From today and till Wednesday I am in Brussels, at the Digitally Driven Europe forum in the Expo Center. It’s a large (some say – the largest so far) gathering of the ICT folks, from all over Europe. From one side it is a show of multiple EU-funded research projects and business initiatives related to everything ‘digital’. But it is also a political statement, as explained by Neelie Kroes, currently EU Commissioner on ‘Digital Agenda’.
There is widespread belief that Europe is lagging behind in the IT-related innovation (and IT-related education, too). “That’s not true”, was the message by Ms. Kroes. “What we’re lagging behind in is a utilization of the knowledge we have, its conversion into new products and services, new beneficial things for people, and for the society at large”. In many ways the forum is an effort to boost the debates on what should be done to correct this unhealthy situation.
The forum’s halls are filled with hundreds of projects and presentations, all amazing, technologically sophisticated, cutting-edge etc (some are cool, too). However, so far I found only one stand that is not focussed on technology alone, but try to pose a really crucial question: