Forecast to the conference 2015

Monday, 12. October 2015


Maria Isabelle Wieser


University of Lucerne

With the conference fast approaching I’m now getting really excited.

First of all, I can’t wait to see all my friends from the summer school again. We spent an amazing week in July studying the different economic approaches on the topic of future economic systems with our professor, David Stadelmann, before coming up with our own ideas.

And second, I am really looking forward to three days of getting some more insight on the issue by scientist who are top in their field.

The question about future economic systems has always been on my mind while studying political sciences. With the raising economies all over the world we face new problems that call for new approaches. The financial crisis in 2008 shuttered the US and with it not only the western world.

And now, who knows what is going to happen with the Chinese economy in the next years? Raising inequality on the one hand and a growing lower middle class in emerging countries on the other are causing transnational problems such as political unrest, terrorism, discrimination, corruption, poverty or climate change. In a way, our capitalist system seems to have failed.

And still, we managed to lift millions of people out of extreme poverty in the last ten years; world-changing innovations on every level are made even in the poorest countries every day; gender equality is rising and so is education for children in general. So capitalism doesn’t seem so bad after all. But how can we improve it? Changing the world system is, in my opinion, not going to work. And if it worked, it would take decades. So how can we make sure to use our current system to change things for the better, towards a sustainable and fair economy for all?

This is the question I want to ask myself for the conference. And I’m hoping to get some new ideas from all the different inputs. I’m not hoping to get a final answer, but I hope to hear some new points of views.

As a student of political sciences I have mostly been focusing on problems from a political perspective. What political system is the best? How can politics or civil society change the political system towards a better one? During the summer school I learned to think about the problem from the economical view. And this has been very interesting and educational. I am certain that (unfortunately) most of us still look at things only from a financial cost-benefit stand, most of all, when it comes to politics.

So to challenge this stand, I had to really understand it first. Looking at problems from the economical point of view helped me to approach problems completely differently. During the conference we will hear inputs from scientists in completely other fields and I’m very much looking forward to their positions. I hope they will once more broaden my horizon on the topic.


Donators and Partners

The ETH Board is responsible for the strategic leadership of the ETH domain and assumes the supervision of its institutions. Its close relationship with the ETH Council has contributed to the successful continuation of Academia Engelberg Foundation since 2000.

The Foundation promotes research into the connecting human fundamentals of science. Academia Engelberg Foundation and the Foundation for Basic Research in Human Sciences have entered into a cooperation agreement for the period 2011 to 2015.

Helvetia is a quality-oriented comprehensive insurance company with over 150 years of experience. Academia Engelberg Foundation is convinced it will be able to use important synergies from the partnership starting in 2015.

A partnership with the University of Lucerne has existed since summer 2013. Since 2016 we have also a parthership with the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Lucerne. Through these partnerships, synergies are used and joint projects are tested and realized. The University of Lucerne currently consists of three faculties: the faculties for Theology, Culture and Social Sciences, and Law.