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Placing Communities and the Planet First: a conversation on digital skills and smart cities

June 6 @ 11:30 am 12:30 pm

Digital skills are crucial for personal and economic growth in today’s society. However, along with the tremendous potential for systemic change, digital transformation comes with challenges and threats that must be mitigated. From unsustainable energy consumption to misinformation, unequal access, and human rights violations, an inclusive and sustainable digital transformation requires digital skills to be put at the service of communities and the planet.  Sustainable digitalisation, which is a core component of the European Commission’s Digital Decade policy framework, intends to empower local communities to participate in the digital economy while minimising negative impacts on the environment. This involves promoting digital literacy, upskilling companies and SMEs, and building smart communities that leverage emerging technology to improve people’s lives and protect the environment.

Placing Communities and the Planet First: a conversation on digital skills and smart cities is an event bringing together experts, leaders, and stakeholders from civil society, business, and policy domains who are committed to creating more sustainable communities and cities. The focus of the event is to explore and discuss the need for digital skills to enable sustainable cities and communities and mitigate the potential negative impacts that digital transformation can have if left untackled. 

The main objectives are to:

  • Highlight the importance of digital skill development in achieving sustainable digitalization;
  • Explore the different ways in which digital skills can contribute to building sustainable and smart communities;
  • Share best practices for upskilling SMEs and promoting digital literacy among citizens;
  • Foster collaboration between stakeholders from government, the  private sector, and civil society to build a sustainable digital economy;
  • Acknowledge the potential negative impacts of digital transformation and the need to develop skills that drive digital transformation for good;


  • Welcome and introduction: Giovanni Rimassa, (Vice-President, Digital for Planet)
  • Panel discussion
    • Javier Orozco-Messana (Seconded National Expert acting as Policy Officer, Technologies for Smart Communities Unit, DG CNECT, European Commission)
    • Frédéric Sitbon, (Solution Sales, Modern Work for Education, Microsoft)
    • Nuria de Lama, (Consulting Director, IDC4EU and partner of LeADS) 
    • Margarida Campolargo (Project Director, OASC)
    • Albert Seubers (Director, Martel Innovate BV)
  • Wrap up and call to action: Giovanni Rimassa, (Vice-President, Digital for Planet)