We have successfully concluded the 2nd Southeast Europe Smart Society Conference, the common theme of which was a comprehensive approach to the development of a smart society. At the conference, we discussed the creation of conditions for the digital economy, positioning within European development projects and funding opportunities.
Given the epidemiological situation, the conference was held online this time and attracted around 170 participants. It hosted renowned international, regional and local speakers who discussed the business and technological aspects of smart community development.
In their welcome address, Andrej Kotar, a representative of Endava and Chairman of the SRIP SCC Program Council, and Peter Geršak, State Secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration, greeted the participants and speakers and encouraged stakeholders to accelerate the development of smart cities.
During the European track, Eddy Hartog, Head of Unit, European Commission, spoke about the reasons why the European Commission thinks the living-in.eu movement reflects the purpose of the conference and what it can bring to the Southeast of Europe. He highlighted the funding opportunities for EU cities and communities.
International and regional views on smart communities were contributed by Ulrich Ahle, CEO, Fiware, Yasunori Mochizuki, NEC Fellow from Japan, and Dragos Preda, State Secretary at the Ministry of Communication and Information Society Romania, who presented the experience and outlook for Romania, the conference country partner.
The Slovenian track highlighted Slovenia’s activities related to smart communities. The keywords on this track were Interoperability, harmonization, local communities, unification and cooperation.
Jurij Dolžan from the Ministry of Public Administration and Gaber Terseglav, a representative of the Slovenian Digital Coalition, spoke about real-life agreements and activities in the field of data and service interoperability, while Tine Radinja, Mayor of Škofja Loka and Chairman of Commission for Digital Transformation, discussed the challenges faced by local communities as they transform into smart societies. Sabina Popit, Senior consultant at Municipality of Ljubljana, and Matjaž Pušnik, Director Management consulting at KPMG, presented the Intelligent Cities Challenge European initiative and emphasized that Slovenian stakeholders are also active at the European level when it comes to smart communities. In his talk Interoperable data makes city smart, Boris Koprivnikar, Municipality of Ljubljana, highlighted the importance of cooperation at all levels to share communities, infrastructure, processes and data. Matej Kalan, Digital Strategist for Tourism Kranjska Gora, concluded the Slovenian track with a presentation of good practices in Kranjska Gora and highlighted the past and planned digital efforts of the local community.
The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion led by Martin Brynskov, Chair, Open & Agile Smart Cities. The panel consisted of Boris Koprivnikar, Municipality of Ljubljana; Tine Radinja, Mayor, Škofja Loka Municipality; Katja Mohar Bastar, Director, Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia; Andrej Prevec, Head of Smart Infrastructure at Telekom Slovenije; and Nasiha Pozder, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The main message of the conference is the idea of unification and the capacity of stakeholders to work together in a coordinated and effective way to develop smart communities and achieve tactical, operational and strategic objectives. There will be no digital transformation of smart cities and societies without partnerships across all levels - from governments to local communities and providers of digital solutions and services.
We participated as the Gold sponsor and support the efforts of stakeholders to develop and create smart cities and communities.