The seventh annual Opinion Festival taking place in Paide in August focuses on the future, asking questions about how to be prepared for changes as an individual and a society as a whole. The festival focuses on a science-based approach to topics that are important for society, sustainable development and an aware approach to life.
“Every discussion within the Opinion Festival creates a better understanding of what are the important questions for Estonian people today and how we can best deal with coming changes as individuals and as a society,” said Maiu Lauring, the Head Organizer of the festival. “Future is uncertain and conflict doesn’t help, but on the contrary, makes it more difficult to rise to the challenge. The Opinion Festival wishes to bring together people from different communities, create an opportunity for face-to-face interaction and calm and fruitful discussions,” Lauring added.
During this year’s festival there is a stronger focus on the role of scientists in public discussions. Scientist will have the main stage Meie Tulevik (‘Our Future’ in Estonian). There will also be fields of discussions dedicated to science and fresh science. “The foundation of science is a fact- and evidence-based world view. Taking this into consideration, the role of scientists is not only to further their own field of study, but also to create a shared space for communication in society. In order for us to make unanimous and smart decisions for the future we need to first find a common language,” said Kadri Asmer, the Project Manager of Estonia’s National University 100.
From the suggestions sent in, 160 discussions were chosen for the programme of the festival. These discussions handle climate, energy, economy, education, science, Estonian language and culture, health, technology, etc. The festival programme, which is the result of the collaboration of tens of organizations and people, can be viewed here: https://www.arvamusfestival.ee/kava. These discussions either introduce a phenomenon, seek a solution for a problem or take an analytical look at existing knowledge. Several discussions have set a specific goal, such as a compiling list of proposals or suggestions.
The festival also offers a varied cultural programme organized by the Paide Cultural Centre. During the festival you can see performers such as Kaido Kirikmäe, Mari Kalkun, and Robert Jürjendal, and the Weekend Guitar Trio. The festival will be concluded by Lenna’s concert in Paide city centre.
The Opinion Festival takes place on August 9th and 10th in Paide. The festival brings together people from different communities who care about Estonia and the world in order to have balanced discussions and create better understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world. The festival is supported by the National Foundation of Civil Society, University of Tartu, Estonia 100, Swedbank, Telia, the British Embassy in Estonia, city of Paide, Association of Local Governments in Järva County, European Parliament Information Office, and the office of the European Commission in Estonia. The festival is free for visitors.