Expert on technology trends and corporate innovation
David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now.
As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. He has since invested in more than 60 early-stage tech companies, including two that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and is an adviser to Lakestar, one of Europe’s largest venture-capital funds.
The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out sixteen proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — from “Turn products into services” to “Empower your team” and “Become a platform”.
David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, and hosts a new podcast series about tech founders called Walks With Founders.
Government CIO, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia
Siim Sikkut is the Government CIO of Estonia, also titled as Deputy Secretary General for IT and Telecom in Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. His role is to set the strategy and policies, to launch and steer strategic initiatives for development of digital government and society in Estonia. Siim is one of the founders of Estonia’s groundbreaking e-Residency programme.
Previously, he worked as Digital Policy Adviser in the Government Office of Estonia – coordinating the digital policy planning and execution across the government. He also served in this role as adviser to three consecutive Prime Ministers on digital matters. Siim’s prior experience includes work in Estonian Development Fund, a public venture capital fund and foresight think-tank, and Estonian Ministry of Finance, in areas of national strategic planning and public financial management.
Siim Sikkut graduated in 2005 from Princeton University, USA with B.A. degree in public and international affairs. He also holds an M.Sc. degree in International Management from the University of London.
Executive Vice President for Government Relations at CybExer Technologies
Merle Maigre is the Executive Vice President for Government Relations at CybExer Technologies, an Estonian firm that specializes in providing governments, international organizations and companies with cyber training environment and sophisticated, large-scale cyber security exercises.
2017- 2018 Merle Maigre served as the Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn. During 2012 to 2017, she worked as the Security Policy Adviser to Estonian Presidents Kersti Kaljulaid and Toomas Hendrik Ilves. In this capacity, she was the President’s chief advisor on domestic and international security issues, including cyber defence developments and challenges.
From 2010-2012 Merle Maigre served at NATO HQ in the Policy Planning Unit of the Private Office of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Merle Maigre has also worked as a researcher at the International Centre for Defense and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn (2007-2010).
She has served as the Deputy Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv and at the NATO Department in the Ministry of Defence, Estonia, in support of the country’s NATO accession.
Dr. Arvo Ott joined the e-Governance Academy on November 1st, 2005. His main responsibilities include the coordination of e-governance studies (eGovernment and eDemocracy aspects), training programmes and general management.
Prior to joining the e-Governance Academy, Arvo Ott served as the Head of Department of State Information Systems (head of e-government office) at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for 12.5 years. He was responsible of Estonia Information Society and e-Government strategy planning and implementation. For the last several years Arvo Ott has taken part in many international projects and programs on e-governance (information society policy and e-participation advice, e-government interoperability aspects, etc).
Director for Development and Strategy, Member of the Management Board, e-Governance Academy
Hannes Astok is an enthusiastic speaker for the information society, especially promoting the role of local governments and challenges of mobile governance and new technologies in government.
Hannes is Deputy Director for Strategy and Development at the e-Governance Academy. As a senior expert, he provides training and consultancy for governments in Central Asia, Caucasus, South-East Europe, Middle East, Africa and other transition regions. During the last years, he has been working closely with the governments of Ukraine, Namibia, Moldova, Palestine, Georgia, and Mauritius, among others.
Hannes served as Member of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) in 2007-2011, where he mainly dealt with the development of information society and issues related to regulation of intellectual property and electronic communication. Prior to that, in 1997-2005 Hannes worked for the City of Tartu as Deputy Mayor. Today Tartu is one of the world’s leading cities in e-governance, providing its citizens and businesses with a wide variety of Internet and mobile services.
In 2012-13, Hannes was Adviser to the President of Estonia on Information Society development.
He started his political career in Tartu, working for the decade for the City of Tartu as Deputy Mayor. Today Tartu is one of the world’s leading cities in e-governance, providing for citizens and businesses wide variety of Internet and mobile phone based services.
Hannes holds a journalism and public relations degree from Tartu University.
Hannes speaks Estonian, English, Russian and Finnish.
Programme Director of Smart Governance, Co-Founder of e-Governance Academy
When traversing the European tech scene of the last 20 years, you’ll likely run into Linnar. He’s a former executive at Skype and Fortumo, advisor at the Nordic Investment Bank, and Board Member of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology. Linnar lectures innovation management in Estonian IT College and Tartu University and has been advising Estonian and many other governments on ICT and innovation policy. Linnar is co-founder and member of the board of Pocopay – all European everyday banking app and Mobi Solutions – active investment and holding partnership in European startup scenery. Not surprisingly at all – Linnar is one of the founders and early phase leaders of Estonian e-Governance Academy as well.
Epp Maaten is Programme Director of National Cyber Security at the e-Governance Academy.
Epp Maaten has 20 years of experience from Estonian public sector institutions. She worked as Advisor and Deputy Head of the Electronic Voting Committee.
She has advised the President of Estonia and the Chancellor of Justice on information society related matters. Previously Epp served at Estonian Information System Authority and managed governmental policy and projects concerning critical infrastructure protection and IT risk management. Epp has been also auditor at Eesti Energia and National Audit Office. Until 2007, she coordinated the IT projects of the National Electoral Committee, including Internet voting.
She is a certified IT auditor (CISA) and graduated from the IT College of Tallinn University of Technology as an IT systems administrator and reached a master degree in public administration.