The “Geist & Gegenwart” (“The spirit & the present”) Whitsun Dialogues that have been taking place at Seggau Castle biennially since 2005 reflect on the challenges and problems facing Europe and aspire to contribute to a sustainable dialogue about the future – not least in the form of the resulting statements and publications. In addition, they always provide an assessment of the current state of “Project Europe”, its hopes and opportunities but also the risks and problems, how it is changing and the challenges it faces.
With eight 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 of science and politics, set in the context of the southern Styrian border region, where four European cultures meet.
„Geist & Gegenwart“ is a series of events organised by Club Alpbach Styria, in partnership with the state of Styria – under the leadership of the Department of Science, headed up by Regional Minister MMag. Barbara Eibinger-Miedl. Thanks to the cooperation with Styrian universities, universities of applied science and research institutions, and also the diocese of Graz-Seckau, the Whitsun Dialogues and the regular Dialogue events held in the Main Hall of the Old University in Graz make a serious intellectual contribution to Styria’s development.
In recent years, well over 150 distinguished speakers have provided input leading to lively debate, including Alexander Van der Bellen, Peter Sloterdijk, Sarah Spiekermann-Hoff, Bernhard Pörksen, Alice Schwarzer, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Karl Schwarzenberg, Erhard Busek, Barbara Frischmuth, Ruth Klüger, Julya Rabinowich, Johannes Hahn, Reinhard Kardinal Marx, Robert Menasse, Bassam Tibi, Wolfgang Schüssel, Alfred Gusenbauer, Jeremy Rifkin, Jakob von Uexkull, Daniel S. Hamilton, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Dzevad Karahasan and Werner Weidenfeld.
For each “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogue, Wieser Verlag produces an accompanying publication including articles by the speakers and by high-profile personalities from the worlds of science, politics, economics, religion and culture.