Thursday 1 December - 1515-1645

How can Europe adapt its policies to be a global leader in the fourth industrial revolution?


Europe’s comparative advantages make it well placed to lead the fourth industrial revolution. How should it adapt to ensure disruptive technologies such as the internet of things, autonomous vehicles and energy storage are used most productively? How best can it adapt its energy policies, data legislation and education systems to maximize its competitive potential?


Aart de Geus

Aart Jan de Geus

Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung; Deputy Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2007-11); Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, The Netherlands (2002-07)


Aart De Geus has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bertelsmann Stiftung since 2012. He is responsible for the Europe, employment and globalization program areas. Previously he worked as deputy secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where he was responsible for employment, labour and social affairs, education, and entrepreneurship and governance. He coordinated the horizontal project Making Reform Happen, and was also in charge of the OECD’s activities on gender and diversity issues. From 2002 to 2007 he served as Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the Balkenende administrations in The Netherlands.
Carl Frey

Dr Carl Benedikt Frey

Co-Director and Oxford Martin Citi Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford


Dr Carl Benedikt Frey is Oxford Martin Citi Fellow at Oxford University where he directs the programme on Technology and Employment at the Oxford Martin School. He has served as an advisor and consultant to international organisations, think tanks, government and business, including the OECD, the European Commission, the United Nations, and several Fortune 500 companies. In partnership with Citigroup, he also works to help global leaders navigate the rapidly changing world economy. He is an Economics Associate of Nuffield College, and Senior Fellow of the Programme on Employment, Equity and Growth at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, both at the University of Oxford. He remains a Senior Fellow of the Department of Economic History at Lund University, and a board member of Futurion AB.
Wolfgang Kowalsky

Dr Wolfgang Kowalsky

Policy Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)


Dr Wolfgang Kowalsky is Policy Adviser at the European Trade Union Confederation, in charge of digitalization of work, worker participation, and European works councils. He started his career as a lecturer at the French business school HEC and the Free University of Berlin, then joined the German trade union IG Metall in Frankfurt. He moved to the ETUC after a Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in North Rhine-Westphalia. He is the author of Focus on European Social Policy. Countering Europessimism, and Trade Unions for a Change of Course in Europe.
Robin Niblett

Dr Robin Niblett CMG

Director, Chatham House


Robin Niblett became the director of Chatham House in January 2007.Before joining Chatham House, between 2001 and 2006, he was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).During his last two years at CSIS, he also served as director of the CSIS Europe Program and its Initiative for a Renewed Transatlantic Partnership.He is a frequent panellist at conferences and events around the world and has testified on a number of occasions to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as US Senate and House of Representatives Committees on European Affairs.He received his BA, MPhil and DPhil from New College, Oxford.Download Robin's full biography (PDF)
Albrecht Ricken

Dr Albrecht Ricken

Senior Director, SAP


Dr Albrecht Ricken is Senior Director at the software corporation SAP, where he has led research for future enterprise applications at the SAP Innovation Center Network since 2013. He joined SAP in 1994 as a logistics applications consultant. From 1998 to 2002 he managed the supply chain practice of SAP Latin America. Subsequently he was co-founder of two start-ups. In 2008 he returned to SAP in charge of business development for several internal incubation teams. He heads the special interest group Product Lifecycle Operations Reference at the APICS-Supply Chain Council. His research interests include instance-based networks