Opening of the Conference

Wednesday, 13. October 2010 | 10:30 Uhr


Klaus Hug


President of the Foundation


Dr. Klaus Hug, President of the Academia Engelberg Foundation, welcomed roughly 120 participants from all over the world in the magnificent Baroque Hall of the Monastery of Engelberg. In his speech, he recalled the basic values of democracy in order to protect one’s own freedom. According to him, it is not about defining what type of democracy is the right one. But we should find the common denominator and base our discussion on it. He criticized that in the media’s perception, the half-life of attention towards political events increasingly diminishes. The influence of lobbyist groups becomes more dominant and the needs of the society constantly rise. At the same time, he also spoke of political sullenness and voting abstinence. Together with threats, chances to renew democracies also grow, he said.Opening speech, Dr. Klaus Hug, President of the Academia Engelberg Foundation In his welcome address at the conference, Abbot Dr. Berchtold Müller pointed out how St. Benedict introduced democratic rules in the community of faith. Superiors are advised to ask all the members of the community if they have to make important decisions. Especially the voices of the young should be heard because they often propose new ideas. During his time as abbot, he made the experience that proactive actions are more important than the aim of controlling everything. This is the only way to foster a healthy and convinced majority who also backs the decisions. Once a decision has been made, it is important to respect the minority. Peace can only be preserved this way.

Klaus Hug

Klaus Hug was born in 1940. After receiving his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the department of law in Zurich in 1970, he was granted the right to practise law in 1971. Between 1972 and 1976 (and also 1980 and 1984) he was Secretary of the Central Swiss Association of Employers in Zurich. Between 1976 and 1979 he was personal secretary to MP Kurt Furgler, and from 1984 to 1991 he was Director of the Department of Industry, Trade and Employment (BIGA).

Since summer 1991 has worked as a lawyer and economic consultant in Berne and Zurich. As of 1992 he is the Executive President of the Swiss Association for Department Stores, known today as the Swiss Retail Federation; diverse government commissions; a member of the Federal Commission for Competition; consultant to the legal practice of Bär & Karrer in Zurich.

Since 1992, he has held the office of President of the Swiss Technology Assessment Committee (for the Swiss Department of Science and Technology). Klaus Hug is also President of the governing board of the Institute of Intellectual Ownership (IGE) in Berne.

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