Josef Zehetner

Joe is a Senior Consultant of the Advisory Team at the Innovation in Politics Insitute.

He is often responsible for our projects with third parties, such as the Zukunftsfonds of the Austrian Chamber of Labour where he helped design and implement a digitization fund for workers. 

How would you describe your journey so far? Where do you come from, what is your background, and what sparked your interest in currently working to support political innovation? 

I was very young when I got elected to our city parliament in Linz. After that brief stint as a politician I changed roles and stepped into the background, organising election campaigns for the party as well as working for almost 10 years as the assistant of a European Parliament Member. 

What is your first memory of politics? 

Being a representative of my school and getting in touch with the pupil movement of the social democrats. I am a proud member ever since. 

Where do you see innovation happening in your work the most?

Digitization! Politics as well as public administration are still years behind in terms of digital tools, efficiency or even realizing the need for technology in their field. 

What is one topic you would be happy to talk about and exchange for hours? What makes you tick?

Campaigning, technology that supports democracy, the social democrats.

You’re also passionate about food. Tell me a culinary secret or ingredient that makes a meal a great experience for you.

Don’t try to provide everything, focus on a product and make it the best you can. 

What are you currently working on and what has been the most rewarding thing about it? 

Zukunftsfonds of the Austrian Chamber of Labour. Because there is a lot of impact that can actually be measured – we improve the working conditions of as many as 70.000 people. 

Which fundamental problem can politics never solve? 

People joining politics because they want to make a career and not because of idealistic reasons.