Estonia’s Friends International Meeting

About Estonia’s Friends International Meeting

The Estonia's Friends International Meeting is a joint initiative launched by the President of Estonia Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Enterprise Estonia and the entrepreneur Mr Margus Reinsalu to thank and recognize business, political and cultural figures whose actions and advice have helped Estonia to become a truly European country with a dynamic economy and thriving culture. Every year about 100-150 Friends of Estonia attend the event.

The event lasts for three days. The participants will be able to contribute to discussions, look around in Tallinn and in the Lahemaa National Park, and participate in a varied cultural programme highlighted by our Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and well-known Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi.

The first Estonia's Friends International Meeting was held in August 2010 in Tallinn, during the Day of Restoration of Independence festivities. The meetings have had many different themes and interesting speakers. For example in 2012 the traditional symposium „Quo vadis Estonia?" dealt with the realities of post-crisis Europe, changes in global political climate and economic environment and possible future scenarios. Keynote speeches were delivered by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Professor Timothy Garton Ash (UK, Oxford University).

In 2013 the meeting focused on the cutting-edge topics of e-democracy, e-governance and their role in modern societies. The speakers included President Ilves, Stanford University Professor James F. Fishkin and Hans Vestberg (CEO of Ericsson).

During the Estonia's Friends International Meeting 2014, the guests could also visit the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration. At the seminar Estonia – Contributing for a Smarter World, which was organised by Enterprise Estonia the representatives of Estonian government, Transfer Wise, Teleport, Google, GrabCAD, Planet OS and Tolaram Group spoke about their smart solutions. The annual symposium "Quo vadis Estonia?" was held in the business and innovation centre Mektory. The main speakers were the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves; and Andrew M. Thompson, founder and head of Proteus Digital Health. The meeting focused on e-democracy, e-government and Estonia's success in the field of IT.

In 2015 Estonia's Friends International Meeting the topic of the traditional symposium Quo vadis Estonia? was Identity: Online and Offline. The main speakers were President Ilves and Balaji S. Srinivasan from Teleport and Andreesen Horowitz. The concert by Estonian National Symphony Orchestra will focus on the music of Arvo Pärt in honour of his 80th birthday.

The 7th Estonia’s Friends International Meeting will take place from June 30th-July 2nd, 2016. The topic of the traditional symposium Quo vadis Estonia? will be Development in the Digital Age.