Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

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European Forum: global decision makers defy Brexit in Vienna

Forum is a classic London-style business networking club with members drawn from the worlds of business, media, art and design. The Forum network spans global cities including London, New York, Singapore and Dubai – and now has a Vienna chapter. Forum founder Simon Jacot de Boinod used the European Forum – held from March 27-29 in cooperation with the Vienna Tourist Board – to announce the foundation of a Vienna Forum chapter. Director of Tourism Norbert Kettner explained: “The Vienna Tourist Board actively targets international decision makers and gatekeepers as part of its work to position the city as a premium and luxury brand on the global stage, and to provide a platform for its partners in the city from segments such as the high-end hotel sector, cultural institutions and other sectors of the economy. The fact that our partnership with Forum has culminated with the foundation of a Vienna branch that will help to bring our target audience to the capital even more often in future is a real boon. Trust abounds between members and there is a high degree of discretion – our cooperation with the club offers a unique opportunity for us to showcase Vienna’s high-end offerings directly, without waste coverage. And to tie members to Vienna who are also willing investors. These ties will also survive Brexit unscathed!”

Global politics and social program à la Vienne

It was no accident that the dates for the European Forum were chosen to coincide with Brexit day – which has since been delayed – in order to make a pro-Europe statement with the event. Under the theme of “Europe says goodbye to the UK”, the members and international guest speakers ran the rule over the prospects for the United Kingdom and the European Union. Another panel looked at global political topics in a discussion entitled “Global Super Powers: The US hands the baton to Asia”. For the social program, the Vienna Tourist Board brought Forum members into contact with various Viennese institutions, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Albertina and the Dorotheum, luxury hotels such as the Sacher, Imperial and Park Hyatt, as well as flagship international enterprises such as J. & L. Lobmeyr, Jarosinski & Vaugoin and Weingut Christ. Omar Al-Rawi, member of the Vienna State Parliament, welcomed the international guests on behalf of the City of Vienna. Among the contributors to the panel discussions were Chris Wilkins, former Director of Strategy under UK Prime Minister Theresa May, The Economist’s political editor Adrian Woolridge and Elizabeth Linder, director of Facebook’s Politics & Government Division. As the official carrier for the event, Austrian Airlines ensured that the journey to and from the event was up to the international guests’ accustomed high standards.

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Left to right: Director of Tourism Norbert Kettner, Forum-Founder Simon Jacot de Boinod, former Director of Strategy of the British Prime Minister© WienTourismus/ Rainer Fehringer
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