Monday, July 25, 2016

Visiting the Future...and Coming Back: A Trip to Estonia

If I told you that I was going to the future and then coming back to tell you about it, I would imagine (assuming you believed me) that you'd be somewhat interested in what I saw.

Well, it's been about 18 months since I first heard about e-Residency in Estonia and next week, I'll be going with a few friends to Tallinn to explore this phenomenon in person, to see the world's most digitally advanced country.

What's so enamoring?

Well, everything....It's a society where 99% of people pay taxes online, people vote online, can start a business in 24 hours, and monitor their children's school progress online. They've reduced government expenditures by the equivalent of 2% of GDP.

If you can't come with me, you can still see the future in this video (about 1 hour).

To really understand how this digital transformation has touched every aspect of society (healthcare being one of the examples), check out this "components" page. [There are shorter 2 minute videos there)

The result is a more efficient, less costly, less bureaucratic country where people have more time to do what they want and more control over their information.

It's impacted

  • taxes
  • health records
  • land records
  • population register
  • energy management
  • social welfare
  • government meetings (down from 5 hours to 30 minutes)
  • legal services and notary services
and all done securely thanks to something called Keyless Signature Infrastructure, a blockchain based solution.

All of these advancements are probably why NATO has its cyber defense center in Estonia.

Needless to say, I'll be blogging and reporting on this as I'm there and when I get back. Here's the itinerary.

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