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Mission

A new LAB initiated by the Austrian government and organized by the New Vienna Congress Foundation explores tools and strategies to re-strengthen the European practice of consensus making. 50 European pioneers from the fields of politics, business, science, art, religion, and civil society, develop and test methods of consensus-oriented decision-making and co-author elements for a new European narrative.

Why

In today’s Europe, consensus building has become increasingly difficult and ineffective. Lack of alignment is damaging European leadership and diminishing our capacity to solve tough and complex problems.

What’s different

For the first time in European policy- making, the New Vienna Congress LAB will apply decision-making tools that have proven effective in engineering, design, business, urban planning and other arenas.

Who we want to reach

Everybody who is interested in a thriving, resilient and purpose-driven Europe: pioneers, change makers, social entrepreneurs, and decision- makers in government, business and the social sector – the next generation of Europeans.

The urgency for a new initiative

Lack of alignment is damaging European leadership and
the capacity to solve tough and complex problems.

Europe stands at a critical crossroad. With the economic crisis of 2008, Europe entered a new historical period of economic, societal and psychological instability. As with all such transformations, these profound challenges are accompanied by political and societal incoherence, status anxiety, and the loss of shared purpose and orientation.

With incoherence comes conflict, and with conflict comes dysfunctional behavior. The Greek debt crunch and the confused handling of the migration crisis uncovered severe divides among European cultural, economic and political elites and in the public. The European Union suffered a severe blow. Europe’s cultural and economic identity – not for the first time in its history – is losing its contours.

The unity of goals, purpose and effort, built over decades, appears to be severely damaged.

As history demonstrates clearly, building new fences, re-nationalization, and economic fundamentalism will not solve the challenges of the digital revolution, will not solve the wars that are waging on the outskirts of Europe, and will not solve the humanitarian catastrophe of migration. Archaic rule of the strongest rather than rule of law will not nurture the necessary next step in the economic, social, cultural, ecological and spiritual evolution of the continent.

Continuing today’s bleak status quo is no option. This crisis requires alternative approaches that are concrete and broadly accessible, that help build a fundamentally different future for Europe’s many constituencies.