Because Slovenia has been lagging behind the majority of European countries in the field of digitalization, the representatives of Slovenian academic, digital and business community stressed the meaning of the establishment of the new government department in charge of the digital transformation of the Republic of Slovenia. At the press conference entitled “The urgent first step towards a digital and green Slovenia”, they pointed out that such an important decision must not become a hostage of daily political games and that the country needs a capable and cohesive Minister for digitalization.
Members of the Strategic Council for Digitalization mag. Ajša Vodnik, Chief Executive Officer of AmCham Slovenia, dr. Mark Pleško, President of the Engineering Academy of Slovenia and co-founder and director of Cosylab, mag. Gregor Macedoni, Mayor of the Municipality of Novo mesto, Marko Grobelnik, Slovenian Herald of Digital Technology, Igor Zorko, President of the Association for Informatics and Telecommunications and Director of ZZI, together with Žiga Vavpotič, entrepreneur and former President of Outfit7 and dr. Jure Leskovec, full professor of computer science at Stanford University, unanimously called upon the deputies to confirm the appointment of the new Minister Marko Boris Adrijanič.
The interlocutors agreed that the digital transformation is necessary for Slovenia and that the measures prepared by the Strategic Council for Digitalisation should be implemented as soon as possible, as this will be the only results-bringing way.
With the digital transformation to a better quality of life
Ajša Vodnik, member of the Strategic Council and Chief Executive Officer of AmCham Slovenia, said in the introduction that Slovenia as a society and as a country lags behind other countries, so the desire of the Strategic Council and also President Andrijanič is to break through among the best. “We are convinced that we can succeed and thus we have prepared the first 40 measures, which we believe we need to implement as soon as possible if we want to achieve transformation,” she stated, adding that the main purpose of this transformation is especially raising the quality of life for all citizens, a better economic environment, less bureaucracy and better healthcare.
Dr. Mark Pleško, founder and director of Cosylab, is convinced that digitalisation is an area where Slovenians can stand together: “We have many topics where political conflict can occur, but I believe that digitalization should not be one of them. Digitization is like sport. Here, Slovenians should stand together and win together,” he is convinced. He sees the appointment of the Minister for Digitalization as an opportunity to implement all 40 measures that have already been prepared.
Digitalization as a national priority
“At this point, it needs to be made very clear that digitalization is not a matter of right or left politics. Digitalization must be a national priority and a matter of consensus. Our call is that politics is not looking for political points here and that we should continue to follow this path united,” said a member of the Strategic Council and the Mayor of the Municipality of Novo Mesto, mag. Gregor Macedoni. He also highlighted that he believed that Mark Boris Andrijanič was currently the best candidate for the post of Minister, mainly due to his rich international experience and his ability to connect and unite. “This, at least as far as the Strategic Council is concerned, is not a political project, it is a project for the breakthrough of Slovenia,” he concluded.
A unique opportunity for Slovenia
Dr. Marko Grobelnik, a researcher in the field of artificial intelligence from the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, said that: “Such an important topic as digitalization should not become the subject of bickering, because in this way we postpone solutions and measures indefinitely.” This was also echoed by the successful entrepreneur Žiga Vavpotič, Igor Zorko, director of a development company in the field of informatics and a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia, and dr. Jure Leskovec, full professor of computer science at Stanford University. Mister Leskovec also pointed out that digitalization must be recognized as a “common, connecting point that is important for the future of Slovenia.” All of them expressed their support for the Minister candidate Marko Boris Andrijanič and emphasized that Slovenia has a unique opportunity to overcome differences and work together on this important project.