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About the conference

Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter

The Initiative Growth in Transition can look back on more than ten years of successful work and the organisation of three international conferences.

In 2018 the Initiative Growth in Transition organised its fourth international conference, entitled ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter’, on 14 – 15 November 2018 at the Austria Center Vienna.

During the two-day event, plenary and parallel sessions featured inspiring speakers from politics, science, civil-society and the private sector. Participatory conference Formats enabled a dialogue between relevant stakeholders.

With Austria having held the EU Presidency in the second half of the year 2018, the conference reached out to an international audience.


The conference addressed the transformation towards a resilient and sustainable society from very different perspectives.

Conference Topics ranged from social and distributional aspects of a fair society to the role of the financial sector enabling a sustainability transformation. In order to sustain and increase prosperity and quality of life in the long term, we will need economic strategies which use the planet’s resources responsibly.

A special Focus was put on the sustainable management of natural resources use and the mitigation of climate change. What measures need to be taken to achieve decarbonisation and a low-carbon society on the National and European level?

In view of the challenge of a sustainable transformation of society, the role of the media was examined. How can we create an encouraging vision for the future?

The digital revolution has already transformed the world we live in. The question raised at the conference was whether there is a chance of shaping a sustainable digital economy.

Main topics

» The sustainability transformation in Europe

» The role of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

» The societal challenge of climate change and digital economy

» The implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement

» Social and ecological innovation

» The role of business in a low carbon transition

» Circular economy and beyond

About the Initiative Growth in Transition

The Initiative Growth in Transition was launched in 2008 by the Environmental Ministry. It was organised as an interinstitutional stakeholder network and brought together transformation activists and decision makers from politics, public administration, research institutes, enterprises, NGOs, universities, Austrian and European interest groups, business and civil society. The initiative encouraged the dialogue and exchange on growth, prosperity and quality of life in Austria, Europe and worldwide. It provided an international platform addressing questions of growth and an alternative, sustainable economy.

The conference ‘Europe`s Transformation: Where People Matter’ was jointly organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (MoE) and the Environmental Agency Austria (EAA), with support from more than 30 stakeholder organisations.

Read more: https://www.growthintransition.eu/

The Austrian EU-Presidency

Austria was holding the EU Presidency in the second half of the year 2018 and the conference was part of the official Presidency programme. The Trio-Presidency consisted of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria. The three countries had jointly decided to put its main focus on eco-innovation. Thus, this conference examined the leverage effect of innovation to the societal transformation process.

Pre-Conference „Science in Transition“

Tuesday, 13 November 2018, 9:15 – 18:00
Austria Center Vienna, Bruno-Kreisksy-Platz 1, 1220 Wien

This conference emphazised the necessity of a transformation in the knowledge system and took place (in German language) as a pre-conference to „Growth in Transiton 4th International Conference“.

More information here

Organized by Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria in cooperation with ÖFSE, Runder Tisch Hochschulbildung Global, OeAD und FHK.