Taavi Kotka


Proud of Changing the World

MSc in Engineering,

PhD Candidate

I thrive on ideas that make a real difference. Incremental change doesn’t move me. I put my time and skills into projects that make life a whole lot better. Does it have a serious positive impact on society? That’s a pretty good litmus test.


I’m good at figuring out how things should work. I’ll drill into the underlying problem and create an out-of-the-box solution. Estonia is a tiny country, how do you make it bigger? Conventional wisdom would suggest having more children and boosting immigration. Instead, we came up with e-residency. How to design the whole system, where to keep data and so on, that’s what I’m good at.


Governments or the private sector? Doesn’t matter. Have bold, scary good ideas and the means to make things happen. That’s all I ask. Well, no. You also need to be passionate and take pride in what you do. We’ll get along just fine, then.


Engineering isn’t about software or hardware. It also sweats the soft stuff, how people see and experience what you’re building. There are no hard lines between engineering, user experience, or design thinking. No separate silos. A proper engineer knows that a black metal bridge will melt the shoes off pedestrians. So she adds wooden planks. That’s not someone else’s job down the line.


Awards. European CIO of the Year (ICTSPRING, 2014), Premier 100 Technology Leaders (Computerworld, 2016), Thinkers 20: The Brightest Business Minds in Northern Europe (Nordic Business Report, 2016), Entrepreneur of the Year (Ernst & Young, 2011), Apolitical TOP 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government (2018).

Taavi.Kotka @ proudengineers.com