Salzburg Global Chronicle 2018


Letter from the President

How does a relatively small but influential NGO help shape a better world? That is the question Salzburg Global Seminar set out to answer as we entered our 70th anniversary year. 

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Looking back, we played pivotal roles in establishing civil society in Eastern Europe, holding off-the-record meetings leading up to the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland and building consensus around treatment of AIDS.

More recently, we have helped drive a movement to put the patient’s interests at the center of health care systems, thereby improving outcomes and efficiencies. Our work in the arts now spans 20 city hubs that are home to Salzburg Young Cultural Innovators who are spurring community engagement and opportunities for surging urban populations. 

The methods and means by which we create impact are twofold. First, we frame problems in ways that support new thinking and partner with institutions to advance strategies that emerge from Salzburg convenings. Helping design and seed collaborations that grow out of our programs, we test promising ideas in real world settings. 

Second, we carefully select program participants beyond “the usual suspects” — people from diverse backgrounds who will challenge conventional wisdom and are likely to become next-generation leaders. Through a mix of science and art, we then optimize conditions for creative exchange and problem-solving. We also choose as moderators and mentors people who understand that change is not a linear function and who are adept at encouraging intellectual risk-taking.

Our work often starts but never ends in Salzburg. Our programs have for 70 years changed lives, influenced policy and provoked innovation. A newly announced Campaign, Inspiring Leadership — with the goal of raising $18 million over three years — will propel Salzburg Global to increase its impact across the world. A prime focus will be on facilitating collaboration among Fellows and partners. How best to spur collaboration around very promising ideas is a work in progress. Already, Salzburg Global Fellows can apply for micro-grants to extend the reach and impact of their program-related work. These grants offer support for cross-border travel by collaborators, article research and writing, delivering testimony before a policy body or conducting a social media campaign. 

As the Campaign unfolds, we will offer scholarships to help selected Fellows return to Salzburg for multiple interrelated programs, encouraging program cross-pollination and taking Salzburg explorations deeper. We will also establish a Fund for Program Excellence to seed important new projects and partnerships with the potential to become self-sustaining over time.

Salzburg Global Fellows and partner institutions have the power to transform systems and shape a better world. Our work includes reimagining education for a next generation of workers, catalyzing equitable development in rapidly urbanizing societies, ensuring equal protection for LGBT people and communities facing marginalization and much more. 

We invite all those who share our vision to join in Inspiring Leadership. Ask how you can become involved, and help us ensure Salzburg Global Seminar sustains courageous, ethical action to shape a better world.

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