Annual Opinion Festival gets underway

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Audience at 2022's Opinion Festival in Paide.
Audience at 2022's Opinion Festival in Paide. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

This year's Opinion Festival (Arvamusfestival) started Friday in its traditional home of Paide, and will feature several panel discussions in English.

Topics such as "Democracy Innovations from Finland and Estonia" (Friday) and  "Does Voting Still Matter?" (Saturday) are on the panel agenda. 

The Open Estonia Foundation panel, "Does voting still matter?" will involve both experts and the audience how can we, as citizens, can make our voices heard more and ask if it still matters whether we vote or not, if the outcomes often leave us disillusioned? Why do many people not vote at all? The panel will explore the significance and trends of voting by examining case studies from Estonia, Hungary and Turkey.

The panel will consist of Mari-Liis Jakobson, Associate Professor of Political Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences, Tallinn University; Peeter Raudsik, Expert on the Middle East and Róbert László, Election Specialist at Political Capital, Hungary, while the moderator will be Bart Cosijn, a trainer and consultant in the field.

The discussion last an hour-and-a-half.

This panel starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 12 and can be viewed on the day via the video player below (click bottom right hand corner to enlarge to full-screen).

The International House of Estonia (Eesti Rahvusvaheline Maja) is holding a panel discussion on Saturday, August 12, starting at 12 p.m. Estonian time, under the banner "Embracing Diversity, Enriching Well-being: Insights from International Talent in Estonia."

Organizers describe it as a dynamic panel event, where a diverse group of specialists, hailing from various professional domains, will share their remarkable journeys of living and working in Estonia.

Moderated by Hannah Brown (Australia) of the e-Residency Program, the panel consists of: Writer and data scientist Stephanie Rendon (Mexico), engineering manager at Bolt and Estonian teacher Dario Hamidi (Germany), co-owner of AFTRWRK Bar Mike Perdue (U.S.) and HR worker Uwanma Odefa (Nigeria).

That discussion will last 90 minutes also.

The full Opinion Festival program in English is here.

The weather for Saturday in Paide will be largely sunny and with patches of cloud - showers forecast earlier should not materialize.

As per tradition, the bulk of the discussions take place in outdoor marquees, under the eaves of the Baltic crusades-era castle, in central Paide.

Opinion Festival 2023 runs Friday to Saturday.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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