Last week, I had the great pleasure of giving a keynote address in Tallinn, Estonia during the Creative Hotspots conference. The event was organised by the British Council. You can catch the video of my presentation here and the others including the fabulous Jenny Tooth of the Angel Capital Group, the dynamic Elizabeth Varley from Shoreditch’s Tech Hub. a visionary from Skype and a founder of Angry Birds creators Rovio. The event, organised by the Brits brought together, Finns, Swedes, Russian, Germans, Poles, Brits and Estonians – who would have thought it?
Tallinn is an extraordinary town, picturesque with its medieval centre and still lots of snow on the ground, but also boasts a bit of a tech hub including a NATO cyber warfare research unit – borne out of its recent history and mentioned in the Economist last week.
On the Friday morning, the President of Estonia came along to open Tallinn Music Week (TMW) and talked with great passion in Estonian about Alvo Part – the greatest Estonian composer. But then talked at great length about how he had discovered Arcade Fire a few years ago and thought for the longest time that he was alone in all Estonia to know about this band. Until he read a review by Helen Sildna – the amazingly dynamic woman who organises TMW. He sent her an email telling her this, but she thought it was a fake and ignored it. There’s a moral in there some where.
Maybe one day, every country will have a President who loves the music of some hip alternative act from a foreign country and then will come and open an international music event, and talk about them, in a casual, low key kind of way.