Forum with experts

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The one-day Forum, conducted in English, constitutes the third element of the «ENGELBERG DIALOGUES 2018».

The Forum aims was to bring together roughly 80 individuals, including top academics, business people and policymakers, to discuss new concepts and ideas with regard to trans-European migration.

The attendees was include participants of the Autumn Academy and the Workshop along with other invited guests.

The Forum was opened with a keynote talk by Prof. Dr. Christian Dustmann (Abstract / Slides), an internationally renowned researcher, which was followed by a presentation of the findings and results from the Autumn Academy and Workshop by Prof. Michael Ambühl, Dr. Giovanna Davatz and Prof. George Sheldon.

After lunch, participants had been form into discussion groups fashioned along the lines of an Open Space Conference, including the following topics, presented by:

  • Dr. Sanja Damjanovic, «A Large-Scale International Research Facility for South East Europe» Abstract / Slides
  • Prof. Dr. Ivan Lefkovits, «Lessons on migration from my experience as a holocaust survivor» Abstract / Slides
  • Prof. Dr. Ewa Björling, «How has Swedish migration policy changed?»  Abstract / Slides


All speakers can be found here


Participants  had the opportunity to engage with one another, to share actively their point of view in the discussion and to offer new ideas. Discussion groups could be chosen freely and switched as desired.

After the discussion groups a panel of renowned academics, business people and policymakers will share their visions in regard to migration. Panel members include Michael Ambühl, Christian Dustmann, Sanja Damjanović and Hans-Rudolf Schurter.

The event was conclude with a presentation of awards to the three best contributions to the Autumn Academy.

At the end, there have benn an opportunity to take part in an excursion, including dinner, to Mount Titlis.

Workshop - creative atmosphere for discussions

Tuesdasy, October 16, 2018

The half-day Workshop, conducted in English, constitutes the second element of the «ENGELBERG DIALOGUES 2018». The number of participants was limited to the 20 attendees of the Autumn Academy and to 40 separately invited academics, businesspeople and policymakers.

The Workshop opend with introductory presentations by experts from the sciences, business and the policy realm. Their presentations was focus on three major themes:

  • Prof. Dr. George Sheldon «Unlimited Migration? An Economic Perspective»  Abstract / Slides
  • Dr. Giovanna Davatz «On courage to face changes in a global environment» Abstract / Slides
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Ambühl, «Migration: From ‹if› to ‹how much›»
    Abstract / Slides


Following these introductory presentations, the participants have been collect in three discussion groups, or Thematic Cafés, to discuss the three topics in more depth. In a closing plenum, the results and findings of the discussion groups was  summarized for presentation as inputs in the following day’s Forum.

Dialogue was the central focus of the Workshop. Accordingly, it aimed to offer a creative environment for discussion and contact among participants from different age groups and various walks of life.

The Autumn Academy for young researchers

Sunday 14th to Tuesday 16th October 2018

The Academia Engelberg was pleased to announce its Autumn Academy for young researchers. The Academy was a two-day event within the «ENGELBERG DIALOGUES 2018» taking place in the Swiss alpine town of Engelberg located near Lucerne.

The aim of the Academy was to provide a platform for graduate students and post docs from all academic fields to present and to discuss papers related to broadly defined costs and/or benefits of intra-European migration and their policy implications.

Presentations focused on such issues as private benefits vs. social costs, socially desirable vs. politically feasible policy solutions or other related topics of interest.

The Autumn Academy was followed by a half-day Workshop and one-day Forum with a keynote lecture and a panel discussion. The aim of the Workshop and Forum was to bring together some 100 researchers, policy makers, business people and public administrators to discuss issues related to trans-European migration and to develop new policy proposals.

Participants of the Autumn Academy participated actively in both the Workshop and Forum as well.

Submitted Papers
All papers submitted by the participants and accepted by the scientific committee of the Academia Engelberg can be found here.

Internal migration - who profits and who loses?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Living where others spend their holidays is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the well-developed transport infrastructure. Away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and enjoying nature completely.  Highly skilled labour nomads keep their jobs in Lucerne, Zurich, Basel or Bern and use their car or public transport for commuting.

In 2016, 32% of the workforce from the canton of Obwalden or around 6,700 people commuted daily to other cantons. Conversely, around 4,700 people travel to work every day in the canton of Obwalden. Ascending trend.

What does this daily internal migration mean for the Obwalden commuters, their social environment, for Engelberg, the economy in Obwalden, tourism and the transport infrastructure?

Who benefits and who loses?

At the public evening of the Academia Engelberg Foundation these questions have been discussed by Daniel Wyler, Councillor Canton Obwalden, Prof. Dr. Peter Uebersax, lawyer migration law, Erwin Schaller, CSEM Alpnach, and Frédéric Füssenich, Engelberg-Titlis-Tourismus. The evening was moderated by Prof. Dr. Ivan Rickenbacher.

The introduction was hold by Prof. Dr. George Sheldon, Head of the Research Center for Labor Market and Industrial Economics, University of Basel.

The local population was cordially invited to this public evening (free admission). Finally, a nightcap was offered.


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.

Media Partner