Democracy Drinks

Democracy Drinks is a concept for defenders and reformers of democracy to get together for discussions and inspiration.

What is it about?

Democracy Drinks is an event concept created by Defend Democracy to provide a low-threshold setting for defenders of democracy and others interested in the subject to come together for discussion, networking, brainstorming, planning and finding inspiration.

What do we do?

Finland’s first Democracy Drinks event was held at Sitra on 15 September 2022, marking the International Day of Democracy. Since have Democracy Drinks in Finland been arranged monthly. The concept celebrated its’ 1st birthday in Finland on 15 September 2023.

Our aim is to make Democracy Drinks an ongoing series of events in Finland, and to build an active community of Finnish defenders and reformers of democracy around it. Members of the community take turns to host networking events, each with their own unique twist.

Sitra is co-ordinating and supporting the concept’s introduction to Finland. The initiative for bringing the concept to Finland first came from Faktabaari.

Due to the rapid changes in our information environment, there is a need for capable people from different sectors of society to participate in defending and reforming democracy.

We hope that the event will bring together people such as data professionals, digital specialists and democracy experts, to get them out of their silos and gathered around the same table. This network welcomes NGOs, public sector organisations and businesses alike.

Jukka Vahti, Project Director, Digital power and democracy project

How can I get involved?

Do you represent an organisation that seeks to defend and reform democracy? Would you like to join our Democracy Drinks network? Contact our project coordinator Joel Lindqvist. You can find more inspiration for hosting your own event by visiting the international Democracy Drinks website.

We will post information on upcoming Democracy Drinks events on this page and, as the date of each event approaches, also in our other channels.

Democracy Drinks


time Organizer and more information

Demo Finland
oluthuone kaisla, vilhonkatu 4, helsinki
Welcome to Demo Finland’s Democracy Drinks to meet other democracy activists and learn how democracy actors can make a difference in the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law, but how does it work with civil society? Anu Juvonen, Executive Director of Demo Finland, who has been working for the last three years as a Finnish co-delegate in the Civil Society Unit of the Council of Europe’s Democracy Department as an advisor on the topic. The presentation will be followed by informal discussion and networking. The event is free of charge.

Accessibility information: the restaurant is wheelchair-accessible through the Vuorikatu door, and there is an accessible toilet.
Previous events

Merkki-museo, ludviginkatu 2-4, helsinki
On Tuesday 2 April, Faktabaari – Factbar is organising the Faktabaari 10th Anniversary Forum 2pm-5pm, open to all. The 10th anniversary of Faktabaari will be celebrated with Democracy Drinks as well at the Merkki-Museum in a cozy setting. You can find more info about the event and registration here. You’re warmly welcome!

Waves Summit and Wicked
panimoravintola bruuveri, fredrikinkatu 63 ab, helsinki
Waves Summit and Wicked Helsinki Ry are organizing Democracy drinks to bring to the table a discussion about Changemaking in today’s democracy. What are the avenues for changemaking? Who has access? And how may we support changemakers even more. 
We will also raise awareness for an upcoming event for Changemakers. Waves Summit is a one-and-a-half-day event in Helsinki and online, 3-4 April 2024. The event hosts top international speakers, cross-perspective dialogues, and panels on consequential topics.
We have a private area reserved. Kindly note that beverages will not be provided as part of the event arrangements. 
See you there and join the discussion!
brewery restaurant bruuveri, fredrikinkatu 63 ab, helsinki
2024 will be a global election super year, when more than half of the world’s people will be able to vote in national elections. At the same time, the changing media environment of the 2020s will pose new challenges for the delivery of fair elections. How will ordinary voters in 2024 know what is true and what is not?

These and many other key questions for democracy will be discussed together at Sitra’s Digital Power and Democracy project’s Democracy Drinks! Our project has just launched several major activities and this is an excellent opportunity to network with our project partners. At the Democracy Days you can also meet a wider range of people from Sitra’s Democracy and Participation theme.

We will also be joined by Sitra’s Foresight team members, who have just made an opening to expand power to define futures in Finland. The term refers to the power to influence the outlook of our futures, i.e. what is considered possible or desirable in the future.

The drinks will be preceded by a short introductory speech by Project Director Jukka Vahti and foresight specialist Otto Tähkäpää.
The Finnish Society on Media Education & DECA
restaurant juttutupa, säästöpankinranta 6, helsinki
In the run-up to elections, the polarisation of debates, the power of social media platforms, artificial intelligence, algorithms and election hacking raise concerns about the erosion of democracy. False threats or the truth?

We will hear the views of Jussi Kanner (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Inspector for Democracy and Rule of Law Support, and Rauna Rahja (KAVI), Project Manager of the Media Literacy Week, on the importance of media skills for democracy. In addition to the presentations, the programme will include free discussion and networking.

The event is part of the Media Literacy Week 2024 programme. You can register for the event here.

The event is co-organised by the DECA project. The Epistemic Capability of Democracy in the Age of Algorithms (DECA) project explores the knowledge systems, practices and problems of society at the levels of individuals, institutions and digital infrastructures.

the tower, mall of tripla, firdonkatu 2b, helsinki
The link between responsible media and a functioning democracy is undeniable. Independent, diverse journalism, vibrant cultural life and diverse opportunities for education and learning are ways to sustain and strengthen social debate, development and democracy. Reliable media is also one of the best counterweights to fake news and disinformation.

What kind of challenges do the accelerating technological and digital information revolution pose? What are the potentials of data and AI for both media and democracy?

In December, the convener will be Yle‘s Public Affairs.
Nordic Democracy Day
hanasaari cultural centre, hanasaarenranta 5, espoo
Two Demcracy Drinks are expectionally organized in December. The extra Democracy Drinks are take place in conjunction with the Nordic Democracy Day seminar organised by the Hanasaari Cultural Centre. Read more about the seminar and register here.
5 pm
Myöhä Café & Bar, Mannerheimintie 3, Helsinki (entrance from Kolmen sepän aukio or Kaivopiha)
The November Democracy Drinks meet exceptionally on the second Wednesday of the month.

Whose voice is heard in the city? This time, the theme of Democracy Drinks is urban democracy.

Ylva’s aim is to build the Helsinki of the day after tomorrow. Our business is focused on real estate and restaurants.
Thirsty Scholar, Fabianinkatu 37, Helsinki
In October, Democracy Drinks are organized by The Democratic Epistemic Capacities in the Age of Algorithms (DECA) research project.

The project explores the knowledge systems, practices and problems of our society on the levels of individuals, institutions and digital infrastructures. Read more about the DECA project on their website.
Sitra, Itämerenkatu 11-13, Helsinki
On International Democracy Day 15.9.2023, Democracy Drinks in Finland celebrates its 1-year birthday!

The drinks are convened by Sitra, which brought the concept to Finland. The Democracy Drinks will take place after Sitra’s “Eroon digidystopioista — Teknologia osallisuuden ja demokratian voimavaraksi” seminar. The program will be partly in Finnish and partly in English.

Click here to register for the Democracy Drinks.
5 pm
Suomen Operaatio Libero ry
ravintola telakka, Tullikamarin aukio 3, Tampere
Democracy Drinks are expanding outside Helsinki for the first time, as the Finnish Operation Libero organises the first Democracy Drinks in Tampere in August! Read more about Operation Libero Finland on their website.

You can notify Operation Libero Finland about your participation by mailing them info[at]
5 pm
Kantar Public
belge, kluuvikatu 5, helsinki
The Democracy drinks will be organized by Kantar Public.
5 pm
The Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations NYTKIS
Restaurant LASIPALATSI LOUNGE, 2nd floor, MANNERHEIMINTIE 22-24, HELSINKI, wheelchair accessible
The Democracy drinks of May will be organized by NYTKIS.
5 pm
Finnish Study Centres
bier-bier, helsinki
Finnish Study Centres association acts as an umbrella and advocacy organization of the twelve study centers.
Kriittinen Korkeakoulu
Bryggeri (Sofiankatu 2, 00170 HKI)
Read more about Kriittinen korkeakoulu here (in Finnish only).
5 pm
Rethinking Economics Finland
SKÖNE, Kanavaranta 7 D
Read more about Rethinking Economics Finland.
MyData Global
Read more about MyData Global.
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