Debating Europe

The Dangers of Digital Democracy


With Franco Berardi, author, media theorist and media activist, John Frank, Vice-President EU Government Affairs, Microsoft and Ingrid Brodnig, journalist und author.

Chaired by Eric Frey, editor of Der Standard.

For more than ten years, Debating Europe, a series of public talks with top-class speakers, has turned Vienna’s Burgtheater into a contemporary agora for a day. Prominent international guests from the worlds of politics, economics, science and art share their – at times controversial – views as they discuss highly topical issues concerning the future of Europe. By shaping the discourse, which was (and still is) unthinkable without contradiction, they enable the public to make their own judgements.

All over the world, elections are manipulated by fake news, public opinion is radicalized via social media and electronic voting processes are subject to hacker attacks. The Internet was once seen as an opportunity for more democracy, but today concerns about the future of free elections prevail. Eric Frey will speak with his guests about the transformation of mass media and the (in)steerability of the Internet.

In English

Entrance fee: EUR 7,-

Length: 90 minutes, no break

Tickets and more information:

Debating Europe

This series of public morning debates brings leading politicians, scientists and intellectuals on to the stage of Vienna’s Burgtheater to discuss topical issues of political and social relevance. This long-standing event is a collaborative production of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM)BurgtheaterERSTE Foundation and Austrian daily Der Standard.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.