4 October 2022

European Forum Alpbach discusses the Future of Europe… and philanthropy is part of it

“Since 1947, Alpbach is not only a conference; it is what you make of it”.

From 21 August to 2 September 2022, the Austrian city of Alpbach gathered almost 3,800 participants from around 100 nations, including Nobel Prize winners and policymakers, to discuss innovative proposals for a New Europe, organised around the five themes of Security, Finance, Democracy & the Rule of Law, and Climate. For the first time, Philea actively participated in the Forum and contributed opinions on the Future of Europe.

A workshop, co-hosted by Philea on 30 August entitled “Funding ideas with long-term impact,” focused on innovative approaches to supporting cultural, social, and economic transitions. The main takeaway was the need to look towards a vision for the future without taking too pessimist an approach, and to introduce new innovative and transformative practices.

The event took place at a crucial moment. As war is now raging on European soil, philanthropy needs to adapt to the new reality and redefine its potential role and impact. Multiple paradigms have been questioned lately, including the ways democracies work and civic participation is organised. “The role of Philea and philanthropy is to trigger disrupting solutions by asking the right questions’’, said Philea’s Vice President Carola Carazzone, who kicked off the conversation on innovative funding practices.

Carola also stressed the innovative role of philanthropy during a panel on new ways to finance climate initiatives. Europe has the opportunity and the responsibility to become a real leader when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, and philanthropy needs to play a role in this via initiatives such as the European Philanthropy Coalition for the Climate.

Hanna Surmatz, Head of Policy of Philea, also contributed to the “Democracy and rule of law” panel, as part of the civic space track. More than 30 civil society experts gathered during this session to discuss an EU strategy to protect European civil society space.

This year’s edition of the European Forum Alpbach was also an occasion to discuss innovative ideas coming from younger generations. The forum connected participants from different regions and contexts, giving them the chance to discuss innovative solutions to tackle the crises Europe is facing.

Find out more about the 2022 edition of the European Forum Alpbach.


Hanna Surmatz
Head of Policy