Session 603


Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is one of the hottest topics in global education today. Evidence shows that SEL can help young people acquire the skills to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution and shape new jobs and career pathways. SEL skills can also help communities and populations grapple with complex change and advance the Sustainable Development Goals. 

On the demand side, there are compelling calls from around the world for the systematic development and embedding of social and emotional learning opportunities in education systems. Unusually, these demand side drivers are now coming from industry, private sector and economists as well as from education and civil society organizations

On the supply side, however, it is still rare to find SEL opportunities integrated at a system-wide level in national education sectors. At global level, the three most frequently cited barriers relate to teacher preparation, curriculum design, and perceived challenges around measurement and assessment. There are also significant constituencies who for different reasons do not consider SEL opportunities to be important and relevant in education.

A comprehensive evidence base now demonstrates the correlation between social and emotional skills and academic attainment. Recent years have seen the emergence and/or expansion of a number of national and regional SEL initiatives in different parts of the world. Despite this, there are few, if any, opportunities for leaders, influencers, researchers and practitioners from different networks to share their insights and learning.  This program – the latest in Salzburg Global Seminar’s series on Education for Tomorrow’s World - connected key stakeholders across sectors, regions and cultures to share and critique a range of policies and practice, analyzing what has or has not worked in order to develop scalable recommendations for future educational reform. 

Salzburg Statement

Social and emotional skills are key human capabilities that allow individuals to manage their emotions, work with others, and achieve their goals. They are crucial for the wellbeing and success of every child and adult, and for the future of our societies and economies. 

In a complex, fast-moving world, it is imperative that we equip all learners for new challenges and opportunities. Evidence shows multiple long-term benefits from embedding Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities in education in both formal and non-formal contexts. SEL can contribute to more inclusive, dynamic and productive schools, communities and workplaces, and can in the long term save governments money and accelerate productivity.

We, the Salzburg Global Fellows from the December 2018 program Social and Emotional Learning: A Global Synthesis, believe that global and national education policies, practices and systems should put SEL at the center of “whole person” development from birth. 

Download the full Statement in English (PDF)

Download the full Statement in Arabic (PDF)

Download the full Statement in Spanish (PDF)

Download the full Statement in Tamil (PDF)

Download the full Statement in Sinhalese (PDF)


View full set on Flickr

All images are available for download. Please credit Salzburg Global Seminar. Unwatermarked images are available on request.


View full set on Flickr

All images are available for download. Please credit Salzburg Global Seminar/Wolfgang Irber. 

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