Summer Lab 2017

Summer Lab 2017: „Struggling Democracies“

July 14th-16th, Kapfenberg, Austria (Styria)

Hosted by the Green Foundation of Austria (Grüne Bildungswerkstatt)

The decades after World War Two and the welfare state led to the illusion, that struggles are not needed anymore to keep up with social standards, the possibility of democratic participation and the well being of people. The permanent increase of social standards has been considered as granted: Through access to consumer goods,  education and employment; collective social advancement into middle class beyond few individual promotions. This illusion also led to the assumption, that class differences are vanishing or disappearing. Furthermore working class has disappeared from our political imagination. The truth is, today we need to speak of a society of social decline. Its metaphor is a down escalator, on which we need to run up and struggle individually, just to stay in the same position. At the same time few others stay on the floor above us or even lift up to the top of the skyscraper.

Times are changing dangerously. There is a chaotic and vague refusal of the status quo. But the direction it will take, still remains unclear. What’s clear is the rise of the far right, the undermining of democracy by the neoliberal spirit and the massive increase of inequality in Europe. These dimensions can be considered as elements of the above characterized “society of decline”. But we do not want to give up and surrender to the overpowering situation. At the summerlab 2017 we ask the question how to create a new start and new politics?

The Green Academy is inviting you to participate at the summerlab from July 14th to 16th, in Kapfenberg, Austria. Hotel costs and meals are for free, travel expenses will be covered up to 200 Euro. For additional support please contact us and we will look into possibilities.

For international participants translations will be provided and a workshop will be held in english:

Narratives for Change – European progressive alliances

How to create a new political hegemony in Europe and change narratives? How can we create an alliance of different forces in Europe, which oppose the status quo and deal with the far right at the same time? Are there best practice examples in Europe? How can we support different struggles all over Europe and how can we learn from them? (This workshop is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Grüne Akademie and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation)


Please apply until June 15th to

We hope to see you at our next Summer Lab,

Daniela Graf and Cengiz Kulac (Green Foundation)