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Opinion Festival 2018

The Opinion Festival is a meeting place involving the entire society open for different discussions, aimed at developing the culture of discussion and civic education.

All the bright and active people from Estonia and elsewhere are welcome to the festival to debate on the topics that are important to all of us together.

The Opinion Festival engages the entire society, it is self-formed and involving: the representatives and interest groups of different fields of activity are expected to suggest topics of discussion, which will then form the festival programme.

The festival is accompanied by a diverse cultural programme.

This year’s Opinion Festival will treat participants to 12 English-language discussions, ranging from topics such as national security to information warfare to the transition away from cowboy capitalism. Special attention will be paid to the nature of democracy and the future of the three Baltic countries who are all celebrating their centenaries in 2018.

Taking place for the sixth consecutive time, this year’s Opinion Festival continues a trend we have been seeing in the last few years: the 12 discussions, out of 160 discussions in total, show a rise in the number and diversity of events at the festival hosted in English and featuring international speakers.

While the English-language discussions are spread across the Festival’s six key themes (values, community, policymaking, security, employment and market, and education), participants looking for topics with an international focus are spoilt for choice in two discussion areas in particular: the Democracy Area and the Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania 2038 Area.

Beyond these discussion areas, other English-language events are dotted around the festivals. There will be a human library, organized by the Estonian Refugee Council, where participants can hear and engage with the stories of refugees and immigrants. Another discussion of note takes place in the Foreign Policy Area on Friday, with media and strategic communications experts from Ukraine, Finland and Estonia inviting participants to debate the issue of information warfare which is increasingly rearing its head in Europe and globally.

This year’s programme, as in previous years, has been the grassroots effort of hundreds of organizations and individuals across sectors and creeds. As such, it holds up a mirror to the main areas of interest, concern and hope for local citizens. The diversity of themes and participants in the Festival’s English-language programme is one such reflection.

You can find all the discussions and events in English programme here: https://www.arvamusfestival.ee/en/program/

Additional information: Lilian Hiob, lilian.hiob@artun.ee

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