Study visit in Tallinn! Social Economy in Estonia.

Blog Post: Study Visit in Estonia, Tallinn

 On September the 6th, Art Square Luxembourg ASBL made its way to Estonia,Tallinn. On this study visit, we had a look into the different Social Entreprises in Tallinn. The dear Ketlin Peldes, a local student, navigated us through the city and organised all the meetings with the Entreprises we were about to meet.

 

We started with the YFU – EE, an NGO that gives youngsters a chance to live and study in a foreign country for a year. So far they gave 50-60 people the chance to leave Estonia and live in host families across the world which provides them with food and shelter. We had an interesting conversation about the difficulties and benefits that young grownups face when being in an unknown country with a foreign language and culture. Overall they come up with interesting solutions such as a training, where they simulate a situation and face the youngsters with certain circumstances to avoid possible difficulties during their visit.

 

Next stop was at Change makers, where Ketlin worked for the past 4 years. In partnership with “Social Entreprises Estonia” they teach young people social skills which the conventional school system doesn’t provide. This is being executed by e-courses, e-classes and in depth training sessions. We talked about the advancements they do to go from teaching youngsters to adults and provide their community with academies and mentor trainings.

 

After those two very enriching visits we headed to sea, to experience for the very first time the baltic ocean. Yes, it was indeed very cold.

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A few interesting conversations later we headed back to Telliskivi for our next visit at citizen OS. They created a platform were people all over the world have a chance to discuss and debate a given topic. It really gives people the chance to find a community that resonates with the topic. The platform only allows users to publish their statement when properly explained and proved, this creates more complex information around a certain topic and gives different perspectives to the viewer.

 

Closing this very informative and interesting day we gathered together for a dinner at a cute plant based cafe, for some refuelling for the following day.

 

We started our second and last day of the visit with a meeting at Speak Smart, an enterprise focused on critical thinking, structural listening and argumentation. They help people to communicate properly in a world where most people take arguments personally and react emotionally. They developed a communication strategy which allows people to prove their claim. As long as you have reason and evidence for your claim, you validated your statement and another can’t really say it’s wrong, even though they can prove their claim by proceeding the same way. This whole strategy should take people out of their emotional and automatic state and make them think, so a proper debate can take place. 

 

After a small walk through the creative city, Telliskivi, we ended up at Mondo Crafts. Their mission is to support and empower vulnerable communities all around the world with the vision of a safe, caring and sustainable world with equal opportunities for everyone. They work in 11 different countries, where they empower mostly women by creating job opportunities and giving them a chance to have a self sustainable life. So far they created jobs in sewing, creating shea butter and much more. Even facing challenges with logistics and increasing materiel prices, they keep on looking for solutions to bring more equilibrium into this world.

Mondo 

A few steps away, we got the chance to visit VIVITA, a place for the younger generation. This is a place where kids have the chance to express their creative mind with no boundaries what so ever. VIVITA is established in 8 different countries with 13 Vivistops, that’s the actual studio where the creativity takes place. Their mission is to provide a creative environment with tools (Viviware) to express their minds fully. It’s an opportunity for kids to regain their power and show them how powerful they really are. At this place they have a chance to solve problems and announce changes they want to see. By the support of the adults working there, they have the chance to execute those changes and make the kids realise that they can make decisions instead of ionly following decisions. The focus is on having joy in the making without interference. The people working there really have to respect the children’s decision and learn from their behaviour by understanding their imagination. It’s basically filling very important gaps that the school system failed to integrate, such as giving kids space to create and execute on their imagination.

 

We finished of with a great dinner coupled with good wine at a restaurant near the places we visited this day.

 Tallinn, Estonia

Overall, this was a very mind opening experience seeing all these people creating so important changes in this world. There are so many problems yet to be solved, but we visited so many people already creating solutions. Social Enterprises such as those we visited really make a difference in this world and create more hope for a better and brighter future. I feel honoured to got the chance to meet all these wonderful people and get to know their vision.

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