Past Program


Rapid global transformations place governments under intense pressure to perform to ever-higher expectations at a time of shrinking public budgets. Populations are aging, countries are urbanizing, and technology is transforming the future of work. Citizens have increasingly lost trust in the ability of public officials to cope – let alone to excel – under these changing dynamics. 

How can governments transform their culture and operations to address these challenges and disruptions? What is the role of government in helping to change mindsets and prepare citizens for the new normal? What radical changes lie ahead for the design, delivery and funding of core public services?

Governments will need to explore new policies, discover new innovations, and form new partnerships. The public sector will require courage to tackle the employment, education, and social security challenges facing the populations it serves – and to regain and retain the public’s trust while doing so. It will need to seek new forms of revenue, while enhanced cooperation with the private sector and civil society may prove key to accomplish public goals. To succeed, the public sector will also need to redeploy, reskill, and reorganize its own resources, staff and departments. Mindsets will need to shift to break down silos and embed intrapreneurship in public service culture. 

Session Format

Interactive debate and hands-on problem-solving takes place under the Chatham House Rule. The two-day session includes case study presentations, small table discussions, in-depth working groups, and gamification and role-playing exercises. Conditions of trust and creativity facilitate the open exchange of ideas and best practices among peers from geographically and economically diverse countries that lead the world in public service innovation. Participants benefit from the seclusion and unique beauty of Salzburg Global Seminar’s headquarters at Schloss Leopoldskron, where participants can step back from professional pressures and form strong and sustained international networks with their counterparts from around the world.  


Rose Abdollahzadeh
Head, Director's Office and Research Partnerships, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, UK
Rabih Abouchakra
Founder and Managing Director, Office of Strategic Affairs, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, UAE
Paula Acosta Marquez
Director, Government and Strategic Areas, Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, Colombia
Nitika Agarwal
Chief Operating Officer, Apolitical, UK
Seán M. Cleary
Senior Advisor, Salzburg Global Seminar; Chairman, Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd; Vice Chair, FutureWorld Foundation; Advisory Council member of the Club de Madrid and EIT Climate-KIC; Executive Consultant, UAE Prime Minister's Office
Saugato Datta
Managing Director, ideas42, India
John Edge
Chairman, Identity2020, USA/UK
Charles Ehrlich
Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar
Lucy Fallon Byrne
Assistant Secretary, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ireland
Varun Gauri
Head, Global Insights Initiative, The World Bank, USA
Mona Hammami
Senior Director, Office of Strategic Affairs, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, UAE
Samantha Hannah-Rankin
Director of Public Service Innovation, Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victoria), Australia
Liis Kasemets
Head, Zero-bureaucracy Task Force, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia
Michel El Khoury
Senior Director, Office of Strategic Affairs, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, UAE
Junny Kim
Director General, Public Governance Program, OECD - Korea Center, Republic of South Korea
Juhani Lemmik
Senior Advisor, policy Making, Strategy and Reform, and Service Delivery, OECD, France/Estonia
Penny Low
President and Founder, Social Innovation Park Ltd, Singapore
Julian McCrae
Senior Fellow, Institute for Government, United Kingdom
Liz McKeown
Director, Public Policy Analysis, Office for National Statistics, United Kingdom
Wanja Michuki
Managing Director, Be Bold Consulting and Advisory Ltd, Kenya
Katrin Nyman-Metcalf
Adjunct Professor, Tallinn University of Technology; Programme Director for Research and Legal Matters, e-Governance Academy; Chair, International Relations Committee, European Space Agency, Estonia
Colin Rasmussen
Head of Program Quality and Learning, Aga Khan Foundation, East Africa, Kenya/USA
Fernando Rocha Andrade
State Secretary for Fiscal Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Portugal
Kim Salkeld
Clare Shine
Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar
Claire Spencer
Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme & Second Century Initiative, Chatham House, UK
Lisa Witter
Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, Apolitical, Germany/USA

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Session Photos

View full set on Flickr

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