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Our speakers will offer inspiration and direction through their own personal experiences in a series of talks, interviews, interactive panel debates and personal stories.


If you are interested in speaking opportunities, please contact Joe Rossiter at or on +44 (0) 2920 783 078.


Tuesday 19 June, 2018


10:00 – 11:15

Opening Keynote Speeches

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, European Commission
Yvonne Agyei, Chief People Officer,
Malavika Vivek, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Girls Make Apps
Mark Smith, CEO, Ada, The National College for Digital Skills
Moderator: Paul Adamson, Chairman, Forum Europe

11:15 – 12:30

Inspiring and preparing the next generation through education

To leverage the significant positive opportunities offered by digital technologies and to enable economic growth, Europe needs to address the growing digital skills gap it faces. A key step will be to address issues in STEM education, ensuring its appeal to currently underrepresented groups.

This session will explore how best to equip the workforce for the digital age and to build the skills of the tech executives, innovators and engineers of the future – starting with education. What are the latest developments in education and training as they relate to digital and tech, and what needs to be done to address the contradiction between the fact that most young people are 'digital natives' but only few of them are interested in studying ICT related subjects? How could school programmes in digital and STEM areas be better adapted to today’s young generation and build on their existing skills, knowledge and ambitions?

How can policymakers, local governments, schools and universities, and industry work together to address the existing digital divide, improve the teaching of STEM subjects to better include all groups of society and support a cultural shift by reducing biases and tackling stereotypes? How can equal opportunities for everyone to study ICT and build a career in tech regardless of gender, religion, sexuality and social background, for instance, be created?

Khadijat Abdulkadir, Founder and CEO, Digital African Woman (DAW)
Ibrahim Ouassari, Founder, MolenGeek
Ilona Kish, Programme Director, Public Libraries 2020
Veronique De Leener, Founder and Director, Maks vzw
Max Son, VP of Community, Code Your Future

Moderator: Paul Adamson, Chairman, Forum Europe


12:30 – 13:30

Networking Lunch

13:30 – 14:00

Keynote Interview

Representative, Policymaker (tbc)
Corinna Horst, Senior Fellow & Deputy Director, Brussels Office , The German Marshall Fund of the United States

14:00 – 15:15

Tech Company Culture - Can it Change?

Greater diversity in tech and digital lies at the heart of its ability to fulfil its true potential. To achieve this, tech employers must now urgently attract, retain and promote talent from all walks of life and backgrounds. In this session, we will explore how tech companies are addressing the issues of diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace, from recruitment and retention, to leadership development. Furthermore, consideration will also be given to the role of people currently working in the digital space to ensure that unconscious biases and prejudices do not filter through to technology and algorithms themselves, something which has been seen in some areas of tech development already.

To what extent should the European tech industry culture be challenged so that the sector embraces diversity as a competitive advantage? What steps should tech organisations take to improve the diversity within their businesses at entry, management and boardroom level? How can recruitment processes be improved? What are the challenges for career advancement in ICT, particularly for women, and how can they be overcome?

To what extent can role models within the tech industry help to inspire and attract a more diverse crowd? What roles can mentoring and reverse mentoring play in achieving more diverse teams?

How can re-entering a tech profession after an extended break or re-skilling be encouraged? How can the tech industry culture and working arrangements meet the needs of the modern worker?

What role and responsibilities should policymakers take in helping the technology industry to embrace diversity and ultimately increase the talent pool? What can be learnt from recent policy initiatives strengthening the legal framework that ensures equal opportunities?

Helga Stevens, MEP, European Parliament
Kurt Schöffer, CEO, Auticon
Hayley Sudbury, Founder and CEO, WERKIN
Cheryl Miller Van Dyck, Founding Director, Digital Leadership Institute
Laurentiu Bunescu, CEO, ALL DIGITAL

15:15 – 15:30

Networking break

15:30 – 16:15

A View from the Top: European Female Tech Leaders Debate

This quick-fire session will hear from women working at the top of their respective tech fields in Brussels. What are their personal stories? Who, if anyone, inspired them? Have they ever viewed gender as a barrier to career progression? And if they could talk to their younger selves just starting out on their careers, what advice would they give?

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE
Siada El Ramly, Director General, EDiMA
Caroline van Weede, Managing Director, Cable Europe

Diversity In Tech Hashtag



Tuesday 19 June, 2018
09.30 to 16.30




Microsoft Innovation Center

Rue Montoyer 51,
1000 Bruxelles,



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