Purpose & History


The Forum Alpbach’s purpose for today and beyond is quite simple: The European Forum Alpbach is a space and place for the emergence of reflection and action. It brings together young people from Europe and from all over the world with the most innovative minds from politics, business, civil society, culture, and science to drive ideas for a strong and democratic Europe. With this diverse, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary community, the Forum influences key actors throughout the European continent to facilitate their learning and decisions.

How it started

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 helpers 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 not insignificant contribution to the intellectual life of post-war Europe. In particular, the mediation between science and practice was an important goal from the very beginning.

2022 web about 03 1946 arbeitskreis

Study Group at the European Forum Alpbach 1946 (c) European Forum Alpbach