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Bringing Ideas to Power: Towards a Democratic Consensus of Tomorrow?

Plenary / Foreign Policy
in englischer Sprache

Political leaders and civil society actors know about the complexity of our world today. But the relationship between the world of power and the world of ideas seems to be deteriorating rather than improving. How can we foster dialogue between established and emerging voices in the political arena and create a connection between innovation and practice?

Executive Director, Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna
Head of Department, European Policy and the Study of Democracy, Danube University Krems - University for Continuing Education; Director and Founder, European Democracy Lab, European School of Governance, Krems
Director, Krytyka Polityczna, Warsaw
Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow and Professor of European Politics, St Antony's College, University of Oxford
Head of International Department, Stiftung Mercator, Essen Chair

Mag. Alexander EGIT

Executive Director, Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna

 Abgeschlossenes Diplomstudium der Politikwissenschaften, Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft
 Lehramtsstudium der Leibeserziehung, Geschichte und Sozialkunde
 Universitätslektor am Institut für Politikwissenschaften der Universität Wien
 Trainer für Kampagnen in Europa, Südostasien und Japan
1986-1995 Mitglied der Geschäftsführung und Sprecher der Umweltschutzorganisation GLOBAL 2000
bis 1995 Stellvertretender Präsident der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Umwelt und Technik
1996 Freiberuflicher Konsulent für Non Profit Organisationen
1996-2004 Umweltpolitischer Leiter von Greenpeace Österreich
1993-1995 Vorstandsmitglied des ÖKO-BÜROs, Koordinationsstelle österreichischer Umweltorganisationen
1997-2004 Vorstandsmitglied des ÖKO-BÜROs, Koordinationsstelle österreichischer Umweltorganisationen
1997-2005 Vorstandsmitglied der IÖGV - Interessensvertretung Österreichischer Gemeinnütziger Vereine
seit 2000 Aufbau von Greenpeace in Osteuropa
2003-2005 Aufbau und Teamleiter von Greenpeace Polen
2005-2006 Beratung des Aufbaus von Greenpeace in China
2006 Teamleiter Greenpeace Ungarn
seit 2006 Geschäftsführer Greenpeace in Zentral- und Osteuropa

Dr. Ulrike GUEROT

Head of Department, European Policy and the Study of Democracy, Danube University Krems - University for Continuing Education; Director and Founder, European Democracy Lab, European School of Governance, Krems

 Since 2016 Ulrike Guérot is Professor at Danube-University Krems and head of the department for European Policy and the Study of Democracy. Core activities of the department are both interdisciplinary research and network building. The main goal is to initiate a citizen-oriented and sustainable debate on key issues surrounding today’s Europe. Since September 2017 Ulrike Guérot is holder of Alfred-Grosser visiting professorship at the Goethe-University Frankfurt. Furthermore, she founded the Berlin based think tank "European Democracy Lab. The lab seeks to rethink and redesign European democracy. Currently, the lab is building a campaign platform advocating for both the principle of political equality beyond nation states and the empowerment of regional stakeholders within the EU-setup.
 Prior to her work in Krems and Berlin, Ulrike Guérot built up the office and served as Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and lectured at various internationally renowned universities, such as Bucerius Law School Hamburg, John Hopkins University, INSEAD Singapore and Europa University Viadrina in Frankfurt. In addition she conducted research at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) on the topics of democracy and democratization. In April 2016 her first book 'Why Europe needs to become a republic! A political utopia' was published by Dietz. The principal idea of the book is the creation of a ‘European Republic’ based on the concept of equality in front of the law in a union of citizens. Her latest work 'The new civil war - the open Europe and its enemies', published by Ullstein is a bestseller in Germany. In this cutting edge pamphlet she describes the great divide throughout the European societies. She has been publishing widely in Germany, English and French on European, transatlantic and global issues in various newspapers, journals and books. In times of turmoil and crisis, Ulrike Guérot aims at creating a sustainable blueprint for Europe in the 21st century, which puts the citizen first.


Director, Krytyka Polityczna, Warsaw

 Slawomir Sierakowski is a Polish sociologist and political commentator, who founded and leads Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique), the biggest eastern European movement of liberal intellectuals, artists and activists, with branches in Ukraine and Russia. He is the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw and the president of the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association, overseeing its publishing house; its online daily "Dziennik Opinii"; cultural centres in Warsaw, Gdansk, Lodz and Cieszyn, in Poland, and in Kiev, Ukraine; and 20 local clubs.
 Mr. Sierakowski has been awarded fellowships from Yale, Princeton and Harvard and from the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He has written for many journals and newspapers, including The Guardian, ElPaís, Haaretz and die tageszeitung, Dissent, Transit, A2. He contributes a monthly column to the Polish leading daily "Gazeta Wyborcza" and to the international edition of the New York Times. Mr Sierakowski has been ranked as one of the most influential Poles by "Polityka", "Wprost" and"Newsweek".


Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow and Professor of European Politics, St Antony's College, University of Oxford

 Jan Zielonka is Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and Ralf Dahrendorf Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College. His previous appointments included posts at the University of Warsaw, Leiden and the European University Institute in Florence. His work oscillates between the field of international relations, comparative politics and political theory. Zielonka has produced seventeen books including "Is the EU doomed?" (2014), and "Europe as Empire". "The Nature of the Enlarged European Union", (2006). His last book - "Counter-revolution. Liberal Europe in Retreat" has been published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Zielonka frequently contributes articles for various European newspapers and online journals.

Mag.a MA Verena RINGLER

Head of International Department, Stiftung Mercator, Essen

2002-2006 Associate Editor, Foreign Policy Magazine
2006-2009 Media and Communications Advisor, ICO/EUSR - The International Civilian Office - European Union Special Representative, Pristina
since 2005 EU Strategy Entrepreneur, Vienna,

Political Symposium

show timetable


09:00 - 10:30Not Just an IslandCulture
12:00 - 13:30OpeningPlenary
14:00 - 15:30The EU and Its Neighbours: Opportunities and Challenges for the Eastern PartnershipPlenary
16:00 - 17:30The European Union in Search of a New NarrativePlenary
17:30 - 18:00Curator’s Talk: Art in the Margin of War – War in the Margin of ArtCulture
19:00 - 20:30“Kakanien – New Homelands” Goes Alpbach: And Nobody’s There to Understand the Language You’re Screaming In…Culture


07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 01: Citizens’ Trust vs Distrust: Scenarios for the Future of DemocracyBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 02: Social Cohesion in a Wider EuropeBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 03: The EU and Turkey: Energising CooperationBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 04: The European Union and Its NeighboursBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 05: Never Mind the Gap – Overcoming the East-West Divide in the OSCEBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 06: International Disaster Preparedness and Response to Emergency and CrisisBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 16: A Young Look at EuropeBreakout
07:30 - 10:00Breakout Session 17: Success! The Do’s and Don’ts of Contemporary AdvocacyBreakout
10:00 - 11:00Lunch ReceptionSocial
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 07: Europe’s Next Generation in the Elections and BeyondBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 08: Brain Drain – Brain Gain: The Economic Potential of Migration in Modern Europe and in the PastBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 09: Beyond European CommunicationBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 10: Digital Europe – Between Security and CooperationBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 11: Europe’s Periphery at the Crossroads – Consequences for the Common Security and Defence PolicyBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 12: EU Enlargement Between Boldness and FatigueBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 13: Climate and Energy – Key Questions for the FutureBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 14: Future Energy Needs vs. Non-Proliferation PoliciesBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 15: The EU and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Balancing Growth, Inclusiveness and Sustainability?Breakout
14:30 - 16:00From Reconciliation to Integration: What the Young Can Contribute to a Common FuturePlenary
16:30 - 18:00Post-Conflict Countries in Transition: Reforming the Security SectorPlenary
18:30 - 20:00Bringing Ideas to Power: Towards a Democratic Consensus of Tomorrow?Plenary
20:00 - 21:30Integrated in Austria, Successful in the World – How Austrian Success Stories Are WrittenPartner


07:00 - 07:10Inequality and Sustainable Global Governance: IntroductionPlenary
07:10 - 08:30Generational InequalityPlenary
09:00 - 10:15Inequality in Energy and ClimatePlenary
10:15 - 10:30Closing RemarksPlenary