Dear Symposium Guest,

on behalf of the Council, a voluntary assembly of distinguished individuals from Austria, we invite your presence to our Symposium ‘Economy in Transition‘. The ad hoc ‘Council on a 21st Century Progressive Economy’ has prepared from its deliberations reports, and ’Declaration Statements’ on outstanding social, and civil society, concerns from a transforming industrial economy. The Symposium affords the Council, with invited Guests, to deliberate a future course for the European industrial and labor markets in a formative ‘New World Economy’.

The Symposium marks the 50th year Anniversary of a notable Resolution—‘The Triple Revolution’—minding what in 1964 was deemed foreseeable consequence for society from future advances of ‘Cybernation’ technology. A half century later the consequences are more evident, and for complacency in preparation more looming.

The Symposium will bring into public view vital issues on a formative 21st century socio-economic order with revised norms for work, compensation, taxation, education, along with novel institutions for maintaining social, cultural, and civil standards and morals. An era of transfiguring industrial production has the potential of almost limitless productive capacity. It also has the prospect of reshaping public institutions, destabilizing family life, unsettling social customs, and fraying moral mores.

In preparation is a pronouncement advocating public caution on impending economic developments whose impact for Europe’s body politic yet remain understated, underestimated, and unaddressed. Urged are enactment of timely, coherent, EU policies for securing public interest in, and benefits from, robot/AI, digital development and application. Lacking a stated vision for a transitioning 21st century industry, and civil society, and preparation priorities, the public faces the alarms reported in media on shocks to jobs, employment, and uncertain means for future income.

At stake is the preparedness and willingness of democratic capitalism—as an evolving socio-economic civil order—to respond to stresses by radically transforming its economic and political orientation. To be considered: Are the economic propositions, principles, prescriptions, derived to explain 20th century advances in ‘growth’, productivity, employment, relevant to preparing public policies for a 21st century formative robot/ AI and digital industrial order? Do economic and social protection privileges, and civic institutions, demand more relevant forms?

The Symposium is organized by the Association of Austrian Trade Union Education (VÖGB) and the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI). Major partners are the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the European Commission in Austria, the Austrian National Bank (OeNB), the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), the “ÖGB-Verlag” and the Vienna Biennale 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future at the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art.

We welcome you to join a select group of guest experts in refining the Council Resolution which, like its visionary 1964 predecessor, Declaration on Cybernation, will call for timely relevant/strategic public policies for adapting private and public institutions to new era economic and social requirements.

Kind regards on behalf of the Organizing Committee,

Erich Foglar
Head of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB)

Robert Trappl
Head of the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI)

Wolfgang (Bill) Price
Speaker of the Council