Digital transformation

  • Alice Poli profile
    Alice Poli
    5 January 2018 - updated 5 months ago
    Total votes: 1
Date & time: 
18 January 2018
Avenue de Beaulieu 25, 1160 Auderghem (BU25) BU25 0/S1
1160 Brussels

The CONNECT University Session on "Digital Transformation", taking place on 18th January 2018 from 13:00 to 16:00, will highlight the findings of the reflection process meant to identify potential future digital policies.

The speed and reach of technological transformation mean that our understanding of the best digital future cannot be restricted to economic or commercial issues. The power of innovation is changing workplaces, communities and daily life; the technology has profound new impacts upon how our democracies function; and there are significant risks that the growth enabled by technology may benefit a privileged few and leave a great many behind." (D21/March 2017)

As a part of the preparation for the DSM Mid-term review in May, DG CNECT began a reflection process to identify potential future digital policies. During the first half of 2017, F1 organised a series of workshops on related topics (Digital Transformation, Blockchain, Media Literacy, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, eCommerce) and commissioned two reports from D21/The Democratic Society and Paul Hofheinz.

The purpose of this reflection process was to identify emerging trends in the development of digital ecosystems and in the digital transformation of societies, including effects on jobs, inequalities and democracy. We wanted to highlight both the opportunities and challenges, and the possible ways forward at EU level to ensure the rise of digital technologies contributes to a more equal and inclusive society, while at the same time fosters growth and jobs.

During the CONNECT University session on "Digital transformation" the two authors will present their findings, and discuss possible ways forward. We have also asked colleagues from interested units to intervene on the background to the reports.


Lex Paulson is an attorney, professor, writer, and consultant in international governance, most recently for UNICEF, the National Democratic Institute, and the Corporation for International Private Enterprise. Trained in political theory at Yale, Cambridge, and the Sorbonne, he served as legislative counsel in the 111th U.S. Congress, organized on four U.S. presidential campaigns, and has additionally worked as a volunteer attorney for Lawyers for Children America. His work as a facilitator and trainer in the international arena include work with NGOs and governments in India, Egypt, Uganda, Burundi, Niger, Ghana, Congo-Brazzaville, Benin, Guinea, and Côte d'Ivoire, on issues related to democratic engagement and accountable government. Lex studied political science and thehumanities at Yale, where he also served as National Vice President of the College Democrats of America and youth outreach consultant to the Democratic National Committee. After receiving a masters degree in political theory at the University of Edinburgh, he studied classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge during a law degree earned with honors from the University of Connecticut, and he recently earned his doctorate in political philosophy at the Sorbonne.


Paul Hofheinz is president and co-founder of the Lisbon Council, an independent, non-partisan think tank based in Brussels, Belgium. At the Lisbon Council, Mr. Hofheinz manages the association on a daily basis and is responsible for strategic oversight, including growth, publishing and development. He also maintains a personal research programme, writing, publishing and speaking on topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, the future of work, innovation, startups, the knowledge economy, human capital, growth-company finance, economic reform and European politics. In 2017, he led a strategic work programme for the Government of Estonia, collaborating with Europe's leading digital administration on digital government and strengthening Europe's footprint in the data economy. Mr. Hofheinz holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Russian politics from London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in history from Yale, where he received the prestigious John Addison Porter and Dean Henry P. Wright prizes upon graduation.


The workshop will be held under the Chatham House rules. We are very interested in your points of view!

Please note that the session will be open only for the European Commission staff.



 WHEN: 18 January 2018 from 13:00 to 16:00