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Green Innovation: urgent & important at once

Plenary / Democracy & Governance
english language

There is a famous saying by General D.D. Eisenhower that his problems were either urgent but not important or important but not urgent. Europe, however, has a problem that is urgent and important: how to transform Europe into a resource efficient, green and decarbonised society. Hear two leading intellectuals build the case for this transformation and the opportunities green innovation holds in a debate with political leaders.


Chancellor, Republic of Austria, Vienna
Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, UCL - University College London, and Director, IIPP - Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, London
Managing Director, EFSI - European Fund for Strategic Investments, Luxembourg
Mayor, City of Vancouver
Professor of economics; leader in sustainable development; senior UN advisor; bestselling author; and syndicated columnist; New York
Editor-in-Chief, Der Standard,, Vienna Chair

Mag. Christian KERN

Chancellor, Republic of Austria, Vienna

 Christian Kern was sworn in as Austria's Federal Chancellor on 17th May 2016. After working as a journalist and in the Austrian Parliament and Federal Chancellery, Mr. Kern launched a career in the energy sector in 1997. At Verbund AG, Austria's largest energy utility, he was appointed to the group's management board in 2007. He then switched to the Austrian Federal Railways Group, where he served as Chairman of the Management Board from 2010 onward. In this capacity, he also became Chairman of the Brussels-based Community of European Railways (CER) in 2014. Under Mr. Kern's leadership, the Austrian Federal Railways investigated the railway operator's role during the Nazi era in a project entitled "Suppressed Years". Mr. Kern was born in Vienna on 4th January 1966, and he graduated from an academic secondary school in Vienna's 11th district (Simmering). He then went on to study sociology, political science and communications at the University of Vienna.


Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, UCL - University College London, and Director, IIPP - Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, London

1984-1998 US Foreign Service Officer
1998-2001 Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
2001-2002 Associate Director, Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State
2002-2007 Senior Director for Russia, US National Security Council staff
2011-2017 Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University
since 2007 Managing Director, Kissinger Associations, Inc.

Mag. Wilhelm MOLTERER

Managing Director, EFSI - European Fund for Strategic Investments, Luxembourg

  Chairman of Student's Union, Johannes Kepler University Linz
1974-1980 Studies, Social Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz
1979-1981 Assistant, Department of Agricultural Policy, University of Linz
1981-1984 Head, Economic Policy Division, Austrian Farmers' Federation
1985-1986 Employee, Provincial Government of Upper Austria
1985-1987 Municipal Councillor in Sierning
1987-1989 Secretary of the Office, Federal Minister Dr. Josef Riegler
1989-1990 Head of the Office, Federal Minister Dr. Franz Fischler
1990-1993 Director, Austrian Farmers' Federation
1990-1994 Member, National Council of Austria
1993-1994 Secretary-general, Austrian People's Party
1994-2000 Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
2000-2003 Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
2003-2007 Chairman, Austrian People's Party Parliamentary group
2007-2008 Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance of the Republic of Austria
2007-2008 Chairman, Austrian People's Party
2008-2011 Member, National Council, Spokesperson on Constitutional Matters
2011-2015 Vice-President, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
since 2015 Managing Director, EFSI - European Fund for Strategic Investments, Luxembourg

Dr. Jeffrey D. SACHS

Professor of economics; leader in sustainable development; senior UN advisor; bestselling author; and syndicated columnist; New York

1973 Staff Assistant to the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopolies, Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate
1974 Staff Assistant to United States Senator Phillip A. Hart
1977 Student Intern at Federal Research Board, Washington, DC
1978 Visiting Scholar, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm
1978-1980 Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Cambridge, MA
1979-1980 Research Associate, Falk Institute of Economic Research, Jerusalem, Israel, Collaboration with Michael Bruno
1981 Visiting Research Associate, London School of Economics
1982 Consultant, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC
1983 Consultant, OECD - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Visiting Professor, Ecole des Haute Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
1984-2002 Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade, Harvard University (Assistant Professor, 1980-1982, Associate Professor, 1982-1983, Full Professor 1984-2002)
1984-1986 Visiting Professor, Institute of World Economics, Kiel
1986-1987 Visiting Scholar, Bank of Japan and Japan Ministry of Finance, Tokyo
1990-1992 Visiting Professor of Macroeconomic Policy, WIDER - World Institute of Development Economics,Research, United Nations University, Helsinki
1994-1996 Founder and Chair, Executive Committee, Institute of Economic Analysis, Moscow
1995-1999 Director, Harvard Institute for International Development, Cambridge, MA
1998-2002 Director, Center for International Development, Harvard University
1999-2000 Member, International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission appointed by U.S. Congress
2000-2001 Chair, Commission on Macroeconomics and Health for the World Health Organization, Geneva
2002-2006 Special Advisor to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Millennium Development Goals; Director, United Nations Millennium Project
2002-2016 Director, The Earth Institute and Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, Colombia University, New York
2007-2016 Special Advisor to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Millenium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals
 Current functions:
 Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, New York
 Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres
 University Professor, Columbia University, New York
 Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
 Distinguished Fellow, IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
 Co-Founder and Director, Millennium Promise
 Founder and Chair, SDG USA
 Economic Advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia
 Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA
 Member, Brookings Panel of Economists, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC
 Co-Chair, Asian Economic Panel of Economists
2010-2015 Member, UN Secretary General's MDG Advocacy Group


Editor-in-Chief, Der Standard,, Vienna

1989-1993 Studium Publizistik, Politik, Geschichte
1996 Promotion
ab 1990 Der Standard, zuerst Mitarbeit in Linz und Wien
1993-1998 Deutschland-Korrespondentin
1998-1999 Mitglied in der außenpolitischen Redaktion
1999-2005 Deutschland-Korrespondentin
2005 EU-Korrespondentin in Brüssel
2006 Ressortleiterin Wirtschaft
seit 2007 Chefredakteurin, Der Standard
seit 2012 Co-Herausgeberin, Der Standard und
seit 2013 Chefredakteurin,

Political Symposium

show timetable


14:00 - 18:00Professional Programme "Our World's Future"Partner
15:00 - 18:00Generational perspectives on security policyPartner
15:00 - 18:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner


09:00 - 12:00Devil's diplomacyPartner
09:00 - 12:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
10:00 - 11:30Fireside Talk with Ruth Dreifuss: women and powerPartner
10:00 - 12:00The 2016 US election behind the scenesPlenary
14:00 - 16:30Opening: values and visions of a united EuropePlenary
17:00 - 18:30Acknowledging reality: coming to grips with the international systemPlenary
19:00 - 20:30The USA, the EU and Russia: what changes does the new US administration bring?Plenary


08:30 - 09:30Breakfast Club 03: POLITICO morning briefingPlenary
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 01: War and democracy in Ukraine: what is the future?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 02: From conflicts to collaborative governance: using open data and collective intelligence to achieve public-sector innovationBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 03: May I stay or should I go? The impact of climate change on migrationBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 04: Military cooperation as a means to overcome security challengesBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 05: How to reconcile interests in societies with declining social cohesionBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 06: Alternative facts, provocations and social division: how to deal with populismBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 07: The EU on trial: 60 years of conflict and cooperation in EuropeBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 08: Geoengineering: governance implications, technical options and risksBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 09: Genome editing: governing on the cusp of uncertaintyBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 11: Innovation in a contested environment: from the outside in and the inside outBreakout
12:30 - 13:30Fireside Talk with Talia SassonPartner
12:30 - 14:00Lunch receptionBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 12: Digital Security: Social MediaBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 13: New freedoms, old constraints? Challenges of integrating female refugees in AustriaBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 14: Science-based policy-making in times of post-truth?Breakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 15: Migration and the Arts: Europe's next narrativeBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 16: The Dublin dilemma and the way outBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 17: Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: catching up or showing the way?Breakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 18: Mission-oriented innovation policy in practiceBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 19: An end to a costly war: alternatives to failed drug policiesBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 20: The Arctic: new narratives for a disputed territoryBreakout
14:00 - 16:30Breakout Session 21: Democracy reloaded: what can we learn from bottom-up democratic innovations?Breakout
17:30 - 19:00Security and liberty in the digital futurePlenary
19:30 - 21:00Green Innovation: urgent & important at oncePlenary


09:00 - 12:30Transformative pathways to sustainability: from perception to changing behaviourPlenary