Digital Together: Bringing Digital & Citizens Together
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Digital Together launched at European Parliament Event, Brussels, 21 June 2018
Digital Together, the new platform bringing multiple actors in the digital world together, was launched in a packed event at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday, 21 June 2018.
The speakers included Brando Benifei, hosting MEP, Sana Afouaiz of Womenpreneur Initiative, Luisa Crisigiovanni of Consumer Association Altroconsumo, Adrea Gerosa of ThinkYoung, Mattia Pellegrini from EASME – DG Growth, Lieve Wierinck MEP and Simone Ceruti, founder of Digital Together. Attendees were present from Altroconsumo, British Chamber of Commerce, Centre for Democracy and Technology, European Union Liaison office, Fastweb, Fondazione Centro San Raffaele, Google, L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Metro AG and Samsung.
Opening the event on video, Brando Benifei welcomed Digital Together's first survey, sponsored by Google. This highlighted how comfortable Generation Z is using digital technology, while simultaneously being unaware of the many areas of life in which it now plays an essential role. He celebrated "digitalization as a means to empower people" and emphasised that the European institutions are involved in the legislative process to promote the potential of digitalisation and remove obstacles to a true digital single market. He greeted Digital Together as "a valid project for supporting policymakers and entrepreneurs, bringing together different stakeholders and citizens in bridging the gaps that sometimes exist in the digital world. This sort of initiative can be useful for Europe in General."
Simone Ceruti, co-founder of Digital Together, headquartered in Brussels, explained how it is being set up by leading digital innovators in a broad range of fields and sectors, together with EU bodies and consumer associations. "Its aim is to bridge the gaps in the digital world by bringing everyone involved together - citizens, public services, consumer associations, regulators and digital leaders, whether they develop digital technology or use it to enhance their products and services.
Building transversal alliances in a constructive dialogue with citizens, it promotes the development, usability, security and adoption of digital technology for individual quality of life and the common good."
To do this, Digital Together is also creating a Digital Hub designed to become a first port of call for citizens seeking information and advice, empowering them to make the most of their digital world with news and case history articles, how-to information, interactive forums and other resources, including its own independent research.
Brando Benifei's message welcoming Digital Together was echoed by Lieve Wierincke MEP, who explained: "In this digitalization process, we have to say 'I want the citizens' welfare'. As legislators, we can guarantee it setting some important guidelines and tools that allow consumers to be taken into account."
The valuable role of Digital Together as just such a tool was emphasised by Luisa Crisigiovanni of the Italian Consumers Association Altroconsumo: "A Website like Digital Together could be fundamental to make different actors meet each other around the same table. It should be used to listen, detect, understand the needs of users, consumers, prosumers in order to promote transparency and dialogue. A business model should be able to look at the product from the side of the consumers, and a project that considers the consumers' associations as partners can promote a relevant turning point."
The Digital Hub's potential was also strongly appreciated by the young entrepreneurs present as part of ThinkYoung's Entrepreneurship School Week.