Conversation festival LAMPA

Cesis, Latvia.

Conversation festival LAMPA

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This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)

In an increasingly divisive and polarised world, the annual nationwide Conversation festival LAMPA in Latvia has become an outstanding platform for discussing matters of societal concern about Latvia, Europe and the world in face-to-face conversations. Co-created by a diverse array of civil society organisations, public authorities and private companies, the festival opens up policy-making processes to wider audiences and creates an open platform for direct engagement among people in Latvia.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

A broad range of events, thought-provoking discussions and hot topics all feature at the Conversation Festival LAMPA, a nationwide, open-air annual summer festival organised annually in Cēsis, Latvia since 2015. LAMPA provides a rare chance to spend two uplifting days sharpening one’s mind, expanding one’s horizons, and challenging one’s assumptions. It’s an inspiring and energising platform for everyone with something to say. It’s for everyone who wants to learn and talk about issues important to Latvia, Europe, and the world.

The mission of the festival is to strengthen democratic conversation culture, foster civic engagement and active involvement in social and political processes, and encourage a desire for lifelong learning in an ever-changing world.

The two-day festival takes place every year on a Friday and Saturday in late June or early July. Creating the festival events are civil society organisations, private companies, public authorities, universities, media, civic-minded individuals and churchgoers. In 2018, LAMPA featured more than 270 events – conversations, debates, talks, lectures, workshops, performances, stand-ups – in Latvian, English and Russian. Admission is free.

The number of festival attendees has increased from 3500 in 2015 to 16 000 in 2018, indicating that the festival has picked up on a desire or even need for people in Latvia to convene on an annual basis at such an event.

The festival brings together people in Latvia from all walks of life, engaging them in conversation and an exchange of ideas. Being the first and only of its kind in this country, it clearly serves a vital role in fostering openness and dialogue, something that is of great importance in this diverse country with its eventful history.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2015
Level of government: Other


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

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