Estonian Festival of Opinion Culture – how to make it happen

This booklet is the very first attempt of the Festival of Opinion Culture team to present their work and the experiences they have gathered. This booklet is a help toolkit for those who dream of developing democratic opinion culture and want to use the festival format. The booklet takes readers through the main idea, how these things started in Estonia, and through the steps you need to make and people you need to convince. The organising team hopes to infect ever more people with the Festival of Opinion Culture bug and help them in their endeavours.

The Festival of Opinion Culture is one of the tools to promote, teach, and practice the skills of listening, debating, and discussing. The Estonian experience with the Festival of Opinion Culture shows that people enjoy non-formal space and the method of debate. The festival has grown from a civil society action with a bit more than 1000 participants to nationwide public event with more than 10,000 participants within just three years. This has been one of the success stories of civic action as well as public mobilisation. People come together, plan, and implement a large public gathering with only one idea to discuss, talk, and listen to each other on issues that are close to the heart of every citizen