13 August 2014 - 29 August 2014
Alpbach, Austria

IIASA at European Forum Alpbach 2014 and first public Alpbach-Laxenburg Group meeting

In August, IIASA leadership and researchers joined world leaders and academics in Alpbach, Austria to discuss the most pressing problems of our time at a meeting of the newly formed Alpbach-Laxenburg Group

Alpbach Dorf

Alpbach Dorf

As strategic partners, IIASA and The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) last year launched a new generation of think tank called the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group. This group held a high level retreat during the Political Symposium of the 2014 Alpbach Forum, to debate the global issues of sustainable development, with an initial focus on inequality and equity.

VIDEO

The Alpbach-Laxenburg group, containing great minds from all corners of the globe, spent a day together hiking the Tyrolean mountains, visiting the last working mill in Alpbach and working in seminars high up in the inspiring atmosphere of Böglhof. Produced by the Media Academy of the European Forum Alpbach.

The European Alpbach Forum brings together participants from all over the world and from different disciplines, and IIASA scientists participated in a number of events - detailed below.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Seminar Week 14-19 August

IIASA researchers from IIASA's Risk, Policy and Vulnerability Program, Piotr Magnuszewski and Reinhard Mechler, held a weeklong seminar with daily workshops, called Decisions under Uncertainty, as part of the EFA's Seminar Week. 

The workshops involved participants in a decision-making game which brought together planning for the future of a village, including for potential disasters. 

Video: Watch a video from the workshop showing the participatory decision-making game, "About that Forest."



Higher Education Symposium 19-21 August

This year for the first time EFA organized a Higher Education Symposium, at which Wolfgang Lutz, Program Director for IIASA's World Population Program gave a keynote talk.

The participants discussed current critical developments in the higher education institutions in Europe and the role they can and want to play under these new conditions. The symposium particularly focused on the question how universities can prepare their students for an ever-changing world.

Lutz spoke during the opening plenary session entitled "Times They are a-Changin’ – How Societal Trends Impact European Universities." 20 August 2014, 09:20-10:30

Political Symposium 24-26 August

As strategic partners, IIASA and EFA have again this year co-organized the Political Symposium, where participants from around the world discuss how united global action is required for issues such as human security, adaption to and mitigation of climate change, energy markets, and food security. 

The symposium concluded with a plenary session on Inequality and sustainable global governance. 26 August 2014, 09:00-12:30

In this session members of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group debated one of the most pressing issues of world sustainable development and global transitions inequality and equity, in areas such as intergenerational justice, climate and energy. The first session focused on Generational Inequality followed by a session on Inequality in Energy and Climate.

Alpbach Laxenburg Group Meeting 24-26 August

Front - Franz Fischler (President, European Forum Alpbach), H.E. Tarja Halonen (Former President of Finland), H.E. Heinz Fischer (President of Austria), Pavel Kabat (Director General and Chief Executive Officer of IIASA), H.E. Mary Robinson (President of the Mary Robinson foundation for Climate Justice. Former President of Ireland and Chair of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, United Kingdom), Sonja Puntscher Riekmann (Vice President, European Forum Alpbach), Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA).

Back row - Chin-Min Lee (Special Advisor to IIASA Director General), Jining Chen (President, Tsinghua University, China), Robbert Dijkgraaf (Director, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, USA), Clemens Hellsberg (President of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra). European Forum Alpbach, August 2014.

During the political symposium, leading minds from academia, governments, business and civil society participated in a high level retreat of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group. The group discussed how positive narratives for sustainable development can be created and communicated to address the issue of inequality.

Early conclusions from the retreat were presented to H.E Federal President Heinz Fischer during a special breakfast with some of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group members.

In the picture: H.E. Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission for the Government of India), Pascal Lamy (Former Director General of the World Trade Organisation, former European Commissioner for Trade and Honorary President of the Notre Europe –Jacques Delors Institute, France), Pavel Kabat (Director General and Chief Executive Officer of IIASA, member of the Leadership Council for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Professor of Earth System Science at Wageningen University), H.E. Mary Robinson (President of the Mary Robinson foundation for Climate Justice. Former President of Ireland and Chair of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, United Kingdom), Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon). European Forum Alpbach, 25 August 2014.

Images from Alpbach 2014

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For updates from the Forum follow IIASA on Twitter.

Core members of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group in March 2014. © IIASA

Some core members of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group in Laxenburg in March 2014. Franz Fischler, President of the European Forum Alpbach, Petr Aven, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Alfa Bank, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, IIASA Director General and CEO, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, Chairman, Qatar National food Security Programme.





















Alpbach–Laxenburg Group

A new global think tank led by IIASA and the European Forum Alpbach argues that tackling inequality is key to sustainable development. More


 


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Last edited: 28 August 2014

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