Saskia van Uffelen is the CEO of Ericsson Benelux and the Digital Champion of Belgium. Saskia aims to get more Belgians online and to change the "geek" image the ICT sector has in her country.
Another important priority for her is to make an inventory of all the existing Belgian initiatives in the field and to promote them. She identified three priorities for her activity:
- Digitalisation of education: “Under the denominator Live Online! I would first of all like to further encourage digital skills in education because that is the only way to develop the necessary ICT skills of youngsters in order to make them sufficiently competitive on the modern labour market”, she says;
- Stimulate the economy via e-commerce: “digitizing a society can also lead to economic prosperity. In acquiring appropriate digital skills, more people will become aware of the importance of the online economy”;
- Getting more Belgians to acquire the ICT skills: “Owing to the fact that underprivileged families are often confronted with a number of barriers such as high costs, the absence of digital skills or a lack of confidence in their own learning ability, the digital divide between them and people having the right digital skills is growing. We must absolutely integrate this vulnerable group into the information society”.
Saskia van Uffelen thinks that it is absolutely paramount to make an inventory of all the existent initiatives. "We have a lot of movement in Belgium in ICT. With the LiveOnline! campaign we try to make a complete inventory. Then, I will try to regroup them and to make them more visible, rather than create new ones", she explains.
Digitizing a society can also lead to economic prosperity. In acquiring appropriate digital skills, more people will become aware of the importance of the online economy.
In September 2015, Ms van Uffelen launched the Belgian National Coalition for Digital Skills & Jobs. Read more about it on the Digital Champions website.
Saskia van Uffelen on her priorities
When appointed Digital Champion in Belgium, Saskia explained her priorities and how is she planning to achieve it.
Interview with Saskia at VoteMyLink launch event (June 2013)