Tallinn, Estonia



September 8, 2023

Democracies fall apart piece by piece, just like everything else. If they are not constantly repaired, at some point they will crumble. The foundations of the world’s democracies have long received too little attention. The beautiful color of participation has been painted on the walls, the windows have also been made a little more transparent, but the cracks in the basement have been left to their own devices.

At the same time, authoritarian regimes have switched from concealing their actions to being openly proud – that they are right, that they are more effective! China, Russia and others are now openly fighting against the democratic world. Bringing the wars of the 20th century to today.

We do not expect that we can improve all these things from Estonia – but we believe that we can and in fact must do our part.

That is why we are convening all those who are concerned about the future of democracies to discuss problems and solutions at the annual Democracy Conference in Estonia. 

Stay tuned

More information about the conference, including the agenda, speakers, location, and other details, will be announced on this webpage and our social media channels in the upcoming months.

Our speakers

Democracy developers from around the world.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Former president of Estonia, Professor at SKytte Institute

Ilves was the president of Estonia from 2006 – 2016. He has also been a member of the European Parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Estonia and has worked as a diplomat and journalist.

Jenik Radon

Adjunct Professor at Columbia University

Radon teaches in the areas of sustainable natural resource development, small state development and corporate responsibility and has advised many governments on the same issues. He’s a cofounder of the DD Foundation too.

Karolina Olofsson

Executive Director of The Oslo Center

An independent non-profit organization working in the fields of democratization and democratic governance, promoting and enhancing democratic practices by strengthening political and government institutions.

Gary Klaukka

Executive Director of Demo Finland

A co-operative organisation of all Finnish parliamentary parties. It enhances democracy by supporting collaborative projects between Finnish political parties and political parties in new and developing democracies.

Anthony Zacharzewski

President & Director-General of The Democratic Society

A networked organisation working since 2010 across Europe to connect citizens with the decisions that shape their lives and making democracy work for everyone.

Marju Lauristin

Former Member of the European parliament

Lauristin is one of the most influencial opinion leaders in Estonia, a professor emeritus in University of Tartu, a former Minister of Social Affairs and a city council member in Tartu.

Teele Pehk


Teele will share how the Green Tiger Foundation is using the citizen assembly method to solve complex issues around the green transition and how they could become more of a staple of local and national democratic processes.

Our agenda

Starting from the fundamental challenges, ending with the launch of new Center for Developing Democracy.

πŸ•™ 11:00 – 11:30

Beginning of the Conference

First a bit of networking with coffee.

πŸ•™ 11:30 – 12:45

The most fundamental problems facing democracies today

What are we up against as democracies? What are the most fundamental issues that need attention by those who are worried about the decline of democracy in the world.

Anthony Zacharzewski


Jenik Radon


πŸ•™ 12:45 – 14:35

How are the problems being addressed today?

How is democracy developed by other organizations working on democractic development in the Nordic countries and Estonia.

Karolina Olofsson

The Oslo Center

Gary Klaukka​

Demo Finland

Teele Pehk

Green Tiger

πŸ•™ 14:35 – 15:20

Lunch at restaurant HΓ΅lm

πŸ•™ 15:20 – 17:00

Launch of the Center

This will be the official launching ceremony for the new democracy development center in Estonia with press and distinguished guests.

Toomas Hendrik Ilvves

Former President of Estonia

Marju Lauristin

Former Member of the European Parliament

A short video message by James A. Robinson

University of Chicago,
co-author of "Why nations fail"

πŸ•™ 17:00 – 21:00

After-chill & DD20

A nice chill for all attendees and a place to celebrate together 20 years of the DD Foundation in Estonia.

Our venue

The conference takes place at Lydia Hotel in Tartu.
More about the venue here.

Our tickets

June 2


35€ 15€
  • Conference attendance
  • Conference materials
  • Lunch & coffee breaks
  • After-chill at Pepe's


  • Conference attendance
  • Conference materials
  • Lunch & coffee breaks
  • After-chill at Pepe's

* Tickets can be returned only until the June 2 deadline, tickets are non-refundable after that.

Partners of the Conference