The theme of ESTO 2019 is OUR FUTURE

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ESTO 2019 is entitled “Our Future”, like the theme for Estonia 100.

What is the future of Estonian youth in Finland and other countries? Will they be multilingual bridge- and future tunnel-builders, or souls lost to Estonia, ashamed of their heritage and hungry to assimilate, or something else altogether? What are young people thinking about and what support do they need? How could Estonian youth abroad help Estonia and how could Estonia support Estonian youth abroad?

Esto 2019 “Our Future” places emphasis on the inclusion of young people. We need Estonian youth organizations in every country. We need to raise and educate a new generation that knows the valuable traditions of Estonian communities abroad and understands the importance of upholding that cultural heritage. Young people will not ask for help, we need to invite them to join us. So we are inviting, from every community with any Estonian activity, two youth delegates who have the interest and desire to listen, to think, and to participate in discussions. Sixty-six youth delegates will have their expenses for travel, accommodations and food covered by the ESTO budget. Their mission will be to inform others living in their countries of residence about Estonian community events and to actively help in develop activities for young people.

Read how to sign up HERE >>

The “Our Future” theme also forces us to honestly and openly discuss the challenges of preserving collectively held Estonian real estate, the quality and sustainability of information channels, the qualifications of Estonian language teachers at Estonian education centers, the role of Estonian congregations abroad and much more. #Networks seminars on July 1- 2 will provide opportunities for Estonians living abroad to meet up with other keepers of Estonian language and culture as well as with Estonian scientists, artists, writers, and musicians, giving everyone a chance to introduce their work, activities and creations.

Estonia does not exist only within Estonia’s national borders. Estonia exists in the hearts of thousands who live outside of Estonia. This feeling of unity requires constant care. ESTO provides an opportunity for Estonians living abroad and friends of Estonia to congregate during the Song Festival anniversary and discuss themes related to preserving our Estonian heritage while living outside of Estonia.

On July 1 – 2 Telliskivi Loomelinnak in Tallinn will become ESTO City, where there is plenty of space to meet and exchange ideas, gain inspiration, or hear how similar problems are solved in other communities. ESTO is also a chance to get together with friends and relatives, make new acquaintances, and find new friends or partners. ESTO City will have ESTO TV and ESTO Radio. Those who cannot be physically present will still be able to participate in discussions, and summaries will also be available for listening and viewing after each event.

Traveling home from ESTO, everyone should feel that it was time very well spent. ESTO will provide positive momentum and energy, as well as an increased knowledge about Estonia and other Estonians around the world. ESTO will show us how big Estonia really is. Upon arriving home, pictures and videos of discussions and larger events will be available online for viewing. And a new addition to your bookshelf will be the ESTO infobook, containing information and contacts for all Estonian communities and societies abroad. Every other Estonian will be just a click away.