Doğan Akhanlı (* 1957) is a Turkish-German writer committed to the indivisibility of human rights and the honest dealing with historical acts of violence, oppression and persecution. At the age of 18, he was in political detention for the first time. After 1985 he spent over two and a half years in the military prison in Istanbul. In 1991 he received political asylum in Germany, since 1995 he lives in Cologne. In 2010, he was arrested on arrival in Turkey on false charges and detained for several months. In 2017, he was arrested in Spain on the basis of an interpol warrant issued by Turkey. His award-winning work includes novels, plays and essays, some of which are available in German.


albelGünther Albel (*1974) is the mayor of Villach since 2015, previously he was the first deputy mayor for three years.Since 1998 Günther Albel is a member of the socialdemocratic party (SPÖ), from 2003 to 2012 he was as a local council and from 2006 to 2009 he was the secretary of the SPÖ council club. Albel is married and has two children. He graduated from the Business Academy Villach and was before he took office as deputy mayor he worked as registrar in Villach. His hobbies are reading, running, football and his family. It calls on citizens, business and politics to face the challenges of increasing migrant influx.


Franz Alt (*1938) is a journalist, author, TV presenter and eco-activist. He started his career with theology studies in Freiburg and Heidelberg. Many of his books became bestsellers. Recently appeared “Sunny prospects. How climate protection becomes a win for everyone “,” Good business. Humane market economy as a way out of the crisis “and” What Jesus really said “. Franz Alt gives lectures worldwide and shows by positive examples how to solve our energy, environmental and climate problems.




Bruno Besser (*1961) is a geophysicist, electrical engineer and space scientist at the Space Research Institute Graz. A native of Carinthia, he has been involved with “Austria’s Path into Space” for more than 20 years and has dealt with the “secrets of flying” and the “life-possibilities in space” in more than 100 specialist publications, scientific and technical-historical contributions and books.




Ingrid Brodnig (*1984) is a journalist and author, Bruno Kreisky Special Award Winner and Digital Champion of Austria in the EU. She became known primarily with her books “Lies in the Net: How fake news, populists and uncontrolled technology manipulate us” and “Hatred on the Web. What we can do against rushing, bullying and lying “. She shares her knowledge in TV appearances, print columns, workshops and lectures.



Jutta Clarke (* 1962) is a Logotherapist at the Institute for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis in Salzburg and teaches at the Viktor Frankl University College for Teacher Training in Klagenfurt. She studied Classical Archaeology, Romance Studies and Law at the Universities of Salzburg and Princeton (USA) and works since 2014 among others, for the Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna in the area of event organization, publications and translations, as well as for international film productions. She is mother of four children, lived abroad for 27 years (USA, UK and Netherlands) and is active in numerous social initiatives.


Kerstin Dohnal (* 1977) is founder and managing director of destination: development, an agency which is dedicated to the healthy and sustainable development of travel destinations. As a passionate communications consultant, translator and tourism specialist, she has developed the “Chocolate Route” (Bolivia and Ecuador), is organizing workshops on responsible tourism and learning journeys to tourism development regions.


Bildergebnis für gebhardt birgitBirgit Gebhardt (*1969) is one of the most experienced speakers and book authors on trends and futurology. Until 2012 she was managing director of the Hamburg Trendbüro. Since then she has been researching new models of networked business and working and advising many customers on their way to the “New Work Order”. She worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation and on the Hamburg Opportunity Paper “Content & Technology” for the National IT Summit 2014. In addition, she is involved in the Munich Circle in the BMWi working group “Future of Work” and a member of the scientific advisory board of the “Stiftung Zukunft” in Vaduz.


Christoph Good (*1980) is a corporate human rights lawyer in Zurich, formerly CEO of the Human Rights Center of the University of Zurich, lecturer for international and international human rights protection and direct democracy and secretary of the board of trustees of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation in Switzerland.



Sylvia Gstättner (*1966) is a company consultant with a focus on business mediation and since 2010 vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Carinthia. The native Munich woman began her entrepreneurial career after a teaching as a medical assistant and activities in the accident surgery. Since 2008, she has been the chairman of the “Woman in Business”, EPO Commissioner, Deputy Head of Group Deputy of the Kärntner Wirtschaftsbundes and Obmann-Stv. Of the Carinthian regional sickness fund.



Alexander Hanisch-Wolfram (*1977) is Curator of the Evangelical Museum in Fresach since 2012 and teacher of Protestant religion. Previously, he was scientific curator of the Carinthian National Exhibition 2011 in Fresach. He has published numerous articles on the history of Protestantism in Carinthia and received the Sponsorship Award of the Province of Carinthia for Human and Social Sciences. He completed his studies in journalism and communication science, political science, French language and history in Vienna, Venice and Luxembourg.




Manfred Kohl (*1948) is considered a pioneer of the Austrian tourism consultancy tradition and a specialist when it comes to business transfers. He has been dealing with the opportunities and risks of the tourism and leisure industry for over 35 years and has built up the international consulting company Kohl & Partner. His credo is quality (always and everywhere), innovation (continuous) and partnership (internal and external).


Werner Koroschitz (*1961) lives and works as a freelance historian in Villach. He is scientific director of the Association of Industrial Heritage and Everyday History and has realized numerous publications and exhibitions on cultural and historic topics. In 2018 he curates the contemporary historical exhibition “Zimmer frei!” on the development of tourism in Carinthia in the Museum of the City of Villach.



Harald Kollegger (*1955) is vice-president of the Austrian PEN Club, professor at the Medical University of Vienna, specialist in neurology and author of novels, essays and poetry. In his scientific work, he dealt with the Chemoarchitekur and the plasticity of the brain, with inflammatory lesions of the nervous system and their treatment. In 2016, his published his last book “If nothing works, go with – About joy in rough times”.



Kurt Robert Luger (*1952) is scientific director of the interfaculty university course “Intercultural Competence” and holder of the UNESCO chair for “Cultural Heritage and Tourism” at the University of Salzburg. The trained communication scientist is active in numerous international Gremen and research groups and completed visiting professorships in the USA, Nepal, South Africa and Switzerland, a sought-after lecturer and author. Most recently, he published the much acclaimed tome “Alpenreisen”.


Mag. Alexandra Lugger (*1978) ist Project Manager for Integration at bfi Kärnten. With the project Language Care, it presents a measure for asylum-entitled persons who are to be prepared for language courses with social, cultural, social and labor market policy, health-related and personality-forming focuses on training in the medical, nursing or care sector.




Ali Mahlodji (*1981) is an internationally sought-after start-up entrepreneur, EU youth ambassador, Erasmus award winner, keynote speaker and author. He was born in Tehran (Iran) and came to Austria with his family as a refugee. He became known with the video platform “Whatchado”, on which well-known personalities as well as successful company representatives and consultants give career starters orientation.



portrait-pravuPravu Mazumdar (*1952) was born in India and studied physics and philosophy. He is  freelance writer, translator and lecturer in Munich and is working on theories of modernity, event philosophies and interpretations of art. He wrote many essays on Foucault, several volumes of “Philosophy Now” and books like “No man’s Land of Civilizations”, “The Power of Happiness” and most recently “Gold and Spirit”. Due to his contributions to the immigration debate and the clash of civilizations he became known to a wider public. He analyzes the “conflicting visions of paradise in different societies representing paradigmatic migration and tourism as the two great opposing movements towards each other into imagined lucky spaces”.


Wolfgang Müller-Funk (*1952) is an essayist, literary and cultural scientist. He teaches at the Universities of Vienna and Klagenfurt as well as at other universities. Most recently published are the collections of essays “Complex Austria”, “Beyond Resignation and Nostalgia” and “Theories of the Stranger”.




Dorothea Nürnberg (*1964) studied German and French philology in Graz and at the Sorbonne Paris. Her literary work deals with the dialogue of cultures and with ecological issues, the protection of the Amazon region and the rights of indigenous peoples. In her novel “Sterntänzer” she wrote about Muslim life in Vienna, she became known with her novel “On the way to Eden”. Her work was translated into 10 languages. Most recently, she represented Austria at the Festival Internacional de Poesia in Buenos Aires (2017) and at the World Book Fair New Delhi (2018).



Alexander Peer (*1971) is a writer and journalist. After studying German philology, philosophy and journalism, he published reports, reviews and essays in literary magazines, daily newspapers and magazines. He received several scholarships abroad, was a city writer in Schwaz and ÖZV winner. Most recently he published literary non-fiction (Leo Perutz), novels (Until death avoids us) and the poetry book “The Sound of Dumb Relations”.


Bernhard Perchinig (*1958) is a political scientist with a focus on European immigration and integration policy, urban integration policy, anti-discrimination policy and minority rights. He is currently working at the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and is involved in projects in Turkey and Southeast Asia. He is an advisor to the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Commission.



Margarethe Prinz-Büchl (*1955) is a clinical psychologist, systemic consultant and psychotherapist. She is specialized on HR-development, coaching and trainings for personal development. In her practice in Vienna and Carinthia she counsels individuals and couples in difficult private or job-related circumstances. The Fresach resident also works as a consultant for small and medium sized organizations. She also offers special seminars for leaders around communication, conflict management and team-development.


Claus Raidl (* 1942) is one of Austria’s most prominent business captains. For many years he held leading positions in ÖIAG, VOEST-Alpine and in Austrian Industries. From 1991 to 2010 he was the boss of Böhler-Uddeholm AG, since 2008 he is President of the General Council of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. Raidl is a supervisory and advisor to numerous committees, he regularly publishes articles on industrial policy and Austria as a business location.



reitanClaus Reitan (*1954) is a journalist, author and speaker with focused on politics, society, migration and integration as well as sustainability. For many years, he was editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper DIE FURCHE, the daily Tiroler Tageszeitung, the NEWS Magazine, founding chief editor of „Österreich“. Reitan was co-founder of the new Austrian Presserat for the association of the chief editors. He is co-editor of the manual “Practical Journalism”, active in education and training for journalism, and initiated the seminar series “Escape, Migration and Integration” in cooperation with the Austrian Journalism Academy. Most recently, he published books such as “Society in Change – Change of perspective for Austria” (2014) and “The New Migration of Migrants” (2016).

Jochen Ressel
(*1972) is an entrepreneur, editor and event organizer. He leads the “Senate of the Economy”, a non-partisan, economic-political organization, which is striving for an ecosocial market economy and publishes the business magazine SENATE. He regularly organizes events on various topics with leading personalities from business, politics, science and culture, moderating talks, business congresses and award ceremonies.


Sabine Riedel (*1956) is a professor of political science at the University of Magdeburg with a focus on regional and inter-state conflicts in Europe, human rights and the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. She deals with democracies in social change and intercultural dialogue. Riedel holds a Doctorate in Slavic and Islamic Studies from the University of Bonn and has professorships in Munich and Nancy.



Mitra Shahmoradi (*1955) studied painting in Tehran and Vienna and has since lived as a freelance painter, art educator and author in Austria. She organized numerous exhibitions and artistic events on intercultural and gender-specific topics in Germany and abroad and was honored for her commitment with a professorship. In Fresach she speaks about the “Representation of Love in the Visual Arts of the Orient”.



Bildergebnis für gerhard schweizerGerhard Schweizer (*1940) is a cultural scientist, Islam expert and author of numerous books on the relationship between Orient and Occident. Travels have taken him to the Islamic, Indian and Chinese cultural areas since 1960. The basic theme of his books is the conflict between the Occident and non-European cultures, the topic of Islam takes up a large area. It shows why the Islamic and Occidental worlds are culturally intertwined and why fundamentalism will fail because of its internal contradictions rather than the opposition of its opponents.


portrait-swobodaHannes Swoboda (*1946) was leader of the Austrian Social Democrats in the European Parliament from 1996 to 2014 and President of the European S & D group from 2012-2014. He has served on numerous committees and delegations and was rapporteur with regional focus on South East Europe, Central Asia and Russia. In this role he delivered substantial contributions against political extremism and promoting minorities. His studies and his experience as a member of the Chamber of Labour, the Vienna parliament and as an acting representative of the City Counsil helped to get a firm grasp on social and political issues.


stoisserHans Stoisser (*1962) is an entrepreneur, consultant and author. In the 1980s he worked two and a half years in West Africa. During his post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University he focused on international relations and the increasing interdependence of the world order. After the fall of the Iron Curtain Stoisser accompanied Austrian enterprises ontheir expansion to the Eastern European neighbours. In the 1990s he founded the consulting firm ECOTEC and built infrastructure in many parts of Africa, Palestine and Brazil countries. Since the 2000s he is an external partner of Malik Management in St. Gallen. In 2015 he published his book “The Black Tiger – what we can learn from Africa”, in which he asks Europe to look outwards and discover the Africa of vitality, joy and booming real economy.


Ingrid Thurner (*1954) is a cultural and social anthropologist with a focus on foreign perceptions, mobilities and the media. After studying ethnology, she curated numerous exhibitions for various museums with a focus on Africa and the Middle East and worked as a cultural mediator for various tour operators in product management. Her experiences and perceptions were published in feature, scientific articles and essays.


René Waclavicek (*1976) is a partner at LIQUIFER Systems Group and has been working as a designer for space exploration research for more than 10 years. His main work is the design of Mars and Moon habitats, or in the design of spatial concepts for a life in weightlessness. René Waclavicek is currently working on 3D printing and Additive Layer Manufacturing techniques for manned planetary base stations beyond our Earth’s horizon.



Philipp Wehrli (*1975) is a physicist, pedagogue and board member of the “Skeptiker Schweiz”. He became known to a wider audience with his book “The Universe, the I and the Good God”. Using sophisticated magic, he demonstrates how the universe could have come out of nowhere.




yildizŞerafettin Yıldız (*1953) is a writer and translator with Turkish origins and lives  in Vienna since 1978, where he among others has worked as a school counselor for immigrants. He has a degree in economics, is a member of the Austrian PEN Club, lecturer, guest speaker and juror at literary competitions. The list of his publications is long, with publications in literary journals and anthologies at home and abroad in Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Germany, Romania, Mexico, Romania, Turkey. For Yıldız the borders of Europe are no longer fasten geographically. “In times of globalization, we need a new language, which could make the sore planet for us mortals to a new, more livable home.”

Gerhard Zeiner (*1963) is Federal Chairman of the Business Forum for Managers (WdF) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SAP Austria. The trained IT-Professional is particularly committed to innovation partnerships and cooperations with universities and technical colleges and advocates more IT training in schools. He started his career in 1989 at Hewlett Packard Austria in the Sales & Marketing Services area, later he was responsible for the entire market presence at CA Leasing.


Michael Zinganel (*1960) works in exhibitions and publications on everyday architecture, security, migration, and tourism as an engine of transnational mobility. He taught at numerous universities and colleges, including in Vienna, Graz, Linz, Lucerne and Zurich. In 2017/18 he is a visiting professor at the Institute for Cultural Analysis at the Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, where he teaches and researches the “cultural history of the hotel in the Alps-Adriatic region”.


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