Talents: The expectations of Generation Z and how we should respond to them

A “bold Europe” – the motto of the Forum Alpbach 2023 – needs determined, innovative and forward-thinking people. At the invitation of Forschung Austria, a good 70 participants discussed in the workshop “Bold people for a bold Europe”: What are the expectations of the talents and how do they fit in with the offers of the companies, the research institutions, the funding institutions, etc.?

There was intense discussion on how Europe can best harness its talent potential to succeed in a rapidly changing global landscape.
The main results can be summarised as follows:

Expectations and offers

It is important that the “system side” regularly discusses the expectations of the talents and reflects on its offers. The essential expectations include:

  • the possibility to implement things,
  • the possibility of further development including an appropriate learning and error culture
  • as well as the compatibility of professional and private life.

More diversity and flexibility

There is a lot of talent in Europe. Nevertheless, we will have to show more openness towards non-European talent, or more diversity and more flexibility in general – for example, in terms of credits, formal requirements and the like.

This is not least due to the fact that talents have very different life histories and therefore a “one-size-fits-all” approach will not work.

Role of the team leader

The role of team leaders is essential. With additional training, they could be enabled to find a good balance between “freedom” and “orientation”. At the same time, they could be relieved institutionally through support structures of often complex and rapidly changing legal-administrative matters.

The podium

The high-calibre panel was moderated by Siegfried Reich (Salzburg Research):

  • Gabriele Ambros (President of Forschung Austria)
  • Bahara Muradi (Student of Computer Science)
  • Kiyesola Kolawole (Student of Chemistry and Physics of Materials)
  • Andrea Scherer (Industrial logistics student)
  • Irmela Kofler (Division ManagerCOMET K1-Met)
  • Christof Gattringer (President of Wissenschaftsfonds FWF)
  • Antje Kückemanns (Fraunhofer Human Resources)

In the picture from left to right: Andrea Scherer, Irmela Kofler, Sigi Reich, Antje Kückemanns, Bahara Muradi, Kiyesola Kolawole, Christof Gattringer. Not in the picture: Gabriele Ambros.

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