Retrospect 2017




31 May – 2 June 2017 | Seggau Castle, Leibnitz, Austria

The event is hosted by the Styrian Government
and the Diocese of Graz-Seckau and organised
in cooperation with Club Alpbach Styria.


Pfingstdialog 2017, Seggau Castle

„Geist & Gegenwart“ Pfingstdialog from May 31 to June 2 on the explosive and highly current theme "USA and Europe"

More than 50 top-class speakers at Seggau Castle.
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Concept & programme

Since 2005, the “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogues have been taking place biennially at Seggau Castle. We reflect on challenges and problems concerning Europe and contribute to an enduring dialogue about the future with explanations and publications.

Through the six events to date, we have succeeded in establishing the Whitsun Dialogue as an institutionalised platform for fundamental debate that is fruitful, interdisciplinary and international, all set in the Styrian border region at the intersection of four cultural spheres in this EU future region.

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” is dedicated to the theme of “Europe.USA.3.0”.


The quality and diversity of the personalities at the podium and in the seminars give inspiring further impetus to the Whitsun Dialogues.

Amongst the numerous speakers we have the pleasure of welcoming:
John L. Allen, Jr. US journalist at CNN & NYT, expert on the Vatican. Franz Stefan Gady Senior Fellow at the EastWest Institute. Alfred Gusenbauer former Federal Chancellor, entrepreneur. Daniel S. Hamilton Professor at The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation. Eva Nowotny former Austrian ambassador to the USA. Marc R. Pacheco US-State senator and president pro tempore of Massachusetts Senate. Wolfgang Petritsch President Austrian Marshall Plan Fund. Michael G. Plummer Director of SAIS Europe, Eni Professor of International Economics, The Johns Hopkins University, Bologna. Hannelore Veit ORF correspondent in Washington D.C. Eugene Young Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the US embassy in Austria.

Scholarship programme

It is a requirement, young, interested people who will be responsible for the future, be included in the dialogues and discussions about controversial social issues.

This year too, we would like once again to offer young people from Europe and the USA the opportunity to participate in the Whitsun Dialogue by means of a scholarship programme. This offer goes to young and interested people under 35.

Young professionals

With the “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogues, we would particularly also like to address young professionals because, for the next generations of opinion-leaders and leading personalities, transatlantic relations will be of paramount importance.

For people aged up to 40 who are interested and already working, we have a limited number of reduced day passes.
Should you be interested, please contact us at

Sponsoring partner

The Whitsun Dialogue would not be possible without support from sponsors and other institutions.

Through your support, you make a valuable contribution to an enduring inter-disciplinary dialogue.
Please contact us at