The future-themed Opinion Festival is waiting for discussion ideas

The guiding principle of the seventh Opinion Festival is future. Especially welcomed to the programme are discussions that, in one way or another, prepare us for the future and ask questions that don’t really have answers yet. The discussion will be chosen for the programme by a public gathering of ideas which lasts until January 31st.

Future is the guiding principle in light of the Estonia 100 celebrations of the last state-building milestones. “All countries are created to last forever – the survival of Estonian nation, language, and culture through time is the foundational idea of the Republic of Estonia. Hundred years after the birth of the country is a good time to set new goals for the coming centuries. Therefore, it makes sense to look forward, to the future – as well as we can, with the highest academic and intellectual capacity that we have,” said Toomas Kiho, the Head of the Steering Group of Estonia 100.

Maiu Lauring, the Head Organizer of the Opinion Festival says it’s inevitable that the future brings increasingly more changes and that it’s in human nature to be cautious about them. “During the seventh Opinion Festival we’ll ask what will this future be like –  the one we’re creating today with our choices, acts, and words. By involving the best knowledge and taking into account the human caution, we’ll discuss what kind of future do we want and, in co-creation, we will take first steps to shape this future,” said Lauring.

During the year of Estonia’s National University 100, the role of the University of Tartu and scientists is of particular importance in the public discussion around future. The Project Manager of Estonia’s National University 100, Kadri Asmer says that it’s important to understand that hundred years of higher education in Estonian is a gift to the whole country of Estonia and not only the pride of one university. “The task of the National University is to be the leader of social development and to offer solutions to problems while looking out for Estonian culture and science,” said Asmer.

The more precise reference point set to mark the future is the year 2035 which is also the basis for preparing a new long-term strategy for the Estonian state. The ideas for the next Opinion Festival discussions should help explain some complex topics, to create a better understanding between opposing sides, introduce new knowledge, provide smart solutions, or ask questions that don’t have an answer yet. As always, discussions by everyone – individuals as well as institutions, businesses, NGOs, and networks – are welcome.

The gathering of ideas will last until January 31st. All the ideas received will be rated by the Opinion Festival’s organizational team consisting of ten members. Every discussion idea will be rated in four categories (reasoning, purpose, form of discussion, diversity of participants) and this will form the ranked list of discussion topics. After this, the ideas are divided into matching fields of discussion. The preparation of these fields will begin in March with the organizers of these discussions with the aim of publishing the programme at the beginning June.

NB! The call for ideas has closed!

In case of questions, please send them to and the organizers will give advice. The Opinion Festival will take place on August 9th and 10th in Paide.

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