[Translate to English:] WU Bühne Festsaal

Winter semester 2023/24

The Sustainability Story

Video The Sustainability Story | WU matters. WU talks.

The Sustainability Story | WU…

Sustainability has been used (and abused) as a language token for a certain way of thinking and acting in political, organizational, and individual communication. What role do companies and their non-financial reporting play in the creation of the sustainability story? In this lecture, we’ll be looking at processes of top-down “normalization” of sustainability and also examining the often overlooked potential to “cultivate” sustainability in a more bottom-up way within organizational structures and together with stakeholders.


Franzisca Weder, Professor of International Organizational Communication / Sustainability Communication, WU Vienna

Brand Boycotts

Video Marken-Boykott | WU matters. WU talks.

Marken-Boykott | WU matters. WU…

Brands are under growing pressure from consumers to take a stand on social and political questions. Otherwise, they risk a public boycott. But do boycott calls really hurt companies? What brands are considered socially responsible, and why? How do consumers react when companies take a stand on controversial issues? And how should companies adapt to this new situation? Together with experts, we’ll be discussing the challenges associated with the age of consumer activism.


Andreas Nentwich, Managing Director, Maresi Austria

Lisa Tamina Panhuber, Campaigner at Greenpeace

Saskia Wallner, CEO of Ketchum Austria

Nils Wlömert, Head of the Institute for Retailing & Data Science at WU Vienna’s Department of Marketing

Markus Zimmer, Founder & CEO of BuzzValue, Social Media Market Researcher & Expert

Moderated by:

Cordula Cerha, Assistant Professor, Institute for Retailing & Data Science, WU Vienna

Love, Money & Parenting

Video Love, Money & Parenting | WU matters. WU talks.

Love, Money & Parenting | WU…

“Helicopter parents” in the United States, authoritarian parents in China, and permissive parents in Sweden – do the various ways in which parents raise their children simply reflect national culture and tradition? Or is it rather economic incentives and constraints along with local economic conditions that shape parenting practices and what is considered good parenting in different nations? Does the growing inequality also result in an increasing “parenting gap” between richer and poorer families? In this lecture, Matthias Doepke introduces a novel approach to understanding parenting from the perspective of economic science.


Matthias Doepke, Full Professor, LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science)


Moderated by:

Gerlinde Fellner-Röhling, Full professor and Deputy Head of Economics Department, WU Vienna

WU Manager of the Year 2023: Susanne Baumann-Söllner

Video WU Managerin des Jahres 2023 - Susanne Baumann-Söllner

WU Managerin des Jahres 2023 -…

WU Alumna Susanne Baumann-Söllner, a proven innovator, has been named WU Manager of the Year 2023. She holds a WU degree in business education and is chair of the board of IAKW-AG, the company that, among other operations, runs the Austria Center Vienna. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this location housed Austria’s largest vaccination and testing center. The logistics involved were based on a pilot project carried out by Susanne Baumann-Söllner, which goes to show that public-sector enterprises, too, are capable of rolling out innovative solutions very quickly. In her lecture, Susanne Baumann-Söllner will also share insights into the challenges the event industry is currently facing.


Susanne Baumann-Söllner, CEO, Austria Center Vienna


Susanne Baumann-Söllner, with panelists:

Henrietta Egerth-Stadlhuber, Managing Director, Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Günther Ofner, Managing Board Member, Flughafen Wien AG

Gerhard Speckbacher, Professor, Chair of the Department of Strategy and Innovation, WU Vienna

Hans-Peter Weiss, CEO, Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H

Moderated by:

Michael Köttritsch, Head of the “Management & Karriere” section, Die Presse

Green Skills on the Rise

Video „Green Skills“ on the rise | WU matters. WU talks.

„Green Skills“ on the rise | WU…

As we navigate through a changing climate and rapid globalization, integrating knowledge from diverse fields becomes essential. What does that mean for education and training? Join our event to discover the potential of transdisciplinary education and help shape a resilient future. We will be exploring the demand for and opportunities of green skills with voices from the private sector, educators, and future professionals. Together we will highlight shortcomings and necessary changes to pave the way for the next generation of changemakers.

Keynote & Panel Discussion

Marie-Sophie Attems, Deputy Head of RCE Vienna & Senior Scientist, WU Vienna


Serafin Gröbner, Deputy Head of Department V 9 – Sustainable Development, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, BMK

Bernadette Kamleitner, Vice-Rector for Research and Third Mission, WU Vienna

Kacper Koszarek, Chair of Psychologists for Future Austria

Kyle Yong, Co-founder of Energy Track

Moderated by:

Laura Hohoff, Sustainability Education Specialist

The Cost of the War

Video Der Preis für den Krieg

Der Preis für den Krieg

Soaring energy prices, double-digit inflation rates, food shortages, and supply chain disruptions – the Russia-Ukraine war is not only a humanitarian catastrophe, it also has severe economic consequences. Is there any end in sight for the price hikes? Is global stagflation looming? What are the consequences of the sanctions imposed against Russia? Who benefits from the war? And what do new political alliances and dependencies mean for the world economy? We’ll be taking a closer look at the dynamics of the war and its impact on the global economy.


Michael Lysander Fremuth, Professor of Fundamental and Human Rights, University of Vienna; Scientific Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights

Judith Kohlenberger, Cultural Studies Researcher, Institute for Social Policy, WU

Harald Oberhofer, Professor of Empirical Economic Research, WU; Senior Economist, WIFO

Velina Tchakarova, Founder of FACE and Visiting Fellow at ORF, India

Moderated by:

Jeannine Hierländer, Deputy Head of the Business Section, “Die Presse”

Dying for some new Clothes

Video Dying for some new clothes

Dying for some new clothes

The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex in Bangladesh 2013 cost the lives of more than 1,000 garment workers and drew attention to the inhumane conditions under which our clothes are produced. The Rana Plaza workers made clothes for global brands such as Primark, Zara, and Benetton. What have we learned from Rana Plaza and other scandals related to labor rights violations in global supply chains? What advancements have been made so far? What works and what does not? Ten years after the most devastating textile accident in history, this lecture examines how sustainable our global supply chains really are and provides an overview of recent developments such as mandatory supply chain diligence.


Miriam Wilhelm, full Professor of Sustainable Supply Chain Management, Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, WU Vienna

Moderated by:

Gerald Reiner, Full Professor, Head of the Institute for Production Management, Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, WU Vienna

AI and Equal Opportunities

Video AI and equal opportunities | WU matters. WU talks.

AI and equal opportunities | WU…

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is steadily increasing in all areas of life. Since all AI systems are fed by humans, they reflect human preferences and assumptions. Can we program fairness into AI systems? Do diverse teams also create diverse databases? And what can we learn from AI? Together with experts, we will be discussing how we can ensure that AI becomes a technology that benefits everyone.


Verena Dorner is professor of information systems and heads the Institute for Digital Ecosystems at WU Vienna. Her research focuses on the interdependencies between digital (eco)systems, algorithm/AI design, and user behavior.

Johanna Pirker isprofessor of media informatics at LMU Munich, Germany, assistant professor at TU Graz, Austria, and leader of the Game Lab Graz research group. Her research interests include AI, data analysis, immersive environments (VR), games research, and gamification strategies.

Michael Platzer is co-founder and chief strategist of Mostly AI, a leading software technology company specializing in AI-powered synthetic data.

Sonja Sperber is an assistant professor and Ottillinger Habilitation Fellow at the Department of Strategy and Innovation at WU Vienna. Her research focuses on strategic and organizational innovation management. In particular, she investigates the impact of the gender data gap in management practice and theory.

Moderated by:

Jan A. Poczynek is a digitalization enthusiast and co-founder and managing director of NOWEVOLVE