Digital technology has brought about decisive changes in our lifestyles, our production and consumption patterns and, more broadly speaking, our governance systems and the way we live together as a society. The digital economy presents both opportunities and risks. Many of these far-reaching changes are still greatly underestimated. How can we better grasp, anticipate and accompany them.
Given the rise of digital technology and robotics, more and more questions are being asked about the future of human labour. The Uberisation of our economy, the robot invasion, and the growing number of self-employed workers and slashers: how should we approach the emergence of this new economy? Between the disappearance of certain jobs and the creation of new jobs requiring different skills, how can we ensure the changes benefit as many people as possible? What skills will be needed in the future? What changes will we need to make to our social model as a consequence?
The emergence of new, disruptive players and battles over the distribution of wealth have become permanent features in the value creation chain. How can we develop a fourth European industrial policy that integrates these changes and supports innovation in our companies and regions? How can we help our companies – both large and small – to enter and navigate the digital world? How can we promote cooperation between large corporations and start-ups, and encourage open innovation? How can we encourage the emergence of future global leaders in Europe?
Given these sweeping changes, government strategies must be reinvented to channel some effects and stimulate others. The Internet contravenes the usual rules of regulation and poses a permanent challenge in terms of competition, investment, taxation, governance and so on. How can we adapt our regulations to future needs? What role can Europe play? What new relationship is needed between the private and public sectors? How can we create the conditions to ensure this transformation is an opportunity to rethink the human role in society by focusing on human solutions to modern-day challenges?
 A person with multiple careers
Carole ULMER, Director of Studies and Louise DECOURCELLE, project manager