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Past event: Tallinn Digital Summit 2021

Tallinn Digital Summit is the event where the frontrunners of digital nations drive the global conversation on digitalisation. This year’s focus areas are geopolitics, cross-border infrastructure projects and the connections between digital technologies. Brought together by the main theme of Trusted Connectivity, high-level politicians, thought leaders and entrepreneurs will participate at the event.

Let’s take a closer look at Trusted Connectivity as the focal theme of this year’s Tallinn Digital Summit.

One of the main challenges facing the democratic world in the 21st century is the development of infrastructure and finding the necessary investments. A well-functioning infrastructure, after all, is the basis of our economic growth as well as the smooth functioning of our daily lives. Along with the rise of digital solutions, however, the significance of infrastructure has changed – it is no longer merely a means to move people, goods or energy. The term ‘infrastructure’ nowadays also includes a strong digital component. This includes the ways in which data is created, forwarded, stored, used and protected. Therefore, infrastructures are tightly interwoven with our daily lives.

Everything is based on trust

Modern infrastructure lays the foundation for applying innovation, new technologies and business models. That means who finances the building of infrastructure and what their impact is on its use is becoming ever more important. For example, imagine that GPS belonged to a state that has even a theoretical opportunity to interfere in how it works. Would we trust it then? Would we develop critically important services around their use?

Private sector inclusion is key

Participants at the Tallinn Digital Summit will discuss how guaranteeing trust and the free movement of data could make cross-border infrastructure investments more transparent and, therefore, more attractive for the private sector. Specifically for the private sector, because it is the largest financial muscle of the democratic world and so far in the area of infrastructure its strength has been underused. To change that fact, we need to first agree on common values, rules and control mechanisms to label, so to speak, the projects that meet them. This would provide proof for private capital that the project has a transparent basis, which will be beneficial for its developers as well as the people who will later use it.

In sum, it would be a step towards economic growth and regional security. The infrastructure that forms the basis of our daily functioning could be developed and renewed faster, and more necessary projects would be greenlighted.

It all begins with a common understanding

The keynote speakers of the Tallinn Digital Summit are President of the European Council Charles Michel and Secretary-General of the OECD Mathias Cormann. The opening speech of the Tallinn Digital Summit will be given by the Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas. The participants include prime ministers, ministers of foreign affairs, of digital development and of the economy from Europe and Asia, high-level representatives from influential international organisations, academic leaders and representatives from the private sector.

Of course, the event will also touch on other topics related to trusted connectivity. Additional focus themes are the defence of digital societies, developing national e-services, using new technologies to create innovative business models, and smart cities, as the last link in the chain, where all the aforementioned components meet and the benefit to people is expressed best.

Government testbeds

Also, during the Tallinn Digital Summit, e-Estonia will announce a new and innovative collaboration model Digital Testbed Framework, designed by the Estonian government that will give start-ups and govtech innovators access to the technologies that the state uses to build its own digital services. e-Estonia’s Digital Transformation Adviser Anett Numa will lead a panel on the topic of how governments can thrive through public-private partnerships and the role of real-life experimentation, involving multiple stakeholders in the process of digital innovation.

To follow the online broadcast for free on 7 September, please register at:

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