The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) is a platform that drives ideas for an empowered and democratic Europe. It brings together the next generation of leaders in Europe with the most innovative minds, decision-makers and experts from politics, business, sciences, culture and civil society to work together from all over the world to engage and contribute to its mission.
Otto Molden (then a Viennese student) and Simon Moser (then a lecturer in philosophy in Innsbruck) founded the “International University Weeks” in 1945, which were held in the Tyrolean village of Alpbach. Since then, they have been held annually in August, but from 1949 under the name “European Forum Alpbach”. Among the participants in the early years were mainly young people who were actively involved in the resistance against National Socialism. The idea of the university weeks quickly found the support of the French occupying power, and the first governor of Tyrol, Dr. Karl Gruber, who also came from the resistance, was among the supporters in the founding period of the European Forum. Otto Molden envisioned a comprehensive renewal of intellectual life in Europe. Together with a circle of like-minded people, he advocated a political unification of Europe, which was seen as the only way to exclude warlike conflicts between the European peoples in the future. Simon Moser wanted to achieve new structures at the universities and advocated interdisciplinary exchange. From these interests a fruitful dialogue developed, which over the years involved not only science and politics, but also the cultural sphere and economic development. The European Forum Alpbach made a significant contribution to the intellectual life of postwar Europe. In particular, the mediation between science and practice was an important goal from the very beginning.