Have you heard about Hanah Lahe from Estonia? She’s the youngest Member of Parliament and joined us to discuss her life, dreams, experience and politician career

Hanah Lahe from Estonia – land of Harry Potter of the digital world was our key person in podcast #22. Do you know her?

Hanah Lahe is a young pretty lady who sometimes eats potatoes for breakfast, is vegetarian, does not have her own car, is not AI enthusiastic, is still a student, has children, and dreams of being a singer and now she has become the youngest Member of parliament in the government of Estonia.

You may also enjoy to this story as a podcast episode.

She made our day because she found the right time for us and shared with us feelings, opinions, impressions, and much more. Thank you, Hanah!

So, ready, steady, go, dear guys…. Prepare your coffee, go to the fridge to grab some small to eat, and relax while listening to „Future Young Voice “ which is really willing to make an impact in a „big – small country“.

So the beginning of the podcast starts with the crucial question – Is Estonia the Northern part of the Baltics or the southern part of the Nordic? The Hanah´s answer is clear. Estonia is being itself. Each country is unique. Katie, the moderator, and Startup Kitchen cook, explains and talks more about common issues which we have the same. Czechia and Estonia are really small countries, both were occupied by Russia and had the problem with our neighbors somehow. Czechia has the Velvet Revolution and Estonia has the Singing Revolution.

And, for us, unfortunately, the similarities end. The big political changes came. Estonia in 1991 started to be an independent country and to do more for a better society. In 1996 the Ambassador to the US Toomas Hendrik Ilves and former minister of education Jang Kovig had the idea to make Estonia a digital country and thanks to their experience started to make it happen. And the journey for Silicon Valley of Europe has already started.

And what was the first step for this big plan? Hanah talks about 17,000 computers which were set up by these two great guys and brought Estonia to the 21st digital century. The idea was backed up by President Lenard Merry and one year later, in 1997, it was part of the national budget. So the computers were spread to the schools, each computer had internet access, and the digital „mindset“ was spread to the children and became part of the digital „transformation“.

Hanah talked about her own story. She was born in 1999 so she is from the generation where computers were in class and when Hanah was in kindergarten, she already played the pc games such as Sims or Need for Speed. The digital „era“ was part of her whole life. She had never voted by paper or she never paid in bank thanks to some paper application. So that is the real fact that shows how Estonia is fully digital and is naturally implemented in their everyday life.
Estonia is covered by 50% of the forest and 99% of the public service is available online. And guess, what are two things for example which are not fully online? As Hannah explained, it is getting of driver’s license or calling an ambulance, but, it is still all saved somewhere in the cloud and everybody in Estonia has the personal code and operator in the Ambulance to see who is it, which medicine is he taking, etc.

Probably everybody knows that Estonia has the highest number of unicorns in Europe per capita and, what is probably more „crazy“, the internet is available almost everywhere even in the forest, villages, and the whole country. And, now, maybe a small paradox in comparison with it, they do not fight for the green topic or climate crisis. Why? They could not see the concrete impact – no floods, no tsunamis… So now it turns for Hanah, as she explains: „Well, it comes to market competition, so we have a very good minister of climate and he says our economy is supposed to fit inside of nature and it is a good concept. We need to look at the economy… People think about the weather and not the climate. We need to talk about more practical things.“

Part of the reason why Hanah decided to be a politician is to show some impact. She remembers how she felt frustrated for working on something that would be written on the paper at some politician’s table and probably nobody will read it. One thing is to fight in your free time and be an activist or a „change-maker “. So the (thought) political journey started and Hanah did it! One of the „shock“moments was how politicians – and populists behaved in front of the camera and plenary hall and behind the camera but Hanah said:“ It is the game.“
And the last „bite“ of these podcasts is what is the weirdest food she has ever eaten? As a vegetarian from childhood, it is a sausage from moose that her neighbor had 😉.

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