November 2023

New Digital Leaders

15 years after the launch of the first App Store, apps play an increasingly important role in our life and in the economy. At the High-Level Roundtable New Digital Leaders, Women and the Future of the App Economy, convened by the Lisbon Council and the Progressive Policy Institute, decision makers meet innovative app developers to discuss the growth of the European app economy and how more diversity can help propel it even further.

App stores have opened the market for new players and a more diverse set of entrepreneurs. It has provided an opportunity for developers to think of new, unexpected services, addressing all sorts of niche needs and targets too small to be addressed by the industry. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the involvement of women in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In Europe eight out of ten ICT positions are occupied by men, reflecting a similar ratio in ICT education. In the 2023 Report on the state of the digital decade, the European Commission urges member states to take action to promote women’s access to the ICT field from an early stage.

The question is then: is the app economy growing, and can this growth provide a pathway for women to enter the ICT labour market?

A stellar panel composed by Renate Nikolay, deputy director-general of the European Commission directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology, Inès Ben Amor, chief executive officer, Luna, Anna Neovesky, co-founder, Coding Friends UG, Karina Nimară, head of European Union office of Developers’ Alliance and Michael J. Mandel addressed this question.

The discussion was informed by the launch of the new Progressive Policy Institute Report by Dr. Michael J. Mandel: EU App Economy: Skills for the Digital Age.

Download Michael J. Mandel

Download The Progressive Policy Institute Report EU App Economy: Skills for the Digital Age