On August 25th 1945, the European Forum Alpbach, then called the Austrian College, discussed for the first time the foundations of a free, diverse and democratic community. In keeping with the 75 year anniversary year, this year’s annual theme of the European Forum Alpbach is ‚Fundamentals‘.
But what are “Fundamentals”?
They are the roots that make our society flourish or stall. On a democratic and regulatory level, they include our human rights such as the inviolability of human dignity, freedom of expression, the right to free elections and minority rights. On the scientific and academic level, they include freedom of expression, independent teaching, transparency and accountability. From ethical challenges in medicine and technology all the way to AI and the breach of the public’s trust through fake news and hate speech on the Internet – over the past five years, our social fundamentals have become increasingly shaky.
This year, the European Forum Alpbach is therefore dedicated to the social foundations of democracy, cohesion and diversity. Overall, the aim is to examine some convictions that are no longer questioned and thus also to do justice to the European Forum Alpbach’s own demands. Those principles that continue to prove indispensable are to be anchored in the consciousness of the participants and at the same time conveyed to their sceptics. From scholarship holders to lecturers and international decision-makers, we are looking for common foundations for a sustainable future.