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The 2020s and 2030s will probably be the two most dynamic decades in human history, as a broad suite of technologies mature and combine to redefine the fundamental organizing principles of the economy.

So far, the digital transformation has been uneven, rolling out predominantly in services. But the potential combination of many new technologies promises radical change in the production as well. The changes we are seeing in industry may be early examples of a broader transition to a new economic model for the production and consumption of goods and services – one that is digitally intermediated, on demand, and highly distributed. The Next Digital Economy promises to revolutionize value chains, and dematerialize much of today’s special equipment, as new functions could be added to physical products by mere software update.

These developments pose new policy challenges in various fields, including industrial policy, labor market regulations and social policy, environmental sustainability and taxation. The seminar outlines challenges and opportunities of the Next Digital Economy from the policy perspective.


Kristel Van der Elst, Director General at Policy Horizons Canada
Marcus Ballinger, Manager of Strategic Foresight at Policy Horizons Canada
Taavi Rõivas, Member of the Estonian Parliament


Tea Danilov, Head of the Foresight Centre

Speaker Bios:

Kristel Van der Elst

Kristel Van der Elst

Director General at Policy Horizons Canada      

Kristel Van der Elst is the Director General at Policy Horizons Canada, Government of Canada.
She has about 20 years of experience in forward-looking strategy and policy advisory roles. She works with senior executives and policy makers, providing the insights, resources and processes to help them turn long-term strategic thinking into actions and impacts.
She is also the CEO of The Global Foresight Group, a member of the OECD Governmental Foresight Community, Fellow at the Center for Strategic Foresight of the US Government Accountability Office, and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe.
Kristel holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, a Masters in Development Cooperation from the University of Ghent, and a Masters in Commercial Engineering from the Free University of Brussels. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, a Global Leadership Fellow and a Certified Professional Facilitator.
Marcus Ballinger

Marcus Ballinger

Manager of Strategic Foresight at
Policy Horizons Canada                                      

Marcus is a futurist who manages when needed. At Horizons, he has worked on geostrategic issues, changes in the global energy landscape, sustainability, infrastructure, and the next digital economy. He previously worked at Environment and Climate Change Canada on topics related to international environmental affairs. He sometimes tries living in the future, to the extent the present allows, and avoids being near internal combustion engines whenever possible. In his spare time, his Guardian alter-ego defends humanity from The Darkness.
Vice President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Taavi Rõivas - photo: Kaupo Kikkas

Taavi Rõivas

Member of the Estonian Parliament                    

Taavi Rõivas is member of the Parliament and Vice-Chairman of the country’s Reform Party Faction. Taavi has been Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia since 26 March 2014. His second government took office on 9 April 2015. He is a member of the Estonian Reform Party. From 2012–2014, Taavi Rõivas was the Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Estonia and from 2011–2012, he was a member of the 12th Riigikogu, the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee, and a member of the Finance Committee. From 2007–2011, Taavi Rõivas was a member of the 11th Riigikogu and first, a member of the Social Affairs Committee for two years and then the Chairman of the Finance Committee. From 2005–2007, Taavi Rõivas served as the Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia and previously from 2004–2005, he was the Elder of the Haabersti City District Government. He has previously performed the duties of Adviser / Office Manager for the Minister of the Population Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, Customer Account Executive for large corporate companies in the AS IT Grupp, and Adviser to the Minister of Justice. Taavi graduated from Tallinn Secondary Science School and from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Tartu in international economics and marketing.
Tea Davilov

Tea Danilov

Head of the Foresight Centre                               


Tea has graduated from the University of Tartu with a Master of Economics degree, specialising in econometrics and economic theory. She has worked in Enterprise Estonia as the Director of Export and Entrepreneurship Centre, and in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications as the Head of Internal Market Department and Economic Development Department.