Past Program

Aug 25 - Aug 29, 2014

1814, 1914, 2014: Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future


2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna - two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history. While in 1814, towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the concerted powers of Europe were architects of a new international system, the leaders of 1914 have famously been described as sleepwalkers, stumbling into war.

Today we face complex interconnected challenges - from regional tensions in Ukraine, Syria, South Sudan and the South China Sea to global threats linked to climate change, growing inequality, and the legacy of the financial crisis. With instability rising as 2014 unfolds, how can a greater awareness of history help us deal with emerging threats and reduce the risk of future conflicts? What lessons from the past can help us restore public trust in the international system and the ability of leaders to deliver solutions? And what will future historians say about the leaders of today: were they architects or sleepwalkers?

To create positive narratives for the future and revitalize our commitment to building a global community, the International Peace Institute (IPI) and Salzburg Global Seminar - with generous support from Canada and Norway - brought leaders from politics, diplomacy, the military, and business together with historians, journalists, political scientists, philosophers, and writers from around the world. This unique conversation took place between 25 and 29 August at beautiful Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, former home to Max Reinhardt, the founder of the Salzburg Festival.

The symposium combined a brief expert keynote addresses with open and informal discussions, complemented by a stimulating social program, including concerts and artistic talks.

At a time of rapid change and escalating tensions, this high-level meeting will provide leading figures from different walks of life with the time and space to reflect on the lessons of the past in order to shape an international system fit for purpose in the 21st century.


For more detailed information please contact the session's Program Director, Charles Ehrlich (


Turki AlSaud
Chairman, Board of Directors, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Riadh, Saudi Arabia
John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, Canada
Ray Bartkus
Artist, New York, United States
Hans Brattskar
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, Norway
Daryl Stuart Copeland
Senior Fellow, Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, Ottawa, Canada
Ivica Dacic
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Serbia
Lyse Doucet
Chief International Correspondent, BBC, London, United Kingdom
Andrei Illarionov
Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, Washington DC, United States
Mark Jarrett
Author of The Congress of Vienna and its Legacy, Lafayette, CA, United States
Josef Joffe
Publisher, Die Zeit , Hamburg, Germany
Yerzhan Kazykhanov
former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kazakhstan
Gerald Knaus
Founder & Chairman, European Stability Initiative, Berlin, Germany
Miroslav Lajcak
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic
Richard Lebow
Professor of International Political Theory, Department of War Studies, King's College London
John Lotherington
Program Consulant, Salzburg Global Seminar
Margaret MacMillan
Professor of History at the University of Toronto & an emeritus Professor of International History at Oxford University
Michael Moller
Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Acting Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland
Edward Mortimer
Senior Program Advisor and former Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar; Former Chief Speechwriter and Director of Communications to the Secretary General of the United Nations
Amre Moussa
Chairman, Committee of 50; former Foreign Minister of Egypt; former Secretary General of the League of Arab States
Martin Nesirky
Acting Director, United Nations Information Service, Vienna, Austria
Antonio de Aguiar Patriota
former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil; Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations
Wolfgang Petritsch
President, Austrian Marshall Foundation, Vienna, Austria
Surin Pitsuwan
Professor Emeritus, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand; former Secretary General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Ihor Prokopchuk
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna
Hardeep Singh Puri
Non-Resident Senior Advisor, International Peace Institute; Ambassador and former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
Albert Ramdin
Assistant Secretary General, Organization of American States, Washington DC, United States
Oliver Rathkolb
Professor, Institute for Contemporary History, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Terje Rod-Larsen
President and CEO, International Peace Insitute, New York, United States
James Rubin
Visiting Scholar, The Rothermere American Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom
Kevin Rudd
former Prime Minister of Australia
Karel zu Schwarzenberg
former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
Miroslav Sedivý
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, University of West Behemia, Czech Republic
Liliya Shevtsova
Senior Associate, Carnegie Moscow Center, Moscow, Russian Federation
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Distinguished Professor of Risk, New York University's School of Engineering, New York, United States
Vaira Vike-Freiberga
President, Club de Madrid; former President of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
Sundeep Waslekar
President, Strategic Foresight Group, Mumbai, India
Lamberto Zannier
Secretary General, Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE)




Produced by the International Peace Institute, narrated by Margaret MacMillan.

1814, 1914, 2014: Opening Presentation, Keynote and Discussion 

The Sleepwalkers: Lessons from 1914

The Architects: Lessons from 1814 

Interview with Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia

Interview with John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs