The Estonian e-residents community recently became the 2nd largest city in Estonia – after the capital, Tallinn, with 438,341 habitants, the number of e-residents has risen to 93,450 and is followed by university town Tartu with 91,407 residents. This positively-minded community towards Estonia is an extension of our digital state across borders, representing e-residents from over 160 countries.
A notable Estonian linguist, also known as the “king of Estonian folklore,” Jakob Hurt once said that if we can’t become big, we must become big in spirit. I assume he would approve of seeing Estonia being expanded worldwide by the e-residents, carrying our tech-savvy mindset and love for safe, secure, and convenient electronic identity and services.
At the beginning of June, an Estonian e-resident, Dominik Panosch, set a world record in establishing a company online. It took him 15 minutes. I had the pleasure of hosting Dominik and his colleagues in the e-Estonia Briefing Centre recently, where he told me he aimed to do it in around 10 minutes. Alas, troubles with wifi on the premise prevented him from completing that time goal.
Dominik’s co-founders, fellow e-residents, shared the advantages of operating a fully remote (Germany-based) business using Estonian government-issued electronic identification. “From Madeira Island, I was able to digitally sign a resignation form to step down as an active board member,” shares Christoph Huebner, also a founding member of the Estonian e-Residents International Chamber Association (EERICA).
As a spokesperson for e-Estonia, I talk about the wonders of the Estonian digital society. But as a citizen of the same country, my speeches are backed by my experience consuming various online services. From declaring taxes, e-prescriptions, educational certificates, digital signatures, encrypted file-sharing, and many more, I can securely share my experience consuming smooth, convenient public services.
After entering the labor market over ten years ago, I have never signed a work contract by hand. It makes me genuinely happy to hear how much e-residents benefit from the same seamless electronic environment that Estonian citizens and residents use.
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.
digital transformation adviser at the e-estonia briefing centre