European Week of Regions and Cities
7-10 OCTOBER 2019 Brussels

Shaping our Future in Smarter Regions and Cities: Digitalisation, Jobs, Growth

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Post-2021 cohesion policy aims at smart specialisation and digital transformation. This generates new job profiles across sectors, creates opportunities for growth and global competition.

However, digitalisation of work will also impact on all levels: on workers, regions, social security and tax systems; it may reinforce inequalities and challenge territorial cohesion.

We will explore with you inclusive digital economic growth and discuss scenarios for shaping a sustainable, inclusive future of work focusing on cohesion and the diversity of European regions and cities.


The aim of the Participatory Lab is to discuss the prospects and challenges of digitalised labour focusing on regional growth and global competition. Synergies across regions, cities, sectors and specializations will ensure EU-wide impact.

The target groups are policy-makers, including regional experts, private and public stakeholders, business professionals and academics. Young people will participate in the 3 table-sessions:


  • 'Disruptive' or 'incremental' innovation: What´s the nature of the digital economy and digitalised jobs?

Historical and geographical comparative perspectives of technological revolutions in the past and in regions of the world give insights into contemporary processes of digitalisation of labour. We will engage in a discussion of transformations that have restructured work and industries and will address how far digitalisation goes. Is it an incremental or disruptive process for regions and cities? Chaired by projects: and


  • The individual at work: How sustainable are we when we are alone?

Work is an essential aspect of our lives: it shapes our livelihoods, our identities and contributes to cohesion. The digitalisation of work creates new opportunities for individuals, but also new inequalities. Participants will explore the consequences of digitalisation, especially platformization, in relation to specific sectors and specialisation, age and gender. They will discuss new skills, youth and active aging, but also new types of work contracts, unemployment and challenges that emerge for regions and welfare. How will digitalised jobs contribute to individual´s social security and professional development? How will workers’ resilience be strengthened in view of the rising digitalisation and competitiveness of global markets?  Chaired by projects: and


  • Smarter Regions – smarter Growth?

Regions are an important locus for economic growth and prosperity. Their ecosystems and clusters form the backbone of Europe’s production and are a main job generator. The challenge for the post-2020 period is to formulate smart and inclusive regional strategies in such a way that European regions can continue to keep up with global competition but also can purposefully transform themselves in an age of digitalization and platformization, and remain attractive, healthy and engaging places to work, live and thrive for all. What do regional economies need in the decade(s) to come? Chaired by project:


Come and discuss with us to shape the process of digitalisation, its impact and our future!

Participatory Lab - world café, ideas labs
A smarter Europe
European Commission - REA

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