Opinion Festival: English-language panels happening on Friday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

This year's Opinion Festival takes place, as always, in the central Estonian town of Paide.
This year's Opinion Festival takes place, as always, in the central Estonian town of Paide. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

This year's Opinion Festival in Paide features a total of 10 panels in English across all of the festival's different categories, seven of which are taking place on Friday.

Friday 12-1.30 p.m.
Trash Heroes – an artistic initiative for a better city
Location: Hea Kliima ala


  • Antti Lahti, artistic director of Time of Dance Festival in Jyväskylä
  • Panu Varstala, founding member of the Apinatarha dance collective

"Trash Heroes combines art and environmental awareness with having fun together to bring up values essential to a better future through dance, music, green energy, recycling, and environmentally friendly vehicles. The plan is simple: 1. cruise around with custom-made cargo bikes, 2. clean up areas to make them better for dancing, 3. dance, 4. move on to the next destination. The cargo bikes have percussions, DJ-sets and sound systems, all powered by solar energy. Ride on!"

Friday 1.30-2.45 p.m.
Diversity – a tool for sustainable success
Location: Tulevikumajanduse ala


  • Piia Karhu, Finnair
  • Anu Realo, University of Warwick, University of Tartu
  • Kaire Tero, Rimi Eesti Food AS
  • Jevgeni Ossinovski, Member of Parliament, SDE
  • Ahmed Abdirahman, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce

"The panel will discuss the benefits of diversity for different types of organizations. A diverse workforce brings along open-mindedness, and helps to grasp all potential business opportunities. It is fruitful on both management level as well as in the overall workforce. Several researches have proven that companies with more women in management positions are more profitable (IMF 2016). Research also indicates that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially (McKinsey & Company, 2018). Why does diversity bring various benefits? Are Nordic and Baltic companies using this competitive edge?"

Friday 2-3.30 p.m.
The Future of NATO
Location: Eesti maailmas


  • Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the council of EATA
  • Col. Paul Clayton, NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia
  • Anu Eslas, member of the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association and long-term representative of Estonia at the NATO Industrial Advisory Group
  • Kalev Stoicescu, International Centre for Defence and Security

"2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the 15th anniversary of Estonia's membership in NATO. This is a good time to look at current and future challenges facing the alliance: What are the key issues, risks and threats in the future? How is the nature of threats evolving, and what should be our response?"

Friday 3-4.15 p.m.
A future-proof economic model
Location: Tulevikumajanduse ala


  • Kristiina Esop, Vastutustundliku Ettevõtluse Foorum
  • Mika Pantzar, futurist and economist
  • Mikael Malmaeus,Swedish Environmental Institute
  • Tea Danilov, Riigikogu Foresight Centre

"The global economy has increased tenfold in the past 70 years. The economic model based on technological progress, cheap energy, and mass-scale production has created an abundance of material goods and welfare. However, by now this model is compromised – it has broken the planetary boundaries, and humankind is on the verge of social and ecological crisis. How can we move on with a better plan? If consumption fuels the economy, how will businesses do in a post-growth economy? Are circular and bio economies the right way to go? Is it possible to detach growth from resource consumption?"

4-5.30 p.m.
Youth of Europe: Expectations and reality
Location: Eesti 2035


  • Gustaf Göthberg, member of the Swedish Moderate Party
  • Klen Jäärats, Director for EU Affairs, Government Office
  • Kristen Aigro, Networks Coordinator, Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation
  • Luukas Ilves, Head of Strategy, Guardtime

The panel will discuss challenges facing Europe, like a potential decline of liberal values, an increasingly blurred political landscape, the rapid development of technology, the consequences of climate change, and China as a new global player, among others. How do these affect Europe's future, and with it the lives of the millennial generation? What can actually be done in the next 15 to 20 years?

6-7.30 p.m.
How to define relationships?
Location: Noorteala

"People around us," say the organizers

"There are different types of relationships. How do you even know whether monogamy, polygamy, relationship anarchy, polyamory, polyandry or any other type would suit you? In the debate we will discuss different relationship types, hear stories from anonymous authors and discuss about when would it make sense to talk to your partners about your expectations for your roles and goals."

6-7.30 p.m.
European Citizens' Initiative: Participatory democracy for citizen-powered Europe
Location: Eesti maailmas


  • Pirkko Valge, Good Deed Foundation
  • Martin A. Noorkõiv, Domus Dorpatensis
  • Marta Pardavi, Hungarian Helsinki Committee
  • Pascal Herry, European Commission
  • György Schöpflin, former Rapporteur on the European Citizen's Initiative in the European Parliament

"How much power do you have? With the European Citizens' Initiative, you can shape European policy. Join us to find out more about this unique tool allowing you to suggest concrete legal changes in any field where the European Commission has power to propose legislation. We will discuss the importance of participatory democracy as well as give you valuable information on the European Citizens' Initiative. Come and take the initiative with us!"

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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