In an effort to include more English-language debates, the annual Opinion Festival in Paide is inviting discussion topic submissions from organizations, corporations, communities and other groups also in English language. The submission period this year is from March 20 through April 2.
All discussion ideas are welcome through the open call, whether looking at current, important issues, or setting up a joint brainstorming session for a specific challenge, or searching for ways to address a specific problem.
There are several changes in both the open call and the festival this time as compared to the previous years.
"Over the years, the most popular discussion format at the festival has been interactive panel discussion which, for discussion organizers, has become sort of a synonym for a discussion. Based on the new Opinion Festival strategy, we would like to pay special attention to diversifying discussion formats this year, and to bring to the festival new formats like fishbowl discussion, reversed panel discussion format, debate and many more," Kaspar Tammist, the head of the Opinion Festival, said. "We do not assume that discussion organizers will know all the formats and how to use them, that's why we are prepared to offer additional support with designing the discussions this year," he added.
Tammist said that in the light of society polarization getting stronger, it is increasingly more important to learn how to express different opinions without offending or belittling anyone.
"At the Festival, we would like to promote a wise and caring discussion culture, and it is through the discussion that people can get a better understanding of each other," Tammist said.
"We are eagerly awaiting discussion ideas that would necessitate involving more people in the brainstorming process and offer opportunities to express their views not only to experts, but to other participants," he added.
The topics submitted through the open call will be evaluated based on the importance of the topic, the aim of the discussion and the wider influence it could have. The topics for the Festival will be chosen by mid-April, the work will then start to design and organize the discussions.
The Opinion Festival will take place in Paide on August 11 and 12. More information about the open call and the form to submit your ideas can be found on their website.
Editor: Kristina Kersa