2nd European Industry Day took place in Brussels on 22-23 February 2018 and gathered over 700 participants from business, academia, European institutions and social partners organizations. Civil society organizations’ representatives were in minority, but they slowly emerge as partners in a discussion on the future of the EU industrial policy.

The Future of Work And Digital Revolution

Recommendations after Day 1:

The Future of Industry in Europe

Discussants of a recently established High-Level Group for Industry – an advisory body for the European Commission – on Day 2. observed that:

Role of CSOs in shaping the EU Industry Policy

One of the High-Level Group members is Leida Rijnhout of SDG Watch Europe. She stated that the CSOs are marginalized and their voice tends not to be heard. She argued that people should be put in the centre of economy and that there is an urgent need to challenge present economic and social models as they cause too much harm to society and environment.

Phot. European Commision

TechSoup had a say in this exchanges. Marnie Webb, CEO of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup and an early member of the NetSquared global initiative was one of the participants in Inspirational Dialogue. Marnie was invited by the European Commission to share her experience of designing technology solutions to local social problems in cooperation with social activists, potential users, local government representatives and technologists.

She gave example of “Feito Na Biblioteca (Made at the Library)” an active TechSoup project in Brazil.  Our team has been working with the community members to develop three solutions that connect local residents to open government solutions, services, and data.

In her remarks, she emphasized that open innovation processes provide opportunities for communities to deeply engage with and enhance government data, develop new and innovative solutions, and develop new partnerships and even businesses.

Phot: A.Kwiatkiewicz-Mory

Marnie shared the stage with Guillaume Capelle, the founder of SINGA – social enterprise that proposes methodology for effective integration of immigrants and refugees. Guillaume stressed importance of social dimension of enterprises and noticed that there is a cohort of new, young professionals who want to see social purpose in their work. Both stressed the importance to develop technology solutions with final beneficiaries as well as to ensure potential to replicate and scale successful projects.

One may ask: is there really a room for CSOs in shaping the EU Industry Policy? And more importantly: is there a need for such a contribution?


The work CSOs do across Europe and globally, especially those building capacity of the sector, is crucial for social innovation.


TechSoup is convinced that the work CSOs do across Europe and globally, especially those building capacity of the sector, is crucial for social innovation. Moreover, via their work local CSOs co-create innovation ecosystem, help future leaders or entrepreneurs to emerge and grow as well as “connect the unconnected”. Additionally, involving the final users in designing technology solutions from the very beginning ensures their sustainability and uptake by local organizations.

More about EU Industry Day, you will find here.