The Festival of Opinion Culture will offer participants more than 150 different discussions about the present and future of Estonia, as well as radio shows, cultural events, workshops and festival clubs. Political movements and parties will set up their own ‘world view cafés’, and the media will be there with their stages and on-air studios.
“We are holding this festival in order to see it gradually become a valuable, free and inspiring discussion environment for active residents of Estonia,” said one of the organisers, Urmo Kübar. He is the head of the team that prepared the schedule for the Hilltop Stage and Lowland Stage. These are the only two stages where the programme has been established by the festival organisation team. All other discussions will be held in cooperation with various organisations and associations.
The Hilltop Stage and the Lowland Stage will see almost 20 discussions on the topics most important to Estonia. Participants will consider whether it is sensible to try to stop emigration and what to do with our mineral resources, investigate where the joy of school days has gone and discuss the role of the state in entrepreneurship. The discussion topics also include security, life in the countryside, the health of Estonian residents and the wise and soft authorities of the state. The question of what the future holds for the century-old Republic of Estonia is also on the agenda. The festival will start with a discussion by former prime ministers “What would we have done differently today?” The heads of political parties will meet in the last discussion. The titles and timeframe of the discussions have already been put on our web page, and the names of the speakers will be gradually published over the summer.
“Our team of volunteers has been busy with preparations for the whole spring, and dozens of people worked to compile the programme that has appeared on our web page today. Many ideas occurred to us in February during the brain-storm that yielded over a hundred suggestions,” said Kübar, admitting that, unfortunately, not all of the ideas would fit on the official festival programme. “Still, there will be an open microphone for those who can’t find their topic on the Hilltop Stage, the Lowland Stage or any thematic stage, or one can occupy a spot on the lawn and start a discussion.”
This year, Festival of Opinion Culture will be held on 15–16 August on Vallimägi Hill in Paide. This will be a meeting place for alert and active people to discuss the topics important to Estonian society and its people. The festival aims to bring together various points of view and ideas so that new knowledge can be born through discussion, new initiatives beneficial for society can be started and the discussion culture in Estonia can develop. The Festival of Opinion Culture was first held last year, when around 50 discussions and workshops took place over two days, involving 200 active speakers and 2,000 visitors.
The preliminary schedule of this year’s Festival of Opinion Culture is available here.