Podcast 🎧& blog: Resilient and Seamless Governance

23.03.2022 | Federico Plantera


The e-Governance Conference 2022, this year reaching its 8th edition, welcomes digital leaders and experts over the three years in Tallinn but also online at egovconference.ee. This year the main focus is on the resilience of digital governance in times of crisis and the next step in the path of digitalization – seamlessness. Hannes Astok, Managing Director at e-Governance Academy, joined us in another episode of the Digital Government Podcast to give us all a sneak peek into what this year’s event will look like. And why you should all join, of course.


Seamless and resilient governments, in peace and emergency

It seems almost like we jumped from one crisis to another. The past two years have been characterized by governments’ responses to the pandemic, an incredible and global effort in terms of adaptation. First, it was about shifting more and more to online services and remote working. Secondly, on the roll out of vaccines and digital certificates, while consolidating operational practices which already changed the way administrations function.

Recently, other crises have hit Tonga and Ukraine – respectively, a natural calamity and war. “So, I think the question of resilience has become very important throughout this year. Those crises bring along plenty of challenges for public service delivery and digital transformation,” Astok says.

“But on the other hand, the topic of seamless government is very much related to resilience: even in peaceful times, people want services delivered with this approach. It means that citizens won’t have to apply, either online or offline, for one or another service. Rather, people want to get them directly, with the government notifying you that a deadline is approaching, or that you are eligible for a given benefit,” he continues.


Is it still possible to innovate during a crisis?

In a sense, the two years of COVID-19 pandemic already provided an answer to this question. But things may change when the crisis at hand is a natural disaster, or an active conflict.

“It’s a good question, but I think crises area always a good environment for innovation. Let me bring up an example from medicine. Surgery, in particular, has developed a lot during times of war. The comparison here is that, if you have a critical situation to face and the time slot available for decision is very short, you need to take shortcuts, experiment, or at least try new methods, processes. There is room to take risks because, if you don’t, you fail to address the problem at hand anyway,” Astok explains.

The Conference will, in fact, shed light on how governments reacted during such periods. “From those areas where deep crises took place or are still happening, we can learn how actually governments acted rapidly, how they innovated and invented new ways of delivering services. This of course entailed creating shortcuts, and eliminating useless, obsolete, time-consuming processes to provide for citizens quickly and in a digital format.”


You are all invited. May 10-12, in Tallinn or online

Resilience and seamlessness are the main umbrella under which we will contextualize the experience of governments in times of crises. But our Conference topics do not stop there: we will address also participatory practices in policy making, cybersecurity, design of public services, the implementation and responsible use of artificial intelligence, and much more.

Digital leaders of Estonia, Faroe Island, the UK and beyond will shed light on the latest innovations in public service provision. As Estonia works as a role model and inspiration for many countries, the Conference features Government CIO Luukas Kristjan Ilves and Chief Data Officer Ott Velsberg to get the freshest insights on data management and the use of AI for service provision. Also, you can join Siim Sikkut, the former Government CIO of Estonia, in discussion on how effectively lead the digital transformation in the government.

The Conference speakers include the President of Estonia Mr Alar Karis, the President of the Future of Life Institute Max Tegmark,Deputy Minister for Eurointegration at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Valeriya Ionan, Digital Ambassador, Government of Poland Justyna Romanowska, Author and UX consultant Vitaly Friedman, and Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Paul Timmers, among others.

“You can go online and follow the three conference days by simply registering at egovconference.ee. But this year there is also a great opportunity to join the conference in Tallinn! The pandemic is increasingly fading and going easy on Estonia, spring is set to make Tallinn look even more beautiful, and we’re in a safe and secure environment. So, it’s worth to come, listen to our high-level keynote speakers and panellists, join the discussion, and find out more about resilience and seamlessness of digital governance,” Astok concludes.


Interested in more? Join the e-Governance Conference on May 10-12, 2022, to get the best insights and lessons learnt about how digital governments cope with times of crisis, and create seamless online services to make citizens’ life easier.