to Content
Header Image

Green Innovation: urgent & important at once

Plenary / Democracy & Governance
english language

There is a famous saying by General D.D. Eisenhower that his problems were either urgent but not important or important but not urgent. Europe, however, has a problem that is urgent and important: how to transform Europe into a resource efficient, green and decarbonised society. Hear two leading intellectuals build the case for this transformation and the opportunities green innovation holds in a debate with political leaders.

Chancellor, Republic of Austria, Vienna
Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, UCL - University College London, and Director, IIPP - Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, London
Managing Director, EFSI - European Fund for Strategic Investments, Luxembourg
Mayor, City of Vancouver
Professor of economics; leader in sustainable development; senior UN advisor; bestselling author; syndicated columnist, New York
Editor-in-Chief, Der Standard,, Vienna

Mag. Christian KERN

Chancellor, Republic of Austria, Vienna

 Christian Kern was sworn in as Austria's Federal Chancellor on 17th May 2016. After working as a journalist and in the Austrian Parliament and Federal Chancellery, Mr. Kern launched a career in the energy sector in 1997. At Verbund AG, Austria's largest energy utility, he was appointed to the group's management board in 2007. He then switched to the Austrian Federal Railways Group, where he served as Chairman of the Management Board from 2010 onward. In this capacity, he also became Chairman of the Brussels-based Community of European Railways (CER) in 2014. Under Mr. Kern's leadership, the Austrian Federal Railways investigated the railway operator's role during the Nazi era in a project entitled "Suppressed Years". Mr. Kern was born in Vienna on 4th January 1966, and he graduated from an academic secondary school in Vienna's 11th district (Simmering). He then went on to study sociology, political science and communications at the University of Vienna.


Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, UCL - University College London, and Director, IIPP - Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, London

US Foreign Service Officer Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Associate Director, Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State Senior Director for Russia, US National Security Council staff Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

Mag. Wilhelm MOLTERER

Managing Director, EFSI - European Fund for Strategic Investments, Luxembourg

Studies, Social Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz Assistant, Department of Agricultural Policy, University of Linz Head, Economic Policy Division, Austrian Farmers' Federation Employee, Provincial Government of Upper Austria Municipal Councillor in Sierning Secretary of the Office, Federal Minister Dr. Josef Riegler Head of the Office, Federal Minister Dr. Franz Fischler Director, Austrian Farmers' Federation Member, National Council of Austria Secretary-general, Austrian People's Party Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Chairman, Austrian People's Party Parliamentary group Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance of the Republic of Austria Chairman, Austrian People's Party Member, National Council, Spokesperson on Constitutional Matters Vice-President, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
  Chairman of Student's Union, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Array Gregor ROBERTSON

Mayor, City of Vancouver

Dr. Jeffrey D. SACHS

Professor of economics; leader in sustainable development; senior UN advisor; bestselling author; syndicated columnist, New York

Staff Assistant to the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopolies, Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate Staff Assistant to United States Senator Phillip A. Hart Student Intern at Federal Research Board, Washington, DC Visiting Scholar, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Cambridge, MA Research Associate, Falk Institute of Economic Research, Jerusalem, Israel, Collaboration with Michael Bruno Visiting Research Associate, London School of Economics Consultant, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC Consultant, OECD - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Visiting Professor, Ecole des Haute Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade, Harvard University (Assistant Professor, 1980-1982, Associate Professor, 1982-1983, Full Professor 1984-2002) Visiting Professor, Institute of World Economics, Kiel Visiting Scholar, Bank of Japan and Japan Ministry of Finance, Tokyo Visiting Professor of Macroeconomic Policy, WIDER - World Institute of Development Economics,Research, United Nations University, Helsinki Founder and Chair, Executive Committee, Institute of Economic Analysis, Moscow Director, Harvard Institute for International Development, Cambridge, MA Director, Center for International Development, Harvard University Member, International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission appointed by U.S. Congress Chair, Commission on Macroeconomics and Health for the World Health Organization, Geneva Special Advisor to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Millennium Development Goals; Director, United Nations Millennium Project Director, The Earth Institute and Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, Colombia University, New York Special Advisor to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Millenium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals
 Current functions:
 Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, New York
 Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres
 University Professor, Columbia University, New York
 Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
 Distinguished Fellow, IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
 Co-Founder and Director, Millennium Promise
 Founder and Chair, SDG USA
 Economic Advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia
 Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA
 Member, Brookings Panel of Economists, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC
 Co-Chair, Asian Economic Panel of Economists


Editor-in-Chief, Der Standard,, Vienna

Studium Publizistik, Politik, Geschichte Promotion Der Standard, zuerst Mitarbeit in Linz und Wien Deutschland-Korrespondentin Mitglied in der außenpolitischen Redaktion Deutschland-Korrespondentin EU-Korrespondentin in Brüssel Ressortleiterin Wirtschaft Chefredakteurin, Der Standard Co-Herausgeberin, Der Standard und
ab 1990
seit 2007
seit 2012

Political Symposium

show timetable


12:00 - 16:00Professional Programme “Our World’s Future”Partner
13:00 - 16:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
13:00 - 16:00Generational perspectives on security policyPartner


07:00 - 10:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
07:00 - 10:00Devil’s diplomacyPartner
08:00 - 10:00The 2016 US election behind the scenesPlenary
08:00 - 09:30Fireside Talk with Ruth Dreifuss: women and powerPartner
12:00 - 14:30Opening: values and visions of a united EuropePlenary
15:00 - 16:30Acknowledging reality: coming to grips with the international systemPlenary
17:00 - 18:30The USA, the EU and Russia: what changes does the new US administration bring?Plenary


06:30 - 07:30Breakfast Club 03: POLITICO morning briefingPlenary
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 01: War and democracy in Ukraine: what is the future?Breakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 02: From conflicts to collaborative governance: using open data and collective intelligence to achieve public-sector innovationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 03: May I stay or should I go? The impact of climate change on migrationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 04: Military cooperation as a means to overcome security challengesBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 05: How to reconcile interests in societies with declining social cohesionBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 06: Alternative facts, provocations and social division: how to deal with populismBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 07: The EU on trial: 60 years of conflict and cooperation in EuropeBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 08: Geoengineering: governance implications, technical options and risksBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 09: Genome editing: governing on the cusp of uncertaintyBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 11: Innovation in a contested environment: from the outside in and the inside outBreakout
10:30 - 11:30Fireside Talk with Talia SassonPartner
10:30 - 12:00Lunch receptionBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 12: Digital Security: Social MediaBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 13: New freedoms, old constraints? Challenges of integrating female refugees in AustriaBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 14: Science-based policy-making in times of post-truth?Breakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 15: Migration and the Arts: Europe’s next narrativeBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 16: The Dublin dilemma and the way outBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 17: Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: catching up or showing the way?Breakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 18: Mission-oriented innovation policy in practiceBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 19: An end to a costly war: alternatives to failed drug policiesBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 20: The Arctic: new narratives for a disputed territoryBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 21: Democracy reloaded: what can we learn from bottom-up democratic innovations?Breakout
15:30 - 17:00Security and liberty in the digital futurePlenary
17:30 - 19:00Green Innovation: urgent & important at oncePlenary


07:00 - 10:30Transformative pathways to sustainability: from perception to changing behaviourPlenary