This high-level annual event for political leaders, entrepreneurs, and the tech community will focus on:
– Enhancing trust and transparency to make large-scale cross-border infrastructure investments attractive to the private sector to boost economic growth and to facilitate the digital transformation. What kind of connectivity is needed and how to make infrastructure investments future-proof.
– Empowering governments to take ownership of their digital futures by building more effective and cost-efficient digital government services.
– Protecting our digital societies by contemplating a minimum threshold for governments to allocate to cybersecurity. Given our reliance on digital technologies, this would be a feasible and significant step toward mitigating cyber threats.
The event will take place in Tallinn, Estonia and will feature prime ministers and ministers of foreign affairs, digital development, and economic affairs from Europe and Asia, high-level representatives from influential international organisations, academic leaders, and CEOs.
In June 2021, the leaders of G7 launched the Build Back Better World Partnership, a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure initiative led by major democracies. At the heart of it lies the Blue Dot Network (BDN), conceived in 2019 by the United States, Japan, and Australia, and borrowing its name from the fact the Earth is a mere blue dot when viewed from space. The aim of the BDN is to encourage development by creating a certification framework that would attract public–private investments into high-quality and transparent infrastructure projects. It will be our shared standards for infrastructure investments, data governance, and cybersecurity that will improve connectivity, spur economic growth, increase employment, and contribute to achieving our sustainable development goals.
On this journey, the public sector has to lead the way, and the commitment of governments can mobilize private capital to respond to infrastructure needs around the globe. Infrastructure investments by a responsible and market-driven private sector, paired with high standards and transparency in public funding, carries significant implications in terms of economic growth, sustainability, and geopolitical stability.
In fact, there already is an excellent example of trusted connectivity in practice. Our proof-of-concept is the Three Seas Initiative which was created in 2016 to promote cooperation between 12 EU Member States, first and foremost, for developing energy, transport, and digital infrastructure. The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund was founded to achieve the region’s ambitious infrastructure development goals in an open, inclusive, transparent, and economically-viable manner, and in compliance with international regulations. It has served as a lighthouse project to illustrate the benefits of combining public and private money to support cross-border infrastructure development.
The focus of the Tallinn Digital Summit
The Tallinn Digital Summit is the perfect platform to discuss connectivity. This year’s Summit will highlight the nexus between cross-border infrastructure, geopolitics, and digital technologies. The event is hosted annually by the Prime Minister of Estonia and will bring together global leaders of like-minded countries and international organisations to exchange ideas and chart the (digital) future of our societies and economies.
Estonia has the know-how to create trust through digital means. We shall discuss how to utilise trust, transparency, and the free flow of data to make large-scale, cross-border infrastructure investments trustworthy and attractive to the private sector in an effort to boost economic growth, interstate cohesion, and regional security.
In addition to a wider strategic view, we will set our sights on tactical matters by focusing on the following:
– Accelerating the digital transformation of government services. In low-resource environments, governments struggle to keep pace with the ever-increasing impetus toward the digitalisation of services. The digital building blocks-approach enables governments to easily create or modify their digital platforms, services, and applications by reducing cost, time, and other resource requirements.
– Smart Connectivity. Digital components have become central to all infrastructure, thereby enabling the emergence of new business models and technologies. The aim of Smart Connectivity is to establish a growth platform for new services, and to support economic growth driven by innovation. This could, for example, ultimately lead to the automation of road transport and the smart transformation of electricity networks.
– Smart cities. The spatial environment is the last mile of connectivity where the aforementioned constituent parts converge and he actual benefits are realised. This might take the form of digital services, mobility, and energy solutions. The environment we aim to fashion emerges from high-level policy guidance, has practical benefits, and increases the quality of life of its inhabitants.
The Tallinn Digital Summit will deal with the entire life-cycle of societal development: from the principles and functionality of the creation and financing of infrastructure to the architecture and use of services. The event provides participants with a unique mixture of a wide-angle and a close-up perspective on connectivity in the 21st century.