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From 0 to the world’s leading digital societies in 30 years

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There are many good examples of countries adopting digitalisation in their governance practices. However, it’s often overlooked that states compete not among themselves but in the corporate world, where the use of technology is often years ahead of the public sector. 

The e-Estonia Briefing Centre plays a vital role in shaping global understanding of Estonia’s way of running the state – the efficiency and benefits of providing online services, e-governance, and digital identity. And we share this know-how with all groups, from students to the heads of states, and levels, from local to global.

With a mission to raise the digital awareness

Recently, we had the honour to host Mrs. Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament. It was reassuring to understand that Estonia and Europe share common goals. Estonian expertise in digital governance could be applied to create a more seamless, smart, and secure Europe.

Three ladies talking.
Mrs. Roberta METSOLA, the President of the European Parliament talks to Mrs. Ave Lauringson, the Managing Director of the e-Estonia Briefing Centre, and Erika Piirmets, the Digital Transformation Adviser at the Centre. 

Today’s leaders will form the environment for future generations, and hopefully, through unified cooperation, the digital vision of Estonia will spread across borders.

“What’s your background?”

… Mrs. Metsola asked me at the end of our meeting after giving her an overview of Estonia’s digital state and what we envision for our future.

A woman presenting the story of the Estonian digital society.
Erika Piirmets telling the e-Estonia story to Mrs. Roberta METSOLA, President of the European Parliament. 

I do not know whether Madame President was surprised that I am not a techie, nor have I studied politics. Her expression did not give any hints. Instead, I have worked as an educator, and I believe strongly in the tools that a wholesome and quality education can provide, like Estonia’s education system. Being one of the students who started their education path in the late 90s, I benefited from the Estonian Tiger Leap programme that brought computers and internet connection to every school in Estonia, enabling ICT skills to be taught from the primary level. As a result, now in my adulthood, I have grown accustomed to consuming e-services and value the convenience of technology that facilitates my life as a citizen of (e-)Estonia.

As a Digital Transformation Adviser, my job is to show Mrs. Metsola and other decision-makers like her that digital transformation is doable. And it can really change a country’s, or company’s, destination. Look at where Estonia has reached in mere thirty years. 

Speakers’ Corner is an article series where the e-Estonia Digital Transformation advisers talk about the digital society and their personal experiences related to using public e-services. 

Written by
Erika Piirmets

digital transformation adviser at the e-estonia briefing centre

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The Briefing Centre is conveniently located just 2 minutes drive from the airport and 7 minutes drive from the city centre.

Valukoja 8
11415 Tallinn, Estonia