🎙️ e-Estonia podcast – CTO of Estonia, Kristo Vaher: Does Estonia dare to be second?

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In our podcast’s third episode Florian Marcus talks to Kristo Vaher, the Chief Technology Officer of the Republic of Estonia. What Vaher shares, confirms that Estonia does dare to be second. Because one thing that this small digital nation keeps doing is learning and innovating. 

Vaher, who describes himself on LinkedIn as a tech evangelist, is the CTO of Estonia and works at the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Vaher shares the same office with e-governance power players Siim Sikkut, the CIO of Estonia, and Ott Velsberg, the Chief Data Officer of Estonia.

“Our office is primarily driving the policy. We need to make sure there is some sort of interoperability between the different parties contributing to our e-governance,” Vaher told our Digital Transformation Adviser Florian Marcus.

Following the policy of Jeff Bezos

As the governmental CTO, Kristo Vaher contributes to the strategic vision for the technologies chosen by the government, its technological roadmap, and innovation. He is also leading the engineering community from the public sector side. “I am coordinating between the different software architects so that they´d agree on principles and follow the requirements,” Vaher said.

Vaher quotes Jeff Bezos who once said organisations need to be strict and concrete in their policies and flexible in details. “We are following a similar principle in our e-governance and I suspect that is why we´re successful,” Vaher said.

The key to Estonian e-governance success

According to Vaher, the key to Estonian e-governance success lies in three things:

  1. The Estonian e-government structure has been strategically built in a decentralised manner.
  2. The government CIO office follows a principle once verbalised by Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos – be really strict and concrete in your policies and flexible in details.
  3. Always learn from other countries going through digital transformation.

To hear in more detail what a governmental CTO does, what’s the latest in Estonian e-governance, and when will Estonia start using virtual assistants to help people interact with the government, tune in to listen on your preferred channel by clicking on the links below 👇

🎧Available on Apple Podcast and Spotify:

🎧…and on Soundcloud


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You will find us on the ground floor of Valukoja 8, at the central entrance behind the statue of Mr Ernst Julius Öpik. We will meet the delegation at the building’s reception. Kindly note that a booking is required to visit us.

Valukoja 8
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