Heinrich Schellhorn Welcomes YCIs to Province of Salzburg

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Oct 18, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Heinrich Schellhorn Welcomes YCIs to Province of Salzburg

Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs visits as YCIs reflect on resilience in the face of adversity Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum.

At different stages in our career, and in life, we can feel as if we’re running on empty – operating on little energy or with scarce resources.

During this time, the need to remain resilient takes on an even greater significance when a big decision goes against us.

Participants of the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators reflected on this thought and how to respond to setbacks during an official welcome by Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg.

Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine asked Schellhorn where he found strength and resilience in light of the Green party’s performance in Austria’s general election this past Sunday.

While Schellhorn described the result as a “bleak day,” he felt the Greens would rise again, reflecting on the “ups and downs” he had experienced in his career.

At this week’s election, the Greens gained just over three percent of the vote. Schellhorn said the party had failed to provide the right answers to the questions voters were asking.

He indicated society was changing very fast, coming to terms with globalization, immigration, and digitalization.

Schellhorn suggested “simple answers” would not solve any of the concerns but that these types of messages appealed to voters. He told participants there was a need to remain optimistic and support the values of international cooperation and an open society.

One participant asked Schellhorn for his thoughts on where progressive change would come from, suggesting the message needed to come from the bottom up.

Schellhorn agreed and said the first thing required was for politicians to listen to the people. He then told participants that a “leadership of ideas” was needed. According to Schellhorn, democracy does not always mean the voters are right; it also means leaders being able to convince voters of their ideas.

The People’s Party, headed by Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, won enough seats in the election to give the party control of parliament in a coalition.

To what extent did the election result reflect a generational way of thinking?

Schellhorn said the young generation was “very divided.” In light of a declining birth rate in Austria and an aging society, Schellhorn predicted voters aged 50 and above, however, would play the most active part in civic society in the future.

Speaking after Schellhorn, Peter Jenkinson, YCI Forum facilitator, said this year’s cohort represented a “creative army that’s deeply human” that will be part of the growth going forward. Jenkinson said, “We have to believe there is a better way and there are no barriers that can’t be overcome.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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