IN joining me on our digital journey across Estonia, I do hope you will have recognised that I don’t propose revolutionary answers to our digital situation, for such methods of change usually require profound upheaval and conflict and those who support that type of approach are most often those who seek to gain advantage, economically and socially and direct how we should live and be governed.

This approach is anathema to the historic principles of democracy and the sovereignty of the Scottish people, which should and must direct our governance and destiny.

Though we should acknowledge that radical changes to our digital state should not only challenge the pillars of power and authority, but also offer evidenced and well-documented policies that we know can change and enhance a state’s common digital good.

All along our journey, the well-documented history of modern digital Estonia has shown the opportunities for those states willing to learn from and work in partnership with those who have already reached major milestones, if not complete journeys end.

READ MORE: Martin Docherty-Hughes: Our courts must lead the way in embracing digital age

Estonia shares many of Scotland’s characteristics but we must be mindful of the potential for Scotland as an independent state in the field of digitisation. Estonia is a small European state, Scotland is a medium-sized European nation and soon-to-be state. Estonia has reached this level of digital enhancement from nothing, Scotland as an independent state has the potential to utilise our assets and existing public services to show the world what digitisation can do to radically enhance our health and wellbeing.

More importantly, as we step out into the world once again as a sovereign independent state, we do so at a time when democratic countries face immense challenges from non-democratic states and actors. Now more than ever Scotland must offer radical digital solutions to protect our future, to secure our public services and defend the very independence we have campaigned so long for.

Indeed, as I have written these last weeks, we need not look far to see what is possible and what can be achieved; very simple steps that can have profound impacts on the delivery and use of public services and ensure that citizens see a digital democracy as an effective form of government that enhances our lives.

There is much to plan; firstly, how do we ensure political leadership is formed not only from our own understanding of digitisation but by the experiences of others, such as Estonia? In our first independent parliament, politicians of all hews will require to have a basic knowledge of how digitisation will impact public services, and they will require to ensure that the comfort zone of bureaucracy is transformed into an innovation zone of civil leadership that is willing to learn, engage in partnership and ensure that security and delivery of our public services are digital pillars of our independent democracy.

When we started out on our journey, we reflected on the birth of modern Estonia, and how digitisation is not about rationalisation but a programme of public service improvement, and that by understanding the value and worth of our own individual data, we can then achieve radical digital change to the benefit of all citizens.

It is a journey that shows Estonian citizens access using their existing digital ID the full gambit of digital health services, from prescriptions to full access to their own records. It is also a society which recognises the profound impact of the digital world on the process of justice and is now dispensing and administering laws in the digital age, ensuring that justice is neither delayed nor denied.

It is a state that has enshrined in law the right to access the internet for all citizens and ensured in law that each citizen will only ever be asked a question once by public authorities, the once-only principle reducing huge swaths of bureaucracy.

Indeed, Estonia is even placing the digital agenda at the heart of its global diplomacy, working in partnership with others to enable and help lift those states desperate to seize the opportunities that digital democratic governance can bring.

READ MORE: Dr Kirsty Hughes: 'We must counter post-indy border arguments now'

As a small independent state with limited natural resources, and having reflected on its recent history, Estonia is clear that only by grasping and shaping the digitisation of its public services will it be able to secure those services in the years ahead. They know that without having taken these simple yet radical policy decisions, the services they hold dear and the very existence of their state would be left to others, unchecked and unaccountable, and that Estonia would be yet another footnote in European history.

Scotland as a nation has been able to exist in the pre-digital age, yet the digital age leaves us at the mercy of the Union, in which the Westminster Parliament is determined to undermine our laws and systems of governance. Now more than ever we must grasp the opportunities of independence and understand only then, through our own independent parliament, can we achieve and work in full digital partnership with states such as Estonia to enhance not only our health and wellbeing, but the common good of all free and democratic peoples.

In ending I am mindful of the words of the late Robert Louis Stevenson: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” I do hope that I have at least planted digital seeds of enquiry, and that you will tend and allow them to grow in the digital fields of an independent Scotland.