Dialogue Circles

Dialogue Circles is a collaborative event series organised by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly and the Finnish Institute. First held in March 2023, these sessions are held once every quarter in the lobby of the National Library of Estonia.

There are several ongoing projects in Finland (The National Dialogue) and Estonia (Community Dialogue, Dialogues in the Library) that aim to foster constructive societal discussions and engage people in meaningful conversations.

Dialogue Circles is one such project, offering a practical and accessible platform for individuals to learn and practice constructive and safe discussions with fellow dialogue enthusiasts. Engaging in respectful conversations within a secure environment is one means of enhancing trust and people’s sense of emotional security.

In the Dialogue Circles initiative, the Finnish Institute employs the Timeout method, which was developed in Finland.
The Dialogue Circle welcomes anyone interested in developing the skills to be a progressive and empathetic debater. Here, we listen to others, share our experiences, and learn from one another – without any opinions dominating others.

Marju Lauristin, Professor of Social Communication at the University of Tartu, has highlighted a recurring and key phenomenon referenced in Estonian Human Development Reports, one that remains a major impediment to our human development year after year. That phenomenon is a lack of cooperation within Estonian society. Cooperation implies trust and the ability to engage in dialogue with various parties. Professor Lauristin’s message underscores that constructive public discussions contribute to creating a better living environment.

  • For more detailed information about past and upcoming dialogue circles, please visit this link.
  • Dialogue circles convene once every quarter at the National Library of Estonia.
  • The first dialogue circle, “Big Worries, Small Worries”, took place on 9 March 2022
  • To get started, organisers recommend reading the guide for organising a dialogue prepared by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly: bit.ly/36XDEfg and familiarising yourself with the Timeout method here.