European Young Professionals Summit

What is the concept?

The conference will connect young professionals in business, public policy and academia from across Europe and beyond. Core themes will include leadership, digital and sustainability (read more about these topics below). The event will prepare participants to take advantage of the professional opportunities that these major trends will bring in the years to come.

The event will aim to:

  • connect young and senior professionals in interactive sessions, and informal networking opportunities;
  • give participants the opportunity to share their own expertise and experience;
  • help them discover the big picture of major trends that will impact their future;
  • build an international community of young professionals.

Work with us

The conference is aimed to take place in the first half of 2017.* If you would be interested in working with us to design the concept or partner with us so we can connect with young professionals with relevant experience, we would love to hear from you! Please tell us a bit about yourself below and we will be in touch. To discover other YEL conferences such as the such as the Young European Council, or to learn more about YEL’s global delegations programme, please visit

Key Themes will include: Leadership and Management, The Future of Digital, and Sustainability

Topic 1: Leadership and Management – back to top


The new generation of young leaders is willing to embrace more collaborative, less hierarchical ways of working. They are also demand that the organizations they work for have a mission that goes beyond a simple profit motive, but rather encompass broader environmental and social goals. Key questions include:

  • How to build and lead an effective team?
  • How to foster team creativity to deal with unfamiliar problems?
  • How can technology make firms more innovative?
  • Can large enterprises achieve the agility of a start-up? Do established decision making processes and mindsets hinder business innovation?
  • How can you build networks you need for you, your team and your organization to succeed?

Learn more

Topic 2: The Future of Digital – back to top

Digital Single Market

digital1According to the European Parliament, the digital economy has the potential to create EUR 340bn of growth. The European Commission Digital Scoreboard estimates that 315m Europeans use the Internet every day, reflecting huge demand for internet services. Digital startup hubs across Europe are flourishing, and improvements in broadband internet speed make it easier to take work and leisure online.

There are countless opportunities for businesses to grow and bring better services to consumers – but there remain significant barriers. Under President Juncker, the European Commission has laid out its strategy committed to creating a true Digital Single Market. Key questions include:

  • Who are the leading digital innovators in Europe and who will they be tomorrow? How will digital products and services transform how we work and play?
  • How can the barriers facing digital businesses in Europe be overcome? How can competition in digital be fostered? What’s the right approach to ensuring adequate data protection? How far should business be liable for use of their online platforms?

Internet of Things & the Cloud

digital2For almost two decades, the internet has redefined Business to Consumer (B2C) sectors such as retail, financial services, and media. The coming decade will bring radical transformation to the B2B domain in the form of the Internet of Things (IoT), thanks largely to radical decreases in the cost of capturing, storing and processing data.

From energy and healthcare to manufacturing, agriculture and transportation, sensors and cloud technologies will make machines reactive, proactive, and collaborative. The applications of the IoT are vast, encompassing predictive maintenance in factories, better traffic control and resource management in cities, monitoring and managing wellness, smarter customer relationship management in retail, self-driving vehicles and more.

Cloud computing – essentially storing, processing and using data over remotely located computers via the internet – drives the IoT, and also spurs the creation of new services in its own right. With access to the Cloud, businesses can command almost unlimited computing power on demand and do not have to make major capital investments in their own internal IT infrastructure.

Recognizing the importance of the cloud for the EU, the European Commission has committed to driving investment in infrastructures to foster cloud-based industries as part of its European Cloud Initiative. Key questions include:

  • What can the IoT bring businesses, governments, consumers, and consumers? What is driving the growth of cloud computing and the IoT?
  • Which businesses will be best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities? What skills and technologies must they develop to generate actionable insights from their data?
  • How must businesses and government collaborate to ensure interoperability of the IoT systems? How can data security risks be tackled? What other challenges must be overcome to realize the potential of these technologies?

Learn more

Digital Single Market

Internet of Things

Cloud Computing

Topic 3: Sustainability: Energy, Eco-innovation, and Sustainable Development Goals – back to top

sustainabilityThe success of the UNFCC COP21 Paris climate conference in December 2015 as a gathering of 197 nations committed to the fight against climate change, has both highlighted the urgency of the task and illustrated an apparent global political commitment to act.

With low fossil fuel energy prices, ensuring a more sustainable world requires substantial investments, support to research and innovation as well as a shift in consumption patterns. A consistent and efficient cooperation between policymakers and businesses is more than ever a priority in the fight against climate change, with consumers lying at the core of the energy transition towards a low-carbon and sustainable economy.

With tough economic conditions and limited financing options, creating opportunities for sustainable business can be challenging. At the summit, we will be looking at:

  • What does the 2030 climate and energy framework mean for Europe’s contribution to the fight against climate change? How can energy efficiency be reconciled with security and affordability goals?
  • What are emerging trends in cleantech? What are the challenges and opportunities for clean technology entrepreneurs and investors?
  • How can businesses foster sustainable production and consumption?
  • What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what do they mean for business and policymakers?

Learn more


2030 Climate and energy framework

Sustainability and businesses

Sustainable production and consumption

Picture Credit:
Leadership and Management: Alexandre Modesto. Creative Commons License.
The Future of Digital: Yan Feng. Creative Commons License. Chris Potter. Creative Commons License.
Sustainability: Virens. Creative Commons License.

An earlier envisioned date was June 2016. The schedule was altered to allow for a more intensified collaboration with partners as well as to ensure the summit brings together participants with the diverse perspectives that will make it a truly unique event. Our sincerest thanks to everyone for the considerable immediate initial interest in the conference. Back to top.