Stream: Digital Society
Taavi Kotka 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.
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.
Taavi is also now a special advisor to European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip on European digital single market.