On June 19th and 20th, the Irish Government, as part of their Presidency of the Council of the European Union, hosted the annual Digital Agenda Assembly in presence of Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Dublin Castle hosted 600 policy makers, industry representatives, research organisations, NGOs, SMEs, regulators from all over Europe. The main programme focussed on the digital life cycle with an emphasis on digital skills, entrepreneurship and growth.
CIONET was there to present its pledge “10.000 hours of Passion for IT“ for the Grand Coalition in the workshop for ‘Digital skills for jobs and learning’. During the workshop several other pledges were presented and the full day was used for discussions, presentations, brainstorming, aligning pledges and drawing conclusions and recommendations which were presented the following day. It was good to notice that the need for ‘passion’ was one of the recommendations. At the reception on the 19th the delegates were honored with a great and witty speech given by Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (PM) of Ireland.
The Digital Agenda Assembly was also a great networking event. New contacts were made or re-enforced with a number of Europe’s digital champions, government representatives, thought leaders in IT and suppliers. It was interesting to see the great enthusiasm, eagerness to connect and knowledge with the Central and East-European representatives. Also a number of great presentations were given. Most notable were those of Lord David Puttnam (Ireland’s Digital Champion, filmmaker and member of the House of Lords) who talked about the need to reform education; Abdul Chohan (director of the Essa Academy) talked about the impact of a 1:1 handheld device programme; and Jordan Casey (CEO of the award winning independent mobile game company Casey Games). Jordan talked about Venture Capitalists in the US who only judge an idea presented to them, whereas in Europe, age is an issue. Jordan has been a CEO for over three years. He is now 13 years old.