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SoBigData Event

The Future of AI and Data in Europe

As we look ahead to the development of the strategy for the next five years in the EU on digital and AI, Re-Imagine Europa is organising a Roundtable to better understand the emerging narratives on AI, the impact AI will have on society, and specifically the role of stakeholders to co-evolve new digital tools with clear societal benefits.        

Underpinned by Re-Imagine Europa’s deep understanding of narrative methodology, this Roundtable is a chance to discuss projects with the potential to transform the digital landscape in Europe. Our goal is to enhance Europeans' capacity for innovation in the digital sphere while upholding core civic values.

Keynote Speakers


08:00 – 8:30 Welcome Coffee & Registration      
08:30 – 8:45 Keynote Speech - Roberto Viola, Director General – DG CONNECT

08:45 – 9:15 Introductory Remarks        
Mayte Ledo, Spanish Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence        
Enrico Letta, Board Member – Re-Imagine Europa (Video Message)

09:15 – 10:45 Session 1: New Narratives on AI in Europe and Beyond

Moderator: Luca De Biase, Research and Media Director – Re-Imagine Europa

Narratives are the essential tools our brains use to organize facts into meaning and ideas. Particularly in new technological areas, balanced narratives are essential to ensure societal acceptance and to avoid further polarization. This session seeks to explore answers to questions such as: How can we study the most prevalent AI narratives in Europe? Is it possible to build a partnership to develop a compelling new narrative for AI? What should a European narrative on AI encompass? How would it differ from the Silicon Valley model with large digital platforms as drivers for innovation, financed by advertising? Our approach begins with applying Re-Imagine’s narrative methodology to studying existing narratives on AI, and from this taking the first steps to developing a potential new narrative for AI in Europe.

10:45 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:45 Session 2: EU Digital Policies 2024-2029

Moderator: Anthony Gooch, Senior Advisor – Re-Imagine Europa

Data fuels the new digital economy. Europe has committed to upholding EU values through regulations prioritising human-centricity and trust by protecting against misuse. How can we move beyond this civic commitment to exploit the opportunities offered for the development of innovative ideas and initiatives, to generate wellbeing, prosperity & productivity at the EU level? Progress has already been made beyond the regulatory safety net provided by the arsenal of Digital & Data related Legislative Acts, by envisaging European Data Spaces such as health, the European wallet currently under development, and the Digital Euro, contributing to the emergence of an online identity for each EU citizen. All these initiatives encompass technological solutions, policy implications, and a motivational narrative. Has the time now come to envision bold and exciting new projects that leverage Europe’s strengths? These projects could unleash a remarkable source of collective intelligence, well-being, prosperity, and innovation for the Union, its citizens, and entrepreneurs, benefiting all of society and attracting interest from beyond its borders. With the digital rights established by various EU regulations, the personal data of 450 million Europeans has the potential to transform Europe and its citizens' lives. By creating a comprehensive EU Data Union, which serves as the foundation for an EU Knowledge Commons, individuals can benefit and gain rewards for sharing their data transparently and fairly. In this way, all EU citizens are in a unique position to leverage and enjoy the collective value of their personal data. During this session participants will discuss both the “top down” big picture projects, as well as concrete "bottom-up" initiatives that already serve as citizen-centric building blocks.

12:45 – 13:45 Networking Lunch

13:45 – 15:15 Session 3: AI and Data for the Public Interest

Moderator: Bernd Halling, Policy & Outreach Advisor – Re-Imagine Europa

Society poses questions that data and AI have the potential to answer in innovative ways. Key considerations include the location of relevant data and how science can engage in analysing this data as a service to social groups. One critical question is whether data held by major platforms, the so-called "gatekeepers", can be liberated and used for societal benefits by applying the Digital Services Act (DSA). The goal is to harness data and AI to generate insights that can drive positive social change and inform evidence-based policies. This involves creating frameworks for data sharing that respect privacy and security, while also fostering collaboration between scientists, policymakers, and citizens. Societal stakeholders should have the resources to define aims and co-evolve digital tools that can use AI and public available data to their benefit. The session will look into the following questions: (i) How can data and AI be used for societal benefit, including the data held by major platforms? (ii) How can the EU ensure that stakeholders, including scientists, civil society and SMEs can play a role in developing AI tools to address their challenges and advance the public interest?

15:15 – 16:00 Conclusions and Next Steps

Maria João Rodrigues, Chair of Re-Imagine Europa's Advisory Board