Rajk László College for Advanced Studies is organizing the 12th Central European Conference in 2019. The conference will take place between the 14-19 August at Budapest in various locations throughout the city.

Technocapitalist Democracy

The subject of the CEC 2019 is Technocapitalist Democracy. We are on the brink of an industrial and technological revolution, which could radically change not just the economy and the way we do business, but our society, our institutions and politics as well. Will technology save market capitalism and democracy? Or are we in a transition period? While there are many uncertainties, it is important to analyse the various processes that have started to reshape our world: the changing relationship of big business and politics, data analytics in all aspects of our lives, the mobilising energy of technological innovations in community-building, the shifts in the monetary systems and the rise of new business models. Our various sections are going to explore the topics outlined above, with a focus on how these issues affect Europe and the European Union.

The next CEC aims to make sense of the rapidly changing social, political and economic aspects of democracies, focusing on how to identify and adress the issues transforming our lives. The main questions of the conference are: how does the future of our institutions look like and what are the perspectives of European citizens in these processes?

Meet you in Budapest!

The conference will be held in Budapest in mid August 2019. The participants will be looking for answers in thematic sections similar to the intensive small group seminars of Rajk College. There will be ground for lectures and intersection work as well. The sections of the CEC 2019 are covering the following issues: Big Politics, Big Money, Big Data; Machine Learning in Business; Cyber Diplomacy; Competition Policy of Multinational Corporations and Smart Cities; Changing Social Role of the Companies.

Many informal events, including cultural programs, trips to explore Budapest and arranged meals are planned to foster possibilities to get to know each others’ academic work and passions.

Previous Experiences


Lukács Hayes (Populism Section, 2017)

I took part in the 2017 Central European Conference in the Populism section. Apart from it being a very well organised and a very activity oriented (both formal and informal) summer university, it provided me with significant guidance and inspiration concerning my field of interest and future studies. It is partly the reason why I chose to peruse my post-graduate studies at the Central European University’s Political Science Department, from where a number of professors – who made a great impression on me – came from.”


Roberto Zambiasi (Solving the Ukraine Crisis Section, 2015)

“The ‘secret ingredient’ that makes CEC so special is challenging participants to have a proactive attitude and think outside the box. In order to achieve these goals, the lectures provided a comprehensive framework for the discussion, from security threats to historical considerations, from trade policy to IR theory,  keeping together the theoretical background of the discipline with the on-the-ground issues.

Nonetheless, CEC did not mean only hard work! In fact, we shared with the students of the College  some cultural and social activities, such as sightseeing in Budapest, a few hours into the well-known Széchenyi Thermal Bath, and, last but not least, a barbecue and a wine-tasting of Hungarian wines. By now you should have understood my enthusiasm about CEC…As you can imagine, going back home has been harder than expected.”


Professor Bala Mulloth (leading Social Innovations Section, 2013)

“I truly enjoyed teaching at Central European Conference. It was well organized and executed. The students were energetic and motivated, and displayed outstanding critical thinking and analytical skills for the case studies and articles discussed. They also engaged in both theoretical and methodological discuccions at the highest levels.”

Central European University (CEU) Business School


Zoltán Bakonyi (Social innovation, 2013)

“I took part in the CEC twice. Four years ago in Eger I had the opportunity to meet Robert M. Grant, strategy professor who is one of the leading scholars of my field. He is a great teacher and he gave some valuable insight for my bachelor thesis. During the last CEC I participated professor Bala Mulloth’s social entrepreneurship course. It was a remarkable experience when we analyzed different types of social enterprises based on the examples of participants from six different European countries.”

Anna B. Kis (Poverty and Inequality, 2013)

“Organizing and taking part in the section about Poverty and Inequality in the 21th century (CEC2013) has been an interesting as well as a demanding task for me. In the sessions, we have had great discussions about many different perspectives concering social solidarity, while getting to know various country practices.

Participating on conferences with international students may not be such a big deal for our generation any more, but it is the atmosphere of this conference that makes it very special. An atmosphere that encourages discussion in the sessions, but also offers a chance to talk about highly intellectual as well as absolutely worldly topics every single night with someone from a completely different country you have just met.”


Giovanni Lagasio  (Energy markets, 2013)

“As William C. Procter once said ‘Things don’t just happen. You make them happen.’ This conference made many things happen in my life! CEC was an unforgettable experience for me that helped me to grow both personally and professionally, to become who I am today. It provided me the taste of the business world, bringing me into real business cases, connecting me with a team of top students from all Europe. Do things right and apply to CEC!”



Gergő Motyovszki (Eurozone, 2011 and Energy markets, 2013)

“Having participated at CEC already twice, I think I can say it is a truly unique experience. The atmosphere of the conference is a mixture of serious professionalism and relaxed fun, where you can engage in inspiring discussions with fellow students from all over Europe on various global issues while at the same time letting the steam off after a good day’s worth of work is also an integral part of the conference. In addition to offering an opportunity to listen to some of the most acknowledged experts on a topic and extend your international network, CEC also provides you with the possibility to visit the charming spring countryside of Hungary and Budapest as well as to make some friends across borders. I have the most pleasant memories about these two conferences and am very glad to have attended.”


Jakup Reynheim (Eurozone, 2011)

“I participated in the conference in 2011 and it was by far the best conference I have ever attended. The planning committee had really put together a great program both in term of the official program as well as the numerous social activities in the night, including a Hungarian wine tasting, an intercultural night that allowed us to get acquainted with the other participants and get to know their cultures, and even a short picnic to Slovakia!

In my committee, we had some really interesting and fruitful discussions, facilitated by a very competent representative from the Hungarian central bank who spent the entire week with us. The week I spent at the CEC was very memorable and in addition to providing new professional perspectives, it also gave me a lot of new friends from Hungary as well as from other European countries. Therefore I would strongly encourage everyone to take part of this magnificent conference.”