Salzburg Global Chronicle 2016


Letter from the President

This is the 70th year that men and women have walked through the gates of Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg seeking fresh perspective and breakthrough ideas. Every Salzburg Global Fellow I meet has a story to tell. Most give vivid accounts of ideas challenged, friendships formed, collaborations launched, and strategies accelerated.

The power and recurrence of the through lines in their accounts is striking. Whether from South or North, public or private sectors, young or senior, each Fellow claims to gain insight, inspiration, and velocity from his or her Salzburg experience.  

In a world in which digital connectivity is a constant, the desire for face-to-face convening appears to be making a comeback. More and more we ask: How can we add value and quality to human interaction through convening in the real world, not just the virtual? How can we create opportunities for thoughtful reflection? Can we harness data and creativity to inform strategy? Is it possible to combine introspection with innovation and leadership?

In an earlier era, Salzburg Global programs lasted for weeks, not days. Today’s shorter sessions succeed with very diverse participants and formats that challenge Fellows to break beyond the limits of their cultural silos and political and media echo chambers.  

Today’s programs – whether for young people early in their career, innovators and leaders to “solve” a shared problem, or senior leaders to consider disruptive scenarios and how to make the most of them – all offer a stage on which risk-taking roles can be rehearsed and new scenes imagined.

The following pages spotlight recent collaborations, statements, strategies, events, organizations, and much more that result directly from Salzburg Global’s convening and program partnerships. We are increasingly an institution where the “going out” is just as important as the “coming in” through our gates.   As ever, it all begins with the opportunity to reflect, to test, to invent, and to share with others committed to accelerating positive change in the world. 

Stephen L. Salyer,
President & CEO, Salzburg Global Seminar

Presidential Picks

Current and Future Leaders
Since our founding by three young Harvard men, we have been committed to building the human capital of the next generation and tackling issues faced by young people across the world. Our longest-running multi-year series, the Global Citizenship Program, has entered an exciting new chapter. In “hubs” across the world, Young Cultural Innovators are putting their new networks and skills to use. Our Media Academy students offer program partners real-world solutions to pressing issues, helping marginalized and at-risk communities and unheard civic voices.

Cutting-Edge Topics
From the revolutionary use of data in health care and education to technology disruption in the finance industry, our 2015 programs were at the forefront of global issues. Our session The Neuroscience of Art took a pioneering step to advance state-of-the-art findings from across disciplines and established an ongoing neutral international forum. Together with the German Ministry for Family Affairs, we launched a new project – “Family Is...”– to promote understanding and acceptance of LGBT families. In Hong Kong, we asked how new philanthropies can (re)shape a more livable world.

Clear Frameworks for Action
Our Fellows leave our programs with new knowledge and new networks, “turbo charged” to create change and instigate collaborations across fields and regions. Clear frameworks for action are developed – in 2015 topics ranged from early childhood development and education to human rights abuses in North Korea. New initiatives for greener cities, intergenerational exchange, and health data integration stem from our continuing series, Parks for the Planet Forum and Health and Health Care Innovation

Long-Term Engagement
The engagement of Salzburg Global Fellows extends well beyond their session experience at Schloss Leopoldskron. In many cases, their engagement lasts a lifetime and encourages participation by other family members and professional colleagues. When it comes to long-term engagement, our Board Members lead by example, offering their time, talent, and treasure year in and year out. We are deeply thankful to all those individuals and institutions who continue their commitment to Salzburg Global; without their generous support our work would not be possible.