The aim of the RiSE research program is to contribute to a favorable future development of our countries.

April 2015

Overview and Results
«RiSE» Conference Report

Transformation to a new economic paradigm

RISE conference report

The detailed RiSE conference report
is available upon request.

Overview of Content

We are in need of an "economic paradigm shift, enhancing the innovativeness of businesses and workers, and transforming our economies into world-leading creative economies" (Korea Focus, August 2013).

Indeed, both Austria and South Korea have already called to tackle today's grand challenges by fostering innovation and scientific excellence. In search for a "creative economy" – one that is dominated by highly innovative enterprises with a societal mission – research and development on social, ecological, and economic issues are in great demand. Not only technological innovations are being called for, but especially social innovations are needed, such as new business models resulting in improved productivity and strengthened international competitiveness. Therefore, the third RiSE Conference was dedicated to the following topic:

"Creative Economy" - Transformation of our economies to viable systems that create added economic, social and ecological value to society.

The three-day conference was held from June 2-4, 2014 at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, shedding light on the greatest challenges and chances on the pathway to creative economy from a social, ecological, and entrepreneurial perspective. Each perspective was presented by invited speakers represented leading scientific and policy institutions as well as highly viable and innovative enterprises, targeting the following research questions:

  • Which are the greatest challenges and chances on the pathway to a highly innovative, creative socio-economic system?
  • How can the transformation to viable socio-economic enterprises be fostered?

Answering such questions demanded for an interdisciplinary approach, that is why scholars from different fields of research were invited to the conference. In addition, practitioners and policy-makers were asked to share their viewpoints with the scientific community. The sessions were designed as three successive workshops, each comprising presentations by the invited speakers and discussions with participants and stakeholders:

  1. The societal perspective (fostering creativity and innovativeness among people by serving a social purpose)
  2. The ecological perspective (pathways to a viable ecosystem)
  3. The entrepreneurial perspective (transformation to creative, innovative enterprises that integrate social and/or ecological issues into their business)


The overall RiSE program aims at "Raising competitive advantage and productivity by combining social purpose and economic activity".

The conference was a vital part of this program between Austria and South Korea, focusing on the transformation towards highly innovative and creative enterprises with a societal mission. The results have shown that transformation has to take place on all levels: the individual, the entrepreneurial, and the societal/policy level.

As the competitiveness of an economy is defined as the ability of a country to provide beyond GDP-goals such as innovative industries, high standards, low income-differences, and ecological responsibility, only such a focus on beyond GDP-goals will translate into welfare gains in line with the boundaries of our planet. The contributions have shown that our countries need to seek a unique, innovation-oriented strategy, which has already proven to be successful in Austria. That is why the development of a creative economy, dominated by highly innovative enterprises with a societal mission, is of highest relevance.

What is more, the transformation needs to be based on the creation of social value paired with business excellence. Thus, the terms "socio-creative economy" and "socio-creative enterprises", which were characterized during the conference, reflect this need for creative entrepreneurs that bring forth social innovations.

Overall, the conference and its follow-up in Seoul, September 20-28, 2014, resulted in the establishment of an expert group fostering the transformation towards highly innovative and creative enterprises with a societal mission. To foster such a development, the RiSE Program Partners continue to work towards a Viable Socio-Economic Enterprise Model, embedded in a suitable ecosystem.

We cordially thank all RiSE Program Partners for answering our "call to rise", and are looking forward to working towards a favorable future development in our countries.


Distinguished Guests

  • Ambassador Young-Wan Song, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
  • Ambassador Dr. Hans Winkler, Director, Vienna School of International Studies
  • Herta Margarete Habsburg-Lothringen, Flame of Peace Association Austria
  • Minister-Councelor ChangRok Keum, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
  • Se-Jin An, Commercial Attaché, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
  • Gesandter Mag. Dr. Gerhard Sailler, Deputy Director, Vienna School of International Studies
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Aiginger, Director, Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)
  • Dr. Christoph Schneider, Head of Economic Policy Department, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
  • Visiting Professor Dr. Michel Cullin, Vienna School of International Studies, Directeur du Centre Félix Kreissler de recherche sur les relations franco-autrichiennes
  • Ao. Univ.Prof Univ.Doz. Dr. Richard Trappl, University of Vienna, Institute of East Asian Studies; Eurasia-Pacific Uninet Fund
  • JunSik Park, General Manager KOTRA Vienna
  • Herbert Friesacher, Investment Promotion KOTRA Vienna