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The e-Governance Conference 2022: focus on resilient and seamless governance 

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The e-Governance Conference 2022, this year reaching its 8th edition, welcomes digital leaders and experts over the three years in Tallinn and online at egovconference.ee. This year the main focus is on the resilience of digital governance in times of crisis and the next step in the path of digitalization – seamlessness. Hannes Astok, Managing Director at e-Governance Academy, joined us in another episode of the Digital Government Podcast to give a sneak peek into this year’s event. And why you should all join, of course.

Seamless and resilient governments, in peace and emergency

The past two years have been characterized by governments’ responses to the pandemic. First, it was about shifting to online services and remote working. Secondly, on the rollout of vaccines and digital certificates, consolidating operational practices.

Recently, other crises have hit Tonga and Ukraine – respectively, a natural calamity and war. “So, I think the question of resilience has become very important throughout this year. Those crises bring plenty of challenges for public service delivery and digital transformation,” Astok says.

“But on the other hand, the topic of seamless government is very much related to resilience: even in peaceful times, people want services delivered with this approach. It means that citizens won’t have to apply online or offline for one or another service. Rather, people want to get them directly, with the government notifying you that a deadline is approaching or that you are eligible for a given benefit,” he continues.

Digital leaders of Estonia,  the UK, and beyond will shed light on the latest innovations in public service provision. As Estonia works as a role model and inspiration for many countries, the Conference features Government CIO Luukas Kristjan Ilves and Chief Data Officer Ott Velsberg to get the freshest insights on data management and AI for service provision. Also, you can join Siim Sikkut, the former Government CIO of Estonia, in a discussion on how effectively lead the digital transformation in the government.

The Conference speakers include the President of Estonia, Mr. Alar Karis, the President of the Future of Life Institute Max Tegmark, Author and UX consultant Vitaly Friedman, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Paul Timmers,  Lisa Talia Moretti, Digital Sociologist at Ministry of Justice Digital (UK) among others.

Is it still possible to innovate during a crisis?

In a sense, the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic already provided an answer to this question. But things may change when the crisis at hand is a natural disaster or an active conflict. 

“It’s a good question, but I think crises are always a good environment for innovation. Let me bring up an example from medicine. Surgery, in particular, has developed a lot during times of war. The comparison here is that if you have a critical situation to face and the time slot available for a decision is very short, you need to take shortcuts, experiment, or at least try new methods, and processes. There is room to take risks because, if you don’t, you fail to address the problem at hand anyway,” Astok explains.

The Conference will shed light on how governments reacted during such periods. “From those areas where deep crises took place or are still happening, we can learn how governments acted rapidly, how they innovated and invented new ways of delivering services. This, of course, entailed creating shortcuts and eliminating useless, obsolete, time-consuming processes to provide for citizens quickly and in a digital format.”

You are all invited. May 10-12, in Tallinn or online

Resilience and seamlessness are the central umbrella under which we will contextualize the experience of governments in times of crisis. But our Conference topics do not stop there: we will also address participatory practices in policymaking, cybersecurity, design of public services, the implementation and responsible use of artificial intelligence, and much more.

“You can go online and follow the three conference days by registering at egovconference.ee. But this year there is also a great opportunity to join the conference in Tallinn! The pandemic is increasingly fading and going easy on Estonia, spring is set to make Tallinn look even more beautiful, and we’re in a safe and secure environment. So, it’s worth coming, listening to our high-level keynote speakers and panellists, joining the discussion, and finding out more about digital governance’s resilience and seamlessness,” Astok concludes.

Interested in more? Join the e-Governance Conference on May 10-12, 2022, to get the best insights and lessons learnt about how digital governments cope with times of crisis and create seamless online services to make citizens’ life easier.

Written by
Federico Plantera

Author at e-Governance Academy.

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