Past Program


Communities around the world are facing radical social, environmental, political, and economic disruption, confronting complex challenges that range from the COVID-19 pandemic to structural inequity and racism, outdated systems of education and work, and climate change. The cultural sector is essential to regenerate and energize societies but artists and creative innovators have never been in a more precarious situation.

Shaping a creative, just and sustainable world calls for action at all levels and collaboration across many sectors. We need bold ideas and innovation to build a more vibrant and resilient arts sector that can advance inclusive economic development, positive social change, and urban transformation for livable cities. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) aims to do this by connecting, empowering and supporting rising talents in the creative sector across every continent.

Launched in 2014, the YCI Forum is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected changemakers in “hub” communities in more than 20 cities and regions around the world. The YCI Forum network is multi-disciplinary and encompasses creative disciplines ranging from the visual and performing arts, literature, and cultural heritage, to foods, fashion, architecture, and design.

The annual program is the first step towards a long-term engagement and participation of YCIs in a dynamic global network, with YCIs continuing to work together at the local level in their YCI Hub, while also remaining in touch with wider global YCI network. The Forum links individuals and communities with one another through an annual program, follow-up events, inter-hub exchanges, cross-border projects, and other activities.

In addition to joining the YCI Forum network, participants also become members of the Salzburg Global Seminar Fellowship network, which since our inception in 1947, includes more than 37,000 participants from over 170 countries. YCIs have opportunities to build cross-sectoral connections with thought leaders from other areas of Salzburg Global programming such as education and work, finance and governance, justice and security, planet and health, media and voice.

Program Format
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Sonila Abdalli
Co-Founder, Destil Creative Hub, Albania
Randell Adjei
Executive and Creative Director of (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) R.I.S.E Edutainment, Toronto, Canada
Lisa Andrews
Associate for Creative Entrepreneurship, Arts Council Malta, Malta
Noémie Anneg
Dancer, Bodhi Project Dance Company, Salzburg, Austria
Jonathan Astley
Centre Director (Moncton), Sistema, New Brunswick, Canada
Jean Noel Attard
Marketing Executive, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Malta
Tazeen Ayub
Co-Director of Detroit Chapter, Gathering All Muslim Artists, Detroit, USA
Anila Balla
Theater Director and Actor, Albania
Suramya Bansal
Masters of Science - Archaeology Candidate, Wits University, South Africa
Juan Francisco Baron
Creative Director, NODO - Centro Cultural Digital, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tatjana Borodin
Student, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria
Andrea Boston
Digital Media Manager, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, USA
Claire Brulatour
Program Management Coordinator, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Memphis, USA
Xochitl Calix Ulloa
Economic and Cultural Strategist, The Aadizookan, Detroit, USA
Nique Campbell
Co-Founder, Hip-Hop Artist, Social Entrepreneur, D.Cipher/NLR Entertainment, Detroit, USA
Philippa Cassar
Co-Artistic Director, The New Victorians, Malta
Belle Chi-Tung Cheung
Cultural Planner, City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Minseok Chi
Artist, ARKO, South Korea
Marika Crete-Reizes
Arts education consulting and project design, Research, Training in aesthetic education, Montreal, Canada
Retji Dakum
CEO, Mukad Yara LLC, Baltimore, USA
Norvs De los Santos
Producer/Director, Newtown Pictures, Philippines
Verónica del Carril
Chief of Institutional Development, Brotes Atelier, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aaron Fallon
Head of Strategy, The Salama bint Hamdan al Nahyan Foundation, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Ashley-Crystal Firstley
Grants and Marketing Manager, Arts Council New Orleans, New Orleans, USA
Mon Garilao
Secretary/Independent Cinema Sector Representative, National Committee on Cinema - National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Philippines
Emma Hassencahl-Perley
Curatorial Intern, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Canada
Firdous Hendricks
Senior Programmes Manager, Lalela, Cape Town, South Africa
Kyle Hill
Clinical Training Director, Indian Health Board, Minneapolis, USA
Dicky Jr
Founder, 510 Media, Nairobi, Kenya
Yoyojin Im
Artist, Yoyojin Creative Lab, South Korea
Gukhee Kim
Author, South Korea
Kaoru Kumagai
Independent curator, researcher and consultant
Youngji Kwon
Assistant Manager, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture(SFAC), Seoul, South Korea
Dani O'Neill
Film Composer, Researcher, Sound Artist and Cultural Worker, South Africa
Ian Lai
Founder, Ingenio, Kenya
Fiona Prisca Lazaro
Founder, Kampana, Philippines
Haevan Lee
Artist, Arts Council Korea, South Korea
Kim Loper
Designer and Project Manager, Baltimore, USA
Samantha Mark
Senior Manager of Regional and Community Planning , Prairie Wild Consulting Co., Saskatchewan, Canada.
Tiisetso Mashifane
Freelance Playwright, Theater Director, Producer, and Performer, South Africa
Shiba Mazaza
Director, Mount Makeda Media House, South Africa
Jazmin Miller
Theatre Director, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, USA
Bettina Muchmore
Co-Artistic Director, The New Victorians, Malta
Nancy Muigei
Governance Advisor, Foreign Office Commonwealth Development Office, Kenya
Chris Mukasa
Founder, Fatuma's Voice, Kenya
Arnold Muriithi
Creative Director, Arnold Muriithi (Fashion Brand), Nairobi, Kenya
Wairimu Mwangi
Founder and CEO of Literature Africa Foundation (LAF), Nairobi, Kenya
Yoko Nakashima
Representative, The Yoko Foundation, Japan
Mawande Ndywamba
Art Director/Organizer, Amazink, South Africa
Facilitation Team
Marcos Amadeo
CEO & Founder, StarUp Global, Argentina
Chino Aricaya
Community Manager, Pineapple Lab, Manila, Philippines
Greta Muscat Azzopardi
Facilitator; Writer; co-director, The Amber Spark, Malta
Antonia Boemeke
Program Development Associate, Salzburg Global Seminar
Kristina Borg
Visual Artist & Project Coordinator, Santa Venera, Malta
Burton Bridges
Associate Director of Field Development, ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Lu Chait
Educator, AulaVereda Villa 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rebecca Chan
Program Officer, LISC National Creative Placemaking and Economic Development Program, Baltimore, USA
Zach DeBoer
Artist, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
Ralph Eya
Independent Art Practitioner, Manila, Philippines
Steve Fox
Founder, The Story Agents, Memphis Tennessee, USA
Maria Galea
Director, ARTZ ID, Malta
Dara Huot
Chief Executive, Phare Performing Social Enterprise, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Faye Kabali-Kagwa
Theatre4Youth Western Cape Coordinator, ASSITEJ South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
Katharina Kapsamer
Visual Artist & Cultural Worker, Salzburg & Vienna, Austria
Abhinit Khanna
Arts Manager, The Fort Arts Center, Bombay, India
Marc Laws
International Yoga Teacher; Co-manager, Karma Collab, London, UK
Aneesha Marwah
Project Manager, Consulting and Strategic Partnerships, Artspace Projects Inc., Upper Midwest, USA
Niyati Mehta
Independent Consultant, Culture, Heritage & Philanthropy, India
Fari Nzinga
Independent curator, writer and educator, Ohio, USA
Ro Rapoport
Singer, Guitar Player & Composer; Co-Founder, Blazar; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Andrei Pamintuan
Founder and Creative Director, FringeMNL; Director, The Gayborhood Festival, Manila, Philippines
Micah Pinto
Executive Director, Para Sa Sining Collaboratory, Manila, Philippines
Marco Pronovost
General Manager and Artistic Director, B21; Curator, Maison de la Photo de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Michael Prosserman
CEO, EPIC Leadership xChange, Canada
Sergej Pumper
Chairman, Urban Foundation, Salzburg, Austria
Belisa Rodrigues
Founder, Belle and Co Consultancy, Cape Town, South Africa
Lauren Rossi
Founder, Stellar Friend & Partner, Michigan, Detroit, USA
Luis Safa
Graphic artist and Art Director
Litha Sokutu
Cultural Analyst; Director, SLC Associates, Cape Town, South Africa
Gabrielle Garcia Steib
Writer, Documentarian, Photographer, Antigravity Magazine, Encore, New Orleans, USA
Elena Stoeva
Marketing and PR Manager, Galler Foods, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Carl Swanson
Associate Director, Springboard for the Arts, Minneapolis, MN, USA

In 2020, the annual meeting of the YCI Forum will take place virtually from 12 to 23 October, and will bring together 60 young cultural innovators (YCIs) from around the world. It will combine a focus on “big picture” issues facing the cultural sector with capacity-building sessions for personal and professional development, helping participants to forge the dynamic vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks needed to advance their organizations, their causes and their communities.

Over the course of 10 days, the program will be convened online and will include a series of presentations, discussions, small group sharing sessions, workshops, and creative interventions. The program will offer opportunities for members of the 2020 cohort to lead sessions, to co-create their own experience and showcase their work. Participants will be supported through peer coaching and mentoring from experienced facilitators.

Following the 2020 annual Forum, participants will have the opportunity to co-create a series of thematic webinars on big picture issues within the cultural sector. Regular check-ins with the 2020 cohort and with YCI Hubs will keep connections alive and enable opportunities for collaboration beyond the annual Forum.

Participant Profile

Each annual YCI cohort comprises a group of expert facilitators and 60 young cultural innovators between the ages of 25 and 35 from around the world. Salzburg Global strives to have a group each year that is balanced in terms of gender, discipline, and geographic representation. Participants are chosen through a competitive application and nomination process, to ensure quality and diversity of professional knowledge and experience within the Forum.

Most participants come from YCI Hub communities that Salzburg Global Seminar has been developing with partners in cities and regions around the world. The hubs which are currently confirmed to participate in the 2020 YCI Forum are:

  • Baltimore, USA;
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina;
  • Canada;
  • Cape Town, South Africa;
  • Detroit, USA;
  • Malta;
  • Manila, Philippines;
  • Memphis, USA;
  • Nairobi, Kenya;
  • New Orleans, USA;
  • Salzburg, Austria;
  • Tirana, Albania;
  • Tokyo, Japan;
  • Upper Midwest, USA (MN, ND, SD).
Criteria for Applicants to The YCI Forum

Candidates are appointed through a competitive application process to bring a diversity of professional knowledge, perspective, and experience to the Forum, and are selected based on their achievements, leadership potential, interest in cross-sectoral collaboration, and commitment to making a difference in their communities. 

To be eligible for the Forum, all applicants must:

  • Be 25–35 years of age.
  • Be proficient in English, the working language of the Forum.
  • Be living and working in a YCI Hub location (listed above).
  • Have at least 2–3 years of professional experience in the arts and culture sector.
  • Want to become an active member of the YCI global network, and be prepared to commit time, energy, and resources to sustaining this.
  • Aim to create social change and strengthen the position of the arts and cultural institutions within your community.
  • Demonstrate creativity in approach to work, openness to innovation and risk-taking, action-orientation, and entrepreneurial inclination.
  • Have a cross-sectoral approach to work and/or demonstrate an interest in building cross-sectoral alliances/partnerships beyond the cultural sector.
  • Exhibit passion, enthusiasm, and leadership potential with prizes, awards, recommendations, citations confirming this.
Application Requirements

All applicants must submit the following information online using the registration form at

  • A brief bio (sample on application form);
  • A photo of yourself (showing your face);
  • A CV/Resume including name and email address of 2 references;
  • A personal statement (approx. 500 words) detailing:
    • Your motivation for applying to the Young Cultural Innovators Forum; 
    • A description of how you aim to create social change and strengthen the position of the arts through your work;
    • How your participation will have an impact on your local community;
    • What you will contribute to the local and global YCI network.
Call for Applications

Applications for the 2020 YCI Forum are now closed.