Multi-Sector Dialogue for a Sustainable Transformation: Radical Change vs. More of the Same?

July 13, 2021

On July 12, 2021, the Sustainability Center Community Workshop 2021 kicked off with the “Multi-Sector Dialogue for a Suatainable Transformation: Radical Change vs. More of the Same?”. Almost 200 thought leaders from science, business and civil society from all over the world took part in the interactive dialogue to discuss drivers and opportunities for a transformation of our (economic) world towards sustainability.

In addition to hich-caliber speakers such as Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (MAK Museum of Applied Arts), Marie Ringler (Ashoka), Bas van Abel (Fairphone) and Axel Kühner (Greiner AG), the Austrian Federal President, Alexander Van der Bellen, and Austria’s Climate Action Minister, Leonore Gewessler, welcomed the participants with inspiring words.

The videos of the individual presentations and panel discussions are available here.

  • Introduction
    Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President
    Leonore Gewessler, BA, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
    Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz, Director, IBES
    Prof. Dr. Günter Stahl, Director, STaR
    Link to the video:
  • PresentationArt and Purpose: Enabling Radical Transformation?
    DDr. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, General Director and Artistic Director, MAK Museum für angewandte Kunst
    Prof. Dr. Tima Bansal, Executive Director and Founder, Network for Business Sustainability
    Link to the video:
  • Presentation “The New Inequalities. Is this the Business of Business”
    Marie Ringler, Member of Global Leadership Group and Europe Leader, Ashoka
    Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz, Director, IBES
    Link to the video:
  • Panel Discussion “Small Players Guiding the Way to Global Change”
    Bas van Abel, Founder, Fairphone
    Theresa Imre, Founder and CEO, markta
    Ian Hobday, Founder and CEO, Startup Gurus
    Link to the video:
  • Presentation “Innovations as Driver for Sustainability”
    Axel Kühner, CEO, Greiner AG
    Jason Jay, Director of Sustainability Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Link to the video:
  • Panel Discussion “How to Drive Sustainable Transformation?”
    Markus Urban-Hübler, Sustainability Manager, Verbund AG
    Alice Schmidt, Global Sustainability & Social Impact, Business Consultant and Author
    Fady Abdelmalek, Innovation Manager, Stats Perform
    Link to the video:

The multi-sector dialogue was the only publicly accessible event of the Sustainability Center Community Workshop 2021 of the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS). The workshop series is considered the most important meeting within the international network of sustainability centers of renowned colleges and universities and takes place every two years.

This year, the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainbale Strategy (IBES) at the FHWien der WKW and the Center for Sustainable Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business jointly implemented the workshops in cooperation with NBS. Past organizers include universities such as Cornell, INSEAD, Harvard, and Ivey. You can find more information about the Sustainability Centers Community Workshops 2021 here.


Research to promote change for more sustainability

As a leading university of applied sciences for management and communication, the topic of sustainability is of particular importance in the training of future managers and in research at the FHWien der WKW. The employees of the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) at the FHWien conduct research in two projects and thus make a valuable contribution to a practice-oriented, scientific discourse in the area of ​​corporate responsibility.

  • The Josef Ressel Center for Collective Action and Responsible Partnerships (JR Center CARe) at FHWien examines the development, management, success measurement and legitimacy of collaborative, long-term cooperation processes between companies and other stakeholders to solve social and ecological challenges.
  • The City of Vienna Competence Team Change for Corporate Sustainability at FHWien addresses the question of how Austrian companies can develop the necessary strategic change competencies for the transformation towards sustainability. The focus of the project in this regard is on research as well as knowledge transfer in teaching and in the business practice of Austrian companies.

Are you interested in a cooperation in connection with the project of the City of Vienna Competence Team Change for Corporate Sustainability? Then please contact Dr Daniela Ortiz Avram, Head of Competence Team, at


Pictures say more than a thousand words: The key messages of the “Multi-Sector Dialogue for a Sustainable Transformation” were graphically summarized by Markus Engelberger and are available for download here. Sharing the key messages is expressly encouraged. If you distribute the pictures online or on social media, please refer to the website: