Introduction to blockchain technology
The Austrian Blockchain Center is the world’s largest competence center for cryptoeconomics. Headed by WU Professor Alfred Taudes, it was established to help further the scientific development of blockchain-based applications. As there is currently a great deal of interest in these technologies, WU researchers presented the results of their work at 2 conferences in 2019.
Blockchain Summit Austria 2019
The 2-day Blockchain Summit Austria was a perfect opportunity for the Austrian Blockchain Center to present its research program. Part of the conference program was dedicated to the application of research-based solutions to real-life business problems. More than 80 national and international speakers analyzed the potential and possible areas of application of blockchain technology, and explained how this technology can help us to face the various social and economic challenges of our time. In addition, selected Austrian and international companies, start-ups, projects, and pioneers introduced themselves at the conference.
The event, organized by the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at WU and the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development Vienna, aimed to explore the benefits of blockchain technology for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Under the title “Programming a Sustainable World,” pioneers from the fields of sustainability and blockchain technology met for interdisciplinary discourse. International speakers reported on their experiences in talks such as “Local Currencies,” “Supply Chain Transparency,” “Governance, Accountability, Transparency,” and “The Power of Incentives, Purpose-Driven Tokens.” In the concluding workshop, representatives from the World Bank, UNIDO, GIZ Blockchain Lab, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, and start-ups met to draft concepts for a project to measure the impact of decentralized energy markets in a more efficient, transparent way.
WU at Forum Alpbach
Every year in August, the small Tyrolean town of Alpbach becomes a hotspot for well-known personalities and experts from the fields of politics, business, economics, science, and culture. In 2019, the theme of the European Forum Alpbach was “Liberty and Security.” Like every year, numerous members of the WU community attended the Forum to contribute their expertise to the discussion.
In cooperation with the Forum Alpbach Network Board, WU invited scholarship recipients and other interested parties to the “festival of radically awesome new stuff” (FRANS) on August 28. FRANS is a platform for people committed to ideas, visions, projects, or initiatives that address social issues in progressive, international, solution-oriented, and cooperative ways. The event offered participants the opportunity to exchange thoughts, present their ideas, receive feedback, and find support. At the final “Huge stage of ideas” event, the best 6 projects were then presented to a wider audience. WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger gave the Audience Award to the best initiative.
Before returning to Vienna, Rector Hanappi-Egger and Stephan Kardos from the WU Entrepreneurship Center held a talk entitled “Teaching 21st century skills – back to the roots?” in which they discussed the skills and competences needed to be successful in the 21st century and how to best impart them to young people.
Continuing education for supervisory board Members
At WU, we have a wide range of business and legal expertise, which we applied when organizing the Supervisory Board Day. Over 250 supervisory board members and experts accepted our invitation and discussed what it takes for companies to stay successful in the long term in today’s world of ever-faster market and technology development.
Strategy for turbulent times
The Vienna Strategy Summit is a conference for strategic management and innovation and is unique in the German-speaking world. The Summit bridges practice and research and offers an exclusive, high-quality platform for the exchange of opinions and ideas between leading academics and top decision-makers from the business world on the essential questions companies are facing for the future. The 5th annual Summit was held at WU in 2019. The wide range of topics was particularly well received by attendees, who took home plenty of food for thought for their own work.
“ChangeEDucation” was the motto of the 6th WU Vienna Sustainable Transformation Day. All WU faculty, students, and staff were invited to come and discuss sustainable education with WU’s Environmental Management Team, student organizations, and the faculty and staff of the Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR).
In the Forum of the Library & Learning Center, 15 nonprofit and student organizations presented their work in the field of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Fireside talks gave attendees the opportunity to talk with representatives of the institutions face to face.
The event concluded with a panel discussion featuring Viola Christian (Ban Ki-moon Center for Global Citizens), Jesus Crespo Cuaresma (head of the WU Institute for Macroeconomics), Gillian Joanne Foster (researcher and former eDeveloper at the WU Institute for Ecological Economics), Benjamin Seyer (student, environmental office of the ÖH WU Students’ Union), and Johanna Warm (Teaching and Learning Development office, WU) focusing on the topic “Education 2030 – Achieving the SDG4 in- and outside the university campus.”