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A Fireside Chat with Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Digital Services as the Infrastructure of the 21st Century



In this session, you’ll gain insights on how the 21st Century’s development and modernisation in the private and public sector will be driven predominantly by digital services.

Digitisation private services has moved dramatically but public services in most countries has remained in the paper age of the 19th and 20th Centuries. On the other hand, digitisation of public services will (and has) revolutionised how governments function, how public administration works. At the same time, it requires far more attention to data security and privacy than governments have been used to.

In the 21st Century countries with digitised public and government services are and will be far better equipped to deal with the future, where a private sector is already digitising at a fast pace, far ahead of governments.


Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the former president of Estonia (2006-2016) and the Initiator of Estonia’s, Digital Transformation (Since 1995)

Before assuming the office of the presidency Mr. Ilves served as vice-president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (2004-2006), foreign minister of Estonia (1996-2002), where he led Estonia’s EU and NATO accession process. From 1993-96 he served as Estonia’s first post-independence ambassador to Washington. From 1988 to 1993 Mr. Ilves was director of the Estonian Service at RFE-RL and prior to that a research analyst in the Research Department of RFE-RL.

He is best-known internationally for his work 1995-2016 pushing Estonia to digitize its government. He is currently writing a book on democracy in the digital era.

Mr. Ilves served as chairman of the EU Task Force on eHealth from 2011 to 2012 and was chairman of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board at the invitation of the European Commission from 2012 to 2014. In 2013 he chaired the High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms convened by ICANN. From 2014 to 2015 Mr. Ilves was the co-chair of the advisory panel of the World Bank's World Development Report 2016 "Digital Dividends" and was also the chair of World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Cyber Security beginning in June 2014. He is a founder and a patron (2006-2016) of The International Centre for Defence and Security. Starting from 2016, Ilves co-chairs The World Economic Forum working group The Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology and is a member of Munich Security Conference Advisory Council. Read more...


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