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The 7 secrets of the most digital country in the world

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How did Estonia move from stagnation to being a model of the future? The keys to the success of the Estonian case that astonish the world. How and why it inspires Argentina

Estonia is located in northeastern Europe, between Russia, Latvia and the Baltic Sea. Until 1991 it was part of the Soviet Socialist Bloc, although it is more identified with the Baltic and Nordic countries, especially with Finland with whom it shares roots – cultural, ethnic, linguistic – and close ties of cooperation and influence.

The years under Soviet domination had decimated the Estonian population and its economy. Impoverished and depressed, she had to redefine her identity and direction in the world. That’s when he decided to bet on technology, looking in the mirror of Finland, a country that had achieved an economic leap thanks to the creation of a company that led the cell phone industry for several years: Nokia; and whose success fostered the emergence of new businesses.

With a cabinet of young people – average age of 35 years – and Toomas-Hendrik Ilves, a technology-loving president, they begin to imagine the Estonia of the future and put together a plan that would make it possible. They bet on a combo of a fixed income tax, free trade, solid currency and privatization. New companies can register easily and without delay.

There was almost nothing, everything was to be done, including infrastructure. Finland offers its analog telephone connection from the 70s for free, but Estonia rejects it and decides to upgrade with digital telephone connections and build its own cutting-edge system. Thus, it goes from having 50% of the population without a telephone to having 123 cell phone lines for every 100 inhabitants.

In 2004, together with other Eastern European countries, he joins the European Union as a new member, at the same time he becomes part of NATO and finishes fixing his position on the world board. Russia can no longer consider it part of its backyard. After its independence, the frictions with its neighboring power do not stop happening, with some periodicity and different tenor.

Estonia has managed to open a place in the world, and today is an emblematic case for the consistent transformation that makes it an example in Europe and in the world.

It does not mean that life there is rosy. With only 1.3 million inhabitants, it is one of the least populated countries in the EU.

Its capital, Tallin is a windy and cold city, with an average annual temperature of between 4 and 6.5 degrees. The city landscape still betrays the times of the iron curtain. The language does not help either: with Estonian as the official language, most foreigners find there a barrier impossible to cross although they have lived in that country for years. On the other hand, geopolitical instability and risk have discouraged many investments, an aspect that has always worried the government.

The size of the country is also a hindrance when it comes to growing companies that need qualified human resources, such as technologies. This leads the authorities to start offering the first virtual residence in the world with the goal of reaching 10 million “inhabitants” by 2025.

However, Estonia is at the forefront of Europe in Internet penetration and mobile telephony. The sector of information and communication technologies (ICT) have become a very important part of the country’s GDP.

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Today, life expectancy is 72 years, 99.8% of the population is literate and 97% of banking operations are done online.

How does Estonia become a digital society that has improved the economy and the quality of life of its inhabitants?

  1. First: education

The first action that is taken from the state to initiate this transformation was the “Tiigrihüpe” program to teach computers in schools. Laboratories are created with computers connected to the Internet in the country’s establishments. To reach the rest of the population, outside school hours, schools open their doors to the community so they can make contact with technology and learn computer skills.

Towards the end of the 90s all Estonian schools are online

Between 2002 and 2004, various computer courses for adults were offered, such as “One Look at the World” (Vaata maailma) funded 100% by the private sector, which manages to introduce 10% of the adult population to the digital world.

This same foundation, in 2003, incorporates the virtual space that connects the classrooms with the homes it calls “E-kool” (E-school). The system allows a real-time communication with parents and gives them the possibility of accessing from their computers to the content of classrooms, absences, notes, homework and exam dates for their children. At the same time, it opens an instance of participation to the opinion and contribution of the parents

Programming is an essential part of the curriculum. From first grade, teachers teach children to program, an activity in which they start even from kindergarten.

Today, for any Estonian, interacting with technology and solving daily issues, more efficiently thanks to it, is a common aspect of everyday life. At the same time, many young people have been able to start or enter the labor market thanks to the use of these tools.

  1. Digital Identification

Unlike other countries that also have a digital identification, in Estonia it is not optional but mandatory and universal. A key decision to implement this system successfully.

This unique digital identification of 11 digits, is given to each citizen at birth and is the one that will accompany him throughout his life, in each instance of his citizen participation: from voting – in 2005 the digital vote is incorporated and today the 30% of the population votes from their home or from their cell phone -, declare taxes, register a new business or access the systems of e-schools, e-police, e-cabinet or e-health.

In total there are more than 4 thousand digital services that can be accessed thanks to this identification.

Foreigners can also apply to obtain a virtual citizenship, since Estonia offers these digital identifications to all those people who want to invest in the country. From anywhere in the world, the new e-resident can register a company, take out a bank account, implement different online solutions such as PayPal and manage the entire company remotely.

With a population that decreases every year, the real goal of Estonia with this proposal is to include the number of e-residents needed to reduce or even eliminate the payment of taxes to its citizens

3.Internet as “human right”

Estonia has always played strong in this transformation, without half measures. In that sense, it was the first nation to declare the Internet connection as a “basic human right”. A move with a clear strategy: to force the private and public sector to provide the Internet service to the entire territory – regardless of whether the cost equation makes it convenient or not – and without excuses.

  1. With the focus on entrepreneurs

One of the great Estonian pride is to have generated the software that allowed the creation of the revolutionary communication platform, Skype. When Microsoft buys it for USD 8,500 million, these funds are diversified into new startups that are accompanied by foreign investments that begin to trust the creations of that country.

Today, Estonia is the country with the highest number of StarUps per capita in the world. Among them: Transferwise, Pipedrive, Cloutex, Starship, the delivery robot created by the founders of Skype is part of the usual landscape of Estonia

Unlike what happens in the US and China, where the entrepreneurial spirit is part of the culture of the country, in Europe (especially in the East) young people look at the world of work from the perspective of “employees” and not owners or entrepreneurs To change this mentality, very interesting instances were generated that gained the attention of the rest of the EU as “The people of the company” that started in Tartu, a city in the east of the country. There, and through play, children and adolescents between 5 and 18 years practice what it means to be entrepreneurs, as a way to encourage them to undertake.

  1. Public management as a service to the citizen

The one in Estonia is the first e-government in the world. Since independence, they decide to innovate in digital matters within their own meetings: they stop using paper and incorporate a system of databases connected to the Internet. This also makes it possible to see all the expenses of the state online and in real time.

The calculation is that each Estonian saves two weeks a year of his time thanks to not having to move or stand in line.

Even the annual tax return can be done with a Smartphone thanks to the system has pre-loaded all the data of each citizen (income, property, expenses, number of children, etc.)

Public management in a true service to the citizen. The maximum example is the Tax Agency that returns information to the citizen with online and real-time reports on the progress of its business and financial situation. So are online medical records and the

electronic prescription of recipes by mail.

  1. First of all, security

Estonia is the number one European country in cybersecurity,

Everything is protected by a Bockchain system, a decentralized network that is very difficult to hack. It also has several back-ups, including the first embassy of data, based in Luxembourg.

A decentralized architecture for computer communications, called X-road, prevents massive theft of data. In addition, Estonians use two-step verification methods for most of their activities. In this way, criminals at most can block access to certain services or drop some websites momentarily.

The great lesson about the importance of security is suffered in 2007 when Russia cyber attacks its system in retaliation for the decision of the Estonian authorities to take a monument dedicated to the Soviet Red Army from Tallinn and move it out of the capital. The cyberattack perpetrated by another state – not be able to criminals – and under political motives – non-economic – marks a milestone in the history of what is known as cyberwar.

  1. A lot of freedom and maximum transparency

According to Freedom House, Estonia is the country with the greatest freedom of the Internet. What shows that you can have a free and open Internet and at the same time demand the highest possible security standards.

But in addition, Estonia is the most transparent and least corrupt country in the Central and Eastern Europe region (Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2013, the 28th of 177 countries).

Estonia’s economic freedom is considered to be one of the highest in the world and the best in the Central and Eastern European region (World Classification of Economic Freedom, 11th among 178 countries). It is not a matter of chance that the Center for Excellence in Cyber ​​Cooperation of NATO and the IT agency of the European Union are located in Tallinn.

The Estonian government has an electronic declaration of officials’ assets to reduce the risk of corruption and increase transparency.

Every year, active citizens from all over the country organize community activities on the day “Let’s do it!”. A program that emerged in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 volunteers mobilized to clean up the country in 5 hours, removing 10,000 tons of garbage and saving the state the work of 3 years and 22 million euros. At present, it is a global network covering 112 countries, and having mobilized some 14.5 million participants. Let’s do it! It has initiated a change of mentality that extends throughout the world.

All this has led to the Estonians have cultivated, in the world, an image of people with an average level of high education, honest, hardworking and who keep their promises.

Some achievements of Estonia:

99.8% of the population is literate

Country with the highest number of StarUps per capita in the World

It has the fastest wide bank in the world

It is the only one with i-voting that allows you to pay from a cell phone

First nation to declare the internet connection as a “basic human right”.

All your schools are online

Kicks off to schedule kindergarten

It has compulsory and universal digital identification.

At the head of Europe in Internet penetration and mobile telephony.

First virtual residence of the world

123 cell phone lines for every 100 enablers.

It is the first e-government

European country number one in cybersecurity,

Country with the greatest freedom on the Internet

Allows you to register a company in 18 minutes

Almost all the procedures can be done online

In local key

Infobae consulted with three officials of key portfolios in the modernization, digitalization and promotion of technology and innovation in our country. All of them also serve the Estonian model as a case of success and a source of inspiration.

This past week, Mariano Mayer visited Estonia to receive an award for entrepreneur promotion policies. Today, from Finland, he tells Infobae that “what we find very interesting is that Estonia understood that, being a very small country, it needed to achieve a rapid growth that would allow them to recover lost time, which is why they focused entrepreneurs and in the knowledge economy. “

They set out to be one of the best countries in the world to undertake, develop technology and be at the forefront of digitalization. Local entrepreneurs, and around the world, have many facilities, one of the best tax agencies in the world and an excellent system of digital residence. It has the world record for the incorporation of companies: 18 minutes.

What do we talk about until now?

  1. As points of convergence: both countries seek to analyze in which aspects the State adds value and in which it does not, always with the entrepreneurs as protagonists.
  2. We tell you about the Simplified Shares Company (SAS), which is part of the Entrepreneurs Act and that is working very well.
  3. We talk about digital identity projects that we are working with the Ministry of Modernization, exchange experiences and explore possible collaborations in entrepreneurship, digitalization of SMEs, and knowledge economy.
  4. We analyze to start connecting our ICT clusters with yours and see what things could be done, what best practices can be developed to simplify the procedures for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
  5. Urve Palo, the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of Estonia, will come to Argentina in December in the framework of the WTO meeting and we will meet again to advance joint work projects.

With firsthand knowledge of the Estonian case, for the Minister of Modernization of the Nation, Andrés Ibarra, “if the procedures are simplified, allowing them to be done over the Internet and at a distance, the producers export more in less time, the companies are created with faster and the projects of each Argentine become a reality faster, the objective is to leave behind a slow and bureaucratic state “.

Andy Freire devoted a complete chapter to the case of Estonia in his book “Entrepreneurial Argentina: How to innovate can produce real and decisive changes in the destiny of a country”.

In consultation about whether he was inspired by the Estonian model during his tenure, he pointed out that from the ministry he presided, they worked together with CABA’s Education in launching the “elbow to elbow” program with the objective of “teaching programming to any neighbor with a title secondary education as a way to provide the necessary tools to enter the new working world.

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General Knowledge

10 tips to enjoy the most of a massage

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In itself, the word message is related to well-being and whoever else links it to a moment of authentic relaxation. Even more so after the holidays, when we can prolong the summer enjoying a pleasant moment that makes us evade at least one hour of the routine that is still there when the rest days are over. But, yes, to fully enjoy the massage, we must take into account a series of tips that can be very useful.

Before the massage, try to avoid eating copious meals. If you are going to eat something, better at least an hour before since it is not advisable to go with your stomach too full, when you are doing your digestion. Neither should you drink alcohol or other stimulants?
Go to your centre five minutes before the scheduled time, to have time to relax and get used to the idea that you will enjoy a time exclusively dedicated to yourself.
Wear comfortable clothes, from which you can simply detach and, before treatments, store earrings, chains, bracelets and watch.
It is advisable to go to the bathroom before starting the session.
Do not be afraid to be naked during treatments or massages. Quality centres provide disposable panties. Also, do not hesitate to explain that you feel uncomfortable without clothes: your esthetician will understand perfectly. During the massage, you can cover yourself with a towel, and only uncover the areas to be treated, so you will never feel totally naked. The beautician must leave the room while you undress, and wait for you to give her permission before entering again.
During the session, it is imperative that you feel comfortable. Therefore, do not hesitate to notify the therapist if you do not feel comfortable for any reason -the temperature of the room, because of the massage therapist talks too much, because of the noise, etc.-.
Although it usually happens in therapeutic massages, also in relaxing massages sometimes, when handling certain areas you can feel some pain. It is convenient that you communicate it to the therapist if it is excessive.
Many treatments can dirty the hair root and / or alter the makeup: ask about it if you should go to an important appointment later.
Surely the masseuse will indicate it, but in case you do not do it, do not forget that, at the end of the session, it is not advisable to join suddenly, because you can get dizzy. The idea is to be relaxed for three or four minutes and then incorporated progressively.
After the massage, you may feel some pain, tiredness or drowsiness. Usually, it is normal since it is a response of the organism to massage techniques. If you notice that it persists, it is convenient that you communicate it to the therapist.

You can get a free consultation from the professional of Alabama Wellness Massage.

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General Knowledge

Food and drink in India

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Indian Delicious Food in Toronto Canada

What is drunk and eaten in India?

The discussion would end soon: tea is the undisputed prince of drinking in India. The British perseverance to turn the Asian country into a cradle of tea -which arose as a real alternative to the power of China- has meant that today it is taken throughout the country and at all hours of the day.

The most recognized is that of Darjeeling, a black tea grown in the foothills of the Himalayas that today is considered one of the most delicate and reputed in the world. Also noteworthy is the Assam, black and with touches of malt, and tea from the Nilgiri region, deeply aromatic. But if we refer to consumption, it undoubtedly wins the chai and all its spicy variants, offered in every nook and cranny of the city, especially in the means of transport. Served with lots of milk and almost even more sugar, it is eaten either alone or accompanying meals.

And speaking of food, curry comes to mind, undoubtedly the undisputed star of Indian cuisine. Precisely because it is a whole world in itself. There are as many varieties, colours and flavours as there are regions. Each variety is a balanced blend of spices such as ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg, dried onion, celery, saffron, poppy seed … But the food and drink in India are much more than this…

Spices in Goa, India. Food and drink in India

If we continue with the gastronomic menu, we can order some vegetable dish, chicken meat or lamb. Thanks to the vast knowledge of the spices that the culture of this country has, the dish will be made with masala (a word that translated means “mixture of spices”, in general) and in that composition, the infinite nuances of India will surely be appreciated.

And to finish, for dessert, we will take the other traditional drink: lassi, which is made with yogurt and water. It can be sweet or salty but, yes, it should always be served cold. Sweet varieties can add fruits such as banana, papaya or mango. The salty ones are usually seasoned with cumin and pepper. Originally from the Punjab region, it is a perfect complement to meals, as its milky composition softens the spicy nuances.

If we dare to go a little further we can not forget the sharbat, a cold and sweet drink made from rose petals or sandalwood, or the Nimbu Pani, a version of lemonade made from rose water that is very refreshing since which can be added some liquor. India, not very renowned for its ethyl quality, tries to get away from the bad reputation that cheap arak gives, a distillate of the coconut sap, of sugar cane or even of rice. This is attempted by boosting local drinks, such as the coconut or cashew nut pheasant so widespread and served in Goa or the palm kallu of the southwest. The brands of local beers are spread across India, like the Kingfisher, which is the perfect example of the very soft lager that is drunk the most.

Now, You can taste the super delicious Indian foods in Toronto  Canada.

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General Knowledge

Thai massage, an ally to improve our muscles

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Massages are one of the best ways we have to make our muscles recover from the effort of physical exercise. It is true that stretches are highly recommended when it comes to relieving stress, but in many cases, they are not enough to achieve a considerable improvement. For this reason, we are going to stop at some special and unknown massages, the Thais.

 

When we talk about Thai massage many people think of erotic movies and massages associated with this. Nothing has to do with this massage technique or the benefits it gives us with this sexual pleasure. Quite the opposite, since Thai massage is anything but pleasure since they do not conceive of muscle recovery without a slight discomfort that will relieve us of the tension accumulated in the muscles and the discomfort derived from it.

 

Application of massage

Thai massage is a millenary technique that is used to cure diseases that have to do with the mobility of the body and with internal discomfort in some diseases. It is a way to eliminate the body the negative stresses caused by exercise or the stress of everyday life. To achieve this, different muscle manipulation techniques are used through massage and stretching, for which parts of the body are used, such as the feet, hands, knees … Through the pressure of the same and the action on our body.

 

The pressure on the affected areas to generate heat is the basis of this massage. The same happens with the foot, which is used to press bigger and stronger muscles. To this, we must add the stretches and the postures that will make us adapt to get activate the part worked. All these measures will give us a series of benefits when it comes to achieving perfect muscle and joint health.


Benefits 

The main benefit that will bring us is the activation and irrigation of blood in the area worked. This will allow a better and faster recovery and maintain good health in the area. When eliminating tensions in the worked area we will achieve that this part of the body is unblocked and the appropriate muscular tone is recovered, thus releasing the joints and avoiding the rigidity that causes future injuries.

 

Thai massage will not only help us improve our general condition, but it will promote joint mobility and flexibility of our body. Not only does this offer us, but it will also help us to strengthen the joints and avoid possible injuries derived from the daily or sports activity. To this we must add the body awareness that we will have, as it accentuates and improves little by little, making us control our body much better.

 

At the time of practising sport, it will greatly facilitate things, since it facilitates the amplitude of movement and with it the correct execution of the exercises and their postures. We must not forget that the execution of this type of massage will help us to improve our internal energies and with it the projection when exercising since we will find ourselves more plethoric and full of strength at the time of performing the different routines of training. We must not forget that the psychological benefits are high since it will serve as a method of relaxation and a great escape valve. For best massage, you can visit Aroma Thai in Leeds, UK

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