Hybrid Habitat @ European Forum Alpbach

Trust and security are becoming increasingly important for people in our globalized world.

Globalization does not only take place “outside”; our own personal environment is also being globalized, with our real surroundings being expanded by virtual Internet space.

How do we live in this new habitat, how is it defined and how can we feel comfortable in it?

Can virtual space offer security and trust that can be transferred to our real environment, or is it necessary for our real space to become a new protective zone for enabling us to move within the virtual space?

Will human beings carry on adapting to communications technologies or will there be a new trend towards more humane technologies that give people security?

Will there be a new “digital gap”?

Who will remain behind?

Lecture Hybrid Habitat @ European Forum Alpbach, Technology Forum, Security in a Globalized World, Alpbach, Austria, 25 August 2006



Helmut Leopold, Introduction
chair, head of Safety & Security Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmBh, Vienna
Georges Roos, The Virtual Room becomes Home – Two Paradoxes
founder, Roos Office for Cultural Innovation Trends & Futures; founder of International Futurist Conference Lucern

Melissa Fleming, Nuclear Habitat
spokesperson International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna

Johann Cas, Reassuring Habitats – Rearrested inhabitants?
senior researcher at the Institute of Technology Assessment, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

Prof. Frans Vogelaar, Hybrid Habitat
partner Hybrid Space Lab, Amsterdam; Professor for Hybrid Space, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne

Final Statements of the speakers and closing words, Helmut Leopold, Alois Schrems, Telecom Austria AG, Vienna


A Review:


Even our immediate environment is changing and expanding through new technologies. On second glance, mobility, technical development and security are closely connected. New demands on our everyday life and on our environment call for new criteria and requirements for security, which on the one hand must protect and consider the inte­grity of our privacy, and on the other hand has to protect us from personal and bodily harm. The tasks of all those who shape our environment have to be adapted according to the changing conditions of life and our everyday situations. As long as technological development is guided by people’s demands and human beings are not driven by tech­nology, feelings of insecurity will not arise. Those who are opposed to new technologies do not enhance security by their opposition, neither for themselves nor for others.

On the contrary, modern technologies provide for the utmost security.
Politics, industry and science must therefore strive together to create the framework conditions necessary so that people can and want to accept new technologies. For this it will be of utmost importance to heighten awareness and provide information, so that ultimately basic confidence that will lead to security in our various life situations and environments can be built. As mentioned in the introduction, the working group „The Reassuring Habitat”, chaired by Helmut Leopold, Head of Technology at Telekom Austria, dealt with the yearning for more security in our ever more complex, globalized world and with innovative approaches to provide it. Confidence and security are increasingly gaining importance for people in our globalized world.

This is because globalization does not only take place “outside”. Our personal environ­ment is being globalized, too — our real living space is being expanded by virtual space. The speakers invited were: Melissa Fleming, Spokesperson of the International Atomic Energy Organization IAEA; Johann Cas, Head of the Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; Georges Roos, Swiss researcher on future; and Frans Vogelaar, Professor for Hybrid Space (shaping space through media) at the Aca­demy of Media Arts, Cologne. They treated the topic from four very different angles. Melissa Fleming built a bridge between our everyday fear of the atomic threat caused by the uncontrolled and uncontrollable use of nuclear resources and responsible communications. Fleming mentions the use of radioactivity in cancer therapy as one example of a positive application of radioactivity.

Highly developed technologies enable mankind to handle risk management even in such sensitive areas as atomic energy; however, they can only support and are no substitute for the responsible behaviour of countries. In Fleming‘s opinion, countries that consciously control atomic energy are far less of a threat than many other dangers we have to deal with every day.

The statement by Georges T. Roos shows that people have become more mobile. Para­doxically this has happened through technologies that have brought down the necessity of physical mobility to almost zero. From shopping to entertainment, from communica­tions to teleworking we can do everything by using technologies such as the Internet.

A second paradox arises from answering the question whether we will really use all this one day. In this context Roos cites the well-known science-fiction author Douglas Adams (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”): “Technology is our word for stuff that doesn’t work yet”. As soon as technologies function perfectly and without reason for complaints, we no longer waste time thinking about what is behind a gadget or a ser­vice that works by just pushing a button. It becomes ordinary. Ordinary things become familiar, and familiarity conveys security.

Johann Cas, in his role as chairman of a European project on security research, demonstrated that ubiquitous IT is invisibly integrated into our working and everyday environments. Inhabitants of intelligent environments can be constantly guarded and looked after. The price for this is bound to be lost privacy. In the long term this is a very high price to pay because privacy is the basis for human dignity, freedom and democratic development.

Can technology be the answer to the increasing demand for enhanced security? Do people have to adapt to new technologies and the changes triggered by them or is it the other way around? It is imperative to apply technologies that are increasingly being used for supervising and controlling citizens responsibly and carefully in order to prevent people from being at the mercy of technologies or from becoming prisoners of certain interest groups. Cas cautioned, however, that 90% security means the loss of freedom, whereas 100% security means the loss of life.

Modern architecture not only implies built, real areas but also un-built areas as well as digital and media spaces. Frans Vogelaar called on us to “inhabit” technology, to use it and thereby fill it with life. “Today’s spaces are built by bricks and bits.” He put forward a daring idea: to substitute voting rights by transmitting rights. We no longer live in a static world but in a permanent process, a communications process, for which architects design a form of networks by using new technologies.

In his résumé, Helmut Leopold summarized the wide range of statements given and the overall discussion.
The people of today and tomorrow are constantly in motion and they have networks for that. The more complex the requirements and the technologies become, the more people demand simplicity in their applications. As users we produce data shadows and leave unintended traces within the systems. Therefore we increasingly want to have rules and principles in order to be able to us technologies safely. Technologies will lead us to a better future step by step if we find a way to show social responsibility. Not only enterprises can do that for us but also nations and every single one of us — and therefore society as a whole.

Leopold Helmut, Head, Platform and Technology Management, Telekom Austria AG, Vienna, Chairman
Cas Johann, Scientist, Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Fleming Melissa, Spokesperson, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna
Roos Georges T, Founder and Director, ROOS Bureau for Cultural Innovation; Founder, European Futurists Conference, Lucerne
Vogelaar Frans, Architect; Professor for Hybrid Space at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne
Schrems Alois, Telekom Austria AG, Vienna, Assistant

2006 Technology Forum

Complexity, Convergence, Certainty

The Process from Science to Technology

Alpbach, Tyrol, Austria, August 24 – 26, 2006,

Austrian Broadcasting Corporation – Programme Osterreich 1
Austrian Research Centers GmbH – ARC
Federation of Austrian Industry
in cooperation with
Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture Federal Ministry for Economics and Labour
Die Presse

Alpbach — a village of thinkers
Foreword by the organizers

Plenary sessions
Résumé of the Working Groups:
Science and technology in sport: challenge for industry and benefit for people
Technology transfer: the motor for developing locations
Convergence and complexity in technology
Convergence and excellence in science
Innovative telematics systems in intermodal transport
Changes in technology and natural sciences is our tertiary education system still up to date?
High-performance materials from nature as an opportunity for economic growth
The Reassuring Habitat
Energy security — the case hydro carbons


Alpbach — a village of thinkers

In August 1945, Otto Molden and Professor Simon Moser organized the first internation­al university weeks in Alpbach after World War II. Ever since then, the European Forum Alpbach has been held every year in August, organized by the Austrian College (renamed in 2003 – “Europaisches Forum Alpbach”).

For decades, leading personalities from the fields of science, business, the arts and politics have been attracted by the atmosphere of a free intellectual community set in the ambience of the Alpbach valley. These personalities include Ernst Bloch, James Buchanan, Ralf Dahrendorf, Gottfried von Einem, Friedrich August von Hayek, Cardinal Franz Konig, Konrad Lorenz, Karl Raimund Popper, Erwin Schrodinger, Fritz Wotruba, Indira Gandhi, Jacques Delors, Yitzhak Rabin, Bruno Kreisky, and many others.

The writer Alma Holgersen lived in Alpbach for many years. Arthur Koestler built the “Schreiberhausl” (“writer’s house”) here. The painter Werner Scholz lived and worked in Alpbach from 1939 until his death in 1982. And Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrodinger lies buried in the village cemetery.

Alpbach is a mountain village in the Tyrol with 2,300 residents and accommodation for as many guests and lies on a sunny plateau in the Alpbach valley at an elevation of 1,000m above sea level. Thanks to its remote location, it developed a unique architec­tural and residential style as well as deeply rooted traditions, which have survived to the present day. Alpbach is a haven of tranquility in the mountains, set apart from the noise of everyday life and yet filled with variety. The accolades it has received speak for themselves: “Most Beautiful Village in Austria”, and “Most Beautiful Flower Village in Europe”. In June 1985, Alpbach received the European flag from the European Council in Strasbourg in recognition of its efforts to promote the European philosophy.


Foreword by the organizers
2006 Alpbach Technology Forum: „Complexity, Convergence, Certainty — The Process from Science to Technology”

Two years ago, we started an experiment: We realized that to summarize a confe­rence as diverse as the Alpbach Technology Forum is totally impossible and also not necessary: a lot of the material presented during the conference can be found on the internet and most participants had access to manuscripts and presentations used by the speakers at the Alpbach Technology Forum.

When we came up with the idea of making a DVD of the Alpbach Technology Forum, we first considered this as promotional material for the conference; however, we realized after the second edition and now – with the third edition that you have in your hands we are convinced about this – that pictures, short interviews and this accompa­nying booklet are, at least to some degree, able to create an “Alpbach Revisited”. And for those who have not yet been to Alpbach it will hopefully create interest to join us next year.

2006 again took on themes which were discussed in previous sessions but also ex­plored new grounds: “The competition for talent” and best practice models for science and research are certainly topics which will stay with us forever in an ever-changing environment. Ideas and strategies used ten years ago are no longer relevant, especially taking into account developments in India and China.

For the first time in 2006 the Alpbach Technology Forum hosted a large Chinese delegation, thus confirming the fact that China has entered the global scene in science and technology, too.

Another major topic was the question of our “Origins”, brilliantly dealt with by two scientists from the Weizmann Institute in Israel. The purpose of our existence was discussed by the Cardinal from Vienna, Christoph Schonborn. Both – science and religion – seem to become determining factors for our societies.

An unusual event – which cannot and will not be repeated – was the Gilbert & Sullivan mini opera “Atom and Eve”, starred by Frank Wilczek, the Nobel Laureate for Physics

who also gave the closing lecture at the 2006 Alpbach Technology Forum. The “lib­retto” was scientific; the leading baritone was a Nobel Laureate. A packed house was – rightly – the reward for Frank Wilczek.

“Energy and the security of energy supply” was another subject taken up again in 2006. In 2005 the emphasis was on “Electricity”, this time it was “Hydrocarbons”.

A fascinating discussion dealt with science and democracy and how democracy can “forbid” or “allow” the use of science.

This DVD is made possible through the support of our sponsor “Telekom Austria”. Telekom Austria has also provided a “digital documentation” of all the plenary sessions and many of the working groups of the 2006 Alpbach Technology Forum. These can be accessed via the internet on www.alpbach.org, clicking on to the “Streaming Portal” of Telekom Austria and then scrolling down to the topic or session of interest.

The Alpbach Technology Forum is a result of the joint efforts of Austrian Public Radio, Austrian Research Centers Seibersdorf and the Federation of Austrian Industry. Generous support is provided by our partners and sponsors. The day-to-day work is done on a pro bono basis by the staff of the three organizations of the Technology.

Forum on top of their normal duties. Without the diligence and initiatives of Ms. Bienen­stein, Ms. Henke and Ms. Klement the Alpbach Technology Forum would not take place.
Gunter Hillebrand
Thomas Oliva
Martin Bernhofer, Director of Science, Education and Society Department, ORF Radio (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), co-organiser of the Alpbach Technology Forum
Giinter Hillebrand, Co-organiser of the Alpbach Technology Forum, Austrian Research Centers, Member of the Board of the European Forum Alpbach
Thomas Oliva, Managing Director of the Federation of Austrian Industry, Vienna Division, Member of the Council and Board of the European Forum Alpbach


Programme: Thursday, August 24, 2006

10.00 Technology brunch sponsored by Tiroler Zukunftsstiftung, Hotel Alphof
11.00 Presentation CD-Laboratory „Biomechanics in skiing” Hotel Boglerhof, Fichtesaal
13.00 Plenary session
Presentation: Michael Fleischhacker, Editor-in-Chief, Die Presse, Vienna


Welcome by the organizers

Erich Gornik, Vice President of the European Forum Alpbach, Vienna


Welcome statements:

Elisabeth Gehrer, Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture, Vienna
Eduard Mainoni, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Vienna


14.00    Plenary session

Daniel Zajfman, Department of Particle Physics; President Designate, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, “The Universe”
Doron Lancet, Ralph D. and Lois R. Silver Professor of Human Genomics; Head, The Crown Human Genome Center, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, “Life”

15.30    Presentation:
Wolfgang Schurer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MS Management Service AG, St. Gallen


Competition for talent
16.00    Plenary session

Claire Gmachl, Associate Professor Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, New Jersey
Andrew Herbert, Managing Director, Microsoft Research, Cambridge
Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, and College de France, Paris
Krishna Nathan, Vice President, Technology, IBM Corporation, New York
Josef Penninger, Institute of Molecular Biology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Jaswant Singh, Former Foreign Minister of India, Member of Parliament; Leader of Opposition Rajya Sabha, New Delhi


Research at the cutting edge
19.00    Plenary session

Presentation: Joachim Treusch, Chairman of the Board, Research Center Mich GmbH, Germany
Sir David P. Lane, Executive Director, IMCB Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore


Science and research models and best practice
20.15    Plenary session

Werner Arber, Nobel Prize Laureate for Medicine, Division of Molecular Biology, Biocenter, University of Basel
Bernard Meunier, Member of the French Academy of Sciences; Director General, PALUMED, Labege cedex
Peter Schuster, Head, Department of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Vienna; President Designate, Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Joachim Treusch, Chairman of the Board, Research Center JOlich GmbH, Germany
Gunter Paul Wagner, Chair, Alison Richard Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven
Yuan Wang, Director, National Research Center for Science and Technology for Development, Beijing


Programme: Friday, August 25, 2006

09.00    Beginning of the working groups and of Junior Alpbach
12.30    Lunch snacks for the working group participants
15.00    End of the working groups


Convergence and complexity in science and technology
16.00    Plenary session

Presentation: Knut Consemaller, Member of the Board, Boehler-Uddeholm AG; Chairman of the Council on Research and Technological Development of the Austrian Federal Government, Vienna

Daniel Andler, Universite de Paris-Sorbonne; Ecole normale superieure, Paris
David A. Lane, Department of Social, Cognitive and Quantitative Science, Universite di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy
Frank Schweitzer, Professor for Systems Design and Associated Member of the Department of Physics, ETH Swiss Federate Institute of Technology, Zurich
Stefan Thurner, Complex Systems Research Group, HNO, Medical University of Vienna


Faith and science
17.15    Plenary session

Presentation: Knut Consemdller, Member of the Board, Boehler-Uddeholm AG; Chairman of the Council on Research and Technological Development of the Austrian Federal Government, Vienna

Christoph Schonbom, Cardinal and Archbishop of Vienna


Atom and Eve — an Alpbach miniopera
19.00    Plenary session

Pianist: Paul Lugger, Student, Conservatory Innsbruck
Narrator: Marc Abrahams, Editor, AIR Annals of Improbable Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Eve: Diane Shooman, Artist, Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, Vienna
Atom: Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics, Center for Theoretical Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge


Programme: Saturday, August 26, 2006

Presentation of this day:
Gisela Hopfmdller-Hlavac, Head of the „Bildung and Zeitgeschehen” Department, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Vienna


Energy and security
09.00    Plenary session

Johannes Benigni, Managing Director, PVM Oil Associates GmbH, Vienna
Franklin M. Orr; Jr., GCEP Global Climate and Energy Project Director, Stanford University, California
Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, Director General and Chairman of the Board, OMV AG, Vienna


Alpbach 2006 — Resume Junior Alpbach
Kathryn List, Vice President of the European Forum Alpbach
together with the participants of Junior Alpbach


Science and democracy
11.00    Plenary session

Justine Burley, Adjunct Associate Professor, Graduate School for the Integrative Sciences and Engineering, National University of Singapore
Alan Colman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, ES Cell International Pte. Ltd., Singapore
Caspar Einem, Member of the Austrian National Parliament, Vienna
Sharon Harari, Head and Founder, Family Resource Center, Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department, Sheba Medical Center, Israel
Markus Hengstschlager, Head, Department of Medical Genetics, University Clinic of Gynaecology, Medical University of Vienna — AKH, Vienna
Dieter Schweizer, Director, Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Rainer J. Schweizer, Professor for Public Law, European and International Law, University of St. Gallen


The universe is a strange place
12.30    Plenary session

Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics, Center for Theoretical Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

13.30    End of the Forum

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