Salzburg Global Chronicle 2016

Multi-Generational Fellows

Salzburg Serendipity

If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, it may not come as much of a surprise that Salzburg Global Seminar now counts in its international Fellowship several multi-generational Fellows. But a surprise it often is – to both the Fellows and Salzburg Global. Here we share just a few stories of this special kind of “Salzburg magic”. 

Brian Mayes (father) – Stephen Mayes (son)

s.502, 2013 & s. 81, 1962

It wasn’t until he had arrived in Salzburg for the 2013 session Power in Whose Palm? The Digital Democratization of Photography that photographer Stephen found out about his father Brian’s shared experience. Brian had come to Salzburg more than 50 years earlier for a session on a very different topic: American law and legal institutions. Stephen explains: “I had no idea that he had participated in a Salzburg Global session until the second day of my session when I wandered around the grounds and was struck by a powerful sense of déjà vu... I assumed it was Julie Andrews speaking to me until it crashed into my mind that I’d seen all this in the family photo album. I didn’t quite believe it, and I asked Susi [Seidl-Fox, Salzburg Global Program Director] to check the records, and there he was. The 1962 seminar is still vivid in my father’s mind.”

Pravin Parekh (father) – Sandeep Parekh (son)

s.550, 2015 & s.264, 1987

Sandeep Parekh was recommended by another Fellow to attend a Salzburg Global session. It was only after he had registered the he found out his father Pravin, now a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, had come to Salzburg as a young lawyer nearly 30 years earlier. Sandeep: “My father went to Salzburg in 1987. The mock trial (a common practice during the law Sessions in the 1980s) and other highly memorable instances, especially at the dinner table, still remain with him. Fast forward to 2015, after nearly three decades: having heard great things about the beauty of the city and also the incredible experience my father had, I had come to Salzburg with high expectations. And I wasn’t disappointed. Our sessions and breakout groups were of the highest quality thinkable. The participants, seasoned and at the top of their profession, gave their entire self for the three days there and created an incredible intellectual churn.” 

Roger Fisher (father) – Elliot Fisher (son)

s.548, 2015 & s. 206, 1981

When participating in a Health and Health Care Innovation session in 2015, Elliot reminisced about his late father Roger’s connection to Salzburg: “My father was a famous law professor who helped establish the field of conflict resolution. He founded the Harvard Negotiation Project, and during the 80s he came to five different sessions here. Our favorite picture of our father is a picture in front of the lake. So for me coming to Salzburg Global Seminar as a participant is an incredible treat.” 

Alan Plattus (father) – Rachel Plattus (daughter)

s.427, 2005 & s.561, 2016

When we asked Alan Plattus how he felt after his daughter Rachel also attended a session, he replied: “I like to think that the fact that Rachel and I seem to find our ways to the same places and people is a reflection of our shared interests, values,  and commitments, as much as any overt network of family connections.  Places like the Schloss then become symbols of those shared values and, of course, of vicariously shared experiences. We hope to share that experience some day – and the conversation and fellowship of some future seminar.”

Hendrik (Henk) Demper (stepfather) – Claudia Hinterseer (stepdaughter)

s. 502, 2013 & s. 143, 1972

As Claudia explains: “When I told my stepfather Henk Demper that I was invited to join the Salzburg Global Seminar Power in Whose Palm? The Digital Democratization of Photography, we had so much fun when we found out he had been at the exact same Schloss decades earlier! He [took part in] Session 143 on International Economic Policies, while he worked at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. He remembered the presence of an American Senator, and the plenary meetings and especially the small group discussions. He took his oboe along to the Schloss and performed with another participant on the piano one evening and during my Session there was live music in the evening too. So except for the topics and the weather – my program took place during a cold snowy winter (I even had a chance to go skiing after attending) while his was during a beautiful summer – we both agreed it was a joyful and very inspiring experience.”

Daniel Gorman (son) – Michael Gorman (father)

s.532, 2014 & s.3, 1949

Upon appointing Daniel as a participant of Session 532 Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts in 2014, Salzburg Global Program Director Susanna Seidl-Fox unexpectedly received some old photographs that Daniel’s father Michael had taken at the Schloss while being a Fellow at Session 3 back in 1949. Michael came again for Session 9 in 1950, some 64 years before Daniel would follow in his footsteps. Daniel told us: “[My father] has often told me stories of his time in Salzburg, and we did discuss it before and after my visit. The Schloss holds many special memories for him, and now also for me!” With the birth of his first daughter, Daniel jokingly remarked: “Who knows, she may be generation three to attend the Schloss!” 

C.J. Peek – Tom Peek (brothers)

s.536, 2014 & s.228, 1984

When C.J. Peek opened his email inbox and found an invitation to participate at a session on mental health in 2014, he hadn’t heard of Salzburg Global before. While considering whether he should go, he mentioned the invitation to different family members, and, to his surprise, it turned out that his brother Tom was already a Fellow who participated in a session 30 years earlier. C.J. was further encouraged by two of his daughters; one of them is friends with Michael Shank, Fellow of Session 532 in 2014, and the other is working for Rolf Nordstrom, who attended Session 454 in 2008. “Michael and Rolf both found the experience excellent and encouraged me strongly to accept the invitation.”

Gabriel Stanila – Mihai Stanila (brothers)

s.534, 2014

Gabriel and Mihai Stanila are both working on sustainable development projects in Bucharest, Romania. Although they are brothers, they found out about their session separately and only realized that they would be attending the session together shortly before getting on the plane to Salzburg. 

G.A. Finch – Anthony P. Finch (brothers)

s.229, 1984

Another pair of brothers who came to Salzburg together are attorney G.A. Finch and education consultant Anthony P. Finch. Of their experience, G.A. said: “It is a great memory to have of my brother and I spending time together in a cerebral activity.”

“Salzburg Magic”

Fellows often remark on the “Salzburg magic” that helps form the bonds between Fellows and leads to life-long friendships, shared professional development opportunities, and supportive mentorship. Sometimes, however, these relationships grow to be deeper than just professional connections...

Kimberly Reyes – Andrew Harvey

s.537, 2014

Academics Kimberley Reyes and Andrew Harvey met while attending the same session. Kimberly explains how their lives – both professional and personal – benefited from that chance meeting: “When I arrived in Salzburg (my very first trip to Europe!), I expected that the seminar would be a life-changing learning experience – but I did not expect to meet the love of my life. I met Andrew on the first day of the session when we were assigned to the same working group discussion... Over a beautiful meal in the hall of the Schloss on that first night, we had a lively conversation that was equal parts red wine, global politics, and laughter. Thanks to modern technology, we kept our promises to stay in touch, and six months later we reunited in the US. Not long after, we met up again in Melbourne, where we presented a co-authored research paper at a higher education conference. Despite the distance, we have only gotten closer – and our academic perspectives have benefited greatly from exposure to both the Australian and American educational contexts. We got engaged on April 8, 2016 – a year and a half after meeting in Salzburg – and we look forward to building our lives and careers in both countries. Thank you, Salzburg Global, for bringing us together!” 

Donatella Soria – Avi Schneebalg

s.215, 1982 and their son Marco sitting on his mother's chair in the Venetian Room of Schloss Leopoldskron

Lawyers Avi Schneebalg and Donatella Soria met while attending the session in the summer of 1982. Donatella reminisces: “We were both young lawyers, respectively in Brussels and Milan, eager to open ourselves to such an enriching experience at the Schloss. Avi and I sympathized immediately, became good friends and had many interesting discussions. But the timing was not right, in spite of the romantic and idyllic set! It was only six years later that Avi called me out of the blue…a few days before my visit to Brussels on business (talk of serendipity!). We married in July of 1989, near Lake Como in Northern Italy. The Salzburg Seminar has left an indelible imprint on both Avi and myself, a shared life in which we have both thrived professionally and personally and built up a happy family, thanks also to our great son Marco.” Avi adds: “I was so lucky to meet Donatella at the Salzburg Seminar. She has illuminated my life, together with our beloved son Marco. Thanks Salzburg!” More than 30 years later, their son Marco travelled to Salzburg to see where his parents met, enjoying a Schloss tour and even discovering a chair with his mother’s name acknowledging her donation to an earlier fundraising campaign.



We are trying to build a longer list of our multi-generational Fellows. If you and a family member are both Fellows, please contact: Jan Heinecke, Salzburg Global Fellowship Manager,