Exodus – Leaving the familiar

Why we should see climate change and migration as opportunities.

The radical changes in economy and environment are forcing people to rethink their proven ways of life and behavior. Large cities as well as rural regions are affected by climate change, with serious consequences for the entire food and energy production. The industrialized world is upside down, and once again man has to ask himself how he can cope with the progressive destruction of his own livelihood.

Politics and society, Europe and its member states will be dealing with two very large issues in the coming years – namely climate change and migration. Both contain sufficient explosives for new conflicts, but also incredible opportunities for a radical rethinking of our society based on industry and prosperity. New ideas, concepts and political approaches are required. We need these for reshaping Europe, but also for our relations with those neighbors who are affected by exploitation and war.

The European Tolerance Talks 2020 are devoted to a well-known biblical motif, the exodus, and this is meant to be positive and future-oriented. For the Israelites, moving out of Egypt was shaking off slavery and breaking into a new future. That is exactly what we intend, for Europe, for the democratic world, what we have to do, because nothing is worse than staying in the familiar fearing changes.

This year’s tolerance talks will take place in the Pentecost week – at the same time as the Austrian “Städtetag” 27 to 30 May 2020. That is also the reason why some events take place differently than usual – at the Villach University of Applied Sciences – the Scholars‘ forum and the Tourism forum on Wednesday May 27. For this many thanks to the co-organizers and partners from the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences! Both events will address the question “People & Environment – Who needs whom” and get to the bottom of the “Utopia of Travel” and the “Adventure Earth”.

The general topic “Exodus – Leaving the Familiar” will be scrutinized on May 28 in the Tolerance Forum with lectures, discussions and panels at the Tolerance Museum Fresach. The “Citizens’ Dialogue” on the Museum Square is supposed to produce real results again, which are recorded in the “Fresach Charter”. The 2020 Tolerance Award, readings, concerts and “Kuchl-Kamin” talks in private houses round off the second day in the evening.

The Economic forum on Friday, May 29, deals with the question of how a “restart” could be achieved, specifically by using examples such as automotive industry, fairer taxes or agriculture. A literary excursion around lunchtime should inspire creativity. The evening is devoted to the traditional Poetry slam with the theme “My Way Out” this time, and the Tolerance breakfast (Poets’ forum) on Saturday May 30 offers another opportunity to exchange opinions with the authors present. The organizers are looking forward to lively participation. Tickets can already be ordered. (ws)

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