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Taavi Kotka

Estonia, Head of Jio Research Center
Taavi became Estonia’s first-ever Chief Information Officer in 2013 to oversee the country’s development as an advanced digital nation. He previously worked in the private sector, starting his career as a programmer before rising to be the CEO of the region’s largest software development company, Webmedia (now Nortal). During this time, Taavi was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

As Estonia’s CIO, Taavi introduced a number of new ideas that have come to define the concept of ‘e-Estonia’ as a digital nation and these best practices are now being copied and implemented by other governments around the world. This includes the e-Residency programme, which has placed Estonia at the epicentre of the global tech community, as well as innovations such as data embassies, country-as-a-service (CAAS), the no-legacy policy, VAT fraud detection, and others. As a result of his work in the public sector, Taavi was named European CIO of the Year 2014 and received Estonia’s prestigious White Star III Class Order in 2016. Computerworld has named him as one of the 100 Premier technology leaders in 2016 and he made amongst the Apolitical's World’s 100 most influential people in digital government in 2018. Financial Times named Taavi as one of the 12 leading individuals among Europe's 100 digital champions in 2018. Taavi is now back in the private sector, helping startups develop and consulting large enterprises and governments on digital transformation. He is also a very popular and visionary speaker at large conferences around
the world.

Till the autumn of 2018 Taavi was also a special advisor to European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip on European Digital Single Market.

  • Winter is coming – it is time to act!   |   Medzinárodný kongres ITAPA 2020
    Every country talks about importance of digitalization, but there are very few examples in the world of truly working digital societies. Why? What is holding them back? In his keynote Taavi will give a quick overview why the western-world is stuck, but more important – he will explain what should be agreed and delivered to get things moving. Slovakia has many important elements in place and there is only one question left to the table: why don’t you move on faster?

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