Past Program

Every new decade invites bold change for long-term benefit. Today’s converging crises provide a unique opportunity to reimagine systems, values and leadership. How can we act smarter and faster for more creative, just and sustainable societies? In a world that lacks public trust and shared positive narratives, the stakes are rising along with inequity and planetary risks.

Designs on the Future is a new, open initiative inspired by Salzburg Global’s radical roots and the unrivalled diversity of our Fellowship. Unique “conversations with a twist” will feature leaders and disrupters from different geographies, generations and sectors. The initiative will focus on emergent challenges and breakthroughs to spark ideas, make sense of complexity, and inform our programs, networks and impact far into the future. 

The inaugural debate in our Designs on the Future initiative will feature a healthcheck on the state of our democracies.

Democracy around the world – where it exists – is facing complex and systemic risks. Economic and racial divisions are driving political and cultural polarization. Gaps are widening between people and power, with authority in some countries now beyond traditional checks and balances. Globally there are more democracies than ever, yet trust is declining and the media is seen as increasingly partisan. Pessimism is highest among youth.

Yet history tells us that individuals and communities can drive radical change and pioneer new movements for participatory engagement from the street up. Join us for a timely debate with five Salzburg Global Fellows working on the frontline at local to global levels.

Related News

You can watch the whole webinar again on our YouTube channel


Stacey Abrams speaks on Austria's FM4


11.00 - 12.15 EDT / 17.00 - 18.15 CEST


This online webinar will feature a candid conversation between two keynote speakers, moderated by Clare Shine, Salzburg Global Vice President & Chief Program Officer, followed by provocations from three Salzburg Global Fellows. 

Candid Conversation

Stacey Abrams, US political leader and voting rights activist, New York Times bestselling author, serial entrepreneur and nonprofit CEO (Salzburg Global Fellow, 2000) 
William J. Dobson, Co-editor, Journal of Democracy, author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy (Salzburg Global Fellow, 1998, 2003, 2007; Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change Faculty 2013) 

Live Provocations

Maria Farrell, Speaker and writer on technology, politics and the future, consultant on Internet governance and infrastructure (Salzburg Global Fellow, 2018)
Henry Leung, Law student, poet and creative non-fiction writer (Salzburg Global Cutler Law Fellow, 2019)  
Chloe Moore, Director, Next Memphis (Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovator, 2019) 


The program will be moderated by Clare Shine, Salzburg Global Vice President & Chief Program Officer