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Report now online Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years
Report now online Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years
Louise Hallman 
Since 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has challenged current and future leaders to shape a better world. For seventy years, our Fellows have tackled issues of global concern including education, health, environment, economics, governance, peace-building, the rule of law and protection of human rights.  Since 2013, the advancement of LGBT human rights has joined that list of issues as we seek to shape a better world for everyone – including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Founded five years ago, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was formed to establish a truly global space to reflect upon and advance LGBT human rights discussions around the world.  Today, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is an international network that connects over 150 Fellows in 70 countries across six continents, spanning multiple sectors, generations, cultures and sexual orientations and gender identities. This new, 200-page publication, Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years, chronicles the first five years of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: the Fellows’ stories that they’ve shared, the wide-ranging issues we’ve addressed, and the impact the Forum has had on individuals, institutions and ideas advancing LGBT human rights around the world. The report was generously supported by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.  “Fundamental human rights concern us all. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum brings together queer and straight, representing gender in many expressions, in short: people with overlapping, changing identities. Whether homo-, bi- or heterosexual, cis-, inter- or transgender, our diverse backgrounds and lives are connected by our shared interest to advance LGBT equality globally.” — Dr. Klaus Mueller, Founder and Chair, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum “Throughout Salzburg Global’s history, the rule of law and protection of human rights have played a central role in our programming and impact – as critical elements for personal dignity and wellbeing, equality and social cohesion, successful economies and effective international relations. With this track record, the decision to create the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was a natural and logical, yet bold, step.” — Clare Shine, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar “I am extremely proud of how the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum has advanced human rights... Public understanding and public policy have advanced considerably, but the challenges across the world remain great. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is a place where they can be addressed.” — Stephen L. Salyer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar “For our ministry, it has been very important to support the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum financially… For us, it is important to make visible these different situations as they exist in Europe and in other parts of the world, and this includes discussing the problems too. We learn from the LGBT Forum how discussions in Germany influence other countries, and how their discussions in other countries influence us in Germany.” — Ralf Kleindiek, German State Secretary for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Download the report as a PDF
* LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is widely recognized in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as in any way exclusive of other cultures, groups or terms, either historical or contemporary.
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Springboard for Talent - Humanizing Language Learning Through Technology
Microsoft's Mark Sparvell presents at Salzburg Global Seminar session on multilingualism
Springboard for Talent - Humanizing Language Learning Through Technology
Louise Hallman 
“Technology [in the classroom] should humanize learning, not just digitize the curriculum,” insists Mark Sparvell, education leader at tech giant Microsoft. Sparvell offered Fellows a multitude of technological tools to do just this as part of a presentation on “Humanizing language experiences – the promising role of new technologies” at the session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World in December. The first tool to wow his audience was the Microsoft Translator app. Via either the website translator.microsoft.com or the smartphone app, Fellows were able to read a translation of Sparvell’s presentation in real time in one of 11 languages. Microsoft currently offers text-to-text translation for 60 languages with more to be added to the speech-to-text service used in Salzburg. Microsoft’s VoIP service, Skype, also offers real-time speech-to-speech translations in eight languages with more than 50 supported text-to-text in instant messaging. While Sparvell readily admits that current digital translation services are by no means “perfect” he rightly points out that “they offer a means of understanding” that might not otherwise be possible. These services can be used to help facilitate cultural exchanges between students across the world (as demonstrated by Microsoft’s annual “Skype-a-Thon” which connected half a million students in 48 hours in 2017), but also aid better understanding with parents from immigrant communities.  As another Fellow shared, her Japanese immigrant mother was intimidated by language barriers when the family moved to English-speaking Canada, hindering her ability to engage with her daughter’s school teachers and resulting in her being mislabeled as a disinterested parent. While many schools cannot afford to hire professional translation services for events such as large-scale parents’ meetings or one-on-one parent-teacher conferences, especially in diverse multilingual communities, where there is not just one dominant foreign language,  using a free tool such as Microsoft’s real-time translator, while imperfect, could help parents overcome such language barriers. Digital translation tools are improving rapidly thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, as Sparvell points out, “tech is a tool,” much like a fork, a spade or a digger, and tools can enable us to do things at greater scale, but tools still need some human initiation and guidance. But not everyone has access to the same tools. “Is tech breaking down barriers or just putting up more?” one Fellow asked. Software can be given away for free (as was the case for all the tools demonstrated in Salzburg), but if schools do not have reliable hardware, electricity or Internet access that free software is not useful. Recognizing this injustice, many large corporations, including Microsoft, are engaging in philanthropic ventures to offer hardware to schools, improve national electric grid access and stability, and roll out mobile and broadband internet. This is not a purely philanthropic gesture: “Education is everybody’s business.”  Useful links: OneNote in the Foreign Language Classroom Talking with Multilingual Parents with Translator App  Introducing Microsoft Translator [video] Using Translator for parent teacher interviews [video] Live Translate with Skype [video] The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series  Education for Tomorrow’s World. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft. This project was also supported by The Erste Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSedu on Twitter and Instagram.
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Alison Tickell – Salzburg Global is “a very special creature, and I think it needs our thanks”
Alison Tickell – Salzburg Global is “a very special creature, and I think it needs our thanks”
Oscar Tollast 
“I do think Salzburg has been very, very important to my thinking personally,” Alison Tickell says, reflecting on her experiences at Salzburg Global Seminar. “There’s nothing quite like getting out of your comfort zone for a bit… I have hugely appreciated it. I think it’s a very special creature, and I think it needs our thanks.” Tickell, the founder and chief executive officer of Julie’s Bicycle, first attended Salzburg Global Seminar to help examine the arts’ role in advancing sustainability. She was one of 58 change-makers who convened at Schloss Leopoldskron in February 2016 for Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability. Tickell says, “It was an incredibly exciting opportunity to meet with people who had been working in the same field as us but from completely different perspectives. It was a very compelling invitation.” The session concluded with Fellows putting forward proposals for new ways in which the arts could advance sustainability. These ideas ranged from organizing a separate workshop to expand new alliances to producing a “Creative Communication Canvas” tool. “For me, it was very good to see the relationship between culture, climate and social justice very well-exercised,” Tickell says. “We had some great conversations about that, so it widened my perspective very much.” Participants benefited from hearing from others coming at the same set of problems but from different perspectives.” Tickell says, “It was also quite validating to recognize that actually we were doing some pretty unique work and that might be of value to others just as their work might be and has definitely been of value to us.” Julie’s Bicycle was established as a non-profit company in 2007 and set about helping the music industry to reduce its environmental impacts. Julie’s Bicycle has since extended its remit to other art forms and has become a leading organization for bridging sustainability with the arts and culture. In the same year Tickell attended Salzburg Global, she helped launch Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Climate Leadership Training Program. This program is designed to support and strengthen the emerging cultural movements around climate and the environment. Tickell says, “We’ve run three sessions on it, and it was incredibly useful – Salzburg Global – both for the scale of the ambition, really feeling that there were lots of people out there internationally, but also in terms of format.” Tickell says she was able to take a few lessons from her first experience in Salzburg and focus on the idea of taking people outside of their comfort zone and pose them with leadership questions. She adds, “All of that has been incredibly useful. [The sessions] get better and better every time.” At the beginning of 2017, Tickell had the chance to return to Salzburg Global and help convene her own focus group of change-makers for The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal, which focused on understanding and identifying ways in which artists, cultural workers, and creatives imagine and strengthen the capacities of communities and societies to confront and adapt to the seemingly infinite sources of shock, violence, conflict and disruption. Among those Tickell invited was Nick Nuttall (pictured below), the director of communications and spokesperson at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). She says, “Although he didn’t attend the whole session, he did attend for enough of it for us to really make the case that climate and the environment needed to have the voice, and the complex and many narratives that culture and the arts provide. His big takeaway promise was to work to promote culture as a key mechanism to communicate climate.” Nuttall delivered on his promise. Alongside Tickell, he helped coordinate a new #Art4Climate series on the UNFCCC’s website. This weekly series provided a spotlight on arts and cultural responses to climate change and global efforts to take action. The series was launched in the run-up to the UN Climate Conference in Bonn in November, 2017. Among others, there have been features on the world’s first sustainable dance floor, art exhibitions, and comic art. Tickell believes it’s just the “tip of the iceberg” and anticipates further collaboration in the future. Tickell says she found both sessions at Salzburg Global really interesting and much more challenging than she initially thought they would be. Commenting on The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal, she says there was a much broader frame which looked at culture through a wider prism. The session covered topics such as sustainable development, immigration and refugees, post-conflict trauma and reconciliation, indigenous rights, and climate justice. “A lot of my assumptions needed to be prodded and poked and that was one of the great values of Salzburg Global. It’s precisely that. You come away often uncomfortably disturbed and thoughtful, and it takes a while to really process some of that learning and put it into positive practice,” Tickell says. Looking forward, Julie’s Bicycle is doing policy work with the World Cities Culture Forum and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “A lot of that has had a lot to do with Salzburg Global because when I went [and] because I was able to curate a [focus group], they specifically asked me to bring people who could help the policy work. That’s why [the group] that I [convened] was very much focused on that, and we’ve really been able to build that into some super work.” Tickell says Julie’s Bicycle is developing some diagnostic tools for global cities to help bring together climate and cultural policies. She adds, “We’ve written the World Cities Cultural Forum Handbook for City Leaders and will be developing that work in at least six pilot cities [in 2018], so that’s quite exciting.” “We also are publishing this research which is on the seven cultural trends and, again, it’s been hugely informed by [Salzburg Global], which is really identifying what’s going on across the cultural sector globally and how the cultural sector is beginning to drive very positive change. We’ll be publishing that research in early March at an event, but hopefully, that will be the start of another bigger project.”
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Kimberly Mann – “It’s key to present information to people in a way that allows them to understand the lessons that are to be learned from this tragedy”
Kimberly Mann – “It’s key to present information to people in a way that allows them to understand the lessons that are to be learned from this tragedy”
Louise Hallman and Tomas De La Rosa 
It happened in Europe over 70 years ago, but teaching about and learning from the Holocaust is still vital across the world today, says Kimberly Mann, Salzburg Global Fellow and chief of the Education Outreach Section in the United Nations’ Department of Public Information. Speaking at the session, Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism, Mann discussed the importance of Holocaust Education: “I think that when we look at Holocaust Education, we have to focus on two things: education and remembrance. It’s key to present this history to young people in a way that they can understand the lessons that are to be learned from this tragedy,” Mann says. In her role with the UN, Mann devised the strategy and outreach program to be used by all 63 field offices of the UN around the world, which each has a mandate to observe the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 (the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp). In 2005, the first year of the outreach program, 10 Holocaust education and remembrance activities were held in 10 countries. By 2017, this had grown to 150 events and activities in 50 countries. “To me [that growth] says a lot,” says Mann. “To me it says that the United Nations has taken this subject very seriously and we have been very determined to encourage Holocaust education in countries around the world, in countries that are at risk and in countries that have had absolutely or very little connection to the Holocaust as it occurred at the time.” In April 2017, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) published Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide: A policy guide. As Mann explains, the guide “defines what it is about the Holocaust that is universal; why it’s important for educators around the world to introduce education about the Holocaust in their classrooms; the relationship that it has not only with the preventing of genocide but [also] international law; and the role of the international community has in helping to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.” The document, which was contributed to by 10 Salzburg Global Fellows, makes the link between Holocaust education and global citizenship education and the role that all individuals have to help promote peace and sustainable development. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme contributed to the document's guidelines. There are challenges in this approach. Mann attended an earlier session in the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program where she says there were many intellectual debates: “Do we teach about the Holocaust in order to protect human rights? Or do we look at human rights and then consider the Holocaust? There are some great sensitivities.” Mann believes that “the Holocaust is a very important subject in and of itself.” “You don’t teach about the Holocaust to learn about other genocides; you teach about the Holocaust to understand how the Holocaust came about – the specific history, the impact that it had on the Jewish people, and what that meant to the rest of the world.” “Comparative genocide [studies are] important but you can’t compare the suffering of the victims. There is no hierarchy of suffering,” Mann explains. “But you can look at certain warning signs. You can be more aware and take action to prevent these things from happening by looking at case histories like the Holocaust, and what happened in Rwanda or other countries.” For Mann, Holocaust education has an important role in teaching societies about what happens when there is discrimination, hatred and bigotry, and a lack of respect for minorities and diversity, as well as how communities – local, national and international – respond to such atrocities. She highlights the importance of learning how the Holocaust was perpetrated and by whom: “It wasn’t just the Nazis, it was the German people and their collaborators.” Sharing personal experiences such as The Diary of Anne Frank has great value, says Mann, as they can help to make the atrocities feel more “real”: “It’s so important that we continue to listen to the stories of survivors, that this history has been documented.” At a UN event in New York to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Diary of Anne Frank, at which the accounts of Anne Frank and other young victims of genocidal violence were presented to an audience of than 500 13 to 18 year olds, Mann remarks that she was “very inspired by [their] reaction.” “The reaction from the young people was to ask: ‘Why? Why do we see people who are different to us as being less than us? Why do we think that people who are different than us don’t deserve to have same treatment, the same quality of life, the same standards of living and protections under the law as we do? Why?!’ …I really think that what I see [now] versus when I was younger in school is that there is a lot of critical thinking that is happening now.” “There is a lot of work to be done but I think the first step is for young people to analyze the information that is being presented to them and then question the assumptions that they have already made themselves or the so-called ‘truths’ that have been presented to them.”    Ultimately, Holocaust education is not only about learning about and from the past. Mann hopes that programs like as hers will “motivate [young people] to take some sort of positive action to defend human rights.” The session, Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program, which is held partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and this year is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich. Additional support comes from Mr. Ronald Abramson; the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy; the Robert Bosch Stiftung; the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust; the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung; and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. More information can be found on the session here, and you can follow along via the hashtag #SGShol on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
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“Americans have lost their bedrock of democracy” warns former newspaper executive in Cutler Lecture
Alberto Ibargüen, President, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, delivers the seventh Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law
“Americans have lost their bedrock of democracy” warns former newspaper executive in Cutler Lecture
Sarah Sexton 
Two weeks after Facebook, Google, and Twitter executives testified before US Congress on how Russia used social media to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, Alberto Ibargüen called on the tech titans to acknowledge their role as “publishers” and take responsibility for the authenticity of the content they disseminate.   Speaking on November 14 at the Newseum in Washington, DC, the former newspaper executive and current president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation said, “With the disaggregation of news sources and the rise of technology companies as leading publishers, Americans have lost their bedrock of democracy, which is a shared baseline of facts.”  Ibargüen was joined by Charlie Savage of The New York Times for the Seventh Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law: “Trust, Media and Democracy in the Digital Age” (full text). The lecture series was established by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2009 to honor the life and work of Lloyd N. Cutler, former White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton and long-time Chairman of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors. Ibargüen is a former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in Spanish language journalism. While technology companies never intended to shoulder responsibility for reporting news, Ibargüen said, Pew Research Center found that in 2017 two-thirds of adults in the US get their news from social media. Many of these tech companies shirk classification as media companies and disavow responsibility for authenticity. But Ibargüen warned that misinformation and “fake news” would prove bad for business if the public loses trust in what they read on Facebook and other social media platforms. Ibargüen and Savage discussed several possible solutions for determining the truth of online content, from Facebook’s efforts to curb “fake news” using a network of fact-checking partners to The Trust Project’s work with newsrooms and technology companies to help algorithms differentiate between news content and fakery.   Ibargüen recounted that 10 years earlier, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, approached the Knight Foundation for funds to work on technology that would determine the truth or falsity of online content. “It didn’t work. The technology wasn’t there,” Ibargüen said of those early efforts, “but I think that’s the future.”  Savage said that while technological advancements and artificial intelligence may contribute to the solution, these solutions would raise critical questions around ethics and governance. The public would need to know who programmed the algorithms – and who financed them, Savage said.  Ibargüen and Savage also shared observations about the changing understanding of what free speech and press mean to Americans. A substantial majority of college students believe “free speech” means censoring speech that would cause psychological harm or exclusion of people or groups, Ibargüen said.  “The increased value of inclusion and protection from this sort of harm is intensified by the common use of social media, with its reinforcement of filter bubbles, of like-minded thinkers, and the ability to block anyone with whom you disagree,” Ibargüen said. “And anonymity, hate speech, and bullying all promote the sort of thinking that values protection over exposure.” Ibargüen noted that the present upheaval around communication technology is only the beginning. “We’re very much in the early days of a new world,” Ibargüen said. “After Gutenberg, society adapted to embrace his disruption and thrived as never before.  Here's hoping history repeats itself.”
View full set on Flickr All photos can be republished with the inclusion of the credit: Salzburg Global Seminar/Stephanie Natoli This lecture was delivered under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. To learn more about Lloyd N. Cutler and the center, please visit: cutler.salzburgglobal.org Press inquiries can be directed to Thomas Biebl, Director of Marketing & Communications: tbiebl@salzburgglobal.org The full text of the lecture can be read here Download the transcript as a PDF
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Fellows Begin Building a Community for the Asia They Want
Fellows of the inaugural session of the new series The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation
Fellows Begin Building a Community for the Asia They Want
Tomas De La Rosa 
The first session of new multi-year series The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation ended in decisive manner with representatives from 14 countries committing themselves to continue working for a greener and more sustainable Asia. Throughout the four days of the session, A Clean and Green Asia, 30 of the region’s rising leaders in environmental development, green technology, and sustainability policy discussed how to ensure a low-carbon and more sustainable future, which would harmonizes with both nature and the fast-growing urban development the region has experienced in the last 20 years. As part of the session’s final plenary discussion, participants shared how the session has provided them with the tools to face some of the challenges they face at work on a daily basis. One participant said the session had allowed them to be more mindful of the variety of ways in which communities are affected by similar environmental issues. Another said they were going back to work with a renewed sense of commitment to engage with more people with differing points of view. Participants also expressed hope that the network established in Salzburg will keep them connected, with a reunion planned in six months in order to share the various practices that have enabled their respective projects and organizations to be successful. Through this, they hope to establish common goals and frameworks that allowed them to remain on the same page. During the session, the participants took part in skills-building workshops focused on working with policy and decision-makers, how to promote regional collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking, and public engagement. Through these workshops, participants were given tools to become effective agents of change in their respective fields and countries. The four workshops addressed different environmental issues that affect local communities across Asia, and how private and public sectors can collaborate to develop country partnerships in the region. Discussion topics included how to achieve low carbon societies, how small-sized climate projects can gain access to proper financing, how communities can play a more impactful role in ensuring waste management is done responsibly, and how regional collaboration is essential to solve the urgent issue of widespread air pollution. Toward the session’s conclusion, and as part of the efforts to incentivize collaboration, many made open invitations for fellow participants to come visit communities in different countries in Asia that are affected by some of the issues discussed in the session. These visits would allow them to have firsthand experience of these issues, as well as gain new a perspective on the various effects these have across the Asia region. Session co-facilitator Niall O’Connor described the four-day session as a first step for the subject and “a platform to establish relationships.” For him, the fact that four days did not allow for enough in-depth discussion was an advantage for the long-term value of the multi-year program as it encourages participants to remain connected in order to foster cooperation in Asia. The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia is the first session of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation. 
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Salzburg Global Fellow Bright Simons Awarded 2017 Tällberg Global Leadership Prize
Salzburg Global Fellow Bright Simons Awarded 2017 Tällberg Global Leadership Prize
Tomás De la Rosa 
Salzburg Global Fellow Bright Simons has been named as one of four winners of the 2017 Tällberg Global Leadership Prize. The award, also known as the Jan Eliasson Prize, is given annually by the Tällberg Foundation to outstanding leaders regardless of country and discipline, whose work is applicable at a global scale, innovative, courageous and rooted in universal values. Simons, president of mPedigree Network, is a Ghana-based technology innovator, development activist, and social entrepreneur. He attended Salzburg Global Seminar in 2011 for Session 481 - Health and Healthcare Series III, Innovating for Value in Health Care Delivery: Better Cross-Border Learning, Smarter Adaptation and Adoption. With mPedigree Network, Simons pioneered a system that enables consumers to instantly authenticate the safety of pharmaceuticals at the point of purchase by sending a free text message via their cell phone. Simons thinks of himself as part innovator, part entrepreneur and mPedigree as part IT enterprise, part social activist organization. Following his Salzburg experience and the global connections it afforded, Simons and mPedigree have since expanded their focus from Africa to Asia. The three other winners of the 2017 Tällberg Global Leadership Prize are Instituto Elos co-founder Rodrigo Rubido Alonso, International Refugee Assistance Project co-founder Rebecca Heller, and Fiorenzo Omenetto, who is the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. Alan Stoga, chairman of the Tällberg Foundation, said, "These four amazing leaders are global in their reach, tireless in their efforts, innovative in their approaches, and operate in concert with universal values. They prove that great leaders are rising to the challenges of our times. Our goal in honoring them is not only to draw attention to their work, but also to provoke a conversation about the kinds of leaders needed today.” All four winners will take part in a public discussion at Columbia University on November 28 as part of the Foundation’s Global Leaders Forum. They will be honored at the Paley Center for Media on November 29. WATCH: Salzburg Global Fellow Profile - Bright Simons
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