Thinking in Billions 2023
Thinking in Billions welcomes all ecosystem key players and decision-makers from the public and private sectors. This is the first official side event of Latitude59, taking place on May 24 from 9:30-13:00 at Nobel, Proto Factory. We will bridge the gap between the public and private sectors, and discuss what role good communication models play in fostering the change.
For Thinking in Billions 2023, we will analyze these collaborations and questions, especially in the context of deep tech as an example of where intersectoral collaboration can be most impactful. The event will share the best practices and success stories from various countries as well as initiate collaboration between governments, founders, universities, investors, and research institutions on how to enable us to truly think in billions.
Kicking off at 9:30 on the morning of May 24, the opening words of Thinking in Billions are given by Tiit Riisalo, the Estonian Minister of Information Technology. In 2016–2021, he was the Director of the Office of the President of the Republic. He graduated from the University of Tartu in 1995 with a degree in public administration and furthered his education in the same field at the University of North Carolina, USA, in 1993. In 2011, he studied social psychology at Stanford University and New York University.
The day will be led by Florian Marcus, an expert on internet and technology governance. Having lived, studied and worked in three different countries, Florian has learned to appreciate Estonia’s vision of a digitally accessible government that serves its citizens rather than the other way around. With his work experience spanning both the private sector and government, he has witnessed the shortcomings, aspirations and struggles of each side. He also likes to dig into the metrics and data underlying various rankings and other valuable comparisons, which can help Estonia advance its e-Governance model even further.
Opening Keynote by Alexander de Carvahlo
Alexander de Carvalho is the Co-Founder and CIO of PUBLIC, the leading European government-focused technology company. His Keynote will focus on the biggest challenges facing our societies today. Public services simply need to get better. Technology has to be at the heart of how governments deliver for their citizens. Digital know-how cannot simply be a good-to-have but has to become a must-have. And governments everywhere need partners who share their mission but also understand how to drive technology-enabled change. At PUBLIC, the company he co-founded six years ago, we have always been a place for big ambition and unapologetic optimism for the ability of technology, applied smartly and sensitively, to transform public services for the better.
Fireside Chat with Sille Kraam
Sille Kraam, Estonia’s Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development at the Ministry will shed light on what the next steps are for Estonia in regards to building a coherent and cooperative space for innovation to prosper. Sille’s extremely diverse portfolio of professional experiences ranges from industrial policy and Estonian export-growth to FDI-s and the deeptech ecosystem. She loves systematic thinking and people who are courageous enough to pitch their crazy ideas. People who are not afraid to take risks and fail – as failure is just one step closer to success. For this fireside chat, she will be joined by Alexander de Carvahlo.
1st Panel: Founding the Future
Founding the Future panel brings together a group of visionary startup founders in the field of deep tech, focusing on future technologies that have the potential to transform society. President Kersti Kaljulaid, renowned for her expertise in future society topics and commitment to fostering innovation, moderates the engaging discussion. The panel explores the profound impact of deep tech startups on various industries and envisions a future driven by cutting-edge technologies.
We will hear from Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca, co-founder of Gelatex – the company behind the fastest and most cost-effective technology for nanofiber production. Mauricio Esguerra, the founder of Magment, is working on cutting-edge wireless inductive charging infrastructure. And Kristjan Korjus, the co-founder and CTO of Pactum, an AI-based system that helps global companies to automatically offer personalized, commercial negotiations on a massive scale.
Speakers in the 1st panel:
- Kersti Kaljulaid served as the President of the Republic of Estonia from 2016-2021. Kersti Kaljulaid has become a sought-after speaker at high-level forums on digital, security, and foreign-policy topics and more broadly for analyzing and interpreting societal and economic change. President Kaljulaid is a vocal advocate of human rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech, and democracy. One of the principles in the office of president has been the one she set out upon her inauguration: “I am never silent when our security is in question, when our freedoms are at stake or when those weaker than us are treated unjustly.
- Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca is the co-founder and COO of Gelatex. Mari-Ann has an MBA degree in Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, has worked in product development and manufacturing optimization in the textile industry, and as a business consultant and a project manager of various EU-funded collaboration projects.
- Mauricio Esguerra is a physicist and expert in magnetic materials and applications. He worked as CTO for Siemens/Epcos and EGLO, GM for Dialight and Pulse Electronics, and Sales Director for Falco Electronics before founding and heading MAGMENT in 2015 in Munich. Mauricio has over 30 patents and 200 publications in the fields of magnetic materials, lighting, and applications.
- Kristjan Korjus is co-founder and CTO of Pactum. Pactum helps companies improve commercial agreements, by automatically negotiating them on a massive scale. He was previously head of AI at Starship Technologies, which has the largest fleet of self-driving delivery robots. Furthermore, Kristjan led a successful GitHub project, replicating DeepMind’s famous Atari playing AI, and is a co-author of the best-selling book in Estonia, “Bedside Reading About Mathematics”. Kristjan holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Masters’s in Mathematics.
2nd Panel: Collaborating in Billions
We all know that very impactful things can grow out of public-private partnerships. But what are some real-world examples of how it can be done, and how do we create ecosystems which naturally birth these types of collaborations? We will dive deep into different perspectives from around the world on what it takes to foster successful collaborations between the public and private sectors.
We are going to hear from Pramod Bhasin, founder of Genpact and board member of numerous industry-leading companies, Jochen Zimmermann, the Head of the Department for Startups and Digital Hubs in the German government, Madelynn Martinere, the Managing Director of Zebras Unite Co-Op, the US founder-led community, building a more inclusive economy and it will be moderated by new age Estonian media house Levila’s founder Daniel Vaarik.
Speakers in the 2nd panel:
- Daniel Vaarik. From developing strategies for the world’s ﬁrst e-residency to co-creating a fake political party as a theatrical project, Daniel always aims to facilitate communication across cultures, disciplines, and parts of society. Today he works with Levila, a company he co-founded in order to produce stories with a high impact on society. He is also the co-founder of Akkadian and Tuleva Pension Funds.
- Pramod Bhasin is an accomplished business executive and entrepreneur known for his significant contributions to the global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. He has been the head of 13 different companies and presently holds the position of Chairman at the Indian Council for Research on Intl Economic Relations, Chairman for Skills Academy Pvt Ltd., Chairman of Clix Capital Services Pvt Ltd., and Chairman for Junior Achievement India. His expertise earned him recognition as IT Man of the Year and Manager of the Year, and he is a Chartered Accountant and alumnus of Shri Ram College of Commerce. Pramod also is a Mission Board member of Accelerate Estonia.
- Madelynn Martiniere is an international strategist and facilitator working with innovators, entrepreneurs, and executives to more effectively collaborate, cooperate and coordinate together in order to build equitable and scalable innovation ecosystems. She is currently the Managing Director of Zebras Unite, a global co-op that catalyzes community, capital, and culture for people building businesses that are better for the world.
- Jochen Zimmermann is head of the division “Start-ups and Digital Innovation Hubs” at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action in the German government. The division’s task is to support the start-up ecosystem in Germany, in particular through the implementation of the “Start-up Strategie” that was passed by the German Federal Government in 2022. After his career as a lawyer, Jochen joined the Ministry in 2013. Since then he served in several branches such as the Departments for Industry as well as the Department for Digitalization and Innovation. From 2019 to 2021 Jochen was deputy head of the Minister’s Office.
Thinking in Billions is an official side event of Latitude59, organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication, Accelerate Estonia, Startup Estonia, and Latitude59. Find more info and the detailed agenda for Thinking in Billions here. The registration is open until May 20: