Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, DIGITALEUROPE’s Director-General, kicked off the event by presenting DIGITALEUROPE’s manifesto “A Stronger Digital Europe – Our call to action towards 2025”. This was followed by EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel’s keynote speech on the actions needed to make sure that Europe becomes a world leader in digital innovation in the near future.
Mr. Koch participated in the first panel of the morning on “Digital Ecosystems: How does Europe grow with Digital?” along with Harold Gruber, Head of Digital Infrastructure Division at the European Investment Bank; Lie Junius, Director of Public Policy at Google EU and Niel Hartvig, Founder of Umbraco, one of the winners of the Future Unicorn Award 2019. The discussion focused on the main bottlenecks as well as opportunities for small companies (independent businesses, SMEs and startups) to scale up and, “become the next European unicorns”.
Olaf Koch articulated his keynote around the daily challenges facing METRO’s customers in the gastronomy and small retail sector (e.g. burdening bureaucratic procedures, increasing labour costs or fiscal pressure) and how digitalisation can help them overcome such problems and make their business more efficient and, therefore, more successful. Because “at METRO our customers’ success is also our business”