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Opening: values and visions of a united Europe

Plenary / Future of the EU
German and English language

August 27 will be the second anniversary of the tragedy in Parndorf, Austria, when 71 refugees died in the back of a truck. Director Peter Wagner erects an artistic memorial for the refugees with the play “71, or The Curse of the Prime Number” – with texts by 21 authors. The European Forum Alpbach invited him to create a paraphrase of the play for the opening of the Political Symposium.
After the performance, get various insights into the visions & values of a united Europe at the opening of this year’s Political Sympsium and find out what Europeans of different origins think about the future of their continent.

President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna Welcome
Actor; Artist, Klagenfurt Art
Actor; Teacher, Drama School Krauss, Vienna Art
Musician; Composer, Neusiedl am See Art
Actor; Lecturer, Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna Art
Actor, Feld am See Art
Actor, Vienna Art
Author; Director, Oberwart Art
Author, Lecturer & Broadcaster, Vienna Key Note
Author, Blogger, Human Rights Activist, Berlin
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Business Riot, Vienna
Founder & President, Momentum Mozgalom, Budapest
Founder, Supa, London
Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna
Television Journalist, Berlin Chair

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Franz FISCHLER

President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna

1973-1979 Research Assistant, Institute for Agricultural Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
1978 Doctorate, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
1979-1984 Executive Assistant, Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Tyrol, Innsbruck
1985-1989 Director, Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Tyrol, Innsbruck
1989-1994 Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Vienna
1995-2004 European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Brussels
2005-2011 Chairman, Ecosocial Forum Europe, Vienna
2005-2015 Chairman, RISE-Foundation, Brussels
2014-2015 Chairman of the Steering Committee of the EU scientific programme for Expo Milano 2015
since 2012 President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna
since 2016 President, Board of Trustees to the Austrian Institute of Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna

Bella BAN

Actor; Artist, Klagenfurt

1977-1982 Studium der Bildhauerei, Akademie für bildende Kunst in Wien
1983 Mitarbeit an der Frankfurter Oper
1985-1988 mehrere längere Aufenthalte in Berlin
1986 Romstipendium des Bundesministerium für Unterricht und Kunst
 Solo exhibitions (selection)
2012 NeuSehLand, Musikforum Viktring
A Tribute to John Cage, Raj/Sehbühne, Klagenfurt
Eckdate, Theatercafe Klagenfurt
2011 Kostüm und Bühnenbild bei der Inszenierung von Ernst Jandls "Scheissen Tag", Ensemble Klagenfurt
2010 Galerie Vorspann/Galerija Vprega, Bad Eisenkappel
2009 Galerie Magnetm, Wien
Galerie Magnet, Palais Fugger, Klagenfurt
2007-2008 (T)RAUM - ein Raumbild Installation und Performance, Burgkapelle im Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten, Klagenfurt
2007 I love you, Gestaltung und Zusammenstellung der Gedenkausstellung Viktor Rogy, Stattheater Klagenfurt
 Group exhibitions (selection)
2017 71 oder der Fluch der Primzahl, Ausstattung und Bühnenmitwirkung, Parndorf
2016 zeichnungen und so..., SeHbühne_Badgasse, Klagenfurt
Ausstattung Karl Valentin Abend, Klagenfurter Ensemble
2015 Unter dem Milchwald_Dylon Thomas, Theaterinstallation, Klagenfurter Ensemble
2014 Performance in der Grazer Innenstadt, Kunstwirtschaft
Stille im Dramolettenwald, Antonio Fian, Theaterhalle 11,Klagenfurter Ensemble
Gert Jonke Installation, EvangelischeKirche, Klagenfurt
ich bin ein büro, Alpen Adria Galerie Stadthaus Klagenfurt
2013 Nebelland hab ich gesehn, Museum Moderner Kunst Klagenfurt


Actor; Teacher, Drama School Krauss, Vienna

1985-1994 Ausbildung inOper, Operette, Jazz und Chanson
2000 Ausbildung in Film-Schauspiel an der Filmschule Köln und HAW in Los Angeles
2006 Master of Advanced Studies, Institut für Kulturmanagment Wien
seit 2017 Lehrtätigkeit, Schauspielschule Krauss, Sunrise Konservatorium und diverse Workshops


Musician; Composer, Neusiedl am See

1987-1991 Studies in music theory (Prof. Reinhold Portisch), Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna
since 1991 Composer and arranger for Wiener Sängerknaben, Wiener Philharmoniker, NÖ Tonkünstler, Wiener Symphoniker, RSO, The Philharmonics and amongst others Elisabeth Kulmann, Erwin Schrott, Thomas Hampson Angelika Kirchschlager and Rainhard Fendrich


Actor; Lecturer, Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna

seit 2014 als Schauspieler in mehreren Rollen in Michael Niavaranis Romeo und Julia und Richard III, Globe Wien

Gernot PIFF

Actor, Feld am See

seit 1993 Darsteller im Theater- und Filmbereich


Actor, Vienna

2003-2007 Max Reinhardt Seminar, Vienna
2007-2017 Vocal training (classic, pop)
2008 Filmacting, Film Academy Baden-Württemberg
2015-2016 Diploma, Vienna School of International Studies, Vienna


Author; Director, Oberwart

 Projects (selection):
1995 März. Der 24 - Das Massaker von Rechnitz. Theater am Ort im Offenen Haus Oberwart
2003 Die Eiserne Grenze (Spielfilm)
2008 PFLÖCKE/Korridor. Das Anschlussdenkmal von Oberschützen 70 Jahre danach
2010 Die Kardinälin. Eine Ohnmacht. Klagenfurter Ensemble
2013 Wächter über Oberwart. Die sechs Friedhöfe und drei Totengedenkstätten als kosmopolitische Erzählung der Provinz, Offenes Haus Oberwart; Bank Austria Kunstpreis 2014
2016-2017 71 oder Der Fluch der Primzahl, Theaterinitiative Burgenland

Dr. Philipp BLOM

Author, Lecturer & Broadcaster, Vienna

 Philipp Blom was born in 1970 in Hamburg and grew up in Detmold, in Germany. After university studies in Vienna and Oxford, he obtained a D.Phil in Modern History. He started writing at Oxford and published a novel as well as occasional journalism. After university, he worked in London as an editor, translator, writer and freelance journalist, contributing to newspapers, magazines and radio programmes in Great Britain, the US, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and France. In 2001, Philipp Blom moved to Paris to concentrate on his books. In 2007 he settled in Vienna, where he continues to write historical nonfiction as well as fiction, and journalism. He presents a cultural discussion programme on Austrian national radio and has lectured on philosophy and cultural history in Europe, the US, and South America.

Farah ABDI

Author, Blogger, Human Rights Activist, Berlin

 Farah Abdi is a Somali refugee and award-winning blogger. Farah arrived in Malta from Libya by boat in 2012, fleeing fear of persecution. Farah is author of the autobiography 'Never Arrive' and a human rights activist. Farah is also the recipient of the International Bremen Peace Award by the German NGO Stiftung die Schwelle and the Queen of England award for young leaders. Farah says: "I have been told many times by family, friends, colleagues and strangers that I am a black, African, refugee, Muslim, trans woman; that I am outside the norms accepted by society. That my dreams are a reflection of my upbringing in a decadent amoral society that has corrupted who I really am. As a young trans African, I have been conditioned from an early age to consider my gender identity a dangerous deviation from my true heritage as a Somali by close kin and friends. As a young trans African coming of age in Malta, there was another whiplash of cultural confusion that I had to recover from again and again: that accepting my gender identity doesn't necessarily mean that the wider Maltese community, with its own preconceived notions of what constitutes a 'valid' identity, will embrace me any more welcomingly than my own prejudiced kinsfolk do."

Mag.a BA MA Katharina BRANDL

Co-Founder & Co-Director, Business Riot, Vienna

2004-2011 Diploma Programme in Political Science, University of Vienna
2009-2011 Assistant to the Head of the Research Focus "Empirical Visual Aesthetics", Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna
2010-2014 BA in Art History, University of Vienna
2011-2014 Scientific Administrator, Cognitive Science Research Platform, University of Vienna
2014 Researcher, Austrian Contribution to the Architectural Biennale 2014, Venice
2014-2015 Tutor & Teaching Assistant, Department of Art History, University of Vienna
Project Manager for studio das weisse haus, , Vienna
2014-2017 Co-Founder & Chairwoman, Sorority, Vienna
since 2015 Freelance curator and writer in contemporary art
Co-Founder & Executive, Business Riot, Vienna
2016 Managing editor, online magazine of Irmgard Griss' campaign for the Austrian Presidential Election 2016, Vienna
since 2016 Co-Founder & Executive, kathe Konzeptbüro GesbR., Vienna
PhD Program in Art History, University of Basel
Doctoral Fellowship, eikones Graduate School, University of Basel


Founder & President, Momentum Mozgalom, Budapest

2011-2012 Erasmus Scholarship, Law Faculty, Heidelberg University
2008-2015 Juris Doctor Degree, Law Faculty, ELTE - Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, Budapest
2013 Traineeship, Nagy és Trócsányi Law Firm, Budapest
2014 Internship, International Court of Arbitration, ICC - International Chamber of Commerce, Paris
2015 Account Receivable Specialist, GE, Working Capital Solutions, Budapest
2015-2016 Schuman Traineeship, Committee on Legal Affairss, European Parliament, Brussels
2016 Parliamentary Assistant, Office of MP Hans-Peter Friedrich, German Bundestag, Berlin
since 2016 President, Momentum Mozgalom Political Party & MOMENTUM Association, Budapest
2016 International Parliamentary Scholarship, Faculty of Social Sciences, Humboldt University of Berlin


Founder, Supa, London

since 2009 Founder, Supa Tuck
since 2011 Freelance Youth Marketing & Strategy Consultant
since 2014 Co-Founder, Supa Academy
since 2016 Patron, Digital Futures
Co-Founder, Filli Studios

Dr. Alexander VAN DER BELLEN

Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna

1962-1970 Studies of Economics, University of Innsbruck
1966 Diploma, Economics, University of Innsbruck
1970 PhD, Economics, University of Innsbruck
1968-1975 Scientific Assistant, Department of Public Finance, University of Innsbruck
1972-1974 Research Fellow, WZB - Berlin Social Science Center
1975 Habilitation, University of Innsbruck
1976-1980 Non-Tenured Professor, University of Innsbruck
1977-1980 Federal Administration Acadamy, Vienna
1980-2009 Tenured Professor of Economics, University of Vienna
1990-1994 Dean, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics, University of Vienna
1994-2012 Deputy, National Council, Vienna
1997-2008 Federal Spokesman, The Austrian Greens, Vienna
1999-2008 Chairman, National Council, Vienna
2012-2015 Deputy of State Parliament, Member of Municipal Council, Vienna
since 2017 Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna


Television Journalist, Berlin

1982-1984 Volunteer, Aktion Sühnezeichen, World Information on Energy, Amsterdam
1984-1987 School voor de Journalistiek, Utrecht
1987-1989 Correspondent, Dutch Media - Avro Radio en Persdienst GPD, Cologne
1989-1990 Trainee program, TV en radio, WDR - Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne
1990-2002 Editor in Charge, Anchor, several positions, WDR - Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne
1993 Arthur Burns Fellowship, NBC, Denver
2002-2004 Political Correspondent, Phoenix, Berlin
2004-2010 Anchor, daily political talkshow "Phoenix Runde", Berlin
2010-2013 Political TV correspondent, WDR - Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Berlin
since 2013 Self-employed anchor, WDR - Westdeutscher Rundfunk and ARD Morgenmagazin, Berlin
2013-2014 Consultant, MeinesHolla&Partners, The Hague
since 2015 Anchor, daily political talkshow "Phoenix Runde", Berlin

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