On March 12, 2015, the IPI Vienna Advisory Council met for its annual gathering. As a board of experienced personalities in the scope of IPI’s work, the council is supporting IPI through advice with respect to its research, analysis, policy development, outreach, convening and other programmatic activities.
IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen welcomed the members and discussed how IPI is positioning itself as a relevant policy development institution in an increasingly changing world. To face a complex web of global challenges, IPI developed a new framework of managing risks and building resilience. Using this systematic approach, IPI provides guidance for a complex geo-political landscape as well as policy advice for governments and multilateral institutions to navigate successfully and reach sustainable goals of international peace and security.
Since its establishment in 2010, the IPI Vienna office has significantly expanded its activities and staff, increasingly contributing to the mission of the organization and the broader international peace and security architecture. Andrea Pfanzelter, Senior Director of the IPI Vienna office, briefed council members on the types of activities conducted by the office–ranging from research and policy advice to events, training and outreach–as well as thematic areas of engagement that are aligned with the office’s overall support to the newly launched Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM).
The wide range of ongoing projects at IPI Vienna–falling under the headings of multilateral cooperation, transnational challenges, humanitarian affairs as well as peace and data mapping–was further explained by Walter Kemp, IPI Senior Director for Europe and Central Asia. The council members learned that IPI Vienna is focusing on its impact-oriented activities as a “do-tank” by applying its expertise developed as a “think-tank.” More than 55 events, substantial contributions to IPI’s compendium of publications and a growing number of potential future engagements left the council members with a positive impression.
The presentation was followed by a Q&A session, during which President Rød-Larsen moderated the discussion among the Vienna Advisory Council and IPI staff. Members expressed their genuine goodwill and intention of support to IPI Vienna’s activities and ambitious plans, including aspirations to develop certified training courses and sharing expertise in thematic areas such as piracy and desperate migration, political extremism, OSCE conflict prevention and mediation related topics, as well as creating synergies through partnerships and methodological support.
Advisory Council members and additional guests affiliated with the IPI Vienna office were subsequently invited to a reception in the “West Wing” – a recently acquired new part of the IPI Vienna office allowing additional permanent staff and consultants to support IPI’s work. The informal part carried over the friendly, open and supportive atmosphere of the council meeting and allowed for the evening to be concluded with a very positive outlook.