Technology Governance and Digital Transformation
Degree awarded: Master of Arts in Social Sciences (Technology Governance and Digital Transformation), (MA)
Workload: 120 ECTS
Language of instruction: English
Duration: 2 years
Pre-Requisites: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Candidates with diverse backgrounds are welcome, from social sciences and history to engineering and natural sciences.
Tuition fees: Nominal study load for the 1st year is 60 ECTS. 1 ECTS = 55 EUR. Cost of Year 1: 3300 EUR. Nominal study load for the 2nd year is 60 ECTS. The 2nd year consists of Internship & Consulting Lab, free choice courses, and the MA Thesis, which are offered with differentiated ECTS prices. Total cost of Year 2: 1155 EUR. Total approximate cost of the 2-year program is ca 4455 EUR.
Scholarships: There are at least 3 tuition-fee waivers available that guarantee free studies. (1 for foreign applicant, 2 for Estonian applicants). Detailed information about the scholarship is available here. Students can also be offered scholarships to assist researchers and staff of the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance on research projects.
The Technology Governance and Digital Transformation (TGDT) MA program is an interdisciplinary study program that covers several fields from finance, economics, technology and innovation to governance and public-sector innovation and has a strong focus on case-study-based and practical learning. It brings together some of the globally most renowned scholars of innovation and governance – Carlota Perez, Erik S. Reinert, Wolfgang Drechsler, Jan A. Kregel, Robert Krimmer and others – who offer students a coherent set of skills for understanding and managing technological changes and digital transformations in technology- and innovation-oriented private- and public-sector organizations as well as in international bodies.
The focus of the program is on understanding digital technologies as the key driver of public and private-sector developments across the world, and how to make sure that digitization brings about sustainable and green growth and development.
In the coming years, the relevance of the TGDT programme and the need for an expertise in this field is directly related to the EU Commission's commitment to foster cooperation in digital transformation in the whole EU.
The TGDT program is suitable for those interested in understanding:
1) the heterodox perspectives of economic development processes, i.e. systems of innovation, evolutionary, post-Keynesian and other heterodox perspectives;
2) the dynamics of social and technological innovation and the role of different actors (entrepreneurs, large and small companies, citizens/users, governments) in these dynamics and in steering the directions of innovation;
3) the meaning and management of digital transformations, and its impact on economy, society and government.
- • Case-study based teaching and strong emphasis on internships and practical experiences.
• Faculty mostly including internationally distinguished and award-winning professors.
• Complementing standard text-book knowledge, mainstream economics and governance theories with more realistic and relevant perspectives.
• Site visits to Estonian government offices and companies and guest lectures from leading Estonian and international innovators and visionaries.
• Minimum stay of one year in Estonia – the second year is dedicated to Internship & Consulting Lab and MA thesis writing, which can both be done from anywhere in the world.
The programme is designed to develop globally competitive and desired experts in managing technological changes and digital transformations who work for either national governments and international organizations (as innovation policy experts and innovation managers) or for non-profit organizations and in the private sector (as owner-entrepreneurs, technology consultants, innovation managers, analysts).
The programme also provides competitive competencies for a continuing academic career as a researcher in academic institutions or pursuing PhD studies.
Career paths of our alumni: JP Morgan Stanley, Parthenon-EY, EY Innovalue Management Partner GmbH, OECD, Government Office of the Republic of Estonia, E-Estonia Showroom, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Competence Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies, Tallinn City Enterprise Department, Office of the State Minister of Georgia, Czechinvest, Ministry of Finance of Republic of Latvia, Cevea (think-tank), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro etc.
Other potential employers:
- international organizations (UN, EU);
- governmental institutions (central banks, ministries dealing with development and digitalization affairs);
- non-governmental organizations (science and technology parks, development agencies, think-tanks etc.);
- technology-intensive private companies.
The TGDT MA program gives an overview of theories and global patterns of economic development, technological change and innovation, governance, policy and public-sector innovation.
The globally distinguished and award-winning professors teaching the core courses of the program make sure that the knowledge received from the program has international scope and theoretical and practical relevance not only today but also in the future. The key focus of the program is on understanding digital technologies as the key driver of public and private-sector developments across the world and on how to make sure that digitization brings about sustainable and green growth and development.
As the program is offered in Estonia – one of the most dynamic and digitalized countries of the world, the home of Skype, and a forerunner in building borderless digital societies and states – it also focuses on the digital transformation of societies and governance systems. Studying in Estonia offers unique insights in what the future might look like and how to prepare for succeeding in it.
The first Fall semester (September–December) offers core knowledge on technology governance and innovation dynamics in modern societies:
- Technology, Society and the Future, 6 ECTS
- Techno-Economic Paradigms and Technological Transitions, 6 ECTS
- E-Governance and E-Democracy, 6 ECTS
- Economics and Finance of Innovation and Development, 6 ECTS
- Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, 6 ECTS
The first Spring semester (February–May) provides a more practical focus on developing innovation capacities and managing digital transformation in modern societies and governments:
- Implementing Governance in a Diverse Globalized World, 6 ECTS
- Creating Innovation Capacities of Governments, 6 ECTS
The students can further select 3 electives that allow them to deepen practical skills either in technology governance and innovation or in digital transformation and public-sector innovation, e.g.:
- Digital Transformations of Government, 6 ECTS
- Big Data and Public Policy, 6 ECTS
- Innovation and Case Studies of New Technologies, 6 ECTS
- Special Course in Technology Governance, 6 ECTS
- Students can select from a further list of general courses (e.g. Research Methods in Social Sciences) as well as interdisciplinary courses offered at TTÜ (e.g. Public-Sector Service Design and Implementation; Basics of e-Health; Foundations of Cyber Security; Human Rights, Ethics and Technology etc.)
The second Fall semester (September–December) consists of individual studies that can be mostly carried out through remote working:
- The free-choice course (6 ECTS) allows the student to focus more on developing specific skills (e.g. User Centric Design, e-Health Systems and Policies, Cyber Security, Legal and Ethical aspects of Technology, various programming classes etc.), or to join students in some of the leading global universities (via MOOCs).
- Most of the semester will consist of the Internship and Consulting Lab (24 ECTS). Students will work as interns for up to 16 weeks in a public, private or international organization (e.g. prior students have carried out their internships at the Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system, UNDP, the Office of the President of Republic of Estonia, TBC Bank Georgia, the British Embassy in Tallinn, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Spanish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce, the Estonian Ministry of Defence, Ernst&Young Baltic AS etc.). It is also possible to apply for funding via the Erasmus+ internship framework for internships abroad.
- The Internship ends with a Consulting Lab where students prepare (via remote working, if needed) a consultancy report that defines the main technological, managerial or innovation challenges of the internship organization and proposes and pitches solutions to the organization.
During the second Spring semester (February–May), the students will fully focus on preparing their final thesis (30 ECTS). The thesis can be:
a) a classic contribution to academic debates (publishable in an academic journal);
b) an evaluation of the functioning/performance of a policy, program, organization and its managerial approach, or a specific new technology;
c) an individual- or group-work-based capstone thesis.
The thesis has to be submitted by late May and defended in June. Remote working and online presentation is possible. The list of graduates and their thesis topics (both MA and PhD level) can be seen at the programme web site.
See here the formal programme outline at the Study Information System.
- Prof. Carlota Perez, the author of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages and one of the leading thinkers on the future of the technological development and green economy.
- Prof. Wolfgang Drechsler, one of the leading experts on global and especially non-Western traditions of governance and innovation.
- Prof. Erik S. Reinert, the author of How Rich Countries Got Rich … and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor and globally the leading scholar of heterodox economic history.
- Prof. Jan A. Kregel, the leading post-Keynesian economist and international expert on financing of innovation and development.
- Prof. Robert Krimmer, the first professor of e-Governance in Estonia and a globally recognized expert on e-Democracy and e-Governance.
- Prof. Rainer Kattel, the founding director of Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Government and the leading expert on innovation and governance in Central and Eastern Europe.
- Dr. Veiko Lember, former director of Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance and leading expert in Europe on public procurement and co-creation for innovation.
- Dr. Erkki Karo, director of the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance and expert on public-sector capacities for innovation and technological development.
- Dr. Tarmo Kalvet, founding head of the Innovation Program of PRAXIS, Estonia’s leading policy think-tank, and long-term expert on ICT development in Estonia.
- Dr. Vasilis Kostakis, founder of the P2P Research Lab and P2P Foundation and one of the leading thinkers on peer-to-peer economics and governance.
Each year in spring, RND also invites a distinguished Ragnar Nurkse Visiting Professor (e.g. Jayati Ghosh, L. Randall Wray, Akira Nakamura, Leslie A. Pal) to discuss the most pertinent issues regarding globalization, development and innovation.
Further highlights of our most distinguished faculty
Professor Wolfgang Drechsler is Professor of Governance. He is also an Associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center and a member of its Advisory Board. He previously taught at the Universities of Marburg, Gießen, Frankfurt/Main, and Tartu (Chair of Public Administration); as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Lund and of Erfurt, at the Central University of Finance and Economics Beijing, at the University of Malaya, at Zhejiang University and Gadjah Mada University, at the National Institute for Development Administration (NIDA) Bangkok, at Corvinus, and at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. In civil service, Professor Drechsler has been Advisor to the President of Estonia, Executive Secretary with the German Wissenschaftsrat during German Reunification, and, as an APSA Congressional Fellow, Senior Legislative Analyst in the United States Congress. He currently directs the RND’s large-scale institutional grant on “Challenges to State Modernization in 21st Century Europe”, 2014–19, and since 2016, he has been on the management board of IASIA. He has been a consultant to international institutions, such as the OECD, the Council of Europe, SIGMA, the World Bank, the European Union (especially Commission and Parliament), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the UNDP, to national governments, and in the private sector. He is also a recipient of the Alena Brunovskà Award for Teaching Excellence in Public Administration.
Professor Carlota Perez is Professor of Technology and Socio-Economic Development. She is also a Visiting Professor of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Honorary Professorial fellow at SPRU, University of Sussex, and at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) at University College London. In Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Elgar 2002), she put forward her theory of the emergence and diffusion of technological revolutions and of the role of finance in the process. Her work has contributed to the present understanding of the relationship between technology, innovation and economic development; between technical and institutional change; and between finance and technological diffusion. She is currently working on a sequel, Beyond the Technological Revolution, funded by the Anthemis Institute, which analyzes the roles that government, business and civil society play in the deployment of the potential of each revolution.
Professor Erik S. Reinert BA (University of St. Gallen) MA (Harvard) PhD (Cornell) is Professor of Technology Governance and Development Strategies. He is a former entrepreneur and since 2000 has served as the Executive Chairman of The Other Canon Foundation, a small center and network for heterodox economics research. Professor Reinert’s research interests and publications focus around the theory of uneven development and the history of economic thought and policy. His book How Rich Countries Got Rich … and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor won the Myrdal Prize in economics and the Norwegian Selvaag Prize, both in 2008. As a consultant, Professor Reinert’s emphasis is on industrial and economic policy, the preconditions and management of innovations, and the relations between financial and production capital. Professor Reinert is one of the best-known heterodox economists of our times.
Professor Jan A. Kregel PhD (Rutgers University) is Professor of Finance and Development. He used to work as Chief of the Policy Analysis and Development Branch of the Financing for Development Office of UNDESA, the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Until 2004, he was High Level Expert in International Finance and Macroeconomics in the New York Liaison Office of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), being in essence its chief economist. For many years, he held the Chair for Political Economy at the University of Bologna. He was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins SAIS, whose Bologna Center he co-directed in the late 1980s, and he is a Visiting Professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College. He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Economic Society in London and is counted as one of the leading post-Keynesian economists today. His main area of interest is finance and innovation.
Professor Dr. Robert Krimmer is Full Professor of e-Governance within the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance. Professor Krimmer’s research is focused on the transformation of the public sector, electronic participation and democracy, as well as e-voting, and all issues contributing to developing a digital society. Professor Krimmer is Associate Editor of the international scientific journal Government Information Quarterly (GIQ), where he is in charge of participation issues. Further, Professor Krimmer coordinates TOOP, the EU H2020 large-scale pilot on exploring and demonstrating the feasibility of the once-only principle involving 50+ partners from 21 countries inside and outside the European Union. He was a member of the group of experts to the Council of Europe Ad-Hoc Committee on Electronic Voting (CAHVE) which had the task to update the CoE’s recommendation on legal, technical and operational standards for Electronic Voting. Also, he was one of the lead experts for the Council of Europe Ad-Hoc Committee on Electronic Democracy and drafted Annex 1 of the CoE Recommendation (2009) on e-Democracy. Before returning to academia, Professor Krimmer was OSCE/ODIHR’s first senior adviser on new voting technologies. In the past he advised CoE, OSCE/ODIHR, UNDP, WHO, ITU, the European Commission and AWEB on various matters.
Professor Rainer Kattel is the Estonian Academy of Sciences research professor at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. He received his education at the University of Tartu, Estonia, and the University of Marburg, Germany, studying philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration. He led the Department for ten years. He has served on various public-policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and the European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP, and the European Commission. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council and is a member of governing boards at Tallinn University of Technology and the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2013, he received Estonia’s National Science Award for his work in innovation policy.
The 2 year (120 ECTS) curriculum comprises the following modules:
- Entrepreneurship and Technology Management (6 ECTS)
- Technology, Innovation and Economic Development (18 ECTS)
- Technology Governance and Digital Transformation (36 ECTS)
- Internship and Consulting Lab (24 ECTS)
- Free Choice Courses (6 ECTS)
- Graduation Thesis (30 ECTS)
The following is an estimation based on 2018/2019 fees:
Cost of Year 1: 3300 EUR. Nominal study load for the 2nd year is 60 ECTS. The 2nd year consists of Internship & Consulting Lab, free choice courses, and the MA Thesis, which are offered with differentiated ECTS prices. Total cost of Year 2: 1155 EUR. Total approximate cost of the 2-year program is ca 4455 EUR.
Non-EU students must pay in advance for 60 ECTS (yearly load) before starting their studies.
A tuition-fee waiver is a non-monetary scholarship granted automatically to the best ranked candidates, according to the points earned in the course of admission. There is no separate application required. Decisions are made based on the DreamApply application. The scholarship is awarded for the whole study period. Recipients of the scholarships are required to study full-time, i.e. with a workload of at least 60 ECTS per year. If the student starts studying part-time, they will lose their tuition-fee waiver and will start paying for their studies.Scholarship
Please check here for scholarship options.
RND also offers tuition waivers/scholarships for qualified students willing to work on our strategic research themes: digital governance, innovation policy.
Please pay attention as this programme you are applying for, has specific prerequisites:
Prerequisites for this program are a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a good command of the English language. Main criteria for admission are motivation and interest, general competence and achievements, and a professional background. It is assumed that any potential student will have adequate basic knowledge in economics, history, and technology.
There are no formal requirements for any field of graduation, or for specific test scores that tend to measure how well one takes these tests. Because of its specific focus and trans-disciplinary approach, the MA is equally interesting as a first graduate degree right after undergraduate education, as an additional graduate degree after a less trans-disciplinary one, and as an early- or mid-career professional degree for those working in technology management and digitization fields, such as ministries, development and promotion authorities, and private companies and NGOs dealing with the subject matter.
- Online interview.
Online interview topics
Topics covered during the interview:
- Motivation and interest to study Technology Governance and Digital Transformation.
- Previous exposure to topics covered in the program and awareness of relevant societal debates.
- Preliminary vision on MA thesis – potential research topics, methodology, etc.
- Previous education and work experience and vision of future career.
Threshold 50 points - applicant receiving at least 50 points will be admitted to the programme.
For general admission requirements please visit the Admissions section.
Head of the programme
Mr. Egert Juuse
e-mail: egert dot juuse at ttu dot ee
phone: (+372) 620 2657
address: Akadeemia tee 3, Tallinn 12618
Consultant for internships and everyday academic matters
Ms. Ingrid Oksaar
e-mail: ingrid dot oksaar at ttu dot ee
phone: (+372) 620 2646
address: Akadeemia tee 3, Tallinn 12618
Consultant for Erasmus/EMPA etc. exchange programmes and potential collaboration opportunities
Ms. Olga Mikheeva
“This is probably the best economics-of-technology program in Europe. As such, it is extremely relevant to the kind of strategic decisions necessarily facing high-level 21st century leaders in any field. Also, because the classes are small and mostly in seminar form you get a lot of contact with the top-notch international faculty as well as your fellow students.”
Stephan Jensen, Norway
Alumnus of the Technology Governance programme
“Due to the polyphony and variety of topics of the Master’s in Technology Governance, every course sheds light on different perspectives of the economy, technology and society. Therefore, every single lecture is a unique experience. Interacting with world-class, heterodox scholars in an open-minded environment: what else could you ask for?”
Vasilis Kostakis, Greece
Alumnus of the Technology Governance programme
Founder, P2P Lab
“The Technology Governance Master’s program is a unique possibility for me to learn topics and subjects so important for my country. The mix of public administration, development economics, industrialization, innovations taught in the brilliant environment of the TUT infrastructure and by the professional and dedicated persons will give graduates the chance to actively participate in the development process of their countries or companies.”
Mikheil Skhiereli, Georgia
Alumnus of the Technology Governance programme
Programme manager in Georgia for GIZ
“I was looking for a master’s program that was based in an alternative view of economics, that wasn’t mainstream. A program based on history and theory, which could provide me with a different perspective of the world order. And guess where I found the best program of such kind? Yes, at Tallinn University of Technology, in Estonia!”
Caetano Penna, Brazil
Adjunct Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro