Alpbach Seminars

We invite you to actively share your perspective, opinion, your ideas and co-create with other participants!

scientific, artistic and skills-based seminars

The Alpbach Seminars are characterised by a participative atmosphere, interdisciplinary approaches and intergenerational dialogue. Every year, the European Forum Alpbach awards scholarships to hundreds of young talents from all around the world. The participating students, young professionals and changemakers also attend the conference programme, including its social and cultural activities.

The EFA23 Seminar Chairs

For EFA23, all scholarship holders indicated their seminar preferences, based on the content and leader(s) of each seminar:

A Deep Dive into the Global Fashion Industry

Sabinna Rachimova studied at Central Saint Martins College and the University of Cambridge and focuses on sustainable business concepts and conscious consumption in fashion. Due to her achievements in the fashion industry, she was one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the DACH region in 2019 and one of the Drapers Ones To Watch in 2022.

Nadine Schratzberger is MIT Innovator Under 35, creative thinker, lecturer, and circular economy enthusiast – and co-founder of Fashion Revolution Austria.


AOR: Area of Responsibility – Action over Reaction

Flora Doblinger has a Master’s Degree in education (P. E. and Psychology and Philosophy, University of Vienna). She is currently studying at the University of Applied Sciences and archieving the Bachelor’s Degree Program Military Leadership at the Theresian Military Academy.

Paul Fink is gradient of the TGM - a college for higher vocational education in mechanical engineering.

Alexander Gstrein is responsible for leadership training in the advanced officers training and for the personal, team and organisational development within the Austrian Armed Forces.

Katharina Holzinger is currently attending the Bachelor’s program for Military Leadership at the Theresian military academy and is former NCO at the 13th mechanised infantry battalion.

Günther Huber is Officer Cadet of the Theresian Military Academy and the Austrian Armed Forces.

Michael Oberaigner is a student of the Theresian Military Academy and already had various deployments as specialist and in leading positions to peacekeeping and peace support operations in the Middle East.

Peter Puxkandl is attending the Bachelor's program of Military Leadership at the Theresian Military Academy. Former CBRN NCO at the Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit (AFDRU).

Alexander Tschernitsch is currently attending the bachelor program at the Theresian Military Academy and is former Training NCO at the Infantry Weapon School.


Creative Writing: How to Be Bold with Your Words

Lucy English is a spoken word poet and educator and has two collections of poetry published by Burning Eye Books. She is currently creating poetry films with international filmmakers. She was co-editor of Spoken Word in UK, published by Routledge in 2021.

Nell Griffin is currently studying for a Masters degree in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University. In 2020 she graduated from Bath Spa University with a First Class Honours degree in Creative Writing.


Entrepreneuring the Sustainable Future

Elisabeth Berger is researcher, lecturer and driver of transformation by enabling people to identify and understand complex problems and to design sustainable, innovative, and entrepreneurial solutions.

Steffen Tietsche conducts research on monitoring and forecasting the global weather and climate and has published over 50 journal articles and reports. He has been involved in many research activities with partners across Europe and works closely with the EU’s Copernicus Services.


Envisioning a Net-Zero Europe: Imagining a Bold, Independent and Sustainable Europe

David Jablonski: With a curious and generalist mindset, he works on the intersection of design, technology and politics to accelerate the net-zero transition. As co-founder of Klimadashboard and board member of designaustria, he is advocating for and working on change across disciplines, industries and nations.

Verena Mischitz is an award-winning video journalist and presenter focusing on climate change and biodiversity. She has built and developed the video desk at Der Standard and worked as a TV reporter for ORF. Since 2022, she has been spokeswoman for the Climate Journalism Network Austria.


Envisioning the Future of Money

Bernhard Haslhofer leads the Cryptofinance research group at the Complexity Science Hub. He and his team focus on developing and applying algorithmic methods to gain deeper insights into the technical and socio-economic aspects of cryptoasset ecosystems, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Masarah Paquet-Clouston is a professor in criminology and the head of the EconCrimeLab, a research hub based in Montreal focused on uncovering, and understanding new profit-driven crimes. She presented her research at international conferences including, BlackHat USA, DEFCON and CERT-EU.


Europe’s Struggle for Technological Sovereignty

Simona Soare is specialised in defence innovation, the application of emerging and disruptive technologies in defence and the security risks of general-purpose technologies. She authored and edited numerous books and articles on transatlantic/European security, defence innovation and emerging technologies.

Ian Goldin is professor teaching Globalisation and Development at Oxford University and is founding director of the Oxford Martin School. He was Vice President & Director of Policy at the World Bank, CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and advisor to President Mandela. His latest book is called “Age of the City”.

Joseph Stiglitz is a US-American economist and professor at Columbia University. He is Co-Chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD as well as Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal in 1979. He is a former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank and Chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers.


European Interests in a Changing World Order: China, the USA, and Like-Minded States

Luis Simón is the Director of the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Brussels School of Governance. He is concurrently the Director of the Brussels Office of the Elcano Royal Institute, and a Senior Associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

May-Britt Stumbaum is a frequent speaker on Asia Pacific security issues and advises the EU, German government and private sector. Her international positions include Director, Asia Pacific Research and Advice Network (APRAN) of the European External Action Service (EEAS); Executive Director, China and Global Security Programme, SIPRI; Thyssen Fellow, Harvard. She also serves as Lieutenant colonel (R) at the German Ministry of Defence.


Feeling Safe (is key)

Ingrid Schiller graduated from RADA in 2013. In addition to acting, she has actively pursued her love of writing. She has been teaching on RADA’s short courses and Foundation Course for the past eight years. Ingrid is also on the RADA audition panel.

Nona Shepphard is one of RADA’s Associate Directors and International Consultant at the Lir Academy in Dublin – RADA’s sister school.


Feminist Foreign Policy in Practice

Marsha Henry has expertise in the areas of postcolonial feminist qualitative methodologies; gender, peace and security; and gender and development.

Annick Wibben: Her research straddles critical security and military studies, peace studies, international theory, and feminist international relations. Her publications include, among others, ‘Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach’ (2011) and ‘Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics’ (2016).


Financial Planning: How to Become Financially Literate

Manfred Frühwirth is associate professor in Finance at the Department of Finance, Accounting and Statistics of WU Wien. He was visiting professor at Harvard University and president of the European Financial Management Association. Interviews with him were published by print and social media.

Bettina Fuhrmann is Professor of business education, with research focus on economic and financial literacy, instructional quality and competence development. She is co-editor and author of textbooks of business studies and representative of WU as an affiliate member of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE).


Geopolitical Repercussions of the Russian War on the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood

Toivo Klaar has been Special Representative for the South Caucasus since 2017. He also served as Head of the Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) and Head of the Central Asia Division in the European External Action Service (EEAS), and worked in senior positions in the Estonian diplomatic service.

Monika Sus' research interests primarily lie in international relations, particularly in the study of European Union foreign and security policy and in the investigation of the institutional dynamics between the supranational and national level in foreign policymaking. She is also a passionate kite surfer.


Giving Voice to Future Generations in the EU and beyond

Albert Alemanno is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, HEC Paris and College of Europe, and founder of The Good Lobby – as well as World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Ashoka fellow, Schwab Fellow; contributor to Le Monde, The Guardian, and Politico Europe. He graduated from Harvard Law School and the College of Europe Bocconi University.

Elizabeth Dirth has spent more than ten years working on governance and policy for a green and just transition, focusing on topics such as long-term thinking, policy coherence, and policy design processes. She holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development and Environmental Governance from Utrecht University.


Global Trade, Sanctions and Weaponisation of Trade

Monika Köppl-Turyna is professor of economics specialised in public economics, political economy, labor markets and entrepreneurship. She is placed 5th in the ranking of the most influential economists in Austria and is member of several advisory boards, among others at the Ministry of Economy and Labor.

Florian Neumeier is an economist with a research interest in public finance and international economic policy. In addition to academic research, his main tasks at ifo Institute include advising political decision-makers, including the German government as well as members of the EU institutions.


How to Revive Multilateralism?

Thomas Greminger was secretary general at OSCE. During his diplomatic career, he served in numerous positions within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, in Bern and abroad. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Zurich and has authored numerous publications.

Walter Kemp is an expert on European security issues with extensive experience in the OSCE. Currently, he is heading the process of formulating a global strategy against transnational organized crime. His most recent book is entitled ‘Security through Cooperation: to the Same End’ an was published by Routledge in 2022.


Just Climate Transition or the Energy Race Towards Net Zero Emissions

Elina Brutschin connects integrated assessment models with insights from diverse disciplines, particularly political science. Her innovative tools evaluate climate scenarios from multiple perspectives, including feasibility and justice.

Felix Creutzig is the head of the working group Land Use, Infrastructures and Transport at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and Chair of Sustainability Economics at the Berlin University of Technology. He is leading author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and lead analyst of the Global Energy Assessment.

Keywan Riahi was ranked first by Reuters as the most influential climate scientist worldwide in 2020. He is IIASA's Program Director for Energy, Climate and Environment and advises the EU and UN on the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, he is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the City of Vienna.

Gernot Wagner is the author of “Geoengineering: The Gamble” and “Stadt, Land, Klima” (“City, Country, Climate”). Besides that, he is frequent contributor to New York Times and Washington Post, among others. His monthly syndicated column is translated into a dozen languages.

Caroline Zimm is a research scholar jointly associated with the “Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions” (TISS) Research Group of the IIASA “Energy, Climate, and Environment” (ECE) Programme, and the “Equity and Justice” (EQU) Research Group of the “Population and Just Societies” (POPJUS) Programme.


Keep It in the Ground: Diffusing Carbon Bombs

Matisse Rivières is a climate activist, working on strategies and lobby against carbon bombs; with a main focus on the fossil industry.

Romain Olla of "La Fresque du Climat" is the second chair of this seminar.


Making Progress in Polarised Times

Omezzine Khelifa: After being part of the Tunisian Revolution in 2011, she ran for Parliament and advised Ministers in two Transition Governments. As the founder of Mobdiun NGO, her work also contributed to terrorism prevention. Today, she invests in new and different political leaders we need for the 21st century.

Gabriela Vega Franco is a Peruvian political scientist and has a Master’s degree in Government and Public Administration. She has experience in public and private institutions related to political activity, public management and social innovation, as well as in research on democracy, political parties, citizen’s participation and disinformation.

Lobna Jeribi was the Minister of national projects and reforms of Tunisia and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research ad interim (2020). Before, she was a deputy and constituent in the National Constituent Assembly from 2011 to 2014. Currently, she is performing a senior consultant position with various international organisations as United Nations, in the fields of change management, strategic planning, reform design and evaluation of sustainable development projects.


Mindfulness: A Critical Appreciation in Times of Climate Crisis

Ursula Baatz is a philosopher, mindfulness teacher and theorist (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction – MBSR, Mindful Self Compassion – MSC, Interpersonal Mindfulness – IPM), board member of the MBSR-MBCT Vereinigung Österreich, and teaches at the University of Klagenfurt, among others. She writes and publishes on Zen Buddhism and Christianity and intercultural philosophy.

Patrick Scherhaufer has a PhD in Political Science and completed a postgraduate programme in European Integration. His research focuses on public policy, science, technology and environmental politics, participatory governance and democracy, knowledge integration, and inter- and transdisciplinarity.


On Distinctions

Josef Mitterer published ‘The Beyond of Philosophy’ and ‘The Flight from Contingency’. Works on Mitterer are ‘The Third Philosophy. Critical Contributions to Josef Mitterers Nondualism’ (2010), ‘The Non-dualizing Philosophy of Josef Mitterer’ (2008) and ‘Non-dualism: A Conceptual Revision?’ (2013).

Katharina Neges hat als Dozentin an verschiedenen österreichischen Universitäten über 40 Lehrveranstaltungen zu einem breiten Spektrum an philosophischen Themen und deren Anwendbarkeit auf andere Disziplinen gehalten. Ihre Hauptforschungsgebiete sind Ethik, Metaethik und Wissenschaftstheorie.


Playfully Serious, Hands-On: Housing of the Future

Anna Hagen is a Vienna-based architect, art historian and book designer. She specialises in co-housing and circular architecture to create inclusive spaces and empower people.

Julia Halbauer was born in Vienna in 1994, studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology, is interested in connecting architecture and degrowth and is working in the field of participatory planning in Austria and Germany.


Radicalisation and Extremism: Where Reality Meets the Digital Space

Sina Laubenstein is a political scientist working at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) as a senior manager and educator. In her work, she focuses on digital threats such as radicalisation, hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy myths. She is also consulting on a law against digital violence.

Manfred Zentner has been active in youth research since 1997. The main topics of his research are identity, integration, radicalisation, youth (work) policy, migration, participation, and youth cultures. His most recent project: SERENY- Strengthening approaches for the prevention of youth radicalisation in prison and probation settings.


Re-Imagine Cooperation: Build Your Essential Negotiation Skills

Christine Krimmel is an executive coach, certified negotiation facilitator and esteemed senior trainer, who essentially describes herself as a practitioner. Moreover she is founder and managing partner of CX Agentur, a strategy agency for customer centricity and customer experience.

Sonja Rauschütz is negotiation advisor, international mediator, executive coach, management trainer and speaker specialised in negotiation agility of organisations and teams with a passion for spreading the skills of dealing with differences. Her motto: Re-Imagine Cooperation.


Responsible AI, Ethics, Law and Society

Peter Knees: As UNESCO Chair on Digital Humanism, he is interested in addressing questions of ethics, fairness, and bias in his research areas in Recommender Systems, Machine Learning, and Music Information Retrieval.

Aloisia Wörgetter is an Austrian diplomat and served as Ambassador in Algeria, Niger, and Belarus. Previously she worked in the fields of women’s rights, international environmental diplomacy, and intercultural dialogue. Moreover, she is author, lecturer and currently also thematic coordinator on Information Policy of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.


Sound Matters. Are You Listening?

Natalia Domínguez Rangel makes installations, sculptures, and performances artworks and also incorporates her expertise in music composition as a mechanism for contemplating the imperceptible, the unseen, the impalpable. Her work connects with architecture, acoustics, technology and nature.

Geraint Rhys Whittaker is an award-winning musician, film maker, sound artist and writer from Swansea, South Wales.
Many of his Welsh and English singles have been regularly played on 6 MUSIC, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Amazing Radio, and independent, local and college radio stations throughout the world.


Strategic Foresight: How to Use Futures for Decision Making

Gabriele Rizzo is passionate executive and professor with 15+ years’ experience in leading sophisticated foresight, research and ground-breaking innovation for the largest organizations on the planet. He led foresight for R&D winning 25+ billion US dollars in 2021 alone, and for 1.2 trillion US dollars worth of defence planning.

Luca Strambi is a Gestalt psychotherapist with 25 years of experience and practice, and has met more than 1,000 patients. He is a therapist supervisor and has taught at the postgraduate school in Rome. As a former semi-pro tennis player, Strambi is also a sport psychologist and has worked with world-class athletes.


The Art of Being Spontaneous – Improvisation in Music and Beyond

Tin Džaferović has been an active member of the Central European Jazz and improvised music scene for the past five years. After finishing his studies in Graz, he continued studying and worked in Vienna as a private tutor and freelance musician.

Elisabeth Müller is engaged in contemporary music and played many world premieres. She holds a scholarship of Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and is a member of the ensemble Unruhe für Neue Musik. Discovering rarely played pieces for the accordion, she works on linking music, theatre and dance in performances.

Wiebke Rademacher is passionate about making classical music accessible to wider audiences. That is why she has researched the historical roots of music education in her PhD project, designed innovative concert formats for festivals, and shared her experiences with her students and workshop participants.


The Many-Faceted Dimension of Energy Transitions

Shonali Pachauri's research explores the role of social, institutional, and technological innovations for inclusive human development. It assesses pathways to universal access to basic infrastructure and services and the wider impacts of this on sustainable development.

Narasimha Rao examines the relationship between energy transitions, human wellbeing, and climate change. His academic background includes engineering, economics and ethics. Rao is affiliated with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, has a PhD from Stanford, and a Master degree from MIT.


Water Quality and Ecosystem Functioning for Human Survival

Martin Kainz is Professor of Aquatic Ecosystem Research and -Health at the University for Continuing Education Krems, Austria. His research focuses on the functioning of freshwater ecosystems, and on health and potential contamination of aquatic organisms under various global change scenarios.


Working Together (Spells Success)

Ingrid Schiller graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2013. In addition to acting, she has actively pursued her love of writing. She has been teaching on RADA’s short courses and Foundation Course for the past eight years. Ingrid is also on the RADA audition panel.

Nona Shepphard is one of RADA’s Associate Directors and International Consultant at the Lir Academy in Dublin – RADA’s sister school.


Web22 seminars 20210903120745 POL Fireside Talk Alma Zadic EFA Elisabeth Mandl

Fireside Chat EFA21 (c) European Forum Alpbach / Elisabeth Mandl