Viennese discourses

Because experts have a great deal to say

1. January 2018

Several talk series and discussion forums bring top-class expertise from science, politics, culture and business to Vienna. We want to bring dialogue and dialectic back into public awareness.

These days many people are no longer able to distinguish facts from fake news. In a globalised world, interrelationships are getting increasingly complex, and the ways of gathering – often anonymously – and distributing information become ever more confusing. Rather than exchanging ideas, people seem to be more intent on asserting their own opinions. Instead of arguments, they swap likes and smileys. We want to cultivate the art of public discussion in Vienna and allow real experts in their field express their views.

Debating Europe

A series of Sunday morning performances, Debating Europe brings leading politicians, scholars and intellectuals on to the stage of Vienna’s Burgtheater to talk about current politically and socially relevant topics. In 2017 the issues discussed ranged from a historical review of the revolution of 1917 and its significance for the present and future to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and its implications for Europe and the potential threat populism poses to democracy and rule of law. Crises were identified and discussed ­– concerning European culture, solidarity and the system of values. Responsibility, cohesion and the future were key concepts in each debate.


© Matthias Cremer/Der Standard

Panellists in 2017:
Philipp Blom, Heinz Bude, Michael Bünker, Judy Dempsey, Robert Dornhelm, Ulrike Guérot, Agnes Heller, Christian Kern, Jim Kolbe, Roger Köppel, Ivan Krastev, Jan-Werner Müller, Viola Raheb, Shalini Randeria, Heide Schmidt, Karel Schwarzenberg, Alison Smale, Hans-Christian Ströbele

Partners: Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Burgtheater, Der Standard.
Media partners: W24 and Ö1.

Photo: Debating Europa at Burgtheater: Michael Bünker, Heide Schmidt , Ulrike Guérot, Renata Schmidtkunz, Viola Raheb, Shalini Randeria. Photo: © Matthias Cremer/Der Standard

More information you will find at the websites of IWM and Burgtheater.

Cross-Border Travellers/Thinkers

As part of the series Grenzgänger/Grenzdenker (cross-border travellers/thinkers), writer, journalist and historian Martin Pollack talks to authors from Eastern Europe at Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz. They reflect on the core values and ideals of Europe and explore the changing European landscape in literary and philosophical texts, while also sharing personal insights about identity and diversity to enable the “idea of Europe” outside of politics and demographics.

Guests in 2017: Adam Michnik, Barbi Marković und Mircea Cărtărescu

Partner: Burgtheater

Media partner: Die Presse

Crossborder Travellers/Thinkers 2017: “Swaying like Rimbaud’s drunken ship“. With Mircea Cărtărescu, Martin Pollak and Barbi Marković, Photo: © Burgtheater/Reinhard Werner
Crossborder Travellers/Thinkers 2017: “Swaying like Rimbaud’s drunken ship“. With Mircea Cărtărescu, Martin Pollak and Barbi Marković, Photo: © Burgtheater/Reinhard Werner

More information you will find at the website of Burgtheater.

Vienna Humanities Festival

The Vienna Humanities Festival has gathered leading scholars, artists and cultural protagonists each year since 2016 to share their thoughts in a focused and inspiring atmosphere. Over the course of two days in autumn, some 40 talks and discussions turn Vienna’s Karlsplatz into an expansive urban salon. In 2017 talks were held at Wien Museum, Technische Universität, Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church), Evangelische Schule and Radiokulturhaus. All events are open to the public free of charge.

The topic of the 2017 festival was “Revolution!“. Guests included high-profile scholars, journalists and artists from various disciplines ranging from history and philosophy to cultural sciences, architecture and literature.

Guests in 2017, among others:
Aditya Bharadwaj, Martin Bútora, Scott Carpenter, Holly Case, Michael Chalupka, Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi, Ekaterina Degot, Elke Delugan-Meissl, Heinz Fischer, Cengiz Günay, Farid Hafez, Angelina Kariakina, Anna Kim, Ivan Krastev, Michael Landau, Raimund Löw, Wolfgang Maderthaner, Oliver Marchart, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Jan-Werner Müller, Wolfgang Müller-Funk, Walter Pohl, Martin Pollack, Srđa Popović, Moishe Postone, Doron Rabinovici, Julya Rabinowich, Shalini Randeria, Istvan Rev, Kathrin Röggla, Anton Shekhovtsov, Thomas Schmidinger, Heide Schmidt, Karl Schlögel, Susanne Scholl, Max Schrems, Marci Shore, Jon Singerton, Nora Sternfeld, Chris Tedjasukmana, Ilija Trojanow und Ivan Vejvoda.

An event organised by the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Wien Museum, Time to Talk. ERSTE Foundation co-sponsors the event.

More information you will find at here.