This event was one of a series being run across Europe during 2014 by the European Commission. The aim is to promote the skills needed to drive innovation in the European economy and to encourage business executives to become “e-Leaders”.
Despite high unemployment levels, there is a Europe-wide shortage of people with high-level skills in ICT. The shortfall is particularly acute in Management, Business Architecture and Analysis skills and is likely to become worse over the period up to 2020. The situation is illustrated in this graph from the European Commission’s Report "e-Skills for Jobs in Europe”  :
A shortage of people with the right skills acts as a brake on “organic” growth as companies recover from the economic crisis of 2008. More important, however, is the effect of a shortage of executives with the right ICT background to inform strategic decision-making for “transformative” growth. As a result, companies are in danger of missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of technology to transform their business models.
At board level, their technical background means that CIOs are increasingly being called upon to take a leadership role in transformation . The European Commission has teamed up with EuroCIO, the European CIO Association, to address the skills gap by devising curriculum guidelines for executive education programmes. To date, curriculum profiles have been approved for three of the key skill areas :
The aim of the new initiative is to ensure that executives are equipped to create new business models based on the disruptive potential of emerging technologies: to develop “next practice”, rather than simply adopt “best practice ”. It is not only large corporations that need to do this. It is also vital for SMEs to stay ahead of the technology curve and particularly important from a wider economic perspective, because SMEs account for the majority of jobs in Europe.
The European Commission’s active support for the e-Leadership agenda recognises that having “digital transformation” skills at executive level is of strategic importance for the European economy.
The UK Regional e-Leadership event on June 3 at Henley Business School attracted over 100 delegates from industry, government and education. Corresponding regional events are still to be held in Milan, Munich, Antwerp, Budapest, Aarhus and Paris. The next event will take place at the Politecnico di Milano on 25 June 2014 
 Agenda for “Developing e-Leadership”, Regional Cluster Event No. 2, Henley Business School, 3 June 2014
 European Commission’s Report "e-Skills for Jobs in Europe”, February 2014:
 “Digital disruption will fundamentally change CIO role”
 New Curricula for e-Leadership: Delivering Skills for an Innovative and Competitive Europe, European Commission
 Regional e-Leadership Events Schedule and Registration page