Past Program


“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow,” said Mary Anne Radmacher. 

For seven decades, Salzburg Global Seminar has typified that little voice, trying each day to help solve some of the world’s most complex challenges.

When Salzburg Global’s three founders looked across the Atlantic to war-torn Europe in 1947, courage underpinned their vision for a “Marshall Plan of the Mind.” Seventy years on, Salzburg Global continues to build on its founders’ vision, showing courage through its persistence to bridge divides and challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. 

Around the world, the combined pressure of geo-economic trends, political tensions, and rising inequality are triggering insecurity and anger. Societies and institutions are becoming fractured. Some leaders are displaying authoritarian characteristics. In some countries, the rule of law and representative democracy are being threatened. Domestic imperatives swamp efforts to collaborate on global public goods or craft intelligent responses to security threats.

Still, the world is in a better position than ever before to tackle these challenges. There is an open marketplace for ideas, innovation, and invention. Humans can reach ever further into space and sea, and ever deeper into genetic resources and nanotechnologies. We have the unique capacity to scale up innovation, leverage big data, and apply artificial intelligence to every walk of life. This potential can be harnessed to protect the planet and equip all people to flourish in radically changing societies. 

Courage and curiosity are critical to charting a new course as the “fourth industrial revolution” gathers pace. The courage to tell truth to power, to tackle vested interests, to express artistic voice and freedom, to build coalitions for change and to see through tough choices. In divided societies, people need courage to stay true to their beliefs. Leaders need courage to curb their exercise of power. Together, we need courage to rekindle our collective imagination to rebuild society from the top down and the bottom up. We need to remind ourselves that progress is often incremental and have the courage to persist until each problem has a solution.

After seven decades committed to transformative leadership on global challenges, Salzburg Global will take stock of its past, present, and future as we renew our mission. We cordially invite you to join our efforts and help celebrate our 70th anniversary at our gala Board of Directors Weekend. Schloss Leopoldskron – our inspiring venue “at the still point of the turning world” – welcomes you to slow food for the mind and a feast for the senses.