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Stephen Salyer - "You are part of something bigger here"
Stephen Salyer - "You are part of something bigger here"
Karin Zauner 
The original version of this article first appeared in the Salzburger Nachrichten on Saturday, July 22, 2017. The interviewer was Karin Zauner. To view the original version, which is in German, please click here. Bankers, Nobel Prize winners, or students -  they all are thinking beyond the horizon at Salzburg Global Seminar. 30,000 people have attended so far. When the group chairman of HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, comes to Salzburg and turns off his cell phone to discuss fundamental questions about the finance sector with colleagues of all ages – for instance, if banks will still exist in five years -  and doesn’t take a single penny for his contributions, he is certainly at Salzburg Global Seminar. Salzburg Global is one of the most important international educational institutions in Austria. 30,000 people from 170 countries have attended programs over the past 70 years. The NGO is still fairly unknown in Salzburg, and their President, Stephen L. Salyer, wants to change that. SN: Salzburg Global Seminar was founded in post-war Europe (from the US) as a “Marshall Plan of the Mind.” Looking at the current difficult relationships between the US and Europe, do institutions like yours gain more significance again? Salyer: The initial idea after the Second World War was to create a secure place here in Salzburg, where people of different backgrounds and opinions could come together to speak openly and work out ideas. Today’s world is divided. When we start Salzburg Global’s next 70 years, we feel there is a place for this institution and opportunities for exerting influence are strong. This is not about Europe and the US only; this is about finding solutions to problems of global concern. Apparently, there has been a big divide between the US and Europe since Donald Trump became President. We do not have solutions for this at the moment. But we have a constitution, independent courts, and elections. We are not supposed to forget that.  SN: Do those currently complicated relationships between Europe and the US have an influence on your programs? Salyer: The demand for our programs has never been higher. 83 students are attending our Media Academy at the moment, the biggest group we ever had. We had more than 400 applicants. The topic is: how can we overcome extremism and populism? The students talk about the US, but also about their home countries – and also about Austria. We see a clear interest in exchanging ideas with other smart, thoughtful people. In our programs, we always try to respond to the current situation. It is not about merely talking and having a good time, we always look at what the participants take home, what actions they can implement afterward. This means we really focus on what participants are doing after they leave the Seminar.  SN: Although Salzburg Global has famous Fellows such as Hillary Clinton and Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow, even the locals of Salzburg know little about what you are doing. Do you mind this? Salyer: We have been trying to open the doors of Schloss Leopoldskron for years. Since 2014 we have also been running a hotel business. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of Max Reinhardt’s purchase of the Schloss. There are talks with the Salzburg Festival about using the common history of the place. Salzburg is also one of our 19 hub-cities for young cultural innovators and therefore aligned with cities such as Athens, Tokyo, and Adelaide. Will there be cultural festivals in the future? Those are the questions we raise. Of course, we need to promote our activities all the time. Next week we will celebrate our anniversary, and that will be an occasion to tell our story. We seriously want locals to understand what we are doing. We need to become better at that. SN: Talking about the Seminar, what are you specifically proud of? Salyer: I am proud that we are still here after the financial crisis. Every employee voluntarily accepted a pay cut in 2009. We invested two million USD into the renovation of the hotel. We are a private institution and have a small foundation after all. Every member of the board must make their contribution every year – also financially. In all our programs we talk about how to finance the future, also the future of medicine, for example. The young people need to find this out [and] develop their capabilities. They do not usually learn that during their education in journalism. That is part of what we are doing here. We ask tough questions and want young people to think outside the box, to look beyond.  SN: How do you push your participants into more uncomfortable zones? Salyer: By having participants from different societies, [they] give examples and ideas that help you to question your own standpoint. One of our participants was heading the library in a small African town. The head of the British Library - one of the most important libraries in the world - told me after her presentation that he felt embarrassed by his own banal whining. The African colleague reminded him of the reasons why he wanted to become a librarian in the first place, and what he and his team could change to have a better future. We do not have the answers and do not force them on our participants. We create a situation where people listen to others and think: Wow, if they do it somewhere else, what can we do here? SN: This situation can be created everywhere. How can you motivate leaders worldwide to come to Salzburg? Salyer: Even nowadays people are afraid to raise their voice. Journalists fear for their life; they seek a secure space for exchange. This is valued here by the powerful as well as the young. We recently held our finance session in Salzburg, which is our stellar program. Among others, we hosted the chief regulator of the Australian finance industry and a governor of the American Federal Reserve Bank. When those people are here, they turn off their cell phones, they discuss if banks still exist in five years. I asked the group chairman of HSBC why he comes here. He said, first of all, because of the quality of the participants, at all stages of development; secondly, because of the high percentage of female participants, which is important in the finance industry; and finally, because this is the only meeting in the world where nobody wants personal advice from him.  SN: The setting of Schloss Leopoldskron is breath-taking. Does this mean anything for your work? Salyer: It is difficult to set apart the beautiful and inspiring environment from work. Everyone who comes here is touched by it. Attending a program here makes people think they are part of something, something that is bigger than themselves.  Stephen L. Salyer was president of Public Radio International. Under his leadership, the network's affiliate structure expanded from 200 to more than 800 stations. He also co-founded a nationwide web service company for public television and radio stations in the US. Salyer started his career as speech writer for the philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller III. Dates and Facts: the intellectual support program has changed Three Harvard students, Clemens Heller, Richard Campbell, and Scott Elledge laid the foundation for Salzburg Global as an intellectual support program (“Marshall Plan of the Mind”) in the summer of 1947. Heller, a native of Austria, who fled to the US in 1938, wanted to locate the Seminar in his home country. Through family ties, Heller was able to secure Schloss Leopoldskron as a location. After three summer sessions, it became an institution: “Massachusetts non-profit -  The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies.” During the Cold War, the Seminar played an important role as a bridge-builder. Ever since it has expanded widely both in geographical and thematic terms.  Salzburg Global Seminar makes a total revenue of about 10 million Euro. The operating revenue consists of individual contributions (16%), foundation grants (28%), hotel income (35%), and tuition (7%). In 70 years, no faculty member has been paid for their contributions. Salzburg Seminar bought Schloss Leopoldskron in 1959. 
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Paul Mihailidis - Media literacy needs be intentionally civic
Paul Mihailidis - Media literacy needs be intentionally civic
Oscar Tollast 
In an attempt to decipher whether people are becoming less able to assess credibility in media reports, the New York Times has spoken to the Program Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, Paul Mihailidis about the creation and spread of fake news. Mihailidis, who recently launched a new graduate program, Civic Media: Art and Practice, at Emerson College in Boston, spoke to the New York Times as part of a Q&A. Interviewed by Sydney Ember, Mihailidis was asked about the proliferation of fake news during the most recent US presidential election, mistakes made interpreting the news, and how people like himself are trying to combat these false assumptions. Mihailidis also discusses the lack of trust in the media and how he’s attempting to teach students to interpret the news in a “polarized media age.” Regarding this latter point, Mihailidis told the New York Times: “Instead of just critiquing the voice, we’re trying to help people think about their voice in the community, the agency they have and what means they take to participate. Media literacy needs to be about connectivity, about engagement — and it needs to be intentionally civic.” Mihailidis is set to publish a paper this spring exploring the spread of fake news, arguing media literacy as it is currently imagined may not solve the problem. To read Mihailidis’ interview in full, please click here. It’s not the first time this year Mihailidis has been spoken to by a media outlet concerning media literacy. In February, Mihailidis spoke to Slate along with Salzburg Global Fellow Renee Hobbs to discuss the role of media literacy in uniting a divided America.  The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, which Mihailidis directs, is an annual three-week summer program at Schloss Leopoldskron which gathers more than 60 students and a dozen faculty to explore media’s role in social and global change. This year’s Academy, Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism, will take place between July 16 and August 5. Students will learn and understand the key concepts of civic media, media literacy, global media, and civic imagination. 
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Beth Jacob - "Kids don’t have long before they learn the world’s limits"
Beth Jacob - "Kids don’t have long before they learn the world’s limits"
Oscar Tollast 
Salzburg Global Fellow and director of CityHealth, Beth Jacob has revealed how Gap responded to her daughter’s request for a better range of styles and choices for girls. Jacob’s daughter Alice made headlines last month after her letter to the retailer went viral, featuring on the Huffington Post and Today online.  In her letter, Alice, aged five, explained she liked t-shirts which featured Superman, Batman, and race cars, but Gap’s shirts for girls were either pink or featured princesses on them.  Alice asked Gap to “make some cool girls’ shirts” or make a “no boys or girls” section - only a kids’ section. In her role at CityHealth, Alice's mother, Jacob uses policy as a lever to improve people's health and wellbeing. She has spent more than 20 years advocating for smart policies on behalf of children and families. Her work led to her taking part in The Child in the City: Health, Parks, and Play, which was held at Schloss Leopoldskron earlier this year.   As part of a new editorial for The Washington Post, Jacob revealed how Gap's chief executive and brand president Jeff Kirwan responded to her daughter's request.  Responding to Alice’s letter in an email, Kirwan agreed GapKids could do a “better job offering even more choices that appeal to everyone.” Kirwan said GapKids always tried to provide a broad range of styles for girls and boys, including a selection of girls’ tees with dinosaurs and superheroes, but designers would now “work on even more fun stuff” he thought Alice would like.  In addition to this response, Kirwan provided Alice with a few of his favorite t-shirts from Gap’s latest collection, asking her for her thoughts. Jacob wrote back to Kirwan along with her daughter. In her response, she said: “Since Alice wrote you, we’ve seen word travel from Tucson to Beirut; more than I could count say they agree. We’re thrilled you, too, said she’s right and you want to do better. For kids like Alice everywhere, that means a lot. So what next? Honestly, we’ve all got our work cut out for us. Because I haven’t told Alice the two other reactions to her letter. First, people ask what’s the big deal; why don’t we just buy ‘boys’ clothes? Or why don’t I learn to sew — and better yet teach Alice — so we can make whatever we want? We grown-ups know what happens whenever someone small challenges the status quo. Even well-intentioned people at the top feel the pressure: Why take a risk if the majority isn’t speaking out? Better not to rock the boat, right? Better to let the outliers change themselves to fit in. In 2017 girls can wear ‘boys’ clothes; you can even buy your son a polo shirt in pink. Why the fuss? Why indeed? Because the fact is kids don’t have long before they learn the world’s limits — or their own. In the meantime, Mr. Kirwan, you and I have a chance to teach them a different lesson. Mine might come during a carpool conversation. Yours could come from clothes that say girls don’t have to be just one thing. But we both have an opportunity on our hands: to help kids learn why being different is an act of bravery; why asking for something unfair to change is worthwhile. Because sometimes people — even powerful ones — listen. Meanwhile, everyone sees they, too, have a fair shot at being heard. It is not just about T-shirts, is it? You and I, we’ve got a chance to show kids everywhere that all big changes start small. Sincerely yours, Beth Jacob” To read Jacob’s article in full and find out how Kirwan responded to Jacob’s latest message, click here. Beth Jacob is the project director of CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation in the US that "provides leaders with a package of evidence-based policy solutions that will help millions of people live longer, better lives in vibrant, prosperous communities."  She was a participant in the Salzburg Global program The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play, which is part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum, a series held in partnership with the IUCN. The session was supported by the Huffington Foundation, Parks Canada and Korea National Park and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/574 
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Thilaga Sulathireh on increasing support for LGBTQ community in Malaysia
Thilaga Sulathireh on increasing support for LGBTQ community in Malaysia
Andrea Abellan 
Salzburg Global Fellow and Justice for Sisters co-founder Thilaga Sulathireh has suggested more people in Malaysia are speaking out against the discrimination members of the LGBTQ community face. Sulathireh, 30, speaking to star2.com, said a lot of cisgender and heterosexual people were now speaking out against discrimination, which highlighted a “positive step in our activism.” She said: “There are limitations in Malaysia when it comes to talking about gender identity. Yet, people want to talk about it now. This is really encouraging and something we cherish. “Take the recent murder of Sameera (in Kuantan recently) as an example… there was a huge public outcry not just within the trans community but from the general public.” Sulathireh’s activism began at a very young age. As a teenager, she participated as a volunteer at the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) where she worked with HIV support groups, an experience that made her aware of gender-related concerns.  In 2010, she founded the organization Justice for Sisters. Through this association, Sulathireh and her team seek to provide a bigger visibility of the transgender community, pursuing social integration. She has taken part in several Salzburg Global events. In 2013 she participated in the inaugural session of the LGBT Forum, Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps. This first meeting resulted in The Salzburg Statement of the Global LGBT Forum, a document summarizing the thoughts shared by the 60 participants on how to move forward on LGBT rights.  Sulathireh also took part in the fourth session of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum convened in Thailand in 2016. The latter aimed to boost the dialogue on LGBT rights in Asia and touched on different topics such as family-related issues and new forms of storytelling with a particular focus on transgender-Asian perspectives. Sexual relations between people of the same sex are still banned in Malaysia. Certain acts such as wearing clothes from the “opposite” sex are also criminalized. These type of laws mean members of the LGTBQ community remain vulnerable and unprotected against violence and discrimination. Sulathireh told star2.com raising public awareness on issues faced by the LGBTQ community is an integral part of her work.  Speaking to the lifestyle portal, she said, “Trans people face a series of discrimination at work… right from the interview process to their experiences at the workplace. There are not many employment opportunities for them which forces them to do sex work, and this leads to them being discriminated yet again. “With more public awareness, hopefully there will be more job opportunities for them.” To read Sulathireh’s interview in full, please click here. 
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Dr Jonathan Koffman - What makes a patient happy?
Dr Jonathan Koffman - What makes a patient happy?
Jonathan Koffman 
This article first appeared on the EAPC blog, which will continue to publish more posts on the Salzburg Question series. It coincided with the launch of the second Salzburg Question: Is dying well as important as living well? In response to the Salzburg Questions, a new series encouraging a global discussion about the key issues affecting palliative care, Dr. Jonathan Koffman of the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, UK, explores the importance of addressing happiness at the end of life. It’s a timely post given that today, March 20, is the International Day of Happiness. When did you last ask a patient, “What makes you happy?” At first glance happiness seems to be a little bit like love; if you have to ask whether you are in it or not, you probably aren’t. So what is happiness? The subjective, fuzzy, vague feeling of this concept has been neglected in psychology until relatively recently. Is it possible that psychologists weren’t particularly interested in the scholarly research of happiness? I’m not convinced. Achieving quality of life is considered to be one of the main goals of palliative and end-of-life care. A widely presumed component of quality of life is happiness, a concept considered to be so important to human existence that the World Health Organization now recognizes it as an integral component of health. Given the importance of happiness in quality of life it is perhaps surprising how little research has examined its meanings among people living with advanced disease. Moreover, no research has attempted to understand the meaning of happiness among people living with advanced disease from diverse communities. Addressing this concern is important because increasing globalization has brought with it an unprecedented number of people who have migrated to developed countries. We recently conducted a study to explore and compare, for the first time, the centrality and interpretations of happiness across two cultural groups. We interviewed 26 Black Caribbean and 19 White British cancer patients living with and, dying from, advanced cancer in London. Beyond providing detailed accounts of how they comprehended their cancer and symptoms, we also asked participants to tell us very simply, in their own words, what made them happy. This is a question that rarely appears in the clinical assessment of patients. Nearly all participants volunteered views on happiness, which were related to four main themes: ▪ Empty lives, a theme associated with lives devoid of contentment. ▪ Happiness and the physical form, such as the effect of distressing symptoms on wellbeing. ▪ Love and affection, which concerned relationships with family and friends ▪ Realising personal meaning in life, which related to God, prayer and the sacred world. The findings provide a very evocative account of the presence of happiness even in the darkest moment of advanced disease. For example, we observed that black Caribbean participants often comprehended the inexplicability of their cancer through the lens of their strong religious beliefs, which enabled them to make the successful transition to a state of acceptance and happiness. We recommend that health and social care professionals be aware that happiness is an important, complex and multidimensional human experience, which at times is also culturally shaped. They must therefore be sensitive and willing to ask the questions that, on the face of it, seem indulgent when compared to the task of treating physical symptoms. This will enable them to better understand their concerns and then to devise therapeutic responses that maximize moments of happiness and subsequent quality of life. For more information about the study conducted into happiness amongst different cultural groups at the end of life, the full paper can be viewed here. Follow the EAPC Blog for more posts in the Salzburg Questions series. Follow the global dialogue on Twitter. Using the hashtag #allmylifeQs the nine Salzburg Questions will be debated throughout 2017.
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Kasha Nabagesera: An ongoing battle for LGBT rights
Kasha Nabagesera: An ongoing battle for LGBT rights
Andrea Abellan 
In the West, much of the discourse around LGBT rights is currently focused on marriage and adoption, but in other regions, LGBT activists are fighting for the right to simply exist, free from legal persecution and prosecution. Not only is homosexuality still illegal in 38 African countries, but it is also still punishable by death in four. As a consequence of these oppressive legal systems, the African LGBT community remains unprotected against homophobic discrimination, physical and emotional abuse, and persecution. In spite of the hostility, the number of citizens standing up against such oppression keeps growing. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is such an example. The activist, considered the pioneer of defending LGBT rights in Uganda, founded the association Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG) in 2003 to raise awareness of this discrimination. She has also been involved in the creation of Kuchu Times and Bombastic, two media organizations looking for a wider representation of LGBT people in the African media landscape. Nabagesera’s contributions have been acknowledged on many occasions. She has been awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, and the Right Livelihood Award. Her inspiring story has been widely featured in the media too.  She was the first openly gay African woman to appear on the front cover of TIME Magazine. This week CNN has published a piece referring to her as “The face of Uganda’s LGBT movement." CNN details Nabagesera’s life experiences, which have not been easy at all. She has repeatedly been harassed and threatened because of her sexual orientation. In 2011 she had to cope with the death of her friend and activist David Kato, who was murdered after the Rolling Stone Uganda, a local newspaper published Uganda's “top 100 homosexuals” personal details.  Nevertheless, she persists in her pursuit of LGBT recognition and human rights in her country and around the world. As part of her global outreach, Nabagesera has been working with Salzburg Global Seminar since 2013 and has participated in all four sessions of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum. Speaking to Salzburg Global, she said the organization increased her self-awareness. She said, "I always want to come back and learn more." Nabagesera said she appreciates the diversity of participants and the opportunity of having new and past Fellows involved in every session, suggesting it brings a sense of continuity and community to the program. She will be returning to Salzburg in May to participate in the fifth session, Home: Safety, Wellbeing and Belonging. To read more about Nabagesera’s story, please click here.
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Salzburg Global Fellows included in "Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond"
Salzburg Global Fellows included in "Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond"
Oscar Tollast 
Two Salzburg Global Fellows have been acknowledged as two of the top 25 women in higher education and beyond. Diverse Issues In Higher Education magazine has recognized both Dr. Stella Flores and Dr. Susana Maria Muñoz for their significant contributions. The magazine is a biweekly trade publication which reports on diversity, access, and opportunity for all in higher education.  The Top 25 Women in Higher Education & Beyond features in the magazine’s March 9 edition. It highlights Dr. Flores as an “expert” in higher education issues and describes her research as having a “wide and influential scope.” It refers to Dr. Munoz and her research on “issues of college access, persistence and identity among under-represented student populations.” Dr. Flores, Professor of Education at New York University, and Dr. Muñoz, Associate Professor of Education at Colorado State University, both attended Session 537 Students at the Margins and the Institutions that Serve Them: A Global Perspective. The goals of the session included developing a database for institutions serving marginalized populations worldwide. This database would act as a common reference point for facilitating interested parties and sharing knowledge and practices. The session also aimed to create a global network of individuals and institutions interested in the practical implementation of issues, including student learning, gender parity, and affirmative action. In addition to these aims, the session was designed to stimulate fresh thinking on how colleges and universities could most effectively provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged and marginalized people. During the session, Dr. Flores spoke to Salzburg Global about how affirmative action was disappearing in U.S. states and the detrimental impact this was having. Meanwhile, Dr. Muñoz talked to Salzburg Global about the many challenges undocumented students faced in higher education, including the constant fear they or their family could be deported. This program concluded with session partners Salzburg Global, Educational Testing Service (ETS), and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions committing to help participants take their ideas forward. To read a report of this session, please click here. 
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