On May 9th, Nova SBE celebrated Europe’s Day with the opening ceremony of its first Carcavelos’ auditorium. This session featured a debate between the European Commissary for Science & Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and the European MP Marisa Matias - moderated by the President of the Cascais’ Municipality, Carlos Carreiras.
During the conference, there was a Q&A in which high school students asked questions regarding several important topics. After this conference, we, André Lourenço, Guilherme Martins, Caetano Xavier (all from Nova Economics Club) and Gonçalo Gomes (from Nova Skills Association), had room to interview Carlos Moedas about the 4th Industrial Revolution, what are the consequences on employment, and what is Carlos Moedas’ legacy in the European Union.
According to Carlos Moedas, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and new fundamental research will play major roles in the 4th Industrial Revolution, so the European Union wants to invest in this area not only because it is crucial in the development of countries, but also because the EU wants to dominate these cutting-edge technologies - “Europe can be ahead of the game if we invest heavily, so we are going to advance at least twenty billion euros in digital solutions, AI, and Blockchain, and we will invest as much as we can in the next research program from 2021 to 2027.”- referring to the EU budget allocation of 100 billion euros to research and innovation from 2021 to 2027.
Even though, generally, society recognizes the benefits of developing these brand new technologies, some are afraid of the possible consequences, such as unemployment. Regarding this topic, the European Commissioner is not sure about the net effect on employment, but he is certain that “there will be jobs that will cease to exist because, naturally, every technological revolution extinguishes jobs, but other jobs will be created. It is time to invest in education and training regarding the creation of these new jobs. Machines can replace certain tasks, but they can’t replace you, especially in Economics where you need to have emotions”. Moreover, he quoted Nobel Prize winner, Richard Thaler, to emphasize his point of view - “I have put the man and the human back into Economics”.
On a different note, Carlos Moedas recently claimed that Europe is losing connection to people, due to the fact that science is so complex that people often find difficult to understand it. Regarding this topic, European Commissioner believes that Blockchain can have a great impact in reconnecting people with the EU, since “Blockchain it’s a protocol of trust, and democracy is all about trust”. In addition, he states that “technologies like Blockchain will be very helpful for the future because you can basically eliminate intermediaries, resulting in close relationships”.
With his 5-year term coming to an end, Carlos Moedas’ fingerprint in Europe will consist in the increase of investment by 50 % in innovation and research, so it will be the first time Europe will invest in 27 countries, and also in the creation of a European Innovation Council.
A special thank you to European Commissioner, Carlos Moedas, Nova SBE, Nova Economics Club, and Nova Skills Association.
André Lourenço, Nova Economics Club
Caetano Xavier, Nova Economics Club
Gonçalo Gomes, Nova Skills Association
Guilherme Martins, Nova Economics Club