Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative


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The plenary speakers are:

One of Israel’s early entrepreneurs, Yossi Vardi co-founded, led, funded and helped build more than 80 high-tech, energy, natural resources, and clean-tech companies. Many of these companies went public, or were acquired, including Tekem, Alon Energy, Granite Hacarmel,, scopus, International Lasers Technologies, epals, tocows, brightcove, all went public and Gteko (sold to Microsoft), Tivella (sold to Cisco), Airlink (sold to Sierra Wireless), Foxytunes (sold to Yahoo), Starnet (sold to IAC), Gift project (sold to eBay). As the founding investor ofMirabilis Ltd, Vardi co-pioneered instant messaging. Mirablis was the creator of ICQ, one of the internet’s earliest successes, later sold to AOL. Vardi was chairman of the board of trustees for the Jerusalem Foundation. and served on the board of trustees of Weitzman Institute. Hebrew university, open university, the Technion. He was advisor to the World Bank, and United Nations Development Program and to the CEO’s of Amazon, AOL, Siemens Albis, and Allied–signal. He is a member of the World Economic Forum, and the Co-chairman of the EU-Israel business dialogue. Vardi has an extensive government and public career where he held positions as director general of Ministry of Development and Ministry of Energy. Vardi was chairman of Israel National Oil Company, and Israel Chemicals. He also participated in the peace talks with Egypt, Palestinians, Jordan and Syria. Vardi’s earned several awards including Honorary Doctorate from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology; the Prime Minister Hi-Tech Award for life achievements (twice); Best Internet Personality by TechCrunch Europe; Entrepreneur of the Year by Tel Aviv University, Europe’s 25 top techs by Wall Street Journal; and one of the 200 Greatest Israelis of all times by Ynet.

Monique was appointed Director General of BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation in 2007. BEUC represents 42 independent national consumer associations from 31 European countries. The primary task of BEUC is to act as a strong consumer voice in Brussels and to try to ensure that consumer interests are given their proper weight in the development of all Community policies. To achieve these objectives, Monique proposes and agrees overall BEUC policy strategy, manages on a day-to-day basis the BEUC 35-strong Secretariat and raises the visibility and effectiveness of the consumer movement through lobbying the EU institutions and contacts in the media. Monique has a background in law achieved cum laude at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium and is also an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wisconsin. She is a strong communicator in French, English, Dutch and German (her mother tongue) and has a good knowledge of both Spanish and Italian. Prior to her current role, Monique led the Belgian “Commission Universitaire pour le Développement” for ten years as Secretary General. In this position, she managed the Secretariat, supervised the annual budget of 27 million euros and represented the CUD to international and national donors and current or potential partner institutions in developing countries. Monique is not a newcomer to the consumer movement: from 1989 to 1993 she held the position of BEUC’s Senior Legal Adviser and from 1994 to 1996 she continued to contribute to the promotion of the consumer interest through research as Project leader for European Affairs of the “Centre de droit de la consommation – UCL” in Belgium. Monique has also published numerous articles in scientific journals specialised in consumer law and European law.

Marietje Schaake (Twitter: @MarietjeD66) is a Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party (D66) with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group. She serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she focuses on neighbourhood policy, Turkey in particular; human rights, with a specific focus on freedom of expression, internet freedom, press freedom; and Iran. In the Committee on Culture, Media, Education, Youth and Sports she works on Europe's Digital Agenda and the role of culture and new media in the EU´s external actions. In the Committee on International Trade she focuses on intellectual property rights, the free flow of information and the relation between trade and foreign affairs. Marietje is a member of the delegation for relations with the United States and a substitute member on the delegations with Iran and the Western Balkan countries. She is also a founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on New Media and Technology. Marietje is a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and vice-president of the supervisory board of Free Press Unlimited. Before joining the European Parliament, she worked as an independent advisor to governments, diplomats, businesses and NGO's, on issues of transatlantic relations, diversity and pluralism, civil and human right.

Luciano Floridi (MA Laurea Rome "La Sapienza", MPhil, PhD Warw, MA Oxon, Dr. h. c. Suceava) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire – where he holds the Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and the UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics – and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford, where he directs the philosophy of information research group, IEG. In 2009, he was elected Gauss Professor by the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, awarded the Barwise Prize by the APA, and elected Fellow of the AISB. In 2010, he was elected Fellow of the Center for Information Policy Research, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and appointed Editor in Chief of Philosophy & Technology (Springer). In 2011, he received a laurea honoris causa from the University of Suceava, Romania and was appointed Chairman of the “Concepts Reengineering” research group, organised by the EU Directorate General Information Society and Media, as part of the ‘Digital Futures’ project. He is also a member of the Ethics Strategic Panel of the British Computer Society. He was the principal investigator of the AHRC project “The Construction of Personal Identities Online” and ‘scientist in charge’ of the Marie Curie project “The Ethics of Information Warfare: Risks, Rights and Responsibilities”. He is the principal investigator of the AHRC project “Understanding Information Quality Standards and their Challenges”, in collaboration with Google, UK. His most recent books are The Philosophy of Information (Oxford University Press, 2011, vol. I of a quadrilogy on The Foundations of the Philosophy of Information), Information: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010), and The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2010). His forthcoming books are: Information Ethics (vol. II of the quadrilogy) and The Fourth Revolution - The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Our Lives (both for Oxford University Press). In 2012, he received the Covey Award for Outstanding Research in Computing and Philosophy.

Neelie Kroes is Vice President of the European Commission and European Digital Agenda Commissioner.

She was Born 1941 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where she also attended school and helped to build her family’s transport business. She studied economics at Erasmus University, before working there for six years as an Assistant Professor.

Her political career started on the Rotterdam Municipal Council, and in 1971 she was elected as a Member of the Dutch Parliament for the liberal VVD party. From 1982-1989 she served as Minister for Transport, Public Works and Telecommunication in the Netherlands.

After politics she was appointed President of Nyenrode University from 1991-2000, and served on various company boards, including Lucent Technologies, Volvo, P&O Nedlloyd.

Prior to serving as European Commissioner for Competition from 2004-2009, her charity work included advising the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and World Cancer Research Fund, and she has an ongoing interest in mental health issues.

Robert Madelin became Director-General for the Information Society and Media at the European Commission in April 2010.

Robert was educated in England at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He has also studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Paris.

Born in 1957, a British civil servant since 1979, Robert has served in the Commission since 1993: as Director-General for Health and Consumer Policies from 2004 to 2010, as a Director in DG Trade, and in the Cabinet of Sir Leon (now Lord) Brittan, European Commission Vice-President.

Mr. Markku Markkula works within Aalto University as the Advisor to Aalto Presidents, focusing on European affairs, His previous assignment comprised heading Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli of Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) as Director.

Mr. Markkula is a former member of the Finnish Parliament (1995-2003). As an MP his international role included the Presidency of EPTA Council, European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network. He has served the global engineering community as the part-time Secretary General of the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education IACEE 1989-2001. He has been awarded the European Society for Engineering Education SEFI Fellow 1995. Within SEFI he has been the Chairman of the Continuing Education Working Group.

Markku Markkula is a member of the EU Committee of the Regions, CoR. Within CoR he is member of Commission for Education, Youth, Culture and Research EDUC, and Commission for Economic and Social Policy ECOS. He is the Chairman of the EPP/CoR Task Force "Europe 2020".

Mr. Markkula’s special competence areas are lifelong learning, knowledge management, e-learning and STI policy. He has published several books and given hundreds of conference presentations. As a tribute to his achievements he was in 2008 elected to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

A mobile/digital industry executive in the area of the product strategy, operations and monetization. Konstantinos supervises Product and Engineering at Taptu. The team that delivered the Taptu Apps for IOS, Android, Amazon Kindle, Nook Color, Playbook and HTML5. Prior to Taptu, he lead the Yahoo! EMEA mobile product team. His team supervised the development and launch of mobile sites for Search, Mail and IM across Europe, as well as News, Sports and Finance iPhone and Blackberry apps. Before joining Yahoo! he was a Product Manager at Skype and Vodafone R&D. He holds an MSc on Mobile and Satellite Communications from University of Surrey and a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a movies fan, avid wind surfer and enjoys reading books by a beach.

Juliana Rotich is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ushahidi Inc, a non-profit tech company, born in Africa, which specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, interactive mapping and data curation. Ushahidi builds tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. Through, and accompanying mobile applications, Ushahidi is expanding its global footprint and making crowdsourcing tools available and useful. Juliana has worked in the telecommunications and data warehousing industry for over ten years. She is originally from Kenya, with a Computer Science degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She is a Technologist and TED Senior Fellow. She currently serves World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Information Communications Technology.

Leader in optimization, management and follow up of multinational and multifunction teams & companies in diverse industries, from both headquarter and subsidiary perspectives, using new technologies latest trends and opportunities. Proven experience in creating and building up unique business models after mergers and acquisitions.
Sevilla (1960). 2 children. University Degrees in Architecture and Town Planning by the University of Sevilla.
MBA by IE (Madrid), PDG by IESE (Madrid) ADEL by San Telmo (Sevilla)
President of the Social Board of University of Seville (since October, 2011)
Board of Directors member at Indra Sistemas (since 2005)
Cofounder and Board of Directors President of Twindocs (since May 2010)
Board of Directors member at Laureate Inc (2002- 2006)
Speaker at Thinking Heads Bureau and London Speakers Bureau
Advisory Board member at Farmaindustria (since Dec 2009)
Advisory Board member at Pelayo Mutua de Seguros (since 2008)
Advisory Board member at IKOR (since Dec 2009)
Board of Directors member at Emergia (since January, 2011)
Advisory Board Member APD (2002-2010)
International Advisory Board Member Instituto de Empresa (2004-2008)
Founder and partner of IMAN Business Advisory
Writer “La Encrucijada de Carlota” Espasa, 2011
July 2008 - May 2009: GE (GENERAL ELECTRIC) President Spain and Portugal
January 2006-February 2008: GOOGLE INC. General Manager Spain and Portugal
June 2002-July 2005: NH Hoteles COO (Chief Operating Officer)
1998-June 2002: DELL COMPUTER CORPORATION Member of the Board, CEO and BU Director for Spain, Italy and Portugal Nov 00-Feb-02: Directora General Comercial del Sur de Europa
1997-1998: OLIVETTI PC Sales and Marketing Director
1995-1996: AIRTEL MOVIL (VODAFONE) Trade Marketing Director
1988 – 1995 HEWLETT-PACKARD/COMPAQ Channel Marketing Manager
1988 – 1990 Marcom and Channel Marketing Manager
1987 – 1988 OLIVETTI Training and New Products Documentation Specialist
1984 – 1986 GRUPO SOFT, S. A. Production and Support Manager

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND 2008 ADEL (San Telmo) 2008 CEO´s program (IESE) 1997 PDG (IESE) 1987 Finance Course for high management (Euroforum), 1994 HR Management (Euroforum) 1988 MBA (Instituto de Empresa) 1977-1984 University degrees in Architecture and Town Planning

Harry van Dorenmalen was appointed chairman of IBM Europe on October 1, 2010. He represents IBM to European institutions and other authorities such as NATO and the European Defence Agency on issues of international public policy and business regulation. In this role he also oversees the company's corporate citizenship, environmental affairs, intellectual property, standards development, venture capital and university relations activities across the region. Harry takes on this responsibility in addition to his role of Country General Manager, IBM Netherlands, a position he has held since 2005. Harry started his career at IBM in 1982 as a programmer. Since then he has held a series of leadership positions including Vice President of IBM’s Industrial Sector business in EMEA, responsible for the Automotive and Electronics sector, and Managing Director for IBM’s business with Royal Philips Electronics. He has also been Director of IBM’s Service Delivery Organisation in Europe and has enjoyed spells in the company’s professional services, manufacturing, application development and consulting divisions. Harry sits on the Advisory Board of the Lisbon Council and the Electronic Communication Platform Netherlands and serves as board member on the Netherlands National Council for Cybersecurity; the Dutch Employers Organisation and the Economic Development Board Amsterdam. He is also a Foundation Board member at top Lausanne-based business school IMD. Since December 2010, Harry has been Chairman of the Dutch IT industry association, ICT-Office. Harry holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Delft. He is married and has two daughters.

Giuseppe co-founded Index Ventures in 1996 and is a Partner. His investment focus currently includes e-commerce and online services, software and advanced communication components. Giuseppe serves as a Director of several companies including RPX, Privalia, Adconion, Mutui Online, Milestone Systems, and Moleskine. He was involved with several prior investments, including Virata (acquired by Conexant), Ciao (acquired by Microsoft), Numerical Technologies (acquired by Synopsis), and Digiquant (acquired by Intec). Prior to founding Index Ventures, Giuseppe spent five years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in several European offices. During his career at McKinsey, Giuseppe advised several major corporations on a number of strategic and organizational matters including European entry strategies, strategic positioning, marketing, and new product introductions. Giuseppe holds a B.A. in Corporate Finance from Bocconi University in Milan and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Previously, Ben Verwaayen was appointed to the Board of Directors of BT on January 14, 2002 and became Chief Executive on February 1, 2002. He left BT Group on June 1, 2008 as Chairman of the Board’s Operating Committee. Before joining BT Group, he was at Lucent Technologies starting September 1997, holding various positions. He left Lucent as Vice Chairman of the Management Board. Other positions that Ben Verwaayen held at Lucent were Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice-President, International. Prior to joining Lucent, Ben Verwaayen worked for KPN in the Netherlands for nine years as President and Managing Director of its subsidiary PTT Telecom. From 1975 to 1988, he worked at ITT in Europe. He was appointed an Independent, Non-Executive Director of Akzo Nobel in April 2012. He has been made an Officer of the Orange Order-Nassau and an Honorary Knight of the British Empire (KBE). He has also received the Chevalier de la Légion d 'Honneur medal. Ben Verwaayen is a Dutch national and graduated with a Master's degree in law and international politics from the State University of Utrecht, Holland.

Anna Maria is one of the two Vice Presidents of the EESC, she is responsible for Communication and has been elected into the post since October 2010 for a mandate of two and a half years. Representing Malta in the EESC since 2004, Anna Maria is part of the Trade Union Group within the EESC, representing CMTU and UHM. Anna Maria has been active in the areas of digital agenda, SMEs, Sustainability, Internal Market and Innovation. She has been a rapporteur for a number of opinions of the EESC within these areas. Prior to taking up the role of VP of the EESC, Anna Maria was also Vice President of the Workers Group and of the INT Section. She is currently working on two opinions: "An action Plan for SME finance" and "An inclusive digital Single Market". In Malta Anna Maria is a council member of the Union Haddiema Maqudin and also of the Confederation of Trade Unions (the organisations she represents at the EESC). She is a Training and Development expert and has also been a partner in various EU funded projects related to People Development, Communication and Innovation. Furthermore she was responsible of drawing up reports about the national state of play in areas of innovation and research, particularly for SMEs. She is also a visiting lecturer to the University of Malta within the Faculty of Knowledge and Media Management; and an tutor to the Henley Business School of the University of Reeding. Prior to being actively involved within the EESC, Anna Maria held directorship of various companies particularly social enterprises and was also involved in a number of NGOs as part of her social responsibility principles. Anna Maria is a graduate in Communication Studies and also obtained her Master of Arts in Human Resource Development from the University of Malta.

Eze Vidra is the Head of Campus, Google's dedicated co-working, event and incubation space for startup companies in London. Prior to leading Campus, Eze was a strategic partnerships manager at Google, spearheading commerce offerings in Europe. Previously, he held leadership positions in a number of tech companies: he was Principal Product Manager of AOL Search in Europe, Senior Product Manager at in San Francisco, Product Manager at Gerson Lehrman Group in New York and Team Leader at in Israel. He co-founded a technology startup in Israel in 2003 and is a passionate writer on startups and venture capital on his blog VC Cafe. Eze holds an MBA from London Business School and a BA in Business Administration, IT Management and Entrepreneurship from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Israel. In his spare time, Eze serves as a mentor to several European incubators, including Seedcamp, Springboard, Launch48, Lean Startup Machine, Entrepreneurship summer school, Emerge Labs and Oxygen.

For the past three years, Paul has overseen the 26.9 million dollars, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-financed Biblionet program aimed at reforming Romanian public libraries. Paul has been living and working in Romania for the past 13 years, during which he has provided technical assistance to the British Council in developing the capacity of the Romanian public administration Regional Training Centers, managed USAID-funded local governance reform programs, and has acted as a consultant for the Romanian Presidency on the subject of local governance.


Alexander Alvaro MEP (*1975) read law at the Universities of Bremen, Mannheim, Lausanne and Düsseldorf, after training as a banker. He is a member of the German Liberal Party's (FDP) presidency and board. He was first voted into the European Parliament as the prime candidate of the Young Liberals (JuLis) in June 2004. Alexander Alvaro was elected a Vice-President of the European Parliament in January 2012. As a jurist and one of the youngest members of the European Parliament, Alexander Alvaro has served as a deputy chair of the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and as a member of the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), as well as of the temporary Policy Challenges Committee (SURE). His main focus has always been the delicate balance between security and civil liberties in order to build a secure Europe for future generations, which guarantees each citizen both the freedom of movement and the protection of their privacy.

Silvia-Adriana Ticău is a Romanian Member of the European Parliament, from 1st January 2007. She is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament, a substitute member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and a member of the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA). Prior to becoming an MEP, she was Member of the Romanian Senate (Nov 2004-Dec 2006), Minister of Communications and Information Technology (July-Nov 2004) and Secretary of State for Information Technology (Sept 2001- July 2004). She also served as a General-Director for Information Technology and Information Society Development Strategy at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Jan-July 2001). Before 2001, Mrs. Ticău was Director of Operations, Director of Information Technology Department, Software Director, and analyst-programmer in the private sector. Silvia-Adriana Ticau is the EP´s raporteur for "A competitive digital single market - eGovernment as a spearhead" and shadow raportor for ITRE (Committee on Industry, Research and Energy) opinion on Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data, and the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation).

Born in Rome in 1956, following upon his degree in Economics and Business from Sapienza University, he started working in the CGIL offices. From there he started his professional career within the public administration: in the technical secretariat within the Internal Affairs Ministry (1984 – 1988), the vice presidency of the Government (1988 – 1989), and subsequently in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991). Up until 1997 he was head of the Department of Economic Affairs of the President of the Government’s Office, with a brief stint in Post and Telecommunications company (under Berlusconi’s 1994 government), and in the Department of Information and Publishing (1996).
From 1997 until 2000, he was City Manager of Milan. In 2000 he was chosen by the President of Confindustria, Antonio D’Amato, as General Director of that organisation.
From 2004 to 2011 he covered the role of Chief Executive Officer of Fastweb.
From 2009 to 2011 he was President of ASSTEL, the Association which represents information technology companies; fixed and mobile telecommunications providers, companies active in the assistance and management of clients.
Currently Chairman of Confindustria Digitale, the Federation of industrial representation created with the objective of promoting the development of the digital economy, thus benefitting the country’s competition and innovation.
Stefano Parisi also covers the role of Senior Advisor for The Royal Bank of Scotland in Italy.


Gyula Vamosi grew up in a poor Roma (Gypsy) community in Southern Hungary. He was the first of his family to graduate from high school, and the first in his community to earn a university degree. His passionate desire to learn and achieve has led Gyula to the corridors of the World Bank, where he has advised two past presidents, and to the European Commission, where he currently advises Vice President, Neelie Kroes, on Europe's Digital Agenda. Since the outset of his career, Gyula has been handing over IT skills to individuals living in poor Roma communities. He is the first to apply online marketing tools to reach out to and engage Roma Internet users to better facilitate their social inclusion. In 2009 he founded, a global online network on Roma/Gypsy culture with the largest Roma user base on the Internet. For the past seven years, Gyula has worked as an online marketer in the fields of social networking, online games, software development and video production. He is a skilled communicator, with a solid background in social media, PR, CPC/CPA advertising, search optimization, email marketing and affiliate marketing. He also established renown sites of Roma integration such as, the official website of the Decade of Roma Inclusion;, the international website of Roma women groups in Europe;, a mobilization platform for local Roma communities boosting social integration. For now, Gyula has moved to the United Kingdom where he is pursuing career opportunities. He is currently raising funds to establish a community radio for members of



Last updated on 22/09/2012 - 12:10