On the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 2012, the Network of European Foundations (NEF) wanted to contribute to ways forward of and within the European Union. It convened, in an era of crisis, seemingly unlikely allies who could play an important role towards bold decision-making, robust social peace, and thriving communal, civic, and economic life in Europe. A total of 50 opinion-shapers within the political world of the EU together with innovators from the realms of the sciences and technology, architecture and design, culture and the performing arts and modern-day political mobilization were invited to the Benedictine Altenburg Abbey in Austria - a inspiring location in the heart of Europe - to join an open yet discrete dialogue. There were no speeches, no powerpoints and no panel discussions. A space was created for a stimulating, interdisciplinary exploration of our common and desired future. shiftN’s Philippe Vandenbroeck was part of a core team of facilitators led by Angela Wilkinson, Head of Futures at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University.
The Network of European Foundations has now published a report that captures the richness of the seeds for the renewal of Europe that have been planted during those days.