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Luciana Chait - We’re losing great art by turning our backs on people who lack access to opportunities
Luciana Chait participated in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Luciana Chait - We’re losing great art by turning our backs on people who lack access to opportunities
Mirva Villa 
For the past four years, Luciana Chait and her colleagues at AulaVereda have visited a slum in Buenos Aires twice a week. With their help, more than 30 children and teenagers have been able to develop their view of culture, art, education, and values without imposition. “We think that children are agents of change,” says Chait, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. “They’re change-drivers, not just receivers of what adults can give them. We live in a world centered around adults, but we think children can give a lot themselves.” Chait, a coordinator for AulaVereda,says the project aims to empower children living in vulnerable parts of the city and the surrounding area. Chait’s work primarily involves people living in a slum called Villa 31. A problematic housing situation, unemployment, and a lack of access to schools and hospitals are just some of the challenges being faced by residents. Nestled right next to the wealthiest part of Buenos Aires, the contrast is stark. AulaVereda (Classroom-in-the-Streets) looks to provide children with the same education and cultural skills that other children have. Chait believes culture is created from the bottom-up and ordinary people have great artistic skills and ideas to encourage cultural development that needs to be brought to society. “Usually we think of “Culture” with a capital letter, that people who have the money can pay for it and have access to it. The “culture” of the peoples – lowercase - is forgotten, and so we try to reinforce the culture and artistic skills of children and teenagers in vulnerable areas.” Chait’s passion for supporting the education of these children and youth comes from her background as a teacher. But she also feels passionate about ensuring that great talents are not lost due to lack of opportunity. “The world is unfair, and it needs to change; that’s for sure. We’re losing a lot of great art by turning our back on people who don’t have the time or the tools to produce, so we’re losing a lot of great artists, great painters, great singers and other skilled people because they are either too busy working or dealing with a harsh everyday life. We have to look for a way to stop losing a lot of great things inthe world.” Chait hopes that her experience at Salzburg Global will provide her with ideas on how to make the project more professional and to help it grow – not only in size but also in quality. “I’m hoping to go home with more tools to make the project grow. I’m really convinced that this project needs to be everywhere, not just in a few places… I also think that there are experiences around the world from other people that will help me enrich the project.” Finding links and creating new connections is also valuable for Chait as she seeks to advance the growing movement concerning children’s rights. Chait says, “There is a cultural movement, and there is a child movement around the world, so children are getting organized in different ways. I think weneed networking for that.” Another aspect of education Chait is working hard to revolutionize is electronic learning, which she has been working on for a decade. Several years ago, Chait worked with the government in South Africa, helping to tackle illiteracy. Now, she is involved in a project to train community health workers in the United States to fight against issues such as diabetes in vulnerable areas. She recently co-founded Dijon - Media and Learning Experience, a body which helps organizations and people develop electronic learning materials. In Chait’s mind, “Technology and education could bond together to help solve the world’s problems.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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YCIs reflect on the best practices for anchor institutions
Participants at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.
YCIs reflect on the best practices for anchor institutions
Mirva Villa 
The issues faced by cultural practitioners and the best practices for anchor cultural institutions incommunities were among the topics discussed on the third day of the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. Alberta Arthurs, a multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow, and member of Salzburg Global’s Advisory Council on Culture and Arts kick-started the discussion by reflecting on today’s global challenges. Arthurs suggested the world had recently experienced significant geopolitical and geoeconomic changes alongside the rise of new leaders. With that in mind, culture and the arts could act as unifying forces. How to harness that power to build connections on a global scale is – in Arthurs’ view – one of the biggest challenges for today’s cultural practitioners. She said, “We need proximity, the sense oflikeness and kinship that artists and activists create across countries and borders.” Arthurs said the cultural sector also required more research to support and advance the work people do on a practical level. Sat next to Arthurs were Karen Brooks Hopkins, president emerita at theBrooklyn Academy of Music, and Steven A. Wolff, principal at the AMS Planning & Research Corp. Discussing research conducted by the Anchor Cultural Institutions Project, both Hopkins and Wolff focused on the question: How can anchor cultural institutions in low-income areas and communities in transition make maximum social, economic and artistic impact? Several conclusions were drawn from studying three U.S.-based anchor institutions: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, AS220 on Rhode Island, and MASS MoCA in Massachusetts. Key strategies included building meaningful partnerships in the community and “speaking in one voice.” This strategymeant having a consistent and clear message reflected in all aspects of the institution. It was also essential to remove obstacles and make room for everyone in the community. An ideal vision of a 21st-century cultural district is one where different institutions can co-exist side by side, creating a hub consisting of all levels of arts and culture. Hopkins cited the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, England, as a successful example of cultural collaboration. The historic area consists of hundreds of jewelry stores, but also has a mix of other businesses and a vibrant community event scene, attracting visitors with tours, performances, and creative activities. Wolff discussed further the role anchor cultural institutions play in their community. The three case studies highlighted in the research thought the most impact they had was on the city identity, diverse programming, and youth education. Wolff suggested the institutions can continue to enable cultural awareness and understanding – “things that we desperately need today.” The presentation raised a lot of thoughts among participants on the role large anchor institutions should hold in their communities and the relationship and exchange between smaller community initiatives and more prominent organizations. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Heinrich Schellhorn welcomes YCIs to Province of Salzburg
Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum.
Heinrich Schellhorn welcomes YCIs to Province of Salzburg
Oscar Tollast 
At different stages in our career, and in life, we can feel as if we’re running on empty – operating on little energy or with scarce resources. During this time, the need to remain resilient takes on an even greater significance when a big decision goes against us. Participants of the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators reflected on this thought and how to respond to setbacks during an official welcome by Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg. Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine asked Schellhorn where he found strength and resilience in light of the Green party’s performance in Austria’s general election this past Sunday. While Schellhorn described the result as a “bleak day,” he felt the Greens would rise again, reflecting on the “ups and downs” he had experienced in his career. At this week’s election, the Greens gained just over three percent of the vote. Schellhorn said the party had failed to provide the right answers to the questions voters were asking. He indicated society was changing very fast, coming to terms with globalization, immigration, and digitalization. Schellhorn suggested “simple answers” would not solve any of the concerns but that these types of messages appealed to voters. He told participants there was a need to remain optimistic and support the values of international cooperation and an open society. One participant asked Schellhorn for his thoughts on where progressive change would come from, suggesting the message needed to come from the bottom up. Schellhorn agreed and said the first thing required was for politicians to listen to the people. He then told participants that a “leadership of ideas” was needed. According to Schellhorn, democracy does not always mean the voters are right; it also means leaders being able to convince voters of their ideas. The People’s Party, headed by Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, won enough seats in the election to give the party control of parliament in a coalition. To what extent did the election result reflect a generational way of thinking? Schellhorn said the young generation was “very divided.” In light of a declining birth rate in Austria and an aging society, Schellhorn predicted voters aged 50 and above, however, would play the most active part in civic society in the future. Speaking after Schellhorn, Peter Jenkinson, YCI Forum facilitator, said this year’s cohort represented a “creative army that’s deeply human” that will be part of the growth going forward. Jenkinson said, “We have to believe there is a better way and there are no barriers that can’t be overcome.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Julius Owino - "Who's going to change things if it's not us?"
Julius “Juliani” Owino is one of 50 participants taking part in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Julius Owino - "Who's going to change things if it's not us?"
Mirva Villa 
“Being confident in yourself and having the courage to try – we didn’t have that,” says Julius Owino, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. “Over time,” he adds, “I built that confidence for myself... For me, it takes small actions and being deliberate… And what I learned [at the session] is having courage, too. Having [the] courage to try. So over time, you try, and you try, and it starts making sense.” Owino (also known by his rapper name Juliani) grew up in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. It was a harsh upbringing: he would see his parents and the parents of his friends work hard every day to try and make sure there was food on the table. He was 16-years-old when he got his first good pair of shoes. He lost friends who were killed as a result of crime. For Owino, who started creating music as a teenager, it felt at the time like there was nothing to encourage him to strive for success. “It’s really difficult to get somebody to tell you failure is not one of the things that is celebrated. You only celebrate when you’re successful. “When you have hope, you can take anything that day. When you get people telling you that they see something in you, even when you’re not seeing it – that’s really inspiring and gets you [going].” For the most part, Owino had to build that self-confidence on his own. Now, having become a well-known hip-hop artist, Owino wants to support people from his childhood community. He has already founded several initiatives, including Dandora Hip Hop City, Mymsanii, Customer Bora, and Taslim. The projects all have the same goal: to give hope to young people. “To just tell these guys that actually, I see something in you that your reality is not showing you now, and here’s an environment for you to try to bring it out of yourself.” Owino is one of 50 participants taking part in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. Among other creators and innovators from the arts and culture sector, Owino is taking part in seminars and break-out groups discussing entrepreneurship, storytelling and leadership. By the end of the session, participants like Owino will able to develop their ideas, skills, and global networks that will help them and their causes to grow in stature. First started in 2014 to empower and advance young change-makers, Salzburg Global’s Young Cultural Innovators network now includes more than 200 creatives all over the world. Uniting and empowering young people is something Owino feels strongly about. He raps in Sheng – a Kenyan language mixing English, Swahili, “and any other thing that can make sense” because in a country divided by tribes and class lines Owino says that’s one of the things that unifies people, particularly young Kenyans. “It’s a language that keeps changing… It was created by Kenyans to break barriers when it comes to tribal issues, class issues… Sheng is one of the main things that has been able to do that,” Owino says. Speaking to Salzburg Global on the second day of the session, Owino says he has “already gained a lot” from the experience. “For me, even to be here with all these 50 amazing people that I’m amongst, who are doing things all over the world… and I’m just a guy from Nairobi. It has increased my confidence and my validation,” says Owino. “If I can get to do a YCI [event] in Nairobi, that would be amazing.” “Kutabadilishwa na nani Kama si sisi” is the name of one of the songs on Owino’s first album, which translates in English as “Who will change things if it’s not us?” The song reflects on his experiences growing up in the slums. Its message is to empower young people to take up the responsibility to improve their own lives. “It’s easy to become the victim, and it’s easy to have that perception about yourself, that you just have to survive and die… Through faith in [myself ], I actually realized that I have a lot to offer. So that’s why I’m saying, who’s going to change things if it’s not us?”  The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Developing models for projects, movements and causes to thrive
Uffe Elbæk speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Developing models for projects, movements and causes to thrive
Oscar Tollast 
The question of whether to follow your head or heart is often a difficult one to answer. Of the options in front of you, one is usually safe, the other risky. When this situation arises in your career, it can feel as if the stakes become even higher. When Uffe Elbæk stood down as Denmark’s minister of culture in 2012, he had faced a similar dilemma. Before his resignation, he received criticism for holding official gatherings at an organization he had previous ties to and where his husband worked at the time.  Speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, Elbæk said reports in the media felt like the “bad side” of House of Cards. His peers told him the period would pass, but Elbæk felt he had to make a decision. He said, “I’m happy to say I chose my love.” Elbæk stood down from his position and the Danish Social Liberal Party, continuing in his seat as an independent. He was later cleared of any misconduct. While this was a difficult time, he made the decision that gave him the most positive energy. He said, “In the end, I asked my heart. My best guiding tool in my life has always been my heart.” This decision would have a significant impact on Elbæk’s career. In the spring of 2013, while standing on a street corner with two of his advisors, Elbæk expressed his disappointment with Danish politics. It led to one advisor suggesting the formation of a new political party. This led to a more detailed discussion about how this party should look and what it should be doing. Elbæk and his colleagues followed a specific model to move from idea to realization: an idea needs purpose, values, a concept, theme, structure, and action. This process provided a way to turn the idea for a new way of politics into a reality. The game plan, concept, and structure of the party would stand on a platform of six values: courage, humbleness, transparency, generosity, empathy, and humor. The three big challenges the movement aimed to face included the climate crisis, lack of empathy, and the systemic challenges. In November 2013, Elbæk announced his new political party - The Alternative - to the world. Today, it has 10 MPs in the Danish Parliament and prides itself as a political movement and cultural voice. Elbæk said the project design could be applied to small or large projects and encouraged the YCIs to reflect deeply on their own processes and values and to lead boldly from the edge. To learn more about how The Alternative came to fruition, please click here. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Young Cultural Innovators to convene in Salzburg for fourth YCI Forum
Fifty of the world's most talented young innovators will take part in a six-day program at Salzburg Global (Picture: Michal Jarmoluk)
Young Cultural Innovators to convene in Salzburg for fourth YCI Forum
Salzburg Global Seminar 
More than 50 of the brightest creative minds catalyzing urban and social transformation in their communities will convene at Salzburg Global this weekend. Young artists and cultural leaders representing more than 30 cities and regions will take part in the fourth session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI). The six-day program, which begins on Saturday, will take place at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria. Participants will develop their vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks which will allow them, their organizations, and their causes to thrive in new ways. They will do this through a series of capacity building sessions focusing on storytelling, entrepreneurial thinking, human-centered design, and comparative styles of leadership. YCI alumni will return as facilitators and resource specialists to assist this year’s participants, providing continuity and exchange of best practice. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators is a 10-year project which aims to build collaborative networks for human capital and leadership development within the cultural sector. Most participants come from YCI hubs that Salzburg Global has developed with partners in cities all around the world. These hubs form the core of the YCI multi-year program. YCI hubs convene mini-sessions, workshops and public events and act as a local resource for emerging innovators. In previous years, the disciplines represented by participants at these sessions have ranged from the visual and performing arts, literature, and cultural heritage, to foods, fashion, architecture, and design. This year’s participants are arriving from Adelaide, Athens, Baltimore, Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Bristol, Cairo, Canmore, Chicago, Copenhagen, Detroit, Hanoi, Cape Town, London, Manila, Memphis, Montreal, Nairobi, New Orleans, New York, New Delhi, Ontario, Siem Riep, Salzburg, Seoul, Skidegate, Tirana, Tokyo, Toronto, Valetta, and Vientiane. Salzburg Global Program Director Susanna Seidl-Fox said, “With the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators coming up soon, membership in our YCI network will grow to more than 200 creative change-makers across all continents. We are particularly excited to be welcoming new Forum partners from Canada, Malta, and Kenya this year.   “The YCI Forum connects and supports cultural leaders working at the intersection of the arts, civic innovation, and social transformation. Our world needs the creativity, energy, vision, and passion that these young leaders bring to their communities now more than ever. And they, in turn, can benefit greatly from the ongoing support, encouragement, and network that the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators provides.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Urgency, Trust and Complexity - Key Concerns for Public Service
Urgency, Trust and Complexity - Key Concerns for Public Service
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Rapid global transformations place governments under intense pressure to perform to ever-higher expectations at a time of shrinking public budgets. Populations are aging, countries are urbanizing, and technology is transforming the future of work. Many citizens have lost trust in the ability of public officials to cope – let alone to excel – under these changing dynamics and constant media scrutiny. How can governments transform their culture and operations to address such challenges and disruptions? What radical changes lie ahead for the design, delivery and funding of core public services? What is the role of government in helping to change mindsets and prepare citizens for the “new normal”? It was these questions and more that a high-level group of politicians, civil servants, and private sector experts came together in Salzburg to answer at the sixth meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table. The report from this session - In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics? - is now available to read, download and share.  The report addresses three key concerns raised by the participants: Urgency The dramatic pace of change and the growing number of disruptive influences are creating a situation wherein governments need to be prepared for challenges they do not yet understand or even know will exist. Three particular areas of unknowns with which governments are grappling are future-proofing societies for changes to jobs and skills; harnessing advances in technology to deliver public services more effectively; and increasing tax revenues from new forms of economic activity. Trust Levels of trust in government institutions and elected officials have dropped to unprecedented lows, restricting the public sector’s ability to innovate and take risks with new approaches. A shrinking tax base, combined with rising expectations from citizens and the need to balance demands for greater transparency with effective communication techniques are putting on a strain on states’ ability to uphold their end of the social contract. Complexity Finally, the public sector must employ a complex array of responses and strategies to cope with this environment, whether through adapting internal structures, undertaking large-scale efficiency reviews, establishing new external partnerships or experimenting with new policy intervention approaches.  Interviews The report also includes several interview features, offering participants' insights on private sector innovation and risk-taking in the public sector, e-governance in Estonia, peace-building priorities in Colombia, and the need to "humanize" governments. All these interviews and more can also all be read on the session page. Looking ahead The intensive two-day session concluded with an agreement to transform the Round Table into a more formalized Public Sector Strategy Network. The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, Salzburg Global Seminar, apolitical, and other partners are now taking the next steps to develop the terms of reference for the Network. You can read more about the plans for this new Network in the report.  Inquiries about how to become a member of this new Public Sector Strategy Network should be directed to Salzburg Global Program Director, Charles E. Ehrlich: cehrlich[at]SalzburgGlobal.org
Read the report online. Download the Report as a PDF. Order a print copy: press[at]SalzburgGlobal.org Salzburg Global Seminar convened the sixth meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table – “In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics?” - in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and apolitical, and with the support of Chatham House. More information on the session can be found here.
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