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We’ll meet again!

The European Forum Alpbach 2017 ends with today’s Built Environment and Financial Market Symposia. More than 5,700 people from over 100 nations came to the Alpine village of Alpbach to discuss questions facing the future of research, politics and economics. Public interest in the Alpbach Symposia shows no sign of abating, even in the event’s 73rd year. The organisers sold ten percent more tickets than last year.

“I’m delighted to look back on such positive results. There’s a huge need to tackle contemporary questions from a range of different perspectives” says Franz Fischler, President of the European Forum Alpbach. Climate change, migration, democracy and artificial intelligence: answers to the central challenges for Europe and the world were at the centre of some 200 programme items.

Overcoming conflicts

“When terror or populism put democratic values to the test, cracks form in Europe. At the European Forum Alpbach we intend not to gloss over existing conflicts but to overcome them together”, says Franz Fischler today as he wraps up the talks. Under the title “Conflict & Cooperation”, the programme has also dealt with ways to improve the culture of conflicts. In addition to the major podium discussions and just under 80 smaller breakout sessions, workshops and courses have taught skills for resolving conflicts and designing successful cooperations.

Young people in the limelight

A total of 720 young people under 30, more than half of them women, attended with assistance from the Alpbach scholarship programme. “The future of Europe, digitisation and sustainable development are in the forefront of young people’s minds”, notes Fischler.

Experts from scholarship, politics and business
Another 845 Austrian and international speakers took up invitations to Alpbach; 37 percent were women, with this proportion showing an upwards trend. More than 120 cooperation partners from Austria and abroad helped to shape the programme. For example, Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen spoke in Alpbach, along with the president of the American National Academy of Sciences, Marcia McNutt, the president and rector of the Central European University in Budapest, Michael Ignatieff, US economist Jeffrey Sachs, writer Evgeny Morozov and Austrian astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger.

General theme for 2018 “Diversity & Resilience”
We are now inviting participants to the interdisciplinary debates of next year’s European Forum Alpbach, from 15 to 31 August 2018, under the title “Diversity & Resilience”. You can find an overview of all events at www.alpbach.org/2018.