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Changes at the top of the Forum

Andreas Treichl to succeed Franz Fischler

The candidate to succeed Franz Fischler as President of the European Forum Alpbach has been determined. At the General Assembly on 14 May, Andreas Treichl was proposed for the position and has already been elected Vice President.

He will stand for election to the presidency of the EFA in spring 2021 with a new board team. With Treichl, the Forum gains an internationally recognised manager with excellent contacts in business, politics and civil society. As a visionary manager and thinker, Treichl has made the Erste Group one of the most successful banks in CEE during his time as a board member for over 20 years. Treichl thinks and acts European. He has been a member and supporter of the EFA Association for many years and has known Alpbach for decades as a participant and speaker. His decision to take over the presidency of the Forum also shows the importance of platforms for scientific discourse and international exchange, as the European Forum Alpbach is one.

Until the handover to his successor next year, however, there is still enough to do for President Franz Fischler. In its 75th year of existence, the Forum has to reinvent itself to a certain extent due to the corona pandemic. This year the Forum will take place in Alpbach in a very reduced form and in strict compliance with all official requirements, while at the same time inviting participants to an online conference. Tickets will be available from the beginning of July. Participation in Alpbach this year is only possible for contributors and protagonists of the forum. All others can participate digitally in the conference this year, no matter where in the world they are.

Under the presidency of Franz Fischler, the importance of the European Forum Alpbach as a non-partisan, independent platform has been established in recent years. Today, the European Forum Alpbach is Austria’s most relevant networking platform in the service of democracy, science and sustainable management and is perceived far beyond Austria’s borders.

Fischler’s greatest successes during his term of office include the doubling of the EFA’s income (sponsorships/participation) & a massive increase in the number (+30%) and internationality of participants (from over 90 countries around the world) from 2012 to the present. At the same time, he succeeded in measurably expanding the international participation of the Forum and internationalising the scholarship programme. With Fischler, numerous programmes in the field of innovation in democracy (such as Alpbach in Motion and Make_Shift) were established and the non-profit Alpbach Foundation was successfully established. He also set clear accents in the even stronger positioning of the Forum as a place of scientific discourse and arts and culture.

Change also in the Secretary General

There is also a change in the management of the European Forum Alpbach. Philippe Narval, Secretary General and Managing Director of the EFA, who has played a key role in the successful development of the EFA for many years, will move to the Forum’s International Advisory Board in autumn. At the same time, he is taking a one-year sabbatical to spend more time with his family. In continuation of his previous focus on innovation, democracy and sustainability, he will look at viable paths in the field of rural development.

Narval will be succeeded in autumn 2020 by the successful entrepreneur and investor Werner Wutscher, who has been involved in the European Forum Alpbach for many years and has been a member of the EFA Board for two years. Wutscher currently also chairs the EFA’s Steering Committee for Digitisation and therefore already plays an important role at this year’s Forum. With his international education (Harvard) and his network (WEF/Davos), Wutscher is predestined to take the next steps in the further internationalization of the Forum.


Franz Fischler and Andreas Treichl,  14.05.2020, Credit: Luiza Puiu

Philippe Narval, Werner Wutscher, Franz Fischler and Andreas Treichl,  14.05.2020, Credit: Luiza Puiu

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