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Plenary / Opening
German and English language

‘The world has its own life, and as an author, you do not only write about what is happening on a daily basis but about all those things that are much bigger. And those things also last longer.’ The American writer, Pulitzer prize recipient and Nestroy award-winner Ayad Akhtar has written the piece ‘Jasinder, Naveed, Tariq’ for the Political Symposium. He enters into a poetic dialogue with society and the world. Experts from political theory and practice will complement his contribution by reflecting on the changing nature and structure of global power relations.


Former Secretary-General, United Nations; Chairman, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Vienna Welcome
President, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna Welcome
Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna Welcome
Playwright and Novelist, New York Art
Actor, Burgtheater, Vienna Art
Co-Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA Key Note
Television Journalist; Mentor, Alpbach Media Academy, Berlin Chair

BA MA Ki-moon BAN

Former Secretary-General, United Nations; Chairman, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Vienna

 Ban Ki-moon has had an extensive career as a senior representative, policy maker and diplomat of the Republic of Korea. Following a stint as ambassador to Austria, Ban returned to Seoul as vice-minister of foreign affairs In 2003 he became foreign policy adviser to the new president, Roh Moo Hyun. As minister of foreign affairs and trade from 2004 to 2006, Ban played a key role in the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea.
 The Harvard University Alumni was elected as United Nations Secretary General in 2006 and held this position form 2007 to 2016. He currently holds more than a dozen prestigious Chairmanships inter alia at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and at the Boao Forum for Asia.

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

Dr. Alexander VAN DER BELLEN

Federal President, Republic of Austria, Vienna

1962-1970 Studies of Economics, University of Innsbruck
1966 Diploma, Economics, University of Innbsruck
1970 PhD, Economics, University of Innbsruck
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

Philipp HAUSS

Actor, Burgtheater, Vienna

 Philipp Hauss, born in Germany in 1980, is an actor, director and researcher. He has been with the Burgtheater Vienna since 2002 and worked with major contemporary directors like Luc Bondy, Andrea Breth, Martin Kušej, Nicolas Stemann, Johan Simons and Peter Zadek. He also appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele, the Hamburger Schauspielhaus and the Staatsoper Berlin. Since 2017 Hauss holds a doctorate in philosophy with a thesis on self-management and control fantasies in Wellness.


Television Journalist; Mentor, Alpbach Media Academy, Berlin

1982-1984 Volunteer, Aktion Sühnezeichen, World Information on Energy, Amsterdam
1984-1987 School voor de Journalistiek, Utrecht
1987-1989 Correspondent for Dutch media (Avro Radio en Persdienst GPD), Cologne
1989-1990 Trainee program TV en radio, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Cologne
1990-2002 Editor in Charge, Anchor, several positions, WDR (news, documentaries)
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, Berlin
since 2013 Self-employed anchor (WDR; ARD Morgenmagazin)
since 2013 Consultant, MeinesHolla&Partners, The Hague
since 2015 Anchor, daily political talkshow "Phoenix Runde"

Political Symposium

show timetable


13:30 - 16:30My Europe - My StoryPartner
17:00 - 18:30OpeningPlenary
19:00 - 20:30New perspectives on EU enlargementPlenary
21:30 - 23:30Drink receptionSocial


08:30 - 09:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:30 - 09:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers - Mindfulness in educationPartner
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 01: Whoever has the money has the power? The future financing of the EUBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 02: EU-Russia relations: Attempting a cool-headed analysisBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 03: Citizens don’t bite: Experiences and learnings from successful participation projects in EuropeBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 04: European security and the Mediterranean: A simulationBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 05: A world without nukes? The impact of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear WeaponsBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 06: Women and youth empowerment: The Sustainable Development Goals in practiceBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 07: Democracies under pressure: Civil society and populismBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 08: Implementing the SDGs: The challenges countries face and the solutions they offerBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 09: European security in the age of hybrid threats: Rethinking military and civilian cooperation?Breakout
15:00 - 16:15Sovereignty in the EU: Who decides?Plenary
17:00 - 18:15Democracies under pressurePlenary
18:30 - 20:30Green Finance: Private capital against climate changePartner
18:45 - 20:15The subsidiarity principle under scrutinyPlenary
20:00 - 22:00European-Israeli DinnerSocial


08:30 - 09:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:30 - 09:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers - Mindfulness in politicsPartner
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 10: Living the Swiss militia principle: Ensuring resilience through involvementBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 11: Israel: Can democracy exist without peace?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 12: Defending democracy in the digital age: From theory to practiceBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 13: The end of oil: Global systems in transitionBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 14: Are you acting or reacting? Countering climate change through new partnershipsBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 15: Culture and identity: What level of adaptation is required for successful integration?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 16: Promoting sustainable developmentBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 17: Democracies under pressure: The media and populismBreakout
14:30 - 15:45Global power shifts: Implications for Europe and AsiaPlenary
16:15 - 17:45European Union - Russia: What to do?Plenary
18:15 - 19:15The future of the EU: Priorities of the Austrian EU Council PresidencyPlenary


09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers - Mindfulness in businessPartner
09:30 - 10:30The rule of law under scrutinyPlenary
11:00 - 12:30Reconciling (bio)diversity protection and efforts to mitigate climate changePlenary