“Four eyes are better than two”. A chat with Ambassador of Israel on cyber security and cold weather

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One thing we know for sure at the e-Estonia Showroom is that our target is not merely to advertise all the innovative solutions that make Estonia an effective and efficient e-society. Knowledge is based on exchange and, exactly as we try to give our best to all the groups that come and visit our hub, we would also like to get something from them: opinions, considerations, feedbacks. Basically, anything that could help all of us in getting to know other interesting experiences in the field and develop our strategies in an increasingly fruitful way.

eTalks is the space that devotes to this goal. A series of short conversation with some of the guests who walk the doors of the Showroom in order to get clues and thoughts useful to know more about each others’ background and interest in getting familiar with the concept of digital society. A sketch-book, in words and ideas.

First guest of our new section is the newly appointed Ambassador of Israel to Finland and Estonia, Mr. Dov Segev-Steinberg. Chatting about cyber security, the e-residency programme and the fashion of cold weather, here is what he told us.

First of all, welcome to the e-Estonia Showroom Mr. Ambassador. We know it is the first time that you are in service in Europe: how does it feel to work in this part of the world?

I have never been allocated in Europe, even if I visited this part of the world many times before. [At the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs] We have a very interesting system in this sense, because we are able to request to be located in a certain position: I requested to be allocated in this part of the world and I think I was very lucky to get it.ambassadorsegevsteinberg First of all so because far I’ve been always working in very hot countries, so I wanted to experience also how it feels to live in cold countries and Helsinki, which is basically at the same height as Anchorage, is our northernmost embassy in the world.

But jokes apart, the main reason is the interest I have in the region: politically, economically and culturally. Estonia, particularly, is a very important country. We share many things: we are both small countries – we’re even smaller than you actually, even if with a larger population. Also, we are talking about countries that have very little natural resources, and the only true resource that we have is our brain, that is something you need to use smartly also in order to survive as a country in a pretty tough neighbourhood with a volatile political balance.

Secondly, the interest arises from the development that both countries had in the very last decades: in the 80s, from a mainly agriculture-based country we had a big change and we also decided that high-tech, IT and innovation were the way to go to improve our economy; after all, this is how we became known in the world as “the start-up nation”. Therefore you come here to Estonia and you see what has been done in the last 15 years, getting the opportunity to learn from your experience. It’s definitely interesting to be here, we have excellent relations with the country, a fruitful exchange of visits and of knowledge related to hi-tech and to cyber issues, which are very important in Israel and here as well.


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