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President Ilves met with digital entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley


Many leading entrepreneurs of the digital economy attended a dinner organised by Sylvia Thompson, daughter of Olga Kistler Ritso, the founder of the Museum of Occupations, and her husband, on the occasion of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves's visit to Silicon Valley.

George Schultz, a long-serving U.S. Secretary of State in the Ronald Reagan administration, greeted the Estonian head of state and expressed his admiration for how many initiators and innovators of the digital economy come from tiny Estonia: "Estonia has carved out a significant place in this field, which is proven by the Estonians that are here today."

President Ilves focused on the role of the state in supporting technological development, saying that the state has many important tasks. On the one hand, the rapid development of technology is accompanied by pressure to arrange and update the existing legislation. The impediment of innovation by unwieldy rules can be a significant obstacle to development. However, a precondition for sensible regulation is legislators and interpreters who themselves understand the principles of how technology operates. This means that our educational system must be updated.

A significant role that the state can play is to ensure that people have a secure e-identity, that is, to help make sure that they can safely "circulate" in cyberspace, said the Estonian head of state. "One password has not been sufficient to protect our e-mailboxes for a long time; we need a two-step personal identification system," the President said.

Among others, many entrepreneurs, leaders and investors of Estonian heritage attended the dinner, such as Sten Tamkivi, Steve Jürvetson, Hardy Meybaum, Kristel Viidik (Testlio), Ott Kaukver (Twilio), Jevgeni Kabanov (ZeroTurnaround) and Rainer Sternfeld (Planet OS).

Office of the President
Public Relations Department