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Adria Summit 2023

Future of Digital Commerce

3rd-7th May 2023

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Umag / Kempinski Palace Portorož

Adria Summit 2023

Future of Digital Commerce

3rd-7th May 2023

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Umag / Kempinski Palace Portorož

We have the pleasure to announce the dates and agenda for Adria Summit 2023 – The Future of Digital Commerce. The second instance of this first-of-a-kind genuine Adriatic region event, while covering the future trends shaping traditional omni-channel eCommerce, will move further towards the technologies and models that enable exchange of fully digital goods and services and future of digital money. 

Call for Proposals

If you would like to participate in the program, if you would like your company to be a conference partner, or if you would like to be a participant, please contact us by email. 

The Adria Summit 2023 will be held from May 3 to May 7, 2023 at two locations in two countries, the Kempinski Hotel Adriatic in Umag, Croatia and the Kempinski Palace in Portorož, Slovenia. Croatia has joined the Schengen area and adopted Euro, so it will be exciting to organize the Adria Summit in two countries. This year we are arranging some new formats of discussions and networking, and some nice surprises for the participants.

We will gather on Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday are conference days. The conference will consist of panel discussions, combined with presentations, lectures, and case studies. The conference will be followed by a VIP networking weekend (6th and 7th May), rich with sport activities such as a golf, tennis, biking, hiking and local wine and food tasting. VIP networking weekend is planned as a perfect follow-up to the conference, as it will provide ample time to share common interests and socialize with speakers and fellow participants.

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We are at the peak of the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by interconnectivity and digital automation. Studies estimate that more than 70% of economic value over the next decade will be created by digital business models. The digital economy is also creating a generation shift by altering the way we work, customer interaction and experience, finances, and supply-chains.

Super apps and digital marketplaces have globally boosted the transportation, communications, and retail industries by allowing users to utilize various and competitive services, including payment transactions, all in one place. They have broken into previously untapped markets, and they have started to occupy areas traditionally held by small business owners and entrepreneurs.

We depend more and more on innovations under these unprecedented conditions. But innovators do not only improve old systems; they imagine new realms. Progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, blockchain, biotechnologies, new materials, etc. clearly shape the way people, organizations, and institutions interact.

Around all these challenges, climate change will permanently transform world’s economy. Traditional investment models that were focused on maximizing ROI do not work any longer, and today’s investors are increasingly concerned with environmental and social impact, putting sustainability, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront of the changes.

How can businesses and investors adopt new approaches to combine returns with a long-term economic, environmental, and social impact without breaking their business model?

What role will humans play alongside new increasingly intelligent technologies and changed conditions? How will labor markets of the future look like, how different will be the position of small businesses and entrepreneurs? How female or youth entrepreneurship could help?


The world is getting older. Studies show that leadership positions are now more often held by older people than at any point in history, but generation perspectives on leadership have shifted over time. Research shows that Millennials and Gen Z value leaders who are emphatic to team needs, work with transparency, give consistent feedback and engage in continuous communication. Younger generations also value diversity and place importance on sustainability-driven decisions.

Amid a fast-paced changing landscape during Covid-19, today’s youth come into the labor market with different priorities, desires, working styles and capacities than previous generations: hunger for change, entrepreneurial spirit, robust digital skills, and environmental responsibility, among others.

The pandemic revealed that high-speed Internet may be vital for the global economy to survive future crises. More people than ever are moving beyond their televisions, media portals and consume news through social media platforms like YouTube, Meta, TikTok or Viber instead.

The creative economy, which now includes everything from television, film, and music, to architecture, design, software development, advertising, and photography, creates more than 30 million jobs and accounts for 6.1% of global GDP.

Digital media has dramatically changed film and music over the past years, empowering people from all corners of society to become newfound creators. Meanwhile, social media allows creative output to the world. With nearly 4.6 billion social media users – and within seconds, anyone can be a content creator today.

How can investments in Internet infrastructure and communication platforms become a higher priority for governments and businesses around the world?

How can institutions and investors contribute to digital equity and equality?

What are creative approaches to developing a more sustainable, yet prosperous economies?

What will be the future of creativity?


Young generations’ technology skills make them confident in purchasing financial products through apps and tech companies. More than half of Millennials prefer to manage their investments through an app instead of in person. However, even though the Boomer generation did not grow up with advanced technology, they are now the fastest growing demographic among fintech users.

Technology continues to influence banking and financial practices as the economy starts to transform in the post-pandemic world. Digital consumer banking has become the norm, increasing convenience for individuals managing their money – the World Bank reports that two-thirds of all adults worldwide now make or receive digital payments.

The rise of small individual investors has changed investing structure around the world, as retail investors’ share of total equities trading volume has been increased substantially.

The future money – both fiat and electronic (crypto included) – will likely change its shape in the near future. Cryptocurrency is redefining currency ultimately leading to CBDCs, and new financial services, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and crowdfunding instruments, continue to appear on the horizon.

It is to be expected that collaborations across fintech ecosystem players will drive innovation, incremental monetization opportunities, and creation of new value chains, at the same time addressing and understanding the pain-points and bottlenecks while identifying new market opportunities?

Which recent developments have witnessed the most economic success and which major initiatives improve inclusion and collaboration, and lead to a more resilient financial system? How have banks responded to changing habits among consumers and businesses?


Just when we thought that Covid-19 pandemic which caused unprecedented disruptions to supply chains, shut down businesses across the globe and led to widespread job losses was over, the world economy faced new turbulences. Before Covid-19, sending a container from China to Europe could have costed €2,000 and it went up to €20,000+ during the pandemic. Conflict in Ukraine and other recent geopolitical challenges have additionally burdened global supply chains across all industries, from energy and foods to semi-conductor chips, scarce minerals, automotive parts. And all these instabilities were additionally emphasized by galloping inflation and interest rate hikes, reducing consumer spending power and demand, thus reducing business profits, and making it more difficult for businesses to survive.

At the same time, advances in technology that are clearly bringing numerous benefits, can also disrupt traditional business models and lead to market turmoil by putting pressure on less efficient and less competitive. Many businesses were not prepared or equipped to adapt to the sudden changes in economic landscape. Others that were more innovative, did not manage to cope with sudden increase of new customers and the situation opened a completely new set of challenges for them.

Staying relevant and winning customers during market turmoil can be challenging.

Staying flexible and adaptable is one of the key strategies in the situations where markets can change quickly during times of turmoil, so it is important for businesses to be able to adapt to these changes. Businesses must be open to pivoting their strategy if necessary and be willing to embrace new technologies and innovations to stay ahead of the curve.

Developing strong customer relationships could be another strategy to deploy. Building strong relationships with customers is key to retaining their loyalty and attracting new customers. Businesses should invest in customer service and support and work to understand the needs and desires of their target audience.

In a rapidly changing market, digital marketing is a valuable tool for reaching and engaging customers. Businesses should invest in building a strong online presence and utilize digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, and social media marketing to reach their target audience. Continuous monitoring of market trends and changes in consumer behavior and expectations can help businesses stay ahead of the competition.

What strategies are the most relevant and demonstrated best results in our markets? What have business from our region experienced?


The rapid advancement of AI and robotics will move the world toward the next phase of human evolution. Robots have integrated among us, to the point where many industries can be considered more humanoid than humans, and chatbots such as ChatGPT more ethical than most of us. At the same time, amidst geopolitical conflicts, new robotic fighters, and vehicles have emerged, from bomb-sniffing robo-dogs to autonomous killer drones. As AI merges further into robotics advancements, it is expected to ensure supremacy over public infrastructure, intelligence, and national security too. Question is whether AI will be harmonizing world through common ethical principles, or perhaps, it may drive humanity to even deeper discontent.

Global digital economy has changed the ways we connect, consume, and communicate. While it is possible to instantly order in urban centers, rural areas remain structurally underdeveloped. Rural areas also have suffered declines in offline retail, and rural population is aging. Drone technology and autonomous vehicles might change digital commerce and may become the critical value drivers to building an inclusive and sustainable digital commerce platform for the future.

The mobility industry is also rapidly evolving, moving towards driverless technology and environmentally conscious electric cars. Other modes of transportation – from autonomous drones to electric flying vehicles – push the boundaries of mobility further than anyone could have imagined.

Urban planning will also change the way we live, and the cities of the future will have to be more sustainable. The use of smart technologies will improve energy consumption, and many municipal operations will be managed using AI.

Where will robotics lead us next? Will robotics accelerate economic progress, human improvement, and sustainability – or they might be a threat to labor markets and social stability?

What are some concerns regarding the evolution of AI? How should investors make ethical considerations when funding AI research and development?

What is the future of mobility and how soon can we expect it to be available to urban and rural consumers? What are some of the most common trends in urban planning today and how smart cities will become?


The metaverse megatrend will shift the world further away from manufacturing and services – into economies of data, knowledge, content, and information. Broader digitalization – especially within metaverse — together with AI, blockchain, robotization, and faster telecommunications, restructure the way society functions. Meta revolution triggers transformation from the physical to the virtual, further decomposing boundaries of physical economies.

Creating new world through the metaverse and Web3 drive paradigm shifts in consumer and enterprise behavior, while improving business models and reordering competitive landscapes. The conversations are more and more moved from technological topics to anticipating the underlying impacts on the human experience.

The evolution from Web2 to Web3 has moved the Internet away from centralized platforms to more decentralized nodes with distributed models of creation and control. The ownership of data and digital assets paradigm is completely reversed in this new Web3 universe.

Augmented reality (AR) is another technology that transformed industries through the merging of physical and digital worlds. Today, businesses are surpassing traditional methods of work with AR, changing the way we teach, communicate, collaborate, design, and create. Various industries – manufacturing, retail, and entertainment, even healthcare, are adopting AR technologies to enhance skills, drive efficiency and deliver business results.

At the same time, gaming has become an undeniable cultural, artistic, and economic phenomenon, thanks to rapid growth in e-sports and mobile platforms. Video games have also become means of creative and financial empowerment. Only blockchain gaming generated $4.5 billion in 2021 in exchange of virtual assets for real-world resources. Many people still think of gaming as a form of entertainment – frequently considered a frivolous activity meant to incite fun. But with the advances in technology gaming has become an integral industry and a cultural force that influences how people behave, as well as how they interact with each other and with the world.

And ultimately, crypto as essential ingredient of metaverse is clearly here to stay now. Despite the doubts and market ups and downs, digital assets usage and the technology use cases have been steadily broadened. Defining a crypto economy strategy remains a top consideration for executives across all sectors. From the future of finance to Web3, the new data economy and asset tokenization – crypto technology creates disruptive opportunities and continues to reshape business models. Crypto based assets have managed to bypass investor caution and have grown from a concept and experimental currency to a global $2 trillion asset class.

How should businesses, investors, and institutions prepare for the meta revolution? What ethical and legal considerations should anchor the metaverse?

What Web3 decentralization means for the next generation of finance, data, community, the Internet and beyond?

Will gaming continue to erase the distinction between real-world and virtual-world creation and economies? Will gaming soon converge with AI and, if so, what will be the artistic and economic consequences?

How will VR technology change the experience for spectators of sporting and cultural events? What impact will AI have on sports, music, theatre?

How crypto and blockchain culture could expose weaknesses and inefficiencies of centralized financial institutions and services? Will the entities failing to join crypto economy become irrelevant?


Data economies have integrated into the very core of our societies, where every millisecond data is generated, gathered, organized, and exchanged via networks to create value from accumulated information. Data is the fundamental building block of innovation, and in the future, data will become even easier to collect, transmit, store, and analyze.

Even before the pandemic, adoption of wearable technologies and IoT devices, along with data gathered from social networks, shopping portals and financial transactions, dramatically increased the valuable information on consumer behavior making marketing inputs more advanced, more comprehensive, and more affordable. As the world enters the next phase of the Internet – and a continuously-changing global business landscape – data usage is more critical than ever. The availability of data has augmented the capacity and deployment of human intelligence.

The data economy refers to the economic activity that results from the collection, storage, use, and exchange of data. Data has become a valuable resource and a key driver of economic growth, creating opportunities for businesses to generate revenue and improve efficiency. The data economy includes a wide range of activities, such as data collection and storage, data analytics, data-driven decision-making, and the development of data-based products and services. The data economy also includes the creation of new business models, such as platform-based businesses, which use data to connect buyers and sellers, and the emergence of new industries, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), which rely on data to connect and control physical devices.

These days, we use data as a main marketing knowledge source, to get insights on customer behavior, preferences and needs making it possible to effectively segment customer portfolios and create targeted campaigns that reach right people at the right time, even creating personalized shopping experience. By analyzing historical data, businesses can use predictive analytics to forecast future trends in customer behavior, which can support decision making and help businesses to prepare for potential challenges.

Data can also be used for more efficient management of inventories and supply chains, which can help businesses to optimize the production processes and available stocks, but to reduce the risk of stockouts as well. Data is also essential to identify patterns of suspicious behavior, which can help businesses to detect and prevent fraudulent activities.

Data governance is the process of managing, securing, and maintaining the integrity, availability, and privacy of data, and it is essential for ensuring that the data is accurate, consistent, and accessible to authorized individuals.

Technologies span from cloud storage solutions and platforms, which allow businesses to store their data on remote servers and access it over the Internet, to data warehousing, data lakes and data virtualization, all allow businesses to store their structured and unstructured data at any scale.

In what ways the data economy influences the world’s most critical sectors and customer behavior and expectations? How is the new data era changing the way people live, work, and play?

How can companies quickly and efficiently use cloud and other data technologies to extract more insight from data, modernize IT infrastructure, keep systems secure, and optimize hybrid work?


Techno-economic hubs have become centers of global progress. They economically, culturally, and geopolitically empower the geographies in which they are originated. Emerging markets, including Adria region, are creating homegrown tech ecosystems, powered by local talent, and building globally ambitious businesses. Tens of thousands tech companies have emerged in different tech hubs across the globe. From gaming to communication services, from automotive to robotics, many of these companies have thrived during the pandemic. Many have sourced capital from the global capital community.

Ambitious youth are forward thinkers who take entrepreneurial risks, redefine industry boundaries, and are not afraid of thinking disruptively. Investing resources such as capital, mentorship, and infrastructure towards youth talent can lead to developing impactful new ventures, disrupting traditional business practices, and filling gaps in our economies and societies. Key stakeholder groups must understand what advantages and disadvantages they face when developing youth talent to make the most of these opportunities.

Venture capital is a vital economic driver in innovation industry and has helped launch startups that have become today’s mega corporations. Crunchbase reported that global venture investment in 2021 totaled $643 billion, compared to $335 billion in 2020 – a 92 percent growth year over year. Companies backed by VCs and other investment vehicles increase their employee base, creating jobs and fueling further local growth.

Which startup sectors in Adria region markets show the greatest promise? How can tech businesses in our markets scale efficiently to meet regional, and eventually global demands and grow to unicorns?

Are there some common success factors across regional entrepreneurs? What key social norms, changes, and enablers are required to encourage risk-taking?

How do VCs and other capital investors stimulate economic growth? Which sectors hold strong growth potential for investors in our region?

Adria Summit 2022

Call for Innovative Startups

Adria Summit 2022 has been a gathering point for many professional investors, from business angels to institutional investors.
To support regional innovative programs and ideas, Adria Summit 2023 will facilitate specialized program stream (including panel discussion: From Seed to Unicorn: Empowering youth entrepreneurship to grow tech ecosystems in emerging markets), where selected startups from the whole region will be given an opportunity to present their works and achievements.
Case your startup wants to join and take the opportunity to present itself in front of the unique Adria
Summit audience, and along some preselected successful cases, please contact us by email.

Preliminary Timetable

Wednesday 3.5.2023.

The Day Before

  • 17.00-21.00 Registration Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 21.00 Lounge Golf Club

Thursday 4.5.2023.

Conference Day 1

  • 10.00-10.25 Opening ceremony Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 10.30-13.30 Program Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 13.30-15.00 Lunch break Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 15.00-17.30 Program Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija

  • 20.00-23.00 Crystal Hall Gala Dinner Kempinski Adriatic Portorož
  • 21.00 Lounge Golf Club

Friday 5.5.2023.

Conference Day 2

  • 10.30-13.30 Program Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 13.30-15.00 Lunch break Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 15.00-17.30 Program Kempinski Adriatic Savudrija
  • 22.00 Big Party Golf Club

Saturday 6.5.2023.


  • 11.00 Sport and other activities
  • 19.00 Wine tasting
  • 21.00 Lounge Golf Club

Sunday 7.5.2023.

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Regional eCommerce Associations

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