“The new concept has been a complete success!”

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2 Sep, 2023

Big increase in visitors at the European Forum Alpbach 2023: Around 4,200 people attended the European Forum Alpbach event from 19 August to 2 September 2023.

Success all along the line: Around 4,200 people attended the European Forum Alpbach event from 19 August to 2 September 2023, which is around 400 more than last year. The organisation’s goal of making the event more international, younger and more female worked out well: 98 different nationalities were represented in Alpbach this year, including many representatives of European institutions. The average age of the participants was 39.6 years and for the first time, 53% of the speakers were female.

“The European Forum Alpbach has proven that it has international appeal and is an important platform for people who are committed to a stronger Europe. The massive increase in the number of participants and their extremely positive feedback as well as the record number of partner organisations confirm that our new concept has been a complete success”, explains Feri Thierry, Secretary General of the European Forum Alpbach.

The new orientation of the event, which was implemented last year, follows a dramaturgical structure during its two-week duration: The kick-off on the first weekend with the Euregio Days focuses on the Euregio region Tyrol/South Tyrol/Trentino thanks to regional hospitality and with the honouring of scientific innovations. At the same time, the renowned Alpbach Seminars start, a programme that offers young scholarship holders from all over the world a week of seminars with scientific, artistic and personality-building content. By participating throughout the entire duration of the Forum, the next generation is also a source of inspiration and impetus for the countless discussions that have decisively shaped the European Forum Alpbach since 1945. The Seminars are followed by the Lab Days, where curated groups of experts develop concrete answers to specific problems. The Labs prepare the professionally sound ground for the Europe in the World Days, which take place afterwards and look at the European continent and its global role from an interdisciplinary perspective. Finally, the Austria in Europe Days mark the start of the season for Austrian politics. Decision-makers, civil society, entrepreneurs and scientists debate Austria’s positioning in Europe.

In 2023, a guest curator was responsible for art and culture during the European Forum Alpbach for the first time. With Yana Barinova, Kiev’s former city councilor for cultural affairs artistically staged the contents of the Forum. The curated exhibits and installations from nine different artists received a broad media response and blended into the local landscape.

The four thematic tracks of EFA23 interlinked in terms of content and created the coherent image of an overarching “conversation” throughout the two weeks: In the context of the annual theme “Bold Europe”, the climate crisis, Europe’s economic sovereignty, the new security architecture as well as democracy and the rule of law were discussed.