Europe is at a crossroad. The 4th industrial revolution has been accelerated by the Covid Crisis, with governments, corporates, schools, universities and almost every sector looking at ways in which they can embrace digital tools. This is generating both enormous economic potential but also significant disruption and fears about the future.
(Re)rising populism, nationalism and xenophobia, stagnant youth unemployment, economic uncertainty and millions of people fleeing their home countries,– one can easily get the feeling that Europe is falling apart. The EU and its citizens will have to come up with answers to the question: What does the EU stand for, what are our common values and how do we cope with the challenges our member states and citizens face?
Taking a closer look at the Greek Island of Lesvos demonstrates the local impact of these challenges. Greece itself has faced a severe economic crisis lately. At the same time it currently hosts about 20,000 asylum seekers, making up more than 35% of the local population in the capital city of Mytilini. The number of refugees kept in the so called “hot spots” is currently about eight times higher than the capacity these camps are designed for, increasing the risk of covid to thousands of people. Hundreds of displaced persons have been stuck on the island for months or even years. The current situation has a disastrous impact on the refugees, the local community, Greece, Europe and the world. Through intensive media coverage, Lesvos has become a symbol of a humanitarian crisis.
On the 9th of May 2020 national leaders from all around Europe are expected to deliver a renewed commitment towards a more united, stronger and more democratic European Union. Our Summit aims to support this message, with representatives of government and non governmental organisations, Universities and research centres, social entrepreneurs and impact investors that will participate in our Summit.
The purpose of our initiative on Lesvos is to catalyse the paradigm of social entrepreneurship and innovation as a major source of wealth and job creation, economic and technological growth and social transformation, inspiring a positive way forward for Europe. The Europe that we all want!
This Summit will facilitate important dialogues and actions as to how we can collectively co-create an inclusive and enabling environment, through which we look to embrace technology and transform the humanitarian challenges into opportunities, inspiring and co-designing "THE #FutureOfEurope" that we all want!
In addition, with our European collaborators, we aim to show how an inclusive and collaborative network of coworking spaces and creative hubs across Europe, are platforms through which social entrepreneurs convene to invent, make, collaborate and cocreate sustainable and impactful solutions, that accelerate the sustainable developments goals and help stimulate the local economy!
Key issues will be: How can we inspire a positive way forward in Europe? How can we accelerate social impactful tech solutions within our member communities? How can young people participate in this (regardless of the legal status and socio-economic background), developing a sense of self-efficacy and European identity? How can transnational solidarity be deepened within the EU and beyond the European continent? What can local societies do in order to integrate refugees taking into account that they are coping with (economic e.g.) challenges themselves?
Acceleration of social impactful technologies (e.g. edtech & mhealth) will not only help provide much needed access to these services, but also help inspire and create sustainable economic foundations on which to build a series of business-driven development programs.
Saturday, 9 May from 10:00 until 18:00
The theme of our event is:
#EULesvos: Technology Humanity Ethics (THE) Future of Europe
Draft Agenda (Subject to change without any notice)