Robert Madelin

Robert Madelin stepped down from public service in September, as one of the longer-serving British officials at the top level in the European Commission. As Senior Adviser to President Juncker, Robert published in July a report entitled  'Opportunity Now: Europe's mission to innovate'.

English-born with Welsh roots, Robert studied at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Magdalen College, Oxford and the French Ecole Nationale d'Administration. 
Robert joined the British Civil Service from University and served in the European Commission from 1993, the last 12 years in senior management. Robert has been involved in launching and concluding the Uruguay Round of trade talks, creating today's World Trade Organisation. He has been active in improving Asia-Europe relations.  He has negotiated for Britain and for Europe in trade, investment and services. He has managed European Union policy and regulation for agri-food, health and life sciences and for research, digital technologies, media and Internet.  

Robert is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and a Visiting Research Fellow on the Cyber Studies Programme of the University of Oxford. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Behavioural Sciences and its initiative on the Future of Health and Healthcare. 

For the first time in history, a major industrial change is taking place in parallel with a global push towards a shared vision of the future. The 4th industrial revolution can be harnessed to address global development goals How can Europe make the most of the technology changes that are afoot? I would share some of the views of Professor Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum: these are, potentially, the best and worst of times. We have lots of technology but we are not having the conversations with the public about how innovations might affect our lives. There is not enough attention to the potential risks nor to the many positives that technologies can bring. Past industrial revolutions spurred growth but had environmental and other downsides. How can this revolution be better managed? One of the reasons we are lucky to be embarking on this work now is that we know what we want the 4 th industrial revolution to be for . Last year, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed. The SDGs ask every country in the world to play their part to reduce poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This is an unprecedented global consensus for what we want our future to look like. The first thing to do when someone says they have a new industrial or technological revolution for you is to ask them to explain how it will help the SDGs. Does this require a new way for countries and companies to think about their own priorities? Yes, responsible research is a requirement now and we’re seeing it from top companies like Dow, which has mapped their innovative activities against the SDGs. Not everyone is at the same level but growing numbers of corporate actors are producing very clear maps...