Business and government leaders gathered at BMI today for a fundamental discussion of economic and social aspects of the ongoing digital revolution. The event was organised by BMI and Telia Company, a telecommunications leader in Northern Europe and well beyond.
In the introductory welcome BMI Director General Jaunius Pusvaškis noted that “over the recent 200 years humankind has made incredible progress and advancement. We have lived three industrial revolutions. Now we’re entering the age of the 4th industrial revolution with the dominance of artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics and data analytics. Last year BMI launched the new programme on Innovations and Industry 4.0 in Germany. Participants had the unique opportunity of getting insights and a first-hand feel of how artificial intelligence and digitalisation are changing corporate operations.”
The panel discussion, broadcast live on Delfi TV, featured Lithuanian Economy Minister Mindaugas Sinkevičius, Telia CEO Johan Dennelind, and the CEO of the analytics technology company Exacaster Šarūnas Chomentauskas. It was moderated by Ilja Laurs, the founder of Nextury Ventures.
“The ‘gigabyte society’ is happening now. It’s not just about internet speed and access, but how integrated the resulting capabilities are in society,” Mr Dennelind of Telia Company said. In terms of talent and infrastructure, “we in the Nordics and Baltics are in the cradle of digitalization and have the real potential to be a top region globally” in the emerging digital society, he added.
Lithuania’s Economy Minister, echoing comments by other the participants, stressed the importance of each country choosing and building its own clear niche, prioritizing certain areas of focus in order to hold a clear space of its own in the emerging digital society.
Further discussion touched on the importance of open partnership and collaboration in developing new technologies, ways to ensure “digital equality” and ensure no part of society is left out, and the importance of education to ensure we have the talent that will be needed in the future.
“Attention must be given in primary education or even earlier, since university is too late. It’s those who start coding at age 8 who’ll be the IT geniuses of the future,” noted the CEO of Exacaster.
Chinese Ambassador to Lithuania Wei Ruixing, who was in the audience, said he fully agrees and urged business leaders and policy-makers not to focus on bigger or smaller geographical regions, but rather to think in global terms. “Today’s world is very connected,” the ambassador stressed.