We mourn the passing of Dr. Stefan Melnik

Dr. Stefan Melnik

We have lost a long-time friend, and a wonderful person who lived and embodied liberal values like not many others. He touched and inspired many people and accompanied them on their way to their own knowledge. Through his work, he helped to build and shape the IAF, setting standards that we still work by today. 

His working principles for educational events have become ours - and they will remain our guiding principles, because they have proven themselves manifold, and because for us they are liberal values come alive.

We shared the deep conviction that liberal values can only become credible if one lives by them oneself, and that liberal principles are only convincing if one applies them in one’s action. The environment of learning, and the methodology and manner of facilitation are therefore immensely important as they carry an attitude themselves. Stefan always strived to make this attitude a liberal one and to develop the most appropriate way to talk, learn and discuss about liberal philosophy. Moreover, of course, he also cared deeply about the implementation of this philosophy in all areas of society and politics. 

Because of Stefan’s tremendous contribution, the IAF in Gummersbach could start at a high professional level and has since then changed steadily in an evolutionary process in order to remain what it is meant to be: a place of enlightenment, of meeting at eye level and of learning together. 

When asked for his facilitation philosophy, Stefan’s answer has always been

“Everyone is a resource person”.


Thank You for your enormous contribution to IAF and to the liberal cause around the world.

Thank you for the inspiration you ignited in all of us who had the privilege of talking with you.

Rest in Peace, Stefan. Our thoughts are with your family.

You will be close to our hearts and minds forever.