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A group of participants philosophises with US economist Jeffrey D. Sachs above the Congress Centre Alpbach on tomorrow’s economy (Photo: Luiza Puiu).
With a plea for respect and value for all human beings, blind human rights activist Yetnebersh Nigussie opened the European Forum Alpbach 2015. In her speech, the head of the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development reminded us that people with disabilities are still far from receiving equal opportunities across the world (Photo: Philipp Naderer).
Getting there first and daring to do something new – this drive characterises pioneers. 50 of these innovators recounted in Alpbach how to remove social obstacles. One of them is American Phil Cass, who turned the tables in the local healthcare system in his hometown of Columbus (Ohio). Today, the citizens get a say in improving health for everyone (Luiza Puiu).
Half a century of frozen relations doesn’t end in a day. Nobody knows better than Jeffrey DeLaurentis (centre, seated) how difficult the diplomacy of peace can be. The handshake between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro represents its greatest achievement. As the newly appointed Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States in Cuba he revealed in Alpbach what really matters in the craft of diplomacy: patience, respect and thinking free of ideology (Photo: Luiza Puiu).
Tap tap – you could have heard a pin drop in the packed auditorium as Michael Wendeberg raised his baton, tapped on the music stand and gave the musicians of the renowned Klangforum Wien the upbeat to Gottfried von Einem’s “Alpbacher Tanzserenade”. The piece was first played 60 years ago in Alpbach and formed the musical starting point for three new compositions premiered in Alpbach. The evening was one of the high points of the densest cultural programme in the history of the Forum (Photo: Philipp Naderer).
Every leap, every turn and every glance was perfect. The choreographer and dancer Eva Müller took on the general topic “InEquality” in a gripping performance and inspired deep reflection in the auditorium at the start of the Higher Education Symposium. She demonstrated that the messages of artistic offerings penetrate into areas of perception deeper than conscious understanding (Photo: Philipp Naderer).
Lena Esser (foreground right) built up one of the largest mentoring projects in Germany. Thanks to her initiative, thousands of students are coaching secondary school leavers entering higher education and the world of work. The “World Café”, with further 27 idea generators formed the centrepiece of the Higher Education Symposium. You can find the summary report with ideas for reducing inequality in higher education online at www.alpbach.org/ideas (Photo: Philipp Naderer)
Digitalisation and technical advances are revolutionising the market. How should we react? In a breakout session, Werner Wutscher, successful businessman, Wolfgang Anzengruber, Chairman of the Board of the largest Austrian electricity producer, and Wilfried Steffen, Head of Business Innovation of a German car corporation, described how businesses can manage to remain flexible and innovative. In Alpbach, they searched together for answers to the challenges of tomorrow – and judging by the looks on their faces they did not leave empty-handed. You can find more reports on the sessions at www.alpbach.org/ideas (Photo: Michael Steindorfer).
In the packed Erwin-Schrödinger-Saal, the audience waits with baited breath for the judges’ decision. Which speech was the most moving? Who was the most exciting under the spotlight? Who set sparks flying? In the backstage chamber, politics professionals such as Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission and Guy Cecil, successful campaign manager for the US Democrats, discussed who would moments later receive the prize for the best speech at the traditional Speakers’ Night (Photo: Luiza Puiu).
You’ve been to conference rooms across the world and you come to Alpbach because you know one thing: no room provides more inspiration for mind and soul than the sun-bathed Alpbach valley. The participants of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group, all renowned academics, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, put their heads together in an open-air session to solve global problems such as climate change and educational disadvantage in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Read more at www.alpbach.org/ALG (Foto: Matthias Silveri/IIASA).
Alpbach wants to light a spark for democracy, human rights and creative drive. In conversation with Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta, the chances are good that the flame will be passed on. Nowhere else is it as easy as in Alpbach to exchange thoughts and arguments with renowned politicians, academics and artists. All information about the scholarship programme and the application process is available at www.alpbach.org/scholarships (Photo: Philipp Naderer)
40 young business leaders wandered through field and forest during the three-day mentoring programme “Alpbach in Motion” to work out which competences the business world of tomorrow will depend on. Encounters with experienced entrepreneurs in mountain huts and open-air working sessions have become fixtures on the programme. Always at hand: flipcharts for recording good ideas. Read more at: www.alpbach.org/AIM (Photo: Michael Steindorfer)
Christian Kern manages 40,000 employees. Together with 40 creative people, Ali Mahlodji launched a start-up from nothing. Markus Noga works together with 75,000 colleagues. What established business leaders can learn from aspiring entrepreneurs (and vice versa) and how these partnerships can benefit both sides was revealed in the disused swimming pool – probably the most creative location in Alpbach. This year, catering entrepreneur Tobias Judmaier transformed the empty building into a pop-up bar with a discussion podium (Photo: Philipp Naderer).
Tian Guoli moves billions of yen. Financial market experts from all over the world scrutinise his deals, investments and decisions. The Governor of the Bank of China is one of the pioneers for the unstoppable rise of China to become the number one global economic power. In Alpbach, he took part in a discussion with the audience and answered critical questions from journalists (Luiza Puiu).
At the conclusion of the European Forum Alpbach 2015, 120 Austrian mayors searched for solutions to the asylum accommodation crisis. In a participative, moderated process, they exchanged know-how and experiences surrounding the acceptance of refugees into their communities. The result is a 60-page handbook, which you can read at www.alpbach.org/buergermeister (Photo: Philipp Naderer)