We believe that innovation - the creation and adoption of new ideas - is the key to human progress, prosperity and happiness. Digital innovation, in particular, has not only produced a vast range of new digital products and services which can improve productivity for all, but has also enabled the emergence of radically new business models, which in turn are transforming virtually every industry. From data analytics to AI, automation, blockchain and the internet of things, digital innovation is creating profound change.
This digital transformation has dramatic potential to increase our wealth, well-being and quality of life but along the way it is also creating novel social, ethical and economic challenges, such as new monopolies and centralised power; greater opportunities for surveillance and control; rapid job changes; and potentially deeper social divisions.
Solutions to these problems may call for regulation to break monopolies and ensure privacy. They may require education and retraining, to ensure digital accessibility and employment. They might benefit from community-based mechanisms, such as ‘data commons’ or open standards, to encourage decentralised power and a diversity of technologies. They may demand philosophical and creative thinking to ensure ethical AI and to find alternatives to the advertising-based business models which have come to dominate much of the web.
However, this does not mean that there is no role for the private sector. The fact is that businesses invest vastly more in innovation than the public sector can ever afford, whilst it is markets that advance the affordability and adoption of new technology. Digital transformation simply will not happen without innovative enterprises driving the ‘creative destruction’ of established industries.
For that reason, the FT, in partnership with Google and Nesta, is looking for European (EU, Swiss, and Nordic) companies and individuals making exceptional use of digital technology to drive growth, enhance productivity and create high quality jobs. The aim is to create a list of the 100 European leaders of digital transformation.
We are asking for members of the public to apply or nominate people and organisations, big or small, deserving of inclusion in the list. We are happy to receive self-nominations. The final list of 100, to be decided by a jury panel, will be published in an FT magazine, Europe's Road to Growth, in autumn 2018. Nominations will close on July 5, 2018.
In order to be considered companies, non-profit organisations or individuals should have done one of the following:
We will also consider examples which fall outside of these categories. The key considerations will be job creation, economic growth or a measurable positive impact on a community.
Please use this form to nominate digital transformation champions for consideration.
Photos by Octavian Rosca and rawpixel on Unsplash