Past Program


Many cities and regions around the world are facing radical environmental, social, political, and economic transformation, confronting challenges such as climate change, social injustice, the need for educational reform, and growing economic disparities. Addressing these challenges takes action at all levels and in collaboration across multiple different sectors.

Recognizing that some of the most imaginative solutions at the local and community levels are found in the arts and culture sector, where young cultural innovators are helping to drive change, Salzburg Global Seminar launched the Young Cultural Innovators Forum in 2014 to connect and empower a critical mass of talented change-makers across the world to shape a more creative, just and sustainable world.

Each year the YCI Forum brings together a new group of 50 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, home of Salzburg Global Seminar, is designed to help participants develop the dynamic vision, practical skills, and global networks they need to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and transform systems at the local, regional, and global levels.

Now in its sixth 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, ten-year commitment by Salzburg Global Seminar to fostering creative innovation and social 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.


Each annual YCI cohort comprises approximately ten expert facilitators and 50 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 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; Mekong Delta: Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand; Nairobi, Kenya; New Orleans, USA; Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Salzburg, Austria; Seoul, South Korea; Tirana, Albania; and Tokyo, Japan, and the Upper Midwest, USA.

Applications for funded scholarships for specific YCI Hubs will open on a rolling basis by hub throughout 2019. Sign up here to receive notification of when applications open:


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

  • Communicating value;
  • Principles of self-organization;
  • Cross-sectoral collaboration;
  • Leadership and values.

Outstanding participants from previous years are often invited back as facilitators, resource specialists or rapporteurs 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 community and regional levels. YCI hub teams take the initiative to convene mini-sessions, workshops and public events and become a local resource for emerging cultural innovators working at the intersection of the arts and social impact.


Through the annual week-long program in Salzburg and ongoing network facilitation, the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators aims to:

  • Support next generation creative change-makers who are major, yet unrecognized or under-resourced, drivers of civic innovation and imaginative social change;
  • Create a world-class network of Young Cultural Innovators to strengthen and encourage cross-sectoral collaboration between the arts sector and other sectors over the next five years;
  • Build the capacity of a critical mass (500+) of networked young creative change-makers committed to innovative leadership, social impact, entrepreneurial approaches, and exchange of best practices within and among “YCI hubs” worldwide;
  • Generate a multiplier effect through the “YCI hubs” by sharing the learning from the Salzburg sessions and inspire innovation, collaboration, and peer mentoring at the local and regional levels; and
  • Disseminate the Forum’s groundbreaking ideas around the intersection between the arts and social impact to a broad community of stakeholders and build a creative impact network for continuing dialogue, collaboration and advocacy, through social media and catalyzed by the “YCI hubs.”



Safiya Al Maskari
Manager, Lest We Forget, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Ebony Archie
Communications and Development Manager, Urban Art Commission, Memphis, USA
Chino Aricaya
Community Manager, Pineapple Lab, Manila, Philippines
Korina Barry
Director of Outreach, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Quinton Batts
Design Researcher, MICA Center for Social Design, Baltimore, USA
Laila Binbrek
Director of the National Pavilion UAE at the Venice Biennale, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Shaina Brassard
Community Development Specialist, Brassard Group LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Burton Bridges
Associate Director of Field Development, ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Minji Chun
Coordinator and Editor, TheArtro, Korea Arts Management Service, Seoul, Korea
Zoe Chun
Director, The Great Commission, Seoul
Silvija Ciuladyte
Founder, CROSSROADS Festival, Salzburg, Austria
Chris Davenport
Owner, Poetry Still Matters, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Joy Davis
Director and Curator, Waller Gallery, Baltimore, USA
Zach DeBoer
Artist, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
Holly Doll
President and Founder, Native Artists United, Upper Midwest, USA
Justin Galea
Program Coordinator, Fondazzjoni Kreattività, Malta
Maria Galea
Director, ARTZ ID, Malta
Gabrielle Garcia Steib
Writer, Documentarian, Photographer, Antigravity Magazine, Encore, New Orleans, USA
Julien Godman
Contributing Writer, The Metropolitan, Detroit, USA
Kathryn Green
Executive Director, inPath, Canada
David Grethen
Author, Creative, Marketing Innovator, Salzburg, Austria
Ayesha Hadhir
Program Coordinator for Art, Culture and Heritage, Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Razi Jafri
Documentary Filmmaker, Center for Arab American Studies, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Yejeong Ji
President and Co-Founder, Omkim, Seoul, Korea
Robert-David Jones
Founder and Director, Untitled Detroit, Detroit, USA
Faye Kabali-Kagwa
Theatre4Youth Western Cape Coordinator, ASSITEJ South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
YK Kam
Art producer; Artist; Cake Shop Owner, A Piece of Cake, Seoul, Korea
Brian Kepher
Member, El Sistema Orchestra, Nairobi, Kenya
Abhinit Khanna
Arts Manager, The Fort Arts Center, Bombay, India
Rico Kinouchi
CEO, Tokyo New Cinema, Tokyo, Japan
Frances Koncan
Playwright, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Canada
Ji Young Lee
Deputy Chief Executive, Hwansang Forest Gotjawal Park, Seoul, Korea
Aneesha Marwah
Project Manager, Consulting and Strategic Partnershi, Artspace Projects Inc., Upper Midwest, USA
Muna Mohamed
Program Coordinator, Girls on the Run, Upper Midwest, USA
Chloe Moore
Founder & Director of NEXT Memphis
Dina Mousa
Writer, San Diego, California, USA
Chris Mukasa
Founder, Fatuma's Voice, Kenya
Nana Ota
Program Director, Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation, London, UK
Charly Pierre
Head Chef and Co-Owner, Fritai, New Orleans, USA
Micah Pinto
Executive Director, Para Sa Sining Collaboratory, Manila, Philippines
Michael Prosserman
CEO, EPIC Leadership xChange, Canada
Sergej Pumper
Chairman, Urban Foundation, Salzburg, Austria
Bridie Rollins
Program Coordinator, OKRE, Wellcome Trust, London, UK
Daniel Rumbolt
Board Member, Canadian Artist`s Representation, Canada
Litha Sokutu
Cultural Analyst; Director, SLC Associates, Cape Town, South Africa
Carl Swanson
Associate Director, Springboard for the Arts, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Mami Takahashi
Community Manager, Hub Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Alison Uttley
Communications Director, Business for Peace, Canada
Angelika Wienerroither
Journalist, Salzburger Nachrichten, Salzburg, Austria


Marcos Amadeo
Chief of Staff, EDUCAR S.E National Ministry of Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Toni Attard
Founder and Director, Culture Venture, Malta
Lu Chait
Educator, AulaVereda Villa 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rebecca Chan
Program Officer, LISC National Creative Placemaking and Economic Development Program, Baltimore, USA
Jose Cotto
Collaborative Design Project Manager, The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Kleidi Eski
Founder and Creative Director, Light and Moving, Tirana, Albania
Ralph Eya
Independent Art Practitioner, Manila, Philippines
Arundhati Ghosh
Executive Director, India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, India
Christine Gitau
Convener & Curator, Craft Afrika, Nairobi, Kenya
Amber Henderson
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA
Peter Jenkinson
Cultural Broker, London, UK
Katharina Kapsamer
Visual Artist & Cultural Worker, Salzburg & Vienna, Austria
Hiroko Kikuchi
Artist, Co-founder/Creative Director, inVisible, Tokyo, Japan
Raina Lampkins-Fielder
Curator and Program Officer, Souls Grown Deep, Paris, France
Marc Laws
International Yoga Teacher; Co-manager, Karma Collab, London, UK
Palesa Ngwenya
Development Coordinator, Maboneng Township Arts Experience, Cape Town, South Africa
Siphiwe Ngwenya
Director, Maboneng Township Arts Experience; Founding Director, Arts Township International, Cape Town, South Africa
Ro Rapoport
Singer, Guitar Player & Composer; Co-Founder, Blazar; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Shelagh Wright
Director, ThreeJohnsandShelagh and Mission Models Money; Associate, Demos; London, UK


Call for Applications

Applications for the YCI Forum 2019 are now closed. 


View full set on Flickr

All photos are available to publish under the Creative Commons license - Attribution/Non-commercial. Photos should be credited to Salzburg Global Seminar/Herman Seidl

Hi-res, non-watermarked photos are available from the Communications Team,