Embarking on the momentum of the promising European Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival 2024 (BCF2024), an initiative promoted by the European Commission, a unique satellite event was set to unfold in the vibrant city of Vienna, to foster strategic collaboration with key youth organisations. Recognising the influential role these organisations play in shaping our society, particularly on the Austrian level, the BCF2024 – Vienna seeked to amplify their impact in the bioeconomy discourse.

Brought to life by the esteemed Centre for Bioeconomy (ZfB) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), the "Bioeconomy Changemaker Festival 2024 – Vienna Edition" (BCF2024 – Vienna) aimed to catalyse a holistic transformation within the country and extend its influence on the broader European landscape. From the heart of Austria's bioeconomy leadership, the festival aspired to harness the youth's collective power to shape policies and strategies for a sustainable future and transform Vienna into a role model hub for the bioeconomy of tomorrow. 

Event details

In the current landscape of progress, youth wield unparalleled potential to reshape societal narratives. Despite their proven role in advocating for a sustainable future, youth’s influence is often sidelined in the policy-making arena, relegating them to tokens. Recognising this gap, BCF2024 – Vienna emerged as a pivotal platform, dedicated to empowering youth as bioeconomy changemakers.

This one-day workshop on 12 March 2024 fostered cross-sectorial collaborations among youth groups grounded in scientific knowledge. The event, hosted at BOKU University, equipped youth to address contemporary challenges through the transformative potential of bioeconomy.

Starting from individual interpretations of a sustainable life and resource use, the workshop explored strategies to secure these ideals for future generations. At the same time, the event emphasised the innovative perspective of youth, necessary for engaging society and steering it towards positive change. Lastly, it inspired youth organisations within established networks, promoting a holistic bioeconomy in Austria and, consequently, influencing the European landscape. 


10:00 – 11:30    Opening Session │ Circular bioeconomy as a solution?

  • Eva Schulev-Steindl, Rector of BOKU
  • Claudia Plakolm, State Secretary for Youth & Civilian Service of the Austrian Federal Government
  • Martin Greimel, Head of the Centre for Bioeconomy of BOKU
  • Bernhard Kastner, Senior Scientist at the Centre for Bioeconomy of BOKU
  • Karin Huber-Heim, Executive Director of the Circular Economy Forum 

11:30 – 12:15    Networking │ Youth as united force

13:15 – 14:45    Workshop │ Understanding the bioeconomy

15:15 – 16:45    Workshop │ Communicating the bioeconomy

17:00 – 17:45    Closing Session │ Final remark

Event details

Tuesday, 12th March 2024, 10:00 – 22:00

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Event Summary
Please click here for the summary.


The event was organised by the Centre for Bioeconomy of BOKU, with the crucial contribution of ZSI. The coordination of the first workshop session was taken care of by the ZSI teams working on the Engage4BIO and GenB projects. The event was supported by the RTD Bioeconomy Team of the European Commission and the European Bioeconomy University Alliance – EBU.

Event in Brussels

Here you find more information to the main event in Brussels including the recordings.


Raphaela Hellmayr

Damiano Cilio

Inclusivity and Sustainability Measures

The integration of people with disabilities or illnesses, as well as of people from different societal and economic backgrounds, striving towards gender balance, is of utmost importance to BOKU.

Similarly, as BOKU is committed to reaching sustainability in all areas of its work including the interaction between BOKU and society, the BCF2024 – Vienna was organised according to sustainability criteria. Indeed, the event was organised as an ÖKO-Event of the City of Vienna. In these regards, many visible and invisible measures were taken to achieve this.