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The first hybrid Forum Alpbach was a success

The European Forum Alpbach is pleased about a successful and very international event. In November a new, almost all-female board takes over.

Alpbach (OTS) – “The experiment was successful,” says EFA President Franz Fischler at the end of the first 12-day hybrid Forum Alpbach. The Forum, which in its 75th year of existence took place in Alpbach under strict Corona prevention measures and otherwise as a digital conference, is delighted with more than 5000 participants from 134 countries, most of them online. This year’s Forum attracted about the same number of participants as last year.

More than 300 sessions with over 600 speakers from 23 countries around the world were streamed into the online conference. The focus was on measures to eliminate the effects of the Corona crisis and on strengthening international cooperation.

Sessions curated by alumni organisations were very popular

When the decisions on programme and formats were made, it was felt that in challenging times like these, a forum was needed to discuss the impact of the pandemic and the state of the world afterwards. “The lively discussions that have taken place at the Forum Alpbach in recent weeks prove us right in this assumption. Especially the more than 2000 participants under the age of 30 have contributed to the debate in a very active and cheerful manner. We consider this a great success,” said President Franz Fischler.

In addition to the session with UN Secretary General António Guterres, which was attended by almost 1000 people, the events curated worldwide by alumni organisations of the Forum Alpbach Network were particularly popular.

It was also pleasing to see that there were hardly any problems with the implementation of corona prevention measures. Almost all of the approximately 800 people who were guests in Alpbach adhered to the rules issued by the Forum.

“Since it was my last Forum as a President, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my board colleagues and my team, who have done an outstanding job in the past weeks and months and are largely responsible for the success of our event,” said Fischler.

He, who will step down as President in November, is already looking forward to the ideas of his designated successor: “I am convinced that Andreas Treichl will make the Forum even more international and lead it well into its next development steps. I wish him and his highly competent team all the best!”

Philippe Narval will join the International Advisory Board of the EFA in October. Werner Wutscher succeeds him as Secretary General.

All-female new board

Andreas Treichl proposes five women for the new board. “Franz Fischler has had a major influence on the European Forum Alpbach and has contributed a great deal to its success. I look forward to unlocking further, yet untapped potential of the Forum. Together with my new board team, I would like to make a contribution to making Europe’s voice a stronger one in the world”, said Treichl.

Apart from Treichl, the new board is all-female. Treichl brings Marie Ringler, the European head of the world’s largest network for social entrepreneurs, Ashoka, into the team.

The political philosopher, business columnist and university lecturer Katja Gentinetta from Switzerland will also come on board. In addition to think tank and international board experience with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), she brings a European, yet external perspective to the Forum.

Florence Gaub, a Franco-German researcher in the field of military sociology, covers the area of geopolitics, the Middle East and future perspectives. She is Deputy Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris (EUISS).

Katarzyna Pisarska from Poland also has a social entrepreneurship background. She is Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw and Programme Director of the Warsaw Security Forum. She co-founded both institutions.

Michaela Fritz, Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation at the Medical University of Vienna, has been on the board for the previous period already and will keep her seat.

With this election, the board of the European Forum Alpbach will thus not only be more female, but also significantly younger and more international.

The General Assembly will meet in November to vote on Treichl’s candidacy for the Presidency and thus also on his team.