Nicole Dewandre

Policy Coordinator Foresight at European Commission

Policy Coordinator Foresight in the cabinet of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, European Commission
Policy Fellow Alum, Centre for Science and Policy

Nicole Dewandre is currently Policy Coordinator Foresight in the cabinet of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. Formerly she held the role of Advisor for Societal Issues for the Digital Single Market Strategy at the European Commission. Previously she was Advisor to the Director-General of the Information Society and Media Directorate General at the European Commission, in charge of the development and coordination of the societal interface of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) - the Commission's strategy to deliver social and economic benefits through ICT.

The overall aim of the Digital Agenda is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a digital single market based on fast and ultra-fast internet and interoperable applications. It is one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, defining the key enabling role that the use of ICT will play if Europe is to achieve its ambitions for 2020. The Agenda charts a course to maximise the social and economic potential of ICT, most notably the internet, for doing business, working, playing, communicating and expressing ourselves freely. Successful delivery of the Agenda will spur innovation, economic growth and improvements in daily life for both citizens and businesses. Wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies will thus enable Europe to address its key challenges and will provide Europeans with a better quality of life through, for example, better healthcare, safer and more efficient transport solutions, cleaner environment, new media opportunities and easier access to public services and cultural content.

Earlier in her career, Ms Dewandre worked in DG Research, including roles as Head of the Sustainable Development Unit in the Environmental Research Directorate; Head of the Scientific Advice and Expertise Unit in the Science and Society Directorate; and Head of the Women and Science Unit. She holds an MA in Philosophy from the Université Libre de Bruxelles as well as degrees in Operational Research (University of California, Berkeley) and in Economics and Civil Engineering in Applied Physics (Université Catholique de Louvain).

In her role of Advisor for Societal Issues for the Digital Single Market Strategy, Ms Dewandre was involved not only in practical interactive policy making, but also in research and discussion with expert advisors. Key themes of her work included science and society; the involvement of civil society in the planning of research; emerging technologies, particularly the future internet; and open access to data. She regards the Policy Fellowship as an opportunity to experience concretely a specific relationship with the academic environment, with a view to proposing a representation of the science-policy relationship beyond "the simplistic and mechanical representation" that, as she observes, "often prevails both in the academic and in the policy circles."

To read about Nicole's experience as a Policy Fellow at Cambridge, please click here.