Symposium speakers included Jonatan Vseviov from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Michael Keller from Stanford Libraries, Andrew Thompson from Kistler Ritso Foundation, Kadri Paju from Vabamu and Luukas Ilves, former CIO of Estonia.

During the symposium, previous Stanford University fellows Ralf-Martin Soe, Anna-Maria Osula and Marek Tamm shared their experience in doing research and living at Stanford. They noted how rewarding and lifechanging their experience had been and how they would recommend applying to fellow scholars.  The deadline for 2025 fellowships is May 28, 2024, and more information on the opportunities can be found here.

The Stanford- Estonia Symposium was held in Vabamu due the museum’s long-term collaboration with Stanford University. Vabamu and Stanford have organized countless events together and facilitated the movement of students, scholars and faculty. The student exchange started in 2016 when a couple of Stanford students went to Estonia for their summer internships. The program has now grown significantly and in 2024 Vabamu is welcoming 14 Stanford students to Estonia and Latvia for their 2-month internships. To enhance their experience in the Baltics, Kadri Paju from Vabamu puts together a program of events and activities for the students.

The second part of the Vabamu Stanford exchange is the Fellowship program. Vabamu sends Estonian scholars to Stanford University to do their research there. This program has been running for three years and 13 Estonian fellows have already had an opportunity to go to Stanford. The Fellowship program is sponsored by Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kistler-Ritso Foundation. During their stay at Stanford, the fellows are supported by Liisi Esse, Estonian and Baltic Studies curator at Stanford Libraries.

Stanford University and Vabamu also organize Global Conversations talk series together. It is a series of lectures and seminars that focus on the benefits but also on the fragility of freedom.

The symposium also introduced Vabamu’s concierge service to the guests. With our concierge service, Vabamu welcomes international delegations to Estonia and puts together custom-made programs that introduce different Estonian industries and tell our digital success story

The symposium guests included government officials, Estonian scientific community and potential fellowship applicants, members of memory institutions and the start-up community. The talks were followed by a reception at Vabamu’s Freedom Hall.