The relationship between the real economy and finance has noticeably changed in the last decades. Finance seems to have become an end in itself, reducing its ties to the real economy to a minimum. At the same time, the two areas are still strongly linked to one another, as reflected by the dynamics of the financial and economic crisis. Against this backdrop, the Alpbach Economic Symposium will deal with the interrelation of and the mutual influences exercised by the real economy and finance on one another. We will ask in which ways finance could be adapted to best meet the requirements of the real sector of the economy. Moreover, we will discuss the role of central banks in managing the crisis as well as questions relating to growth: What kind of growth does Europe need in view of current austerity measures, and how can we support important innovations? Our high-ranking speakers and participants will have the opportunity to discuss these and many other questions in plenary sessions and interactive breakout sessions.