The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will be returning to Madrid on March 24, 2020. As the result of a unique partnership between Concordia and AmChamSpain, this unique forum, speakers, participants, and partners will explore some of the most pressing issues facing Spain and the region today.
The world is more connected than ever before, and rapid advancements in technology are only continuing to alter the way we live. The Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will address the role of technology in shaping the way countries interact, in driving progress towards climate change, and in transforming global labor markets. It will also examine the immense potential for interconnectivity to drive global economic growth. In an effort to keep conversations action oriented, future focused, and solutions driven, the Summit will explore the transcendent role of next-generation technology in addressing major global development issues. To compete and contribute economically, socially, and politically, it’s critical that countries both in Europe and around the world incorporate next-generation technologies, research & development, and digital services into national strategies and policies.
Social unrest and chaos have dominated the political landscape in Latin America over recent months. Despite being practically a failed state where food is scarce and insecurity increases by the minute, Venezuelan rulers are still holding onto power, leaving little to no hope of change in the near future. In Chile, protesters have shown a clear rejection towards the government, paralyzing entire cities, and in other countries, polarization has become a major threat to democracy and the rule of law. The consequences and implications of this instability are still unforeseen. The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will examine how Spain can leverage its strong relationship with the Latin American region to mobilize greater European engagement in the continent—politically, commercially, and around issues of shared concern.
A trade war between China and the U.S.—and other major international trade pacts on the verge of collapse—has begun to threaten the economy and commercial relations across the globe. In recent years, China has rapidly evolved from a manufacturing powerhouse into a global innovator, with much of the country’s success accredited to the development of cutting-edge technologies, making it a fierce competitor in the global market. As western companies adapt to this shifting landscape, governments will need to level the playing field for investment, commerce, and trade. The unpredictable nature of global commerce can present immense opportunities for collective cooperation and multilateral alliances. The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will discuss how countries, organizations, and multinational companies can adapt to this new reality, and facilitate engagement between cross-sector leaders in Spain and their European counterparts, ultimately ensuring that the European continent is fostering economic competitiveness and innovation through a synchronized regional agenda.
With an increase in the popularity of private education and the government turning a blind eye to a failing education system, access to education in a modernizing world is becoming harder. Digital literacy and access to quality education are becoming increasingly necessary for ensuring young populations have autonomy in their social, economic, and political future and are included in civil society, local and national economies, and sustainable development strategies worldwide. Students want to be involved in problem solving today so they can make a change in the world tomorrow. The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will prioritize youth voices and next-generation leadership and elevate education, entrepreneurship, and youth perspectives as key levers for social impact and global prosperity. It will also explore solutions for improving global access to quality education and preparing the next generation of global leaders and social innovators.
Over the past few years, the European Union (EU) has begun facing a series of crises that have put its economy and political stability at risk. With the UK’s departure from the EU imminent, uncertainty abounds around the future of economic and political unions across the continent. With political fault lines and structural imbalances in existence within the EU, there is a need for continued connectivity and integration across the region. As the far-right and far-left parties gain political traction in different countries, division and social unrest have increased tensions in the region like never before, fueled by the ongoing migration crisis and uncertainty around Brexit negotiations. With a stronger commitment needed from public and private actors in the defense of democracy, the 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will drive productive dialogue between differing ideological viewpoints within the framework of institutions, as well as foster greater financial and fiscal eurozone integration to strengthen the EU. Peace and prosperity in the EU will require a sense of community among nations, progress through social and universal change, and active denunciation of conflict and aggression, and the Summit will advance tangible solutions that address these and much more.
In the past year, the world has seen a new wave of social uprisings across the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and Asia as a manifestation of people’s dissatisfaction with the broken promises of populist leaders and movements. From Barcelona to Hong Kong, from Santiago to Beirut, civic unrest is on the rise, with an entire generation fighting to protect their democratic rights and social freedoms and end the government corruption and economic slowdown threatening modern society. Propelling these demonstrations forward are digital technology and social media, allowing protestors to spread their messages, attract and mobilize others, and borrow rhetoric and inspiration from separate movements. The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will explore these global uprisings that are shifting the balance of power between government and constituents, and between democratic states and authoritarian states, between populists and the urban middle-class, and what these new dichotomies could mean for the already-uncertain future of the European Union and liberal globalization around the world. The Summit will also will also discuss the commonalities emerging from this surge in social unrest and protests, including the socioeconomic profile of the demonstrators: young, urban, middle-class, and angry, and what this generation’s indignation could mean for global economies and political agendas.
Over the last few decades, rapid advancements in technology have drastically changed the landscape of the workforce. Individuals throughout all walks of life are increasingly finding their skills antiquated, or even inadequate, for current workforce necessities, with Spain having one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the eurozone. Even though the numbers have begun to improve over the past few years, youth unemployment is a global phenomenon that needs to be addressed by different industries, sectors, and geographies. The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will bring leaders from all sectors together around a shared agenda for promoting greater technological innovation and investing in education for 21st Century skills and needs, boosting Spain’s leadership on global issues.
Climate change is altering sea levels and temperatures at an unprecedented scale, and its effects are likely to be even more significant over time, impacting sectors ranging from agriculture and water supply to energy and ecosystems. Furthermore, the far-reaching and irreversible environmental degradation is resulting in economic pressure and social unrest. A society afflicted with climate change leaves us at the mercy of unforeseen natural disasters, all of which translates into business and financial risks. The 2020 Concordia Europe – AmChamSpain Summit will elevate the drastic changes in human behavior that are needed to alleviate this phenomenon, and prompt stakeholders from various fronts to make deep commitments to tackle its long-term effects.
Chairman, Centre of European Policy Studies (CEPS); Former Vice President, European Commission
Ambassador to Spain, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
CEO, Europa Press
Director of Global Public Affairs Strategy, Telefónica, SA
Economist; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain
Vice President, European Investment Bank
Director of Engagement, Hermes Investment Management
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