Past Program


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) is a ten-year program launched by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2014. Its goal is to connect and empower a critical mass of talented change-makers across the world who work through the culture and arts sector to shape a more creative, just and sustainable world.

Each year the Forum brings together a new group of fifty cultural innovators and creative practitioners, selected from participating city or country “hubs” with the active support of local partner organizations. The artistic disciplines they represent range from the visual and performing arts, literature, and cultural heritage, to foods, fashion, architecture, and design. The residential program at Schloss Leopoldskron is designed to help participants develop the dynamic vision, practical skills, and global networks they need to thrive in new ways, together with their organizations, causes and communities.

Year on year, the YCI Forum is growing and nurturing a dynamic international network that catalyzes an expanding range of local and cross-border collaborations. The Forum represents a major commitment by Salzburg Global Seminar to fostering creative innovation and entrepreneurship for more inclusive and sustainable development. Focused on human capital and leadership development, the Forum aims to build a more vibrant and resilient culture and arts sector equipped to advance positive social change agendas and equitable community transformation worldwide. 



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

Program Format

Forum components include the one-week annual program in Salzburg combining theory and praxis, with capacity building sessions focusing on:

  • Human-Centered Design Processes;
  • Communicating the Value of Your Work;
  • Leadership and Values.

Outstanding participants from previous years are often invited back as facilitators/resource specialists at later sessions and regional events to assure continuity, communication and exchange of best practice across the Forum. The YCI Forum helps participants to create and develop hubs on all continents to share learning, scale up projects, and magnify the impact of the network created in Salzburg at the regional and community levels. YCI hub teams take the initiative to convene mini-sessions, workshops and public events and become a local resource for emerging cultural innovators.

Participant Profile

The YCI Forum aims to build collaborative networks for human capital and leadership development within the cultural sector.

Each annual YCI cohort is comprised of approximately ten expert facilitators and fifty young cultural innovators between the ages of 25 and 35 from around the world. The group is balanced in terms of gender, discipline, and geographic representation. Participants are chosen through a highly competitive application and nomination process, to ensure outstanding quality and diversity of professional knowledge and experience within the Forum.

Most participants come from “YCI hubs” that Salzburg Global Seminar has been developing with partners in cities and regions around the world. These hubs – which form the core of the YCI Forum’s activities – now include: Adelaide, Australia; Athens, Greece; Baltimore, USA; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Canada; Cape Town, South Africa; Detroit, USA; Malta; Manila, Philippines; Memphis, USA; Nairobi, Kenya; New Orleans, USA; Mekong Delta: Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand; Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Salzburg, Austria; Seoul, South Korea; Tirana, Albania; and Tokyo, Japan. 

Selection Criteria

  • Be 25–35 years of age.
  • Be proficient in English the working language of the YCI Forum.
  • Have at least 1–3 years of professional experience in the cultural sector, creative industries, and/or at an arts organization or institution.
  • Want to become an active member of the YCI global network, and be prepared to commit time, energy, and resources to sustaining these.
  • 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 demonstrate an interest in building cross sectoral alliances/partnerships beyond the cultural sector.
  • Exhibit passion, enthusiasm, and leadership potential.


David Baker
Associate Editor, The Louisiana Weekly, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Carly Bales
Performance Artist & Cultural Organizer; Executive Director, Le Mondo; Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Adrienne Benjamin
Mille Lacs Regional Equity Champion for the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, Isle, Minnesota, USA
Christy Bieber
Anishinaabe Artist & Cultural Worker; Co-Director, The Aadizookaan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Samuel Bowler
Writer, Sculptor, & Technologist; Director, Culturalyst, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Reymart Cerin
Creative Director, The Public School Manila Branding & Design Studio, Manila, Philippines
Ala Cho
Head Curator, Gwanghwamun International Art Festival Organizing Committee, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Nicholas Cohen
Executive Director, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Gabriel Costa
Journalist; Director, Conventillo Babel Magazine, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Jose Cotto
Photographer and Designer, josecottoCREATIVE, New Orleans, USA
Tereza Çuni
Head of Communication and Promotion, Marubi National Museum of Photography, Shkodër, Albania
Alexis Dixon
Arts Administrator, Curator, Visual Artist; Executive Assistant, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
James Dukes
aka IMAKEMADBEATS, Producer & Engineer; CEO, Unapologetic LLC, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Alayna Eagle Shield
Health Education Program Director, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Mandan, North Dakota, USA
Dave Eassa
Visual Artist; Manager of Community Engagement, Baltimore Museum of Art; Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Shuko Ebihara
Founder & Director, kuriya, Tokyo, Japan
Ralph Eya
Independent Art Practitioner, Manila, Philippines
Alyssa Fearon
Curator, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Elkjana Gjipali
Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of Culture, Tirana, Albania
Victoria Jones
Executive Director, The CLTV, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Namhee Joo
Program Manager, Chungnam Arts & Culture Foundation, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Katharina Kapsamer
Visual Artist & Cultural Worker, Salzburg & Vienna, Austria
Mihong Kim
Urban Designer & Curator; Public Official, Smart City Development, Geumcheon-gu Office, Seoul Metropolitan Government; Seoul, Republic of Korea
Lucas Koski
Asset Manager, Artspace Projects, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Matthias Leboucher
Musician; Co-Founder, New Art and Music Ensemble Salzburg (NAMES), Salzburg, Austria
Sieng Lee
Artist & Designer, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Anisa Lloja
Program Staff, Cultural Heritage without Borders Albania; Co-Founder, Nji Mar, Nji Mrapsht; Tirana, Albania
Dorian Mallia
Founder & Artistic Director, Moveo Dance Company, Floriana, Malta
Anisa Mano
Community Development Manager, Cultural Heritage without Borders Albania, Tirana, Albania
Amber Henderson
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA
Esther Mbatha
Vice Chairperson, Youth Council for Cultural Heritage, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Nairobi, Kenya
Brian McBay
Executive Director, 221A; Vice-Chair, City of Vancouver's Arts & Culture Policy Council, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Heather Meyer
Improv Performer, The Theatre of Public Policy, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Stefano Mori
Architect & Project Manager, Studio Anna Heringer, Salzburg, Austria
Greta Muscat Azzopardi
Facilitator; Writer; co-director, The Amber Spark, Malta
Risa Nikaido
Freelance Animation Producer, Tokyo, Japan
Yeong Yeol Oh
CEO, Bicycle of Promise, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Anisa Papajani
Senior Sales Account Executive, Vodafone, Tirana, Albania
Irina Paraschivoiu
Research Fellow, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, University of Salzburg, Austria
Molly Quinn
Executive Director & Co-Founder, Center for Southern Literary Arts, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Ro Rapoport
Singer, Guitar Player & Composer; Co-Founder, Blazar; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Brittany Rhodes
Director of Community Engagement, Belle Isle Conservancy, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Xavier Roy
Director of Marketing, Opéra de Montréal, Québec, Canada
Maria Laura Sanchez Ferreyra
Program Officer, Microcredit Program for Habitat, Vivienda Digna, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phillip Simpson
Artist; Gallery Owner, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Caroline Taiwo
Economic Opportunity Program Director, Springboard for the Arts, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Cyrene Kazandra Tumaliuan
Founder & Chief Librarian, Kwago Bookstore, Manila, Philippines
Lindsey Mae Willie
Filmmaker; Traditional L& & Governance Coordinator, Dzawada'enuxw First Nation; Dzawada'enuxw, British Columbia, Canada
Jenna Winter
Administrator, Producer, Facilitator; Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
Mio Yachita
Research Associate, Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan
Bilphena Yahwon
Writer; Outreach Coordinator, Restorative Response Baltimore, Maryland, USA