Rough­ly 700 peo­ple met three coura­geous per­son­al­i­ties at the 8th SURPRISE FACTORS SYMPOSIUM of ACADEMIA SUPERIOR:

„Every change needs courage, because you have to leave famil­iar pat­terns of think­ing and struc­tures. The worst thing in a soci­ety is a lack of courage, because such a soci­ety can­not evolve” Dr. Michael Strugl, chair­man of the ACADEMIA SUPERIOR, empha­sized at the evening event of this year’s SURPRISE FACTORS SYMPOSIUM in Gmunden. The top­ic this year was „courage”.

Three per­son­al­i­ties who have shown par­tic­u­lar courage have been invit­ed as guests: Sau­di Ara­bi­an women’s rights activist Man­al al-Sharif, respon­si­ble for ensur­ing that women in the King­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia are soon allowed to trav­el legal­ly by car. She was even impris­oned for her activism. The Pales­tin­ian-Syr­i­an pianist Aeham Ahmad, who, despite the dan­ger to his life, has not stopped play­ing his piano und threat of ISIS in the ruins of his home­town Yarmouk near Dam­as­cus in order to give peo­ple hope. And the Aus­tri­an film direc­tor and Oscar win­ner Ste­fan Ruzow­itzky, who por­trays coura­geous peo­ple in his films and wants to encour­age oth­er film mak­ers. Almost 700 guests expe­ri­enced an evening full of emo­tions and hope in the Toscana Con­gress Cen­ter in Gmunden.