|For the first time, a festival of the opinion culture will take place on August 16 and 17, 2013 in Paide, where different issues regarding Estonia’s present and future will be discussed. The endeavour aims to create an open and inclusive festival tradition that would promote opinion culture and civic education and be free of political ambitions.|
The endeavour is inspired by a socio-political festival Almedals Vecan (www.almedalsveckan.info) held in Sweden for the 45th year in a row this year and other similar events in Finland and Denmark.
It is a society-wide festival which is based on open participation. Society-wide means that the event brings together virtually all representatives of different fields of activity. Open participation means that everybody is welcome to attend the festival and the festival is open to all organisations and institutions to present their views or take part in the discussions of other participating organisations.
The festival encourages sharp-witted and active people to have a healthy, inspiring and respectful debate on the core issues of the Estonian society. The basic method of the festival is discussion. Methods encouraging conversation will be used (open space, world cafe, etc.). Contributing factors are the diversity of opinion platforms and the presence of people from various fields in the same place at the same time. This creates an opportunity for non-formal dialogue and discussion. In the first year, up to 2000 sharp-witted Estonians are expected to attend the festival.
Why festival?– teemalavad
|– theme stages
|– open discussions|
|– worldview cafes|
|– cultural programme|
The participants will hear inspiring speakers, take part in socio-political debates and exchanges of opinion, contribute to the creation of ideas, gain new knowledge in workshops, establish new contacts, and network. Participating organisations will have the opportunity to create their own event or even a stage at the festival. This will make it possible to send your message to people, participate in discussions and ask your network or target group to join the event.
The festival is a civic initiative and can happen thanks to the volunteer work of dozens of people. The Opinion Festival is supported by the Estonian Debating Society, the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations (NENO), and the Open Estonia Foundation. Co-organisers are non-governmental organisations, political parties, umbrella and business organisations, the media, think tanks, the town of Paide, and Järva county government.