Lions Europe Forum 2019 Tallinn – an event for Lions and Leos everywhere!

This autumn up to 1200 Lions Club members from around the world are expected to descend on the Estonian capital for the club’s annual forum. A Lions Club event on this scale has never been held in the country and is unlikely to be repeated any time soon. The forum is open to all Lions and Leos and their companions, offering a wide range of events with something for everyone.

The event will kick off with a warm-up party at the Creative Hub on the evening of Thursday 3 October. The party will be a great opportunity to meet other attendees and spend an enjoyable evening together in an informal setting. The international management of the Lions Club will also be attending.

The forum itself will start on Friday 4 October. Its main programme will include presentations, discussions and meetings.What can you expect of the day? Starting things off will be future technology expert Kristjan Lepik, an adviser on Estonia’s e-residence project and an organiser of the global movement of talent. The main programme will then get underway, focussing on three main themes. The first is the environmentally friendly circular economy, which will be introduced by Professor Tarmo Soomere, the president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.
Attendees will be encouraged to exchange thoughts as much as possible at the Estonian forum, which is why the programme features relatively few presentations and more world café-style discussions in which everyone can have their say. The topics for the discussions will be touched upon briefly at the end of each introductory presentation, after which everyone will get to choose the workshop that interests them the most. For example, there will be circular economy discussions on the Baltic Sea cleaning project, World Cleanup Day and climate compensation. The discussions will be led by either Lions or Leos or experts in the field in question. Each discussion will be table-based, with the aim being afterwards to give a summary of the main ideas raised during the discussion and of any potential action or activities that all of the participants can take away with them and implement. 


Taking place as part of the programme for the first time will be a newcomers workshop.The goal here is for all of the Lions and Leos attending their first forum to get together, find out more about the forum itself and the schedules for the following days and chat to one another in a relaxed atmosphere.

Attendees will also be able to take part in the Lions parade that winds its way through the city centre and the grand opening ceremony being held at the Alexela Concert Hall.This will include a showcase of local music entitled ‘Estonia in Europe’, featuring works by renowned composers Arvo Pärt (Ukuaru valss or ‘Ukuaru Waltz’), Veljo Tormis (Eesti ballaadid or ‘Estonian ballads’) and Rein Rannap (the rock cantata Ilus maaor ‘Beautiful Land’). The MCs for the evening will be well-known local television presenters Anu Välba and Urmas Vaino.

The Alexela Concert Hall will host an Estonian-themed party that eveningat which guests will get to see, hear and taste for themselves just what the country has to offer. Music will be provided by the folk ensemble Untsakad.

Saturday 5 October will start with a meeting with the international president of the Lions Club. After this the focus will switch to the second main theme of the forum: ‘Healthy Youth – The Foundation of European Society’. The theme will be introduced by Dr Ott Pärna, the man behind a variety of social initiatives in Estonia and a great proponent of healthy living. The subjects of the ensuing discussions will be topical trends for the future of the workforce, young people’s health and diabetes dog projects.
The second half of the day will turn attention to the third main theme of the forum: ‘e-Lion – Lions Club cyber solutions’. The aim of this topic is to show attendees how the rapidly changing technological world impacts their everyday lives and their lives as club members and how they can keep up and cope with these changes.

This will be followed by experience-sharing seminars at which Lions and Leos from different countries will showcase their own charity projects.These presentations will provide an overview of their preparations, the resources that were needed and the implementation of the project. The aim here is for the listeners to later be able to utilise what they learn of the speakers’ success stories in their own undertakings. The seminars will take place on Saturday 5 October and on Sunday 6 October.

That night will be the big night for forum-goers, with a gala dinner at the Seaplane Harbour.A magical evening of great music, amazing food and fantastic company is guaranteed. And if you’ve never danced underneath a submarine, this is your opportunity! Getting the party started will be the Estonian ensemble Swingers.

The programme will continue on Sunday 6 October on cyber topics and looking at e-Lion.The morning will start with Leos giving a presentation on the environmentally themed pan-European project Leo4Green to inform the audience how they can organise a major project across the continent by utilising virtual communication. Following this will be practical workshops on obtaining support from Lions HQ and EU funds for local projects and the types of virtual tools that can be used in club life and when implementing projects. International Leos will outline how they go about things and what other Leos and Lions have to learn from them. Further experience-sharing seminars will also be held to provide new project ideas for club activities.

The day will end with the forum’s closing ceremony at the Alexela Concert Hall.Donations raised for the training of up to 12 diabetes dogs will be handed over. There will be another showcase of music, this one entitled ‘Europe in Estonia’, featuring works by famous composers: Bach (Rasmus Puur’s remix with the All-Estonian Youth Symphony Orchestra), Mozart (Sander Mölder’s remix) and Beethoven (Tiit Kikas’ take on Ode to Joy).

The full programme for the forum (with times) will be posted on the website at the end of July.

In summary, here are five reasons why all of the Leos and Lions in Estonia should take part in the Lions Europe Forum in Tallinn:

  1. Such a big, international Lions event has never been held in Estonia.
  2. You can meet Lions and Leos from Estonia and all over the world.
  3. You can learn things and share your experiences.
  4. You will get new ideas for your club activities.
  5. There will be fun parties in exciting locations.

For more information see www.europaforum2019.ee.