Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Digital Minds for a New Europe

Boosting digital Europe - Digital minds

Welcome to "Digital Minds for a New Europe" - a series of 'think-pieces' by the world's best digital minds. I've had the privilege of meeting with these amazing women and men over the last five years, but I want you to be able to join them and interact with them in boosting Digital Europe. #EUDigitalminds

25 years after the world wide web was invented, 100 million European have still never visited the Internet - that will have to change in the coming years. I am sure my successors Andrus Ansip and Günther Oettinger will be able to get there with your input.

Advice from a new thinker will be published here each day for the next 40 days - so bookmark the page and take your digital coffee with us each morning until 1 November.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt launches the series. Future contributors will include former President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. Presisdent of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, internet founder Vint Cerf, globally renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and members of the Obama Administration.

Digital Minds Contributing To This Series

1. Introduction - Boosting Digital Europe by Neelie Kroes, Vice President, European Commission

2. Embracing a new digital era in Europe by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google

3. Through the looking glass of the digitised society by Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, President of the Club de Madrid and former President of Latvia

4. Europe cannot lag behind by Zaryn Dentzel, Founder and CEO of Tuenti, Spain's largest social network and mobile multiplatform

5. Five principles for the digital age by Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and CEO of WPP, the global advertising and marketing services group

6. The Networked Society by Saskia van Uffelen, Belgian Digital Champion, CEO at Ericsson Belux

7. The Secrets of Our Success: the Angry Birds story by Kaj Hed, Chairman of Rovio Entertainment Ltd.

8. Boosting Digital Europe by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

9. Why We Need Open Knowledge Societies by Rufus Pollock, Founder of Open Knowledge

10. Cyber security as a creator of real value for Europe’s economy by Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO at Infineon Technologies AG

11. The Gigabit Gap and some thoughts on how to bridge it by René Obermann, CEO of Ziggo

12. Big Digital Science – a roadmap for the brain by Henry Markram & Richard Frackowiak & Karlheinz Meier, Co-directors of The Human Brain Project

13. A Modern Approach to Maximizing Spectrum Utility and Economic Value by Mark Gorenberg, Member of the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Founder of Zetta Venture Partners.

14: Embracing the digital era to ensure Europe’s competitiveness by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum

15: Re-Imagining the role of government in the Cyber Age by Jane Holl Lute, President and CEO of the Council on Cybersecurity

16. Seizing the digital opportunity by Ben Verwaayen, Partner at Keen Venture Partners London, various board memberships in US, India and the Netherlands

17. A vision for a European Cloud by Robert Verwaayen, Founder of Keen Venture Partners

18. Making European Cities Smarter by Roland Busch, Global CEO of Siemens Infrastructure and Cities

19. Education in Europe in the digital age by Lord Puttnam of Queensgate C.B.E.

20. Innovation and big data are the keys to unlocking Europe's economy by Ron Mobed, CEO Elsevier

21. Interactive Landscape by Daan Roosegaarde, Innovator and artist, founder of Studio Roosegaarde

22. e-Government: a mentality shift and change of culture by Michał Boni, Member of European Parliament, former Polish Minister of Administration and Digitization

23. Europe's future in the digital age: three paths to explore by Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe

24. Human society in a digital world by Neelie Kroes and Carl-Christian Buhr, European Commission

25. A Better Europe is a Digital Europe: the digital opportunity ahead of us by Jim Hagemann Snabe, former Co-CEO SAP

26. Visions for education in the new digital era by Irina Bokova, by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO 

27. No One Left Behind by Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, Chair of Go ON UK, the Digital Skills Alliance

28. It's Time to Disrupt Europe: Digital First by Kumardev Chatterjee, Founder and President, European Young Innovators Forum

29. (Em)powering a Digital Europe by Peter Terium, CEO of RWE AG

30. The Next Wave of the Internet by John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems

31. The Dawn of Cognition by Steve Furber, ICL Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester

32. Internet governance is our shared responsibility by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, co-architect of the Internet

33. Digitisation and Democracy: The challenges of shaping the Digital Society by Prof.Dr. Jeanette Hofmann

34. The Battle for Beauty in a virtual World: How museum can profit from the digital revolution by Wim Pijbes, Gerneral Director of Rijksmuseum

35. Cloud computing in Europe: putting the power in the hands of the customer by Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice-President of Amazon

36. Connected Commerce: Creating a More Inclusive and Prosperous Economy by John Donahoe, President and Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc.

37. A New Privacy Paradigm by Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK

38. Why we need high speed broadband in Europe NOW  by Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank

39. Europe has media diversity – but at what cost?  by Christian Van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep 

40. The Smart, Skilled European Digital Economy  by Baroness Joanna Shields, Digital Advisor to British Prime Minister

41. Research in the digital age by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and President of the InterAcademy Partnership

42. Digital challenges and policy making by Pilar del Castillo, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the European Internet Forum

43. Shaping an Interconnected World, Sharing a China EU Common Dream by Lu Wei, Minister for Cyberspace Administration of the People's Republic of China

44. My thoughts on the smart city by Rem Koolhaas, architect and professor

45. Inclusiveness, the art of dialogue, and the search for truth in the digital era by Archbishop Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications

46. Beyond Market Failures: shaping and creating the digital market by Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex

47. A Start-Up State of Mind by Neelie Kroes and Sigrid Johannisse, European Commission


  • Congratulations on a timely initiative. Can we assume that President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is already lined up to be one of your earliest contributors? Jeremy Geelan Founder & Conference Chair IoT Expo international conference series | @IoTExpo2014
  • Schmitt, Cerf, the Obama administration ?... Did I miss something or is there a "mélange des genres" here ? Are we European so dum that we need Americans to build a "new Europe" ? Is there not enough EU companies to invite to this initiative, instead of having tax evasion US specialists ? No wonder that EU citizens are growing tired of Europe. Its leaders are giving the terrible impression that they are shamelessly pursuing their own goals.
  • Shame on you for mispronouncing the name of the former President of Latvia. Her name is Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (English: Vaira Vike-Freiberga). Do your homework, do a double check before embarassing yourselves like this.
  • Yes, the US is ahead of us. Let's reap the benefits from their experience and share our own. In fields like the legal profession and the judiciary, we must make amends. More recent EU-member states have made a fresh start and the older members should learn form them, too. I look forward to read the posts and get inspired!