October 17th 2022

Joseph Schumpeter Forum 2022

The Role of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in State, Economy & Society | Symposium of the “Deutscher Freundeskreis der Universitäten in Innsbruck e.V.” (DFK) on the renowned "School of Austrian National Economy" | Prestigious guests, exciting discussions, valuable insights

"Universities meet friends". For many years now, the traditional “Deutscher Freundeskreis der Universitäten in Innsbruck e.V.” (DFK), together with the University of Innsbruck (LFUI), the Medical University of Innsbruck (MUI) and MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®, has been organizing friendly gatherings in Germany and Austria with top-class personalities connected to Innsbruck as a university location under this appealing motto.

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Joseph Schumpeter Forum was held for the first time at the annual meeting in Innsbruck, organized in partnership with the renowned economic research institute EcoAustria and moderated with both competence and wit by Director Monika Köppl-Turyna.

Numerous students, alumni, representatives of the Innsbruck universities and guests from business & society attended this top-class symposium.

Professor Lars Feld, Chair at the Albrecht Ludwigs University in Freiburg and Director of its Walter Eucken Institute, showed in his impressive presentation how Europe can be brought back to the forefront with productivity and innovation. Ultimately, expenditures on innovation are too focused on large companies. Obstacles to innovation for SMEs should be reduced systematically, and the full-cash mentality on the European continent - especially in Germany and Austria - must be dropped, he said.

Politicians must also acknowledge for once that, in the sense of Schumpeter's insight of "creative destruction," economic life and entrepreneurship can flourish only if new things are allowed to emerge. This also means that what is no longer successful cannot forever be kept alive by subsidies. The same applies not only to companies, but also to employees in professions or industries who are urgently needed elsewhere and cannot remain in existing fields forever.

The most cited economist in the German-speaking world, Bruno Frey is Visiting Professor at the University of Basel and Research Director of CREMA - Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts in Zurich. He raises the provocative question of whether Schumpeter would get along with today's universities. Is it still possible to think outside the box, or are the structures, conventions, regulations and cultural attitudes now too restrictive? The fact that unconventional speakers on important topics might get excluded, or that such discussions might not take place at all, because someone might be against them or might be personally offended, is a worrying development and shows how justified the question about the remaining freedom at universities and schools has become. In this context, it is necessary to regularly question rigid leadership and organizational structures and to promote new institutions, business models and ways of thinking.

In vibrant panel discussions, moderated by Andreas Schnauder, editor-in-chief of the renowned "Pragmaticus", Rahim Taghizadegan, director of the Scholarium in Vienna, Monika Köppl-Turyna, director of EcoAustria in Vienna, Christoph Neumayer, secretary general of the Industriellenvereinigung Österreich, and Lars Feld discuss "State and Market - quo vadis? " to the insight that the Schumpeterian dictum of "creative destruction" is more relevant than ever. Politics and business need leaders, courage to innovate is the decisive factor for future prosperity and a systematic embedding of the insights of "Austrian Economics" in curricula should be encouraged.

In the second panel, Veit Dengler, successful publishing manager and Senior Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford, Anna Schneider, Chief Reporter of the Berlin-based daily newspaper Welt, Katja Hutter, Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Innsbruck, and Florian Tursky, Austrian State Secretary for Digitization, addressed the topic of "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in State, Economy and Society". Innovation, according to the common insight, is not only a question of political framework conditions and leadership elites in business and society, but in particular also a question of family and school education. Courage to try out new things, a willingness to take risks and tolerance of mistakes are central elements; the immediate sanctioning or eternal complaining about possible risks or mistakes must give way to a new culture and attitude.

After fascinating insights, thought-provoking ideas and space for innovative discussions, the symposium ended with a casual get-together and refreshments. All participants and organizers are sure that the Joseph Schumpeter Symposium was not only extremely successful, but also so important that it will be regularly held in the future.

DFK Chairman Andreas Altmann believes that the mission of the "Deutscher Freundeskreis" has been fulfilled: to bring together the University of Innsbruck, the Medical University of Innsbruck and MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® with renowned personalities, companies and institutions from science, business and society, to promote neighborly dialog and encounter as well as scientific excellence and outstanding academic achievements.


The “Deutscher Freundeskreis” is an association of distinguished personalities from business, science, society and politics. The DFK aims to provide non-material and material support for the universities in Innsbruck, including the MCI, and their students, to promote cooperation in partnership between these universities, to network their graduates with the business community and to foster friendly relations between its members.


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 Patricia Pichler, BA | Marketing Manager Marketing & Communications
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