January 2024

The Time to Act is Now

Building an adequate talent pool is key to Europe’s competitiveness, but progress towards the goals of the Digital Compass is slow. The Recommendation on Improving the Provision of Digital Skills and Competences in Education and Training adopted by the European Council in 2023 paved the way for a strategically coordinated European approach to boost computer science education. According to the Recommendation, member states must formulate clear strategies to address the digital skills gap by the end of 2024 while being accountable for the results.

How can Europe maximise this opportunity? What can we learn from the most successful global initiatives? The 2024 Digital Skills Summit convened by the Lisbon Council tried to answer these questions.

The summit was opened by the inspiring words of Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, director-general of the European Commission’s directorate-general for education, youth, sport and culture. Two exceptional keynote speakers joined to share their experience setting up and leading world-class digital education initiatives. Hadi Partovi, the visionary founder and chief executive officer of Code.org, unveiled the secrets behind their revolutionary initiative that successfully brought computer education to a staggering 80 million students worldwide. Valeriya Ionan, deputy minister for eurointegration at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, shared with the audience the success story of Diia Education, an initiative that equipped an impressive 1.5 million Ukrainians with crucial digital skills in just three years.

Moreover, a roundtable provided an overview of what needs to be done to achieve the goals set out in the Recommendation. Participants included Enrico Nardelli, professor of informatics at Tor Vergata University in Rome and former president of Informatics Europe; Victor Negrescu, member of the European Parliament and vice-chair of the committee on culture and education; Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, director for innovation, digital education and international cooperation, directorate-general for education, youth, sport and culture at the European Commission.

Watch the Summit in Full

Download Hadi Partovi presentation