Adnan Alijagic (*1983) has been managing director and coordinator of the association Zentralraum Kärnten Plus since 2021 developing Austria’s first “EU metropolitan region” between Klagenfurt, Villach, St. Veit and Feldkirchen. After studying history and law at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz, the native Bosnian worked as a project manager and managing director in several municipal companies and in the Carinthian Economic Development Fund.
Yuri Andrukhovych (*1960) is a writer, poet, essayist and translator from Stanislav in western Ukraine. He is considered one of the most important intellectual voices in his country and published in many languages. His extensive work includes volumes of poetry, short stories, novels and essays on the political situation in his home country Ukraine and Europe, including “Twelve Rings” (German 2005), “Moscoviada” (2006) and “The Favorites of Justice” (2020). He has received numerous awards for this, including the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding, the Hannah Arendt Prize and the Goethe Medal. The novel “Radio Nacht” will be published by Suhrkamp in autumn 2022.
Ulrike E. Auga (*1964) is Professor of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She was awarded the Käthe-Leichter-Prize from the University of Vienna and the Mary-Douglas-Prize from the University of Lausanne, taught and researched as a visiting professor at Columbia University New York, at the United Nations University in Rejkjavik, at PLUS Salzburg and is a CTI Fellow at Princeton. She is President of the International Association for the Study of Religion and Gender and Co-Editor of the Routledge Critical Studies in Religion, Gender and Sexuality series. Her work has been shaped by living in Johannesburg, Bamako and Jerusalem and her research on South Korea and Japan.
Dietmar Brodel (*1962) is head of the Business and Management School (Dean, School of Management) at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, also consultant and expert in national and international committees on university management and digitization. He has published numerous studies, essays and articles on corporate management topics and got the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver for services to the Republic of Austria.
Claudia Brözel (*1964) is a professor for tourism economics, digital transformation and ethics at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development. In 2019 she initiated the worldwide unique competition Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism, which is based on the 17 sustainability goals of the United Nations and successfully awards and supports innovative social entrepreneurs worldwide. For many years she has been dealing with the question “How does the new come into the world?” and promotes the transformation of the tourismm industry through innovative formats and competitions such as the springboard (VIR).
Renate Ecker (*1973) has been Managing Director of Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus GmbH since 2010. Previously, she was managing director of the Hochkönig tourism region, in the management of Ski amadé, at Porsche Austria and at Salzburger Land Tourismus GmbH. Before entering tourism management, she completed a tourism school and then studied journalism and business administration.
Jaron Engelmayer (*1976) has been Chief Rabbi of the IKG Vienna since 2020. Born in Zurich, he studied at the Yeshiva University in New York and in Israel, where he also did his military service, later at the Yeshivat Hesder in Ma’ale Adumin and at the College Machon lehoraa Lifshitz in Jerusalem. After his return to Europe he was a teacher at the Lauder-Chorev-Midrasha in Frankfurt, then community rabbi in Aachen and Cologne. From 2008 to 2015 he was also a member of the board and advisory board of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference Germany. From 2015 to 2020 he worked as a community rabbi in Karmiel (Israel).
Heinz Gärtner (*1951) was most recently director of the Austrian Institute for International Politics (OIIP) and lecturer at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Vienna, at the Diplomatic Academy Vienna and at the Danube University Krems. He regularly gives lectures at American, European and Asian universities and research institutes. His research interests include international security policy, disarmament and arms control.
Cornelius Granig (*1970) is a management consultant and security expert dealing with cyber security, compliance and anti-corruption for many years. Before moving to the consulting industry, he was a board member at banks and insurance companies and the managing director of international technology companies. He is the author of the specialist book “Darknet”, an accredited cyber security expert at Europol and head of a task force at Transparency International. He passes on his knowledge in lectures, technical articles, radio and television.
Hans-Georg Häusel (*1951) is one of the best-known brain researchers and neuromarketing experts in Europe. With the limbic model he developed, his bestsellers “Think Limbic – Understanding the Power of the Unconscious” or “Brain View – Why Customers Buy” about neuropsychological aspects of money and consumer behavior, he revolutionized management thinking. He is a lecturer at the University of Economics in Zurich and advises numerous institutions and companies.
Hubert Hasenauer (*1962) is a trained forester, forest scientist and since 2007 professor for silviculture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Boku) in Vienna. From 2018-2022 he was its rector. He is president of the Austrian-African university network, deputy Chairman of ICA, the Association of European Life Science Universities, and the Austrian Forest Association. In his scientific work he deals with forest management, ecosystem modeling and climate change.
Robert Heuberger (*1972) has been managing director of the nature park management for the Dobratsch and Weißensee nature parks (Carinthia) since 2007, also chairman of the ARGE Naturerlebnis Kärnten, member of the environmental advisory board of the city of Villach and board member of the Bad Bleiberg tourism association. Born in Villach, he studied biology, ecology and philosophy at the University of Vienna.
Ahmad Milad Karimi (*1979) is an Islamic scholar and religious philosopher of Afghan origin. He teaches Kalām, Islamic philosophy and mysticism at the University of Münster and is also active as a Koran translator, poet, publisher and editor of Kalliope, a journal for literature and art. Due to his extraordinary biography and his highly acclaimed media presence, Karimi is now one of the most influential figures in Islam in Germany.
Georg Kaser (*1953) is Professor of Climate and Cryosphere Research and was Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Innsbruck until 2021. For decades he has been dealing with the interaction of glaciers and climate, especially in tropical high mountains. He has been Vice President of the Austrian Research Fund FWF since September 2021, is also a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Chairman of the Commission for Climate and Air Quality. Georg Kaser worked on the 4th and 5th status report of the IPCC and is now also active in the current 6th reporting cycle.
Martin Klemenjak (*1977) is a professor of social work at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and teaches, among other things, adult education, social policy and political participation. He studied pedagogy in the field of adult and vocational education at the University of Klagenfurt. As a founding member of the organizational team of the Carinthian Discussions on Democratic Education, he was awarded the first Barbara Prammer Prize in 2016.
Marlies Krainz-Dürr (*1955) has been rector of the Carinthian University of Education since 2006. Before that she worked at the Inter-University Institute for Research and Further Education (IFF) and at the Institute for Teaching and School Development in teacher training and further education. She is a trained organizational consultant and, after studying German and history in Vienna and teaching at various high schools, did her dissertation at the Institute for Educational Sciences at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.
Andreas N. Ludwig (*1984) is a research associate at the Chair for International Relations at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany) with a focus on foreign policy and European integration and lectures on European policy at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. He studied political science and history in Eichstätt and Rennes (France) and international history at the University of Strasbourg (France) and received his doctorate in international relations.
Robert Menasse (*1954) is a writer, romancier and political essayist. After studying German, philosophy and political science, he taught as a guest lecturer at the Institute for Literary Theory at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). He has been known to a broad public at least since his writings on the inner workings of the European institutions in Brussels. His books “The Capital” (2017) and “Der Europäische Landbote” (2012) are a loving and critical approach to the political system of the European Union.
Georg Michalik (*1966) is an organizational psychologist, transformation and management consultant. After studying in Mannheim and Zurich, he was responsible for personnel and organizational development in well-known companies before devoting himself entirely to the topic of co-creation. With his book “CoCreation: The Power of Common Thinking” he provides a guide for companies on how to discover potential that we didn’t even know we had.
Wolfgang Müller-Funk (*1952) is an essayist, literary and cultural scholar. He teaches at the Universities of Vienna and Klagenfurt as well as at other universities. The essay collections “Complex Austria”, “Beyond Resignation and Nostalgia” and “Theories of the Other” have recently been published. Most recently, he emerged as a vehement critic of Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke, recommending an orderly retreat and the abandonment of untenable lines of defense.
Stefan Nungesser (*1976) holds the professorship and program management for hotel management at the FH Carinthia, study area economy and management, inside. Previously, he was a senior consultant at the TREUGAST Solutions Group in Munich. In addition to advising small and medium-sized hotels, he prepared expert opinions for hotel projects in Germany and abroad. He was also a lecturer at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and is still a trainer for further education courses. The professional focus is on strategic and operational hotel and gastronomy management.
Elisabeth Oberzaucher (*1974) is a behavioral biologist and became known to a broader public through her tv appearances as “Science Buster”. Born in Carinthia from Hermagor, she has been researching and teaching at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna since 2001 and has headed the Urban Human association since 2015. She is primarily concerned with human behavior from an evolutionary point of view, interaction with the environment and questions of communication, attractiveness and choice of partner.
Georg Overs (*1967) has been Managing Director of Region Villach Tourismus GmbH since 2015 and Managing Director of Bike Park Gerlitzen GmbH since 2019. Before that, the tourism graduate was head of Tegernseer Tal Tourismus GmbH and spa director in Bad Tölz. He is a member of the research advisory board DWIF, spokesman for the Federal Association of Austrian Tourism Managers and active in numerous other organizations.
Josef Plank (*1958) is responsible for economic, agricultural and European issues at the Austrian Raiffeisenverband. Before that he was General Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism. He began his career in 1982 as a consultant for cattle and meat marketing in the Lower Austrian Chamber of Agriculture and worked for Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) from 1993, most recently as Chairman of the Board. From 2000-2009 he was provincial councilor in Lower Austria, then managing director of a company for renewable energies. Until 2018 he was Secretary General of the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture.
Sieglinde Rosenberger (*1957) is a political scientist at the University of Vienna with a focus on migration and integration research in the European context. She is particularly committed to new forms of political participation to strengthen democracy and human rights. She has received numerous awards for her work on issues of equality for women and disadvantaged groups in the world of work, most recently the Gold Medal for Services to the State of Vienna.
Ina Schmidt (*1973) runs a practice for applied philosophy in Reinbek near Hamburg. The graduate cultural scientist is a member and lecturer in numerous societies, including the Ethics Network, the Hamburg Literature House, the Körber Foundation, the Liechtenstein Academy and the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. She has published several philosophical non-fiction books and is a sought-after expert and author for philosophical questions of everyday life.
Caroline Schmitt (*1984) has been a university professor at the Institute for Educational Science and Educational Research at the University of Klagenfurt since 2021 and a freelance diversity trainer. She has specialized in migration, solidarity and inclusion issues. She was previously an administration professor at the University of Trier and a research assistant at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
Jürgen Schmude (*1955) was Professor of Economic Geography and Tourism Research at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich until 2021, and also Director of the Department of Geography until 2020. He has been President of the German Society for Tourism Science since 2015 and Scientific Director of the Bavarian Center for Tourism (BZT) since 2019. For his numerous publications he has received the Willy-Scharnow Prize, the ITB Book Award and the ICRET Research Award, among others.
Carola Schneider (*1972) is a radio and television journalist and headed the Austrian Broadcasting office (ORF) in Moscow from 2011 to 2021. After studying interpreting, she started at the ORF regional studio in Vorarlberg in 1996. In 2001 she moved to Paris as a correspondent and from 2003 to Zurich. She writes for daily newspapers and works as a freelance author. In her book “My Russia” (2017) she explains why Russia is so familiar to us and yet so strange and far away.
Rahel M. Schomaker (*1977) holds a professorship for economics and administrative science at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. She researches and publishes on the transformation of organizations in the European administrative area and advises numerous national and international institutions on development, migration and integration issues, including the OECD and the EU. She studied political science and economics at the Universities of Münster and Speyer, where she also habilitated.
Heidi Schrodt (*1950) is chairwoman of the educational initiative “BildungGrenzenlos”. Before that she was a teacher for English and German and for many years director at the Gymnasium Rahlgasse in Vienna, active in teacher training, reviewer of textbooks and initiator of the Austrian Referendum “Bildungsvolksbegehren”. She has authored numerous publications on school topics, including the 2014 book “Very good or not enough. School and Migration in Austria” and received numerous awards, including the Women’s Prize of the City of Vienna and the Gold Medal of Honor of the Republic of Austria.
Roland Stadler (*1968) has been a pilgrim pastor and spokesman for the Pilgrims Network in Austria since 2005 and Head of the Department for “Christian Celebrations and Spirituality” in the Diocese of Gurk since 2018. From 2009 to 2022 he was also chairman of the working group for tourism and leisure pastoral care of the Catholic Church in Austria. He studied Catholic theology in Graz and initially worked in parish pastoral care, then headed the Carinthian tourism pastoral care. He is also a certified mountain hiking guide, author and organizational consultant.
Iris Straßer (*1967) is the initiator and head of the corporate network “Show Responsibility”, which currently connects 80 well-known partners to promote sustainability in business and society in southern Austria. The business economist is an expert in sustainability and CSR, moderator, lecturer and FH lecturer and has many years of experience in the development and implementation of regional and cross-border mentoring projects, especially in the start-up sector. She is on the board of the Economic Forum of Managers in Carinthia and a consultant for the Styrian Sustainability Business Initiative.
Hannes Swoboda (*1946) is President of the Board of Trustees of the European Tolerance Talks. From 1996 to 2014 he was the list leader of the Austrian Social Democrats in the European Parliament, from 2012 President of the European S&D Group. He has served on numerous committees and delegations and, as a rapporteur with a regional focus on Southeast Europe, Central Asia and Russia, has made significant contributions in the fight against political extremism and the promotion of minorities. His economics and law studies and his wide range of experiences as a member of the Vienna Chamber of Labour, the Vienna State Parliament and as a city councilor have contributed to his well-founded understanding of social and political issues.
Peter Vollbrecht (*1953) is an author and specialist in literary and philosophical journeys. He did his doctorate on Hegel and spent five years as a lecturer on German language and culture in New Delhi. He then taught at the Universities of Heidelberg and Bayreuth before founding the Philosophical Forum in Esslingen near Stuttgart in 1997. For many years he has traveled philosophically in Central and Southern Europe, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. For him, traveling is “food for the soul”.
Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik (*1955) has been Professor of Sinology at the University of Vienna since 2002, corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 2011 and member of the Academy Council of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 2022. She studied Sinology, Japanese Studies and Political Science in Bonn, Beijing and Bochum and, after her habilitation in 1989, specialized in Chinese historiography in the 20th century and the politics of the People’s Republic of China. She holds guest professorships in China, the USA, Japan and Hong Kong.
Hannah Widnig (*1997) has been district chairwoman of the Young Economy Villach since 2021. After graduating from the Villach-Warmbad School of Tourism, she joined the Naturel Hotels & Resorts (Seeleitn and Schönleitn am Faker See) as a partner and junior manager, while also completing an international management degree at the Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Graz. She is preparing the opening of the mountain resort DIE KANZLERIN on the Gerlitzen Alpe for summer 2022.



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