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14: Intellectual Self-Defence (Part of Alpbach Learning Missions)

Gottfried-von Einem-Saal
Seminar / Seminar
in englischer Sprache

How do we defend ourselves against fake news and propaganda, no prejudice and resentment, too much information and too few reliable facts? How do we learn to see and understand the multiple views and attitudes while not indulging in complete relativism? How can we develop into autonomous, critical and cosmopolitan citizens, thereby strengthening democracy? In times of fake news and information overkill, of extreme contradictions between allegations and reality, we require techniques for intellectual self-defence against dogma and manipulation to safeguard our individual freedom as knowledgeable and critical citizens. This seminar aims to provide such techniques. Judo for the mind, Krav Maga for the intellect.

After the Seminar Week, this seminar will turn into an Alpbach Learning Mission (ALM).

Event Manager, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna
Author, Translator, Publisher, Vienna Chair


Event Manager, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna

 Nikola Ksiazek is a Political Scientist, currently affiliated with the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna. His work centres on questions of identity, history and memory in politics relating to contemporary democratic challenges in Central Eastern Europe. Besides the academic aspirations he also worked in the field of youth education in memorial service.


Author, Translator, Publisher, Vienna

 Trojanow was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1965. In 1971 his family fled Bulgaria through Yugoslavia and Italy to Germany, where they received political asylum. In 1972 the family travelled on to Kenya, where Ilija's father had obtained a job as engineer. Ilija Trojanow lived in Nairobi until 1984. After a stay in Paris, he studied law and ethnology at Munich University from 1985 to 1989. He interrupted these studies to found Kyrill-und-Method-Verlag in 1989, and after that Marino-Verlag in 1992, both of which specialised in African literature. In 1999 Trojanow moved to Mumbai and became intensely involved with Indian life and culture. He has lived in Cape Town, returned to Germany (Mainz), and then to Austria, where he currently resides in Vienna. In the 1990s Trojanow wrote several non-fiction and travel books about Africa, published an anthology of contemporary African literature and translated African authors into German. His first novel, "Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall", appeared in 1996. His reportage "Zu den heiligen Quellen des Islam" describes a pilgrimage to Mecca. Since 2002 Ilija Trojanow has been member of the PEN centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Among other awards he received the Bertelsmann Literature Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann competition in Klagenfurt in 1995, the Marburg Literature Prize in 1996, the Thomas Valentin Prize in 1997, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2000 and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the category of fiction for his novel "Der Weltensammler" (The Collector of Worlds) in 2006. In 2013 Trojanow had criticized the National Security Agency (NSA). In the same year he was denied entry into the USA for undisclosed reasons. He planned to attend a scholar's conference there.

Seminar Week

show timetable


15:00 - 17:30Treasure HuntSocial
18:00 - 19:30WelcomePlenary
19:30 - 21:30Bread and WineSocial


09:30 - 13:00Presentation of the SeminarsPlenary
20:00 - 21:00Special Lecture: Global MuckrakingPlenary


Seminar 16: Participatory Leadership – a Practice of Leading by Dialogue and Co-CreationSeminar
Seminar 17: LEADfit – the Art of LeadershipSeminar
Seminar 18: Human-Centered Design: New Design Approaches for Open and Sustainable SocietiesSeminar
Seminar 19: Life is (Not) a Game – Critical Game DesignSeminar
Seminar 20: How Mindfulness Increases ResilienceSeminar
Seminar 21: Warrior of the Heart – DojoSeminar
Seminar 22: Who are You? Spoken Word Poetry: How to Express Yourself in Front of PeopleSeminar
Seminar 23: “It does matter where” – Sensing and Questioning SpaceSeminar
Seminar 24: All the World’s a StageSeminar
Seminar 25: All the World’s a StageSeminar
Seminar 26: Dramatic Thinking: Using Art to Communicate Your Ideas More PowerfullySeminar
Seminar 27: Sing – Listen – Create – LeadSeminar
Seminar 28: Music – a Social Utopia?!Seminar
Seminar 29: All the World’s a StageSeminar


Seminar 01: Innovation in Plant Breeding – Opportunity or Threat for Our Food Security?Seminar
Seminar 02: Europe and the Challenge of DisintegrationSeminar
Seminar 03: Liberty and Security in Africa: Evidence and Voices from the Continent and BeyondSeminar
Seminar 04: Promises and Challenges of UrbanisationSeminar
Seminar 05: Liberty and Security in the Context of Women’s RightsSeminar
Seminar 06: The Global Economic BattlegroundSeminar
Seminar 07: Visual Culture: Images of Power and Power of ImageSeminar
Seminar 08: Politics and Religion: Spaces and Boundaries of FreedomSeminar
Seminar 09: Quantum Technologies – a New Era of InnovationSeminar
Seminar 10: The EU and its Neighbours – EU Foreign Policy Between Ambition and PragmatismSeminar
Seminar 11: Water Security for People and Nature – Present to 2050 (Part of Alpbach Learning Missions)Seminar
Seminar 12: Noncommunicable Diseases – How to Control and Prevent Them (Part of Alpbach Learning Missions)Seminar
Seminar 13: How Can the Transition to a Low-Carbon Society Work? (Part of Alpbach Learning Missions)Seminar
Seminar 14: Intellectual Self-Defence (Part of Alpbach Learning Missions)Seminar
Seminar 15: Digital Democracy Lab (Part of Alpbach Learning Missions)Seminar


15:00 - 18:00Seminar 16-29Seminar


09:30 - 12:30Seminar 1-15Seminar
15:00 - 18:00Seminar 16-29Seminar


10:30 - 12:00Ceremonial Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2019Plenary
12:00 - 14:00Seminar 1-15Seminar
15:00 - 17:00Seminar 16-29Seminar


09:30 - 12:30Seminar 1-15Seminar
15:00 - 18:00Seminar 16-29Seminar


09:30 - 12:30Seminar 1-15Seminar
15:00 - 18:00Seminar 16-29Seminar
20:15 - 21:45International EveningPlenary


09:30 - 12:30Seminar 1-15Seminar