Consider the following property of a topological group G: every continuous affine G-action on a Hilbert space with a bounded orbit has a fixed point. We prove that this property characterizes amenability for locally compact σ-compact groups (e.g. countable groups).
Along the way, we introduce a "moderate" variant of the classical induction of representations and we generalize the Gaboriau–Lyons theorem to prove that any non-amenable locally compact group admits a probabilistic variant of discrete free subgroups. This leads to the "measure-theoretic solution" to the von Neumann problem for locally compact groups.
We illustrate the latter result by giving a partial answer to the Dixmier problem for locally compact groups.