Discussion Festival “Būtent! 2018”

2018 / 09 / 07

Venue of event:

Vytautas park, Birštonas

Time of event:

2018 / 09 / 07, 16:00 hours

On September 7-8, a completely free second festival of discussions Būtent! to take place in Birštonas announces the event programme: for two days, the Vytautas Park space in Birštonas will host over 90 events and discussions on the topics important to Lithuania, with the number of visitors expected to reach 5000. Būtent! festival is one of the 8 members of the Nordic-Baltic Democracy Festival family.

Būtent! festival It is being organized for the second time in Lithuania. One of the goals of the event is to demonstrate that important decisions are inseparable from the diversity of viewpoints and the inclusion of different groups of society in their consideration. Last year the organizers of the festival created an open debate space that contributes to the development of a democratic, united and progressive society, develops a culture of discussion and listening, tolerance for a different opinion or attitude. The initiators of the festival will be inspired by the long-standing tradition of the Almedalen Discussion Forum in Sweden bringing together about 30 thousand of participants every year, successful examples in Denmark, Finland and other Scandinavian countries, as well as in neighbouring Estonia and Latvia.

The festival’s visitors in Birštonas will be welcomed at eight discussion spaces – Lithuania of Ideas, European Lithuania, Entrepreneurship Lietuva, Open Lithuania, Lithuania of Opportunities, Sustainable Lithuania, Smart Lithuania and Creative Lithuania. In each of them, according to the agreed rhythm – an hour for discussion and half an hour for a break – one theme will be changed with the other, while the visitors of the festival will migrate between the spaces by stopping in the spaces discussing the topics most relevant for them.

You can find the two-day festival programme on www.diskusijufestivalis.lt

The Nordic angle

Whole concept of a Democracy festival is closely linked to Nordic countries and traditions. The tradition of the democracy festivals can be traced back to 1968 when Olof Palme, Sweden’s minister of education at the time, held a speech standing in the back of a flatbed truck. The truck was parked by Almedalen park and several hundred people gathered to listen. Most likely these people — including Palme — had no idea they had changed history, influencing the whole Nordic-Baltic region. 50 years later, democracy festivals are a vital part of the DNA of people living in the North.

To keep the Nordic agenda strong, Būtent! festival will host a discussion space called “Nordic Home”, where visitors can come and learn about Nordic action in implementing the UN’s Global Development Goals 2030, to accept the challenge of Nordic sustainability quiz, participate is workshops and see how sustainable finger food can be made.

From discarded food prices to regional development and defence

The mood of the festival is created in such a way that the event can be a cozy place for the representatives of various fields who can exchange their ideas, and all festival visitors have the opportunity to actively engage in conversations with facilitators from different fields, not only in the programme discussions, but also at the end of the programme.

“One-third of the programme’s events are comprised of the themes offered by the public, and it perfectly reflects the variety of opinions prevailing in the country,” says Antanas Bubnelis, one of the initiators of the festival, and the representative of Public Enterprise Visos idėjos. “The visitors are invited not only to observe but also actively participate in discussions on a wide range of topics: the most challenging business barriers, climate change, regional development, tourism strategy, or children’s eating habits. It will be discussed why there is so little protest in Lithuania, what the opportunity to vote from 16 years might change, the impact generosity in business can have on economic development, etc.”

The content of the discussion is fresh air for thought

Participants of the discussion – a spectacular variety of fields and experiences: Algirdas Toliatas, Žydrūnė Vitaitė, Domas Dargis, Urtė Neniškytė, Rytis Zemkauskas, Unė Kaunaitė and any other 200 participants of the Būtent! festival who agreed to come to Birštonas, thus supporting the celebration of the diversity of opinions and democracy, who will have to share and discuss something with the audience of the festival.The content of the festival is created by more than 50 different organizations, among them Girteka, Nasdaq, Lietuvos Geležinkeliai, EIKA, Lithuanian Banking Association, LRT, Klaipėdos Nafta, Prime Investment, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Trancendent Group, Delfi, Polish Embassy and Institute, Eglė sanatorium and others.

Specials experience – directly from the lips of the festival visitors

We will discuss some of the topical issues at the festival with their visitors: Carsten Maartmann-Moe, a Transcendent Group Partner, Head of the IT Management and Security Team, a professional hacker, will take part in the discussion on trust in the digital age, helping to bring the discussion on global cyber security to business. A visitor from Sweden, Åsa Zetterberg, is the newly appointed Swedish Senior Official for Digitalisation. She will share her thoughts on how intelligent technologies can contribute to addressing the pressing state and societal challenges. Professor at the University of Reykjavik, Doctor of Sociology, founder and director of the Icelandic Centre for Sociological Research and Analysis, Inga Dora Sigfusdottir will share experiences on what is needed to repeat the success of Iceland’s long-term programme for the engagement of children through sports.

The innovation of the programme – 5 hours movie dose

Cinema fans will be offered to watch 4 full length and 5 short films presented by different organizations in order to highlight individual societal problems or to introduce viewers to new opportunities, stories and experiences.

Debate of political leaders

Saturday evening will be dedicated to the debate among parliamentarian party representatives . Eugenijus Gentvilas, Gediminas Kirkilas, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Milkulėnienė, Gintautas Paluckas and Rita Tamašunienė will discuss on the state’s services to the citizens and the real needs of these state’s “clients”. The debate will be moderated by journalist Edmundas Jakilaitis.

Family friendly event

High-quality engagement – creative workshops, various table and outdoor games – for young and the real participants of the festival will be organized by scouts, Maltese order, participants of the Mission Siberia and other organizations, while a special space will be ready for family pets.

Būtent! discussion festival to be held on September 7-8 in Birštonas and some other topics were offered by its organisers – Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania. British Council, Swedbank, Birštonas Municipality and the programme partners – Open Lithuania Fund, the European Commission Representation in Lithuania, the European Parliament Bureau Lithuania and Versli Lietuva.

Please see full program of the festival here: www.diskusijufestivalis.lt/programa