SINCE 2012

TALLINN, EST: MAY 21-23, 2025

Highlights of Thinking in Billions 2024

By Hanna-Liisa Aasmaa, a marketing volunteer at Latitude59 2024


Over the past few years, Thinking in Billions has become a traditional part of the Latitude59 side program. In 2024, the event took place on May 22 at the Tallinn Proto Factory, uniting visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, government officials, founders, universities, investors and research institutions from across Europe, and beyond.

The event focused on sharing best practices and success stories from various countries, as well as fostering collaboration between governments, founders, universities, investors, and research institutions on how to enable us to truly think in billions, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors.

Regulations can either encourage innovation and economy or slow it down. This year, Thinking in Billions focused on how governments can offer a legal playground for experimentation – aka a sandbox – allowing companies to navigate through regulatory requirements while developing groundbreaking solutions. In addition to fostering innovation, the focus was also on resilience. Dual use in defence tech is crucial for both military and civilian applications, serving as a catalyst for innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.


Minister Tiit Riisalo set the stage with his heartfelt opening insights. He emphasized the importance of taking time to listen to others, understand their emotions and feelings and use these insights to look forward. Highlighting how our brains naturally form connections that can spark billion-dollar innovations, his words set a reflective and inspiring tone for the day.

The first panel, titled “First Health Tech Unicorn by 2030 – Is It Possible and How Can We Get There Faster?” focused on the thrilling prospect of creating a Health Tech unicorn by 2030 and the strategies to achieve this goal swiftly. Speakers underscored the vital role of collaboration in driving innovation. Katrin Kaarna passionately argued for setting time limits on regulatory implementation to ensure timely progress, highlighting the need for a dynamic and responsive regulatory environment.

A standout session on AI regulation, titled “Regulation or Innovation – Must AI Choose?” emphasized its crucial role in protecting individuals and creating a level playing field for companies. Key insights included the necessity of streamlining regulatory adoption for businesses to simplify compliance. Kristel Kriisa advocated for deeper engagement with AI, emphasizing greater collaboration among stakeholders and the sharing of best practices to accelerate innovation and growth.

The third panel, “The New Role of Defence Tech in Global Security,” spotlighted the significant investments made by the USA in military technology, prompting Europe to increase its own investments to bring defense innovations to market. Sille Pettai emphasizing the Fund’s readiness to invest directly in defense or dual-use companies, stressing the urgency and importance of timely financial support in this sector.


Thinking in Billions 2024 brought together experts and innovators from all sectors of society, uniting forces to discuss the future of global business, technology, and security. As more cooperation and employment of forward-thinking strategies is needed on a global scale, the next Thinking in Billions event is already on the horizon – see you on May 21, 2025!

Thinking in Billions is an official side event of Latitude59 organised in collaboration with Latitude59, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication, Accelerate Estonia and Startup Estonia. Head here to see the official gallery of photos from the event.


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