Retrospect 2019

Pfingstdialog 2019

Digital Europe.

The growing momentum behind digitalisation 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 digitalisation change our economy, the world of work and our society? What, in turn, does that mean for communication and (political) decision-making processes? What ethical and social challenges does digitalisation bring?

Which boundaries are being crossed, what kind of restrictions are required? 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 & programme

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.

The approximately 80 speakers at the 2019 Whitsun Dialogue include:
Markus BEYRER, BusinessEurope, Ingrid BRODNIG, journalist, Wolfgang BURTSCHER, DG Research and Innovation, Tim COLE, journalist & IT pioneer, Judith DENKMAYR, Quo Vadis Veritas Redaktion GmbH, Iris EISENBERGER, BOKU, Andreas GERSTENMAYER, AT&S, Matthias KARMASIN, communication scientist, Gerhard KRACHLER, Magna Steyr, Archbishop Franz LACKNER, Katharina LADEWIG, European Institute of Innovation & Technology, Stefanie LINDSTAEDT, Know-Center, Markus MAIR, Styria Media Group AG, Stefan MANGARD, Graz University of Technology, Heinz MAYER, JR-DIGITAL, Antonella MEI-POCHTLER, Think Austria, Johanna MUCKENHUBER, FH Joanneum, Soziale Arbeit, Paul NEMITZ, DG JUST, Yussi PICK, Pick & Barth Digital Strategy, Bernhard PÖRKSEN, media scientist, Jeremias PRASSL, Oxford University, Franz ROTTER, voestalpine, Friedrich SANTNER, Anton Paar, Eberhard SCHOCKENHOFF, moral theologist, Peter SLOTERDIJK, philosopher, Sarah SPIEKERMANN-HOFF, WU Wien, Charlotte STIX, Cambridge University, Gerfried STOCKER, Ars Electronica, Sandra THIER, Diego5, Stefan THURNER, Complexity Science Hub Vienna, Peter UMUNDUM, Post AG, Christiane WENDEHORST, German Data Ethics Commission, Lojze WIESER, publisher, Stefan WINKLER, Artificial Intelligence Singapore, Siegfried WOLF, manager Alexander WRABETZ, ORF, Werner WUTSCHER, New Venture Scouting.

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 managers from business and civil society.

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) are offering attractive and flexible opportunities for them to attend the Whitsun Dialogue for one (or more) days.

Scholarship programme

This year once again we would like to enable interested young people from all over Europe to take part in the whole of the Whitsun Dialogue by offering a grants scheme.

The offer is available to young, interested people under the age of 35. The grants cover the entry fee, meals and accommodation.

Become a sponsoring partner

Holding the Whitsun Dialogues would be impossible without the support of sponsors and other institutions.

By supporting us, you are making a valuable contribution to meaningful interdisciplinary dialogue. Please contact us at:

The Whitsun Dialogues

The “Geist & Gegenwart” (“The spirit & the present”) Whitsun Dialogues have been taking place at Seggau Castle biennially since 2005. The aim is to reflect on the challenges and problems facing Europe and produce statements and publications to contribute to an ongoing dialogue about the future.

It is also always an opportunity to assess the current state of “Project Europe”: its progress, hopes and opportunities but also the risks and problems. With seven events held so far, the Whitsun Dialogue has become established as a formal platform for fruitful interdisciplinary and international debate about fundamental principles, set in the context of the southern Styrian border region, where four European cultures meet.