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How the Estonian Model Can Expand Economic Opportunity in America: Fireside Chat with Avik Roy

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Join us for a fireside chat with Avik Roy, President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and Karen Jagodin, Director of Vabamu, who will discuss:

How the Estonian Model Can Expand Economic Opportunity in America

At its best, the United States is a dynamic society in which people can rise from humble origins to achieve amazing things. But many Americans still struggle to rise, due to the increasing cost of living, inflexible public services, and barriers to economic and political competition. In many of these areas, tiny Estonia has leapfrogged the U.S. with its remarkable digital infrastructure. How can the Estonian model help Americans do better?


Avik Roy is the President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that conducts original research on expanding opportunity to those who least have it. Roy’s work has been praised widely on both the right and the left. National Review has called him one of the nation’s “sharpest policy minds,” while the New York Times’ Paul Krugman described him as a man of “personal and moral courage.”

Roy serves as the Policy Editor at Forbes, where he writes on politics and policy. His writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington PostUSA TodayThe AtlanticNational Review, and National Affairs, among other publications.

Roy is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow. He serves on the advisory boards of the National Institute for Health Care Management, the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream, the Cicero Institute, and the Bitcoin Policy Institute; is a Senior Advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center; co-chaired the Fixing Veterans Health Care Policy Taskforce; and serves on the Boards of Directors of CrowdHealth and the Texas Bitcoin Foundation. From 2011 to 2016, Roy served as a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Previously, he served as an analyst and portfolio manager at Bain Capital, J.P. Morgan, and other firms, where he invested in biotechnology and healthcare companies.

Karen Jagodin serves as the CEO of Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom (Tallinn, Estonia). Karen graduated from the Estonian Academy of Art in art theory and University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture with MA in architectural history. Before joining Vabamu, Karen worked at the Museum of Estonian Architecture and the Estonian Maritime Museum and has led a number of major projects on the museum scene. She is a member of the Estonian Museum Association and the Estonian Society of Art Historians and Curators.
At Vabamu, Karen has been the primary driver behind the 'Why Estonia?' exhibition on digital society, overseeing its development and successful opening in November 2021. Vabamu is the largest active non-profit museum in Estonia with a mission to educate the people of Estonia and its visitors about the recent past and the fragility of freedom and to advocate for justice and the rule of law. It operates in three areas: Vabamu Museums, Youth Engagement, and Global Conversations.

Admission Info

The event is free and open to the public.

In order to attend the event in person, RSVP is requested.

The event can also be followed via live stream. No registration is needed to watch the live stream.

The event is part of the Global Conversations, a series of talks, lectures, and seminars focusing on the benefits and fragility of freedom, and is hosted by Stanford University Libraries and co-sponsored by The Europe Center and Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

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