This year’s summit took place on Tuesday, the 5th of September and brought together representatives of governments, enterprises and civil society from over 70 countries.
“The summit celebrates the two values Estonians hold deeply: freedom and embracing technology” said prime minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas in her opening speech. The PM described Estonia’s role of being at the forefront of digital societies as follows: “We did not have the resources to invent technologies, but we were bold enough to adopt emerging technologies. To learn, to fail, to try again. We have built a thriving innovation economy that tops the charts for digital government, cybersecurity and internet freedom.”
The European Commissioner for Internal Markets Thierry Breton spoke about AI and security in his speech. “In Europe, we decided to act quickly and develop the world’s first comprehensive regulatory framework for AI, the AI Act. It promotes innovation, gives legal certainty to developers and users, and enables European citizens to confidently use innovative AI systems. We are also building the embryo of a European cyber shield – a network of Security Operations Centres, powered by artificial intelligence, to support detection and awareness of cybersecurity threats – and creating the first ever European cyber reserve of trusted private cybersecurity providers that support Member States under attack,” Breton stated in his speech.
Another keynote speech was given by Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN’s oldest agency established in 1865, in which she highlighted that in order to create a resilient, responsive and open future for all, connectivity must be meaningful, sustainable and collaborative. “The challenges we face today are too big for anyone to tackle alone,” she added.
The key themes of the event this year were: government as the platform for a digital society, rethinking and transforming sustainability, digital solutions as tools to accelerate the achievement of climate goals, creating a cyber-secure society, secure design technology and Global Gateway.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo discussed why all things digital are so important for Estonia. “Our objective is not merely efficiency, but empowerment of every Estonian citizen and every Estonian business. This is of utmost importance as it leads to self-realization.”
Tallinn Digital Summit is an annual event hosted by the Prime Minister of Estonia and is attended by key governmental figures as well as high-level representatives of influential international organizations, academics and representatives in the private sector, with the programme including various presentations, panel discussions, presentations on the topics of artificial intelligence, sustainability, cyber security and resilience.