Virtual/Hybrid platform



Agenda in PDF

Guideline for Online Participation


9:00-10:00 - High level statements

26.10.20209:00-9:15VIRTUAL NETWORKING
9:15 -10:00Building on the experience of the high-level regional dialogue on digital transformation, the third Western Balkans Digital Summit takes place in the framework of the Berlin Process and the Multi-Annual Action Plan on Regional Economic Area (MAP-REA) for the Western Balkans.
Recognizing the tough times through which our economies are going due to the pandemic and the global economic shock due to it, the Summit aims at showcasing good practices in the region, highlighting the achievements and outcomes of the Digital Agenda, and exploring possibilities of building partnerships with the private sector, in order to jointly present more opportunities and assistance to our peoples by using the opportunities of digital transformation.
The virtual opening ceremony will officially mark the beginning of the Western Balkans Digital Summit 2020. The ceremony will begin with high level opening statements from the host, co-organizers, partners and high level representatives of international organizations and industry.
Ms. Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General RCC (moderator)
Mr. Roberto Viola, European Commission, General Director of DG Connect,
Mr. Wolfgang Kopf, Member of the Executive Committee of German Eastern Business Association
Mr. Robert Opp, UNDP's Chief Digital Officer
Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU
Ms. Claudia Dörr-Voß, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany
Ms. Belinda Balluku, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Host

10:00-10:15Virtual Networking
10:15-11:15Session 1: Digital Connectivity for Digital Transformation in WB6 the impact of Covid-19

Digital connectivity is crucial for all other digital integration developments, and it impacts all sectors of the economy. This panel will discuss the current technological developments and the plans, chances, and challenges from different perspectives. This panel will also discuss the importance of resilient digital infrastructures for fighting the digital divide and companies' experience during Covid-19.
Moderator: Mr. David Ringrose, Head of International Affairs, DG CONNECT
Ms. Nives Sandri, Mr. Sc EE., Managing Director, Nokia Affiliates in Croatia and North Macedonia, Zagreb, Supplier of Network Components
Mr. Achilleas Kanaris, CEO Vodafone Albania
Mr. Nikola Ljushev, CEO Makedonski Telekom
Dr. Ulrich Nitchke – Member of the Manging Board at atene KOM
Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU
Mr. Etjen Xhafaj, Deputy Minister Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania
11:15-11:30Coffee break/Virtual networking
11:30-12:30Session 2: Digital Connectivity-Key measures for the countries to attract investment
The representatives of international financial institutions, EC, governments, and industry, will discuss the essential measures to attract investment for WB6 in building the digital infrastructure for the future. As demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, digital connectivity was a vital necessity for citizens and businesses. Also, of the main topics discussed during the first session on digital connectivity, further attention will be on the urge for digital investments and investment funds. How to enable fast track investment and funding to support the quick deployment of digital infrastructure and guarantee stable and predictable framework conditions to ensure infrastructure investments will be part of the discussions in this session.

Moderator: Mr. Mark Vasic, Deutsche Telekom
Ms. Natalija Gelvanovska, World Bank Digital Balkan Highway
Ms. Ersida Docaj, EBRD Senior Banker | Banking - Information & Communication Technologies
Mr. Denis Benoit, European Investment Bank (EIB) Senior Economist at the Projects Directorate
Dr. Peter Veil, Vice President Strategic Finance Europe, Deutsche Telekom
Ms. Fiolla Restelica, Presantation Kode Project
Mr. Omer Kuyucu, ALBtelecom Commercial Officer, Albania
12:30:13:30Lunch break
13:30-14:30Session 1: Policies for Digital Skills in the 21-st century - Panel Discussion

The need to possess digital skills, from basic to advanced, has proliferated further due to rapid digitalization and spread of new technologies. A holistic approach in addressing upskilling through multi-faceted regional interventions, including policy formulation and preparation of long-term strategic framework(s), formalisation of long-term strategic alliances among policy makers, private sector, academia and international partners, introduction of tailor made actions and interventions based on market needs, regional initiatives to enable digital skill upscaling at large should be formalized. Adoption of digital skill strategies in line with EU model is necessity for our entire region. It is important to bring out the need to review and increase the investment in the digital skills of WB6 citizens, and most importantly youth, with focus on increasing their opportunities transform their ideas into innovative business projects.

Moderator: Ms. Dajna Sorensen, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Albania
Mrs. Mila Carovska, Minister, Ministry of Science and Education North Macedonia;
Ms. Tatjana MATIC, State Secretary Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Serbia
Mrs. Arijana Vučinić, Director General of the Directorate for Preschool, Primary and Inclusive Education, Montenegro
Mr. Emir Žunić BiH, Representative of Private Sector, IT company: Info Studio
Ms. Alborita Mehana, Project Coordinator at MASTER WiZR
Mr. Jason Ivory, Deputy Head of Mission, MBE
Mr. Rok KVATERNIK, CEO Ernst Klett Publishers, Region Eastern Europe & Baltics
Ms. Albana Shkurta, Managing Director for the branch of Lufthansa Industry Solutions, Albania
14:30-15:00Coffee break/Virtual networking
15:00-16:00Session: Woman STEM shifters in Western Balkans
The panel of Women in STEM aims to put prominent scientist, business leaders and public figures in the spotlight to showcase that the challenges women face could be solved when the full potential of human capital is harnessed. By increasing the number of visible role models in the public sphere, we want to advocate and promote wider social recognition for women STEM, thus inspire more women to get into STEM careers and take leadership roles.
The panel will build around the most recent study on the gender disparity in STEM in the Western Balkans, commissioned by the RCC, which identifies national policies related to the disparity in STEM at the level of each Western Balkan economy and at the regional level as well as it provides an overview of existing mechanisms and initiatives that serve as an inspiration for devising regional actions in this area. The study will serve as a foundation for the initiation of STEM-related agenda in the Western Balkans and offers a common ground for relevant stakeholders, including national authorities, academia, civil society organisations, to come together and discuss the most imminent actions for the region based on the situation on the ground.

Moderators: RCC Secretary General, Majlinda Bregu and Ms. Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro
Key Note speaker: Ms. Nina Angelovska,
Ms. Arta Shehu Zaimi, co-Founder of jCoders Academy and Labbox, Kosovo*
Ms. Vesna Crnojevic Bengin, cofounder BioSense Institute, Serbia
Ms. Maja Hadziselimovic, Robotics & Research engineer, supports the UN IT Girls Initiative and leads the Robotics Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
Ms. Anila Paparisto, Prof. Dr. Biologist and Professor of Invertebrate Zoology, University of Tirana
16:00:16:30Closing of the first day
9:30-10:00Impulse Speech 1, 15 minutes Mr. Muhamet Brajshori, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Kosovo*
Impulse Speech 2, 15 minutes Dr. Kai Martius, Secunet
10:00-11:00Session 1: Role of Governments in Digital Transformation –Panel
Governments are massively challenged by digitization. Not only do they have to modernize their work mode and the way of interacting with citizens – they are also challenged by “BigTech” influencing the economic environment, business activities and the way of life. In a sustainable networked economy, resilience is key in order to maintain governments’ capabilities – which means that cybersecurity has a central role to secure our networked society. Our panelists will discuss their strategic approaches to cybersecurity – in their role as governments, administrative bodies and as a partner for industry and societal stakeholders alike.

Moderator: Mr. Fabian Bahr
Mr. Jeton Shaqiri, Minister for Information Society and Administration (NMK)
Mr. Dušan Polović, Director General, Directorate for Electronic Government and Information Security at the Ministry of Public (Montenegro)
Mrs. Mirlinda Karcanaj, General Director, National Agency on Information Society, Albania
Mr. Mihailo Jovanovic, Director Office for IT and eGovernment, Prime Minister office, Serbia.
Ms. Ivana Šarić, Head of department General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
11:00-11:30Coffee break/Virtual networking
11:30-12:30Session 2: How to secure security in an insecure environment Panel Discussion

In order to fulfil the session’s aim “secure security in an insecure environment”, different speakers with wide experiences are carefully selected having in focus :
- The most important critical infrastructure information sector- ENERGY
- Cybersecurity Industry, challenges to be faced, how it support public sector to protect information etc.

Moderator: Vilma Tomco General Director of National Authority on Electronic Certification and Cyber Security, Albania
Mr. Simon Uzunov, Energy Community, Deputy Head of Unit
Mr. Dritan Gucaj, Security Department Manager, OTP Bank
Mr. Timo, Bakker, Director Public Safety & Defense segment Solution Management – Europe, NOKIA
Mr. Ivan Stankovic, Head of IT Infrastructure and IT/NT Security, CRNOGORSKI TELEKOM A.D.
Mr. Elvin Guri, main shareholder of One Telecommunication sh.a.
12:30-13:30Lunch break
13:30-14:30Session 1: Digital Economy/ Data Economy and Platforms/ Panel Discussion: Building a Regional Digital Economy at the interplay of governments & businesses

This panel shall discuss the challenges of building a regional Digital Economy and successfully adopting data-driven business models and use cases to drive the region’s path towards the digital era. Against this background, the panel shall address the role of governments and businesses to ensure a Digital Economy that benefits consumers and creates economic prosperity in the region. Which political initiatives need to be tackled jointly and unilaterally by the local governments? What are the relevant regional and local obstacles? How can governments stimulate innovation in the region and where does the private sector come in? The panel will present best practice policies and regulations from Serbia and North Macedonia. The importance of the private sector for the development and progress of the digital economy in the region and new digital business models will be closely examined. Inputs will be also provided by the Chambers Investment Forum, the voice of the Western Balkan`s business community with strategies to influence policy-making.

Moderator Mr. Dragan Jovanović, Deutsche Telekom
Ms. Odeta Barbullushi, National Coordinator MAP-REA
Ms. Natalia Panina, PS&HC General Manager, Middle & Eastern Europe (SAP)
Mr. Mihailo Jovanovic, Director - Office for IT and eGovernment, Prime Minister office, Serbia
Mr. Vasko Kronevski, CEO Nextsense North Macedonia
Mr. Safet Gërxhaliu, Chamber investment forum wb6, Kosovo*
Ms. Dina Tsybulskaya, CEO Crnogorski Telekom, Montenegro
14:30-14:45Coffee break/ Virtual Networking
14:45-15:30Session 2: Digital Transformation for the Public Sector and Innovative Practice (RESPA)

COVID-19 has strengthened digital transformation in public service delivery at the global scale. It has become clear the world needs to be using technology and digital tools to solve the large number of challenges we're facing. ReSPA, UNDP and NALAS have taken an active role in identifying the needs of their stakeholders in the situation of pandemic, produced different reports, organized several important online events and provided valuable and practical recommendations for the follow up.
Lightning talks, where the session moderator will curate speakers that will use storytelling to present their inspiration cases and share models and solutions for challenges identified. It will be used to brainstorm ways to tackle these challenges and explore concrete experiences and transferable best practices and solutions for transforming the Public Administration into more adaptable, resilient, open and connected at the local, national, regional and international level.

Moderated by: Mr. Goran Pastrovic, ReSPA Programme Manager and Ms. Lejla Sadiku, Programme Specialist, Innovation, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia
Mr. Vladimir Vulic, Multisectoral analysis of the WB administrations in the situation of COVID-19, ReSPA Senior eGovernment expert and Co-funder of Digitalizuj.ME;
Ms. Nadica Dujovic, ReSPA Senior Expert in Communications, Role of Crisis Communications in the pandemic situation;
Mrs. Mirlinda Karcanaj, General Director, National Agency on Information Society, Albania
Mr. Denis Turkanovic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society of the entity of Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Mr. Slobodan Markovic, Digital Transformation Expert, UNDP Accelerator Lab in Serbia.UNDP;
Mr. Kemal Bajramovic, Head of Experimentation at UNDP Accelerator Lab in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Mr. Darko Mrvaljevic, Regional EU expert NALAS, SEE Local Governments in Post COVID-19 Socio-Economic Recovery - NALAS survey
15:30 -15:45Coffee break/Virtual networking
15:45-16:30Session 3: Digital Economy: “E-commerce in COVID-19 times: How can a regional e-commerce market help?” Session 3: Digital Economy: “E-commerce in COVID-19 times: How can a regional e-commerce market help?”

E-Commerce has the potential to boost regional trade and significantly contribute to growth, job creation and strengthening of economic competitiveness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a boost of e-commerce activities worldwide and also in the wester Balkan region could be observed, the growth of private individual e-commerce transactions in North Macedonia increased by 99% as compared to March 2019. The participants will present and confront the views of the business sector, development institutions and policy makers. In particular, they will discuss need for action and ongoing initiatives from the private and the public sector in the region with regards to regulation and self-regulation.

Moderator: Mr. Zdravko Ilić, CEFTA Secretariat
Mr. Dritani Mezini, CEO &founder, key note speaker
Mr. Christoph Ungerer, World Bank Washington
Ms. Zorana Milidrag, president of the e-commerce association Serbia
Mr. Milan Dobrijević, Serbian Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications
Ms. Pranvera Kastrati, RCC
Ms. Tanja Ilijevska, Head of Policies and Financial Instruments Development, Fund for Innovation and Technology Development North Macedonia;
Ms. Linda Shomo, CEO Easypay, AL
16:30:17:00Closing of the second day
28.10.20209:45-10:00Virtual networking
10:00-10:20The 21st Century Schools programme, financed by the UK and implemented by the British Council across Western Balkans.
Project goals and results will be presented and discussed by children, teachers, and trainers of the programme.
- Short 5 minute video that will feature:
- the winning team from last WB Digital Summit and their visit to London, impact of programme and digital skills on them; ongoing delivery using footage from Albanian Minister of Education Youth and Sport.
British Council moderated Q&A with trainers / teachers from the programme.

Host, RCC, moderators of online sessions.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence