You are working for Austria’s public broadcaster, ORF, where you are moderating a series of talks called “im zeit-raum”. Can you tell us about the themes these talks are seeking to cover?
We are living in a time of transformation on a massive scale. The speed and scope of this transformation continue to accelerate, outpacing our ability to reflect, understand and (re)act appropriately. A short time ago, it seemed that the majority of Austrians tried to ignore the complexity of the upcoming realities by escaping into material comforts; the fear and uncertainty of crises also led to conservative reactions. This situation is changing, slowly but constantly. I see a desperate need to orient, reflect and work toward solutions to the problems we face.
Being realistic, we can’t ‘change the world’: we have to change our own sphere, and we have to fight for this change wisely, knowing that local and global institutional powers will resist this change in spite of the fact that concerned people within them also want to participate in that change.
The Idea of the public talk-series “Im Zeitraum – Vorreiten und Nachdenken” is quite simple: Reflection, inspiration, encouragement and networking focused on creating a more equitable world in the present and future.
The themes cover a wide range of possible avenues to change, focusing not only on the current problems, but also solutions and action.
Themes on the macro level include such topics as the crisis of democracy and political participation, climate change, reimagining economics, ecology and energy…
Themes on the micro level include the philosophical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of personal growth, “Change through co-evolution instead of competition”, “What men need to know about women and vice versa”, “Resilience against burn-out”….
Your upcoming talk is about….
Vision and practice of “Common Good Economy“ (“Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie”). On Sepember 20th at 6.30 pm, I will debate with social activist Christian Felber, Julia Mölk (Head of Sustainability Department in Tyrolean “M-Preis”-Markets) and Ernst Gugler (CEO of Gugler Cross media in ORF Radiokulturhaus Vienna). Afterwards, the event moves to “Im Zeitraum”-Lounge at the “Radiocafe” where the audience can network and engage the guests.
You have an interesting background – having studied theology, psychology, philosophy, and journalism – and work as teacher, author, and a producer and journalist for radio and TV. How did your studies shape your work?
It was the foundation! Philosophy and Theology were a must – yes, Catholic theology… although I knew I wasn’t meant to be celibate quite quickly. But my studies gave me such a great intellectual background and a variety of perspectives through which to examine fundamental life-questions. When I was twenty, I had a big life-crisis that shattered the rigidity of my idealistic thinking. I realized that my approach had to move away from wishful thinking and stem from the reality of my experience. At that point, I started studying the phenomenology of depth psychology in Zürich and Vienna and graduated in 2003.
At the moment, journalism occupies most of my time, but psychotherapy helped me to understand a lot, especially what ‘good religion’ is talking about: cleansing awareness in order to prepare for the experience that ‘all is given!’ – something so fundamental and enlightening but usually overlooked. I have been given time to be, to live, to act, and all the rest. None of us has made this time… it is given to us all now, and now and now by a source we cannot see, and this time is elegantly withdrawing, so what do we do with it, with the Now. This “Power of Now” is a way to experience a mystery that the religions of the world call “God”. Connecting to the Now gives us the possibility to make something out of our life and to give to others.
In your eyes and from your perspective, what are the burning issues of our time?
I want to name the personal issues because these are the ones we have to work on every day:
– Overcoming the delusions of EGO and bringing the power the SELF and the NOW into our action.
– the gratefulness and the compassion to fight for the “Good Life” on all levels
– the truthfulness, simplicity and audacity to develop our potential and that of others
In terms of other big issues, I already mentioned them above.
With what part of your job are you coming to the HUB for?
Sometimes as a portrait journalist, if I have a suitable report; but mostly for inspiration, encouragement and reflection.
Following talks “Im Zeitraum – Vorreiten und Nachdenken”:
Oct 23rd, at 6.30 pm „Sex zwischen Lust und Frust“ – die Sexualtherapeutin Elia Bragagna und der „Männerarzt“ Georg Pfau
Nov 21st, at 6.30 pm „Wir sind jung und retten die Welt!“ – Felix Finkbeiner und Andrea Nenning (Young Bio Austria)
Dec 4th, at 6.30 pm „Rebell der Nächstenliebe – der Armenpfarrer Wolfgang Pucher“