia & Israel, Cisco Systems
Karsten Simons heads the Corporate Affairs team for Europe at Cisco Systems. Together with his team he incubates and implements Corporate Social Responsibility activities with a focus on digital entrepreneurship, digital literacy and ICT training across Europe. The flagship program, the Cisco Networking Academy equips more than 200,000 students and job seekers per year in the region with the digital skills required to succeed in today’s connected economy.
Karsten joined Cisco as a Business Development Manager in the EMEAR education team in 2010. He was responsible for driving partnership engagements with the National Research and Education Networks. He has a more than 10 years background in the public sector and holds a master degree in Computer Science, which he gained studying in Augsburg. Karsten Simons began his career in the public sector in Germany as the Marketing and Product Management Lead at bol Behörden Online GmbH.; a daughter company of British Telecom and the datacentre of the Bavarian saving banks. After 3 years at bol Behörden Online GmbH he joined Microsoft Germany as the Marketing Lead for Public Sector, where he created the concept of the Modern Administration Workplace, which became a worldwide campaign of Microsoft Corporation. Furthermore he also was responsible for the Government and Education Programs from Microsoft and he closed several cooperation agreements with Government entities in Germany concerning learning software in kindergartens as well as supporting initiatives for young entrepreneurs out of Universities.
Digital Skills Project Manager, European Schoolnet
Anusca Ferrari is Digital Skills Project Manager for European Schoolnet. She is managing the eSkills 2015-2016 campaign; the I-LINC project; and she contributes to other activities in the digital citizenship line of work. With over 13 years’ experience in education and training, Anusca has been working as a consultant, a research officer, a project manager, a teacher. Her main area of expertise is digital competence and eskills. She is the author of several articles, papers, reports on technologies for learning, digital competence, and creativity.
Director, Corporate Responsibility, Liberty Global
Roy is responsible for developing and implementing Liberty Global’s corporate responsibility and sustainability strategy and programs. Prior to joining the private sector, Roy worked for the Dutch Development Bank on integrating multi-sector partnerships into development projects in sub-Sahara Africa and Seeds of Peace, a non-profit organization, dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict to advance reconciliation and coexistence. Roy lives in Amsterdam with his wife and two children.