Estonia’s 100-Year Anniversary
Photography provided by Mary Nippert
It’s not every day that one hears mention of the country of Estonia, bordered by Latvia and Russia in Northeast Europe with a population of 1.3 million. But Mary Nippert, Honorary Consul of Estonia for Ohio and Kentucky since April of 2016, recognizes Estonia’s contributions to the world.
“Estonia is such a beautiful country, and one of the most technologically advanced countries in the entire world. This year, they are celebrating their 100-year anniversary,” says Nippert. Estonia has fully embraced today’s technological advancements, implementing a large variety of digital services and platforms.
“Skype was founded in Estonia, and it was actually just announced that the Bank of England is going to be using TransferWise, which is an Estonian company, as a recognized option for people to exchange currency outside of a foundation bank. Back in February, Verizon announced that they are going to be using Estonian technology for their entire Blockchain platform,” says Nippert.
In Estonia, e-signatures submitted online are considered legally valid with the aid of an ID card. Also, these signatures can be submitted anywhere, as all Estonian towns and villages are covered by a network of public internet access points. Because Estonia has declared internet access a human right, it has a thriving IT start-up culture and a variety of online services and smart city initiatives, including using ID cards to pay for public transportation, voting online and paying for parking with your smartphone. Estonian residents can also receive digital prescriptions from their doctor, even remotely.
“There are a lot of opportunities for U.S. citizens in Estonia, but there’s also a lot of opportunities for Estonians here in the United States,” says Nippert. “They have a lot to teach us, in many, many ways. There are a lot of opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships.”
To learn more, visit www.visitestonia.com.