Sunday, February 19, 2012

Visit to musical Estonia

I've just returned from a week of lectures and meetings in Tartu (at the University) and Tallinn.

This was my first-ever visit to the country, and was part of the programme for Heartbeat Tallinn (

Freezing weather right now but lovely people, and I can imagine that, once the entire country starts blooming in the Spring, it must be stunningly beautiful through to the Autumn.

I was prepared for the worst of Eastern European type food, specially for a vegetarin asuch as myself, but it surprisingly has excellent food, even for a vegetarian.

Nowadays, as my wife is able to join me on some of my excursions around the world, she enjoyed the oldest medieval town centre in the world, and the excellent handicrafts (I was able to join her briefly during a break from work on one afternoon).

Quality versus price probably the best in the world.

Certainly for everything to do with linen and wool, she says.

What were my lecture topics?:
- "The Current Global Crisis: Why Was Getting Here So Easy and Why Is Getting Out So Hard?"
- "Contemporary Changes and Timeless Values: The Challenges of Business Ethics in a Globalising World"
- "Why Businesses Don't Prosper: The Most Common Reasons"....

At the Economics Seminar, where I spoke on "Business Conduct: The Role of Traditions, Religions, Values and Ethics", it was most interesting to hear Hardo Pajula, the well-known SEB Economist on "The Effects of the Loss of Transcendence on the Contemporary State", and Professor Meego Remmel on "Integrity As A Complex Virtue".

For the ensuing panel discussion, chaired by Janek Mäggi, CEO of Powerhouse, we were joined by the Estonian political analyst, Ahto Lobjakas.

I was inspired by watching the 2006 film "The Singing Revolution" on how this tiny nation of 1.3 million people, without firing a single shot and without shedding a single drop of blood, became the first country to declare independence from the USSR, to be followed by mighty Russia and other countries, thus ending the USSR.

Why was this small group of people able to do all this?

Extraordinarily, because of the power of music to hold the country together through 50 years of Soviet "Russification" and earlier years of Nazi oppression.

I'll be happy to return to Estonia any time.

If you don't know the country, it is definitely worth a visit.

And, if you are planning to visit, try to time it during the high week of Heartbeat Tallinn, which will be July 24 to 29 this year. Sphere: Related Content

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