Salzburg Global Chronicle 2016

Faces of Leadership

Faces of Leadership

Since Salzburg Global Seminar’s founding nearly 70 years ago, over 30,000 people from more than 160 countries have taken part in over 500 sessions at Schloss Leopoldskron to fulfill our mission to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. Here are eighteen of our Fellows from 2015. 

Doreen Toutikian

“I think if you are in a place like Beirut, where we have a lot of conflict, where we’ve got a lot of issues – from waste management to political issues… Be patient and don’t expect things to just happen so quickly, don’t expect people to be directly responsive. But if your heart is in it, and you just take your time, and you keep on doing it, somewhere down the line it will work out.”

Doreen Toutikian, three-time Salzburg Global Fellow, offers advice to Young Cultural Innovators
in Lebanon and the rest of the world.

Devin Allen

“Breaking those barriers for all black photographers is pretty tough. It was hard getting sponsorships and funding for things, but those things came in due time... Samsung reached out to me, [and] I had been turned down multiple times by other camera companies. Some camera companies – [and] I was even using their camera – wouldn't promote my work because they said it was too controversial and negative, but they promote other photographers of different ethnic backgrounds who do similar work. A [white] photographer told me, ‘It’s the color of your skin – use that to your advantage.’ So it’s just been about breaking those barriers and changing things so people cannot look at just your credentials or the color of your skin, but your natural talent for the art itself.”

Devin Allen, Salzburg Global Fellow and Young Cultural Innovator, on his experiences of as an African-American photographer.

Naina Patel

“I want to portray the area [of aging] as one of challenge but also great opportunity, because my experience of working with elders is that they are a great resource – they have huge problems, but they are a great resource... We have a saying in my language – ‘the word of an older person sets the world aright,’ and it seems that working on aging makes us a little wiser and quite determined to make the changes.” 

Naina Patel, Fellow of Aging Societies: Advancing Innovation and Equity, on the benefits of working with elders. 

Mariale Hardiman

“I was the kind of learner that, if I were given a choice of writing a research paper or demonstrating my understanding of a concept through an art medium, I would be in the library tomorrow, because that’s my safe space. I wish I’d been in programs where I had no choice but to present what I knew in some sort of artistic way. I think it would have expanded my world as a student. The one thing we stress for students all the time is that we don’t really care what your product looks like. 

We want you to be involved in the process – the deep thinking that being involved in the arts will help.” 

Mariale Hardiman, Fellow of The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation?, outlines the benefits of arts integration in school and how it is a powerful way to allow children to express themselves.

Charles Whitehead

“There’s a really strong argument for having different perspectives. This goes beyond simply gender. You want to have people with different backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, gender backgrounds, professional backgrounds. The key question here is whether or not you can create that diversity while maintaining a collegial board. And the answer should be yes, because it’s a valuable thing for the company, it’s a valuable thing for the board, and it makes the board more effective.”

Charles Whitehead, Fellow of Corporate Governance in the Global Economy: The Changing Role of Directors, on the importance of having diversity on company boards of directors. 

Siphiwe Ngwenya

“The struggle is mostly on a political level, where we are doing the job that the government is supposed to be doing… There’s not really a formalized understanding that if we do this job – and it’s supposed to be the government’s job – how do we communicate to each other? How do we find people that do this job for government or in place of government without needing government in that way? So the challenge is to fix that conversation and that dialogue on a political level to allow for zoning of non-elite communities…and those things are very important.”

Siphiwe Ngwenya, Salzburg Global Fellow and Young Cultural Innovator, on why he works to convert township homes into art galleries and expand access to the creative economy.

Gil Peñalosa

“If we create cities that are great for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, then they are going to be great for everybody. We need to stop building cities as if everybody was 30-years-old and athletic. We need to build parks, public spaces, sidewalks, streets and crosswalks that are great for children and older adults. We should worry about equity in our cities; we should evaluate cities by how well we treat the most vulnerable citizens, which are the children, the elderly, and the disabled.”

Gil Peñalosa, Fellow of the inaugural session of the Parks for the Planet Forum: Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation, on why we need to create better city parks.

Emma LeBlanc

“I remember seeing one picture from a protest, and it was young men with scarves around their faces and fists up, and I thought, ‘I don’t recognize this as Syria. This isn’t the place I know. This is generic Middle East unrest.’ And I felt very uncomfortable with that. I think I wanted to take pictures of people in war in which the agents were not just men with guns and the victims were not just women and children. It was really this sort of catch-all for everyone who doesn't have a place in society. The elderly, the disabled...women leaving abusive husbands, drug addicts — there is very little care there.” 

Emma LeBlanc, Fellow of Youth, Economics, and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict, on her motivation for photographing and recording narratives during the outbreak of the Syrian revolution. 

Pieter Vanhuysse

“Foxes are very versatile – they do many things. They change direction; they can adapt to different things. Hedgehogs slowly but surely do one thing. They do it well, but it’s one narrow path they follow. Perhaps we need to think about creating more foxes among the 14- and 15-year-olds of today.”

Pieter Vanhuysse, Fellow of Aging Societies: Advancing Innovation and Equity, on the need to better prepare youth for the changes presented by shifting demographics.

Sara Riggare

“I see my neurologist once or twice a year for about half an hour every time…We have a very good collaboration with true shared decision-making. When I come to him he doesn’t say, ‘Are you taking your medication as prescribed?’ Instead he says, ‘Can you tell me how you are taking your medication now?’ I think shared decision-making is not happening more because a lot of health care people think it is the end goal, whereas for me it is merely a tool and a means to reach the goal. The end goal is to have less time in health care... At the Quantified Self, I forget I have Parkinson's disease.” 

Sara Riggare, Fellow of The Promise of Data: Will this Bring a Revolution in Health Care?, on the importance of self-care and the liberating aspects of the Quantified Self movement. 

Hirokazu Yoshikawa

“I think the neuroscience states that the human organism is especially sensitive to the quality of the environment between the prenatal period and roughly the first several years of life. It becomes much harder to address the effects of adversity later in development. It means we still need to invest in programs for youth and emerging adulthood; but if we miss the first several years of life, we’ve missed an extraordinary opportunity to provide enrichment from the standpoint of families and communities and societies.” 

Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Salzburg Global Fellow and chair of the session Early Childhood Development & Education, on the importance of investing in early childhood development and education. 

Maya Morsy

“If we see [female] role models in the media, if we see decision makers who are powerful and are doing real change on the ground, it will help in affecting and impacting more women in the legislation and in the parliament. We see media as a very strong tool that, with a real message to change the community, a real message to create a social impact, can really help women and gender equality agenda.” 

Maya Morsy, guest lecturer at the 2015 Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, on role of the media to advance women’s rights. 

Shodekeh Talifero

“I think there is a vibrational quality of music that you can identify mathematically, physically, and scientifically that helps to lubricate social situations, or a socio-economic situation, or a cultural situation. In the same way that we use water to help lubricate our bodies, in the same way that alcohol is used as a social lubricant, I think music acts as a vibrational lubricant. It helps unlock what is happening externally in a social situation, but I also think it helps unlock what is occurring internally within the human experience. So I think there is an existential quality regarding the vibrations. I think the vibrational quality can be identified philosophically, scientifically, mathematically, and spiritually.” 

Shodekeh Talifero, Fellow of The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation? on the origins and values of beatboxing and collaborating with neuroscientists to reinforce his musical intuition. 

Aml El-Houderi

“Youth are not protected in law. They are marginalized in the decision-making process [and in] their political participation. So they were called for in the revolution; their voice was heard, but then when it came to the next steps of rebuilding the country, they were completely marginalized and thought of as irritants. This kind of marginalization does not exist in a vacuum; the lack of decision-making power can lead to issues inside of the home. Finding this new space to be assertive can lead to larger issues.” 

Aml El-Houderi, Fellow of Youth, Economics and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict, on the impact of marginalizing the Libyan youth and how this may lead to future larger social shifts. 

Keith Lindor

“In the United States we spend a lot of money on health care, and yet we have very poor health. I think that most people want health – they don’t want to be patients, they want to be people. Trying to continuously push on the health care end means that our ability to leverage mechanisms to improve the health of a population may continue to be fairly futile. If we could do things to let them have health rather than require health care, they would be happier. What happens is people want health, and we sell them health care.” 

Keith Lindor, Salzburg Global Fellow and chair of the session The Promise of Data: Will this Bring a Revolution in Health Care?, on why more money should be spent on health instead of health care. 

Michael Kirby

“The first years were surreptitious. However, then Johan [my partner] said, ‘We owe it to the next generation to be honest.’ I proposed, ‘What if we wait until I finish my judicial life?’ He said ‘No!’ Of course, these were the years of the AIDS epidemic. So hiding felt no longer an option... I was playing the game in a way that society had imposed it on me. I was the one that deserved an apology. I was the one that was forced to hide reality. I deserve an apology for the relationships I couldn’t have and the dishonesty imposed on me.” 

Michael Kirby, four-time Salzburg Global Fellow, on hiding his sexual orientation while growing up and the aftermath of his coming out. In 1999, Kirby made history by becoming the first openly gay Australian High Court Judge. 

Rebecca Stanfield McCown

“We are at a critical moment. The potential that our cities hold to help us connect to new generations is immense. 80% of the US already lives in urban areas, and the world population will mirror that statistic by 2050. If we don't act now to create innovative spaces within urban environments that connect youth and their families to nature, we will be left with a generation that does not understand the value of natural places. That value is not only in the biological diversity and ecosystem services but in the health benefits, cultural, and historical meaning of special places.” 

Rebecca Stanfield McCown, Fellow of the inaugural Parks for the Planet Forum: Nature, Health, and a New Urban Generation, on the importance of connecting today’s youth with nature.