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About the European
Future Forum

The first edition of the European Future Forum (EFP) will be held on October 6-8, 2021 at the Silesian Stadium and will be concentrated on the most important civilization, social and economic challenges of the today’s modern world. The organizer of the event, which aspires to be the most important event of this type in this part of Europe, is the Silesian Development Fund. The event will take place in a hybrid formula – stationary at the Stadium in compliance with the epidemic safety standards and with the possibility of remote participation.

Before us is a decade of extremely dynamic changes that will affect almost every sphere of our lives. Our ambition is to create a platform for regular, cyclical dialogue with the participation of eminent personalities from the world of politics, economy and science on topics of significant importance for Europe, Poland and, of course, the Silesian Voivodeship.

Current experiences, such as a global pandemic, economic lockdown or remote work have led to the need to draw conclusions and prepare for the coming future. The current situation is an excellent opportunity to revise views and a new perspective on the most important aspects of the functioning of European economies, also in relation to Community.

Energy transformation that will affect the labor market or new digital technologies that will change almost all sectors of the economy – these are just a few topics that will be included in the event agenda – announces Marcin Wilk, president of the Silesian Development Fund.

The first edition of the European Future Forum will focus on the following topics:

  • Smart Europe – digitalization, innovation, business and science synergy;
  • An environmentally friendly Europe – a zero-emission, moving towards a circular economy, respecting natural resources Europe;
  • Europe with a strong social dimension – education, social aspects, changing labor market, challenges of the “silver economy”
  • Europe closer to the citizen – smart cities, citizen involvement, friendly administration, NGO’s and their role in shaping the future of Europe.

An important part of the European Future Forum will be a special session dedicated 25th anniversary of economic zones in Poland. The Special Economic Zones (SEZ), which have been operating in Poland for over twenty years, have turned out to be one of the most effective tools for attracting capital, creating new jobs and modernizing the Polish economy. That is why the second day of EFP will be dedicated to them. The debate will be complemented by cultural and sports events.


The Silesian Voivodeship is the most important industrial region of Poland, located in the southern part of the country. The region is adjacent to the following voivodeships: Opolskie, Łódzkie, Świętokrzyskie and Małopolskie, and to the south it borders the Czech and Slovak Republics. Within a radius of 600 km from the region’s capital, there are six European capitals: Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest and Berlin.

Over 4.5 million inhabitants live in the area constituting less than 4% of the territory of Poland, i.e. over 12% of the country’s population. 8.5 million people live within 100 km from Katowice, the capital of the region. The Silesian Voivodeship is one of the most urbanized areas in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the region with the highest proportion of urban population (approx. 77%), and also characterized by the highest population density in Poland (approx. 370 people / km²).

Silesia is polycentric – administration, universities, cultural institutions, larger companies are concentrated mainly in large cities of the agglomeration, such as: Katowice, Sosnowiec, Bytom, Gliwice, Zabrze, Tychy and Chorzów. The capitals of the subregions also play an important role: Rybnik, Bielsko-Biała and Częstochowa.

The Silesian Voivodeship is a pioneer in the Polish innovation system. The Regional Innovation Strategy of the Silesian Voivodeship was the first program of this type in the country dedicated to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The voivodeship’s regional smart specializations are: medicine, information and communication technologies, energy, green economy and emerging industries.

Undoubtedly, the strengths of the Silesian Voivodeship are business-related institutions, i.e. regional and local development agencies, chambers of commerce, chambers of industry, chambers of commerce, craft guilds, centers for entrepreneurship support, clusters and economic associations.

There are about 40 universities in the region, including universities, technical, economic and pedagogical schools. The voivodeship is one of the regions with the highest number of vocational and professional schools in Poland. There are over 450 schools of the vocational education system in Silesia, which teach in approx. 120 professions. The greatest concentration of these institutions is in cities with poviat status, because each of the 36 poviats of the voivodship has at least two such schools.

The Silesian Voivodeship has enormous research and development potential – it is the second largest center in Poland. It consists of scientific and research and development units, and universities conducting research. The activities of research and development institutions are primarily focused on environmental protection, energy, automation, electronics, construction and medicine. One of the areas in which Silesia stands out not only nationally, but also internationally, is medicine, in particular cardiosurgery and oncology. Hospitals that deal with these areas of medicine in the region are placed in the leading positions in national and international rankings.

The Silesian Voivodeship is one of the economically strongest regions in Poland, producing over 12% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which gives the voivodship the second place in the country. Almost 500,000 entities of the national economy operate in the region. The region generates the largest volume of foreign sales, the value of which is estimated at around 13% of domestic exports. The Silesian Voivodeship has numerous natural resources, including: hard coal, zinc and lead deposits, methane, natural gas, marl, limestone, natural aggregate deposits, as well as healing, thermal and mineral waters.

In 2017, the first metropolitan union in Poland was established in the Silesian Voivodeship under the name of the Metropolis GZM. It brings together 41 towns and municipalities in the central part of the region, inhabited by over 2 million inhabitants. About 240,000 companies and enterprises operate in the Metropolis, generating almost 8% of Poland’s GDP.

The voivodeship has a very well-developed cultural base, which consists of over 1,300 cultural institutions and facilities. For 19 of these institutions, the founding body is the Silesian Voivodeship such as theaters and opera. In the region there are also institutions run by the voivodeship together with other institutions and units, such as the Silesian Museum or the Song and Dance Ensemble “Silesia” im. Stanisław Hadyna in Koszęcin.

The region abounds in the most varied tourist attractions in the country. In the northern part of the region there is Krakow-Czestochowa Jurassic Highland, with beautiful medieval castles and excellent conditions for rock climbing. In the southern part of the voivodeship there is a range of Beskid Śląski and Żywiecki with ski resorts in Szczyrk, Ustroń, Wisła and Korbielów. The flagship tourist and cultural product of the Silesian Voivodeship is the Industrial Monuments Route, which is the only tourist route of this type in Central and Eastern Europe belonging to the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH).

The Silesian Voivodeship is the region with the greatest investment attractiveness in Poland. In this respect, it is also one of the leaders in Europe and in the world. This is determined by, among others enormous human potential, very good transport accessibility, very well-developed economic infrastructure and a high level of economic development. The region also has the best economic zone in Poland and one of the best in Europe – the Katowice Special Economic Zone.

The Silesian Voivodeship is one of the 36 European Regions of Entrepreneurship. In March 2021, the European Committee of the Regions awarded the region the title of “European Entrepreneurial Region 2021-2022”. According to the submitted application, the Silesian Voivodeship was recognized for the best strategy in supporting entrepreneurship.


The Silesian Development Fund is a specialized regional financial institution whose goal is to build in Silesia a sustainable long-term financing system for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and local government units in the region. In practice, the company’s task is to organize support programs for Silesian companies based on financial instruments, the purpose of which is to invest in knowledge and technologies. Their intention is to finance innovative and development projects implemented in the Silesian Voivodeship by existing companies or start-ups. As part of the task carried out by the Silesian Development Fund, Silesian entrepreneurs have at their disposal modern financial products belonging to the smart specializations of the voivodeship. The main product of SFR is capital entries.

The aim of the Fund is to build a lasting positive image of SFR as a business support institution in Silesia by creating a certain culture, promoting good practices or building awareness among both entrepreneurs and decision-making elites in the voivodeship.

Silesian Stadium

The Silesian Stadium for millions of Poles and citizens of the Silesian Voivodeship is not only a multifunctional sports facility, but also a symbol. A monument of exceptional importance. A place that has kept many memories and emotions. The events organized here, such as football matches, concerts of the biggest stars, speedway races, and athletics competitions – gave it more and more importance.

The history of the Silesian Stadium dates back to 1956. Over the years, the Silesian Giant has been the venue for the organization of the largest sports, entertainment and music events to the applause of several dozen audience. From the very beginning, the Silesian Stadium was a multi-functional facility, where various sports were held. In the years 1957-1969 it was mainly an arena of athletics, and then speedway competitions. It also hosted various concerts by artists such as U2, The Rollings Stones and Iron Maiden. In May 1960, one of the most important moments in the history of the stadium took place. FC Santos visit with the football king Pelé. Also in Silesia, for the first time in history, Poles won with England 2-0 in the qualifying rounds of the world championship in 1973.

Today, the Silesian Stadium is the largest athletics facility in Poland, a modern football arena and the largest music scene in the country. In August 2020, Stadion Śląski officially became the National Athletics Stadium. The legendary “Kocioł Czarownic/Witches’ Cauldron” is a significant place for Polish, European and world athletics, meeting the highest standards necessary for the organization of international athletic events. The facility has the necessary certificates that enable the organization of global events.

The Silesian Stadium is also a Conference and Business Center, where various types of events and conferences can be organized.

EFF Speakers

The European Future Forum is an event of great importance and importance for the region, country, Europe and the world. We organize it for the first time, but on a cyclical basis. The program of our Forum requires that among the speakers who will co-create the panels of individual sessions, there should be eminent experts in various fields, thanks to which we will conduct our Forum at the highest substantive level. They are authorities and great personalities in the world of economy, economy, politics and business. They are also representatives of the scientific community.

Particularly noteworthy is the already confirmed participation of many distinguished guests who co-create and manage European structures on a daily basis. They are representatives of the European Parliament and local government officials from those regions of Europe where significant changes are taking place in our times.

Program Council

Events in the course of EFF in the group of experts are to enable making diagnoses, creating a framework for project cooperation, as well as working out development and project plans of key importance for the future of the region in Europe. Therefore, the Program Council will define short-term and long-term directions and visions for the development of the Forum, establishing interdisciplinary task teams. The program council will adopt important resolutions on all matters related to the Forum’s mission. The Council will adopt and evaluate reports on the preparation and course of the Forum, and will adopt resolutions on matters important for the development of this event format, in the form of a Book of Recommendations.

In order to streamline the work and develop the main program assumptions, a preliminary work schedule for the Program Council was established. Its members will meet as part of “Working Teams”. 4 Working Teams will be established in the areas of: Environmental Protection and Circular Economy, Digital Medicine, Digitization and Digitization of Enterprises and the Public Sector, Green Energy. The Working Teams will work under the leadership of designated members of the Program Council, and the meetings will be crowned with a press conference and substantive materials provided to the Organizer of the Event. Meetings of the Working Teams will be held in four different locations of key importance for a given area.


European Future Forum

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