CONVOCO! Forum 2016


On July 30, 2016 the twelfth Convoco Forum took place in Salzburg. This year, the topic under discussion was “Authority in Transformation.”

The Convoco Forum started off with an introduction on the subject of authority by Dr. Corinne Flick, Founder and Chair of the Convoco Foundation. She made a clear distinction between authority and power and emphasized the connections between authority, freedom, and responsibility. She spoke about many people’s demand for more direct democracy and in what way this demand poses dangers for the representative democratic system.

Prof. Roger Scruton, philosopher, author, Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C., gave the first talk of the day, “Responding Responsibly,” and addressed the responsibility that politicians have towards the people.

There followed the first panel on “Parliamentary Authority vs. Direct Democracy.” Moderated by Dr. Reinhard Müller, Editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, panelists Prof. Stefan Korioth, Chair of Public and Ecclesiastical Law, LMU, Munich, Prof. Thomas Hoeren, Executive Director of the Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law, University of Münster, Prof. Peter M. Huber, Judge at the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, and Prof. Rudolf Mellinghoff, President of the Federal Fiscal Court, discussed the opportunities and dangers of more direct democracy in Germany and Europe.

The Forum’s second panel discussion addressed “The Authority of the Central Banks and the Markets” with Brexit as a case study. Prof. Clemens Fuest, President of the ifo Institute for Economic Research, introduced the panel and moderated the discussion about the implications of Brexit for politics, economics, and society with Prof. Roland Berger, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH, Dr. Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management of Munich Re, and Prof. Jörg Rocholl, President of the European School for Management and Technology, Berlin.

The second part of the Convoco Forum began with an impressive lecture by Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He talked about “Power Fragmentation, Violence, and the Authority of Law” and looked at contemporary armed conflicts. He made the case for more diplomacy, consensus, and confidence-building, and answered numerous questions from the 260 guests.

This was followed by an introduction to the third panel discussion by Prof. Kai Konrad, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance. Alongside Prof. Kai Konrad an interdisciplinary discussion on “The Authority of International Institutions vs. the Reassertion of the Nation State” involved Prof. Christoph Paulus, Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Restructuring e.V., Prof. Albrecht Ritschl, Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics, and Prof. Wolfgang Schön, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

The day was concluded by Prof. Christoph Paulus with his discussion of the question of whether the law still has authority.

For the first time, the young Convoco 3.0 group met in the morning for a panel discussion on “How blockchain technology impacts our social and economic environment.” Convoco 3.0 aims to look at Convoco’s yearly changing topics from the perspective of digitization. After a few words of welcome from Dr. Bertram Böckel, Managing Director of Martin Braun KG, the topic was introduced by Bruce Pon, Founder and CEO of He then discussed cryptocurrencies and the possibilities and dangers of blockchain technologies together with the moderator Ada Yi Zhao, Founder and CEO of Curated Ventures, and panelists Dr. Marcella Atzori, Researcher at the Research Centre for Blockchain Technologies, Dr. Garrick Hileman, Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, and Dr. Julie Maupin, Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.


Wenn Autorität schwindet – Focus 32/2016

Dialog über Autorität – Focus 32/2016


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