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Life and Justice in America - Implications of the New Administration
Life and Justice in America - Implications of the New Administration
Salzburg Global Seminar 
If you search for the definition of “the American Dream” online, you’ll find several interpretations. Merriam-Webster defines the concept as “a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful.” Collins Dictionary, meanwhile, says the dream is “the notion that the American social, economic, and political system makes success possible for every individual.” In these definitions, we can see a different emphasis placed on the role of the individual and the role of the structures in place in obtaining success.  This question of what “the American Dream” means in today’s world will be among the topics discussed at the 15th Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) symposium – Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration – which begins on Friday. Just over 40 participants from more than 20 countries will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria for the five-day program. Attendees include academics teaching about the United States in universities across the world, sociologists, representatives from the legal profession, and individuals working at protecting and improving contemporary life in America. Together, this group of participants will explore historic events related to social progress and literary reflections of the nature and quality of life and justice in America. They will also examine the function of legal and political institutions at federal, state, and local levels alongside qualitative dimensions of family, social and personal lives to better understand changing patterns and risks to the social fabric. Participants will consider such issues as: economic equality and the distribution of wealth as it relates to race and gender; the management of policing and civil rights; fair application of legal protection; availability of employment and equal opportunity; and other prevalent matters. The session format will include daily thematic presentations by distinguished speakers, which will be followed by plenary discussions, as well as panels on topical issues. The aim of the session is to compare the historic “Promise of America” with today’s realities and influence projects which help toward realizing a good life for all in America. Marty Gecek, SSASA progam director, said, “The topic has particular resonance in the year of a new U.S. presidential administration. Drawing on 70 years of cross-border exchange that began at Schloss Leopoldskron in 1947 in the aftermath of the war, this multi-disciplinary conversation will examine what the “American Dream” means in today’s world, and will assess progress in the United States toward fulfilling that potential. Participants will discuss the quality of life and sense of justice in the United States from a contemporary perspective, including the domestic and global implications of the new administration in a visibly polarized society.” The Salzburg Global program Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration is part of Salzburg Global’s multi-year series Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA). More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SSASA.
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Finding good people to do good work for the greater good
Session 581
Finding good people to do good work for the greater good
Louise Hallman 
The corporate sector puts great emphasis on hiring “the best of the best.” With the increasing importance of private philanthropy in the wake of public sector austerity and growing global challenges, how can we attract top talent to the philanthropy sector – one known for its altruism, not huge salaries? The challenge of hiring good people to do good work for the benefit of the greater good is the focus of Session 581 - Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy. After a keynote speech, panels and working groups, participants came away with key insights. Identify motivation Etymologically, philanthropy means “love of humankind,” and certainly this seems to be primary motivation for many in the room at Schloss Leopoldskron to have sought (or in some cases, unexpectedly found) careers in the sector. Some have come to the field from elsewhere, having worked in human resources in the corporate or academic sector. Some are drawn to the sector as a whole, others are motivated by specific causes, be that the environment, public health or women’s rights. Understanding motivations for working in our sector can help us be better recruiters. Develop a positive workplace culture Those who share the same motivations and values as their colleagues and the organization as a whole are likely to perform better in their role – a key component in developing a strong workplace culture. Other components of a workplace culture include the organization’s structure, policies and procedures, communications style, technology use, dress code and the physical environment. “A clearly articulated and authentically realized culture will ensure alignment of mission, values, practice and people.” Developing a culture that is both inclusive and diverse can be a challenge, especially in organizations that are multi-cultural, multi-generational, and multi-location. Get it right though and it can pay dividends – building a positive workplace culture and hiring people who fit into it can help productivity, morale and retention of the best talent. Introduce flexibility One distinct example of work culture that was shared in Salzburg was one of great flexibility: no fixed working hours, no fixed working place, and unlimited annual leave. “Until I worked in a flexible workplace, I never realized how much I would value it. Now I couldn’t imagine working anyway else,” remarked the speaker introducing the idea. This culture “treats employees as adults with lives,” allowing people to work around their lives, in hours that suit them and their families. “We get more out of people who want to give more.” However, this isn’t for everyone, the speaker admitted. Introducing a culture like this without having laid the groundwork by building a high degree of trust between employers and employees would likely fail. Employers need to trust that the work will be done without imposing fixed working hours and employees need to trust that they won’t be so overworked that they will work all the time and never take any annual leave. Assess character, not just skills  “Hire for the characteristics you want, not just the skills,” was one piece of advice. The characteristics desired will be driven in part by the culture and strategy of the organization. In one case study presented in Salzburg, for a Brazilian foundation, which was wanting to expand ambitiously and rapidly, hiring young people who were also ambitious and eager for societal change was key. Why young? “Young people are more open change,” and an organization going through rapid growth will need to change and adapt accordingly. These new people were then included in helping to develop the newly expanded organization’s culture – which, although put them at odds with longer-serving employees, placed the organization on the stronger footing to meet its strategic goals. Attract Millennials Young people (a.k.a. Millennials, born approximately between the nearly 1980s and the early 2000s) are commonly thought of to be seeking purpose, highly values-driven, eager for social change and justice, an embracing of innovation, inclusivity and diversity. This should make them a perfect fit for the philanthropic sector. And they can be – but they can also be demanding.  Talk your talk, walk your walk and embrace diversity Many Fellows in Salzburg remarked that Millennials frequently put pressure on their employers to include them in decision-making, preferring horizontal to hierarchical structures, and for them to “walk their walk,” said one participant. If your organization’s programs espouse values such as diversity, inclusivity and transparency, you must be willing to ensure your organization, work culture and employees also live up to these values. Diversity in the workplace brings diversity of experiences and ideas – hugely important if we’re to meet the world’s challenges. Have courage We live in challenging times – from political polarization and unrest to persistent social inequality and climate change – and philanthropy has an important role to play in helping the world address these challenges. To do that, philanthropy needs to be bold – both in our program delivery and in hiring the people to deliver those programs. Is philanthropy a sector, a field, an industry or a movement? If we’re to be a movement – encouraging collaboration across organizations and interest groups – then we not only need leaders to start the movement, but also brave first followers who can then encourage more followers to help build momentum and drive us forward. The Salzburg Global program Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy is part of Salzburg Global’s longstanding series Optimizing Institutional Philanthropy. It is being held in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Zeshan Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSphil.
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Andrés Thompson - “I think I’ve played a role in advancing philanthropy in Latin America"
Andrés Thompson
Andrés Thompson - “I think I’ve played a role in advancing philanthropy in Latin America"
Mirva Villa 
Activist, thinker, teacher, dispruter, maybe even an influencer – during his career in the philanthropic sector, spanning over four decades, Andrés Thompson has played many roles. Starting at the age of 17 as an activist, Thompson’s lifelong passion on improving the life of people around him has showed him the world of big foundations and grassroots movements. “I think I’ve played a role in advancing philanthropy in Latin America,” Thompson says modestly, and that includes both his professional and personal commitments to the social issues in the area. One of his proudest moments includes encouraging a group of young people to put pressure on their local government in Brazil. Thompson is the keynote speaker for the Salzburg Global Seminar session on Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy, but it’s not his first time in Salzburg. He has shared his expertise as a resource specialist for several other Salzburg Global Seminar sessions, but his own journey with the organization began over twenty years ago as a participant. On the appeal of the sessions, Thompson says: “You don’t have to play a role here. You have to reflect, think and share: that’s the essence. It’s not a conference – it’s a session, a conversation over beers.” Many things might have changed since the first time Thompson came to Schloss Leopoldskron, but the spirit has remained the same: “The heart of Salzburg Seminar is the same one.”  In fact, it was Session 304 - Non-Profit, NGO Sector: Individuals, Organizations, Democratic Societies - in 1993 that gave Thompson a new direction for his work in philanthropy. Previously, he hadn’t considered his work in philanthropy as a “career”. At the Salzburg Seminar (as the organization was then known), he met representatives of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and caught their interest with his new, disruptive ideas.  “The fact that they invited me to join the Kellogg Foundation, to learn about how a big foundation works and have the opportunity to have the money be on this side of the table… and invest that money for things I considered important – it was a great opportunity,” he says. In addition to his work for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Thompson has worked for the non-profit streetfootballworld, and until July 2017 he held the position of the executive coordinator of the Philanthropy Network for Social Justice in Brazil. Thompson continues his lifelong commitment to philanthropy – “love of humankind” – through his commitments to community projects in Latin America. Almost 25 years on since his first “disruptive” appearance at Salzburg Global Seminar, Session 581 will be a chance for Thompson to explore some further new ideas he has for philanthropy. “I would like to provoke people to think outside the box. In particular, what talent management means for the future of philanthropy. It’s not just about the process of hiring, retaining and firing people, but also about the skills that philanthropy needs, and the kind of future that we’re envisioning for philanthropy. “How can you think about talent management in a different way that is not about administrating or managing people, but helping people potentialize what they are?”  The philanthropic sector will need new skills if it wishes to adapt to the modern world, and Thompson hopes that the session will bring about fresh concepts and ideas. “We are all philanthropists and we all have the capacity to give, in many different ways… Love of human kind is what mobilizes people to do philanthropy.” The Salzburg Global program Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy is part of Salzburg Global’s longstanding series Optimizing Institutional Philanthropy. It is being held in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Zeshan Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSphil.
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Salzburg Global Fellows speak at Pune International Literary Festival
Salzburg Global Fellows speak at Pune International Literary Festival
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Salzburg Global Seminar has continued its growing relationship with the Pune International Literary Festival by acting as a partner for a second consecutive year. This year’s festival, which took place between September 8 and September 10, saw several Salzburg Global Fellows feature in a series of events as visitors explored all forms and genres of the written word. On the first day of the festival, several Salzburg Global Fellows took part in an event where they shared details of their experiences at Schloss Leopoldskron. This event included: Roman Gerodimos, a political scientist, writer and Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change faculty member; Daniel Hahn, a writer and translator who attended Session 461; and Thomas Biebl, director of marketing and communications at Salzburg Global. Their discussion was moderated by documentary filmmaker and author Neil Hollander, who previously attended Session 403.  Speaking afterward, Gerodimos said; “We agreed that diversity is fundamental to a society – diversity in any form enriches our life. We learn through difference; through meaningful encounters with people, opinions and cultural texts that are different to what we’re used to. “However, there is a pressing need to find common ground. This is key to peaceful coexistence within urban communities as well as in the world at large.” Gerodimos said there were highly complex and interdependent global challenges which national governments and individual communities could not address by themselves. This is why it is important to create opportunities for people to meet, acknowledge the other side’s point of view, and identify shared values and experiences. He said, “All panelists agreed that the things that unite us are more – and more significant – than the things that divide us. Physical co-presence, inspiration, a safe space for dialogue, the opportunity to speak openly and without fear, the sense that one ought to work toward goals and achievements that transcend the individual or their own community – these are the essential ingredients of finding common ground, and they are precisely what Salzburg Global Seminar does and is about.”  On the final day of the festival, Gerodimos took to the stage again with Biebl as part of a discussion titled “The Human Library: Urbanization, Multiculturalism and the Art of Listening.” This talk covered the challenges of urbanization, segregation, technological echo chambers, and fear of the other. It also gave Gerodimos the chance to screen his film At the Edge of the Present.  Gerodimos said, “Screening At the Edge of the Present was a unique experience as the session hall was packed with a very diverse audience of authors, artists, journalists, students, activists and local residents of all ages. It is the most rewarding and fulfilling experience for a filmmaker to share a screening with an engaged audience - it is a sacred moment of connection and meaning-making.  “The discussion afterwards was highly sophisticated and it touched upon important issues regarding urbanization, multiculturalism, the need and methods of encouraging people to listen and engage, and the role of digital/social media and the culture of constant connectivity and distraction. The feedback for the film was amazing and it was great to hear people who watched the film say that they intend to screen it in their communities.” Biebl, who represented Salzburg Global at the festival, said, “It was really impressive to see the scale at which the Pune International Literary Festival has grown in India. We are delighted Salzburg Global could once again play the role of an international partner at an important event. “We are grateful to our Fellows who were able to appear at this year’s festival and take part in the event. It was an engaging discussion featuring Fellows from creative backgrounds who all had unique perspectives to offer." PILF was founded by Salzburg Global Fellow and award-winning author Manjiri Prabhu. She credits her experience as a Fellow at Session 403 – From Page to Screen - in inspiring her to launch the festival. Prabhu said, “We are extremely privileged to have Salzburg Global Seminar partner with the Pune International Literary Festival. Not only are we united in our goal to transform the world step by step, but I believe that our common synergies will open up new avenues and collaborations.” To find out more about the Pune International Literary Festival, please click here. 
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Driving the Change - Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy
Driving the Change - Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy
Salzburg Global Seminar 
In a period of mistrust of our institutions, and crisis in our governance and corporate systems, the philanthropic sector is playing an important role in bridging divides, re-establishing trust, and addressing the need for a new civic imagination that is inclusive of all people in a globalized connected world. While significant attention is paid to the financial resources at stake in philanthropy, less focus is given to the skills which make grantmaking for the public good possible.  In philanthropies, human resources can often be viewed simply as an administration function responsible for payroll, benefits administration and logistical aspects of recruitment. In the business world, however, there are signs it can be utilized for other positive purposes.  The global corporate sector has myriad examples of human resource operations prioritizing the recruitment, development and engagement of talented employees. Businesses invest their time in forward planning and carefully-executed policies for employee engagement, training and evaluation to optimize organisational resilience and performance. As the global philanthropic sector continues to expand, there will be a greater need for philanthropic institutions to recognize the importance of human resources in attracting, recruiting, and engaging talented staff who can help take their organisations forward. From Sunday, 30 human resources professionals and executive directors of foundations will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, for Session 581 - Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy. Together they will discuss the challenges surrounding talent management, and the practices which can be implemented to achieve better results. The session, which will reach a conclusion on Wednesday, will see participants share insights from various regions and aggregate perspectives and experiences from specific areas of expertise within human resources. They will attend lectures, take part in group discussions, and focus on developing ways to improve perceptions of talent management in philanthropies. Smaller group conversations will highlight new and ongoing challenges to talent management, identify specific skill and leadership training opportunities, and expand the network of talent management professionals in the philanthropic sector. Looking ahead to 2030, participants will consider the key trends for the philanthropic sector and how they might vary between major global regions. They will also be asked to assess what kind of talent and skills foundations will need now and in the future and how the recruitment process can be designed to meet this. Special attention will also be paid to the most innovative practices in talent management and how these can be applied to the philanthropic sector. By the end of the program, participants will produce a concise set of recommendations for dissemination to the global philanthropic sector.  This session is part of Salzburg Global’s longstanding series Optimizing Institutional Philanthropy, and also builds on the first meeting held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in 2013.   Andrew Ho, US development director at Salzburg Global Seminar, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to expand the conversation on the important role of talent management in enabling philanthropy to be more effective, courageous, and impactful for society globally. We are grateful to be hosting this group, and look forward to inspiring collaborative solutions and creating lasting networks among the participants." The Salzburg Global program Driving the Change: Global Talent Management for Effective Philanthropy is part of Salzburg Global’s longstanding series Optimizing Institutional Philanthropy. It is being held in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Zeshan Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSphil.
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Minneapolis communities given a "Warm Welcome" by YCI Hub project
Minneapolis communities given a "Warm Welcome" by YCI Hub project
Salzburg Global Seminar 
A YCI Hub project designed to give residents in Minneapolis an authentic cross cultural experience has been hailed a success. Warm Welcome, a one-night pop-up cafe in a Minneapolis park ice skating warming house, recently brought together new and established Minnesota cultures in a friendly exchange. The project was co-directed by YCI alumna Amanda Lovelee, a member of the Minnesota YCI Hub. She worked alongside Emily Stover as part of their collaborative group Plus/And.  The group worked with the Somali Museum of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board to host the event. Visitors were given a cup of Somali milky tea after they contributed to a tapestry combining maps of Somalia and Minnesota - an interwoven representation of the shared community. Outside the warming house, four Somali grandmothers sang, laughed, and shared stories around a campfire much like the nomadic traditions of their childhood.  The grant for the project was administered by Salzburg Global Seminar as part of funding received from The McKnight Foundation. Lovelee was one of several beneficiaries to receive a regional grant to undertake follow-on activities after attending Session 569 - Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III. Discussing the project, Lovelee said, "As artists, we hoped that Warm Welcome would be an experience where new and old Minnesota communities could meet, listen, learn, and recognize how much we all have to offer if we can all be open to receiving. "Our intention was to deepen a sense of empathy for our immigrant neighbors through their food and their stories, while assuring those who might feel afraid that their presence is not merely tolerated, but desired. This traditional Minnesotan space, the ice skating warming house, was temporarily transformed into a place for mutual welcoming to the community we share." Lovelee admitted organizers were unsure how many people would turn up for the event, which took place in February, but developments in the news cycle helped generate further interest. She said, "Our invitation was released on social media the day of the travel ban, affecting Somali nationals and even Americans of Somali descent, was first instated, and the overwhelming response indicated many people felt the need to show up. "We were offering an opportunity to neither hide nor protest, but to gather and celebrate the diverse culture that we’ve built together. Overall our team hosted around 150 people of different ages and ethnicities, including many passers-by who happened upon Warm Welcome as they enjoyed the unseasonably warm night. "We had tea and mulawah left at the end of the night, and felt like our first Warm Welcome event accomplished what we’d set out to do, and was a small moment of hopeful exchange for many who attended." The tapestry weaved throughout the evening by visitors represented a symbolic map of Minnesota and Somalia. At the end of the event, guests could see the blended borders of two distant and distinct places, so far apart in distance and in culture, becoming one. The final map was framed and given for display at the Somali Museum of Minnesota. Moving forward, Plus/And is approaching Minneapolis Parks to consider alternative ways of making use of their warming houses. They also hope to design a series of mobile structures which can serve different functions all year round. Lovelee said, "We hope that Warm Welcome can be an example of how these structures could be used to further the board’s mission. We are pursuing an opportunity to create a similar space for two weeks in January 2018, and intend to work with other immigrant community partners to share their cultural hot drinks, stories, and understanding. "Overall we believe that Warm Welcome is an inviting space, bringing people together to share what makes us each unique in our state’s coldest season, and to bring some warmth to a cold time in our country’s history."
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From the Archives - Author Saul Bellow writes in 1951
Saul Bellow
From the Archives - Author Saul Bellow writes in 1951
Chelsea Gunn 
One of the greatest aspects of working with the archives at Salzburg Global Seminar is the element of surprise that accompanies the opening of each archival box. When an organization has held sessions on such a diverse range of topics, and hosted distinguished faculty and students from so many fields, it is difficult not to stumble upon a few hidden gems. Case in point: the below letter from Saul Bellow to John McCormick, former Dean of the Salzburg Seminar.  66-08 102nd  St Forest Hills, L.I.N.Y.  Dec 5, 1951 Dear Mr McCormick: From what you tell me of your lectures I don't think we shall be covering the same ground. I am going to try to develop some of the notions about the artists in an industrial democracy, the relations of the individual and crowd, the dwindling in the stature of heroes, the constant effort of writers to strike a reliable definition of human nature, und so weither. There will probably be some duplication, but I don't suppose that we will have identitcal views. I really don't know how much skiing time there will be for me. I have set myself the goal of winding up my book in Salzburg, and if I write in the morning and teach in the afternoon, socialize in the evening and read at night, I shall have to ski in the dawn hours. I plan to leave Paris on New Year's Day. Between Christmas and New Year's I can be reached at Chez Kaplan, 132 Bd. du Montparnasse, Paris. Sincerely, Saul Bellow Bellow visited the Seminar as a faculty member for Session 17 - American Poetry and Prose - in January 1952. At that time, Bellow was teaching at New York University and had written two books: Dangling Man, published in 1944, and The Victim, published in 1947. His lectures at the Seminar, “The Novel from Hawthorne to the Present,” dealt with works by Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner. His seminar topics included technical innovations in American fiction and the American influence on contemporary European writers. In his letter to McCormick, Bellow alludes to his goal to finish writing a book during his stay at Schloss Leopoldskron. Considering his novels chronologically, one might guess that the book in question was The Adventures of Augie March, published in 1953. In a 2003 essay for The Tablet, Bellow wrote: “One chapter of Augie—I then had the notion of calling it “Life Among the Machiavellians”—was written at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, the late Max Reinhardt’s baroque castle, while I was teaching in the American Seminar.” The Adventures of Augie March is considered by many to be the work that established Bellow as an important figure in the American literary canon. It begins with the famous paragraphs: “I am an American, Chicago born – Chicago, that somber city – and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. But a man’s character is his fate, says Heraclitus, and in the end there isn’t any way to disguise the nature of the knocks by acoustical work on the door or gloving the knuckles. “Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing you hold down the adjoining.” The novel is a picaresque narrative: a satirical but realistic tale of a low social class protagonist. These stories are generally told in the first person, in an autobiographical style, and address issues of society as well as of personal relationships. Augie March is often said to be something of an Everyman character, reflecting, in particular, the struggles of the modern American. This work is often compared to Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and occasionally to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, two other popular modern picaresque novels. In 1954, The Adventures of Augie March received the National Book Award, and in 1976, Bellow was awarded both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Although Session 17 was the only session which Bellow attended in person, his work has come up in sessions devoted to literature and the arts ever since. Faculty and fellows visiting Salzburg Global in the future may choose to pass some of their time at Schloss Leopoldskron reading a copy of The Adventures of Augie March in the very place in which a portion of it was originally penned.
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