CES 2020 ‘Disruption Dinner’: French and Dutch leaders discuss how to make disruption work

CES 2020 ‘Disruption Dinner’: French and Dutch leaders discuss how to make disruption work
SparkOptimus Team
Written by
Vivian Schobben
The SparkOptimus Blog Team
January 7, 2020

At CES 2020 Las Vegas, we gathered 24 great international minds from corporates, government, research and the startup and investment community to discuss  what disruption means to them and what or who they need to make it work.

Alexandra Jankovich (co-founder and managing partner of SparkOptimus) moderated the discussion, hosted by André Haspels (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the USA) on the basis of our ‘10 recommendations to make disruption work in the next decade’, launched last October at CES Unveiled Amsterdam.

  • To Mona Keijzer (State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands) disruption means new technologies and new products to help solve societal challenges. In that sense she sees disruption as a good thing, but acknowledges that “for some people disruption is a scary thing, because it is associated with job loss and insecurity. Government and employers have to keep making clear that – as a result of digitization and robotization – some jobs will disappear, but new jobs will appear too. We need to support employees to enter the new era.
  • Agnès Pannier-Runacher (State Secretary for Economy and Finance of France) spoke about the challenge to transform the brick-and-mortar industry to industry 4.0. Europe needs to play a role. “The truth is that there is not yet a single market in Europe. Europe can be strong if we gather strength and are bold.”
  • His Royal Highness Constantijn van Oranje (TechLeap.nl Special Envoy) pointed at the challenge to retain our welfare state, while creating more space for innovation.
  • According to Hanneke Faber (President Foods & Refreshments Unilever) disruption at Unilever is not about technology, but about solving friction for consumers and planet.
  • Jeroen Tas (Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer Philips) stressed the need for interoperability and the need to invest in a trusted data infrastructure, and sees a clear role for the government in this. The purpose of Philips with disruption is creating better health for people.
  • John China (President of SVB Capital) sees of role for governments to help create a culture where entrepreneurs think globally from the start, as opposed to regionally.
  • To Laurens Groenendijk (Entrepreneur and founder of nano satellite startup Hiber) disruption means the potential to change the lives of literally everyone on our planet by the ability to connect anything, anywhere and share data.

The ‘Disruption Dinner’ served as a prelude to our CES 2020 ‘Women In Tech Power Break: Make disruption work in the next decade’ that took place on the day after. Read our blog here about the energetic and insightful panel discussion that our managing partner Alexandra Jankovich moderated, with Bridget Karlin (Chief Technology Officer IBM), Sandy Carter (Vice President Amazon Web Services), Corinne Vigreux (Co-founder TomTom & Founder CODAM), Kat Borlongan (Director La French Tech) and Charlotte Kjellander (Research Manager, Holst Centre/TNO).

CES 2020 is the world’s largest tech show with 175,000 industry professionals, from over 160 countries. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years. The Netherlands was at CES with 70 exhibitors varying from young startups to corporates like Philips, TomTom and NXP.

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