Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th Lennart Meri Conference is postponed until May 2021. But in the meantime, we are bringing the spirit of the Lennart Meri Conference online. Over the coming months, we will be challenging leading foreign and security policy thinkers around the world to address topical issues.


The Era of Resentment: Causes and Solutions

In this session, former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the Pulitzer-prize winning historian and staff writer for The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum get into the bottom of the motives and the rationale of people who create the mythology and the language of modern authoritarian populism. It is not the sense of being left behind in globalization nor is it just a question of economic inequality. Likewise, it’s not just an eastern European phenomenon.

How do we overcome rising cynicism and restore optimism? This open exchange is not only about the why’s and reasons for pessimism but offers possible solutions and highlights issues that need to be tackled.

The conversation was inspired by Anne Applebaum’s most recent bestseller “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism”.


The Different Faces of Identity and Politics Today

A conversation with the Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the American thinker and political theorist Francis Fukuyama, Professor at Stanford University.

Identity is inevitable, says Professor Francis Fukuyama, but how to make it a solution and not a source of problems? How should one understand identity in an era of fear and hatred? Can identity help fight the decay of democratic institutions? What have been the different faces of identity through time?

In their sparkling conversation, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Professor Francis Fukuyama focus on different aspects of identity and its impact in the world: The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, etc.

The conversation was inspired by Francis Fukuyama’s recent bestseller “Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment”.