Estonian President Alar Karis: We need to make green thinking and resilience a guiding principle in the digital sphere

The President of Estonia Alar Karis emphasized the need to keep resilience and green thinking in mind, addressing international digital leaders at the e-Governance Conference in Tallinn on 11 May 2022.

According to President Karis, the examples from Ukraine and Tonga should make governments turn more attention to the resilience of the digital infrastructure in order to keep their countries functional despite of a possible heavy damage on the physical infrastructure during war or natural disasters.

“You have already heard of examples from Tonga and Ukraine – describing how digital infrastructure can and must survive natural disasters and war, keeping the country functional despite heavy damage on the physical infrastructure. In order to succeed even through less dramatic situations, resilience needs to be built into the digital systems from the start. It must be a design principle,”  said the President of Estonia.

Alar Karis encouraged digital leaders to follow the green thinking: “The design of digital systems needs to consider their environmental footprint. It is time that we pay more attention to the resilience of the planet as well so it does not collapse.”

We in Estonia are optimistic that the skills and mindset that enabled us to build the e-Estonia success story can also take us forward to a more sustainable future. As with all such transitions, it is never simply about new technologies, but equally importantly about public trust, good collaboration between the public and private sectors, a strong education system and a general ecosystem of innovation,“ he added.

The 8th e-Governance Conference “Resilient and Seamless Governance” is organized by the e-Governance Academy (eGA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia in collaboration with international donors and organizations. This year, the Conference is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, the city of Tallinn, GovStack, Intel, Microsoft, OVHCloud, ITL Cluster, and SecDev.