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Salzburg in the World
Why is language learning so important?
Why is language learning so important?
Tomas De La Rosa and Mirva Villa 
“It’s through language acquisition that young people make sense of their world. It’s how they contribute positively to their world. For language learners themselves, it’s interesting to note that students who have a second or third language at a national level – when looking at results – perform extremely well on other standardized tests. So there’s an interesting possible correlation between language acquisition and deeper learning in science, math, and other areas. For language learners there’s also the development of empathy, as students are in a position to consider a point of view beyond their own. As we know language is an artifact of culture, so in learning a language you are learning a culture, and understanding an alternative viewpoint to the dominant viewpoint that you may have had from birth. It opens up access to a world of information, perspectives, opportunities, both social as well as employment-based, for young people who are able to navigate life and live in a multi-language society.” Mark SparvellThought Leader for Education Marketing, Microsoft, USA“I myself am a non-native ‘attempted’ speaker of Arabic, and have watched the language grow in influence and impact in the US since I started learning, which was over 30 years ago... For me, it’s really about... thinking differently about the world, because you’ve had the opportunity to do something in particular to do with a country that people think they know through headlines. The language was really just opening the door, it wasn’t the whole journey – it helps begin a journey.” Maggie Mitchell SalemExecutive Director, Qatar Foundation International (QFI), USA “Formal language learning gives people the opportunity to find out about each other, and people need to find out about each other if they’re going to learn well together. For Learner A and Learner B to be able to help them in a classroom setting, they have to have some kind of common language. To move to a place where they understand each other’s language enough, they may need to learn that language. It’s a strategic way that a teacher can bring together the linguistic resources different of learners in a classroom. Informal language learning, on the other hand, goes on all the time. We’re constantly picking up bits of these different communicative practices that people use. … The point is that when people move, either great or small distances, suddenly they’re in a new communicative context, and they will naturally and instinctively start to learn the different language resources of other people. What happens there, is language is much more mixed and there’s a big difference between what we do informally and often what teachers do formally and I would like to see more informal use in the classroom to help learners learn formally.” Tony CapstickLecturer in Applied Linguistics, University of Reading, UK“I live in the UK, where there’s a lot of monolingual people who think “This is not important for me” … For some people this is not a choice, because they’re learning a language for survival: you don’t get a job unless you can communicate, you don’t get health care, and you’re really going to have problems in a host country. These people wouldn’t even ask this question, they just do it, and they do it fast and are quite motivated. I was really thrilled to be sharing their experience [learning in Denmark with other migrants]; I was far slower than them and they made a good job of it, and really helped them integrate because they started to read newspapers and understand the society. This question will be answered differently by different people, but I think it also opens your mind, you open up beyond your own culture, and that helps you understand others more.” Gabrielle Hogan-BrunSenior Research Fellow, School of Education, University of Bristol, UK“Language learning is fundamental, because…it teaches us to see the world in multiple ways. I still remember the change that it made for me when I first learned a language. I have this sentence that has been stuck in my head ever since I was a child and I started learning French. I had this moment that I called “la perdita dell’ovvio” – things were not obvious any longer. Suddenly I realized that there wasn’t a complete adherence between the world and how we see it, because it can be seen in so many different ways. I think that just by learning languages we learn to be plural and we learn to understand in different ways, and we learn to understand other people.” Loredana PolezziProfessor of Translation Studies, School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, UK Have an opinion on our HOT TOPIC? Tweet @SalzburgGlobal with the hashtag #SGSedu 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. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Springboard of Talent, Day 1 - Valuing Language Learning in a Globalized World
Springboard of Talent, Day 1 - Valuing Language Learning in a Globalized World
Louise Hallman 
As they introduced themselves at the start of the latest Salzburg Global Seminar session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, it was clear that the 50 Fellows gathered for the five-day program spoke many languages and understood the value of doing so. But why is learning a language so important? This was the one of the questions facing the opening panel as they “set the scene” and considered language learning and language policy through the varying lenses of recognizing its economic value, resolving ethnolinguistic conflicts, enhancing transnational and transcultural understanding, and strengthening cultural resilience for migrant populations (both forced and otherwise). While the value of learning languages may be apparent to those gathered in Salzburg, convincing policymakers, communities, parents, and even the learners themselves of that value can remain a challenge in many contexts. To address that challenge, following inputs from the panelists, the Fellows gathered in small groups to establish their first “headlines” that will help to frame the Salzburg Statement, to be co-written throughout the week and published on February 21 – International Mother Language Day. To gain the support of communities, families and learners in recognizing the value of language learning, “start early” was the key piece of advice. Schools should be encouraged to accommodate linguistic diversity, and establish reciprocities among different language speakers to encourage both formal and informal language learning. Increasing linguistic diversity of teachers would help in this regard. At the policy level, recognizing that state education system language policies can be destructive and distracting, Fellows urged for a flexible language policy, seeing multiple languages as a resource to enhance, not a problem to be solved. As language learning is frequently about power, leading some languages (such as English) to be valued higher than others, they encouraged a de-emphasizing of English as the default second language of bilingualism. With regards to business and economics, Fellows acknowledged that there is currently a disconnect between global trade ambitions and the provision of effective language learning, and called for the embrace of the economic benefits of linguistic diversity within companies. Fellows were left with much food for thought for the next days’ discussions, which will consider language policy, social cohesion, the role of technology, multilingualism and economic dynamism, and addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. 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. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Michael Nettles - “Language is both barrier and bridge to cooperation, peace and progress”
Michael Nettles - “Language is both barrier and bridge to cooperation, peace and progress”
Michael Nettles 
Guten tag! Und willkommen in Salzburg. Hopefully that means “Good afternoon and welcome to Salzburg” in German. But I got it from Google Translator, so it could mean almost anything. No doubt, we will have a robust discussion on the efficacy of translation technologies this week. Until then, I will stick to my mother tongue: American English inflected with doctorate-ese. My name is Michael Nettles, and I am the Senior Vice President of the Policy Evaluation and Research Center at Educational Testing Service, of Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States. I would like to welcome you to this year’s Salzburg Global Seminar session, “Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World.” This is ETS’ eighth session in partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar.  We previously have examined educational and social mobility gaps and how to close them; the experiences of students at the margins and the institutions that serve them; early childhood development, the use of testing and data in creating education and workplace opportunities for underserved groups; and advances in social and emotional learning, which was the topic of last year’s seminar. This year’s session on language and language learning is organized under the heading “Education for Tomorrow’s World” — that is, the strategies, innovations and institutional changes that can meet societies’ future needs and help all learners flourish. It would be difficult to conceive of a lever more basic or useful than language for achieving those aims. Where people live together, nothing is possible without communication. And so I am very excited about our agenda and learning from all of you. Setting Themes Language, of course, is both barrier and bridge to cooperation, peace and progress. And if the urgency of appreciating this fact rises and falls with the level of turmoil in societies, then we picked the right time to talk about it. As our colleague Joseph Lo Bianco put it in an interview published earlier this year, “Language is fundamental. We socialize infants into talking because it is the most human of acts. Our relationships, collective identities, political systems, education and economic activities are all inconceivable without effective communication, so it’s inevitable that language is also going to be involved in conflicts.” If anyone understands ethnolinguistic conflict in multiethnic societies, it is Joe Lo Bianco. And I am looking forward to his input in our sessions on languages and social cohesion, identity, and intercultural understanding. From a historical standpoint, we are currently in what another of our colleagues, Hywell Coleman, describes as the third phase of international development aid and language planning since the end of the Second World War. He says the first phase, extending from the end of the war to the mid-1970s, was defined by what Robert Phillipson called “linguistic imperialism” under the cover of Western infrastructure and macroeconomic aid to developing countries. The second phase, from the mid-70s to the end of the 20th century, shifted to aid in support of human development. It saw doubts creep in with regard to the appropriateness of English-language learning in the context of development. Hywell says the signal feature of the third phase is a belief that early education is most effective when conducted in the student’s native language. As for our work over the next few days, we will be like the ancient Hebrews and consider Four Questions: •    One – How can we better communicate the complexity of research around language policy and learning? •    Two – How can more be done to help newly arrived refugees and migrants learn the host country language? •    Three – What role might disruptive technologies play in shaping future decisions about language policy? •    And Four – What research and policy gaps exist in achieving these goals? And how can these be addressed in mono and multilingual contexts? We intend to address these questions from the perspective of the individual; the state; and market and society. It is a lot! But who better to ask and answer these questions than this group of renowned and accomplished experts? Multilingualism and Nationalism I think it is fair to say that all of us here respect and value linguistic diversity, among both individuals and societies. By truly learning a language, we learn a culture, since language and culture are so intertwined. And wonderful things flow from intercultural understanding: peace, prosperity, mutual respect, well-oiled gray matter — all good things! By protecting languages used by smaller populations, we are protecting humankind’s cultural inheritance. Conversely, we recoil at linguistic imperialism, even under the guise of magnanimity. Yet I would submit that it is not always vulnerable minority populations who wish to protect their culture and autonomy in part by protecting their native language. The powerful and populous do, too. And they often wield national language policy as a cudgel to control and subjugate, frequently under the patina of nation building. Joe Lo Bianco reminds us that in 1952, students from what was then East Pakistan were set upon and killed for demanding equal recognition of Bengali with Urdu, which had just been proclaimed to be the sole national language. The dispute provoked the long, bloody war that resulted in independence for Bangladesh. In South Africa, the government’s announcement of compulsory Afrikaans in the teaching of math and social studies provoked the 1976 Soweto uprising, a landmark in the often violent struggle against apartheid. Nor has the United States, arguably the most ethnically diverse society in the world, been immune. During our “Indian Wars” of the 19th Century, the eradication of native languages was among the goals of federal boarding schools for Native Americans. To this day, there is constant tension in schools and communities throughout the United States over bilingual education. It often produces the false assertion that English is the official national language of the United States, when in fact we have no official language. As in many other societies marked by ethnic conflict, our language disputes are associated with anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner, anti-other sentiment. To many observers, this has been especially pronounced under the current administration.An Alternative Theory Let me be a little provocative now. I think it is obvious that the mere existence of discrimination against linguistic minorities does not prove the converse — that a multilingual society is a peaceful society in which ethnic groups cooperate with and respect one another. Going a step further, it could be argued that while linguistic minorities are often shunted into ethnic enclaves, an argument can be made that people prefer to live with their own kind, and to keep their interactions with other communities at a minimum. A definition of multilingualism, after all, is a society in which people who speak different languages live side by side but not together. In fact, an argument can be made that at some point, multilingualism contributes to ethnic tribalism. That has the whiff of blaming the victim, and it is not a theory that I subscribe to. But it is something to think about. Where is the tipping point at which multilingual societies become too fragmented to hold together? I do believe that, by far, the greater threat to civil society is from ethnic and linguistic majorities seeking to impose the majority language on the linguistic minority, and to exile or abuse the minority when it suits their purpose. In fact, is part of the danger inherent in the rise of nationalist movements around the world. But history goes in cycles. And it is possible that in the next phase of international development aid and language planning that the pendulum will swing back to once again view a lingua franca as the best path to peace within and among societies and nations. Whether that would be English, Chinese, Russian or some other language, who can say? As repetitive as history can be, it is also hard to predict. Speaking of Lingua Franca … We certainly live in interesting times! Never has a single language, in this case English, been so widely spoken throughout the world. Thanks in part to this common medium, international travel, commerce and communication have never been so simple or so ubiquitous. Never has it been so easy for talented academics and researchers to attend international seminars so far from home. And yet for all this coming together, we live under a very real threat of a nuclear war breaking out at any moment between two societies that could hardly be more different politically, culturally, economically, and linguistically. …Communism collapses — and Russia seizes the Crimea and goes to war against Ukraine. Autocracies tumble in the Middle East — and are replaced by the nihilists of ISIS. Are language policies a symptom of discord? Or are they a cause? Or a cure? There is cognitive dissonance everywhere on the question. As Gabrielle Hogan-Brun notes, a lack of multilingualism among Britons costs the UK 3.5 percent of its GDP every year.  And a British Council survey two years ago showed that almost 60 percent of UK adults regret that they let their school-era language skills slip.  But rather than engage even more vigorously with other cultures for their own economic benefit, they vote to leave the EU and turn inward. In the US, nearly half the states offer special recognition to bilingual K–12 graduates.  But at the college level, enrollment in foreign-language courses fell by 6.7 percent between 2009 and 2015.  One large state university system will now even allow students to count their high school computer courses toward their foreign-language requirements for admissions purposes. In Japan, Kayoko Hashimoto tells us that more than a decade ago, the American political scientist Joseph Nye pointed out that Japan’s “weakness in languages” made it difficult for it to use its soft power to extend its influence around the world. But despite a decade of trying and despite the awesome international appeal of Japan’s cultural exports, little has changed, and the Japanese language is an official or common language in just one place: Japan. Foreign students who come to the United States to study in our colleges and universities take classes in English, the better to learn American culture and values. In Japan, they take classes … in English. Without learning the language, truly learning a culture is not possible. Conclusion That is the principle on which my company, ETS, is developing an interactive learning platform to help adult English-language learners understand the practical elements of English in a workplace context: what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. We are also developing an intercultural-competence module of our HEIghten higher education outcomes assessments. It is based on the belief that intercultural competence has become an essential skill for success in the 21st century workforce. It may all be academic, so to speak, given the march of technology. Anyone who has used Google Translator knows that it is a long way from practical utility. You may think that you are asking where the bathroom is, only to learn that you have just ordered a cucumber sandwich for your parakeet. But it is a good bet that translation technologies will be much improved. Will they promote cross-cultural cooperation? Or will they make the hard work of learning languages a thing of the past, and thereby diminish the value of multilingualism, and promote ethnic separation? Of course, the answer to all these questions is “yes.” Thank you Nettles is currently co-chairing Salzburg Global session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World which 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. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft
Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Language is fundamental to national identity and an important contributor to social cohesion in modern pluralistic societies. Learning a foreign language helps you to know that country and language skills can be very valuable. However, language policy decisions can also impact detrimentally on students’ life chances. All of this raises critical questions for researchers, policymakers and practitioners about the role of language learning and testing for two public good objectives: to “untap” and optimize individual talents and to foster social cohesion and dynamic inclusive economies. To this end, Salzburg Global Seminar is holding the session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World at its home in Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, from December 12 to 16, 2017. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft, and forms part of Salzburg Global’s long-running multi-year series, Education for Tomorrow’s World. The four-day program will bring together over 50 representatives from the varying spheres of policy, academia, civil society and business, representing over 25 countries, to look at the importance of language policy and practice from three perspectives – the individual, the state, and market and society – and examine how language learning can help integration, international relations and employment opportunities. As many countries try to tackle large influxes of both refugees and migrants, participants will examine language programs that help the new arrivals better integrate into their new host countries and enhance social cohesion. Languages also play a large role for the state with regards to “soft power” and diplomacy, as seen by the emergence of English as a global “lingua franca” and the growing efforts in the West to learn Chinese to better engage with and understand the rising power of China. The third lens of the session will look at the economic value of language learning, with evidence showing that bilingualism and multilingualism bring strong economic benefits for labor mobility. Like many other sectors, technological innovation has the potential to revolutionize and democratize the language teaching and learning fields, paving the way to fairer access to the job market. Participants in Salzburg will consider the role disruptive technology might play in shaping future decisions about language policy. Much emphasis in schools’ curriculum in recent years has been placed on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with languages often valued less in comparison – despite the fact this goes against the latest thinking in neuroscience. Participants will consider how the research community can counter this misalignment of evidence and policy, and gain more traction with policymakers, practitioners and the public. In an effort to promote the importance of language learning, as well as participating in panel-led plenary discussions and working groups, the participants will collaborate on both a “Salzburg Statement” and the formulation of a series of “Salzburg Questions.” The Statement will not only be circulated widely following the session, but will also form the basis of a new series of webinars to be held throughout 2018. The Questions will spark an online international debate, to be launched on Twitter on International Mother Language Day on February 21. You can follow all discussions throughout the week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #SGSedu. 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. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Fellows Present Ideas on Enhancing Collaboration and Building Healthy Communities
Fellows Present Ideas on Enhancing Collaboration and Building Healthy Communities
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Participants of the Salzburg Global session, Building Healthy Communities: The Role of Hospitals, have been encouraged to keep the conversation flowing following the end of the five-day program. This message came after participants presented their ideas on the final day of the program to enhance effective collaboration and information-sharing between hospitals, social services, and community organizations. Their presentations explored several areas, building on the discussions and exercises that had taken place over the previous days. The first group to present did so under the title of “Yearning for Change.” They advocated a framework for system change convening and assisting like-minded leaders in a community social movement to share experiences and test ideas while committing to a sustainable health system. This would lead to a “Salzburg Community of Practice” – a group of peers from different countries who share a passion for sustainable system change who learn how to do it better through regular interaction on a voluntary basis. Everyone has access to information and each other. All peers share a view of what’s significant. The group said they’d know if they were successful when an online library was established and actively used. Other markers include active participation by a minimum of five countries, and the sense participants find it useful. The next presentation focused on creating a resource which would help result in healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy planet – taking innovation to scale. This group produced a set of values they felt were paramount for successful innovation scale, which they referred to as the Four-Is Framework. Innovation, issue, and influence are the essential domains of interaction that are necessary. Impact, the fourth “I,” is only achieved when the other fields have had time to interface and intersect. Underpinning this framework are guiding principles of equal partnership and representation, a focus on trusting, respectful relationships among all stakeholders, stakeholder/community engagement and co-creation, continuous involvement of end-users, investment of resources in enabling capacity for stakeholder engagement, and incremental progress. The third working group showcased an action-oriented research agenda, designed to improve individual, community and planetary health simultaneously. The rationale behind it was that a more conscious research and action agenda on social determinants of health could maximize health system impacts and investments to achieve benefits at all three levels. The group highlighted several domains where interventions could be identified. These areas included food insecurity, poor and unhealthy housing, energy poverty, transportation, waste management/recycling, air quality, education, violence prevention, and social isolation. An example of a research question could be: What are the most effective partnership models to achieve maximum results? If health care professionals are to reach out to the community, they’ll need to understand the community first. This message came through during the next presentation. The working group behind the presentation focused on services to help clinicians to improve communication. Members advocated using local community resources and smart and existing technology to integrate, share and disseminate knowledge to improve community health. The methods of achieving this include identifying community needs and health guardians in the community, using smart technology to develop connectivity and health education, and having a regular review of the whole process. The presentation concluded with the message: “Change will happen. It just needs passion, commitment, and desire.” Throughout the session, participants considered the capacities of hospitals and the position they were in to support healthy communities. One working group decided to focus on ways to improve their capacities through a global toolkit. The final product would be a dynamic digital repository, which brings together individuals, frameworks, methodologies, tools, and cases to facilitate, strengthen and guide hospital collaboration, co-operation and co-design efforts with communities to improve the health of its citizens. The group stated hospitals could and should work together with communities and evolve to improve the health and well-being of all citizens by addressing social determinants. While doing so, hospitals should continue delivering on their core mission, which is providing high-value care to its patients and families with “healthy staff.” Resources which could be made available in a global toolkit include partnership agreements, education and training materials, communication strategies, and co-design methodologies. Members of the sixth working group began their talk by describing the existing system as unsustainable. The speaker said the system “doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.” The group proposed co-producing a learning front end to enable a health-creating system that is accountable to the community. Members of this group suggested describing a theory of change based on people’s preferences and an understanding of needs and wants. The next steps would be to present a way to invite co-producers and then form or find communities of interest to refine and spread. One participant said what they were talking about was “transformational change” – starting with an individual and then extending to the system. Taking the work forward A seventh working group worked on an outline proposal for six peer-reviewed articles to be published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), based on the themes that emerged during the session. The initial plan is to release these articles in 2018. The articles would be presented on a BMJ Collection page alongside any BMJ Opinion pieces written by Salzburg Global Fellows. Participants heard a working group would meet regularly to ensure the project moves forward. Suggested article themes already include the role of hospitals, lowering the walls and breaking down barriers, and how data can act as a bridge. Salzburg Global Program Director John Lotherington said Salzburg Global would do everything it can to support Fellows’ ideas, but he encouraged prime movers in each group to keep the conversation moving forward. Several participants said they would support the idea of producing a Salzburg Statement. Lotherington indicated this was something which could be pursued but would have to stem from a smaller working group first before it could branch out to all participants. Anne Weiss, managing director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the program had provided her the opportunity to discuss a challenge experienced in more than one country and that the conversation had moved from hospitals to health eco-systems. Susan Mende, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said participants had disproved the notion that something that happens in one part of the world can’t be applied to another. To conclude, Mende said participants had seen the "winds of change” at Salzburg Global, and a gale was beginning to build. The session, Building Healthy Communities: The Role of Hospitals is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century. This year’s session is held in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Building Healthy Communities – Prioritizing Health Creation
Building Healthy Communities – Prioritizing Health Creation
Tomás De La Rosa 
The question of how health creation can remain a priority when institutions are geared to other primary goals is one that’s difficult to find just one answer for. Participants of the Salzburg Global session, Building Healthy Communities: The Roles of Hospital, considered the best strategies on Sunday morning as part of the session’s final plenary discussion. In addition, participants also explored how to creatively manage the trade-offs for everyone, not just health care institutions. To help them, Gary Cohen, Gale Surgenor, Eddie Bartnik, and Paul Burstow spoke from their experience and provided case studies to reflect on. Cohen discussed the broader mission hospitals have in supporting people in equitable and healthy societies through environmental sustainability. Calling hospitals “the cathedrals of our time,” he argued they need to reduce waste, use more sustainable energy sources, and eliminate toxic chemicals such as mercury. He also explained how hospitals contribute to the health of individuals, communities, and the planet, finishing with the open-ended question, “Who else is to defend the human right to health than ourselves who are responsible for healing?” Sharing the example of communities in South Auckland, New Zealand, where "only the hood can change the hood" is the rule, Surgenor explained how it’s essential to collaborate with communities to educate them about their own health. This type of co-design helps communities by having them teach institutions about human design. Bartnik, a strategic advisor to the National Disability Insurance Agency, highlighted the importance of connecting with local communities through positive assumptions and asking the right questions to help communities find local solutions. He also explained how strategic conversations are necessary for a fair and connected support system saying, “We must ensure it doesn’t take over and families or communities always have a say.” Paul Burstow, former Minister of State for the UK Department of Health, used the example of elderly people in health care losing value and agency due to their status, as a reminder of how services must be humble as they only represent 10 percent of the concept of health. “What people fundamentally want is to live a good life, and not be surrounded by systems,” he said. He then urged participants not to use co-production to perpetuate business arguing, “Products must enhance life, not burden people. Institutions should be fundamentally bottom-up; communities should instruct people at the top on what their needs are.” Reflecting on the discussion, a participant talked about how each individual’s story is different, saying, “With decision-makers, it's about considering how to budget effectively to provide appropriate care, but with patients, it needs to be how to improve their lives and create a better experience.” The session, Building Healthy Communities: The Role of Hospitals is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century. This year’s session is held in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Sowing the Seeds of a Global Conversation - The Salzburg Questions Series
Sowing the Seeds of a Global Conversation - The Salzburg Questions Series
Katie Witcombe 
This article first appeared on the EAPC Blog on Monday, December 11. In response to Human Rights Day yesterday, 10th December, Katie Witcombe, Outreach Administrator for the Cicely Saunders Institute and one of the facilitators of the Salzburg Questions series, explains the importance of using digital campaigns to shine a spotlight on neglected issues and open up discussions to people all over the world.When the seed of an idea for a multidimensional series of questions was planted at the Salzburg Global Seminar in 2016, its capacity for growth was unknown. At a meeting to consider global opportunities and challenges in palliative care, which was attended by international experts in the field and facilitated by Professor Irene Higginson of the Cicely Saunders Institute, it was decided that an interactive, digital debate would be the most inclusive way to initiate conversations about the major issues currently facing palliative care provision and how best these can be tackled. A global conversation, including monthly Twitter ‘launches’ to coincide with international awareness days, corresponding blog posts, podcasts, videos and reports, was planned for the following 12 months with academic and clinical leads spearheading the campaign from around the world. Since its conception, the Salzburg Questions series has achieved a reach which has surpassed expectations; there has been an average of nearly 500 views for each blog post, the #allmylifeQs hashtag has received more than 10.4 million impressions on Twitter and been used in more than 3,500 tweets, and the online reach has extended to 182 countries. Monthly topics have included the inequality of palliative care provision in low- and middle-income countries, the emotional and financial impact of caring for a loved one at the end of life and the future research needed to improve care for vulnerable groups such as refugees, people with complex physical symptoms, and those living in poverty. The series has given project teams and researchers from world-leading institutions the opportunity to showcase their most recent research into global healthcare trends, place of death, how to support an ageing population and treatment for non-cancer conditions. These issues affect millions of people worldwide, and the application of this work into actual clinical practice has the potential to markedly improve the quality of life for patients and families approaching the end of life. Ultimately, the Salzburg Questions series has highlighted the appetite that exists for discussions about the issues affecting palliative care, and the role that online platforms such as Twitter have to play in these global conversations. In this digital age, closed-room discussions are becoming a thing of the past and impact can be measured in re-tweets and shares. Twitter discourse is a democratisation of the decision-making processes which have governed research for so long; people from all demographics and backgrounds can now help to shape the direction of future work by signposting the areas which they feel need the most investment. In the aftermath of Human Rights Day this weekend, an increased awareness of vulnerable or neglected groups should be celebrated, as should the involvement of patients, carers and families in these discussions. The blog posts published monthly by the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) may have been produced by experts in fields as diverse as global health inequity, patient and carer psycho-social needs, advance care planning and epidemiology, but it is the responses from researchers, clinicians and members of the public which have enabled this series to gain momentum and relevance over time. From tiny seeds, tall oaks can grow, and we hope that the roots that were laid over the course of the campaign will continue to flourish. The enthusiasm and engagement with which this series of questions has been met is a clear signifier of the conversations which people from all over the world are ready to have about the lasting need for high quality, effective and accessible palliative care. Links and Resources •    Catch up on the global Twitter discussions using the hashtag #allmylifeQs. The nine Salzburg Questions have been debated throughout 2017.•    Read all nine posts published on the EAPC Blog in the Salzburg Questions series.•    Find out more about the ongoing work of the Cicely Saunders Institute.•    Find out more about the programmes and strategic aims of the Salzburg Global Seminar.•    Follow Prof Irene Higginson @ij_higginson•    Follow Cicely Saunders Institute @CSI_KCL
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