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The current pandemic and economic crisis have significantly increased uncertainty and complexity in understanding the shifts in global balance of power. Some of the key drivers projected by different pre-crisis foresight scenarios are reinforced while others take a back seat. The webinar will explore alternative scenarios on the global balance of power and the distributional impact of current pandemic.

What are global implications of the pandemic? Who will dominate the world in the future? Will protectionist blocs emerge with scrambled geopolitics or should we expect increase in international cooperation through public and private networks?  To what extent can policy-makers shape global developments? How should policy-makers and businesses in small open economies such as Estonia, Finland and Singapore respond to these developments?


Parag Khanna, Founder and Managing Partner, FutureMap (Singapore)
Risto Penttilä, CEO of Nordic West Office (Finland)
Andres Sutt, Member of the Estonian Parliament
Merle Maigre, Executive Vice President at CybExer Technologies (Estonia)


Meelis Kitsing, Head of Research, Foresight Centre

Speaker Bios:

Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy advisor, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Parag’s newest book is The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century (2019). He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and concluding with Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.” Parag has been an adviser to the US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program. Parag holds a PhD from the London School of Economics

Risto Penttilä is CEO of Nordic West Office, global affairs consultancy and a think tank. He is also Secretary General of the European Business Leaders’ Convention. He writes occasionally for the Financial Times and is the author of six books. He is educated at Yale University (B.A.) and University of Oxford (M.Phil and D.Phil.) His previous positions include CEO of Finland Chamber of Commerce, Director of Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA, Senior Vice President at Oxford Analytica in the UK, and Director at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. In his youth he founded a liberal reform party and was a member of the Parliament of Finland.

Andres Sutt is a Member of the Estonian Parliament and a member of a liberal Reform Party faction. He serves in the Finance Committee and in the Anti-Corruption Select Committee. He has more than 25 years of finance and banking experience from the Eesti Pank, Estonian central bank, where he served as Deputy Governor in charge for financial stability. He was also a member of the supervisory board of the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority and the Banking Supervision Committee of the ECB. He has worked in the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC and European Financial Stability Facilty and European Stability Mechanism in Luxembourg. Prior entering the politics he was a Member of the Management Board of Eesti Energia. He has master’s degree in economics and finance (cum laude) from Tartu University, Estonia and has studied management in INSEAD, France.

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.

Meelis Kitsing is Head of Research at Foresight Centre and Professor at the Estonian Business School. Meelis worked as an Adviser at the Strategy Unit of the Estonian Cabinet Office and Head of Economic Analysis at the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication. He also served as the President of Estonian Economic Association. Meelis’s current research interests focus on political economy of digital ecosystems. His research has been published by Springer, IEEE, ACM, Leuven University, MIT Press and other publishers. He has conducted research and taught at numerous universities in Europe and in the United States. Meelis earned his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US), his MALD as a Fulbright scholar from the Fletcher School at Tufts University (US) and his MSc as a Peacock scholar from the London School of Economics (UK). Prior to his academic pursuits, he worked for multinational companies and served as a City Councillor of Tallinn.