Rajk László College for Advanced Studies is organizing the 11th Central European Conference in 2017. The conference will take place between the 6-11 July at Budapest (in the campus of the college).

Future of the Western World

The subject of the CEC 2017 is the Future of the Western World. Surely, we live in an age of global political and social transition. Some suggests that these processes alongside with globalization led to the crisis of institutions and values of the “Western World”. Rage against the political, economic and cultural establishment shapes liberal democracies in the North Atlantic region. The grievances of masses who feel to be left behind are not groundless. There is a dark-side of global division of labor. Industries providing reasonable wages and social status disappeared, while successful, disruptive business models emerged. Both domestic and international inequalities are growing. Barriers to the free flow of goods, services and labor force are going to be erected and fall. Technological developments carry several unintended effects which may change the structure of societies and labour markets radically and force education to adapt quickly.

The next CEC aims to find the sources and directions of the ongoing changes in the Western World, focusing not only on dangers, but possibilities as well. The main questions of the conference are how does the future of our civilization look like and what are the perspectives of Central Europe in these processes?

Meet you in Budapest!

The conference will be held in Budapest in early July 2017. 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 2017 are covering the following issues: Migration in Europe, Populism, Knowledge-based society, Future of Business and Intra-state Inequalities.

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

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.”