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.