EFNI / Speeches by special guests: Sustainable Development as a Priority

The speeches by special guests were devoted to the most important global megatrends and their impact on business, culture and society, a working Europe, sustainable development and low-carbon policy, in the context of challenges and opportunities for businesses.

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission, said that artificial intelligence will have a huge impact on our future. New technologies are already changing products and services. Artificial intelligence will create many new jobs, but will also lead to the collapse of many professions. Some industries, e.g. ICT, have digitization inscribed in their DNA, while others, such as the construction industry, attach less importance to new technologies. Small companies lag behind the digitization leaders. The European Commission wants to support sustainable development in the area of artificial intelligence because it will shape societies. It is important for citizens to be able to adapt to change. Otherwise, they will not foster change. Education should be one of the EU's priorities and must come to our aid. ‘In my country, Finland, for example, it was decided that every child should start learning their first foreign language at the age of 6 or 7,’ said the EFNI guest.

Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), stressed that change arouses fears. Meanwhile, we lack positive economic projects. We are not all that brave when it comes to sustainability. We used to be a leader in this matter. We have an opportunity to boost prosperity in Europe, but this must be one of our most important tasks. We must not forget social issues, that is combating inequalities and ensuring the social security of citizens. Europe should be a leader in carrying out several transformations, such as technological, climate or social transformations.

Jan Dusik, Acting Director of UNEP, Europe Office, said that governments cannot stand in the way of modernising their economies. If there is a willingness to cooperate on their part, and there are positive signals, even difficult issues concerning environmental protection or climate protection can be solved successfully. In order to invest in new technologies, businesses need stable rules and predictable legislation. He also stressed that sustainable development should be a priority for the EU.

The EEA and Norway Grants 2014–2021 were the institutional partner of the event.


The European Forum for New Ideas is one of the largest conferences in Central and Eastern Europe, dedicated to global trends, new ideas and the future of Europe. Business leaders, policy-makers, politicians as well as authorities representing the world of science, culture and media discuss the most important challenges for business and societies in a changing world, global trends and the future shape of the European Union during dozens of events, panel discussions, open meetings, counterpoints or night owl discussions. Every year, the Forum gathers over a thousand attendees – representatives of the world of business and administration, Polish and European alike, and representatives of NGOs. It has been organized since 2011 by the Polish Confederation Lewiatan in cooperation with BusinessEurope, the city of Sopot, and Polish and foreign companies and organizations. The Forum is aimed at creating ideas for a strong Europe and a competitive economy, a Europe open to trends of social growth and technology. This year’s EFNI is held on 26-28 September in Sopot, and its central theme is: ‘NEW GLOBAL ORDER OR NEW GLOBAL MESS? The World Upgraded: Vision and Responsibility.’

More information: www.efni.pl  



Organizer                                             Polish Confederation Lewiatan

Co-organizers                                      BusinessEurope, Sopot

Honorary Patronage                          European Parliament

Institutional Partners                       Employers’ Group European Economic and Social Committee, European Commission – Representation in Poland, the EEA and Norway Grants 2014–2021

Strategic Partners                             Citi Handlowy, FCA

Main Partners                                      Adecco, Pomerania Development Agency, IKEA, Metlife, Orange, Polish Business Roundtable, The Council of Family Businesses of the Polish Confederation LEWIATAN, TESCO, Pomeranian Voivodship, Polish Automotive Employers’ Association

Supporting Partners                          ACCA, Dr Irena Eris, Ergis, Google, Polish Trade Organization (POHiD),  Polish Economic Institute, Siemens, Synergic, University of ‎‎‎Łódź, Manufacturing Employers’ Association

Knowledge Partners                          Centre for International Relations, European Policy Centre, Responsible Business Forum, Digital University Foundation, Foundation for Polish Science, Global Compact Poland,  In.Europa, Polityka Insight, Polish Space Agency, Respublica, THINKTANK, UNEP/GRID-Warsaw

Strategic Media Partners                 TVN24, Rzeczpospolita, Wirtualna Polska

Main Media Partners                         Euractiv, Forbes, Gazeta Wyborcza, TOK FM

Supporting Media Partners              AMS, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Liberte!, MyCompany, Parkiet, Puls Biznesu, Radio Gdańsk, Space24, trójmiasto.pl, Warsaw Business Journal, Wysokie Obcasy

Logistic and Technology Partners

                                                                Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport, Orange, DELL EMC

Executive Producer                            IDFX


For additional information please contact:
Zbigniew Maciąg
phone: +48 604 589 080

Milena Malinowska


phone: +48 512 825 988