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This week we sat down with our Senior Manager of Programming & Government Affairs, Ashley Hebert, to gain a deeper insight into the state of the European continent and the key themes for the upcoming 2023 Europe Summit, taking place June 15-16, 2023 in Madrid, Spain.

 

WHICH PROGRAMMING THEMES ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT EXPLORING AT THIS YEAR’S EUROPE SUMMIT?

As I formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, I am most interested in the topic of energy security. Additionally, the current geopolitical state of affairs will lead to insightful conversations by the many expert panelists speaking on diplomacy and national defense. 

 

AS YOU SAY, ENERGY SECURITY REMAINS A KEY THEME HEADING INTO THIS YEAR’S EUROPE SUMMIT. AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF EUROPE’S COST OF LIVING CRISIS AND THE WEAPONIZATION OF ENERGY, CAN YOU HIGHLIGHT SESSIONS OR KEY SPEAKERS WHO ARE ADDRESSING THIS TOPIC?

A few of our Programming Sponsors, namely EDP, Cepsa, and Iberdrola, will speak on timely topics surrounding energy security in the current geopolitical landscape. Specifically, the session The Pathway to Independence and Self-Sufficiency: Europe’s Journey will place CEOs of EDP, Miguel Stilwell D’Andrade, and Cepsa, Maarten Wetselaar, together on a panel to discuss the implications of Europe’s energy imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

 

WITH THE RISE OF AI, THE CONCORDIA EUROPE SUMMIT’S THEME OF CYBER DEFENSE COMES AT A CRITICAL TIME. WHAT TYPE OF CONVERSATIONS CAN WE EXPECT?

AI is certainly at the forefront of conversations around the globe – many look at it as a remarkable opportunity for future generations, while others fear it is a cyber security threat that may someday get out of hand and lead to further mistrust. Defense in the Age of Artificial Intelligence will explore just that while weighing the pros, such as national security improvements, as well as the cons around the misuse of AI. 

 

THE CONCORDIA EUROPE SUMMIT IS BASED ON AND TAKES PLACE IN THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT. WHAT IS THE KEY BENEFIT OF HOSTING A SUMMIT WITH A SPECIFIC EMPHASIS ON AN INDIVIDUAL REGION?

The Concordia Europe Summit is occurring at a critical juncture of both necessity and opportunity for the region. Given the state of international affairs and as continental Europe continues to experience significant geopolitical challenges, from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the evolving role of NATO assurances and subsequent disruptions in transnational energy markets, the region is increasingly situated in the nexus of global security. These conversations will include native experts right in their own backyard. 

 

THIS YEAR’S EUROPE SUMMIT WILL BE UNIQUE AS IT WILL BE HELD IN AN INTIMATE, CLOSED-DOOR CONCILIUM FORMAT. WHAT IS THE KEY BENEFIT TO HOSTING THE 2023 EUROPE SUMMIT IN THIS FORMAT?

Over one-and-a-half days, this invitation-only event will provide an immersive and intimate convening of 75 decision makers. Through Concordia’s Concilium format, key leaders will be positioned in front of this intimate audience. Whether speaking on stage or a member of the audience, each person has the opportunity to actively engage in the discussion via Q&A and polling. These sessions are intended to be dynamic and conversational rather than scripted and stagnant, and provide a powerful opportunity to solicit a range of perspectives on a particular, targeted issue. While the Concilium sessions will remain off the record, opportunity for press amplification will follow with on the record breakouts and interviews. 

 

AT THE END OF THE 2023 EUROPE SUMMIT, CONCORDIA WILL PRESENT KEY OUTCOMES TO SPANISH AND EU LEADERSHIP AS SPAIN ASSUMES THE PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON JULY 1, 2023. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS REPORT AND HOW DO YOU SEE IT BEING USED BY SPANISH AND EU OFFICIALS?

Throughout each session, participants will have the opportunity to participate in polling, which will be a crucial piece of Concordia’s outcome report to the Spanish government. As the Europe Summit will include vital voices from leadership around Spain and the Europe continent, this report will share diverse perspectives within the focal fields of cyber, energy, and diplomacy. Given the ongoing state of affairs Spain faces in Europe and the timely themes, this report will produce key takeaways from each session as well as the four intimate breakouts.