From Students to Statesmen

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From Students to Statesmen

Targeting people at the cutting edge of change — whether they are college students, artists, civil society activists or central bankers — our programs help bridge divides on the ground and in the mind.  PATIENT INSIGHTS. British couple Chris Roberts and Jayne Goodrick are sharing their personal experiences of living with and caring for loved ones with dementia in an effort make the voices of patients and their families heard.

Checking out “Books” from the Human Library

Each year, the three-week-long Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change brings together students and faculty from across the world to explore media’s role in society, both positive and negative. In a time of bitter polarization, at times driven by media, it is an “eye-opening experience” for many involved.

Sarah AlNemr attended the 2017 Media Academy and returned in November for a workshop in our Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention series. Like many Fellows, the Lebanese American University student now recognizes the importance of having “different contexts… and different explanations of one story.” 

Understanding diverse perspectives comes not only through lectures and working group discussions, but also through innovative exercises like the Human Library. Students become the “books,” sharing personal stories with “titles” ranging from Anxiety and Autism and Alienation to Arab Muslim Girl and Latino and Jewish. They are “checked out” by “readers” to engage in one-on-one conversations on identity, challenging stereotypes and discrimination. 

“The titles taught me more in a couple of hours than I could ever learn in a year!” remarked Bournemouth student, Joshua Coase. 

Convening Outstanding Talent

Since 2011, the Salzburg Global Finance Forum has convened leaders and experts to address pressing challenges facing the financial system and global economy. This year, a number of the Forum’s Fellows were recognized as foremost in their fields.

In Vienna, Andreas Dombret was awarded the Great Golden Medal for Services to the Republic of Austria. As a board member of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the German banker was honored for representing Austrian interests before international bodies. 

In Washington, DC, Jerome Powell was appointed Chairman of the US Federal Reserve. His opening remarks from the 2017 Finance Forum were pored over by finance policy watchers for insights into his thinking. Powell’s oath of office was administered by another Finance Forum Fellow, Randal Quarles, who was also appointed to a new role at the Fed this year as Vice Chairman for Supervision, Quarles is responsible for guiding plans to “normalize” regulations imposed following the 2008 financial crisis. 

Transforming health care to meet our wants and needs 

Tackling the greatest health challenges facing the world means engaging not only those responsible for designing and delivering affordable health care but also those who receive it. 

Salzburg Global Fellows Chris Roberts and Jayne Goodrick, a couple from North Wales, UK, are sharing their lived experiences of dementia and helping to bridge divides between service providers and patients. Roberts has a diagnosis of mixed dementia, vascular damage and Alzheimer’s, while Goodrick’s mother has a diagnosis of dementia and small vessel disease. 

Together, their experiences helped influence the creation of the Salzburg Statement on Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, which outlines actions needed to create dementia-inclusive and -friendly communities around the world. 

Goodrick said, “People are very paternalistic and will give what they think we on the ground need, and what we on the ground need is actually sometimes something very much different to what we’re offered.”

Talking “Shop” at the Schloss

Sebastian Jackson, founder of the Social Club Grooming Company in Detroit, MI, USA, has given more than 30,000 haircuts. But until he attended the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, none had taken place in a palace. That all changed when Jackson brought “Shop Talk” to Schloss Leopoldskron in October 2017. 

Like Salzburg Global’s own programs and building on the African-American barbershop tradition, “Shop Talk” is designed to bring together diverse people to share their differing world views — all while having a haircut. For Jackson, his attendance at the Forum was not only life changing but “deeply human.” 

He said, “What they are talking about is looking inside oneself and sitting still and experiencing that self and then taking action based on that feeling. I’ve had that experience here… My life has actually changed.”