The Board of Trustees (Think.Tank.Fresach) introduced the program of European Tolerance Talks 2016 last week. Chaired by President Hannes Swoboda, the 15-member panel decided on July 9th in Villach to extend the talks for a further day and start on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. The general theme “The borders of Europe – Human Rights and the Consequences of Climate Change” shall be treated in terms of global change as well as for the Alps-Adriatic-Danube region. 

The program 2016 will be extended by one day in order to give space to the “Poets’ Dialogue”. Top representatives from the environmental policy, the steel industry as well as climate researchers should be won this time for the opening. PEN President Helmuth A. Niederle will also invite authors, thinkers and writers from all over the Alps-Adria-Danube Region. Climate change should not be discussed only ecologically and economically, but also sociologically and politically, he said. 

DRF President Swoboda set the lines in Villach. Poets and thinkers are invited to discuss economic concepts and recipes together with environmental scientists and leaders from business and industry: 

• Causes of Migration (fighting)
• Examples of positive Approach (identify)
• Social Commitments (document)

In 2016 the organizers also plan to synchronize the annual exhibition in the new museum with the annual theme of the tolerance talks. As part of the upcoming exhibition they will document the Fresach Writers’ Meetings, which took place for 22 years in the small mountain village. In addition the archives of the Themessl family in Fresach and of the former President of the Writers’ Union, Prof. Walther Nowotny, will be scientifically and historically analyzed. 

Open Stammtisch in Fresach on 21 September
Finally, an open Round Table with Hannes Swoboda and the Fresach Team was agreed at the Gasthof Wirt in Fresach on 21 September 2015. At 5 p.m. mayors, councilors and school principals of the region will be invited, from 7 p.m. on the public debate on the tolerance talks 2016 will start, aimed to reduce possible inhibitions and discuss the plans for 2016 with interested locals.

Participants of the board meeting in alphabetical order
Irmgard Bohunovsky, publicist, gallery owner
Carmen Kassekert, Poetry Slam Organization
Waltraud hunters, ORF Carinthia
Nikolaus Lanner, President of Europahaus
Peter Nageler, nonconform
Helmuth A. Niederle, PEN President
Manfred Sauer, Superintendent Carinthia
Hilde Schaumberger, Evang. Diocesan Museum GmbH
Albrecht Seyfried, Evang. Diocesan Museum GmbH
Wilfried Seywald, Temmel, Seywald & Partner
Gert Christian Sturm, Cultural Department Villach
Hannes Swoboda, President Board of Trustees
Helli Thelesklaf, Superintendialkuratorin
Mathias Themessl, climatologist from Fresach
Mario Waste, Cultural Department Kärnten
Sigrid Wohlmuth, director primary school Fresach

Excused: Peter Allmeier (Catholic Church), Martin Hitz (Alps-Adria University Klagenfurt), Roland Gruber (nonconform), Maria Wilhelmer (Millstatter See Tourism).

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