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Who We Are

Our Approach

Salzburg Global Seminar’s strategic convening is designed to challenge established mindsets, inspire collaborative solutions and build lasting networks.

We do this by identifying key stakeholders, early stage innovators, emerging trends, obstacles to advancement, and points of leverage. Working with specialist partners, we customize multi-year programs to frame problems in fresh ways, facilitate breakthrough experiences and maximize lasting impact.

We focus rigorously on outcomes at four levels:

1. Inspiring new alliances and institutions

Salzburg Global has a long tradition of catalyzing and inspiring the creation of new institutions through its programs.

2. Creating new professional networks and policy recommendations

We partner with other private and public sector institutions, and develop networks to improve the analysis of effective policy and to craft policy guidelines and recommendations to improve the translation of policies into action.

3. Global dialogue and global framing

We work with foundations, governments, universities, and other partners to catalyze and extend their impact in specific areas and to help adopt a global framing around issues critical to partners’ missions.

4. Creating innovative global curricula

Salzburg Global works with educational institutions across five continents to connect universities, civil society institutions, and others dedicated to developing new educational models and innovative educational programs in global citizenship, media, and conflict prevention.

We amplify our impact through eight steps:

1. Prioritizing topics  

We focus on new issues ripe for engagement or known problems where progress has stalled. Salzburg Global has a proven track record of addressing emerging issues before they reach center stage.  We maintain our commitment to tackling systems challenges in the long-term public interest.

2. Bringing the right people to the table  

Salzburg Global works with partners to map key stakeholders, innovative voices and emerging leadership to connect the full range of perspectives on a given topic.  Our sessions transcend the echo chamber of typical conferences by recruiting distinctive participants from different regions and sectors alongside world-renowned thinkers and experts.  Utilizing the Salzburg Global Network, we target cutting-edge participants who have new ideas to share, are eager to learn, and can enrich creative problem solving.  Our deep commitment to engaging young leaders on their way to influence also makes us unique among major think tanks and policy institutions.  

3. Asking the questions that need to be asked  

Our sessions reframe the terms of debate to clarify what needs to be understood and how different parts of the problem intersect.  To facilitate horizon scanning before a session, Salzburg Global conducts issue mapping in conjunction with the world’s top universities and think tanks – structuring multi-sector perspectives and forward-leaning conversations.  Our goal is to facilitate a shift from stalemate and isolation to integrated understanding and action.

4. Overcoming barriers to progress  

Salzburg Global’s methodology is designed to build trust and break down silos.  We provide non-ideological support to help partners make progress on emerging, complicated, sensitive or taboo topics.  Our approach embraces diversity and creates a space in which to manage controversy – whether geographic, political, cultural, religious or generational.  People trust us to foster intellectual exchange in interactive, inclusive conditions. We purposefully design opportunities for unexpected encounters, where people can drop their institutional and real-world defenses, and explore ideas for the common good.

5. Creating conditions for change  

Accelerating effective action means understanding context, defining options, and setting strategy.  Salzburg Global works with partners to identify inflection points and opportunities for innovation where personal and institutional investment can produce game-changing outcomes.  We develop tangible goals and outcomes, and above all, translate vision into structured steps for practical results.  We help our partners and participants build shared communities of interest to drive change forward.

Intensely productive experiences are achieved through total immersion over three to five days. Participants can renew their skills and commitment around an issue of shared interest, finding fresh energy and conviction to shift obstacles to progress and learning more about themselves along the way. Opportunities to present, discuss, complete group work and role-play are combined with interactive presentations by top experts from across the world.

6. Fostering continued collaboration  

Salzburg Global’s strategic convening enables institutions and individuals to exchange fresh ideas, build ties with new stakeholders, broker alliances and forge collaborative pathways.  Our commitment extends beyond convening to help our partners and participants implement change strategies and build networks to enhance future effectiveness.

7. Maximizing results  

All Salzburg Global partnerships are designed for long-term impact.  Before, during and after a session, we work hand-in-hand with our partners to strengthen influence where it matters most to them.  Partnership outcomes can include fresh ideas, global policy initiatives, new international networks, model curricula, quoted reports and grassroots innovations.  

Each Salzburg Global convening includes a communications plan to engage communities of interest.  Our experienced media team stimulates press coverage by inviting journalists to attend and cover selected sessions, arranging interviews with leading presenters and helping participants utilize social media effectively. We work with our partners to distribute content through a range of platforms and distribution networks, and regularly track dissemination as part of our performance metrics.

8. Nurturing new leadership

Salzburg Global works with partners to build mentoring, coaching and peer networks, with a keen eye for emerging professionals at pivotal points in their careers.  The opportunity to make ‘a professional friend for life’ can foster courageous action, open new career options, and influence the direction of teaching and research.  This personal transformation is a core outcome of the Salzburg Global experience.