Institut für Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement
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Panel discussion: Social engagement in times of digitalization

The Institute for Managing Sustainability and the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations organized a panel discussion with representatives of various organizations under the topic “Social engagement in times of digitalization: Changing everything or irrelevant?” on March 5th. The focus of the event was set on the questions whether or not digitalization opens up new chances for social engagement, how communication concerning social issues has changed, and if there is a danger for online activism to replace helping hands and political engagement.

At the outset, Christian Schober, head of the WU Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations, gave an overview over the various areas of application of digital technologies for voluntary organizations. Building on this, representatives of different organizations presented their views on challenges and opportunities, strategic questions, and compared the situations of Austria and Switzerland. The panel discussants were:

  • Melanie Eberhard, engage.ch, DSJ, Switzerland

  • Gerry Foitik, Red Cross Austria

  • Thomas Lutz, Microsoft Austria

  • Christian Schober, Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations

  • Klaus Schwertner, Caritas Vienna

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André Martinuzzi, head of the Institute for Managing Sustainability, moderated the debate.

After the discussion, Sabine Eichinger, Co-Initiator of POWER 2 HELP, presented the eLearning Modules of the initiative www.POWER2HELP.at. Seven modules help develop competencies and offer resources for sustainable social engagement and can be used for free, at any time, anywhere and independently of each other. The topics are: youth engagement, diversity and intercultural competence; negotiations and conflict management; dealing with radio, TV and print media; burnout-prevention and resilience; motivation and leadership; organizational structures and finances.

Video How do digitalization and new media affect the social engagement of individuals and aid organizations?

How do digitalization and new…



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