19 August 2016
IIASA, Laxenburg

Dialogue session with Fischer, Halonen, and young scientists: World Leaders and future thought leaders

H.E. Heinz Fischer, former Federal Austrian President, and H.E. Tarja Halonen, Finland’s first female head of state, visited IIASA on 19 August to meet with Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) students and discuss sustainability.

© Dreamstime

© Dreamstime

The IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program welcomes PhD students from IIASA member countries and beyond every year. The program allows up-and-coming scientists to work alongside distinguished IIASA researchers for three months and develop the skills needed to aid decision making in a time of global change. As part of this year’s YSSP dialogue session Interaction between World Leaders and Future Thought Leaders, the 51 YSSP students had the opportunity to meet with Fischer and Halonen, and discuss sustainability. The interactive dialogue session was moderated by Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, IIASA Director General and CEO, and focuses on the key challenges and barriers towards achieving a sustainable future.

Prior to the dialogue session, the former head of states gave keynote lectures, and learn about the students’ fields of research and scientific projects.

16.08 Dialogue session with world leaders and young scientists

*Note: This is an IIASA internal event, but video highlights will be made available. Subscribe for more updates on IIASA news and events.

About the speakers

H.E. Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria, took office on 8 July 2004 and was re-elected for a second and last term on 25 April 2010. Fischer had previously served as Minister of Science from 1983 to 1987 and as President of the National Council of Austria from 1990 to 2002. He studied law at the University of Vienna, earning a doctorate in 1961. Apart from being a politician, Fischer also pursued an academic career, and became a professor of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck in 1993.

H.E. Tarja Halonen, was the 11th President of Finland, serving from 2000 to 2012. She was the first female head of state in Finland. In addition to her political career, Halonen had a long and extensive career in trade unions and non-governmental organizations. Her work on advancing human rights as been notable. She was, among other things, an early proponent of gay rights, chairing the main Finnish gay rights organization, Seta, in 1980-1981.

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Last edited: 14 October 2016

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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