Global digital experts tackle AI in Tallinn

The ninth e-Governance Conference takes place in the Estonian capital from 30 to 31 May, focusing among other topics on how to be ready for the increased use of artificial intelligence in the public sector.

The conference’s focus is on contributing to social change via digital transformation. Discussions will focus on four main topics: developing the necessary skills for digital governance, reducing digital vulnerability through more skilful service design, the role of people in increasing the cybersecurity of the country, and data governance in the age of artificial intelligence.

The two-day event will host digital development strategists, decision-makers, policy implementers, and donors from more than 90 countries worldwide. The biggest delegations arrive from Brazil, Ukraine, Kosovo, Moldova and Indonesia.

People at the centre of digital transformation

According to Hannes Astok, the CEO of the e-Governance Academy (eGA), the think tank responsible for organising the event, the conference has become the go-to meeting place for representatives of transforming countries, Estonian digital government developers, and international donors.

Hannes Astok, the executive director of the Estonian e-Governance Academy, signing an agreement in Mongolia.

“Many digital cooperation projects have received a boost from this conference. For example, the development of a data exchange platform in Djibouti and Benin, the creation of a digital country roadmap for Pacific countries, and cooperation with the governments of Aruba, Dominica, Namibia, and the Cayman Islands,” Astok said in a statement.

“While championing digital societies during the last 20 years, eGA’s team has learned that digital innovation is not a thing in itself, but a tool for the benefit of people and society. People, not technology, must be at the centre of digital transformation. Therefore, digital development requires a comprehensive and inclusive approach, starting with the development of people’s skills and ending with data governance,” he noted.

“With the advent of artificial intelligence, governments must rethink data management, which is the basis of digital innovation, so that people control data, not data control people,” Astok added.

Global speakers

The conference will feature 60 leaders and experts of digital transformation. Speakers include the Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, vice prime minister of Ukraine, Dumitru Alaiba and IT ministers from Armenia, Gambia, Estonia, Indonesia, Sao Tome and Principe, Namibia, Kazakhstan and Uganda.

The Estonian e-Governance Conference in 2021. Photo by the e-Governance Academy.

The conference’s workshops and presentations will provide an overview of the latest digital innovations in Brazil, Costa Rica, Gambia, Indonesia, Ukraine as well as Estonia’s contribution to the digital development of several countries. All together lessons learned and experiences of 20 countries will be presented.

Founded in 2002, the Tallinn-based e-Governance Academy is a non-profit think tank and consultancy organisation that creates and transfers knowledge and best practices in digital transformation. The think tank has carried out more than 300 cooperation projects in 141 countries and regions.

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