About festival

In our forever-changing world, the Conversation festival LAMPA creates an environment and an impulse for personal growth. The festival offerings enable one to overcome apathy – two uplifting days, during which one can sharpen one’s mind, expand one’s horizons, challenge one’s assumptions. It is an inspiring and energizing platform for everyone, who has something to say. Everyone, who wants to learn and talk about issues important to Latvia, Europe and the world. The festival home is the Cēsis castle park. Many organizations and activists are involved in its creation, cooking up festival events and offering financial support. Admission is free.

LAMPA is organised by the Foundation for an Open Society DOTS, Swedbank Latvia, the advertising agency “Armadillo”, the communication management agency “Deep White”, the Cēsis Municipality and the British Council. It was inspired by similar democracy festivals in Denmark, Sweden and Estonia.  

Development is based in dialogue – let’s create a culture of dialogue 

We believe everything begins with a conversation. The ability to converse lies at the core of humanity, and is the first spark of development.

Two monologues do not create a dialogue –dialogue means the ability to discuss, to listen and to accept that every opinion has the right to exist, regardless of whether we agree with it. Acceptance of diversity is the core of democratic culture. In our times, when exchanges of opinion often take place virtually – in social media, text messages and e-mails – we need to relearn the art of face-to-face conversation. A conversation of substance and mutual respect.

Each of us co-creates the state – public participation is vital

We believe that the people of Latvia would be better off, if they were more active in community affairs and political processes. We care about Latvia and its future, so we stand up against apathy. People actively participating and shouldering responsibility lead to growth for the individual, the community and our country. 

Think deeply and expand your horizons – change for the better

We are convinced that if an individual takes an interest, delves into issues and critically evaluates available information, he/she will change for the better. 

In 2019, the festival will take place on June 28-29. 



Rules of the game

Conversation culture is diverse. Sometimes it means screaming, ignoring opponents’ viewpoints, obfuscation, blatant lies or manipulation, speaking from a position of power, brandishing fists. But conversation can also be mutually respectful. Listening, agreeing or disagreeing, using well-considered arguments, respectfully steering towards a compromise. 

We are respectful. We expect a range of opinions - all are important and given a fair hearing. “’I do not agree with your opinion, but I will defend to my last breath your right to express it.”

We listen. Listening is just as important as talking. 

We converse with dignity.  We do not humiliate or denigrate.

We use considered arguments, and never speak from a position of power or raise a fist. 

We offer solutions. If we criticize, we explain our motivations and offer suggestions. 

We are open to conversation, to discussion, to new ideasand new solutions.

We trust.  In our conversation partner, friend, neighbour and country.

We co-create. Organizers and participants of the conversation festival are equal partners in the creative process.