Topic 2023

Under the title “Growth at the End – What now?” around 35 experts, scientists and economists and their audience are invited to discuss the meaning of growth and its effects on society. The European Tolerance Talks will take place from May 24th to 27th, 2023.

The talks will open this year with a double premiere. The former Council President of the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD), Nikolaus Schneider, will answer questions from ORF journalist Renata Schmidtkunz on Wednesday evening (May 24, 6 p.m.) in Villach. The opening speech in Fresach (May 25, 9 a.m.) will be held by the well-known Austrian author and playwright Marlene Streeruwitz.

Growth towards Incarnation

Climate change and the extinction of species present humanity with enormous challenges if our economic system continues to rely on unbridled growth and extensive exploitation of natural resources. “In the Bible, however, growth is essentially aimed at growth in the sense of becoming human,” explains the chairman of Denk.Raum.Fresach, Superintendent Manfred Sauer. “Right now we should use talents, intellect and emotions to ensure that peace and justice increase, exclusion is avoided and enemy images are dismantled.”

Global redistribution of wealth inevitable

The President of the Club of Rome Austria and the Tolerance Talks, Hannes Swoboda, refers to the irrefutable principle that the growth of all of us can only be sustainable and healthy if everyone benefits from it. Peace and prosperity in Europe, but also worldwide, are only possible if resources are distributed justly and fairly. Without redistribution of the wealth accumulated in the West at the expense of third parties, it will not work.

Diverse program

In 2023, the organization team was again able to attract a number of exciting thinkers, including bestselling author Franz Alt, climate protection activist Lena Schilling, Africa incubator Tara Méité and public welfare expert Christian Felber as well as the researcher of meaning and values Paul M. Zulehner for the Europaforum on May 25.

The Frankfurt capitalism historian Werner Plumpe, the financial investor Hans Albrecht, the globalization expert Franz Josef Radermacher, management coach Ruth Seliger, sustainability researcher Christina Ax and the internationally renowned energy expert Georg Brasseur will speak at the Wirtschaftsform on May 26th.

Other highlights include the presentation of the European Tolerance Prize on Thursday in Fresach and the poetry slam on Friday evening. A tolerance breakfast will conclude on Saturday, May 27th. There is also a special exhibition on the subject of GROWTH in the Evangelisches Museum.


May 24, 2023: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Ethics Forum Villach
May 25, 2023: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Europaforum Fresach. 18.30: Tolerance award ceremony
May 26, 2023: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Fresach Business Forum. 6:30 p.m.: Poetry Slam
May 27, 2023: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Gasthaus Zum Wirt, Fresach: Tolerance breakfast

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