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From Valdeorras to Estonia: entrepreneurship and innovation together with Ethos MTÜ

Hello everyone! Today we want to share the inspiring experience we had in Tallinn, the beautiful capital of Estonia. This is the second mobility to finish our small scale partnership entitled Eesti and España - together for our youth.

Note: A small scale partnership is a form of collaboration between two associations from different countries to strengthen ties and achieve common goals. The first mobility took place in Peñalba de Santiago, we tell you about this experience here.

Last June, during five super intense days, our Valdeorras Vive team traveled to Tallinn to meet many familiar faces, get to know a young and vibrant country and continue exploring and learning by example. real. We are going to try to summarize everything we experienced during this unique adventure.

From the moment we arrived, we fell in love with the charming city of Tallinn. We stayed in the historic center, surrounded by cobbled streets and medieval buildings. It was like immersing yourself in a fairy tale. But beyond its beauty, we discovered that Tallinn is a vibrant center of entrepreneurship and creativity as well as a city steeped in history.

The first day in the morning we broke the ice with some workshops in a park in the capital. Right after, we took a guided and somewhat macabre tour of the historic center where we were told in detail about some of the tortures and public executions of medieval times.

During this exchange we had the opportunity to learn about many real examples of successful projects. We visited the Boulangerie bakery and met Anna, its founder. It is a beautiful example of starting from scratch in a traditional business model, a French-inspired bakery. It is fantastic to see how with work and patience an idea can end up contributing to the economic development of your city, and that is that at present they have already opened a second location and have more than 40 employees in the capital.


But if there is a unique environment when talking about entrepreneurship in Estonia, that is the Telliskivi neighborhood, the cradle of startups that in some cases have become companies so successful as Skype, Bolt or TransferWise. In a truly inspiring visit, we were able to meet Lift99, one of the most successful project incubators in recent years, and we peppered its current director, Rannar Park, with questions.


Another of the most exciting moments during these days was the visit to the Riigikogu, the Estonian parliament. What a special occasion! We were lucky enough to get inside with Hanah Lahe, the country's youngest MP, as our personal guide. Just that same day, equal marriage in Estonia was approved. For us it was a real testament to the progress and inclusion that is being achieved in the country, and we are honored to witness such a historic moment.

We also participated in the Europa Experience, a simulator of the European Parliament where we learned about the internal functioning and dynamism of this institution. This experience allowed us to better understand how decisions are made at a European level, from the pressure groups known as lobbies to the internal functioning of each party, no detail was missing.



We even had time for a day trip to the city of Narva, located on the Russian border. There, we met young people from the association VitaTiim who are doing their European Volunteering (ESC). We were impressed by their enthusiasm for making a difference in their community, in one of the most isolated and challenging areas in the country. In addition, we discovered a fascinating industrial heritage: the enormous textile factory of Kreenholm.



The opportunity to collaborate with Ethos MTÜ this year has inspired us to continue working together and to keep alive our passion for non-formal education, youth development and entrepreneurship, which is no small thing. During this time we have been able to learn from his experience, develop local activities, and even launch a card game on entrepreneurship and the fascinating concept of Ikigai, which we have already started testing in our projects and youth exchanges.


Estonia and Spain are closer than ever!


Álvaro Docampo


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