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Katerina Danilova: Can discussions only actually help us?

  1. Can discussions only actually help us? Katerina Danilova Head of communications, Estonian Opinion Festival (“Arvamusfestival”), Estonia International conference „Integration Challenges in a Radicalizing World“ 29 – 30 November 2016, Tallinn, Estonia
  2. Making of: Arvamusfestival 2016
  3. What is the Opinion Festival? Opinion Festival is a meeting place for the entire community, that gives a word to different political views. The festival is open to all active-minded people in Estonia as well as elsewhere, who together would like to discuss issues that are important for all of us.
  4. Is it popular? 2000 participants 2013 4000 participants 2014 10 000 participants 2015 9 000 participants 2016 Participants 80 topics 2013 160 topics 2014 224 topics 2015 230 topics 2016 Discussions
  5. How is Opinion Festival useful? 4. EntireEstonia (society, discussion culture) 3. Paide & Järva county 2. Organizers: discussionorganizers, volunteers, activists, teams) 1. ME MYSELF
  6. 166; 72% 140; 60% 127; 55% 101; 44% 96; 41% 93; 40% 89; 38% 19; 8% 166; 72% 122; 53% 137; 59% 48; 21% 78; 34% 92; 40% 64; 28% 19; 8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% New information and knowledge Inspiration and courage to act Have a good time Get cultural experience Gain new contacts and like-minded people Share opinion with others Get ideas for ones' organisation or business Other Feedback: what was expected (blue) and gained (green) Expected Gained What do participants get from festival?
  7. Your way to Opinion Festival… We give a feedback and choose topics Call forsuggesting topics. Openfor everybody. You propose= you organize In cooperation with others you create your thematical area: 3 to 5 organiz./area January Vebruary March June Draft of festival programme is ready! Create your discussion & learn how to make it great April May It’s festival! July Deal with technical details
  8. What about cooperation? Public sector 22% Civil society 52% Business 12% Media 9% Political parties 5% ORGANIZERS 2016 Total number on topics: 230 We organized: 1
  9. How do discussions help to understand each other and accept plurality of opinions? In order to create a polite and constructive atmosphere, we suggest that the festival participants remember and follow some ‘rules of the game’: 1. We respect the time limit, the discussion leaders and all the other festival participants. 2. We prove what we claim. 3. We listen: it is as important as speaking. 4. We are not biased towards or against the people who participate in the discussion. 5. We react to the idea, not to the person. 6. We focus on the solution: stop briefly to criticise and then offer solutions.
  10. What about real changes and actions? 1. How do you measure the change in ones’ head after 1 discussion? Is it necessary? Is action always necessary? 2. We’ve got some: new theater, new school, new theatre performance, new magazine, new local caffe, new organizations, new ideas, new contacts. 3. But at the end – we give people good emotions, hope and a little more trust in fellow citizens
  11. Challenges to accomplish. How to… 1. …achieve, that all discussions have good arguments, diferent opinions and some new opinion leaders? 2. …attract participants from small villages and / or with non-liberal views? 3. …affect media coverage in a way, that is heard voice of non-prominent leaders and topics? 4. …achieve, that political parties see festival as an opportunity to be open- minded and populism-free? 5. …achieve, that festival’s atmosphere in transferred to all everyday discussions (in school, at work or in public and also in leading the country).
  12. Presentation given at International conference Integration Challenges in a Radicalising World 29 – 30 November 2016 in Tallinn, Estonia For more conference materials and presentations please visit