Toomas Hendrik Ilves wins prestigious Reinhard Mohn award

Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

Toomas Ilves was today (June 29th 2017) awarded the Reinhard Mohn Prize “Smart Country: Connected. Intelligent. Digital.” He was granted the prize thanks to his pioneering work whilst the President of Estonia. This was predominantly through the promotion of digitalization in government, education and public services.

In recognition, Brigitte Mohn, a Member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann Stiftung, said “Toomas Hendrik Ilves introduced digitalization to schools and classrooms ten years before the invention of the smartphone. He realized just how important the early adoption and acquisition of digital skills were before many others did.”

Estonia is today considered a global leader in digital transformation, an initiative that was promoted and championed by Ilves. He was instrumental in grouping together the digitilization efforts of the Estonian ministries into a coherent national strategy. As President, he implemented high-speed internet and mobile broadband across the country. Simultaneously he transformed the population’s attitude to embrace digital technology through education and the development of e-skills.

The changes that he implemented have created a situation where Estonian residents now very rarely have to make a personal visit to public authorities, and can even cast an electronic vote during national elections.

Being awarded the Reinhard Mohn Prize puts Ilves in esteemed company with previous winners including Klaus Schwab, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Rita Süssmuth, the former Bundestag President.

Toomas Ilves is an expert speaker on e-government, cyber security, blockchain and new technologies. In recent weeks he has spoken in front of audiences in the USA, Europe and Asia. He is exclusively managed by Chartwell Speakers. To get in contact, or to request more information please get in touch with us at