The guiding principles, laying the foundations of the European Forum Alpbach, comprise a concept of education that is an egalitarian process in which participants work to develop themselves as well as to acquire knowledge about the world. Education, as understood by the European Forum Alpbach, is neither based on mere “chalk and talk” teaching nor on an authoritarian system.

For more than 75 years the Seminar Week has been the academic heart of the European Forum Alpbach. It is characterised by the space it offers for discussion, interdisciplinarity and intergenerational dialogue.

After a pandemic-related break, Alpbach will once again become a hub for innovative knowledge exchange and new personal experiences in August 2021. The interplay between scientific seminars in the morning and artistic and practical seminars in the afternoon combines intellectual as well as emotional enhancement in a unique way.

In order to respond to the challenges of this summer - especially in relation to travel restrictions of our international scholarship holders, the programme of the seminar week was divided between analogue seminars and digital workshops. Under the umbrella of the European Forum Alpbach’s general theme the Great Transformation, scholarship holders can choose seminars from a wide range of different scientific fields that focus on the Forum’s thematic tracks:

Securing our Future

The Climate Opportunity

The Financing of Europe’s Future


Analogue

Digital

Europe inside out

Dates: August 18-24, 2021

Scholarship holders choose a scientific seminar in the morning and an artistic or practical seminar in the afternoon. For one week, they will immerse themselves with experts in topics that they can deepen at events of the hybrid version of the European Forum Alpbach, where they are invited to actively participate in discussions to develop concrete ideas together with speakers and other participants and make an active contribution to strengthen Europe.

Subject-specific knowledge is not necessary for participation in the seminars. 

Seminars will take place in sessions of three hours each day.

All our scholarship holders can choose one of the morning seminars and one of the afternoon seminars. Please check the programme for the exact time schedule and short descriptions of the seminars. More detailed information on each of the seminars and the registration will follow in the upcoming weeks.

Morning

Afternoon

Securing Health – How to Create Resilient and Healthy Communities

  • How can healthy behaviour be developed to build individual and community resilience?  
  • A macroeconomic perspective on health systems resilience – a preparatory framework 
  • Diet change or climate change? Modelling healthy and sustainable food systems for the future 
  • What concrete idea should convince decision maker? How can we build healthy and resilient communities in Europe? 
  • Precarious lifes at a glance – the social determinants of health

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Urban Fundamentals: Re-Inventing the City

  • Will the future of humanity be decided in cities?  
  • Understand the challenges of urbanisation (such as food, mobility, digitalisation etc.) 
  • Take a look at old and new „imaginaries“ of the city. 
  • Learn from transformative urban practices (such as urban labs, civic tech) 
  • Engage in a transdisciplinary debate  
  •  “Re-invent“ the city of the 21st century in collaborative way 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Thinking Big While Doing Good – Impact Economy and System Change

  • Learning about the regenerative economy and how the financial system can be used as a tool for change
  • Exploring the concept of conscious leadership
  • What are the players on the demand-side of Impact Capital (Entrepreneurs, First time fund managers etc.)?
  • What are the players on the supply- side of Impact capital (Individual Impact Investors, Family Offices, Foundations, Ethical Banking)?
  • Who are the intermediaries connecting these two sides (Impact Hubs, Incubators and Accelerators, Democratization Platforms)?

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Why we Do What we Do: Decision Making Processes and Emotional Facts

  • What are emotions and where do they come from? 
  • The social nature of human emotions, and the emotional nature of social reality. 
  •  Emotional reasoning, and public discourse on rationality. 
  • Emotions and human behaviour – experiments on how emotions influence decision making in political, social and economic contexts  
  •  Emotions and expertise on well-being, and manufacturing of the happy selves. 
  •  Emotional qualities and reproduction of inequalities.  

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Human Footprint – How to Improve it for the Good of All

  • A: Analyse climate change denialism identifying its various conditions 
  • N: Nurture the idea of degrowth and overcoming hyper-consumerism 
  • S: Support trust in socially responsible science as an ally in solving problems 
  • W: Warn that global climate change is a primary danger to human rights 
  • E: Explore the critique of anthropomorphism and Eurocentrism of the Anthropocene discourse 
  • R: Renew our vocabularies to build common-good oriented societies 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

The “How” and “Who” of Europe’s Future of Energy

  • Understand the challenges that arise from the transformation of energy systems to combat climate change
  • Learn how renewable energy systems can play an increasingly larger role and what predicaments they have to overcome
  • Identify the stakeholders and decision-makers in the transformation of energy systems
  • Discuss pros and cons of alternative energy solutions
  • Explore how the general public could be engaged in informed decision making

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Human Centered Design: Design Challenges for Sustainable and Innovative Ideas

  • How to use creative cooperation to face complex tasks and create innovative solutions?
  • Learning about the different phases of Human Centered Design
  • Responsible innovation to strengthen and sharpen our future
  • Mandatory for the participants (Top Teams) of the #EFAChallenges: Procedural guidance by deepening your knowledge and refining your project ideas
  • 10 free spots for other participants: Diving into the methods of Design Thinking and learning from a project-based toolbox

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Finding Home and Being Moved in a Complex World

  • Accessing a feeling of home and a state of being moved through dance, meditation, vocal and dialogue exercises. 
  • Letting go of self-judgement and overthinking to invite your creative potential. 
  • Experiencing celebration and full body expression. 
  • Finding new perspectives on multiple belonging with the “compass of home”. 
  • Exploring how complex situations in the outer world can become clearer through mindful contemplation.

More information can be found here.

Challenging Leadership 

  • Peer-to-peer approach: Trained and guided by Students of the world's oldest and at the same time state-of-the-art Military Academy, the Maria Theresian Military Academy  
  • Outdoor-training: Facing mental and physical challenges while training and working outside 
  • Experiencing ourselves in making decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions 
  • Leadership and transformation: Philosophizing about the role of leadership in the transformation process as well as the transformation of leadership itself 
  • Diversity and thinking outside the box different from what one would subsume as "a military approach"

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Shaping The Sound 

  • Explore the nature of sounds and their relations and create own sound-worlds 
  • Find new tools to experience, imagine and shape sounds. 
  • Develope a better understanding of the ways in which sounds can influence our thoughts / emotions and how our feelings can be alternated by the soundscape surrounding us. 
  • Create a group feeling by collectively making music together 
  •  Find accurate timings and relearn communication with music being a key to it. 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Visual Communication for Co-Creation

  • Connect the art of dialogue, creativity and simple sketching to think, communicate and collaborate in a powerful way 
  • Push the limits of possibilities what hybrid spaces in combination with analogue and digital tools can provide to make the intangible tangible. (The seminar will be experienced in a hybrid way with one host analogue in the room and one online from Finland)  
  • Empower your own creativity muscle 
  • Merge scientific & academic knowledge with dialogue, listening, simple sketching and creativity to make real world impact and transform our future for the better 
  • Bring your curious mind, ready to get your hands dirty and connect your learning from the seminar week to the congress and beyond.  
  • Oh, and by the way: everybody can draw!

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Collaboration Through the Power of Music 

  • Explore and practice the different sounds we can make with our voice using movement and imagination. 
  • Discovering your voice: making music and singing starts with using the voice - that is the simple basic, anyone is capable of 
  • Experiment with easy vocal and body sound techniques to make new musical structures.  
  • Prepare a short summary "concert" of our experiments and exercises either with or without an audience. 
  • We will discuss, reflect and invite the participants to take part in a collaborative process; methods related to performance-art will be used. 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Europe outside in

Dates: August 21 – 23, 2021

Online scholarship holders may choose one workshop of their choice from a colourful abundance and diversity of both scientific and artistic or practical e-seminars. Scholarship holders have the opportunity to interact directly with experts, discuss and learn new things in the process. Newly learned content can then be carried directly into the digital conference to work on Europe's role in active discussions and possibly generate new ideas and impact. 

Subject-specific knowledge is not necessary for participation in the e-seminars. 

E-Seminars take place digitally in sessions of three hours per day.

Please check the programme for the exact time schedule and short descriptions of the E-seminars. More detailed information on each of the seminars and the registration will follow in the upcoming weeks.

The X and Y in International Security

  • Becoming familiar with what gender is, how it relates to concepts of sexuality, race, and class 
  • Becoming familiar with ethnography as a research method and how it aligns with feminist research ethics   
  • Understanding the practice of feminism and the relationship between feminism as an intellectual project and feminism as politics 
  • Applying a feminist ethnography to a real-world event 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

The Future We Want and How to Redesign the Market Economy for It

  • Theme 1: Challenges of Sustainable Development 
  • Theme 2: Public policy to achieve sustainable developments 
  • Theme 3: The role of business and finance in a sustainable world.  

More information on the seminar can be found here.

The Civil Society Factor – Strengthening Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • How does concrete civil society action look like? Studying the development of a growing engagement in civil society with a focus on varying regional experiences  
  • Getting a better and profound understanding of new models of participatory democracy and thinking about the future we want to have  
  • Analysing similarities and differences between different initiatives of civil society across Europe 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

African Capital

  • Analyze arising opportunities and challenges in the age of transformation 
  • Understand the concept of problem-based, frugal innovation 
  • Learn from innovators and entrepreneurs with different intercultural backgrounds 
  • Discuss Africa’s bold steps towards innovation 
  • Assess how they could set examples for the European economy and beyond 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Participatory Leadership – A Practice of Leading by Dialogue and Co-Creation

  • Explore participatory and human-centered design approaches  
  • Complex problems often require smart solutions which even the brightest person can't solve single-handed - participatory leadership uses dialogue and collective intelligence to address systemic challenges 
  • Learn some of the fundamental tools and methodologies of The Art of Hosting & Harvesting,  
  • Apply a systems thinking lens, connect topics with each other, and practice to find solutions in a participatory way (co-creation) 
  • Learn how to strategically design, host (facilitate), and harvest (collect & connect) the outcomes from virtual meetings & conversations 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Behaving Truthfully

Participants will:

  • Do a short physical and vocal warm up 
  • Look at ways of creating an ensemble which works together openly and dynamically 
  • Look at what transformation means to an actor 
  • Explore the difference between pretending and behaving truthfully 
  • Decide what they want in an imaginary story, and explore the ways to get it 
  • Create a series of scenes of truthful interaction 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Addicted to Story

Participants will:

  • Do a short physical and vocal warm up 
  • Look at ways of creating an ensemble which works together openly and dynamically 
  • Look at what transformation means to an actor 
  • Share true stories 
  • Explore different ways of telling stories 
  • Create a series of imaginary stories told truthfully 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Standing Airwaves

  • Explore the body and breath and the many ways that help the vocal instrument create sound
  • Create sound, rhythm, and melody in the moment
  • Discover easy ways to develop and maintain a strong, clear voice
  • Working on understanding the collaborative process of how musicians develop an ensemble sound  
  • How improvisation in music relates to problem solving in real live 
  • How creating your own sound - vocalists do that through their vocal chords and brass players through their lips changes your focus and self awareness 

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Creative Writing – The Art of Telling the Truth

  • Understand how to use language creatively 
  • Learn from practising writers and poets 
  • Understand how to apply creative methodologies to a variety of uses 
  • Develop a knowledge of editorial skills 
  • Develop an awareness of how creative approachs can inform broader discussions 

More information on the seminar can be found here.