Democracy and civil society, crisis and apocalypse - with topics such as these the Elevate Festival has always striven to analyze current social, economic and ecological developments. But more importantly, its aim is to present alternatives,which can contribute to a better future for everyone.

Since the first edition of the festival in 2005, much has changed. The most dramatic event of recent years was the plunge into financial and economic crisis in 2008, which gave a new impetus to neo-liberal capitalism. The rigid austerity politics that followed, pushed by governments and supranational institutions, eventually triggered a new wave of protests. People could no longer believe that politics or economics offered any solutions to the pressing social problems they faced and decided to take matters into their own hands. New movements arose, which claimed the public space and insisted on inventing a new form of democracy.

The emphasis on collective self-empowerment and the firm belief that the creation of a sustainable society depends on every individual as well as on their collaboration forms the central leitmotif of Elevate. From the beginning, a major focus has been the exploration of new media and technologies that can make significant contributions to self-empowerment, but that also involve various risks. Furthermore, since 2008, socio-ecological issues relating to the topics of climate, energy, resource scarcity, agriculture and food sovereignty have become important components of the discourse programme.

In the search for correlations between different subject areas and for comprehensive solutions to the most crucial challenges of our time, it was no coincidence that the idea of the "commons", the common use and maintenance of resources, gradually came to the forefront.

The idea of the commons forms the link between diverse activities which have been spreading around the globe in recent years. People are choosing to shape the world they live in, autonomously and in cooperation with others, in accordance with the social practice of commoning. They are claiming the public space for the use and enjoyment of everyone and are experimenting with new forms of democracy. People are developing and using free software or open source hardware. They are taking the food and energy supply into their own hands.

The connection between global issues and local solutions has always been a focus of the Elevate Festival. International guests meet local activists, they get to know each other and start networking. This collaboration can then be the source of new inspiration for the next step or project. Launched in 2012, the Elevate Awards hope to inspire further collaboration and innovation by recognizing and celebrating the pioneering projects that have already started building the world of tomorrow. 

10 years of Elevate - 10 years of music, arts and discourse in and around the Schlossberg in Graz.  What have we achieved? Where can we go from here? The discourse programme of the anniversary edition 2014 offers a combination of nostalgia-free retrospection, intelligent analysis of the present and exciting future perspectives.

Thursday, 23 Oct

Dom Im Berg

20:00 - 22:00

Elevate #10 - Opening Show

Friday, 24 Oct

Forum Stadtpark

09:30 - 11:30


09:30 - 11:30

Think Hope, Think Crisis

12:00 - 12:30

Elevate the Commons

12:30 - 13:30

Elevate Democracy

14:00 - 15:30

Elevate Socio-ecological Transformation

16:00 - 17:30

Elevate Media and Technology

18:30 - 20:30

Creative Response/Ability

21:00 - 23:30

Let Fury Have The Hour

Saturday, 25 Oct

Forum Stadtpark

09:30 - 11:00

Food Sovereignity & Solidarity Agriculture

10:00 - 11:30

Research for Transition

12:00 - 13:30

Graz DIY

14:00 - 15:30

Fair & Open IT

16:00 - 18:00

Reality is the Next Big Thing

19:00 - 21:00

Everything Is Connected

21:30 - 23:30


Sunday, 26 Oct

Forum Stadtpark

10:00 - 17:00

Elevate Security Sunday

12:30 - 13:30

NSA's Austrian Surveillance Stations

14:00 - 15:00

Elevate Eat, Meet & Greet

15:00 - 16:30

Elevate the next one!

17:00 - 19:00

A different kind of Graz

Dom Im Berg

20:00 - 22:30

Elevate Awards Show