Non-Degree / Dates: 11-29 January 2021

The course provides the first insight into open society values and future expectations and its requirements towards digital technologies.

Using some application cases, the overview is provided of the main technologies by focusing on local administration and municipalities. The course covers topics such as linked open data, open society technologies in the context of information and knowledge management, choice designs and the theory of matching (algorithms) and market design in supporting the choice in public service, the collective intelligent systems as empowering technologies. In practical evaluation activities the generative design approach is introduced as a value based initiative for creating open society technologies and evaluating their merit for open society development. After the successful completion of the course, students should be able fulfill the following learning outcomes:

  • Knows the basic issues and specificity of open and inclusive governance and the role of innovation in a knowledge based open society
  • Understands the role of ICT and innovation in securing competitiveness and sustainability of a society
  • Understands opportunities and limits of applying e-Governance technologies in public policy
  • Is familiar with the concepts associated with Open and Linked Data, and with their usage in public sector
  • Is familiar with possibilities for application of digital technologies in educational innovations
  • Has practical experience of applying collaborative design approaches for conceptualising and prototyping
  • Is able to express, present and demonstrate innovative ideas

Why this course?

  • This course makes you think why should you be knowledgeable of the values underneath the technology development in rapidly developing information society.

  • Exploring practical case studies of digital governance technologies enables you to get an insight of to shift the governance of the society from top-down to bottom-up.

  • Experiencing value-based generative design approach gives you new insight on how the societal members should be involved into the design of society empowering technologies.


Senior Researcher Kai Pata is the expert of interactions in socio-technical ecosystems. She is involved in the Horizont 2020 project (2016-2019) Adult Education as a Means to Active Participatory Citizenship that integrates social data for machine learning based prediction. Lecturer Zsolt Bugarszki is the expert of social and responsible innovation. Professor David Lamas is the expert of human computer interaction. Associate Professor Ilja Šmorgun is the expert of design patterns in human computer interaction. Associate Professor of Public Policy Triin Lauri has the expertise of how to create policies of social justice in social governing systems using algorithms. Professor Sirje Virkus is the expert of information science. Senior Researcher Mart Laanpere is the expert of change management in organizations and learning in organizations.


Academic classes (42 hours)
There will be at least 42 hours of academic classes across the 3 weeks of the course. Classes will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction and Overview. Estonian experience in the development of digital society (e-government, digital identity, i-voting, e-residency etc)
  • Digital Technologies in Politics and Governance
  • Social Entrepreneurship Services like World Clean-Up Day, Helpific etc
  • Case studies in open society technologies
  • Participation and value-based design of socio-technological innovation
  • Introduction to Linked and Open Data
  • Open Data Estonia network
  • Choice designs and the theory of matching (algorithms)
  • Market design in supporting the choice in public service
  • Open Society technologies in the context of information and knowledge management (X-Road)
  • Estonian Digital Learning Ecosystem and digital transformation of education
  • Implementation of ICT in higher education on the example of the School of Digital Technologies

Field Trips and Cultural Activities (TBC)
Each topic is related to a relevant relevant professional site visits, these will be confirmed closer to the programme arrival date but are highly likely to include:

The more detailed programme will be available shortly.


Anyone interested in digital technologies. High level of efficiency in English is required (at least B2).

Credit points

Upon full participation and completion of course work students will be awarded 7,5 ECTS points.


  • Participation 20%
  • Capstone Project 50% – Capstone Project is held in a form of supervised group work to apply collaborative design approaches for conceptualising and prototyping.
  • Final Presentation 30% – Final presentation includes testing the concept and prototype, presenting results, reflecting team effort and individual contribution.

Students are required to attend all lectures, presentations, visits, and practical activities that are scheduled as part of the programme.

Course fee


Accommodation and meals are not included in the the price.

"The site visits were excellent. All the staff/teachers were passionate and involved/engaged. Was a pleasure to meet them."

Tomas Lockhart, Australia
Digital Society and Innovation: From e-Commerce to e-Governance #tws2020

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