Estonia's Friends International Meeting

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The Estonia's Friends International Meeting (Estonian: Eesti sõprade rahvusvaheline kokkutulek) is a joint initiative launched by Enterprise Estonia, business tycoon Mr Margus Reinsalu and President of Estonia Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves to thank and recognize business, political and cultural figures whose actions and advice have helped Estonia to develop.[1]

The first Estonia's Friends International Meeting was held in August 2010 in Tallinn, just before the anniversary of Estonian re-independence. Intended as a gesture of appreciation and a marketing event, it featured a brainstorming session on choices that lie ahead for Estonia. The friends of Estonia were hosted by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Enterprise Estonia Chairman of the Board Ülari Alamets, and businessman and honorary counsel of Morocco in Estonia Margus Reinsalu. Former Prime Minister Mart Laar served as Tallinn Old Town tour guide.[2]

The group of 40 people visited the Birgitta Festival in the seaside Pirita district and the Oandu watermill in Lahemaa National Park. On 20 August, the participants joined in the festivities marking Restoration of Independence Day. The invitee list was the product of dozens of suggestions from people from the political, cultural and business arenas.[3] Among other guests there was the former President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, CEO of Pagani supercars Horacio Pagani, politician and former rally driver Ari Vatanen. The event has now become a summer tradition.[4]

Estonia’s Friends International Meeting 2011 was held in the beginning of July 2011 in Tallinn, so the participants could also visit the 11th Youth Estonian Song Festival. The main speakers at the annual symposium “Quo vadis Estonia?” were Stephen Kuhn from Ernst & Young and Robert J. Parker from Credit Suisse. The cultural program was highlighted by a concert by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO) led by maestro Neeme Järvi.[5]

In 2012 the meeting was held from July 5 to July 7. The main speakers at the annual symposium "Quo vadis Estonia?" were Professor Timothy Garton Ash from Oxford and the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. There was a concert by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ESSO) led by maestro Neeme Järvi and events hosted by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Enterprise Estonia, and businessman Margus Reinsalu.[6]

In 2013 the meeting was held from July 4 to July 6. Over 120 politicians, businessmen and cultural figures from 20 countries attended the meeting. The main speakers at the annual symposium "Quo vadis Estonia?" were the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves; Stanford University Professor Dr. James S. Fishkin and CEO of Ericsson Mr. Hans Vestberg. The meeting focused on e-democracy, e-government and Estonia's success in the field of IT. The traditional concert by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ESSO) led by conductor Anu Tali took place on July 4th, the Friends of Estonia also met with Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and were received in the Oandu watermill by entrepreneur Margus Reinsalu.[7] On July 4th Enterprise Estonia held the seminar "Estonia--Contributing for a Smarter World", where the speakers included scientist Conrad Wolfram, Taavi Kotka from the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Erik Kruse from Ericsson.[8]

2014 Estonia's Friends International Meeting took place from July 3 to July 5. This year, more than 120 entrepreneurs, politicians and opinion leaders from 21 countries all over the world, including, for example, Martti Ahtisaari, the President of Finland from 1994-2000, Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein, Torsten Albig, and a member of the Canadian Parliament, Peter van Loan, attended the gathering of Estonia's friends. [9] The meeting took place during the Estonian Song Celebration and guests were able to also attend a concert of the Celebration. [10] On the first day Enterprise Estonia held the seminar Estonia – Contributing for a Smarter World, where Taavi Kotka presented the initiatives of the Estonian government for constructing a modern society. Taavet Hinrikus will spoke about the Transfer Wise concept. In addition, the representatives of 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. The traditional concert by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ESSO) led by conductor Neeme Järvi took place on July 3rd. The Friends of Estonia also met with Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and were received in the Oandu watermill by entrepreneur Margus Reinsalu.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Estonia's Friends International Meeting video [1]
  • Estonia's Friends International Meeting photos [2]
  • Estonia's Friends International Meeting official site [3]
  • Estonia's Friends International Meeting Facebook site [4]