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The 2017 Tallinn European Young Leaders seminar opened with a clash between two strikingly different visions for the world economy and ended with a warning from a tech industry legend on apocalyptical dangers stemming from the rise of Artificial Intelligence.
In between, the more than 60 young leaders discussed dog-fight tactics with an F16 pilot on NATO’s Baltic Sea front line; tucked into plates of fish scales and lamb’s hearts to help a chef’s battle against food waste; and debated the most pressing issues of our time: from climate change to the future of education; from funding for the arts to geopolitics in the era of Putin, Trump and Kim Jong-un.
Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas spoke to the group of his vision for Europe, a particularly timely talk as his government has stepped in to take the helm of the European Union over the second half of 2017, after Brexit-bound Britain pulled out of its scheduled stint with the EU presidency.
The existential fears on the impact of runaway AI were outlined by another Estonian, Skype founder Jaan Tallinn, who held a lengthy question-and-answer session with the young leaders.
The European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme was launched by Friends of Europe in 2011, with the goal of bringing together 40 of Europe’s brightest minds aged under 40 to debate challenges facing the continent and search for solutions.