Estonia, the Little 100-year-old Country Shaping the Future of How

Estonia, the smallest of the three Baltic states, celebrates its 100th Anniversary on February 24, 2018.

Since the country of 1.3m people restored its independence in 1991, she has proven to be sort of a prodigy. Named ‘the most advanced digital society in the world’ by Wired UK, with a government that is “virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure” according to The New Yorker.

Estonia has become one of the most digitally advanced nations on earth, launching groundbreaking initiatives like borderless banking and e-Residency, a program that allows non-Estonians access to Estonian services from abroad.

The New Yorker also points out, admiringly, that “today, [Estonian] citizens can vote from their laptops and challenge parking tickets from home. They do so through the “once only” policy, which dictates that no single piece of information should be entered twice. Instead of having to “prepare” a loan application, applicants have their data — income, debt, savings — pulled from elsewhere in the system. There’s nothing to fill out in doctors’ waiting rooms, because physicians can access their patients’ medical histories.”

The World's First Digital Nomad Visa

Now, as the country celebrates 100 years of independence, Jobbatical is working with the Ministry of Interior to champion the modern workforce developing the world’s first Digital Nomad Visa. Supporting digital nomads on their career journey has been one of the founding principles behind Jobbatical. Our purpose is to create bridges, not walls, by inspiring knowledgeable people to discover their dream work locations across the globe. And, our own team is the best proof of that principle — forty people who've flown in from sixteen different countries, some with their families, to live in tiny, climatically challenged Estonia.

This brings me to another founding principle — keeping the company’s HQ in Estonia since Jobbatical was founded in 2014, continue creating jobs, and paying taxes in the founders' homeland. One can only imagine it hasn't always been easy to convince people from other corners of the world to locate to Estonia, a country many might not even know existed.👇

Estonia sparks interesting questions when being googled.

Our team's wishes for Estonia

Jobbatical along with many Estonian employers joined the initiative started by a business-consultancy company BDA Consulting and gifts February 23, the day preceding Estonia's Anniversary, to all of our employees so they could prepare for the big day, spend more time with their loved ones, and perhaps bake a few cakes.

This Is Us: Jobbatical’s diverse team of forty (not all are pictured), from sixteen different countries. Photo by: Andres Teiss.

We also asked our team to wish something for Estonia's big day. Here are all these thought-provoking, beautiful messages for the little country that could.

“I wish Estonia continues to have the boldness of shaping the future of “how” as an example for other countries and societies. Where others say they “cannot”, continue to be the little country that could, the pioneer who always shows how a country can, in fact, be the future.”

— Karoli, Estonia. 🇪🇪

“ I wish you will beat Russia in hockey or basketball”

— Daniel, USA. 🇺🇸

“Be always on the edge of technologies, lovely Estonia!”

— Alex, Ukraine. 🇺🇦

“I wish Estonia would continue to value bright minds, healthy living conditions for kids and clean energy.”

— Ronald, Estonia. 🇪🇪

“I wish Estonia and its people keep being an example of pride, resilience, intelligence, and love for their roots, land, and people. I also wish Estonia continues to be the great nation it is right now for another 100, 200, 1000 years! I have countless learnings this country has given me and a lot of countries I know (including mine) should take note from Estonia in a lot of aspects.”

— Jorge, Colombia. 🇨🇴

“I wish for Estonia to be the top leading IT country in Europe!”

— Ahmed, Egypt. 🇪🇬

“I wish Estonia courage in the face of change. May diversity and equality be as important to us as digital innovation.”

— Maria, Estonia.🇪🇪

“I wish that Estonia becomes the most technologically advanced country in the world helping mankind to reach levels of knowledge we haven’t found yet and pushing us forward in making the world a better place.”

— Juan, Venezuela. 🇻🇪

“May Estonia keep revolutionizing the digital world and serving as a good example in the real world. Looking forward to seeing the next 100 years!”

— Bruno, Brazil. 🇧🇷

“Dear Estonia, on this very special occasion, I wish you to be at the forefront of technological development, to be an example of social integration and intercultural communication, to keep on singing freely for the next 1000 years!”

— Roberto, Italy. 🇮🇹

“I wish Estonia more sunny days and loads of babies! And a 2 -line motorway between Tallinn and Tartu.”

— Sandra, Estonia.🇪🇪

“The day I landed in Estonia for the first time I knew the country was a daring digital leader. What I didn’t know is that it is the homeland to some of my favorite, most treasured people in the entire world. From the moment I touched down in Estonia I was impressed by how kind, caring, and open Estonians are. Then I learned their stories and fell in love with the country and its people. I’ve never seen a place so resilient and determined to dare on their dreams. I hope Estonia’s growth, in its next 20 years, will be as substantial as it has been in its last 20 years. And then I hope that growth continues until Estonia is a global startup hub and headquarters for heart.

My wish for Estonia, on it’s 100 birthday, is that it will stay courageous and continue to share its strengths. I also hope that all the people who step foot in Estonia will return the love given to them when they arrive.”

— Lauren, USA. 🇺🇸

“Freedom is not a gift from anyone. In the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for freedom, your sacrifices made Estonia a rising country. May you always remain independent.”

— Muhammed, Egypt. 🇪🇬

“Happy 100th anniversary to Estonia, an amazing country with awesome people. I wish Estonia to continue as leading example of digitally developed country. I am blessed and proud to be part of this nation. I admire the way Estonia handle it’s education, healthcare and other public sectors. Transparency makes a great government and Estonia is showing it to the world. I wish Estonia all the very best and develop geometrically in every metrics.”

— Param, India. 🇮🇳

“I wish to Estonia, their residents, and e-Residents another +100 years of great success and keep going building this cutting edge tech nation on top of the best human values!”

— Fernando, Colombia. 🇨🇴

100 years is a big deal and Estonians are not shy in celebrating it in all ways possible — be it the initiative of gifting a free day from work to teaching Amazon’s Alexa Estonian facts, proverbs, and even a little Estonian, thanks to the Estonia One Hundred Alexa skill.

Have your pick among the festivities to attend here, participate in one of the gift initiatives and let's celebrate Estonia's 100th Anniversary!


Dea Paraskevopoulos

Written by

Content Marketer @Jobbatical, a book-worm & a fan of British humour. Also SO good at GIFs, ask anyone.

Jobbatical Blog

Jobbatical connects globally-minded companies with a community of ready-to-relocate business, technology, and creative professionals. Follow our blog to learn about attracting talent, hiring internationally, moving around the world, and finding work abroad.

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