The growing momentum behind digitalization is bringing about undreamt-of change in our lives. Disruptive technologies such as 3D printing with its many applications, autonomous vehicles, robotics and mobile Internet, and their seemingly limitless possibilities, will all play their part in giving Europe a new look very quickly. This brings great opportunities, but, as discussions in recent months have shown, also complex challenges. In many regards, Europe is currently at an important crossroads. What will a digital Europe look like? What kind of developments are possible and which are unavoidable? And how can we (still) control these developments? How should Europe position itself in global competition? How will digitalization change our economy, the world of work and our society? What, in turn, does that mean for communication and (political) decision-making processes? Can Europe‘s cultural diversity be a strength in this situation? And what role is played by Europe‘s regions and cross-border areas such as the Alpe-Adria region?
Procedure & program
Presentations, debates by experts and small workshop-style groups – the Whitsun Dialogue offers a range of formats and ways of entering into dialogue, exchanging ideas and gaining a new perspective. Cultural events are also an established part of the three-day program.
In recent years, well over 100 well-known speakers have provided input leading to lively debate, including Alexander van der Bellen, Karl Schwarzenberg, Alice Schwarzer, Erhard Busek, Barbara Frischmuth, Hans Dietrich Genscher, Johannes Hahn, Reinhard Kardinal Marx, Robert Menasse, Hans Gert Pöttering, Julya Rabinowich, Jeremy Rifkin, Wolfgang Schüssel, Franz Fischler, Jakob von Uexkull, Ruth Klüger, Daniel S. Hamilton, Bassam Tibi, Benita Ferrero- Waldner, Heinz Fassmann, Dzevad Karahasan and Werner Weidenfeld.
Attending the conference
Join in a high-caliber interdisciplinary and international sharing of experience! Taking part in a “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogue offers new insights and perspectives, knowledge “from the horse’s mouth”, a sharing of experience and a networking opportunity.
Take this chance to join in the debate in the inspiring atmosphere of Seggau Castle, talk to interesting people from all over Europe about the political, social, economic, cultural and technological challenges facing Europe in a digital future, and enter into an informal sharing of ideas.
Young academics, young professionals
We hope that the “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun dialogues will particularly appeal to young academics and young business leaders.
It is absolutely essential to involve the next generation of opinion-formers in the debate about burning social issues. A number of different partner organizations (including Styrian universities and universities of applied sciences) provide opportunities for them to attend.
This year once again we would like to enable interested young people from all over Europe to take part in the Whitsun Dialogue by offering a grants scheme.
Detailed information about various options for enabling young academics or young business leaders to attend are available online at www.pfingstdialog-steiermark.at
Become a sponsoring partner
Holding the Whitsun Dialogues would be impossible without the support of sponsors and other institutions.
The Whitsun Dialogues
The “Geist & Gegenwart” (“The spirit & the present”) Whitsun Dialogues have been taking place at Seggau Castle biennially since 2005. They reflect on the challenges and problems facing Europe and we produce statements and publications to contribute to an ongoing dialogue about the future.
They also always give an assessment of the current state of “Project Europe”, its hopes and opportunities but also the risks and problems. With seven events held so far, the Whitsun Dialogue – which involves Styrian universities and research institutions – has become established as a formal platform for fruitful interdisciplinary and international debate about fundamental principles, set in the context of the Styrian border region, where four European cultures meet.
The 7th ‘Geist & Gegenwart’ Whitsun Dialogue took place from Wednesday 31th of May till Friday 2nd of June 2017 at Seggau castle.
General theme 2017: Europe.USA.3.0
Seventy years ago, US Secretary of State George C. Marshall initiated a plan for the economic reconstruction of Europe’s destroyed countries. Since then, the political and economic relations between the US and Europe have become closer than ever. Based on this backdrop, the 7th Whitsun Dialogue “Geist & Gegenwart” was dedicated to the theme of “Europe.USA.3.0”.